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Low Carb Luxury: Featured Item!                   

"Though you cannot go back and start again, you can start from now and have a brand new end."                             
— James Jeffrey                                

09.29.04 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Zero Carborita
Psssstttt... the holidays are coming. Parties, get-togethers, fun times. Maybe a cool Strawberry Margarita sounds good to you? An icy Pina Colada? Want to entertain and be bartender extraordinaire without compromising your low carb lifestyle? (Or your guests'?) The perfect answer is the new Premium Bar Mixes from Zero Carb Products, Inc. Not only do they live up to their Zero-Name (zero sugar, zero carbs, zero fat, zero cholesterol, and, let's face it, zero guilt), they also taste fabulous.

For the last two weeks, Neil and I have been enjoying all these wonderful new mixes from Zero Carborita. And then we had the chance to let our review panel weigh in on them as well. They are a unanimous hit and more versatile than we first thought.
Strawberry Margarita
These big 32oz bottles come in 5 varieties:
Margarita, Pina Colada, Strawberry Margarita, Hurricane, and Mai Tai, and soon to be released is a 6th flavor: Sweet and Sour (not available at the time of our review.)

To make your basic classic cocktails, just add a splash of rum or tequila as noted on the bottles and serve in your favorite glasses on the rocks, over crushed ice, or as frozen blender drinks. But feel free to get a lot more creative. You can use fruits like limes, lemons, and strawberries to kick up the flavor as well as garnish (definitely throw a few berries into that blender if you're making the frozen Strawberry Margarita), and save the higher sugar fruits like oranges to use as mostly garnish, or a tiny hint of added flavor. Great drinks are about the "feel", the mood, the "look" as much as the content. Have fun!

One of our favorites was their Mai Tai mix. It's very true to the classic Trader Vic's taste. Do you know the story of the Mai-Tai? It was invented by Trader Vic (Victor J. Bergeron) in 1944 to serve to some friends from Tahiti. Mixing Jamaican Rum, lime juice, orange curaco syrup, some french orgeat, and rock candy syrup, he made this very exotic and tasty drink. After trying it, his Tahitian friends exclaimed, "Mai Tai!" meaning "out of this world." We think the Zero Carborita version is just as out of this world.
Orange Creamsicle Drink
It's versatile too. One of my favorite drinks is an Orange Creamsicle. We got a very good one by mixing a little vodka (I love Chopin Vodka!) with 2 parts Mai-Tai mix and 1 part cream. Sweeten with a bit of Splenda. Then shake all ingredients well and strain into a cocktail glass. Or mix the ingredients in the glass for a swirl-y sunset effect. Another idea: Use a scoop of low carb vanilla ice cream instead of cream and ice, and you've got a Dreamsicle!   Fabulous!

You can make a great Snowball by mixing Zero Carborita Pina Colada mix with sugarfree lemonade and a slice of lemon. Have it over lots of ice, or make a frozen blender drink of it. Beautiful and refreshing! For a Blue Hawaiian mix White Rum with 1 part Hurricane Mix, 1 part Pina Colada mix over crushed ice.

See? Anyone can be a low-carb bartender!  :)   The Zero Carborita mixers are useful for lots of other things too. Like any great syrup, they can be used to cook with, bake with, and flavor food.

Zero Carborita Pina Colada mix Ever heard of Pina Colada Chicken? I had it in a restaurant a few years ago and thought it was amazing, so I set out to make it with the Zero Carborita Pina Colada mix. A few tries and I had it perfect. Here's how I did it:

Season your chicken pieces (I prefer boneless breasts) with salt, pepper, and garlic and brown them in macadamia nut oil just until browned. Turn chicken in skillet, and pour Zero Carborita Pina Colada mix over them, adding a bit (perhaps 1 to 2 tablespoons) of fresh thyme. Cook until chicken is done. In a separate pan, brown some sliced bell pepper in butter and sauté for 1 minute. Add a shot of rum and let the alcohol burn off. (Most of the fragrance of alcohol will be gone and only the rum essence will remain.) If you can afford the carbs, add a few squares of fresh (not sweetened) diced pineapple.

Serve the chicken arranged on a platter with the Pina Colada sauce. Top with the bell pepper mixture and if you like, sprinkle blanched sliced almonds, or crisp cashews over top. This is a great recipe to serve guests and it's very unusual.
This is usually the part where we tell you what our favorites were, but we're not sure that's possible since we all had our own favorites, and the more we mixed and matched, the more we liked. These drinks are equally good in their "virgin" versions. Perhaps the "truest" mix was the plain Margarita. We liked this made with a decent quality silver (or blanco) tequila. This unaged tequila has a crisp and lively flavor that works well in mixed drinks, especially a Margarita. A tequila with "gold" in its name sometimes means that it has been artificially flavored and colored to make it look and taste like an aged (or Anejo) tequila.

The Zero Carborita line of mixers are sweetened with Splenda, taste great, and get our highest recommendation. They're available in many low carb specialty stores, online at The Low Carb Connoisseur, or visit the Zero Carb website for "where to buy" information.

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