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Refreshing Sangria Recipes

Saratoga Water - Thursday, April 07, 2016

Image Credit: The Kitchn

Do you know the secret to making the best sangria? It’s all about planning ahead and of course the wine. You’re going to want to let your sangria rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight. This helps all the flavors come together nicely. The wine you select doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be a wine that you enjoy drinking. For red sangria, try using a Malbec, Merlot or a Rioja from Spain. For white sangria, avoid using heavy oak-aged white wine. Instead, stick to lighter wines like Pinot Grigio, Riesling or Chardonnay.

The Kitchn shares one of its favorite Red Sangria recipes:
Ingredients:
2 apples 
2 oranges
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup orange liquor, like Cointreau
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine 
2 to 3 cups sparkling water, chilled

Prefer white wine? Try this White Sangria from Martha Stewart:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup cognac
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
1 peach or nectarine, pitted and thinly sliced
1 red apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 to 2 plums, pitted and thinly sliced
2 bottles (750 mL) dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, chilled
Ice cubes, for serving


Keep these recipes handy the next time you’re having a few people over for a pool party or barbecue. Your guests will appreciate a nice glass of refreshing sangria on a warm spring or summer day.

Tips for Planning a Spring Soiree

Saratoga Water - Tuesday, April 05, 2016


  1. 1. The Timeline: Planning a party can be exciting, but also overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. The best thing to do is to plan early so that everything else can fall into place. Here’s a great party planning checklist to help you every step of the way, no matter how big or small your bash is going to be. 

2. Don’t Overdo it with the F&B: Save yourself the time, money and mess by knowing how much you should make. We wouldn’t have been able to plan a party without this helpful guide from Chickabug on how much food and beverage to prepare. (Expert tip: prep as much of the menu ahead of time as possible)

3. Ambiance is Key: The ambiance of a party can make or break a guest’s experience. With that being said, make sure you are appealing to all of the guests’ senses with a great playlist, lighting inside and outside, being mindful of smells, high traffic areas, layout of the room, etc. Throwing a fun party? Make sure your space matches the theme!

4. Drinks Ready, Snacks Handy: Be sure to have your drinks chilled, and easily accessible for guests to grab as soon as they walk in. To alleviate congestion around the main food station and for those who arrive late, have small snacks placed strategically around the house or venue. If you’re unsure of how to organize your space, pretend to be your guest and walk through the venue. Here’s some inspiration you can use for your next beverage station.

5. Set up Drinks with a DIY Cocktail Bar and Food “Bar-Style”: As far as the food goes, letting the guests do the work can be less stress for you and more fun for them. Designating one area for the main finger-food course reduces the mess and allows the guests to pick and choose what they want. Setting up “Make Your Own” food or drink stations like a taco bar or a mimosa bar -- even an ice cream sandwich station -- makes eating another fun activity at your party.

6. Provide a Kid-Friendly Drink Option: If kids are involved, make sure your alcoholic beverage has a virgin version—a great option is to serve punch, lemonade or flavored sparkling water like our all natural Essence. Have the alcohol separate so people who want to drink can add their spirit of choice.

7. Stick to the Theme: Before you buy or DIY your decorations, decide how much time you want to spend decorating. A themed-party can be as simple as using matching cups, plates, and hanging a garland. But if you are game to go all-out, you can make food labels, incorporate straw-toppers, fun lighting, and so much more. Take a look at this tablescape, it really covers every little detail.

8. Be the “Hostess with the Mostest”: You’ve done all this work, it’s time for you to loosen up and enjoy your own party—mix and mingle, show how happy you are to host everyone and don’t forget to introduce your guests to each other. Make sure to thank your guests for attending and share in a toast. The planning and prep are over, enjoy yourself and the company of others.

9. The Clean Up: The whole “clean up, clean up, everybody do your share” song doesn’t always apply here, so when you’ve thrown a big bash, make the process easier on yourself by starting the party with an empty dishwasher and trash cans to fill up and having a fully-stocked cleaning supplies arsenal.

We hope these tips set you up for a great party season. Remember, you’re creating a fun environment for your friends, so enjoy every step of the process. Cheers!

Weekend Brunch Recipes You'll Love

Saratoga Water - Thursday, March 24, 2016

As we head into the weekend and start to finalize plans, don’t forget everyone’s favorite activity. Brunch. The temperatures outside are just right for a mid-morning weekend brunch. Make one or all of the recipes below for your family and friends. They’ll love getting together and eating the delicious spread. Why? Because everyone loves brunch.

Classic French Toast
Taking it back to the basics, French Toast is the perfect brunch staple because it allows for so many different toppings and combinations, from basic powdered sugar and maple syrup to spreading the toast with a layer of mascarpone, sprinkling coconut flakes and topping with strawberries and agave nectar. Using the right bread for the job is important (brioche, challah, sourdough), as it will result in a French Toast that is just the right amount of thick-crispy-chewy-ness. Beware, these French Toast recipes might just send you over the edge!

Egg White Frittata with Lox and Arugula
The best part about frittatas is that you can add just about any ingredient and the result will still be delicious. This recipe from Food Network is especially fluffy, light and full of flavor! The protein from the salmon and egg whites make it a great healthy option to balance the few bites of french toast you may have eaten. 

Fruit Salad with Herbs and Mint-Maple Syrup
No brunch is complete without a fruit salad. Gather your favorite combination of seasonal berries, melons and tropical fruits and use this simple recipe to create your choice of a refreshing mint or rosemary herb syrup to mix in with the fruit.

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Candied Bacon
Take your side of bacon to the next level by making this incredible candied bacon from the Kitchen Joy Blog. You can even add in cayenne pepper if you’re looking for a little mid-morning wake up call. The cayenne is completely optional, but either way, this savory and sweet finger food treat will not disappoint.

Arnold Palmer
Iced tea. Lemonade. That’s it! Who knew two ingredients could create such a legendary, refreshing drink? The key is to pour over ice, serve with a lemon wedge and get the ratio right. The common misconception is that the two liquids are mixed in equal parts, but the real Arnold Palmer has clarified that the proper ratio is 3:1—three parts iced tea to one part lemonade. Add a little Saratoga Spring Water to your recipe for a sparkling Arnold Palmer.

Mimosa

Turn this recipe into “bottomless” mimosas when you swap out the four champagne flutes for a pitcher. If your kids are begging to take a sip, make them a virgin mimosa with Saratoga Spring Water’s Orange Tangerine Flavored Essence Sparkling Water.

Bloody Mary

Spicy, salty, tangy, this classic brunch staple lends itself to many variations. Think of a Bloody Mary as not just a cocktail, but a one-stop-shop for booze and food. Try adding bacon, celery, cubes of cheese, olives, even shrimp for an adult-style shrimp cocktail. The possibilities are endless. See for yourself with this recipe from Eater.
 



Clean Eating Recipes Perfect for Springtime

Saratoga Water - Tuesday, March 22, 2016


How clean is your spring this year? “Spring Cleaning” doesn’t only have to mean that we sort through our closet and toss out unwanted items—it could also mean that we clean up our pantry, our fridge and our diet.

The recipes below are so colorful, rich in nutrients and delicious that they will inspire you to stick with your spring clean eating habits year-round. And what’s more, with the sun starting to shine a bit more, the recipes below include those seasonal ingredients that can be found right now at your local farmer’s market or grocery store.

Breakfast:
Lemon Poppy Seed Steel Cut Oats: This recipe tastes like a scrumptious lemon poppy seed muffin, minus all those unwanted carbs. The heart-healthy fats, protein and fiber from the cashew butter and steel cut oats make this the perfect recipe for the most important meal of the day!

Instead of the usual sweetener of a spoonful (or two) of sugar, whip up the recipe’s rich, all-natural date paste made from blending pitted Medjool dates and water. The paste is both mixed in with the oats and used for the syrup. With the addition of lemon zest and poppy seeds, you’ll have created the most tasty lemon-poppy seed oatmeal.

Lunch:
Citrus, Fennel, and Avocado Salad: If this recipe doesn’t shout eating seasonal, we don’t know what does. Not only is it bursting with color and flavor, but also the citrus-veggie-herb combination is full of Vitamin C, antioxidants and enriching nutrients that benefit your hair, skin, heart, and so much more.
 
Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad: A simple yet fulfilling dish—you can’t go wrong with a veggie medley mixed with whole grain rotini or penne pasta. And—in our opinion — since the recipe requires grilling vegetables, you might as well stick a few chicken breasts on the grill while you’re at it to add a little protein.  
 
Dinner:
Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Spring Onions: A little crunch, a tart kick and some pizazz is how we like to describe this dish. We love how baking the spring onions both mellows and sweetens them, complimenting the tart, crispy salmon. Keep in mind; a little orange zest (and juice) goes a long way.
 
Spring Panzanella with Asparagus: Food & Wine’s presentation of Spring Panzanella with Asparagus looks much more complicated than it is. There are really only four steps — (slightly) hard-boil eggs, slice and bake bread, cook asparagus and toss all of the ingredients together — for a fresh dish made with some of most simple, seasonal ingredients.
 
Dessert:
Chocolate Oatmeal & Chia Pudding Parfait: Blogger Moeko Munaretto made this creation of hers for breakfast, but we thought we would finish off this recipe post with something sweet for dessert. As divine as it looks, this pudding parfait actually has plenty of health benefits to offer, such as omega-3 fatty acids from the chia seeds, manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium and many more minerals from the oats, and Vitamin C and antioxidants from the berries. Eating clean never tasted so good!

Bon Appétit!


Luck of the Irish: St. Patrick's Day Recipes

Saratoga Water - Monday, March 14, 2016

You don’t have to be Irish or even like the color green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Look at March 17 as a day to cook delicious authentic cuisine and have fun with family, friends and co-workers. How about starting your day with an Irish Coffee or ending it with a Stout and Ice Cream Float? We have a feeling you’ll definitely feel the luck of the Irish in these recipes below. Remember, there’s no shortage of fun to be had on this holiday. Enjoy and drink responsibly!

Irish Coffee
Start your morning with a little coffee, a little brown sugar and a little Irish whiskey. Top your breakfast buzz with whipped heavy cream and enjoy!

Irish Cocktail

Not much of a coffee drinker? No reason to worry, there are plenty of Irish whiskey cocktails you can try this St. Patrick’s Day. This Irish cocktail called “The Copywriter” is easy-drinking and easy to make.

Guinness Beef Stew

If you prefer beer over Irish whiskey, this Guinness Beef Stew is a must! Insider tip: you should also make a side of mashed potatoes -- they go perfectly with this hearty and traditional Irish dish. 


Irish Soda Bread
A traditional Irish meal isn’t complete without Irish Soda Bread. Imagine a large loaf filled with raisins and sweetened with brown sugar. What’s the best part? It takes less than an hour to prepare and bake!

Stout and Ice Cream Float
End your day of celebrating with one more treat. Scoop vanilla ice cream into a pint glass and pour Guinness right on top. The recipe says it makes 2 servings, but we won’t judge if you want to enjoy this dessert all by yourself.

Have a safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Orange-Tangerine Spring Inspired Recipes

Saratoga Water - Friday, March 04, 2016


Spring has (almost) sprung! With a new season right around the corner, we’re anxiously awaiting new flavors and ingredients to join our recipes. Cooking with seasonal fruits and vegetables keeps your kitchen experience exciting. Try making one of these recipes inspired by our Orange-Tangerine Essence water. They are just what you need to get primed and ready for springtime. And trust us, the juice is worth the squeeze. Enjoy! 

Orange Romaine Salad
Light, refreshing and simple to make. This salad uses a light honey vinaigrette that complements the oranges nicely with the right amount of sweetness. Great for parties or even a weekly go-to meal. Try adding grilled chicken or fish as your protein option.

Roasted Butternut Orange Risotto
A great transition meal that combines winter and springtime flavors. You can garnish with dried cranberries, chopped pecans or fresh herbs.

Orange Blossom Cheesecake

Love to bake? This dessert is the perfect blend of fruit and cheese. It’s decadent, creamy, citrusy and most of all, tasty.

Orange Cream Float

A refreshing alternative to the classic root beer float. For a lower-calorie version, try using Orange-Tangerine Essence water instead of the orange flavored soda.

Saratoga Essence comes in three flavors: Orange-Tangerine, Lemon-Lime and Wild Berry. To learn more about this zero calorie, sparkling spring water or to purchase online, click here.

Something Blue: Unique Ways to Incorporate Blue in Your Wedding

Saratoga Water - Wednesday, February 24, 2016
A wedding is all in the details and on this Wedding Wednesday we’re sharing unique and creative ways to incorporate the cherished “something blue” tradition throughout your big day. The color blue doesn’t have to be your wedding color, but these photos and blog below offer romantic and subtle touches to bring this element to life for all of your guests to enjoy.



Blue Cocktails & Cake
Byron Bay Celebrant on Instagram shows a fun way to add a dash of blue to your wedding cocktail hour and dessert. Offer your guests a blue martini or serve theme a slice of this blue ombré cake. Be careful with food dye though -- you don’t want your guests to have blue teeth.



Blue Table Settings
The “something blue” is a traditional aspect of the wedding that is meant to represent love, purity and fidelity. Share this element on all of the tables by using blue tablecloths as seen here by Charmed Events.



If you only want to add a touch of blue to your tables, try using blue napkins like this elegant table setting featured by smpweddings.



A Blue Dress
We’re loving this dip-dyed dress by rmine. The little touch of color at the bottom of the gown adds enough blue to make a big splash as your “something blue” on your big day.



Blue Flowers
Using blue flowers doesn’t have to mean only blue flowers. This flower design by Succulents & Saffron offers a blend of blues, pinks, whites and greens. The teal candles are a nice touch that ties the whole romantic table scape together. 



Cobalt Blue Bottles as Escort Cards or Table Numbers
We had to save the best “something blue” for last. Rustic Robin used Saratoga Spring Water as her escort cards and her table numbers. To view more of these photos, click here.



To learn about adding Saratoga Spring Water to your big day, contact us.


Caring for Fresh Flowers

Saratoga Water - Monday, February 15, 2016


You have just received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from that special someone, but there’s only one problem…in all your years, you’ve never been successful in keeping the flowers alive for more than a few days. Give your flowers the best care possible, keeping them fresh and extending their shelf life, with these fresh flower care instructions.

1. Before the vase. Remove any greenery from the bottom of the stems and cut 1”-2” off of the stems in a bowl of water to prevent extra air from going into the stems. Design Mom says it’s a good idea to trim the stems a bit every day to help the flowers receive the most water and nutrients possible.

2. Two truths and one myth: “All flowers need is water, love and sunshine.” The myth is that all flowers need sunshine. However, when placed in a vase, flowers should avoid direct sunlight. Wind (including ceiling fans), direct sunlight, and ripening fruits that emit ethylene gas, can dehydrate the flowers and cause the buds to close up and petals to have poor color. It’s best to keep the flowers in a cool spot, as they bloom best in temperatures between 65 and 72 degrees.

3. Water. It is very important that you actually change the water every other day. In addition to changing the water, it’s beneficial to clean the vase. This habit will help reduce germs and any debris from the stems that creates that slimy water and ultimately dead flowers. The fresh water should be lukewarm, unless yours are bulb flowers, which need cold water.

4. Flowers need brain food, too. As soon as the flower is separated from the plant, it loses the nutrients it needs to survive. Ask the florist for extra flower food to add in the water each time you change it out. To learn how to make your own homemade flower preservative recipe, click here.

Each flower type is unique and needs its own specialized love and care. Click here to learn about specific care instructions.

Sweet Chocolate Treats for Valentine's Day

Saratoga Water - Friday, February 05, 2016
Valentine’s Day just got a whole lot sweeter with these chocolate recipes—whether you are a dark, milk or white chocolate lover, there is something for everyone to try!



Trust us, these beautiful Dark Chocolate Mini Cakes with Lavender Glaze are much simpler to make than you would think. Makes 12-14

Ingredients:
For the Cake
• 3.5 ounces dark chocolate
• 1 cup water
• 1 stick of butter, softened
• 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
½ cup plain flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
For the Lavender Glaze
• 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender (find it at your local natural foods store)
• 1/3 cup milk
• 1 cup icing/powdered sugar
• 1-2 drops violet food color (optional)

Ready to give these delicious cakes a try? Click here for full baking and glazing directions.

Try making the Chocolate Covered Cherry Fudge for a Valentine’s Day treat—it’s the most delicious blend of sweet, crunchy and gooey. 

Ingredients:
• 3 cups melting chocolate
• 14.5 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
• 10 ounces maraschino cherries
½ cup chopped almonds

Learn how to make this tasty, no-bake fudge here

There is so much goodness in one bite with these White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecakes. You can’t go wrong with rich white chocolate, real raspberry and homemade whipped cream! Serves 48 bites.

Ingredients:
For the Crust:
• 1½ cups Oreo cookie crumbs, cream centers removed (about 22-23 finely crushed cookies)
• 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
For the Custard:
• Half bag (6 ounces) pure white chocolate chips
• ¼ cup half and half
• 1½ (12 ounces) blocks whole cream cheese, softened to almost melted
• ¼ cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Raspberry Sauce:
• 5 ounces frozen or fresh raspberries
• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
• 1½ teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water

Oreo and chocolate lovers will go crazy for this dessert. Click here for full baking directions.

If baking isn’t your thing, try drinking your chocolate instead! This Chocolate Martini recipe from Pint Sized Baker is easy and pairs seamlessly alongside strawberries or raspberries.

Ingredients:
• 1½ ounces Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
• 1½ ounces Creme de Cacao
• ½ ounce Vodka
• 2½ ounce half-and-half
• Chocolate chips, crushed and melted

Directions:
1. Place your martini glass into the fridge to chill.
2. Crush a ¼ cup of chocolate chips and place them on to a large paper plate. Melt ¼
 cup of chocolate chips and put them into a baggie.
3. Swirl the inside of the martini glass with the melted chocolate. Add some melted chocolate around the rim of the glass and dip it in the crushed chocolate.
4. Place a few ice cubes into a shaker. Add all ingredients, shake and pour into the prepared glasses.

Valentine’s Day-Inspired Cocktails using Saratoga Spring Water

Saratoga Water - Friday, February 05, 2016
Saratoga Spring Water
You don’t have to be a mixologist to impress your Valentine with an exceptional cocktail. We’ll let you in on a secret—the essential ingredient is Saratoga Spring Water’s Sparkling Spring Water.

Sparkling water lends the perfect amount of effervescence to your drink without the extra calories. For a little bit more punch, try mixing things up by adding one of our Essence flavors in Wildberry, Orange-Tangerine and Lemon-Lime.

Need a bit of inspiration? We’ve picked a few of our favorite cocktail recipes to help get the celebration started -- but they also happen to be delicious year round. Cheers!


Chocolate Cherry Cha Cha: We think this chocolate-covered-cherry tasting martini is so delectable that it trumps the typical chocolate-covered strawberry. A splash of Sparkling Spring Water gives it the perfect pizazz.
Strawberry Pomegranate Sangria: A fruity, festive drink fit for any Valentine’s Day soiree; and the Sparkling Spring Water is the best complement to any wine of your choosing.
Raspberry Lemon Drop: This cocktail is for the sassy sweetheart because it has just the right amount of tart. Swap the Sprite or 7UP out for Lemon- Lime flavored Sparkling Spring Water!
Strawberry Balsamic Cocktail: The aroma of mixed, fresh strawberries and basil makes this drink extremely refreshing, and the hint of bubbly really pushes it over the top.

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