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Irish Recipes for St. Patrick's Day!

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, March 11, 2017

(Photo by Kelly McCombs)



St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and you don’t need to be Irish to celebrate, although many say that everyone is at least a little Irish on the holiday! St. Patrick’s Day is a day to cook delicious authentic cuisine and beverages, and have fun with family, friends and co-workers. We have a feeling you’ll feel the luck of the Irish with these recipes below. Remember to enjoy and drink responsibly! 



Irish Soda Bread

A meal in Ireland is not complete without traditional Irish Soda Bread. This recipe is easy and only takes about an hour to make. The finished product is soft loaf filled with raisins. Slather a layer of butter on a slice and you’ll be the happiest one in the room!



Irish Coffee

While this may seem like something you can only have in the morning time, this strong coffee cocktail can be had any time of the day. My favorite time to make this is as an after dinner drink. Irish coffee can be deceiving…it packs a punch!



Shephard's Pie

This delicious casserole is seen on many Irish menus, though some say it originally came from England. Regardless, this is a super easy and popular meal to make for St. Patrick’s Day!



The Irish Cocktail

A simple name for a drink that has been around since 1888. You can’t have a St. Patrick’s Day cocktail recipe without a little whiskey!



Irish Beef Stew

One of the best meals I had while in Ireland, was a hearty beef stew made with Guinness at a small pub in the coastal town of Doolin. Enjoying this meal, while listening to spirited Irishmen play some local music, made for some long lasting memories. This recipe is the closest one I’ve found to replicate that stew!


Our Favorite Romantic Getaways

Kelly McCombs - Friday, January 20, 2017

                                                            (Photo from www.thesagamore.com)


With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, now is the time to plan that romantic getaway! Whether you want to stay close to home or travel a few hours out of town, we have put together a list of some of our favorites!



First up is The Inn at Five Points in Saratoga Springs, NY. Owned by James and Eilis Petrosino, the Inn is a beautifully restored Victorian Bed and Breakfast nestled right in the heart of Saratoga. Centrally located and within walking distance to all that Saratoga has to offer, this would be a very special place to visit with your loved one for a romantic overnight, yet one that is still close to home. The Petrosino's serve a delicious breakfast every morning, in true Bed and Breakfast fashion, with everything being locally grown and sourced. If you would like a true taste of all that Saratoga has to offer, this is the place to do it!



For something a bit farther out of town, head south to The Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Architecturally impressive, this castle-like resort is situated right on the banks of Lake Mohonk. Surrounded by beautiful views of the mountains and forest, The Mohonk Mountain house offers a few different packages for your romantic getaway. Whether you want a relaxing spa package for two or a luxurious “Special Occasion” package, they have something to fit everyone’s needs. There are a plethora of activities here even in the winter, from ice skating to snow tubing, so you will never be bored!



Heading back up north, The Sagamore in Bolton Landing on Lake George is one of those hotels that many people know and rave about. Another stunning resort, The Sagamore has been inviting guests to stay with them since 1883. They are offering a lovely Valentine’s Weekend Getaway package which includes breakfast and dinner for two, along with complimentary champagne and chocolates. They also have a beautiful spa which should be high on the list of priorities if you choose to stay with them. There isn’t anything more romantic than relaxing time spent together!



One of my favorite places to go on Valentine’s Day is a little farther than the others, but very much worth it. Niagara Falls during the winter months is one of the most beautiful places. Even if you have been there before in the warmer months, seeing it in winter adds a whole new dimension. The mist from the falls coats everything in a layer of ice, making for some really beautiful ice sculptures. Make sure you dress warmly! Even though this may not be one of the coziest romantic getaways, you will surely make some wonderful memories with your loved one!



We hope you are able to take a little time away from your everyday life to be able to enjoy one of this beautiful places with your loved one. Even if it isn't for Valentine's Day, they all are wonderful places to visit any day of the year!


Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Friday, December 23, 2016

(Photo from delish.com)

Since Christmas is just around the corner, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite Holiday inspired cocktails, and even one mocktail for the kids or those who prefer not to drink. Make these for your friends and family when they come over for the holiday festivities. They are sure to please!

Hot Buttered Rum
Ingredients

BUTTERED RUM BATTER
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. vanilla ice cream, softened
2 tsp. cinnamon

RUM DRINK
2 c. apple cider
1 c. rum

Directions
1. Make the Buttered Rum Batter: In a mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in ice cream and cinnamon, then spoon into a large mason jar or Tupperware container. Store in freezer until mostly hardened, about 2 hours (or store there until you’re ready to serve drinks).

2. Make the Drinks: In a large saucepan, heat cider until boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and pour into a pitcher or easy-to-serve container.

3. Place about 2 tbsp of the buttered rum batter into each mug. Fill about 1/3 of the way up with rum, then top with hot apple cider. Stir and serve.


Classic Eggnog
Ingredients

2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
1/3 c. bourbon or rum (optional)
Whipped cream, for serving

Directions

1. Combine milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Slowly bring mixture to a low boil.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until yolks are pale in color. Slowly add hot milk mixture to egg yolks in batches to temper the eggs and whisk until combined.
3. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly thick (and coats the back of a spoon) but does not boil.
4. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and, if using, booze.
5. Refrigerate until chilled.
6. When ready to serve, garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Holiday Mule
Ingredients

1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
1 1/2 oz gin or vodka
2 oz chilled ginger beer
1 rosemary sprig
orange slice, for garnish
sugared cranberries, for garnish

Directions

1. Combine simple syrup, cranberry juice, and gin. 
2. Pour over ice and top with ginger beer. 
3. Serve garnished with rosemary, orange wedge and sugared cranberries, if desired.

Jingle Juice
Ingredients

CITRUS SUGAR:
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon

PUNCH:
¾ cup Citrus Sugar
1 cup lime juice
1 cup lemon juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup grapefruit juice
1 cup mango nectar
1 cup pineapple juice
3¾ cups Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
2¼ cup Grand Marnier
1½ cups Amaretto
3 cups sparkling water
orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit slices, frozen cranberries for garnish

Directions

1. Make the citrus sugar by combining the sugar, zests, ginger and cinnamon. Rub the zest between your fingers to release the oils. Let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or up to a a few days in an airtight container.
2. Peel the skins off of the fruit and juice.
3. Make the punch by adding the sugar to the bottom of the punch bowl. Pour in the juice and stir to start to dissolve the sugar. Pour in the alcohol.
4. Garnish with frozen cranberries and fruit slices.

Pomegranate Margaritas
Ingredients

1 can frozen limeade concentrate
2 c. water
3½ c. gold tequila
2 c. pomegranate juice
1 c. Triple Sec
5 limes
Ice cubes for serving
1 c. fresh pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)

Directions

1. In large pitcher, combine limeade and water until well blended. Stir in tequila, pomegranate juice, and triple sec.
2. Cut each lime crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick wheels; cut a slit in each wheel, from center to edge. To serve, place ice cubes and a few pomegranate seeds in each glass; place a lime wheel on rim.

Christmas Punch (Non-Alcoholic)
Ingredients

5 cups Tropical Punch
1 cup Cranberry Juice
1 cup Pineapple Juice
½ cup Lemon Juice
4-5 cups Ginger Ale
1 pint Raspberry Sherbet

Directions

1. Make sure all ingredients are chilled. 
2. Combine all juices into a large punch bowl.
3.Add ginger ale slowly to prevent too much fizz. 
4. Add scoops of raspberry sherbet & let sit for a few minutes. Serve with a ladle.

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We want to take this time to wish all of our wonderful viewers and customers a very happy Holiday and a Happy New Year! We hope you all enjoy the time spent with your loved ones!

Warm and Cozy Fall Beverages

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 24, 2016

(Photo Courtesy of thecookierookie.com)

Now that it is officially Fall, we have decided to bring to you some of our favorite warm and cozy fall beverage recipes. These are perfect for that crisp Fall day where you want to curl up under a blanket on the couch with a good book. Many of these recipes can even be made in a larger quantity to bring to parties or to bring tailgating at the next football game. We hope you enjoy them with your friends and family during the season!


Spiked Apple Pie Punch – This party beverage is delicious served both hot and cold!


Ingredients:

-1 gallon of apple juice

-1 gallon of apple cider

-3 cups of white sugar

-8 cinnamon sticks

-1 bottle of 190 brook alcohol


Directions:

In a large pot, bring apple cider, apple juice, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Once it starts to boil remove from heat and let it cool completely. Once cool add the alcohol. Transfer to a serving dish with a ladle so guests can help themselves.


Holiday Milk Punch – A great alternative to eggnog with no heavy cream or eggs.


Ingredients:

-1 cup of sugar

-1 cup of dark rum

-1/2 cup of brandy

-2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract

-1/2 gallon of whole milk

-grated nutmeg


Directions:

Combine rum, brandy, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large pitcher. Add the milk and put in the freezer until it is very cold but not frozen solid, about 4-5 hours. Pour into glasses and grate nutmeg over the top.


Homemade Eggnog – Save yourself time by using your blender for this recipe!


Ingredients:

-1 cups of heavy cream

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

-4 large eggs

-3/4 cup of brandy


Directions:

In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream, nutmeg and sugar to a simmer. In a blender, blend the eggs on low speed for 1 minute. While the blender is still on low speed, slowly add in the heavy cream mixture. Don’t add too quickly, as this will scramble the eggs. Add the brandy and then blend to combine.


Hot Toddy – A delicious drink to help you feel better for when you have a cold, or anytime really.


Ingredients:

-8 oz of hot water

-1 herbal tea bag

-10 oz of bourbon

-1 Tablespoon of honey

-1 lemon wedge


Directions:

Pour the hot water over the tea bag in a mug and let it step for about 3 minutes. Remove the tea bag, add the honey and bourbon and a squeeze of lemon, stir and enjoy!


Homemade Hot Chocolate – Everyone’s favorite go to cozy drink!


Ingredients:

-1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1/3 cup of hot water

-1/8 teaspoon of salt

-4 cups of milk

-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Directions:

Combine the cocoa, sugar, salt, and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute. Add in the milk and continue stirring, do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Serve immediately!





Sparking Cocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 10, 2016

                                                           (Photo Credit: www.thirstie.com)

What better way to liven up a cocktail than with some sparkling water? We have put together a nice list of some of our favorite cocktails for you. All of these would go beautifully with our Saratoga Sparkling Water!


Red Wine Berry Spritzer – a perfect upgrade to a normal glass of wine!


Ingredients:

-1/4 cup of Ice

-2 tablespoons Frozen Berries (blueberries, raspberries, etc)

-2 ounces of Red Wine

-6 ounces of Saratoga Wild Berry Essence Sparkling Water


Apple Fizz – A delicious cocktail to welcome the beginning of the Fall season.


Ingredients:

-2 ounces of Apple Brandy

-4 ounces of Apple Juice

-1/2 teaspoon of Lime Juice

-top off with Saratoga Sparkling water over ice.


Cider Cup Punch– Another spin on an apple cocktail, this time mix in a large punch bowl.


Ingredients:

-4 ounces of Brandy

-2 ounces of Cointreau

-2 cups of Apple Cider

-1 cup of Saratoga Sparkling Water over ice.

-4 teaspoons of Sugar.


Cherry Cranberry Smash – This cocktail is crisp and refreshing, with the bonus of no added sugar!


Ingredients:

-4 ounces of Cranberry Juice

-1 shot of Rum

-3 smashed cherries

-4 ounces of White Wine

-2 ounces of Saratoga Sparking Water


Americano – For something on the more sophisticated side.


Ingredients:

-1 ounce of Campari

-1 ounce of Vermouth

-Top off with Saratoga Sparkling Water

-Garnish with an Orange Slice


We hope you enjoy these Sparkling cocktail recipes. As always, please remember to drink responsibly! 


Our Favorite Seattle Eateries

Kelly McCombs - Friday, August 26, 2016

                                                          (Photo Credit: Jennifer Richard, thestranger.com)

Seattle is known for is incredibly diverse and unique restaurant scene. Whether you are in the mood for deliciously fresh seafood, an incredible Cuban cured meat sandwich, or some of the best bakery treats around, Seattle is the place to be. Let’s continue our adventure and go over some of our favorites!


Topping the list today is one of the most unique and extravagant dining options. Altura, located on Broadway East in Seattle, strives to make your dining experience one that you will remember. No two nights at Altura will be the same, as the chef prepares a different menu every day. Each meal is between five and seven courses with “small bites” in between. While this restaurant is on the pricey side at $137 per person, the delicious food and atmosphere is certainly worth it. Sitting at the bar while watching the chef cook is one of the best seats in all of Seattle!


Next up is one of my personal favorite restaurants, Lark, on East Seneca St. Lark is popularly known as one of the premier artisan-focused restaurants in all of Seattle. They only use locally grown, organic ingredients, and only those that are currently in season. In the mood for something a little less fancy, but in keeping with the Lark philosophy of fresh, organic and in season? The owners also own a beautiful bar named Bitter/Raw and a delicious sandwich and coffee counter called Slab. Each of these locations comes highly recommended. You are sure to have a delicious meal and a wonderful experience here!


If I am in Seattle and feeling like a nice, juicy burger, my go-to stop is Red Mill Burgers! There are two locations of this delicious eatery available to you, and both of them will have a line out the door if you hit the timing right. Red Mill Burgers offers a large variety of flame-grilled burgers with every topping imaginable. They even offer vegetarian options and a few different chicken sandwich options. Family owned and operated, Red Mill is a friendly and vibrant burger joint. They were even named on the list of the Top 20 Burgers You Must Eat Before You Die on the Oprah Show and in GQ magazine! Sounds like eating here is a necessity!


Heading in a completely different direction, one of the most raved about bakeries in all of Seattle is Bakery Nouveau. Chef William Leaman has won numerous prestigious awards and been feature in so many dining publications that there are too many to count. Bakery Nouveau offers two locations, one in West Seattle and one on Capitol Hill, with the decadent smells traveling outside the bakery for blocks. Each location offers a large variety of breads, chocolates and other delicious sweets such as French macarons, cookies and even sweet and savory breakfast pastries. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a must-see place for you!


Looking for something a little different? While Dough Zone Dumpling House is a small chain of restaurants, they serve some of the best Chinese comfort food in all of Washington State. Offering a large variety of dumplings and noodle dishes, this unique eatery will have you craving more locations so that you can go anytime!


This is only a small selection of our favorite restaurants in Seattle. There are literally hundreds of wonderful places to eat anywhere you go. The thing about Seattle is there is a beautiful mix of cultures and flavors all over the city. If you ever get the chance to visit, we hope that you find our lists useful on your travels!


Delicious No-Bake Desserts

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, August 06, 2016

                                                                 Photo Credit: timelapserecipes.com



It has been hot, hot, hot here in NY for the last few weeks! The last thing anyone wants to do is turn on an oven to bake a dessert, so we are bringing you some easy no-bake options for your next summer get together!


First up is a treat that most people will recognize, the Chocolate Mousse Pie. This is one of the easiest pies around to make, and using a store bought graham cracker or cookie crust makes it even easier. You can also use store-bought whipped cream instead of whipping your own, if you’re short on time. This is one of those simple, yet delicious pies that we have at all of our family gatherings. It is a summertime staple!


I don’t know about you, but cannolis are one of my all-time favorite desserts. This simple No-Bake Cannoli Cheesecake, is a perfect, easy option that hits the spot! The combination of cannoli and cheesecake make this deliciously decadent, without taking a lot of time! You will fool everyone into thinking that you spent hours perfecting this recipe, when it really only took you about 15 minutes!


This tangy Tropical Sherbet is very easy to prep ahead of time for those last-minute meet-ups. Just freeze chunks of mango and pineapple, pop them in the blender with some lemon yogurt and you will come out with a delicious sherbet that is the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Don’t freeze the sherbet overnight though. It will turn from smooth to icy!


One of the most refreshing recipes and one perfect for this time of year is the Limoncello Freeze. This is a delicious lemony version of a creamsicle and it is super easy to make. All of the ingredients can be store-bought, so no need to waste time by prepping them yourself. I can picture sitting out on the back deck in the sun with one of these. The perfect summer refreshment!


If you are in the mood for something more “cake-like”, then you need to try this Banana Split Cake. The combination of the ripe bananas and the vanilla pudding make this creamy dessert to die for. I have made this for a few different family gatherings and it is always the one dessert that everyone requests me to bring. It is certainly a huge hit!


I’m sure that one of these delicious recipes will hit the spot, and they won’t leave you a sweaty mess in the process! 

Summer Cocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Friday, July 08, 2016


                                                                                         Photo Credit: www.foodandwine.com


Given the intense heat and humidity in NY the last week or so, I thought it was a good time to bring you some summer cocktail recipes. These are some of the most satisfying and refreshing drinks around, which make them perfect for your next summer get-together!



We’ll start off with a cocktail that contains one of my favorite fruits, watermelon. The Watermelon-Tequila Cocktail is perfect for those summer months when watermelon is in season and can be found pretty much everywhere. Paired with tequila, this drink is super easy to make and will certainly hit the spot!



Since everything is better frozen, especially during the heat of summer, why not try Fruity Wine Slushies? You’ll need a blender for this recipe, but the combination of pinot grigio with frozen peaches and strawberries is enough to make your mouth water. It’s a delicious and quick way to cool down, too!



One of the classic staples of any summertime get-together is the Strawberry Daquiri. Most people have had one or at least know what it is, so this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. These are also easy to make in large quantities to pass around at your next BBQ!



A twist on the classic Mimosa is the Peach Melba Mimosa. You’ll also need a blender for this one to puree some frozen raspberries and peaches, but it will be worth it! This fresh and light cocktail is one that you could even have for brunch!



One of my favorite things to drink during the summer is lemonade. This recipe for Strawberry-Basil Bourbon Lemonade kicks it up a few notches! The addition of bourbon and the combination of basil with strawberries make this “grown-up” lemonade the perfect summertime beverage after a long hot day.



If you’re looking for a fizzy drink, why not try the Citrus Fizz? Another easy recipe, this one can even be made with our Saratoga Sparkling Water! I always find citrus to be so refreshing when it’s a hot day outside, and this one packs a punch with both orange and lime juices.



We hope you have enjoyed a few of these delicious and refreshing beverages , and as always, please drink responsibly!

Lemon-Lime Spring Inspired Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Wednesday, May 11, 2016


We have finally welcomed Spring and some pretty fantastic weather here at Saratoga Spring Water! Why not get outside to enjoy the weather and have a picnic or outdoor luncheon? These recipes are perfectly suited for such an occasion and are inspired by our refreshing Lemon Lime Essence!



Lemon Yogurt Cake

Sometimes, it’s hard to find the perfect lemon cake. They can be too sweet or too tart, but this one hits the nail right on the head! Adding yogurt into this recipe makes the finished cake moist and very flavorful, with a wonderful tang that pairs perfectly with the lemon.


Slow Cooker Cilantro-Lime Chicken

Slow Cooker meals are always super easy to make and travel with, so they are perfect to bring along to a family barbeque or casual luncheon. Serve this meal up on lettuce for a healthier option, or on a bed of rice for something a little heartier!


Black Bean Lentil Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

A super light and healthy option, this salad is gluten free and vegetarian. Adding the hearty black beans means it can be eaten as an entrée or even a side dish. Topping it all off with the cumin-lime dressing brings all of the wonderful flavors together for a refreshing salad, perfect for a sunny Spring day!


Lemon Mint Iced Tea

Iced tea is a quintessential drink of Spring and Summer, but why not add a little excitement to the traditional! Adding rum spices it up a bit and takes the plain iced tea that everyone knows to the next level!


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

Wild Berry Essence-Inspired Recipes

Saratoga Water - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Being both tart and sweet, wild berries have a way of fitting into any meal of the day. Their small size and significant flavor allow them to be versatile on the plate—whether they act as the main ingredient, a hint of flavor or a garnish to compliment a dark chocolate cake. If you’re in need of refreshing recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks, at least one of these recipes inspired by our Wild Berry Essence Sparkling Spring Water is sure to help you out!

Berry & Rosemary Juniper Gin Fizz: We think we’ve met Wild Berry Essence’s match, as far as cocktails go. Not rich, but refreshing, and not artificially sweet and sour, but authentically herbaceous and honeyed. Try it out! You’ll be ditching the artificial syrup real quick.

Balsamic Grilled Cherry, Blueberry, Goat Cheese, and Candied Hazelnut Salad: This salad has a delicious wild twist with the cherries pitted, tossed in a balsamic dressing, and grilled until juicy and charred. Sprinkle the balsamic grilled cherries with the blueberries, goat cheese and candied (hazel)nuts on a bed of mixed greens and there you have it—a berry-wild salad.

Chicken with Cherry-Wine Pan Sauce: This effortless recipe from Iowa Girl Eats is perfect for when you don’t have a lot of time to spare, but still want to impress. It only takes 20 minutes to lightly season, sear and smother a few chicken breasts in a dreamy wine-soaked cherry sauce… but if you can spare a few more minutes, the dish pairs deliciously with roasted broccoli or brussels sprouts.

Berry Metabolism-Boosting Smoothie: This Wild Berry Essence-inspired smoothie is perfect for a breakfast on the go, midday snack or pre-workout boost. Not only is it full of healthy fats, protein and antioxidants, but the “secret ingredient” is known for increasing energy and and metabolism!

Easy Quadruple Berry Cobbler: Crispy, chewy, sweet and tart all at the same time…this classic dessert is a wild berry-fan favorite because the six simple ingredients are already in your kitchen and it’s, well, full of an assortment of delicious wild berries.

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

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