Every month, I highlight products and foods that I am really enjoying. This month, I have three delicious ones to share. Enjoy!
Years ago, Q Tonic sent me a sample of their natural tonic water and I loved it. In fact, I suggested it as a great hostess gift. And I’ve always said that the true test of a product is whether I purchase it on my own. Well, thereafter Q Tonic became my tonic of choice whenever I reach for a Tanqueray and tonic. Sure, I sometimes buy the cheaper varieties, but that only serves as a reminder of how much better Q Tonic is. It’s got a smooth, clear flavor that goes so well with good gin and a squeeze of lime. And you can’t beat the facts: Q Tonic also has fewer calories and a list of ingredients that doesn’t make me squirm — that’s something worth paying attention to.
Get It: Q Tonic is sold in select grocery stores, Whole Foods and liquor stores, as well as on Amazon.com. It’s available both in a four-pack of 8 oz bottles and a larger bottle.
Ballymaloe Irish Ketchup
I know what you’re thinking: What on earth is Irish ketchup? And honestly, I don’t blame you — because I thought the same thing. That’s what prompted me to quickly reply to an email from a publicist representing Ballymaloe. Ballymaloe is a renowned restaurant, inn and cookery school in Ireland and they also happen to produce a line of what’s called relishes in Ireland. Here in the US, they are ketchups — and my goodness they are good. A hint of chunkiness and a robust flavor makes Ballymaloe Irish Ketchup absolutely delicious. The company also makes the best mint jelly I’ve ever had, a cranberry sauce and more. Though this product isn’t widely available yet, it’s worth keeping an eye out for.
Get It: Available in select retailers along the East Coast and via Fresh Direct. Check the Ballymaloe website for more details.
Hamptons Lane Subscription Box
A few years ago, I was bitten by the Birchbox love and started getting monthly shipments. The problem? While cool, I seldom used more than a few things out of the boxes — and I still have a bag full of wrinkle reducers and under-eye creams that haven’t been touched. Needless to say, my standards for monthly subscription boxes has been raised a lot. That’s why I fell in love with Hamptons Lane, a new subscription-based service that provides monthly gourmet boxes for $45. These boxes aren’t filled with do-dads I’ll never use. The first box (the April box!) is dubbed the Southwestern Fiesta and is filled with full size jars of taco seasoning and fajita seasoning, margarita salt, an amazing spicy salsa from La Fogata, a citrus press and an Authentic Lava Rock Molcajete. The company was kind enough to send me one, and I was wowed. Between the consumables that are easily and quickly used and the unique but totally useful factor of the gear included, these carefully curated and themed boxes are designed to be both useful and unique. And it looks like this little company in New York is totally winning at that — do check them out. Plus, the detailed description that comes with the box describes not only where each product is sourced (these are small batch items!), but what to do with them.
Get it: Available directly from Hamptons Lane. And the cool part? When you sign up, you aren’t automatically going to get each box. You have to opt in, which means if a box isn’t for you then you can skip it.
Disclosure: Where noted, I was provided with free product for review purposes. However, I only write about products I truly love and all opinions are my own. Also, this post contains affiliate links.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.