October 1, 2015

Around Town: Oktoberfest

Filed under: Uncategorized — Zapwater Communications @ 7:10 am

To some, mid-September typically means cooler weather, layered clothing and pumpkin’s ubiquitous return to our dishes and coffee cups. And while of course, there’s plenty of pumpkin beer to go around too, to others, mid-September means only one thing: Oktober[fest] is right around the corner.

And while there’s plenty of ways to get your Oktoberfest on throughout the city, Thrillist has you covered here, there’s also a large selection of new delicious Oktoberfest beers in your grocery aisle! These beers, also known as Marzen, are a lager style which originated in Bavaria. They can be medium to full bodied and vary in color from amber to dark brown. With flavors of warm bread and dried fruit, it is not only easy to drink but also interesting, and can be enjoyed by both beer novices and connoisseurs!

So what to drink here in Chicago? Pick up one of these local options and you’ll be in the German spirit in no time. Prost!Oktoberfest Zapwater Blog Images from Metropolitan Brewing, Revolution Brewing, Two Brother Brewing, Half  Acre Beer, and

Afterburner – Metropolitan Brewing
Metropolitan Brewing says the following of their seasonal offering, and they’re right, it’s really all you need to know. “We brew Oktoberfest because Fall’s hoodie-temps call for toasty malt aromas and a dry, elegant lager finish. We brew Oktoberfest because the malty sweetness pairs perfectly with freshly harvested food native to the Midwest. We brew Oktoberfest because everything about this beer makes you want to gather up your friends and laugh hard. We brew Oktoberfest in honor of an annual party thrown to celebrate beer itself. And when you think about it, that’s all you really needed to know.” 6.1 percent.

Oktoberfest – Revolution Brewing
This popular beer has doubled its production each of the past three years. This year’s version is brewed with a hop called Hallertau Gold, which is grown on only one farm in the whole of Bavaria. It’s nutty with a lightly sweet and easy-drinking finish. 5.7 percent.

Atom Smasher – Two Brothers Brewing
Aged in Oak Barrels, this beer is considered the heartiest, and booziest, of local options here in Chicago. 7.7 percent.

Lager Town – Half Acre Breer Co.
Half Acre invites beer drinkers to take a drive through Lager Town and Munich’s Storied Tradition. This beer boasts a dry, yeasty nose with a dried fruit finish that increases as the beer warms. 6 percent.

Oktoberfest – Goose Island Beer Co.
This option is balanced and perfect for those new to the style, and with a toffee and burnt sugar aroma, how can be it be anything but delicious. 6.4 percent.

-Carly Holstein, Senior Publicist

September 29, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Top 5 Fall Fashion Must Haves

Filed under: ZAP Style Notes — Tags: , , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 6:30 am

The leaves are changing, and I can finally wear leather without sweating. It must mean one thing… fall is upon us! There is nothing that excites me more than a new season because, duh, wardrobe updates. After one too many impulse buys from Forever 21 that sit in my closet, untouched and tags perfectly in place, I’m here to narrow down your wardrobe must haves and tell you the top five fall essentials.

Brigid's Fall Fashion Picks, Zapwater

Images from Shopbop, Nordstrom, Asos, Topshop and Club Monaco

Leather Pants: The ultimate fall staple. I love anything leather, but it’s hard to find a leather pant that fits well. Blank Denim has my favorite pair, and best yet, they are under $100!

Neutral Booties: I walk everywhere, so a comfortable pair of neutral booties is key for fall. I bought this pair from Nordstrom in Dark Moss, but I’m also in love with the Oxblood color.

Chunky Sweater: The only thing cozier than a chunky knit sweater is a chunky knit sweater in every color! Add a fireplace and a hot toddy, and I’m in heaven.

Multipurpose Jacket: I got this trench from Club Monaco last fall, and it has been a lifesaver! It’s perfect for work but can also be dressed down on the weekend with a cute pair of slip on sneakers.

Lace Up Flats: I get it, everyone and their mom has a pair of lace ups. I’ve been living in mine to an embarrassing extent and even bought the same pair/same color twice, because I have no shame or self -control. They are the perfect combination of comfort and chic.

-Brigid Parr, Account Supervisor

September 24, 2015

Client Happenings: Oh La La

Filed under: Client Happenings — Tags: , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 7:00 am

LA Perla

Image by Heather Talbert Photography

La Perla, the leading lingerie and beachwear brand synonymous with “Made in Italy” luxury, recently moved its Chicago boutique to Oak Street, with a new 1,600 sq ft boutique designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi. The store is absolutely breathtaking inside and we’re thrilled to be partnering with the brand for their opening campaign.

For the La Perla design concept, Roberto Baciocchi chose beautiful marble arches which are signature elements of great Italian architecture. No detail has been overlooked. The beautiful boutique offers a curated selection of lingerie and nightwear, from beachwear to fragrances and hosiery. The entire collection is absolutely stunning, and aimed at a refined and sensual woman who aims at expressing and underlining her femininity in a self-confident, sophisticated and elegant way.

More details on the opening campaign to come! Follow the campaign and events on Zapwater’s Instagram at @zapwater.

Visit the new La Perla location at 34 East Oak Street, Chicago, IL and for more information, visit

-Jenn Lake, Vice President

September 22, 2015

ZAP Bites: Adios to Pumpkin Spice, Hello to Sangria

Filed under: ZAP Bites — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 7:08 pm

Another summer has come and gone, marked by the invasion of pumpkin spice into literally everything. From Greek yogurt to hummus to gum, pumpkin spice season has officially kicked off. Well, I am here to put a stop to it and start a new phenomenon: sangria.

This sangria –my mother’s recipe—will tantalize your taste buds and redefine what fall means to you. Throw out the cider, put down the latte and don’t worry about when Octoberfest will be released becasue this sangria will keep you warm, satisfied and singing like Luke Bryan in no time.

The recipe is simple but it does make quite a large batch! I come from a big family so everything we make seems to be triple what is necessary (Although, in this case, it is a good thing!) Store the extra wine to keep on hand after a rough day or give away to friends for the perfect “Welcome to Fall” gift!

the knot sangriaImage via The Knot

Mama Brig’s Sangria

  • -1 fifth of White Rum
  • -1 fifth of Triple Sec
  • -2L Lemon Lime Soda
  • -1 jug (32 oz.) of juice- apple cranberry lite or apple raspberry
  • -1 cup sugar
  • -1 large jug of Carlo Rossi Cabernet


So you might be thinking that this recipe has nothing to do with Fall. But I did promise I would redefine Fall, so here it goes: heat up the sangria with some mulling spices (optional) and change your fall palate forever. Maybe that was a little anti-climactic but I swear by this recipe as a fall favorite! Cozy up with a book or soothe a sore throat with this can’t-miss classic.

-Rachel, Fall 2015 Intern

September 17, 2015

Client Happenings: National Cheeseburger Day

Filed under: Client Happenings — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 7:30 am

To celebrate National Cheeseburger Day tomorrow, Friday, September 18th, Gilt City Chicago has partnered up with two local favorites that serve up one phenomenal cheeseburger!

Diners have the option to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day a la luxuriously with a special four-course Chef’s tasting with wine pairing or keep it classic and casual with fries. Cheeseburger with a side of saving money? Check!


Image via Red Door Chicago

Red Door (9/16/15 – 9/30/15): An extensive beer selection is paired with thoughtful, international bar fare at this Bucktown pub.

4 Course Chef’s Tasting + Wine Pairing for Two for $59 on Gilt City ($120 Retail)

Includes: Wine pairings with each course (Chef will select) and 4 food pairings per person

About Red Door: Red Door entices guests with its sprawling outdoor patio, cozy, unpretentious atmosphere and outstanding dishes by chef Troy Graves. You may recognize Graves from his stints at Meritage Café, Wine Bar and Eve. At Red Door, he continues to wow customers and critics alike with his creative, inspired entrees, like lamb neck Sloppy Joe, poutine with curry gravy and chestnut fried calamari.



Image via Kinmont

Kinmont (9/17/15 – 10/17/15): This restaurant prides itself on serving fresh, sustainable fish and seafood inspired by the ethical practices of centuries-old Midwest fisherman.

Cheeseburger, Fries + Drinks for Two for $35 on Gilt City ($58 Retail)

Includes: Two cheeseburgers, two side of fries, one cocktail, beer or glass of wine per person

About Kinmont: Opened earlier year in River North’s Design District, Kinmont is the latest chef-driven project from Element Collective. Named after “Kinmont Willie,” an artisan salmon fly-fishing lure, Kinmont invokes a true appreciation for nature, respect for wildlife and esteem for ethical fishing and hunting.

-Huong Spais, Assistant Publicist

Promotion details provided by Gilt City.

September 15, 2015

ZAP Wanderlust: An Insider’s Guide to Paris from a Wannabe Parisian

Filed under: Uncategorized,ZAP Wanderlust — Tags: , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 6:30 am

Those who know me, know I love to travel. Near or far, rustic or glamorous, I’m always up for a new adventure and seeing a part of the world I haven’t before. So, when a good friend of mine proposed a last minute trip to Paris (literally the only time we both had free on our calendars) of course, I jumped at the opportunity.

Everyone knows Paris as the “city of light” and famous for a number of sights from the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, and Notre Dame, to name a few. So, as opposed to boring you with what you already know, I thought I’d take the time in this blog to highlight a few hidden gems of the city:



Image via The Telegraph

Ile St. Louis: Everyone who travels to Paris knows about Ile de la Cite which is home to Notre Dame, the St. Chappelle, but did you know there is another island in the center of the city? Located just East of Notre Dame, take the small pedestrian bridge over to Ile St. Louis and find one the quaintest towns in the city. Eat at one of the many traditional French eateries and wander down the main street filled with local shops and galleries.



Image via Eat Play Live with Me

Restaurant Derriere: I’m a foodie and I can honestly say this was by far my one of my favorite dining experiences to date. The restaurant lies on edge of Paris’ Marais district and is a clandestine restaurant that is one of the hottest meals in town. Enter through a hidden doorway next to the 404 restaurant and Andy Wahloo that leads you into courtyard and from there into eccentric Derrière. The restaurant is every bit as eccentric as the name…it’s literally a house with a restaurant inside. Choose from the kitchen, to the living room (complete with a ping pong table) and even dining on a bed in the bedroom if you’d like!


merci merci

Image via Merci

Merci: Tucked away off a main street in the Maris district you’ll find Merci, an adorable concept store with everything you could want under one roof. You’ll know you’re in the right spot from the Fiat in the driveway. Inside, the concept shop has everything from clothing, to housewares, to furniture – it even has an organic restaurant to give you fuel for your shopping J

To anyone planning a trip to the city of light, I hope you check these places out too. Bon Voyage!

-Morgan Bellock, Group Director

September 10, 2015

ZAP Bites: Kicking Off Fall with Swedish Meatballs

Filed under: ZAP Bites — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 3:13 pm

I love nothing more than comfort food on a brisk fall day.  With Labor Day bringing summer to an end, I thought I would get a head start on celebrating Fall here in California and make Swedish Meatballs.  These meatballs melt in your mouth, and the sauce is just the right combination of sweet and savory.  Warning-this recipe is THAT good.  Perfect for football Sundays or a dinner party.  Bon Appétit!


What you will need:

  • 3 ounces fresh white bread, crusts removed and bread cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 unpacked cups)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion, minced or grated, divided (see note above)
  • 1 pound 4 ounces ground beef chuck (about 20% fat)
  • 12 ounces ground pork (about 25% fat)
  • 4 teaspoons (18 grams) kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups homemeade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Minced flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Buttered boiled Yukon gold potatoes and lingonberry jam, for serving (optional)


How to make the delicious meatballs:

1- Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine bread with milk, tossing to coat. Let stand until bread is completely softened and most of the milk absorbed, about 10 minutes.

2- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt 2 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add half of the minced onion and cook, stirring, until onion is golden and tender, about 7 minutes.

3- Combine ground beef, ground pork, bread and any remaining milk, cooked onion, remaining raw onion, 4 teaspoons salt, eggs, white pepper, and allspice.

4- Roll roughly 1-tablespoon-sized portions of meatball mixture into balls slightly smaller than golf-ball size and arrange on baking sheets.  Put in over for 30 minutes.

5- In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat until foamy. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, until raw flour smell is gone, about 3 minutes. Whisk in chicken stock, bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Whisk in soy sauce and cider vinegar. Season with salt and white pepper.

6- Add meatballs to gravy and stir to coat. Simmer until meatballs are heated through. Serve right away with buttered potatoes and lingonberry jam, or as an hors d’oeuvres speared with toothpicks.

Recipe and image credit are from

-Katie Foley

September 8, 2015

ZAP Bites: When In Rome…

Filed under: Uncategorized,ZAP Bites — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 6:30 am

Chicago has deep dish pizza.

Kansas City has BBQ.

Baltimore has crabs.

As they say, When in Rome…

I love to eat like a local.  So, when I returned home, I did just that. It had been about eight years since I visited my hometown on Long Island.  When I returned, I made sure visit to some of my favorite haunts were on the itinerary.

little vincent's pizzeria

Image via Little Vincent’s Pizzeria

First stop was Little Vincent’s Pizzeria.  With all respect to my good friend Marc Malnatti, I am partial to New York thin slice. Nothing beats Little Vincent’s thin slice pizza in Ronkonkoma, and speaking of Ronkonkoma… if you want some good Long Island history, you should take a minute to read up on the Indian Princess here.

Now, back to food.

the good steer

Our second stop was The Good Steer.  As a child, this was my family restaurant.  It’s been open since 1956 and simply hasn’t changed much = the fried onion rings are still the best!

Third stop was Lake Village Deli. Long Islanders are strangely obsessed with their deli egg sandwiches.  If you haven’t had one, you don’t know what you are missing.  Words can not begin to do it justice. In fact, my friend John Delaney wrote a blog about egg sandwiches on Edible Long Island. It went viral.  After reading it, you’ll know why my third stop was to Lake Village Deli in Saint James.

wattamelon roll

My final stop was to Friendly’s for the Long Island summer sensation Wattamellon Roll. This delicacy is refreshing watermelon and lemon sherbet with rich chocolate chips made to look like a watermelon. #NomNom

That’s how we Long Islanders “Wattamellon” roll!

-David Zapata, President


September 3, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Back to School

Filed under: ZAP Style Notes — Tags: , , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 8:00 am

We had a sneak peek of fall last week with cooler temperatures and a fashion-filled back-to-school segment on WGN Chicago. There’s something about the start of a new season that invigorates and inspires the team, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome autumn to Chicago this month.

In case you missed the TV segment, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite back-to-school looks for the little ones in your life… although, we fully support using the trends as inspiration for your own seasonal upgrade!

Pop of Color

Night falls a bit earlier in September so we love the idea of adding a pop of color to your outfit to brighten up the day – our models, Hazel and Liam, are showcasing pink and red. Both of their looks are from, and the Kate Spade Dorothy Jacket is available in women’s sizes, too!

Hazel had her hair done in a low ponytail by Blohaute, which guarantees her hair will be out of her face during the day and won’t distract from her outfit!

WGN segment

Mixed Prints

Mixing prints is a great way to let your personality shine and to turn an otherwise ordinary outfit into a personal style statement. Jak & Peppar, one of our favorite clothing lines for young girls, does this the best, and we love the unique combinations worn by our models, Ella and McKenzie.

Blohaute styled braids and twists to embrace the girls’ natural hair textures (and to help save time in the morning rush). The styles definitely represent the carefree attitude of the looks as well.

Jak and Peppar

Image via Jak & Peppar


It’s important to have a few looks in your closet that work for dressy occasions – whether it’s a professional field trip or class picture day, who doesn’t want to look their best?

Rosie’s look from vineyard vines is fashion-forward, yet perfect for a last-minute Labor Day getaway to the lake. She can switch out her books for beach toys once the weekend rolls around!

Her half-up braided hairstyle is the perfect combination of stylish and casual.

Vineyard vines WGN

Cozy Casual

A cozy sweater is the perfect transitional piece for the fall season and is an essential for chilly mornings. We love Viv’s addition of silk trousers from Zara Kids at Block 37 to keep the look appropriate for school, and a pretty twist adds a bit of edge to the bohemian look.

-Allie Duncan, Publicist

September 1, 2015

Meet Team ZAP: A Day in the Life of an Intern

Filed under: Meet Team ZAP,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 6:35 am

I’m Anna, a summer 2015 intern at Zapwater. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like interning here, you’ll definitely want to read this!

6:00 a.m.

I wake up early to catch a Metra train from the suburbs into the city. I cannot wait until I graduate next June and can move to the city for a quicker commute, but for now I’m at home with good ol’ Mom and Dad. Typically, on the train I drink coffee and catch up on reading, which (nerdily) is something I love. Right now I’m reading Eight Hundred Grapes. It’s about a love triangle, family drama and wine country- such a good summer read.

9:30 a.m.

I arrive at the Zapwater office in the West Loop and bring any current newspapers up to the office. After organizing them, I take a seat at my desk, where I check my e-mail and answer the front desk phone calls.

10:00 a.m.

By now I’ve made my to-do list for the day and can start on bigger projects. I usually start my day by working on social media for Block 37, a shopping center on located at 108 N State St. I write tweets about all things fashion, beauty, food and local happenings in the city. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day because I get to personalize the brand’s twitter account and also catch up on my fashion & beauty trends! Here’s an example of one of my recent tweets I’ve written:

AuBonPain Block 37 Tweet


Image via @Block37Shops on Twitter

12:00 p.m.

Coming up with enough tweets for a week takes me a few hours so, I’m finished, I typically need a lunch break. On the days I don’t bring my lunch from home, I can be found splurging on sushi or a Toasted Ramen Chicken Cabbage Salad from Root’s Pizza – SO good.

1:00 p.m.

I’ve hit mid-day, which means there are a lot of media placements to track and clip for our clients. I work on a variety of them, including Gilt City Chicago, Block 37, Entertainment Cruises Chicago (ECC) and Jak and Peppar. Here is a recent article I clipped for ECC from one of my favorite Chicago bloggers, Kelly in the City:


Image via Kelly in the City blog.

3:00 p.m.

After clipping and tracking is done, it’s time to work on creative, writing-focused projects. As a journalism major, I love this! I work on blog posts like the one you’re reading or sample media alerts and pitches for modern furniture retailer Room & Board.

4:30 p.m.

A lot of the work at Zapwater and in the public relations industry involves events. Sometimes that includes doing on-site check-in or simply sharing the event details with Chicago media outlets. Events are a really fun way to represent the clients outside of the office.

5:30 p.m.

The day is done, and I can head out to enjoy the city! I love meeting friends who are also interning downtown for dinner. A tasty spot right around the corner for doing just that is Parlor Pizza! Plus, they have a great outdoor patio to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

Parlor Pizza

Image from Parlor Pizza on Facebook.

This is just a glimpse of a day in the life of a Zapwater intern. No day looks the same, but that is one of the things I love most about PR!

– Anna, Summer 2015 Intern

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