Inevitably, parents of small children realize that everything owned by the parents is expected to be public domain to the kids, whereas the reverse is not always true. For example, if I buy some new gloves, they become Peach’s new dress-up item. A new ice cube tray easily turns into a train for Grub. Or caterpillar. Or make-believe ice skate upon which unwashed, sweaty feet may fit. I share my body with Sky-Girl: I am her dairy barn and her security. She is attached to me most of the time we are in the room together, on my hip or on my breast. Being an almost-nine-month-old is difficult: there are teeth cutting through gums, solid foods to try, and moving from sitting to crawling up to these fat feet is a frustrating trial.
Shhhhh! Wait! It’s Saturday morning and the kids are watching cartoons. The baby is asleep in the Bjorn carrier, after a developmental milestone practice trial. Eat and I are in the kitchen cleaning up from breakfast. And there are mocktails, no wait, two cocktails , waiting for us.
I made the simple syrup and squeezed the clementine juice yesterday, chilled it, and waited for the perfect moment where the grown-ups can have a semi-uninterrupted morning buzz with a fancy drink. It’s not that Eat and I don’t share our kitchen creations with the kids. Sometimes we want some alone time — with a drink. No whine and cheese, please. This clementine cocktail is fabulous on its own, no condiments needed. Well, except the spouse.
More cartoons, everyone! Daddy and I are havin’ a drink! Or two!
- 5-6 clementines, peeled (with a vegetable peeler) and juiced (about 1 cup of juice)
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup sugar, plus more for sugaring the rim of the glasses
- 1 small lime, juiced
- 6 ounces vodka, optional OR seltzer water (If not using vodka, I make up the difference of liquid with more seltzer)
- In a small saucepan, combine the clementine zest with ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, then turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature and chill in the fridge.
- Strain the clementine syrup over a sieve, pulling out some of the strips of peel. Lie these flat on a cutting board and julienne for garnishing the drinks later. Julienne some more of the syruped zest and then finely dice. Set aside.
- In a pitcher, mix the juice from the clementines, the juice of 1 lime and the cooled simple syrup. Add vodka, if using.
- On a small plate, mix a bit of the finely diced zest and a couple of tablespoons of white sugar together.
- Select your two favorite, prettiest crystal flutes, dip the glass rims in water, and dip into sugar/diced clementine zest mixture.
- Carefully add ice to each glass without disturbing the sugared rims, and add the clementine juice to each. Top with a splash of seltzer and julienned clementine zest. Serve immediately.