The Post Partum
2 ounces Courvoisier Cognac
1 ounce Yahara Bay Premium Rum
1/2 cup apple juice (or cider)
1/8 cup honey
One cinnamon stick
small handful whole cloves
Dash orange bitters
1 T lime juice, or to taste
Last week, we had a birthday party for our younger daughter. Even though it was small and mellow and took place at not-my-house, it was still stressful. You know what I mean, moms. I'm sure there are some dads who understand the stressful nature of kid birthdays – because they’re either divorced, or gay -- but moms are typically the ones who do them. Not coincidentally, they're also the ones who wish you a happy birthday on your kid’s birthdays. And that is appropriate because in some ways, kid birthday parties are a lot like giving birth. They require you to pay attention to a ton of details. The day is all about them, even though you did all the shopping. Even though he's sort of involved, it's like the husband isn't there at all. And through it all, tragically, you can't even get drunk.
I know this is a drink blog -- and not a mommy blog -- but before I proceed, I would like to get one thing off my chest. Listen, Dr. Silverstein, I checked in at midnight. They called you right away. You weren’t my regular OB, but you were on call, and I knew you well, so it was cool. But you live in Queens. So an hour after they called you -- about the mom having her second baby and 6 cm dilated -- you got on the train. I'm sorry, what? The train? You took THE TRAIN? You’re a doctor. You work in a fancy upper east practice. I gave birth three hours later, dude. Did you consider the fact that the MTA might be doing track work? Or that trains from Queens to Manhattan at night run roughly once every hour and a half, at best? We seriously would have paid for the cab.
Well, it worked out. I mean, he got there in time. Mercifully, my second daughter came out a lot faster than the first one. But then again, I didn’t use any pain medication either. So she also came out a lot more painfully. I used a doula the second time who -- I kid you not -- looked exactly like Zelda Rubinstein, that short lady from Poltergeist.
I was glad Zelda was there too, because at one point – about twenty minutes before the baby came – I briefly worked myself into a kind of pain-induced panic, where I was convinced I couldn’t push any harder and the baby was going to get stuck. Stuck. Yeah, that's totally a thing. Or it seems like it, when you're in a lot of pain. Dr. Silverstein, who had done some light reading on his long train ride into Manhattan and so was otherwise quite relaxed, walked over to the face end of me, and screamed: You have to get your shit together! He might have also slapped me, dramatically. Or maybe not. I guess we'll never know. Not like I would have felt it, or even noticed. Anyway, then I got my shit together and pushed harder and the baby didn’t get stuck. Though I may also have given birth to one of my kidneys. I really can't remember.
Now that nobody wants to eat or drink like, ever again, back to the story of this cocktail. This year’s party wasn't too stressful because it was the first time I did not bake and decorate the cake myself. Between a swim meet during the day, and theater tickets at night, I just didn’t have the time. I felt a little bit bad about that. I feel a little bit bad about almost everything. But my daughter didn’t seem to mind. She didn’t interpret her lack of homemade cake as a sign of apathy or lack of motivation. Also, I got a lovely aquatic-themed cake from Bloom Bakery with fishes and mermaids and a yummy chocolate buttercream.
Still, after the party, later that night, I really wanted a drink. Apple cider would have been nice, but all I had was a bunch of leftover apple juice. So I put the apple juice, cinnamon stick, cloves, and honey in a pot and simmered it for a few minutes until it became a sweet infused thick blend. (I suggested 1/8 cup honey but I might use even a touch more next time.) After it cooled, I squeezed in some lime and put in a few dashes of orange bitters, then shook it all up with ice and the spirits. Rocks glass. Yum.
I didn’t drink this cocktail warm, because I prefer cold cocktails. But I assure that this would be a delicious hot drink. Cheers to you especially, moms!