Come summertime there are several things I look forward to: dips in the town pool, skeeball at the boardwalk, making fun of the mascot at our minor league baseball games, watching the kids eat watermelon in their bathing suits, long naps on the porch, catching fireflies, the smell of hamburgers on the grill, and…gin and tonics. For me, most summer nights are not complete without a tall glass filled with ice cubes, lime juice, Canada Dry tonic and Hendrick’s gin (which is a small batch gin made in Scotland and if you like gin and tonics you should really try it…but I digress).
Now I grew up watching adults imbibe alcohol. I can’t say it was always in moderation, but most of the time it was, and I don’t think that seeing a family member having a beer or a glass of wine after work or at a party damaged me in any way (and I want to make a point here of saying that being a child in an alcohlic family is a different story entirely and I don’t take that lightly). But does it matter if you start cocktailing before or after the kid goes to bed?
I’m not talking about the three-martini play date trend, rather the: at-home, after-work cocktail that happens to fall before bedtime.
How often and how many adult-beverages in front of the children is fine or too many?
If your kids start calling a bottle of rosé “mommy juice” have things gone too far?
A good friend of mine named Liz, who’s a mother of three, once told me that when she was growing-up, she was horrified by her parents’ nightly cocktail hour ritual: Before her dad would come home from work, her stay-at-home mom would ready a tray of canapes and a pitcher of cocktails; while her and her sister would be instructed to “go play” her mom and dad would retire to the den and over cocktails go over the day and unwind. Very Mad Men, no?
But whereas back then Liz thought her parents were a little to fond of this ritual, now that she’s a busy parent she totally gets it, and looks forward to her end of the workday glass of wine with her husband while the kiddies dart around.
Now I won’t go so far as to teach my kids the perfect ration of gin to tonic, or have them dunking their little fingers into the olive jar to get that last one for my martini, but I don’t want to wait until their in bed to have my first: long day at work/nightmarish commute/I like to sip something while I put dinner together—drink. Is that so wrong?
And because we don’t sequester ourselves and tell the kids to “go-play” when me and my mom share a 6 o’clock gin and tonic and Tim has his beer (because honestly they wouldn’t listen anyway) is it any worse that we are having our adult beverages with the whole family around?
So let me know what you think!
Should cocktails be saved for after bedtime or enjoyed beforehand?
(And for those of you who answered “yes” to the second option, here’s a link to the retro-cocktail menu on the Mad Men website:
Mad Men cocktail guide.