Not every child who puffed on a candy cigarette grew up to be a smoker. Not every boy who donned his sister’s tutu turned into a cross dresser. Nor will every kid who drinks a virgin cocktail promptly at 5:30 on weeknights while listening to some downtempo and relaxing music grow up to be an alcoholic.
Okay, while kiddie cocktail hour is not a daily occurrence in my household, on occasion my daughter has asked for a cocktail while Mom and Dad have indulged in a gin and tonic, a prosecco and campari, or something or other with that helpful post-work, pre-bath time kick.
On occassion I’ve poured her a plastic Ikea lowball full of ice and water with a twist of lemon and that’s made her feel part of the moment. That little zip of lemon oil on chilled water in an open cup was a revelation to her. The smile that crossed her face was broader than any I’ve ever seen following a slice of cake or pizza. The tonic and soda have been a little too tickly for her palate, so it’s just water and that’s just as it should be (and a hell of a lot better for her than a treacly “juice”; how can anyone think that’s a good idea?). That’s fine enough for now and I’m not about to go any further encouraging a little lounge lizard, though I have considered other virgin cocktails of a more elaborate mixological bent. Among them:
Bloody Mary Poppins
Tomato juice, worchestershire sauce, and a celery stick garnish on the rocks. Could be a way to get them to eat vegetables.
Grenadine on ice with an orange twist. A negroni without the gin, the camapari, or the sweet vermouth. Not very nutritious, but there is that orange and it’s trace roughage and vitamin C.