Vodka Citrus Martinis
March 4, 2014 § 1 Comment
I first discovered the vodka citrus martini on an ordinary Wednesday night. I came to the door when Christopher got back from work with a grin on my face as big as the Cheshire cat himself. The edges were off, my friends. The day of bouncing, rocking, shaking, rattling, singing and playing on the floor melted into a fond memory instead of calcifying into that particularly dangerous kind of contempt. You know, where you think to yourself, Husband, you get to go to work looking good and for only ten hours while I wear spit up and am on call 24/7. Scorekeeping is not good for a marriage, and vodka helps with that. It had been a long time since I drank hard liquor, and that warm tingle was welcome, indeed.
About a week before, my Uncle John Burke gave me a cardboard box full of citrus, part of a slew of fruits sent to him from a friend in sunny California. He labeled some of them with Sharpie pen, as you can see. I’d never had a sweet lime before, but it really is sweet: sweeter than a clementine, though it looks bitter as a lemon. Frankly, it’s too sweet for a vodka drink—in my opinion, you want some zing to temper the severity of the alcohol—so I suggest eating it plain or candying the peel.
Before the boozing even dawned on me, though, I discovered that this box of citrus did an admirable job of replacing the weekly bouquet of flowers I’d been buying to keep my spirits up. Winter really is the pits. By mid-January, we’ve got so long left to go, and yet there’s already a long trail of gray behind us. Lively colors and smells around the house go a long way in keeping me from feeling hopeless. But flowers also go a long way towards making me broke.
Brighter minds than mine might know this already, but I was happy to discover that the ongoing purchase of seasonal citrus keeps the house sunny and fresh-smelling for a fraction of the price of flowers. And, in my second happy discovery, this collection keeps Momma jolly, too. Citrus fruit lasts a long time—and I think it gets better and better until the point of decay. The fruit softens and the smell gets stronger. And then, when it’s almost too soft, you add your oranges, your grapefruit or your tangelo to two parts vodka, one part vermouth, shake them all together with crushed ice, and sit back feeling as rosy as you will on a warm day in April. Waste not want not.
Since Max started going to bed at 7pm and waking up again at 12am for his first nighttime feeding, I feel totally okay about having one or two strong drinks early in the evening. Sometimes it makes me feel so good, I think it must be good for me. But, of course, that is the illusion of substance abuse. So I’ve issued some boundaries: martinis on weekends only, unless I have a friend for dinner. Who’s free this week?