In the last several years, a number of my girlfriends have had children. It has been quite a magical experience to watch ladies that used to veer towards the wild side adopt a warm, compassionate, and tame lifestyle and observing them caring for their children has been really inspiring to this Recessionista. Though I personally am not certain that child-bearing is in my future, I have a tremendous respect for the women (and men!) who serve in the most important job in life, that of a parent.
However, the aftermath of pregnancy is often times less than a series of perfect, Lifetime-movie moments. To go from a constant state of only having to worry for one to spending the majority of your time constantly worried about another can be exhausting, to say the least. Additionally, a woman's identity shifts from that of a full-fledged person to that of a "mother." (Thanks, Society!!) Phrases like "well-rounded" and "work-life balance" become laughable. That life goal of learning Japanese feels far from achievable.
So, when I learned of MeTime, a company started by an extraordinary, not to mention beautiful young woman named Bea Arthur (with zero resemblance to the Golden Girl), I was immediately impressed. The mission of this company is to provide non-baby-centric activities and outlets to moms, giving them a "night off" from their identity as a mother and reminding them that they are , in actuality, fabulous women! MeTime will offer a series of get-togethers and activities, like Japanese cooking classes, to remind mommies that there is life outside of baby and they deserve to enjoy it!
Last night marked the debut MeTime event - a cocktail creation class sponsored by Domaine de Canton, a French Ginger Liqueur, as well as bar/restaurant Haven in Midtown east. With upbeat tunes and a high end lodge/lounge vibe as backdrop, our instructors Jennifer Craig and James, walked all of the MeTime attendees through the art of making cocktails that will not only impress dinner party guest, but, as I pointed out, we can make on a quiet night in just because we are worth it.
I learned three important lessons of the evening. The first and foremost, mothers are my heroes. What these ladies have to balance requires superhuman abilities and most do it with a constant smile on their faces. Second, I found a liqueur that I would actually buy. I am normally a pretty simple cocktail consumer - a glass of wine or a vodka martini. However, Jennifer proved me wrong with this delicious (and not super sweet!) ginger, honey, and vanilla infused liqueur. I challenged her and James, and through a series of cocktail creations, they made a believer of me - a bottle of Domaine de Canton will now be a regular part of my cocktail concoctions. Finally and begrudgingly I admit this, I realized that (some) models have brains, as I spoke with James who not only makes the world's best mojito, but has appeared in Men's Vogue and works full-time as a model. Snaps to both Jennifer and James, who were very patient and excellent instructors, even when the mommie crowd got a little rowdy.
Thanks to Jennifer for introducing the MeTime crowd to a lovely and elegant liqueur. Thanks to James for being patient with me as I over-poured my mojito. Thanks to Bea for putting on a lovely event that truly provided an escape from the everyday role that mom's have to play. A special thanks to the folks at Haven - an exotic, eclectic local with excellent service and great drink specials - a must if you are ever in NYC!
Domaine de Canton Mojito
2 Lemon wedges (yes, lemon!
4-5 leaves/sprigs of mint
1/2 ounce sugar syrup (depending how sweet you like it)
1 ounce Domaine de Canton
1-2 ounce(s) white rum
1 splash of soda/seltzer water
Muddle lemon, mint and sugar for a good 20-30 seconds (as James said, work out some aggression here - make sure you are really pressing the flavors out). Next, add the Domaine de Canton, followed by the rum. Add about a cup of ice, then shake it, baby! Top off with a splash of soda and even an extra squeeze of lemon, if you are feeling sassy! Then, drink up!