Sometimes, I do a Ryan Seacrest-style countdown to happy hour.

“Five, four, three, two, one–BOOZE!”

Is that so wrong? The 6pm drink is usually preceded by a day that has been equal parts hectic/nonproductive/boring. Such days are a-plenty when chasing a baby-cum-toddler who has just discovered the mobility–and the menace–of her chubby thighs.

Running errands downtown is impossible (she wants to leap out of the stroller and pet every golden retriever and hot dog vendor in a 1-block radius) and recipe testing in our kitchen is like a combat zone (so many knives, so little space). So I’m stuck by the swingset with the nannies… until 6pm!

Yesterday, 5:30, we left the playground and walked hand-in-hand down Waverly, past Babbo and back into our little corner of the world. I set her down in the highchair with a fistful of parmiggiano while I checked on my marinating raspberries.  The sweet, crimson-colored babies were blissed out in their bathtub of gin,  infusing the liquor with their tart beauty. In minutes, Parker was munching on her turkey milanese while I sipped my beautiful, very elegant cocktail.

One flute of this is perfect for any mamma’s 6pm happy hour. It’s even better as an aperitif with friends before dinner.

Raspberry Gin Fizz

Makes you forget the stack of dishes and the dirty laundry.

Raspberry-infused gin

  • 1 750ml bottle of gin
  • 2 pints fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup sugar

    Brut Champagne, well chilled
    Lemon peel for garnish
    Raspberries for garnish

    In an air-tight glass jar, combine the gin, raspberries and sugar. Store in a cool dark place. Turn the jar over once a day to mix the contents, until the gin takes a deep red color, up to a week. Strain the gin and store in a clean glass bottle.

    To serve, pour ½ ounce gin (chilled) into the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill the glass with champagne and garnish with a raspberry and lemon twist.

Photo by Colleen Duffley