Libations: ‘Carolyn’s Maternity Leave’ with a botanical twist |

Libations: ‘Carolyn’s Maternity Leave’ with a botanical twist

Carolyn’s Maternity Leave

A tall glass of ice

Three-parts Kettle One Botanical grapefruit and rose

One part Fresca

Mix and enjoy

A few years back a friend called me from The Black Pearl, a restaurant in Newport Beach, Rhode Island.

“I can’t really talk right now but there is a drink on the menu that I had to tell you about,” she said. “It’s called a ‘Carolyn’s Maternity Leave.’”

“Oh, that’s really funny,” I replied, laughing at the reference to my name and the fact that I have no reason to ever be on maternity leave.

She said, “Wait, no! That’s not the best part. Listen to what it is: A tall glass of ice with vodka and Fresca!”

It just happens that’s my all-time favorite summertime drink.

And for Fresca to even be on a restaurant’s menu is amazing.

I’ve been enjoying Maternity Leaves for as long as … well … as long as it’s been possible for me to even be on one, if you catch my drift.

While I have enjoyed imbibing this simple, refreshing cocktail for decades, I recently changed it up after I was exposed to Kettle One Botanical at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen last month.

The 100% non-GMO grain vodka is distilled in small batches through traditional copper pot stills. After distillation, the vodka is infused with the natural essence of fresh botanicals.

Kettle One offers three blends: grapefruit and rose, cucumber and mint, and peach and orange blossom.

I was first introduced to the grapefruit and rose blend with just club soda, which was delicious.

Any of them on their own, over ice, is just as good.

But I like adding even more citrus from the Fresca to accentuate the flavors of grapefruit and rose.

It’s like I found the alcoholic equivalent of chocolate and peanut butter.

Kettle One touts that the botanical vodka has 40% fewer calories than a glass of white wine because the process delivers a lower “ABV” spirit.

There’s no sugar, artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors. That certainly helps when you are mixing it with fake flavors in a diet soda.

But hey, at 73 calories and zero carbs per serving with the vodka, and zero calories and 1 gram of carbs in a can of Fresca, I can stay on maternity leave in the botanical gardens of summer without gaining a pound.

Cheers to Carolyn’s Maternity Leave with a twist!

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