Every good Mother’s Day – or any old spa day – comes with a good relaxing cocktail and a nice soak. Run a bath this weekend for you or your ma, and pair it with this uber relaxing ‘spa water’ cocktail — cucumber, aloe vera, coconut water, elderflower, and gin.
First, let’s set the scene. Hot soaks are basically my go-to self care routine, so I have some tried and true tips for getting the most spa-like bath experience, even if you don’t have a big fancy tub:
- This should be a no brainer, but clean the tub first, especially if it’s also your shower (I don’t have a designated soaking tub… yet). Really get in there with a scrubber — just the thought of lying in the scuzzy residue that soap leaves over many many showers makes my skin crawl. It’s also a great way to keep yourself honest and with timely tub cleaning! Just make sure you use a mild, natural cleaning product. You also don’t want to be soaking in bleach.
- Light some candles, or get a cold air diffuser going if that’s your thing. I love the aromatic quality of both, but candles have the benefit of also looking pretty magical. There’s just something about being surrounded by warm, flickering light that instantly puts my mind at ease.
- This one might be my favorite: tie a branch of eucalyptus near the water. The hot steam from the tub will activate the uber relaxing scent, and to be honest it just really looks pretty. This works for showers, too — whenever I see fresh eucalyptus at my market, I grab some and tie it on the shower head. Instant spa.
- Garnish your tub, and don’t just think florals. If you have fresh citrus on your counter, slice it up and throw it in there. Vibrant color, lively aroma — you’ll be surprised at how rejuvenating a simple sliced lemon in a bathtub can be.
- Break out the accessories. I like to read (and drink!) in the tub, so this tray from Umbra with a bookstand and wine glass holder is a must for me. I also love my massaging spa pillow from Pretika, since my apartment’s bathtub is pretty standard (read: uncomfortable), and tough on the neck without one.
When I run a bath according to those rules (which are surprisingly quick to accomplish), I transform my humdrum, no frills bathroom into an oasis I never want to leave. And if I really want to go all out, I make myself some fancy spa water, like this recipe (which has a fairly low ABV — perfect for relaxing, not so much for partying). If you can’t get fresh aloe vera (I’m seeing it everywhere now), just skip it, or add some rosemary for an herbal touch instead!
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz elderflower liqueur
- .5 oz fresh squeezed/strained lime juice
- 3 slices cucumber
- 1 1-inch long piece aloe vera
- Cut a one inch piece of aloe vera and remove the tough outer husk, so you’re left with the clear, slimy part. Muddle it in a cocktail shaker with the cucumber.
- Add ice and remaining ingredients to the shaker. Shake and pour into an ice filled goblet.