Netflix watchers have fallen in love with “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” The Tina Fey-created sitcom is about a 29-year-old girl who gets rescued after being kidnapped and kept for 15 years by a cult leader in an underground bunker. 

The show seems to have arrived at just the right time. After the past few cold, winter months, we all needed a breath of fresh, sunshine-y air. Kimmy Schmdit, played by Ellie Kemper, and her unbreakable optimism bring that and more — and exactly when we need it most. One of my sons and I have been glued to the TV most nights this past week watching all 13 episodes. It’s almost pitch-perfect.

There is one problem I’m having while watching it with my son, though. Picture this: I’m of Tina Fey’s generation, and I’m watching her pop culture reference-ridden show about a millennial whose knowledge of world events stops at 2000. My son was born in 2002. He thinks it’s clever and finds it very funny, but he doesn’t “get” all of it. I have to explain many of the blink-and-you’d-miss-it one-liners in the show. In reality, I don’t HAVE to explain them, but I can’t help myself.

I need to give all the episodes a second watch to see what I ended up missing while I was explaining things like what Hanson and “MMMBop” are. I see a binge-watching session in my future — complete with a breathe-of-fresh-air, sunshine-y cocktail or two that I created for just the occasion. I’ve named it The Optimist in honor of the character of Kimmy Schmidt, an optimistic, strong, unbreakable woman.


  • 2 oz cucumber-flavored vodka (I used Prairie Organics)
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Club soda
  1. Fill a 10 oz. tall glass with ice.
  2. Add vodka, triple sec, orange juice, simple syrup and lime juice. Stir with a long-handled spoon, like a bar spoon.
  3. Tops with club soda, and give one last quick stir.
  4. Garnish with an orange slice, if desired.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

What to drink: The Optimist Cocktail
Designed to drink while binge watching “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” this cocktail is a breath of fresh air, just like the heroine of the show.