Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving in the '40s

Thanksgiving is coming this way, and it makes me nostalgic (like all holidays do).  How did our country celebrate in the 1940's, with the war and everything?

Well we don't need a time machine to find out.  I just found this interesting blog post by Sentimental Journey about what Thanksgiving was like in the 1940s.  Very interesting read, especially with how far we've come!

Friday, November 18, 2016

How to Throw a 1950's Thanksgiving

Bustle.com provides us with a post detailing how to throw a Thanksgiving like the 1950s!

Are you finding that your family's modern Thanksgiving dinner is not traditional enough? Too many foods that actually taste good? Too much gender parity? Too fun? Well, then this year, you might want to consider having ... a 1950s Thanksgiving dinner! It's good for what ails ya! (if "what ails ya" is greater awareness of racism and sexism, that is).

While the 1950s had enviable interior design and some really cute women's clothing, it was, in general, a crappy decade for almost everyone — from the straight white men who were expected to repress their emotions and work themselves senseless to support their families, to the straight white women expected to have no ambitions outside being a homemaker, to anyone who was not straight and white, who had to deal with constant degrading treatment and basically having no rights in the eyes of the law. And the post-war decade's Thanksgiving celebrations were a microcosm of the era's trends and social problems — unthinking sexism and racism, emotional repression, and Jell-O based food-stuffs.

That doesn't mean that parts of 1950s Thanksgiving celebrations weren't campy and adorable, of course — I mean, Marilyn Monroe dressed as a pilgrim? How precious!

If you'd like to learn more about a difficult and confusing period in our nation's history, read on for our guide to how to do your Thanksgiving — 1950s style. However, unlike Marilyn, you should probably plan on wearing pants.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cocktail Recipe du Jour: Weekly Special

Reposting this delicious recipe!
Weekly Special

In your iced tin, pour:
1/3 Grapefruit Juice (1 oz)
1/3 Gin (1 oz Cascade Mountain)
1/6 Maraschino Liqueur (1/2 oz Luxardo)
1/6 Kümmel (1/2 oz Helbing)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. 
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a cherry


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cocktail Recipe du Jour: The Jack-O-Lantern

Try this cocktail to ghoul it up this Halloween season!

  • 1 ounce Hennessy VSOP Cognac 
  • 1 1/2 ounces orange juice 
  • 1/2 ounce ginger ale 
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier orange liqueur 
  • Orange wheel and lime twist for garnish
  • Thursday, October 20, 2016

    Frankenstein for President!

    With Halloween approaching, and the Presidential election not far behind, I thought this was appropriate. Now I know who I'm voting for! Thanks to Plastic Pumpkins for this beauty.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    Must-See Movie: I Married a Witch

    I Married a Witch (1942) 
    This fantasy romantic comedy is the perfect find for some classic Halloween fun!  The film opens in 1672, where two witches were burned by puritan Jonathan Wooley. We are told that before her burning, the female witch cursed all future generations of the Wooley family; she deemed that all the sons will marry the wrong woman and be miserable. A tree grows over the place where they were hanged, trapping the witches' souls.

    Fast-forward to the 20th century, and a bolt of lightning frees the witches, Jennifer and her father, from the tree. Jennifer assumes corporeal form (Veronica Lake) and decides to track down campaigning politician Wallace Wooley (Fredric March). True to the curse, Wooley is unhappily engaged to a shrewish woman and is miserable.  Jennifer concocts a scheme to make Wooley fall in love with her, thereby ruining his wedding and making his life even more disastrous. Wooley is not easily swayed by her charms, so Jennifer has to resort to a love potion. Unfortunately the potion backfires, and comedy ensues.

    The TV show "Bewitched" was influenced by this film and later "Bell Book and Candle."  This film also solidified the iconic Veronica Lake hairstyle, platinum blonde and long, with her right eye covered. Many women copied the style during this time, which caused problems since they were working in war plants and their hair kept getting caught in the machinery. Lake was asked to change her style until after the war. When she did, she lost her iconic look and her popularity soon faded along with her career.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    "Va Va Voom" Star of the Day: Bette Davis

    Bette Davis
    From the official Bette Davis website:

    Often referred to as "The First Lady of the American Screen," Bette Davis created a new kind of screen heroine. She was a liberated woman in an industry dominated by men. She was known as an actress that could play a variety of difficult and powerful roles, and because of this she set a new standard for women on the big screen. Independent off-screen as well, her battles with studio bigwigs were legendary. With a career spanning six decades, few in the history of film rival her longevity and appeal.

    Bette Davis was born Ruth Davis on April 5, 1908 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Just before her tenth birthday, Bette's father, Harlow, left the family. Although she had little money, her mother, Ruthie, sent Bette and her sister to boarding school. Upon graduating Cushing Academy, Bette enrolled in John Murray Anderson's Dramatic School. In 1929, she made her Broadway debut in "Broken Dishes." She also landed a role in "Solid South." In 1930, she moved to Hollywood to screen test for Universal.

    Monday, October 10, 2016

    Monday's This & That

    Whilst I deal with Monday's "dog-eat-dog" feeling, how's abouts we see what's floating around the interwebs?

    Let's start with this article of some "secrets" of Lucy and Ricky...you have to click a billion times to get them all, but hey - you had nothing better to do, right?

    Here are 25 cocktail recipes that apparently everyone should know.  Study them all for the test on Friday (when you can drink yourself in to oblivion over the weekend).

    So you like to read about grisly deaths on set, do you?  Well then this article is for you...some you may have heard of, others not so much.  Unfortunately, most deaths are from dear stuntmen just doing their job.

    And lastly, here's a list of 10 Audrey Hepburn Quotes with fabulous photos of her to peruse. #3's about makeup is particularly inspirational.


    Thursday, October 06, 2016

    Recipe For the Perfect Slumber Party

    It's 1983 and you're hosting a slumber party.  What do you do?  Here is the recipe for the perfect 80's slumber party:
    1. Rent yourself a video machine from the nearest Wherehouse store.
    2. Rent Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.
    3. Watch Dad setup the machine to your Zenith TV.  Ignore the cursing and visible butt-crack as he can't figure out which wires attach where.
    4. Pop popcorn.
    5. Answer the door and welcome your guests.  Play said video and shush everyone.
    5. Giggle incessantly.
    6. Imitate dance moves.
    7. Enjoy.

    Tuesday, October 04, 2016

    My Name is Errol Flynn

    As the poster on YouTube says: "This is the intro from a TCM TV doc on the life of Errol Flynn...This guy created the mold that Johnnie Depp has had so much fun breaking. Flynn would have absolutely approved." I just wish this clip was longer.
    P.S. Special cameo by Don Knotts.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016

    Must-See Movie: Pillow Talk

    Pillow Talk (1959)
    One of the greatest romantic comedies of all time, this movie sparked the Doris Day/Rock Hudson/Tony Randall trio that would be followed by two other hit comedies.

    Doris Day plays a single working woman named Jan Morrow who lives in a nice apartment in Manhattan. Her only problem is that she shares a partyline with a playboy-slash-songwriter Brad Allen, played by Rock Hudson. She often picks up her phone to make a call and hears Allen crooning the same love song to a different woman. "You are my inspiration...(fill in the name of any woman)."

    Incensed after many attempts to notify him of his rudeness, Day goes to the phone company to ask for her own number. It is explained to her that if this was an emergency, she'd jump to the top of the list. Perhaps if she were to get pregnant she would get her own line sooner. Day replies that she is not married, so of course she can't just go and get pregnant! (I heart 1959!)

    Day goes back to deal with Hudson herself, making an agreement that they each use a half hour of phone time. Hudson breaks the rule almost immediately, not caring if he offends the "frigid" other half of the partyline.

    Monday, September 26, 2016

    All Hail the Bloody Mary!

    I was blessed a while ago to receive a copy of Bloody Marys from author Judy Bennett, and have just had the time to write about it!

    Bloody Marys: Sanguine Solutions for a Slew of Situations includes over 40 Bloody Mary recipes, but Bennett offers more than that... she also provides vintage photographs, trivia, insight, and myths, and tons of humor.

    And the insight is not limited to mixology.  For example, Bennett writes, "Despite what the police and your dad tell you, a person is never more vulnerable than when sitting in the pumpty-up chair of a new hairdresser."  SO TRUE.

    And next to the Bloody Mary recipe "I've Decided to Go Back to College" (that includes some tasty ingredients like hot sauce and a pepperoncini garnish) there is career advice.  "Try to remember what you wanted to be when you grew up, and see if that career path has the same appeal now."

    If you notice, I'm not sharing any complete recipes here. BECAUSE YOU SHOULD BUY THIS BOOK!  Yes, my goal is to try every one of the 45 Bloody Mary recipes.  But just sitting and reading the book (sans cocktail) was equally entertaining.  All there's left to do is raise a glass to the Bloody Mary Manager, Judy Bennett!

    Thursday, September 22, 2016

    Must-See Movie: Best Foot Forward

    Best Foot Forward (1943)
    A cadet at Winsocki Military Academy named Bud (Tommy Dix) sends an invitation to movie star Lucille Ball (as herself) to come to Winsocki's big dance. Ball's publicity-hungry agent Jack O'Riley (William Gaxton) convinces her to go in order to boost her career. Complications arise when Bud's girlfriend Helen (Virginia Weidler) unexpectedly shows up; she knows there is a dance that weekend and she wants to surprise him.

    The real 40's slapstick unfolds when Bud asks Ball to pretend to be Helen, mostly because of the strict screening of the school that all guests must be pre-registered.

    A subplot involves blind date (and hard up) Nancy (Nancy Walker), and her premiere role is hilarious.  But it's all a pretty straight-forward movie with some brief shining moments from supporting cast members Walker, Dix, Weidler, June Allyson, and Gloria DeHaven. Unfortunately, Ball's performance comes off as snobby and pretentious.  Yes, it's supposed to be a parody of herself, but not really a flattering one.

    So why is this a "Must-See Movie"?  Two words: Harry James.  Not only does James execute rousing renditions of big band favorites like "Two O'Clock Jump," he demonstrates his true musical mastery with "The Flight of the Bumblebee."  (And if you can do that song with your fingers moving as fast as he does, well then I tip my proverbial hat to you as well!) Watch this, and see how seriously James takes his performance!

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    "Va Va Voom" Star of the Day: Harry James

    Harry James
    Taken from the official Harry James website:
    Harry Haag James was born in 1916 in Albany, Georgia, in the United States. He learned the trumpet from his father, a circus bandleader. James decided to pursue a professional career in music after winning a state high-school trumpet competition.

    Harry began to perform with several dance bands, including that of Ben Pollack's popular group. The flawless, technically outstanding trumpeter played for several years with the Benny Goodman Band before forming his own band in 1939 with a gifted but little known vocalist, Frank Sinatra.

    During the golden era of the big bands, Harry recorded a number of hits, including "I've Heard That Song Before," from the motion picture Youth on Parade (1942), "You Made Me Love You" (1941), the number-one instrumental hit "Sleepy Lagoon" (1942), "I Had the Craziest Dream" (1943), "You'll Never Know" and his theme song, "Ciribiribin." His band helped launch the careers of many pop music stars of the World War II era, including Frank Sinatra and Helen Forrest.  Ed. note: Doris Day sang with him on one of the greatest albums ever, "Young Man With a Horn," which was the soundtrack for the movie of the same name.

    Friday, September 16, 2016


    "The secret of staying young is to live honestly, 
    eat slowly, and lie about your age."
    -- Lucille Ball

    Wednesday, September 14, 2016

    Cocktail Recipe Du Jour: The B&B (and B)

    If you've ever watched the Mel Brooks classic "High Anxiety" (like I have) and were captured by the 70's portrayal of the piano bar and cocktail scene (like I was), you'll appreciate this.  

    In the 1977 film that pays homage to Hitchcock classics, psychiatrist Dr. Thorndyke (Brooks) suffers from "high anxiety" (a.k.a. vertigo).  One of his patients is a mystery that he is trying to unravel.  The patient's daughter Victoria is trying to assist him in his findings, so of course they meet at a piano bar to discuss matters.  Cut to the piano bar where we find Thorndyke and Victoria sitting by the piano, and a waiter is bringing them drinks.  "Here you have a B&B," he says, handing the drink to Thorndyke, "and you had the B and B and B," he finishes, handing Victoria her drink.

    So what is a B&B, you ask?  Glad you asked.

    Monday, September 12, 2016

    "Va Va Voom" Star of the Day: Ava Gardner

    This is an updated version of a previous post.
    Ava Gardner
    Beautiful, shining star of the MGM studio, Ava was born in 1922.  She was the youngest of 7 children living on a cotton and tobacco farm in the rural southern town of Smithfield, North Carolina.

    Her show business beginning began just as simply.  Her brother-in-law, a professional photographer took her photo in 1941 and displayed it at his studio.  A theater clerk saw her photo and told the photographer that she oughta' be in pictures, and the in-laws sent her information and photo immediately to MGM.

    According to reports, when Gardner first arrived at the studio and did a screen test, Louis B. Mayer said "She can't sing. She can't act. She can't talk. She's terrific. Sign her." She got a 7-year contract with MGM.  The studio worked with her to remove her Carolina drawl and teach her to act.  Soon she had been in several films with little to no notice, but was gaining experience on set.  It wasn't until 1946 in the film "The Killers" that Ava rose her to sex symbol status and made her a big star.

    Friday, September 09, 2016

    Good Things To Eat

    Not "Delicious," not "Great," just Good.  I'm sure there's a sequel cookbook out there that then lists alternative recipes called BAD Things To Eat, but I'm glad I came across this small, aged cookbook at an estate sale.

    Maybe back in 1936, when this was published, you just didn't get all that excited about food.  It was more a means to an end. You're hungry. You need to eat. Here's some stuff. It's cheap. It's easy. Period.

    Monday, September 05, 2016

    "Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

    Grace Kelly
    Today let us highlight the Princess of Monaco.

    Grace struck out on her own after high school, heading to New York's bright lights to try her luck. Grace worked as a model but made her acting debut on Broadway in 1949. She also had a brief stint in television. Not content with the work in New York, Grace moved to Southern California for the more prestigious part of acting -- motion pictures.

    In 1951, she appeared in her first film Fourteen Hours when she was 22. It was a small part, but a start nonetheless. The following year she landed the role of Amy Kane in High Noon, a western starring Gary Cooper and Lloyd Bridges which turned out to be very popular. In 1953, Grace appeared in only one film, but it was another popular one, Mogambo. The film was a jungle drama in which fellow cast members, Clark Gable and Ava Gardner turned in masterful performances. It was also one of the best films ever released by MGM.

    Friday, September 02, 2016

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016

    Cocktail Recipe Du Jour: The Fuzzy Navel

    Did you know there are three different ways to make what people think is the typical "Fuzzy Navel"?

    First, a history lesson: the 1980's brought a revival of cocktails and mixed drinks, and the fuzzy navel was one of the first to come forward. Over 30 years ago Ray Foley, a well known bartender and founder of Bartender Magazine was cutting an orange for a garnish when a man nearby made the remark that he could still smell the fuzz of the peach schnapps through the orange juice. Ray looked at the orange and saw the printed word "Navel" on the navel orange, and was inspired.

    So what are the three ways to make it? There's the typical Fuzzy Navel:
    In a rocks glass, over ice, pour 1 oz. Peach Schnapps and then fill with orange juice.

    Then there's the Hairy Navel:
    In a collins glass, over ice, pour 1 oz. vodka, 1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps, and then fill with orange juice.

    And then there's the Pierced Navel:
    In a collins glass, over ice, pour 1 oz. tequila, 1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps, and then fill with orange juice.

    So now you know there are 3 ways to have your belly button cocktails!  Cheers!

    Monday, August 29, 2016

    Steve McQueen in "Wanted: Dead or Alive"

    Steve McQueen is adorable in this clip from the episode "The Partners" from the 1958-1961 show "Wanted: Dead or Alive."

    Friday, August 26, 2016

    Cocktail Recipe Du Jour: Alabama Slammer

    Alabama Slammer

    Legend has it that the colorful cocktail was first shaken at the University of Alabama in 1975.  There's also been said to have been made famous by Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre.  However, this drink was popular with college crowds as early as the 1980s, and is mentioned in the Playboy Bartender's Guide published in 1971.  The name could've originated from where it was invented, but it could just be from the inclusion of Sloe Gin and Southern Comfort.

    I learned how to make it in bartending school the following way:

    In a collins glass, pour:
    1 oz. Sloe Gin
    1/2 oz. Amaretto
    1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
    Fill with OJ
    Garnish with an orange slice, cherry, or both

    Best part was, to help us remember the ingredients, our teacher Betty gave us this phrase as a mnemonic device: "Slow Comfortable Screw With Nuts" (Sloe Comfort OJ Amaretto).

    Monday, August 22, 2016

    Must-See Movie: High Society

    High Society (1956)
    With a stellar cast and some catchy tunes, this is a no-brainer to see...but there are still some cons that go with the pros of how "must-see" this movie is.

    Here's the story:  Jazz musician C.K. Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby) still holds a torch for his ex-wife, Rhode Island socialite Tracy Samantha Lord (Grace Kelly). He stays at a neighbor's house, bringing his full jazz band (including Louis Armstrong) to disrupt Tracy's upcoming nuptials to to a boring but wealthy man (John Lund).  But that's not the only conflict.  Reporter Mike Connor (Frank Sinatra) and photographer Liz Imbrie (Celeste Holm) from Spy Magazine, a fictional tabloid newspaper, are there to cover the wedding.  They are essentially blackmailing their way in, holding on to some embarrassing information about Tracy's father.  So to prevent the tabloid from getting the true story, Tracy begins an elaborate charade, pretending to be overly snobbish and frivolous, as well as introducing the tabloid to the wrong people.  To make matters even more confusing, Mike falls in love with Tracy, and she wakes up on the day of her wedding confused and unsure of what to do.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    Classic Movie Quote of the Day

    "You may have heard about me. If I'd been a ranch, they woulda named me the 'Bar Nothing.'"

    -- Rita Hayworth
    in her defining role as
    the title character in Gilda

    Monday, August 15, 2016

    There's Nothing Like It!

    There's nothing like two men in a locker room dressed only in their underwear discussing a "matter of inches."

    Friday, August 12, 2016

    Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

    Wanna feel sky-high this evening?  Try this one...

    Walk on the Moon
    2 oz blackberry schnapps
    1 oz vodka
    3 oz cola
    3 oz milk

    Pour all in to a cocktail shaker and shake, pour over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

    Bottoms up!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2016


    A little bit of trivia for you on this hump day...
    While filming The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), the tension between Bette Davis and Errol Flynn was thick. Davis wanted Laurence Olivier to play Flynn's part, and so detested him the entire shoot.
    During the film when Elizabeth (played by Davis) slaps Essex (Flynn) in front of the entire court, Davis intentionally smacked Flynn right across the face. The anger on Flynn's face is quite genuine, as is his visible imposition of self-control to avoid hitting Davis back.

    Monday, August 01, 2016

    Ginger Rogers and the Royal Desserts Cookbook

    This our 1,000th post!!
    I found this small recipe book at a garage sale, and fell in love with the horrible food photography and blatant whoring-out of Ginger Rogers.
    If you ever wanted to feel the thrill of fame and stardom (like "a burst of applause"), Ginger Rogers has the recipe book for you.

    The inside description really peaks your interest.  After all, I can't recall ever giving my dinner a happy ending!

    I guess back in the day you could just put a string of words together in hyphens and suddenly invent phrases like "praise-getter."  

    But enough of this frivolity.  Let's get to the "applause-worthy" recipes, and I'm sure more photos of Ginger, right?

    Friday, July 29, 2016

    Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

    With the creepy craze still in full effect, I thought I'd share with you the drink called The Zombie!

    The Zombie was not invented as a link to any horror genre, but rather as early as the 1930's by Hollywood restaurateur Don the Beachcomber as a hangover cure.  Once the tiki craze hit in the 60's, the drink really took off, with it's tropical undertones of rum and pineapple juice. 

    In a collins glass, pour:
    1 oz. Dark Rum, 1 oz. Light Rum, 1 oz. Creme de Almond.
    Add 1/2 oz. Triple Sec, 1 oz. Sweet & Sour, 1 oz. Pineapple Juice (some recipes also add papaya juice, passion fruit nectar, apricot juice, or other fruit juices.
    Float 151 as a lid (by pouring it into a spoon and gently dipping it under the surface of the drink).
    If you're feeling saucy, take a match to this cocktail: it'll light up nicely!
    Garnish with cherry, pineapple, mint, or a tropical kabob like lemon or orange, pineapple, and cherries.
    Enjoy...but don't drink too many, or you'll become the "Walking Dead"!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016

    Must-See Movie: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
    Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell star in this musical rom/com of two showgirls who go on a cruise, just to be pursued by multiple admirers and a private detective.

    Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe), the titular blonde in the film, is passionate about money (specifically diamonds), and knows that marrying a wealthy man will give her all she needs.  Lorelei is engaged to Gus, a nerdy millionaire.  She scoffs at her best friend Dorothy (Jane Russell), who prefers men who don't have money since they don't brag as much about all they possess.

    Monday, July 25, 2016

    "Va-Va Voom" Star of the Day

    Barbara Payton
    The story of a beautiful starlet that lost its shine is always tragic, and the tale of Barbara Payton is no exception.

    Born in Cloquet, Minnesota on November 26, 1927, Barbara Lee Redfield came from a modest, blue-collar background.  She grew up to be a stunningly gorgeous woman, and, following a quickie marriage at age 19, decided to leave home to capitalize on her good looks in Tinseltown. She headed for Hollywood in 1948 and, within a short time, was placed under contract by Universal, where she began the typical starlet route of bit parts.  Pretty soon the renamed Barbara Payton was earning several thousand dollars a week in the early 1950s, becoming the "It" Girl of her day.  The gossip magazines followed her relentlessly, mercilessly reporting her sordid personal details.

    Friday, July 22, 2016

    Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

    The Singapore Sling
    I previously wrote about the effects of a night with the cocktail, but how do you make a Singapore Sling?

    D. A. Embury stated in the Fine Art of Mixing Drinks: "Of all the recipes published for [this drink] I have never seen any two that were alike."

    Some sources say the "original recipe" contains gin with cherry brandy and orange, pineapple, and lime juice.  Others use gin, Cherry Heering, Bénédictine, and fresh pineapple juice, primarily from Sarawak pineapples which enhance the flavor and create a foamy top.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Monday, July 18, 2016

    Bartending 101: Your Guide to Garnishes

    Finishing your drink with the right garnish can make or break your cocktail.  (And no one wants a broken cocktail!  I mean, I'd still drink it, but I wouldn't enjoy it as much.)  As a bartender, I've met plenty of finicky people whose order is so detailed, especially specifying the garnish.  They not only are the visual finishing touch to a cocktail, but the taste of the garnish effects the drink.  So if you're stocking your bar, you want to make sure you have these accouterments ready to make the best cocktail service for your visitors!

    Lemon slice
    These are probably the most popular, usually added to gin and tonics, but can be requested for various other drinks.  You want to cut off both ends.  Then slice the lemon in half.  Lay each half down and cut in to half-moon slices.  Lay each half-moon slice down and cut in to the flesh at the middle, only halfway, so that the slice will stay in place on the glass's rim.

    Lemon twists
    This is primarily the rind used for its essential oil.  To make lemon twists, cut off both ends of the lemon. Insert a sharp knife or spoon between the rind and meat of the lemon and carefully separate them. Cut the rind into strips. The outside of the lemon is where the flavor lies. When adding a lemon twist to a drink, slowly rim the edge of the glass with the outside of the lemon twist and then drop the twist into the cocktail.

    Friday, July 15, 2016

    "Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

    I can't believe I haven't featured William Holden yet, after all the other posts about him...so here he is, our star of the day:

    William Holden
    William Franklin Beedle, Jr. was born in O'Fallon, Illinois in 1918. His family moved to South Pasadena when he was three. After graduating from South Pasadena High School, Holden attended Pasadena Junior College, where he became involved in local radio plays. He was spotted by a talent scout from Paramount Pictures in 1937 while playing the part of an 80-year-old man, Marie Curie's father-in-law, in a play in a small private theatre. His first film role was in Prison Farm the following year.

    He was renamed William Holden after his talent scout Harold Winston's ex-wife, Gloria Holden. Holden's first starring role was in Golden Boy (1939), costarring Barbara Stanwyck, in which he played a violinist-turned-boxer. This gave him the eternal nickname in Hollywood of "Golden Boy."

    After a few more film roles and a stint in the army during World War II, he made his name known when he landed the quintessential role in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (1950).  Initially the role was to go to Montgomery Clift, but luckily Holden snagged it, earning a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016

    How to Make the Perfect Vodka Gimlet

    The Vodka Gimlet seems pretty straight-forward as cocktails go, but there's actually some small nuances that can change the entire taste.  So take it from me, there's a not-so-perfect way to make it, and a PERFECT way to make it.  Here's MY way:

    Pop Quiz, Hot Shot: When someone orders (or asks you for) a Vodka Gimlet, what's your first question to ask?

    Friday, July 08, 2016

    BoozeQuest Research: The Best Bloody Mary

    I'm reposting "vintage" posts that had previously only appeared on the now-defunct blog SorryIGotDrunk.com.  This is a follow up to the 8-part series called "BoozeQuest."  Please enjoy.

    We at the Booze Quest Labs have been taking the past couple months researching the best Bloody Mary in Los Angeles. It's been quite painstaking and extensive, but I think I've found the perfect mixture of tomato juice, spices, garnishes, and any other item that can make an outstanding cocktail. Here are my findings:

    Jerry's Deli, Studio City, CA:
    Glass: daiquiri glass
    Consistency: watery
    Strength: weak. Probably less than 1 shot of vodka
    Garnish: lemon wedge
    Analysis: Seeing the paleness of the cocktail got my hopes up that it would be a stronger drink, but it was just water that made the Bloody Mary at Jerry's so washed-out. I barely tasted any kick or spices, so it tasted essentially like a watery tomato juice. Even after adding Tabasco sauce, it still was not tasty enough.
    Final score: 3/10