Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Ramblings

James Bond and Hawaiian Shirts (but not James Bond in an Hawaiian Shirt)

Martini a la Bond

Here at the Museum of Pop Culture Wonders, the current cocktail of choice is a Vesper Martini, a refreshing concoction first described by author Ian Fleming in the pages of his 1953 novel Casino Royale. In his first appearance, 007 orders a dry maritini and then instructs the barman as follows:

"Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel."

Gordon's is Gordon's Gin (according to the UK distiller's website, only 12 people in the world know the recipe)

Vodka is, uh brand is specifed. Russian vodka was popular at the time, but would 007 order it at the height of the cold war?

Kina Lillet was a bitter white wine-based aperitif. The quinine content was reduced in the mid 80's and a sweeter version is now sold as Lillet Blanc.

I find it to be the perfect way to wind down at the end of the day. Be warned - it packs a wallop, but after all, that's the point - as Bond himself states:

"I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made."
Cheers, Commander Bond.

Everybody Loves Rayon

And now a subject near and dear to my heart.

Rayon (aka artificial silk) was invented by the DuPont Chemical Company in the mid 1920s. According to the DuPont website "It came to be used in the finest of fabrics and the choicest of garments..." Though not specifically named, they surely must be referring to that symbol of sartorial splendor, the Hawaiian Shirt.

Originating in Hawaii in the 1930's (hence the name), the brightly patterned short sleeved collared shirts grew in popularity over the next decade peaking in the 1950's (aloha from our 50th State!) I'm proud to say I own several. Sad to say, they're not vintage; I've seen shirts from the 30's -50's command prices ranging from $200-$500 and even higher!

By the way, the dapper gentleman pictured above is 50's Icon and Hawaiian Shirt wearer Arthur Godfrey, but you already knew that didn't you?

No comments:

Post a Comment