Friday, January 27

Jean Harlow Cocktail

I feel like I live my life partially in the 1930's and partially present day (and if I had a choice...). It's so bad that sometimes I feel like film archivist, TCM and I are really close friends (I'm dying for the day you replay Way for a Sailor by the way!). 
One of my very favourite 30's actresses is Jean Harlow, the original blonde bombshell. She had a fascinating screen personality that was shockingly sexual for the time and even now, though it may seem more obvious than we're used too, is relevant. Miss Harlow was also rather famous for refusing to wear undergarments. 
Jean achieved her superstar status under contract to MGM in the 30's where she was often paired with Clark Gable (films such as: Platinum Blonde, Red Headed Woman, Red Dust and Bombshell).  Post code she was famous for China Seas, Wife vs. Secretary, Libeled Lady and Saratoga. Her sudden death left what could have been her biggest role to be filled by Far Wray in King Kong.
Conversely Jeans personal life wasn't so rosy. She eloped and moved to Los Angeles at 16 where she lived as a wealthy (and heavy drinking) socialite with her 20 year old husband off his inheritance. They eventually separated and she later married Paul Berns, who committed suicide while she was filming the movie Red Dust. Lastly, she was romantically involved with William Powell, though they were never allowed to marry (by the MGM studio managers) because her 'floozy' image would have been detrimental to his public persona. She died suddenly of undiagnosed renal failure at age 26. 
Jean Harlow was famous for her striking platinum hair and risqué style but personally was known for her sense of humour and kindness. 

Red Dust trailer:

And of course, one can't be this famous without inspiring a cocktail!

The Jean Harlow

The Jean Harlow is a simple and sweet rum martini.

2 oz. light rum
2 oz. sweet vermouth
lemon peel for garnish

Add the rum and vermouth to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

champagne coupes : kate spade, dress: the outnet, ring: kate spade, necklace: 

My favourite image of Jean Harlow.

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