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Clara Bow the “IT” girl….Wednesday Feb. 24th

February 8, 2010

Booze & Yarn: Wednesday February 24th, at Arlo & Esme (see the Monthly Events page for details).     7-10pm, film starts at 8pm. This months film is “IT” (1927) starring Ms. Clara Bow

As always, order your beginner kit HERE for only $20

Clara Bow has always been one of my favorites. No question she was beautiful, but she didn’t look quite like the other Hollywood girls. Always a bit rough around the edges, she was the not so squeaky clean, Brooklyn girl.

Born in the slums, to a schizophrenic mother and abusive father, Clara grew up playing in the streets with the boys, and working a hot dog stand on Coney Island as a teenager, that would later become Nathan’s Franks. She is quoted as saying she could cry on command by simply remembering horrific events of her childhood. Later, as an actress in Hollywood, the “Brooklyn Bonfire”  came to embody the growing modern youth culture of the roaring 1920’s Flappers, in the same way James Dean would speak to disenfranchised Teenagers 20 years later. In a word, she had “IT”!

Sadly “the IT girl” couldn’t quite make it to the talkies. An overwhelming case of mic fright (some stories say it was her Brooklyn accent), worsened by a battle with schizophrenia of her own, she retired from Hollywood at age 26 and married Rex Bell. In and out of institutions, she never returned to hollywood, and never wrote her memoirs out of fear it would hurt her sons. Clara wore her troubles on her sleeve, and in her expressions, which made her an endearing and unforgettable actress, not JUST a pretty face.

Clara Bow Cocktail

Clara was famous for applying her red lipstick in the shape of a heart. This iconic  fashion came to be known as putting on a “Clara Bow”. The good people at Rye House in NY may have had this in mind when creating a blood red drink in her honor. We can only hope the homemade grenadine will stain the drinker’s lips in a tipsy homage to the immortal “Brooklyn Bonfire”.

The Clara Bow


3/4 ounces lemon juice

1/2 ounce grenadine

1/2 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur

1 1/2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon 
(i’m not paid by them i swear, it’s a coincidence it’s come up twice now)

Mint leaves

Procedure: Pour ingredients into a shaker over ice and shake with 5 or 6 mint leaves. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a mint leaf.

Make your own Grenadine: Reduce 2 cups pomegranate juice with 1 cup raw sugar. Cool. Feel free to add zests of your favorite citrus to the final blend.

Visit the drink creators at Rye House: 11 West 17th Street, New York NY 10001 (map) 212-255-7260

(recipe, courtesy of the article Mix it up: Clara Bow at Rye House)

“IT” Starring Clara Bow (1927)

Set in NY and Coney Island, this film is just wonderful.  I hope you can join us on the 24th to see it on the big screen. If not, you can see watch the full film below.

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