June 1st: Marilyn Monroe’s Birthday

Goodbye, Norma Jean.On this day in 1926, Norma Jeane Mortenson (her surname was later changed by her mother to Baker) was born in Los Angeles. After bleaching her hair and changing her name to Marilyn Monroe, she would become one of Hollywood’s biggest leading ladies. Now, over fifty years since her death at age 36,  Monroe has become both an immortal sex symbol and one of Tinseltown’s defining tragedies. Just how famous is Monroe these days? Well, in 2009 an anonymous bidder paid $4.6-million for the burial plot above Marilyn’s at L. A.’s Westwood Village Memorial Park.

So, how do we honor the birth of the star of Some Like It Hot? There are several drinks out there called the “Marilyn Monroe,” but I’m going to toot my own horn and present a drink that I created a few years ago, the Hollywood Blonde.  This summery drink takes its name from the 1/2-shot of brown sweet vermouth at the bottom of the glass, designed to resemble a would-be starlet’s exposed roots. The rest of the drink is a nice blonde, not too far from Marilyn’s own platinum shade.

The Hollywood Blonde:

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (pre-poured into glass)

Pour 1/2 ounce of sweet vermouth into a chilled cocktail glass. Shake the remaining ingredients well with cracked ice, then strain into the glass.

Tomorrow: One of America’s greatest entertainers and the world’s biggest alcoholic.

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