Bond (James Bond) Week: What to Drink

You know that scene in License to Kill where Timothy Dalton's Bond-floozy orders a Budweiser with lime and he says he'll have the same? We've always thought at that point he deserves to have his License revoked. It seems The Book of Bond agrees with us on this point:

You must never drink beer, at least in England. A Lowenbrau in Geneva, a Miller's Highlife in New York State, a couple of Red Stripes in Jamaica, as many as four steins of the local brew in Munich with an ex-Luftwaffe pilot -- these are legitimate, but keep things within bounds.

The good Book also stresses that a vodka martini is "to be shaken with ice, not, as is more usual, stirred with ice and strained." (The more succinct phrasing comes from the movies; the Book of Bond is drawn from the novels.) However, 007's drink of choice is actually bourbon:

Stick to the well-known brands: Old Grand-dad, I. W. Harper's, Walker's de luxe, Jack Daniel's (though in this country you may find the last one rather hard to obtain). ... For long car journeys or outdoorsy projects, have your flask filled with three-quarters bourbon and a quarter coffee. (Most sustaining.)

So, to recap: Miller's Highlife is the champagne of New York beers, Jack Daniel's is rare, and for a road trip, a flask of bourbon is a good idea.

Bonus points to the person who can tell me:

1. What the following drink, from the book, is called: "Take three measures of Gordon's gin, one measure of vodka, half a measure of Lillet vermouth. Shake very well until ice-cold. Serve in deep champagne goblet with large thin slice of lemon peel."

2. What it has to do with Casino Royale.

Maynard L. Parker/Courtesy of The Huntington Library in San Marino, California
The Concept of the American 'Backyard' is Newer Than You Think
A home in Long Beach, California, in the 1950s.
A home in Long Beach, California, in the 1950s.
Maynard L. Parker/Courtesy of The Huntington Library in San Marino, California

Backyards are as American as apple pie and baseball. If you live in a suburban or rural area, chances are good that you have a lawn, and maybe a pool, some patio furniture, and a grill to boot.

This wasn’t always the case, though. As Smithsonian Insider reports, it wasn’t until the 1950s that Americans began to consider the backyard an extension of the home, as well as a space for recreation and relaxation. After World War II, Americans started leaving the big cities and moving to suburban homes that came equipped with private backyards. Then, after the 40-hour work week was implemented and wages started to increase, families started spending more money on patios, pools, and well-kept lawns, which became a “symbol of prosperity” in the 1950s, according to a new Smithsonian Institution exhibit.

A man mows his lawn in the 1950s
In this photo from the Smithsonian Institution's exhibit, a man mows his lawn in Long Beach, California, in the 1950s.
Maynard L. Parker/Courtesy of The Huntington
Library in San Marino, California

Entitled "Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Back Yard," the exhibition includes photographs, advertisements, and articles about backyards from the 1950s and 1960s. The traveling display is currently on view at the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum in Temple, Texas, and from there it will head to Hartford, Connecticut, in December.

Prior to the 1950s, outdoor yards were primarily workspaces, reports. Some families may have had a vegetable garden, but most yards were used to store tools, livestock, and other basic necessities.

The rise of the backyard was largely fueled by materials that were already on hand, but hadn’t been accessible to the average American during World War II. As Smithsonian Insider notes, companies that had manufactured aluminum and concrete for wartime efforts later switched to swimming pools, patio furniture, and even grilling utensils.

A family eats at a picnic table in the 1960s
A family in Mendham, New Jersey, in the 1960s
Molly Adams/Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Maida Babson Adams American Garden Collection

At the same time, DIY projects started to come into fashion. According to an exhibit caption of a Popular Mechanics article from the 1950s, “‘Doing-it-yourself’ was advertised as an enjoyable and affordable way for families to individualize their suburban homes.” The magazine wrote at the time that “patios, eating areas, places for play and relaxation are transforming back yards throughout the nation.”

The American backyard continues to grow to this day. As Bloomberg notes, data shows that the average backyard grew three years in a row, from 2015 to 2017. The average home last year had 7048 square feet of outdoor space—plenty of room for a sizable Memorial Day cookout.

[h/t Smithsonian Insider]

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