Thursday, April 22, 2010
Spirit in the Sky: The Aviator
Here at JiggerWocky, we delight in any shred of culture Las Vegas has to offer, and we'd be remiss not to acknowledge our rich aviation history. No one did more for this sinful city than a certain eccentric billionaire.
Howard Hughes cultivated his image as the playboy filmmaker who discovered Jean Harlow and Jane Russell; the daredevil aviator who broke speed records in airplanes he designed. After his round-the-world flight of 1938, he became a national hero on par with Charles Lindburgh.
In 1946, while test-piloting the XF-11 photo reconnaissance plane, Hughes crashed the plane in Beverly Hills, Calif. He wasn't expected to live. The crash broke nearly every bone in his body, and doctors administered morphine liberally to ease his intense pain, beginning a lifelong addiction to opiates.
Even so, he remained a regular visitor to Las Vegas casinos during the 1940s and '50s, seen occasionally at the tables, more often escorting a gorgeous young woman into a restaurant or showroom.
2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons maraschino liqueur, preferably Luxardo
1/4 ounce Crème de Violette
Lemon twist, for garnish.
Combine the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to chill well, then strain into a cocktail glass. Drizzle the Crème de Violette into the glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Posted by B. Esplin at 12:50 PM