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Day 67: The Charles Atlas Seal of Approval

"A weakling, weighing ninety-eight pounds will get sand in his face, when kicked to the ground. And soon in the gym, with a determined chin, the sweat from his pores, as he works for his cause..." There's something about those lyrics that will never get old for me, but then again, I was once the boy in the gold speedo after all.

Hello thirsty readers, and thanks again for joining me on this sixty-seventh day of our strange journey. I told myself I wouldn't do another Rocky Horror drink. I told myself I wouldn't do it, but rules were meant to be broken. Waking up today, every muscle in my body was so sore, and I couldn't help but think about all the "get fit quick" gimmicks we see in advertisements. Having lost around twenty pounds so far during quarantine, it's hard not to be resentful to these "quick fix" scams. There truly is no substitute for good physical exercise, but it doesn't come easy.


In 1892, a young man was born in Cosenza, Italy. His name was Angelo Siciliano, but the world would come to know him as Charles Atlas. Moving to Brooklyn at a young age, saying young Angelo was scrawny would be an understatement. It's said, he weighed a mere ninety-seven pounds when, as the story goes, he had sand kicked in his face at the beach. Vowing to never be pushed around again, he set out to change his body, turning himself into America's first fitness icon, advertising his 7-Day Dynamic Tension program in comic books.

One person, who took notice of the Charles Atlas ads, was Richard O'Brien, who would later write The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Inspired by the kitsch of the 1950's horror movies, and mid-century iconography, he combined them with the ever-present sensuality of the 1970's. What the world received was a rock and roll musical production unlike any other. My favorite part though, has to be the inspiration for the title character, Rocky Horror.

This idea of "making a man" in seven days. It's a strange concept today. We've all been exposed to health and fitness at some point in our lives. I mean, society pretty much pushes it down our throats. Obviously, being fit or strong has zero do to with gender, and "being a man" has nothing to do with muscles. I find it funny though, how many men still can't seem to drink a cocktail based on the glassware in which it's served. When I did my Rocky Horror menu, I thought I'd have a little fun with this. "I'll have whatever's closest to and old fashioned." Try worrying about your "man glass" when it's crusted in gold leaf and wearing a half naked beefcake on the rim.


The Charles Atlas

Seal of Approval

1oz Rye Whiskey (I used Wild Turkey 101, I mean, can a drink get more "manly" than using a whiskey named for a turkey hunt?)

1oz Aged Jamaican Rum (I reccomend something pretty rich here, Worthy Park Single Estate is my favorite for this drink)

.25oz Orange Liqueur (I went a bit high-end and used Grand Marnier 1880, but I'm sure the regular stuff would work just fine)

.25oz Pineapple Liqueur (Giffard Caribbean Pineapple)

4 dashes Orange Bitters

Double Old Fashioned Glass

Stir and strain over large cut ice.

Garnish with gold leaf and muscle man.


What's the moral of the story, my thirsty readers? When you're allowed back in bars, and the cocktails are flowing once more, drink it how it's served. If the drink color or glassware selection makes you feel insecure, then you probably don't belong in public. Your issues lie much deeper than this, and alcohol probably isn't a good choice for you. If that's the case, do us all a favor, and stay quarantined, hug your pillow, play your fantasy-sports role-playing clubs, and watch Roadhouse, or whatever you guys do when you're alone. As for the rest of you lovely people out there, keep your spirits high and keep shaking.


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