A History Lesson With Booze ®

Jane Fonda’s Workout and The VHS

Jane Fonda blazed a trail for leg-warmer-wearers everywhere with the release of her first workout video tape in 1982. It went on to sell millions of copies, which spiked VCR sales, and helped grow the fitness industry nationwide. While you certainly shouldn’t drink alcohol while exercising, here’s a custom (healthy!) concoction for your post-workout wind-down.

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Some of the biggest trends of the ‘80s… were thanks to Jane Fonda.

By that point, she’d already been a sex-symbol fashion model. She’d won two Academy Awards. And she’d angered a big chunk of America for visiting the enemy during Vietnam. There was just one realm left for her to conquer: fitness.

Ballet had been Jane’s workout of choice. But after breaking her foot, she turned to a new exercise regimen called “aerobics.” Soon she had her own aerobics studio… And a bestselling workout book. So bestselling it gave a guy named Stuart Karl an idea.

Karl produced VHS videotapes about home improvement. You played ‘em on these expensive newfangled contraptions called “Video Cassette Recorders.” Only about 5 percent of households even owned one. But Karl thought a video of Jane leading an aerobics class might sell a few copies. He was totally… wrong.

“Jane Fonda’s Workout” sold more like 17 million copies. To watch it, people had to buy VCR’s, arguably launching the home video boom. Aerobics became a nationwide craze, launching the fitness industry boom. And Jane’s workout uniform… launched a neon-colored-spandex-and-legwarmers boom.

Jane went on to appear in 29 more exercise videos, including one at age 75. She was the first non-engineer ever inducted into the Video Hall Of Fame.

The VHS

Photo credit: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com
Photo credit: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com

Be kind and unwind with this cocktail as recorded by Thom Sigsby of Mohawk Bend in Los Angeles, CA.

In a glass, muddle:

  • 1 large fresh strawberry (fruit!)
  • 3 fresh basil leaves (green!)
  • 1 tsp agave nectar (low glycemic index!)

Then add:

  • 1 ½ ounces TRU Organic Lemon Vodka (from local LA craft distillery Greenbar Collective; substitute as needed)
  • 1 ounce Fruitlab Organic Hibiscus Liquor (ditto)
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice

Pour into shaker over ice and shake, one-two. Shake again, three-four. Work those triceps, five-six. Oh, yeah, then strain into a cocktail glass.