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Drinking Cocktails ala Mad Men

Sarah Williams

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Sarah Williams | September 27, 2013 | 0

Mad Men Cocktail Drinks

With Season 6 having wrapped up a couple of months ago, you have to admit that you’re already missing Don Draper and his cocktail-swilling, cigarette-smoking bunch. Unless you’re a teetotaler, the show probably got you thinking (and probably drinking) what the hell they’re drinking on the show (they’re just onion water and apple juice really). Here’s the bar list:

Old Fashioned. Deemed by Esquire as the “manliest cocktail order,” the old fashioned is one of the most popular drinks in the 1960s. It’s Don Draper’s drink of choice when he’s not having Canadian Club Whisky on the rocks. A side trivia: an “Old Timer” once wrote an angry letter to the New York Times in 1936 about how the Prohibition contributed to the bastardization of the Martini, Manhattan and his favorite drink, the old-fashioned whiskey cocktail. According to this “Old Timer,” said whiskey-cocktail should be made with bourbon and a small sugar cube moistened with angostura bitters. This “purist” version is probably what Don orders and has made for a fictionalized version of hotelier Conrad Hilton on the show.

Manhattan. Peggy Olson, Sterling Cooper’s former junior copywriter, can be seen sipping a Manhattan most notably in an episode where her boyfriend Mark breaks up with her. You can also see Sterling Cooper’s busy bees with a Manhattan in hand at one of their office parties. Perhaps it’s the candy-ish taste of the Manhattan (due to the sweet vermouth) that makes it likeable to the ladies.

Martini. The Martini is a favorite of Roger Sterling. Sterling, as you may have observed, keeps to clear liquors. He does like to indulge in variety though from time to time, mixing milk with his go-to, not to mention, smuggled Stolichnaya. Sterling notoriously downed one too many of this strong cocktail in an oyster-eating lunch marathon with Don after which he almost retched his guts out in front of his peers. It’s no wonder why considering the cocktail’s recipe (parts vermouth and gin).

Vodka Gimlet. Betty Draper usually enjoys a Tom Collins or Vodka Gimlet when she’s out and about. (Segue: “vodka gimlet betty draper” is a popular search term on Google. Try it.) The Vodka Gimlet is Betty’s drink of choice and she had one too many of this drink during a dinner with Don, Roger Sterling and his wife on a Season 1 episode. Her famous bon mot before throwing up: “Lobster Newburg and Gimlets should get a divorce. They’re not getting along well.”

Bloody Mary. You’ll see a young Sally Draper whipping out a Bloody Mary one lazy afternoon the whole family was at home in one of the Season 2 episodes. Bloody Mary is a popular “hair of the dog,” made from tomato juice, a known cure for hangovers, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. It’s also a wholesome, refreshing drink to order at a restaurant when you’re having dinner with the family, especially if you don’t want your kids to think you’re an alcoholic.

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