Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: Old Fashioned

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Hello and Happy Father’s Day 2016. My dad is a Wine Guy but on a recent trip to visit me in NYC, we discovered that he’s an Old Fashioned Guy too! This post was written during my send off to the show Mad Men and contains a few Old Fashioned recipes that every dad can enjoy. Cheers!

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To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring a different cocktail from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

As I write this post, I’m drinking an Old Fashioned and re-watching the very first episode of Mad Men. I can’t really put into words how much this show means to me. This is actually the first time in my life that I’ve followed a show to the very end while it was on air. Mad Men is my Sopranos and I really hope Matthew Weiner writes a knockout of an ending.

In the first scene of S1E1, Don establishes his iconic drink of choice with the phrase, “Yeah, we’ll do this again. Old Fashioned please.” Then he drinks them over and over and over again throughout the show. I would even say that along with many of other Classic Cocktails back in vogue, Don Draper put the Old Fashioned on our minds.

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Mad Men Don Joan Old Fashioned

Both images via AMC.

The thing about the Old Fashioned it that is the original cocktail and to me, that says a lot about Don Draper. It says he likes to keep things simple. He wants to be respected. He is a whiskey man like many other people from farm country. He likes to present a persona of being classic and is attached to a certain time period.

According to historical records, the first written mention of the word cocktail included a definition that it “should be a potent concoction of spirit, bitters, water and sugar.” Well, we have our recipe, let’s start with the most classic version of an Old Fashioned.

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Ingredients: Water, Bitters, Sugar, Barspoon, double Rocks glass. 

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Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Rye
  • 2 dashes Angostura or Aromatic Bitters
  • barspoon Sugar or 1 Sugar Cube
  • 1/4 oz Water
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherry and Orange peel

Build in double Rocks glass:

  1. Add Sugar, Water and Bitters to glass and stir until sugar is nearly dissolved.
  2. Add Rye and stir until everything has mixed properly
  3. Add ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved (around 10 seconds)
  4. Add Cherry, express Orange peel and garnish

Mad Men Modern Old Fashioned

Image via AMC

In the photo above, Don is muddling a Cherry into his Old Fashioned and even adds Soda Water to the drink before he stirs it. This scene actually caused quite a stir amongst the Cocktail community because “it was a gross Old Fashioned! Never muddle the fruit! No Soda Water ever!” Y’all, come on, let the people do what they want to do with their fruit. Besides, there is actually a Modern Old Fashioned with muddled fruit in it.

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Simple Syrup, Bitters, two Cherries, one Orange wedge, muddler and double Rocks glass.

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Modern Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Rye
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • ~1/4 oz Simple Syrup (less if your Orange is really sweet)
  • 2 small Orange slices
  • 2 Maraschino Cherries

Build in double Rocks Glass:

  1. Add Simple Syrup, Orange Slices, Cherries and muddle.
  2. Add Rye, Bitters, and ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved.

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Now let’s talk about other Old Fashioned options including one of my favourites, the Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned. I’ve written about these mixers before and I will write about them until the end of time because they are INCREDIBLE. The Spiced Old Fashioned mixer is truly delicious, it tastes just as delicious as a classic Old Fashioned and is very simple to make.

HINT: BUY THIS MIXER.

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Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned

  • 4 parts Whiskey
  • 1 part Mixer
  • Garnishes: Orange peel and Maraschino Cherry

Build in glass:

  1. Combine ingredients over ice and stir.
  2. Add Cherry, express orange peel and garnish.

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Recommended types of bitters for your Whiskey Old Fashioneds.

Back in Nov 2014, I wrote a post about how Old Fashioneds are the best kind of drink to make when hosting a big party because you can use so many types of Spirits, Sweeteners, Bitters and Garnishes. Check it out if you’d like to make a few with Aged Rum, Añejo Tequila or Apple Brandy.

Mad Men Old Fashioned Hawaii

Well, like pensive Don having an Old Fashioned in Hawaii, I shall be be awaiting the end of this magnificent show. Bye Bye Mad Men!

If you’d like to peruse the other Mad Men cocktails I’ve written during this last season, check them out here.

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Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: the Martini

Martini-Olives

To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring a different cocktail from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

You guys, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE LAST TWO EPISODES!?! Will Don drive to California for that “golden state dream” that he’s always had? Will he go to the family farm and encounter something terrible? Will he go back to Manhattan and jump out of the window at McCann? You know he’s always had a thing about death…

OMINOUS!

As we near the end of the show, you knew that one of these posts had to include Martinis and so here we are!

Mad Men Roger Martini

Look at Roger’s Casual but serious Martini with an Olive. Image via AMC.

Mad Men Jim Martini

And here Jim is looking very sharp with his Martini with an Olive. Image via AMC.

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I like to drink my Martinis in the following format:

Martini

  • 2 1/4 oz Plymouth Dry Gin
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Dry Vermouth
  • Garnish: Lemon peel or Olives

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a nice long stir. Strain into chilled coupe and garnish.

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Here it is again with a Lemon peel. If you’re going to add the lemon peel, perhaps add two dashes of Orange Bitters.

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Here are the PPL chaps and Duck having a Gibson Martini which is essentially a martini with more Gin, less Vermouth and a cocktail Onion. Image via Netflix screen grab.

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I don’t have any Cocktail Onions at home but I do have some delicious pickled Red Onion that my girlfriend made so we’ll go with that! This is quite tasty by the bye, definitely onion-y but certainly tasty.

Gibson Martini

  • 2 3/4 oz Dry Gin
  • 1/4 – 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Garnish: Cocktail Onion or (in this case) pickled Red Onion.

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a lonnnnnng stir. Strain into chilled coup and garnish with Onion.

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Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed Martini Time! May your drinks be delicious and our Mad Men viewing not give us all heart attacks! Cheers!

I’ll be doing this series until the end of Mad Men, so see you next week!

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: Bloody Mary

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To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring a different cocktail from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

As you’ve guessed by now, I’m obsessed with Mad Men. The tension is killing me, Joan’s outfits are unparalleled (absolutely undeniably unparalleled) and the drinks are classic. For this week’s Mad Men post, I nearly chose the title “Eye Openers” cause so many of the characters on this show drink in the morning. Don and Pete drink Whiskey neat or on the rocks as soon as they get to the office, Roger drank a Screwdriver several times and let’s not ever forget this:

Mad Men Roger Vodka Milk

Roger – “Mona, I AM drinking my milk right now.” (Hahaha, gross!) Image courtesy of AMC.com

Often though, in the conference room, at formal or informal meetings the Mad Men and Women are drinking a Bloody Mary.

Mad Men Joan Roger Bloody Mary

Image couresy of AMC.com

Mad Men Roger Bloody Mary

Image couresy of AMC.com

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Bloody Mary, the original drink of the #GarnishKween.

There are loads of Bloody Mary recipes out there with garnishes ranging from celery stalks, lemon wedges and pickled vegetables to strips of bacon and shrimp. If you’re looking for a place to start, I’d recommend the Wikipedia article about the IBA version of the Bloody Mary. Once you know what traditionally goes into “the most complicated cocktail in the world”, you can play around with it!

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Home Bar Girl’s Bloody Mary

  • 2 oz Vodka, Gin, or Tequila
  • ~4 oz Tomato Juice (Amount depends on your glass)
  • 1/2 oz fresh Lemon & Lime Juice*
  • 1/2 oz Olive Brine
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 dashes Cholula Mexican Hot Sauce
  • 1 tbsp prepared Horseradish
  • 1 dash Celery Salt
  • Cracked Pepper to taste
  • Garnishes: Celery Stalks, Cherry Tomato, Cucumber Slices, Lemon Wheel, pitted cocktail Olives, sprig of Rosemary

Build in Collins glass, add ice and stir. Garnish like a Kween.

*Lemon & Lime Juice: juice both citrus and combine so they are approximately equal parts

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Hope you enjoy your Bloody Mary! Cheers!

I’ll be doing this series until the end of Mad Men, so see you next week!

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: Tom Collins

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To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring different cocktails from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

As we get further into Season 7, one has to wonder, what is Don’s next step? His life has been completely upheaved and he feels very distant from his family and familiar connections. He is a man without a plan possibly for the first time since he became Donald Draper.

Mad Men Sally Tom Collins

Sally Draper: the youngest Home Bar Girl 

For this week’s drink, we harken back to a time when Don was very connected to Betty and his children. In S2E2, “Flight 1”, Francine and Carlton come over to the Draper’s house for Drinks and Cards. Don has instructed Sally on how to make Old Fashioneds which she gives to he and Carlton. Don then tells Sally to “go take Mommy and Francine’s orders”.

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Don: the proudest father of a Home Bar Girl

Sally returns saying, “two Tom Collins.” Don replies, “ok, you don’t smash the cherry on that. Just plop it in at the end. Try to keep it in the top of the glass. Gin.”

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Sally knows that a great Home Bar Girl is a great listener.

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A Tom Collins is a simple drink by any standard but it’s origin story varies wildly and the “original recipes” have a range of amounts. The first recipe which could be considered a “Tom Collins” is a Gin Twist from 1871 calling for 2 oz Genever or Old Tom Gin, 1 oz Lemon Juice and 2 bar spoons of sugar. It is the use of Old Tom Gin in the drink which many suspect why its name was changed to “Tom Collins” in 1876. In this iteration as well as the next few of the Tom Collins, the amount of Lemon and Sugar and types of Sugar change.

Essentially, it’s one of those “whatever you think tastes best” drinks!

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I like to make mine with Demerara Simple Syrup and Old Tom gin but you should use whatever you like the most! Superfine sugar and Bombay Dry? Sounds amazing! Agave and New American Gin? Sure!

I like mine in the following format.

Tom Collins

  • 2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1/2 oz  Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Demerara Simple Syrup
  • Club Soda
  • Garnish: Lemon Slices (Several versions add a Maraschino Cherry)

Combine Gin, Lemon Juice and Simple Syrup in tin and stir until ingredients have combined. Pour into Collins glass with Ice and Lemon Slices. Pour Club Soda on top and stir again.

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If you want to liven up your Tom Collins a bit, add a dash or two of bitters. I’d recommend any of the above bitters, possibly even a combination!

  • 18.21 Earl Grey Bitters
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Dr. Adam Elemegirab’s Boker’s Bitters
  • Regans’ Orange Bitters
  • Scrappy’s Celery Bitters

Cheers!

I’ll be doing this series until the end of Mad Men, so see you next week!

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: Tiki Cocktails

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Blue Hawaii & Mai Tai

To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring different cocktails from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

By now, y’all should know that my love for Mad Men is deeeeep. It’s a meticulously filmed show with fabulous fashion, the story has me in the grip, and the cocktails are beauuuuutiful!

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Don’t you just love Megan’s hat? Beach hat perfection!

In the opening scenes of S6E1, Don and Megan are in Hawaii. (I want to be in Hawaii RIGHT NOW!) As Don reads an incredibly ominous passage from Dante’s Inferno, Megan’s second (third, fourth?) Blue Hawaii is delivered by one of the Hotel Staff. It’s almost like Don and Megan are in totally opposite worlds in these scenes. She, lost in her tan and tropical cocktails, Don in a brooding haze.

If I had to choose between those two temperments, I would totally be #TeamMegan in this scene. Give me the next Blue Hawaii!

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When it comes to making classic Tropical and Tiki drinks, I like to be accurate! I use the Beachbum Berry Total Tiki app to look up recipes and then make them as closely to the original as possible. Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 by Harry K Yee of the Hawaiian Village Hotel in Waikiki to promote Bols Blue Curaçao. Personally, I like to use “The Genuine” Senior Curaçao cause this shit is tastyyyyyy.

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Blue Hawaii

  • 3/4 oz White Rum
  • 3/4 oz Vodka*
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curaçao
  • 1 oz Sweet & Sour Mix**
  • 3 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish: Not specified but usually Pineapple & Maraschino Cherry

Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a glass filled with Cracked, Crushed or Pebble ice. Garnish with fruit.

*I’m a Gin Gal and ususally swap the Vodka for Gin. Ginny, Gin, Gin. This drink is even tastier with Gin. (shocking!)

**Sweet & Sour Mix is 1 part Simple Syrup and 2 Parts Lemon Juice. Make your own, never ever buy it pre-made. Freshness is key.

Rachel Menken Mai Tai

RIP Rachel Menken, you were such a serious lady.

Now let’s go back to the beginning. Yes y’all, there is a Tiki drink all the way back in S1E1!

Don has made a mess of things with Rachel Menken and is asked by the partners to patch things up. They go for drinks that same evening. Don orders a Whiskey Neat while Rachel orders a “special Mai Tai” and what a Mai Tai at that! Look at that Pineapple “Firebird” garnish! It’s totally fabulous! Someday I will achieve such garnish greatness. However, I’ve noticed that the Mad Men props people forgot one key element to a Mai Tai garnish, the Mint sprig.

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If it be a Mai Tai, there shall be a Mint Sprig in the garnish!

Once again, I’ve referenced the Beachbum Berry Total Tiki app for this Mai Tai. The original Mai Tai was created by Trader Vic in 1944 for his famous Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. According to legend, Trader Vic created the drink for some friends of his who had just flown in from Tahiti. One of the friends tasted the drink and exclaimed: “Maita’i roa ae!” or “Out of this world!”

Mai Tai (Trader Vic’s Original Recipe)

  • 1 oz Jamaican Rum
  • 1 oz Aged Martinique Rhum
  • 1/2 oz Curaçao
  • 1/4 oz Orgeat
  • 1/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Mint Sprig

Now, I’ve had to make some substitutions because I don’t have clear Curaçao or Martinique Rhum. I also would rather have a bit more Orgeat in my drink than add 1/4 oz Simple Syrup.

Mai Tai (this is what Home Bar Girl has in her apartment Recipe)

  • 1 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaica Rum
  • 1 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Mint Sprig, Pineapple, Maraschino Cherry

Shake ingredients over ice and strain into Double Rocks glass on Cracked, Crushed or Pebble ice. Garnish with Mint Sprig, Pineapple and Maraschino Cherry.

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As far as the Mai Tai goes, there are a million variations so, have fun! I just recommend that you start with two kinds of Rum, some kind of Curaçao or Triple Sec, Orgeat, Lime Juice and a Mint sprig. Once you’ve got a feel for how these things taste together, get creative!

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed these Tiki drinks from the Mad Men series. I’ll be doing this until the bitter end. See you next week!

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: the Gimlet

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To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring a different cocktail from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

I’m very emotionally invested in Mad Men. The characters are so well written, the fashion and attention to detail are unparalleled. It’s witty, charming and so so serious. I’ve watched the entire show multiple times and am looking forward to/nervous about the last Season!

For S7 E8 I’ll be drinking one of mine and Betty Draper’s favourite cocktails, The Gimlet.

Betty Draper gimlet

Doesn’t Betty look magnificent? Stunning. Image courtesy of AMC.

Traditionally Gimlets were made with Rose’s Lime juice with the following specs.

Traditional Gimlet

  • 1 oz Gin or Vodka
  • 1 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Lime wedge

Shake over ice and strain into Martini Glass or Coupe. Garnish with Lime Wedge.

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Betty likes her drinks with Vodka but I’m a Gin Gal and this is how I like to make my Gimlet.

Fresh Gimlet

  • 2 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz Demerara Syrup
  • Garnish: Lime Wheel

Shake and strain over ice. Lime Wheel Garnish.

Gimlet-Variation

If you want to make really tasty variation on a Gimlet, add a couple of dashes of Chartreuse Vert, Absinthe or both.

I’ll be doing this series until the end of Mad Men, so see you next week!