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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Don Draper's Old Fashioned | Mad Men

Don Draper's Old Fashioned #PartyLikeaMadMan
A term coined in the late 1950's to describe the advertising executives of Madison Avenue.
They coined it.

Ready or not, the final season of Mad Men kicks off in just over a week. Me? I only have a handful of episodes under my belt. You see, back when Mad Men first started, we were not yet living in the land of cable television. Crazy, right? I don't know what I'd do without it now. They were already into season twp by the time we did finally crawl out from under our rock. And can I just tell you, I hate walking into a show once it's already begun; much like starting a book series at the second or third book—I just can't do it. So, I put it off and put it off and...yeah...I put it off.

I would catch moments here and there, but I'd be sure to flip the channel before I gave myself any spoilers for my future binge-watching sessions. Now that the final season is getting ready to begin, I've finally started watching it. I did the same thing with Breaking Bad. I didn't watch a single episode, but then caught a marathon on a few weeks before the final season was going to begin. I was hooked. Let's just say that Netflix was on my tablet, which I carried with me everywhere I went, until I caught myself up. I did that in approximately four days. I know I probably shouldn't admit that, but it's truth.

So, I started Mad Men a few days ago, competely clueless to the fact that this show has a boat-load of food and drinks in it. Maybe somebody whose mind isn't trained to spot food inspiration at every corner wouldn't even notice, but really—it's almost all that catches my eye. The show itself opens with the handsome Don Draper scribbling on some bar napkins, trying to figure out his next great ad pitch, empty glass next to him. When the waiter asks him if he can get him another drink, he says:

"Yeah, do this again. Old Fashioned, please."
Don Draper's Old Fashioned #PartyLikeaMadMan
Although an Old Fashioned has many variations, Don likes his with the orange slice and cherry muddled, his whisky preferably rye. Thanks to The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, I've read that his drink of choice makes regular appearances throughout the series. Joan even tells Betty, Mr. Draper's new secretary, to "keep a fifth of something in your desk. Mr. Draper drinks rye.".

Not only does the alcohol flow freely in Mad Men, the homes and offices feature some fantastic barware that I would love to get my hands on. I thought there'd be no more fitting way to celebrate the final season of Mad Men than the way it all began, with Don Draper's Old Fashioned.

Don Draper's Old Fashioned
An Old Fashioned made the way Don Draper likes it, with muddled fruit and his "beloved rye" to celebrate the final season of Mad Men.
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Don Draper's Old Fashioned
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: beverage

Ingredients (1 cocktail)
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • few drops Angostura bitters
  • splash of soda water
  • 2.5 ounces rye whiskey
Place the orange slice, cherry, sugar, bitters and soda water in the bottom of a glass. Muddle (smash) everything around to release the orange and cherry flavors and dissolve the sugar.

Add a couple of ice cubes, then pour the whiskey over the top. Stir a bit to combine. Enjoy.

-very slightly adapted from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook
Virtual Mad Men Finale Party #PartyLikeaMadMan
Now, I'm not partying alone (that would be so un-Mad Men-esque). I'm joining The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook and bunch of other bloggers to throw this virtual celebration!

So what do you say, are you ready to party like a Mad Man? April 5 is the final season premiere—how will you celebrate? For more ideas and inspiration, check out the Virtual Mad Men Dinner Party Page!

Earlier I mentioned that there was already so much food and drink inspiration in the first season. Here are just a few of things, other than Don's Old Fashioned, that have already been enjoyed: Vodka Gimlet, Gin Gimlet, Filet of Sole, Steak (cooked in the pan, with butter), Caesar Salad, Martini, Waldorf Salad, Creamed Spinach, Goulash, Shrimp Cocktail, Bloody Mary, Lobster Newburg, Potatoes Au Gratin, Mint Julep, Celery stuffed with Cream Cheese, and Birthday cake. See, I told ya!

Here's a few links to recipes that would fit in perfectly at any Mad Men finale party (and don't forget to check out The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook for more great ideas!):