Mad about the classics

This Sunday, Mad Men, the sexy sophisticated 1960’s drama, returns to television — and, I can’t wait. If you haven’t watched: the show follows the lives of Madison Avenue advertising executives. And the show is as much about 1960’s culture as it is about the drama-filled lives of colleagues at Sterling Cooper. Episodes have highlighted events surrounding JFK’s presidency (the election, Jackie O, the Cuban Missile Crisis), portrayed scenes from the traditional 1960’s family life, and it has certainly emphasized the drink and fashion trends of the time.

It would surprise few that First Lady, Jackie Kennedy, epitomized 1960’s fashion, especially during the early part of the decade. It was a time when women were very elegant, with their pillbox hats, suits, dresses with close-fitting waists, and purses that match shoes. Speaking of shoes, stiletto heels were widely popular during this period (then come the Go-Go boots). For a better glimpse of early 60’s fashion, check out the awesome images below, courtesy of AMC’s Mad Men photo gallery.

madmen1

The stars of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency

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The beautiful, yet troubled, Betty Draper

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The boys of Sterling Cooper

In addition to its focus on fashion, cocktail culture is also an important element on the show. Martini lunches and afternoon scotches are practically obligatory. The office and the home are filled with booze. There is so much drinking, you could seriously get a buzz from just watching. The great (okay, maybe scary) part is, it seems to be an accurate depiction. The New York Times published a recent article praising the authenticity of the drinking culture on the show. And, AMC has an extensive cocktail guide of popular 60’s drinks that you see the characters imbibing.

While Mr. and Mrs. S&C are worlds away from Don and Betty Draper, our tastes in cocktails happen to be similar. So, I’m thinking we should have these classics as we toast the show’s return: Old Fashioned for him; Tom Collins for her (it’s really quite refreshing). Both recipes serve one, and contain ingredients that are considered staples in any home bar.

Old Fashioned

Ingredients:drink_oldFashioned

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1½ oz bourbon
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 lemon wedge

Instructions:

Dissolve sugar with bitters and about a tsp of water in an old fashioned or rocks glass. Add cherry, orange slice, and lemon wedge and muddle (use back of spoon if no muddler is available). Fill with ice. Pour in bourbon and stir well. Garnish with extra orange slice and cherry, if extra are available.

Tom Collins

Ingredients:drink_tomCollins

  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar (superfine or simple syrup)
  • 1½ oz gin
  • Seltzer water or club soda
  • Lemon slices and a maraschino cherry

Instructions:

Dissolve sugar with lemon juice, if needed. Shake together with gin over ice. Strain and pour into a collins glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with lemon slices and a cherry.

Fun Fact:

The Tom Collins is in the fizz category of drinks (almost a twin sister of the drink gin fizz). TC is referred to as a plain fizz, and recommended as an “eye opener” for the “morning after the night before.” – from “Cocktail Bill” Boothby’s World Drinks and How to Mix Them

posted by Ms. S&C

One response to “Mad about the classics

  1. So far not so impressed with this season… the oddness and abruptness or commerical breaks especially

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