The Cocktails of Mad Men

Smith & Ratliff's Guide to Mad Men Cocktails

At long last, the season five premiere of Mad Men will air this weekend, and to help you celebrate we’ve made a few period-perfect cocktails, ideal for your viewing party or just a quiet day at the office.

After combing all four seasons, we picked the three cocktails that our favorite characters can be found enjoying regularly.

Cocktail from Mad Men

Roger Sterling prefers the clear spirits, and favors a three-martini diet when entertaining clients.

The martini has a startling number of variations, from those who like equal parts dry vermouth and gin to those who favor the Winston Churchill method of giving a bow in the direction of France. We made ours with 2 ounces of gin and 1/2 an ounce of dry vermouth.

A martini like Roger Sterling drinks in Mad Men

In a mixing glass filled with ice, gently stir the gin and vermouth until extremely cold. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a Castelvetrano olive.

The vivid green hue adds a dramatic exclamation point to this icy statement—a statement Roger has surely used to seal a number of deals.

Brandy Alexander cocktail from Mad Men

Peggy Olson, junior copywriter, likes to order a Brandy Alexander to show off her sophisticated, feminine side to all the boys back in Brooklyn.

The creamy and sweet cocktail appeals to anyone who likes a drink that isn’t harsh or overwhelmed with alcohol.

Photo shows how to rim a cocktail glass

First, moisten the rim of a cocktail glass and glide the rim along a plate of ground nutmeg to coat the edges.

Combine 2 ounces brandy, a 1/2 ounce white crème de cacao, and a 1/2 ounce of heavy cream in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into the cocktail glass and grate nutmeg over top, to taste.

Old Fashioned cocktail like Don Draper drinks

Finally, Don Draper’s signature cocktail throughout the series has been the Old-Fashioned. This drink is what gets Don through a paperwork heavy day at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, to dinner with clients, and all the way back home. He’s even given Conrad Hilton himself a masterclass when no barman was available.

To start, place a sugar cube in an rocks glass. Wet it down with 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a splash of water or club soda. Muddle the sugar cube and rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters line the bottom. Add a large ice cube and 2 ounces of rye whiskey. Garnish with a lemon twist and brandied cherry.

Old Fashioned cocktail with rye

Much like the martini, the Old-Fashioned comes with numerous variations. Orange slices, lemon slices, cherries, pineapples and other fruit have been found muddled in the bottom of this delicious since Prohibition, used to mask the taste of the alcohol. In our opinion, the drink is sweet enough with a sugar cube, so keep the fruit salad out and just stick with a lemon twist and a cherry.

After 17 long months of waiting, we’re ready for another season of shake-ups. (And a drink!) Any predictions you care to share?

– Ryan and Laura



21 thoughts on “The Cocktails of Mad Men”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *