There are certain classic cocktails that are meant to be on everyone’s drinking bucket-list. (Wait, everyone does have a drinking bucket-list, right? Just me? Okay.) In this previous post, I recounted what went down at the unveiling of ‘Made for Gentlemen’ by Chivas Regal at Caramel Lounge. I also not-so-subtly mused that the last time I saw so many good looking, influential and downright dapper men was in the Television show, Mad Men. Consequently, that got me obsessing about Mad Men…that totally awesome show that revolves around the world of 1960’s advertising and drinks; lots and lots of drinks.
Being set in the era of the three-Martini lunch, it is no wonder the characters were often sauntering about with a glass in hand. It was a time of great taste and everything in excess after all! Here are five classic cocktails featured in this oh so awesome show, and that you must endeavor to try at least once in your lifetime.
There are many sours in the world, but whiskey sour is the boss of them all. This is downright one of my favourite cocktails, with the best I’ve ever had being mixed by Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, Douglas Duncanson. Get some whisky, lemon juice, sugar syrup and a dash of egg white- which to me is certainly not optional- and you’re good to go. Just be sure to make a good decision on the whiskey.
Many neat drinks which come in various colours and flavours are often referred to as Martinis. A true Martini, whose recipe you can find here, is however simply composed of dry vermouth and gin with either an olive or lemon twist garnish. Mad Men is set at the very height of the vodka boom when Russian liquor was becoming a hit in America. The show therefore favours the Vodka Martini and even the Dry Martini.
This drink was so prevalent on the show it might as well have been nominated for a ‘Best Supporting Character’ Emmy. It is one of the easiest whiskies to make and is certainly an essential in any cocktail repertoire. As it is more about the process than ingredients, there’s no better excuse to hone your muddling technique. Start by muddling bitters, sugar, a slice of orange, add ice and bourbon and stir the mix. If you like you can add club soda, though some purist is probably rolling in his grave as I write this.
Okay, you get it. Mad Men (and women) love their whisky. The martini is to gin what the manhattan is to whisky. It is traditionally made with rye whisky or bourbon, and even Canadian whisky and Tennessee whisky. Unlike with the Martini’s dry vermouth, sweet vermouth is used and a cherry is the customary garnish.
It is hardly surprising that the ultimate hangover drink, the bloody mary, made various guest appearances during morning meetings on Mad Men. The ingredients you need are vodka, tomato juice, hot and Worcestershire sauces, lemon, pepper or Tabasco sauce, various spices, celery and lemon, and you’re good to go. You can also make it a virgin by skipping the vodka.
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