Classic Mad Men Cocktails


Cocktails have been an essential element of Mad Men from season one. Mad Men has made classic cocktails come back in fashion.

Entertaining in the 60’s often featured cocktails, not wine. When Julia Child published “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in 1961, that was about the time Americans became interested in wine. There weren’t too many popular wineries in America. Betty was ahead of her time serving wine at her dinner parties because cocktails were still all the rage in the 60’s.

I feel nostalgic for that era and I’m a child of the 70’s! The music (when Don Draper takes his daughter to a Beatles concert), the fashion (Betty Draper looks like Grace Kelly with her full skirts and perfect hair) AND the cocktails of the 60’s!! I like the idea of opening an archive to the past. Those historical views make me think of my parents and that makes me smile.

Season seven won’t begin until April 13th. Until then, here are some cocktails to help get you ready for the final season.


The Stolen Negroni

Combine 1 oz gin, 1 oz cynar and 1 oz of aperol in an ice-filled cocktail glass.  Stir well. Strain into a cocktail coupe and serve with an orange twist garnish.

The fruity and flowery flavor of the Aperol gives it just the right amount of sweetness. It’s a perfect apéritif and the color is so beautiful. I imagine Betty enjoying this cocktail in Italy when she went to Rome with Don. 

If you like the Stolen Negroni, then try the Negroni Flip too!

Brandy Alexander

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.

The Brandy Alexander is perfect for fall evenings. Who needs desert when you can drink this! Peggy Olson ordered this cocktail to show off her sophistication and get her through an unsuccessful date.

The Old-Fashioned

To start, place a sugar cube in a rocks glass. Sprinkle with 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a splash of water or club soda. Add a citrus wheel and cherry. Muddle the sugar cube and rotate the glass so that the sugar grains, bitters line the bottom and to release fruit juices. Add a large ice cube and 2 ounces of rye whiskey.

One of my favorite Mad Men scenes was when Don Draper makes an Old-Fashioned for Conrad Hilton when the there was no barman around. This is Don Draper’s signature cocktail. He even has his daughter make it for him at home. 


“You need three ingredients for a cocktail. Vodka and Mountain Dew is an emergency.” ~Peggy Olson

“You don’t know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it’s good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it’s what men do.” ~Roger Sterling

Have a drink, It’ll make me look younger.” ~Roger Sterling


More Mad Men…

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Mad Men

The 7 Best Musical Moments of Mad Men

Don Drapers Guide to America


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