The sixth season of Mad Men premieres this Sunday, April 7, at 9 p.m. on AMC, and already the spoilers are coming in from blogs and online magazines. We won't share any of them, except to state the obvious -- the two hour episode will have Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Joan Harris, and the rest of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce jumping into the mid-'60s where Don is still working the ad game, this time traveling to Hawaii to woo a hotel account.
In addition to the fine acting, sharp attention to detail regarding 60's fashion, and a great storyline, Mad Men fans look forward to the characters' incredibly decadent ways. Be it smoking, cheating, or drinking, these men and women sure know how to live life to the fullest.
We asked Robert Ferrara, head bartender at Swine Southern Table &
Bar, to pay homage to Mad Men by sharing some cocktail recipes worthy of a
watch party. Some are straight classics of the '60s, some are
reinvented takes on favorites. All of them are available at the restaurant or make them at home with these recipes.
Robert Ferrara tells us not to fear the vermouth. "So many bars don't even put it in a gin martini anymore, but the classic gin martini calls for vermouth. I like my martinis made with equal parts of the two ingredients." Ferrara makes his case for vermouth with a 50/50 martini, with a hint of orange bitters. It's fragrant, smooth, and the vermouth and orange bring out the herbal notes in the gin. Layne Price hung himself last season, but we picture Joan toasting the Brit with one of these in his honor.
50/50 Gin Martini
Equal parts Plymouth gin and Dolin vermouth
Fresh orange peel
Stir gin, vermouth, and bitters in iced mixing glass. Strain into chilled martini glass. Run the orange peel across the rim of the glass and use the peel as garnish.
Don Draper is a dark spirits man who appreciates a well made cocktail. Old fashioneds and Manhattans are his domain. Ferrara's take on a Manhattan uses Cynar, an Italian liqueur made from artichokes, and (what else) Hudson Manhattan Rye. The ingredients used spell out 212 -- the classic New York City area code. How Don Draper can you get?
2 oz. Hudson Manhattan rye
1 oz Cynar
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Dirty cherry for garnish
Stir ingredients in iced mixing glass. Pour into chilled coupe glass and drop in the dirty cherry.
Roger Sterling, on the other hand, is a vodka drinker. We're not sure whether he's embracing a new trend (vodka wasn't really popular until the early 1960s) or he feels he can drink a lot more of the spirit without everyone smelling it on his breath. We think he'd be interested in trying something a little dangerous. With the cold war lurking, a Moscow Mule sounds like a subversive and naughty drink that Roger would absolutely embrace. Swine's Ferrara uses house made ginger syrup and a touch of sparkling water, but you can use ginger beer at home.
1 1/2 oz Russian vodka
Fresh lime juice
Pour the vodka into a copper mug (or glass) filled with coarsely crushed ice. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the vodka, then top with ginger beer. Garnish with mint.
We can't wait to see if Joan and Roger got back together, but we're figuring that she needs a nice cocktail either way.The Harvey Wallbanger is basically a screwdriver with an additional ingredient. A touch of Galliano gives the drink new depth and the licorice flavor makes the fresh orange juice "pop". Maybe this will mark the revival of a tall drink that's very sipworthy.
1 1/2 oz. Russian vodka
6 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 Galliano floater
Build drink into tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with fresh orange slices.
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