Sunday, October 17, 2010

Destinations: The Mad Men Finale Parties Oct 17th

The fourth season of AMC's  acclaimed Mad Men comes to an end Sunday October 17th. It has been a harrowing season at the Sterling Cooper Draper Price advertising agency.  We have witnessed Don Draper's roller coaster ride in a bottle of Canadian Club that even included a "Lost Weekend", SCDP's reversal of fortune with the loss of Lucky Strike, and the ascension of the new Mad generation - Pete Campbell and Peggy Olson. All while the nation and society goes through the radical changes of the 1960s. On that note, we are eagerly awaiting what Matthiew Weiner has in store of us in tonight's Finale.  To get in the Mad Mood, make a prty out of it. We recommend the following parties at New York establishments where the show's fictional characters would surely be regulars.

21 Club - "Mad Men Finale" viewing party - our man Grumpy Old Hepcat found this gem of an event at a venerable old haunt of  Gotham high society that Roger Sterling would have dined at weekly. Chase Sapphire is also hosting an open bar for their members. Thankfully, jackets are still required for Gentlemen at Upstairs section of the landmark restaurant. (21 Club - 21 West 52nd Street, NYC, NY)

Oak Room Bar at the Plaza Hotel -  Hi-Ball Cocktail Party has been a Mad Men viewing destination since the season opener in July. Party goers show up clad in early sixties suits and cocktail dresses. Period cocktails such as the Greyhound and a Whiskey Buck variation called the Ginger Whiskey complete the theme. But be prepared to pay 21st century prices for your libations! (Oak Room, 10 Central Park South, NYC, NY)

The lists some  alternatives if you don't have the scratch to hang at "21" or the Oak Room.

If you are staying home, we suggest the following true 1960s classic cocktails.  These libations are relatively easy to execute and use less than five ingredients.

Old Fashioned
2 oz of Rye (Old Overholt or Wild Turkey)
1-2 tsp of simple syrup or sugar cube
1-2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Orange peel

Tools: Bar glass (or pint glass), bar spoon,  jigger, cocktail glass, swiss peeler.

Muddle the bitters and sugar cube (or simple syrup) in a mixing glass, add rye, then add ice and stir the mixture until well chilled. Strain into an Old Fashioned or Hi-ball glass, garnish with orange peel.

"CC" Manhattan
2 oz Canadian Club Rye Whiskey
1 oz Dolin sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Maraschino cherry (I suggest Luxardo brand or a brandied cherry)

Tools: Bar glass (or pint glass), bar spoon,  jigger, cocktail glass.

Combine rye, sweet vermouth, and bitters in mixing glass. Add plenty of ice, then stir using a bar spoon until  chilled (about 15-20 seconds). Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the cherry.

The Gimlet (Vodka or Gin)
2 oz Vodka (Smirnoff or Stolichnaya) or Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
bar spoon of simple syrup

Tools: Cocktail shaker, bar spoon,  jigger, cocktail glass.

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake rigorously for 10-12 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lime wedge. I do not favor using Rose's sweetened lime juice because it is artificially flavored. So, I add a bar spoon of simple syrup to the fresh lime juice.

The Daiquiri
2 oz light rum (Bacardi or Don Q)
1 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, jigger, cocktail glass.

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker, add cracked ice, and shake hard until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wedge.

Mad Men Finale on AMC, Sunday October 17th, 10pm EST.

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