Anticipation for Sunday’s Mad Men premiere has hit frothing-at-the-mouth levels. Will Don go back to his family? Will slimy Peter meet his bastard child and grow a soul? Will that Italian dude ever come out of the closet?
As any foodie worth their sea salt knows, the best way to celebrate is with a meal. So how can you celebrate the return of Mad Men in style? Here are a few suggestions.
No doubt about it, the characters of Mad Men hold a gimlet-eyed view of the world. A Mad Men-themed dinner party would never be complete without a strong supplement of cocktails. If Prohibition created the cocktail to cover up crappy basement-brewed liquor, the 60s was the age to bring these concoctions to exotic climax.
The exotic. Sterling Cooper clients are wooed with Asian-influenced mai tais. Heineken was brought out for a big, international splash during Betty Draper’s dinner party. The Moscow Mule, steadily gaining popularity since the 1940s, was a happy hour staple.
More tips on drinks and food after the jump!
The classic. A crisp gin and tonic never went out of style, apparently. The concoction can be seen in nearly every episode of previous seasons, freely consumed during office hours. Not to be left behind, brown liquor makes a solid guest appearance in the form of scotch on the rocks and scotch old fashioneds.
The forgotten. Historically, it was also a time for cocktails that don’t ring many bells today. Expect to hear orders for white spiders and rusty nails in the coming season and perhaps a throwback or two to the less-obscure Brandy Alexander.
Want more dirt? Paper Mag dives into characters’ signature drinks to see what it reveals about them.
While I may envy Mad Men and their free-wheeling ability to drink their work day away, the food doesn’t make my fingers itch for a time machine. My mother still swears by a dish my grandmother brought out on special occasions during this era, which I believe was prepped along these lines: wrap chicken breast in bacon. Cook. Mix and heat cream of mushroom soup and heavy cream in a pot. Smother over chicken breasts. Serve with flourish. Salivating yet?
Don’t forget snacks to soak up all that alcohol! Stock up on staples like Jiffy Pop and Goobers if you can track them down. Or pick up this box of 60s candy on rush delivery to impress your guests.
International flavors. Rumaki – a crazy hybrid of water chestnuts and chicken satay – was the pinnacle of classy ‘dos back in the day. Fondue, which really hit the mainstream in the 1970s, was beginning to make headway among sophisticated opinion leaders in New York. The good news is these are foods meant for parties and sharing and both can be dressed up to suit modern tastebuds.
The new staples. On a fancy night on the town, Betty and Don enjoy Caesar salads and meatloaf in an upscale setting. A hearty steak au poivre is an appropriately manly meal. Add the all-American allure of red meat and a touch of class and you’ll get a nice beef Wellington for you and guests.
Home Economics. Where the rubber meets the 60s road. Clean out your cupboards and feed an army with a 60s-inspire casserole. Who’s up for tuna and noodle? Pot pies are an easy win here as well. Or you could go very, very authentic and trot out some classic tv dinners. Champaign Tastes provides a great retrospective on a 60s childhood and Hungry Man feasts.
Throwing a Mad Men dinner party? Let us know what you made.