A Mad Men Cocktail for The Great Gatsby Premiere

21 Classic Mint Julep 1024x682 A Mad Men Cocktail for The Great Gatsby Premiere

’21’ Classic Mint Julep

F. Scott Fitzgerald helped to popularize the Mint Juelp  – a bourbon and mint cocktail –  in The Great Gatsby. Tom, Daisy, Gatsby, Nick and Jordan cool off with a Mint Julep at New York’s Plaza Hotel on a hot day.

In the The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, we included the recipe for Jane Sterling’s Mint Julep (season 3, episode 3 “My Old Kentucky Home”). As we wrote:

“Roger Sterling’s hedonism and lack of self-awareness are in full flower at the Kentucky Derby–themed garden party he and his new young wife Jane throw at an elegant Long Island country club. Guests mingle under the party tent and sip mint juleps in silver cups, Southern-style. Made up in blackface, and backed by a jazz band clad in straw boaters and Roaring Twenties–style red-and-white striped jackets, he sings ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ to Jane, the overt racism clearly lost on him and over Jane’s head. Later, Don and Betty Draper have to help Jane to her seat; she’s clearly had a few too many mint juleps.

“This classic Southern cocktail evokes the gentility of the South and hot, humid summer days passed on the porch of an elegant plantation-style home. For Betty, mint juleps were also the perfect refreshment to serve to the adults who accompany their children to Sally’s sixth birthday party (season 1, episode 3; “Marriage of Figaro”).

“The origins of the mint julep aren’t known, though legend has it that a Kentuckian boating on the Mississippi River stopped along the banks one day to pick fresh mint, which he then added to his bourbon and water mixture. An integral part of Kentucky culture, the mint julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby.

“This contemporary julep courtesy of the ‘21’ Club in Manhattan that features a delicious mint-infused simple syrup.”

21’ Club Mint Julep

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 drink

21 Classic Mint Julep A Mad Men Cocktail for The Great Gatsby Premiere

This refreshing, classic Mint Julep recipe from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook is courtesy of The ‘21’ Club in New York, New York and perfect for Gatsby gatherings.


  • Fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce Mint Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • *Mint Simple Syrup *
  • Bunch of fresh mint leaves
  • About 2 cups sugar
  • Boiling water


  1. To make the drink: In a Collins glass, muddle mint leaves in fresh lemon juice and Mint Simple Syrup.
  2. Fill glass with crushed ice and add bourbon. Stir. Garnish with a bruised mint leaf.
  3. To make the Mint Simple Syrup:Crush a goodly bunch of mint leaves in a quart container. Fill to halfway mark with sugar, then fill with boiling water. Stir well to dissolve sugar.
  4. Let mint steep while syrup cools. Strain. Let the syrup cool to room temperature and spoon it into a jar. Seal tight and store in refrigerator for up to three weeks.
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A Cocktail to Toast Mad Men’s 17 Emmy Nominations

21 Club Gin Fizz 1024x682 A Cocktail to Toast Mad Mens 17 Emmy Nominations
The ’21’ Club’s Gin Fizz

How should you toast the 17 nominations for Mad Men during Sunday night’s Emmy Awards? We suggest Joan’s Gin Fizz – one of the few cocktails mentioned in Season 5 of Mad Men (Episode 4, “Mystery Date”). Our recipe is courtesy of New York’s ‘21′ Club.

To celebrate the homecoming from Vietnam of Joan’s husband, Dr. Greg Miller, the extended family gathers for dinner at an unidentified Italian restaurant, but it’s an awkward and uncomfortable gathering. Joan orders a gin fizz, the Mad Men debut for this famous cocktail and a refreshing change from the Old Fashioneds, Martinis and Manhattans seen frequently over the first four seasons. But a bad evening gets worse when Greg, always a self-centered, insecure cad, announces that his imminent return to Viet Nam isn’t involuntary, as he’d led Joan, a new mother, to believe.

The family of drinks known as “fizz” was a creation of New Orleans in the late 19th century and was especially popular in the first half of the 20th century. There are many variations: the basic gin fizz is made with gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water (hence the fizz) over rocks. Fizz variations include the use of lime juice, simple syrup, cream, eggs (either the whole egg, just the yolk or just the white), and even crème de menthe. A Sloe Gin Fizz is made with a blackthorn-based spirit  (a blackthorn is a fruit in the same family as plums and cherries).

Sorry the evening and your cocktail were ruined by your selfish, soon-to-be ex-husband, Joan, but you’re well rid of him!


Joan's Gin Fizz Recipe, courtesy of Manhattan's '21' Club


Prep Time: 4 minutes

Yield: 1 drink

21 Club Gin Fizz A Cocktail to Toast Mad Mens 17 Emmy Nominations

A refreshing, classic Gin Fizz recipe from the '21' Club to toast Mad Men's Emmy nominations. Joan Harris orders a Gin Fizz in Season 5, Episode 4 ("Mystery Date").


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 4 rounded teaspoonfuls sugar
  • Club soda


  1. Add ice, gin, lime juice and sugar to a shaker. Shake vigorously.
  2. Pour into a Collins glass and fill with club soda.


You can add a splash of orange juice to soften the cocktail.

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