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!
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
- Add ice, gin, lime juice and sugar to a shaker. Shake vigorously.
- Pour into a Collins glass and fill with club soda.
You can add a splash of orange juice to soften the cocktail.