A Mad Men Cocktail for The Great Gatsby Premiere

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’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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Bosco and Retro Chocolate Bars: Mad Men Gift Pick and Giveaway 11

bosco 133x300 Bosco and Retro Chocolate Bars: Mad Men Gift Pick and Giveaway 11Actor/comedian Dick Van Dyke claimed Bosco syrup made him “strong, handsome and thirsty” in a 1960s commercial for the famous chocolate syrup.

Advertised as natural, thicker and richer in B vitamins than its competitors, Bosco mixed with milk was a genuine treat for children in mid-century America.

Now you can try the original Bosco and a few modern variations: strawberry, sugar-free and Dulce De Caramel. Whether you’re nostalgic for the “oh so thick and rich” chocolate syrup, or just have fond memories of the “I love Bosco” commercials, you can enter to win a Bosco gift pack. (Did you know Bosco was used as a substitute for blood in a number of black and white movies, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Night of the Living Dead)?bosco 4 bottles 300x137 Bosco and Retro Chocolate Bars: Mad Men Gift Pick and Giveaway 11

For chocolate candy fans, you can  have Bosco’s chocolate taste conveniently wrapped up in a delicious all-natural milk chocolate PANAM BOTH 3D 3 300x100 Bosco and Retro Chocolate Bars: Mad Men Gift Pick and Giveaway 11bar. And for 60s fans, the Praim Group also offers chocolate bars with wrappers featuring quotes from 60s pop culture icon Andy Warhol and the logo from the popular airline, Pan Am.  A great gift for a retro foodie fan!

Enter to win a gift pack of Bosco, and an assortment of vintage candy bars!.


Dress Like Draper with Monster Vintage: Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide Pick and Giveaway 10

Idon draper 300x225 Dress Like Draper with Monster Vintage:  Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide Pick and Giveaway 10 f you want to rock Don Draper attire, whether it’s his early 60s classic business suit with narrow lapels,  a skinny tie, a Ban Lon shirt, or the wild plaid sport coat of Season 5, visit MonsterVintage.com.


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Monster Vintage’s owner, Victor Petrucci, has been collecting vintage clothing and accessories for twenty years, and the site is the premier online purveyor of one monster cache of true and unique vintage clothing and accessories. Mens’ clothing is 80% of Monster Vintage’s international business (Pendleton shirts and mesh hats currently among the most popular mens items from the 1960s) but you’ll find find a huge store of womens’ MVcoat Dress Like Draper with Monster Vintage:  Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide Pick and Giveaway 10 clothing and accessories as well.

Enter to win a $50.00 gift certificate or a $25.00 gift certificate to Monster.com, and receive a discount on all holiday shopping!


Cocktail Barware for A Mad Man: Holiday Gift Pick and Giveaway 9

It’s the first drink or food of any kind mentioned in Mad Men. In fact, it’s in the very first line of dialogue: “Old Fashioned, please.”

 Cocktail Barware for A Mad Man:  Holiday Gift Pick and Giveaway 9

Don’s Old Fashioned
Photo: Nina Gallant/The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook

Don Draper is a whisky man and his preferred brand is Canadian Club. When it’s not in his Old Fashioned, he’s pouring it straight from the ever-present bottle that sits on his office liquor cart.

Whether you prefer bourbon or rye, imported or domestic, Bormilio Rocco, the Italian glassware company, has the perfect gift to complement your favorite whisky: a “Selecta” seven-piece glassware set featuring a  decanter and six tumblers. If you like your whisky “neat,” or prefer it in an Old Fashioned (don’t forget to muddle the cherry), this classic glassware set will ensure that every sip is taken in style…Don Draper style.

 Cocktail Barware for A Mad Man:  Holiday Gift Pick and Giveaway 9

Bormioli Rocco’s Whisky Decanter and Tumbler Set is perfect for any Mad Men-style cocktail bar.

Perfect for any Mad Men party host ( and makes a great gift packaged with The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook!) Enter to win a Selecta seven-piece glassware set including a whisky decanter and six tumblers.

Shopping Tip: Visit The Hour Shop in  Alexandria, Virginia,  and online, for mid-century chic barware.  Ninety percent of The Hour’s collection is true vintage.

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Vintage Barware from The Hour Shop




She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother: Our Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway Week 3

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Bryan Batt and his mother, Gayle

If you’re like many Mad Men fans we know, you miss Salvatore Romano, Sterling Cooper’s erstwhile art director, whose repressed sexuality was beautifully portrayed by New Orleans SAH She Aint Heavy, Shes My Mother: Our Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway Week 3native Bryan Batt. In this deft, heart-warming memoir and tribute to his unforgettably eccentric mother, She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother, Batt takes us from his colorful 1960s New Orleans childhood through his early acting days in New York and his star turn on Mad Men. Batt’s keen eye for the telling detail and light touch make for a memorable read. And we love the references to 60s food

 She Aint Heavy, Shes My Mother: Our Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway Week 3

Bryan Batt as Sal Romano in “Mad Men”

and cocktails! A wonderful story for Mad Men fans, Batt’s memoir is available in hardcover (Hachette, $24.00) or paperback (Three Rivers, $14.00).

Bryan Batt has contributed three autographed hardcover copies of She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother for our Holiday Gift Guide giveaway! Enter to win one for yourself or your favorite Mad Men/Sal Romano Fan!!

More for Bryan Batt Fans: Bryan is co-owner of New Orleans’s Hazelnut, a boutique offering fine gifts and elegant home accessories, including toile based on his sketches. He is also the author of Big, Easy Style: Creating Rooms You Love to Live In.

William Greenberg Brownies: Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway Week 2


n06 brownies2B 272x300 William Greenberg Brownies:  Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway Week 2Pete Campbell never wanted to leave the city for Cos Cob; Trudy made him do it. So, he’s delighted when Don and Meghan arrive for dinner one evening, in Season 5, with a red tin of delicious and decadent William Greenberg brownies. “Tweety, look what they brought!” exclaims Pete. “Doesn’t it make you homesick?” For more than 65 years William Greenberg baked goods have been synonymous with good taste: “well bred and adventurous with a refined dazzle,” New York Magazine once said of Manhattan’s most famous brownies.

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Don and Meghan’s gift of William Greenberg Brownies makes Pete Campbell pine away for Manhattan.

Lucky for us, William Greenberg Desserts still makes the brownies that excited Pete. This holiday season, give your Mad Men fan or your favorite New Yorker in exile a taste of “The Brownie of New York for over 50 years” with a Greenberg William Greenberg Brownies:  Mad Men Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway Week 2gift certificate from William Greenberg Desserts, Pete Campbell’s favorite.

Enter to win a gift certificate to William Greenberg Desserts (mail order). Good For one dozen pecan or chocolate brownies by mail- value $36.00.

Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook Holiday Gift Guide: Weighing in with Betty’s Scale

holiday gift guide graphic2 Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook Holiday Gift Guide:  Weighing in with Bettys ScaleWe’ve culled the best gifts for Mad Men fans this holiday season! Each week until the holidays, we’ll introduce the best Mad Men-themed, retro gifts that will pair perfectly with The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook for gift giving! You’ll find a new gift idea or two each week, along with a giveaway.  Visit our web site to enter. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and you’ll know when a new retro black 3 1024x1024 Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook Holiday Gift Guide:  Weighing in with Bettys Scalegift is added to the guide each week!

EatSmart Retro Kitchen Scale

Who can forget an overweight Betty Draper carefully weighing her food morsels as she struggles through a Weight Watcher’s program, only to finish Sally’s ice cream sundae late at night? Digital scales (batteries required) were still years in the future, so for a Mad Men appropriate kitchen scale Betty would have loved the EatSmart Precision Retro Mechanical Kitchen Scale (batteries not included because batteries not required!). Whether weighing for portion control, or measuring ingredients for your Pineapple Upside Down Cake, simply place food items directly into the Retro’s stainless steel mixing bowl for quick, accurate, easy-to-read measurements on the oversized 4″ dial. The removable, dishwasher safe bowl makes for easy home clean up. The retro look is perfect for your modern or mid-century kitchen! Available in 3 colors; Red, Black and Silver. $27.95 on Amazon. We love ours!

We’re giving away an EatSmart Precision Retro Mechanical Kitchen Scale!
Enter to win
by November 2, 2012!

Grazie Barbetta!

This week we continue our tour of the New York restaurants that generously donated prizes for our “Dine Like a Mad Man” Sweepstakes, which you can enter from our Facebook page by clicking “Dine Like a Mad Man!”

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The main dining room at Barbetta

When Don Draper begins dating the lovely Bethany Van Nuys in Season 4, we first see them at a Benihana Steakhouse, one of many restaurant chains that surfed the wave of American interest in Polynesian and Japanese foods that accompanied Hawaii statehood in 1959. They’re seated around a teppanyaki table with other guests, hardly the intimate dinner Bethany had in mind. Perhaps to atone, Don and Bethany’s next date is at the very elegant Barbetta on West 46th Street, founded in 1906 and operated to this day by the founder’s daughter Laura Maioglio. Specializing in northern Italian cuisine from the Piemonte region, Barbetta is the oldest Italian restaurant in New York still run by the founding family.

Like Executive Chef Bill Rodgers of Keens Steakhouse, Maiolglio had no advance notice Barbetta would be depicted in Mad Men. She learned about it when diners who had seen the episode mentioned it to her. “I have looked at the show often since its inception because of the excitement and buzz that it immediately caused and because it deals with the very years in which I recreated and relaunched Barbetta,” Laura wrote us.

Since viewers never see or hear what Don and Bethany order at Barbetta, when writing The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook we asked Maioglio to imagine what they might have ordered in 1964. As luck would have it, in the 1990s she began putting the date each dish first appeared on the menu on the menu and she suggested the roasted fresh peppers alla bagna cauda, which first appeared in 1962, and for dessert pears baked in red wine alla piemontese, which also debuted that year at Barbetta. Many other dishes served at Barbetta today first appeared on the menu in the early 1960s including fonduta with fresh white truffles.

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The Clinton’s with Laura Maioglio and her husband, Nobel Prize winner in medicine Gunter Blobel

When Don and Bethany dine at Barbetta they cross paths with Betty and her new husband Henry Francis, an aide to New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. It’s an awkward moment. But Henry wasn’t the only politically connected New Yorker or politician to savor Barbetta’s charms in the early 1960s and ever since. Guests have included Governor and Mrs. Rockefeller themselves, many members of the Kennedy family and, recently, former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Barbetta was also popular among giants of the fashion industry such as Oleg Cassini, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta and Ralph Lauren, Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Woody Allen and Dudley Moore and musical leading lights such as Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, James Levine and Yehudi Menuhin.

If you’d like to experience the very finest in Italian dining in New York, enter the sweepstakes. You could win a dinner valued at $500 at Barbetta and Maioglio will help you pick just the right wine.

A Mad Men Holiday Cocktail Party

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For your holiday party with a Mad Men-twist this year we’ve compiled a can’t-miss cocktail menu with several of our favorite Mad Men libations. You can find the recipes in our new book, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, along with tips for throwing a successful Mad Men–style cocktail party.

In almost any episode of Mad Men you’ll see enough alcohol to sink a ship, not to mention a struggling mid-size Madison Avenue advertising firm. So, let’s travel back to the early 1960s when Elvis was King, John F. Kennedy was President and Don Draper was Mayor of Madison Avenue.

Unless you want to spend the evening bartending, we advise you to select just a few types of cocktail. Pick and choose from the selections below based on your guests’ cocktail preferences.

Old Fashioned. It’s the very first food or drink seen in Mad Men, at the opening of the first episode. Don Draper and an Old Fashioned go together like pastrami and rye. Bourbon or rye (the liquid kind) is the central ingredient in this classic and to make it Don’s way you’ll have to muddle the cherry.

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Old Fashioned

Martini. For every Old Fashioned Don drinks, Roger Sterling has at least one Martini, maybe more. It’s hard to imagine a simpler cocktail, vermouth and gin are the only ingredients in a classic martini unless you count the olive or cocktail onion, but proportion and quality ingredients are key. This iconic cocktail of the Mad Men era is sure to be a hit.

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Mai Tai. This fruity concoction is lavishly decorated with slices of fruit, miniature paper umbrella and swizzle sticks of vaguely Polynesian appearance. “That’s quite a drink,” says Don when department store Rachel Menken orders one at El Morocco. Since this is a season when decorations are everywhere, why not in your drink?

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Mai Tai

Brandy Alexander. Another drink ”for the ladies,” as Roger might refer to it, the BrandyAlexander is practically a confection made with crème de cacao, brandy and cream. Peggy Olson likes hers very sweet: to each, her own.

 A Mad Men Holiday Cocktail Party

Brandy Alexander

Jade. Christmas conjures images of red and green so the Jade, which derives its color from green Crème de Menthe, is a perfect complement to your holiday gathering (or when your drowning your sorrows after Nixon’s loss to Kennedy in the 1960 election and there’s only Crème de Menthe left in the Sterling Cooper liquor closet).

 A Mad Men Holiday Cocktail Party


Canadian Clubhouse Punch. For the host or hostess who would rather join in the fun than serve drinks all night this popular punch featured in Canadian Club’s 1961 holiday advertising is the perfect choice for December festivities. Made with Don Draper’s preferred brand, your guests can serve themselves. But since punch should be pre-mixed, your guests won’t know what in it or in what quantities so be careful: punch can really pack a punch.

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Canadian Clubhouse Punch

Stork Club Cocktail Punch. Another cocktail that can be simplified by serving it in a punch bowl is the Stork Club Cocktail, a creation of the gone but not forgotten hub of New York café society for four decades. The Stork Club was, according to famed gossip columnist Walter Winchell, “New York’s New Yorkiest place,” frequented by the likes of Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and, of course, the glamorous Don and Betty Draper. Triple Sec, gin and Angostura bitters are the foundation of what one might call New York’s New Yorkiest cocktail.

 A Mad Men Holiday Cocktail Party

Stork Club Cocktail

Eggnog. Finally, what holiday party would be complete without this classic of the season. You can use cognac, brandy or rum as your base ingredient. The other ingredients read like a list of items for a fabulous dessert. It’s a hit at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Christmas Party in 1964, and is certain to add cheer to your holiday celebration this year.

 A Mad Men Holiday Cocktail Party


A Mad Men Thanksgiving: How Sweet It Is

It’s Thanksgiving Day 1964 and Don Draper and his ex-wife Betty, now Mrs. Henry Francis, are spending the day in very different ways. (Season 4, Episode 1, “Public Relations.”) Betty and the Draper children, Sally and Bobby, are at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the Francis family. Don is in his dark Greenwich Village apartment with a call girl who doesn’t have much time: she, too, has to make Thanksgiving dinner with her family. No scene in Mad Men captures Don’s essential loneliness more tragically.

The Thanksgiving table at Henry’s mother’s home is covered with fine linens and elegant A Mad Men Thanksgiving: How Sweet It Is glassware. Everyone is formally dressed. When Henry’s dour, heavy set mother observes that Sally hasn’t eaten anything, she responds with the candor of a child and says she doesn’t like the food, much to Betty’s embarrassment.

“How about sweet potato?” offers Betty, eager to cover for Sally’s breach of etiquette.

“I’m not hungry,” pouts Sally. We sense she is still smarting from her parents’ divorce and isn’t happy to be spending the holiday with a lot of people she doesn’t know.

“Look, there’s marshmallow,” says Betty, nearly forcing Sally to take a bite, which she promptly spits out.

A Thanksgiving dish widely associate with the 1960s is “candied sweets,” a casserole made with sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter and topped with marshmallow. (You can also use yams; contrary to popular belief yam is not just another word for sweet potato, it’s another root vegetable altogether.) So sweet it could be a dessert, candied sweet potatoes have been a popular winter dish in the south for generations, and a year-round soul food staple. Though marshmallows are one of the earliest confections known to man, dating to ancient Greece and Rome, they weren’t mass-produced until the turn of the 20th century. The earliest recipes for combining them with sweet potatoes date to the 1920s.

The candied sweets on the Francis Thanksgiving table in 1964 could well have come from The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (Meredith, 1962), published just two years earlier. Chances are you’re going to be having pie for Thanksgiving dessert so we recommend these as a side anyone with a sweet tooth will enjoy.

Candied Sweets

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

6 servings

 A Mad Men Thanksgiving: How Sweet It Is

Candied sweets from the Mad Men era -- a casserole made with sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter and topped with marshmallows. From The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (Meredith, 1962).


  • 6 medium sweet potatoes ,cooked and peeled
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • ½ cup mini-marshmallows


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 1 ½ quart casserole. Cut sweet potatoes into ½ inch slices. Place a layer in the bottom of casserole.
  2. Sprinkle with brown sugar and slat; dot with butter. Continue layering until all ingredients are used, ending with butter and sugar.
  3. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes, or until glazed. Add marshmallows and bake 5 more minutes, to melt (marshmallows should be lightly browned).
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