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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Mad Men Milkshakes: #GreatShakes

 Mad Men Milkshakes: #GreatShakesMAD MEN TOMORROWLAND 52 300x180 Mad Men Milkshakes: #GreatShakesParticipating in Great Shake 2012 (GreatShakes#), a virtual party to celebrate the paperback release of Adam Ried’s sumptuous and original Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes gave us the opportunity to explore a favorite Mad Men food scene: Sally’s spilled milkshake in Season 4, Episode 13, “Tomorrowland.”

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Sally's Spilled Stupendous Strawberry Shake

While Sally and Bobby argue during their California vacation, Sally spills a pink shake. Don is immediately agitated, while Megan, his secretary and soon-to-be wife, takes it all in stride.” “Don’t be upset it’s just a milkshake,” she says calmly to Don, giving him another chance to admire Megan‘s patience with the kids. He proposes in the very next scene. Fortunately for us, Ried put a fantastic  – ok, Stupendous — Strawberry Shake in Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes  — a modern version of a retro classic.

Ried punches up this strawberry shake: there are no strawberries or syrup; strawberry jam and strawberry sorbet infuse this shake with its sensational flavor. It would be something to cry over if spilled. Even Megan would have lost her cool!

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Betty's Sgroppino Al Limone

But if you’re serving a shake at a Mad Men party, it really ought to have booze, no? Ried offers several shakes that qualify as cocktails, such as Chocolate Guiness or Peach with Brandy and Nutmeg. We miss Betty, so we chose another shake with a kick that’s a tribute to Bets, a gal who likes her vodka, modeled in Italy, speaks Italian and looked so elegant and so comfortable when she and Don travelled to Rome (Season 3, Episode 8, “Sourvenir”). It’s the luscious, lemony Sgroppino al Limone, which is technically not a shake because it’s not mixed in the blender. Ice cream is a no-no for Betty who was on the Weight Watchers diet all of Season 5, so this classy lemony cocktail featuring lemon sorbet, vodka and Prosecco is perfetto. Ried suggests serving Sgroppino al Limone before dinner, as a palate cleanser between courses, or for dessert. We agree: this one would go down smoothly and be well received any time.

We couldn’t end there: our shake tour had to include an ode to the Big Apple. Thoroughly

Van Ban Black & White Milkshake
Vanban Mad Men Milkshakes: #GreatShakes

Modern Milkshakes offers a few New York-inspired choices: the Egg Cream and VanBan Black & White shake, a  tribute to the famous New York black and white cookies. The William Greenberg Bakery, mentioned this season in Episode 5 (“Signal 30”), when Don and Megan bring Greenberg brownies to Peter and Trudy’s Cos Cob dinner party, came to mind.

 Mad Men Milkshakes: #GreatShakes

William Greenberg Black & White Cookies

Greenberg’s is also famous for its Black & White Cookies, so the VanBan was on next on our milkshake menu. The Sterling Cooper gang would have swooned over this one — no alcohol, just layers of creamy goodness. Layers of Vanilla (with vanilla extract and a touch of banana) and Chocolate (chocolate ice cream and sorbet). Like the cookie, the shake gives you the chance, according to New Yorker Jerry Seinfeld, to get some black and some white in each bite. “Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate,” said Seinfeld, and this is a shake he would admire.

We love the shakes, but the history and anecdotes about each one, and the mixing and blending tips Ried serves up add even more flavor. There are many more shakes in Ried’s book we’re eager to try with ingredients we never imagined in shakes including herbs, spices and even vegetables!

Join Adam Ried (@modernmilkshake), milkshake fans and participating food bloggers on Twitter for the #GreatShakes party, Monday, June 25 at 8pm EST.

Holiday Dinner Party Mad Men-Style

Planning A Mad Men Style Holiday Dinner Party

 Holiday Dinner Party Mad Men Style

If you’d like to capture the Mad Men spirit at your party this holiday season, we’ve prepared a special holiday menu selected from recipes in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, from cocktails to dessert. (For more cocktail suggestions click here.) You can pick and choose depending on whether you simply want to host a cocktail party, a dinner party or something in between. The Canadian Clubhouse Punch can be made in large batches and allows guests serve themselves while you join in the festivities. We also chose a few recipes with appropriate color themes: the Jade and Bacardi Stinger – with green crème de menthe , and Sardi’s red and green hearts of palm salad.  Each recipe has a connection to a specific Mad Men episode. We also offer some holiday party tips from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook and other 1960s cookbooks.

Mad Men Holiday Menu


 Holiday Dinner Party Mad Men Style

Sterling Cooper Jade and/or Bacardi Stinger

(Season 1, Episode 12, “Nixon v. Kennedy”)

Canadian Clubhouse Punch and/or Lucky Strike Holiday Eggnog

(Season 4, Episode 2, “Christmas Comes But Once a Year”)


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Grand Central Oyster Bar’s Oysters Rockefeller

 (Season 1, Episode 7, “Red in the Face”)

Classic Shrimp Cocktail

(Season 1, Episode 4, “New Amsterdam”)

 Chutney Canapé Spread

(Season 3, Episode 9, “Wee Small Hours”)


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Sardi’s Hearts of Palm Salad

(Season 2, Episode 5, “The New Girl”)

 Connie’s Waldorf Salad

(Season 3, Episode 6, “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency”)

Main Courses

 Holiday Dinner Party Mad Men Style

 Beef Wellington

(Season 1, Episode 6, “Babylon”)

Pineapple-Glazed Ham

(Season 4, Episode 1, “Public Relations”)


 Holiday Dinner Party Mad Men Style

Lindy’s Cherry Cheesecake

(Season 4, Episode 9, “The Beautiful Girls”)

 Popcorn Balls

(Season 4, Episode 2, “Christmas Comes But Once a Year”)

Tips for a Successful Mad Men Style Holiday Party

 Choose your guests wisely. How you mix your guests can be as important as how you mix your drinks.

(The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, 2011)

Hang sleigh bells by the front door for guests to ring to announce their arrival.

(Good Housekeeping Party Book, 1958)

Every course – from the appetizer to the dessert – should be gaily garnished in Christmas reds and greens to blend merrily with your own very special holiday centerpiece or tablecloth.

(Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook, 1967)

Give guests “free ladle privileges” at the punch bowl. They’ll “be in business for themselves, quaffeteria style.”

(Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts, 1949)

 When it comes to hors d’oeuvres, “find a golden middle course…never serve too many…or too few.”

(The Instant Epicure Cookbook, 1963)

If you’re trying out a new dish this holiday season, take it for a test run before serving it to guests. Nothing will put a damper on the holiday spirit more than a misguided adventure in the kitchen.

(The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, 2011)

Happy Holidays!

 Holiday Dinner Party Mad Men Style

To Rome with Love (and Celery)

In Mad Men Season 1, Episode 9, (“Shoot”) Don Draper is wooed by Jim Hobart, an executive with a Sterling Cooper rival firm, McCann Erickson. Hobart sends Don a membership to the New York Athletic Club and a set of golf clubs, and promises that Don will enjoy working in a bigger shop with more glamorous, big name clients such as Esso (now Exxon) and the world’s high-flying airline, Pan Am (now defunct). By contrast, Sterling Cooper’s major aviation client is tiny Mohawk Airlines, a regional carrier. To Rome with Love (and Celery)

Pan Am is also the name of a new television drama set in the 1960s that debuted a week ago on ABC, along with The Playboy Club, which premiered a week earlier on NBC, also set in the 1960s. Both shows have drawn inevitable comparison to Mad Men since they seek to tap into nostalgia for the same time period.

When Betty Draper sought to bring an international flair for dinner guests, she hosted her Around the World Dinner in Season 2, Episode 8 (“A Night to Remember”). The meal she prepared reflected a surge of interest in international cuisine inspired by Julia Child and other factors, including the growing number of people traveling by air to international destinations. Pan American World Airlines had its own cookbook, published in 1954, The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook: Recipes Gathered by Pan American World Airways from the 84 Countries They Serve, by Myra Waldo (Doubleday & Company, Inc.) Waldo called this new-found culinary curiosity, “the gradual maturity of our country, gastronomically speaking.”

 To Rome with Love (and Celery)In the only episode of Mad Men to date set outside of the United States, Don and Betty Draper fly to Rome (Season 3, Episode 8, “Souvenir”). So, we turned to Myra Waldo’s book to see what Italian delicacies the pilots and stewardesses of Pan Am sampled when they flew there. From stuffed peppers and anchovy and rice soup to shrimp in wine sauce, fillet of beef with Marsala, and almond spongecake, Italy then, as now, was a gourmand’s slice of heaven.

But one recipe in Waldo’s book especially caught our eye because we remembered Betty trying to dress up a humble celery stalk while preparing hors d’oeuvres for the adult guests at daughter Sally’s sixth birthday party. (Season 1, Episode 3, “The Marriage of Figaro.”) She settled for filling the celery with cream cheese and capers (we include this recipe in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook). But a more ambitious celery recipe can be found in The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook. If Betty had had Waldo’s book on her kitchen counter she might have made Celery Parmigiana Style (sedani alla parmigiana). How?

Celery Parmigiana Style (sedani alla parmigiana)

Cook Time: 1 hour

2-4 servings

Untitled To Rome with Love (and Celery)

Celery is delicious in this easy to make side dish (or main course) and you can easily prepare a vegetarian version by omitting the ham. Adapted from The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook: Recipes Gathered by Pan American World Airways from the 84 Countries They Serve by Myra Waldo.


  • Note: This recipe calls for Gruyère or American cheese, but we prefer good quality Cheddar cheese.
  • 3 bunches celery
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup stock or ½ bouillon cube dissolved in ½ cup hot water
  • ¼ cup chopped ham
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Gruyère or American cheese (see note)


  1. Wash the celery thoroughly and remove the leaves.
  2. Cut into ½ inch thick slices .
  3. Melt butter in a skillet.
  4. Add the celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring gently so as not to break up the slices.
  5. Add the stock, ham, salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Drain carefully. Preheat oven to 425˚ F.
  7. Place the celery in a buttered baking dish and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
  8. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is delicately browned.
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 To Rome with Love (and Celery)

One of Mohawk Airlines' glamour destinations


Perhaps Don should have made the leap to McCann Erickson after all, because unlike Pan Am which flew to such glamour destinations as Paris, Honolulu and Tokyo. Mohawk Airlines flew to Utica, Albany and Poughkeepsie where the most exotic native fare may have been corn on the cob and kielbasa.

Mad About Playboy

The Playboy Club, a new series debuting on NBC tonight, and Pan Am, which begins airing on ABC this Sunday, both seek to tap into the 1960s nostalgia ignited by the success of Mad Men. Set in Chicago, The Playboy Club is already drawing the ire of feminists on the left and moralists on the right. Since we haven’t seen the show yet, we’ll withhold judgment. We just hope they get the Whiskey Sours right.

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In Season 4, Episode 10 of Mad Men (“Hands and Knees”), the New York Playboy Club features prominently. When Lane Pryce’s cruel, domineering father, Raymond, comes to town, Lane practically begs Don Draper to join them for dinner. It’s clear Lane isn’t itching for alone time with Dad. They go to the Playboy Club, where Lane’s African American girlfriend, Toni Charles, works as a Bunny. Judy, one of the Bunnies, comes to take their order and Lane asks for three Whiskey Sours, but the disagreeable Raymond wants iced bourbon instead. So, make it two Whiskey Sours. Mad About Playboy

In the 1960s, the Playboy brand embodied a cool, modern sophistication. In addition to his “lifestyle” magazine and syndicated television shows—Playboy’s Penthouse (1959-60) and Playboy After Dark (1969-70), which were set as parties featuring Playboy Playmates and celebrities at Hugh Hefner’s penthouse—Hefner owned the famous Playboy Clubs. The very first Playboy Club, the one featured in the new television show, opened in Chicago in 1960, and others soon followed in the United States and elsewhere. The New York club opened in December 1963 on East 59th Street in Manhattan. Membership for men like Lane Pryce was a status symbol. Members were called “keyholders,” supposedly because being a member was the key that opened the door to the pleasures of the Playboy lifestyle.

Former Playboy Bunny Joy Percival (known at the Detroit Playboy Club where she worked in the 1960s as “Bunny Jill”) kindly gave us permission to use a photo (see above) taken of her and actor Hugh O’Brien back in the day in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.

We don’t know if Hugh O’Brien was a Whiskey Sour man; we suspect he might have opted for something more masculine like an Old Fashioned. We’re not being sexist here; when you read The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook you’ll discover that cocktails in the 1960s were gendered: women preferred the Mai Tais and Brandy Alexanders while the men gravitated towards whiskey straight up or rye based cocktails such as the Old Fashioned.

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Bunny Jill worked at the Detroit Playboy Club from 1963-1971. (Both photos of “Bunny Jill” courtesy of Joy Percival.)

If you want to know how a Whiskey Sour was made at a Playboy Club, you can find the recipe, borrowed from Playboy’s Host & Bar Book by Thomas Mario (Playboy, 1971), in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook. In his book, Mario gave this advice: “every prearranged drinking session calls for two kinds of alchemy: The first is mixing potables; the second is mixing people.” We doubt Raymond Pryce mixed well with anyone; he’s about as sour as they come.