Participating 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.”
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!
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
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.
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.