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.

Big and Brown

At last, some food we could really sink our teeth into on Mad Men! In last Sunday’s Big and Brown episode, “Signal 30,” we had lobster, Irish pub food and a spectacular Beef Wellington prepared by Cos Cob, Connecticut’s own Trudy Campbell. Anyone who can pull off Beef Wellington while tending to a very young baby really has her act together because this dish is no easy feat.

“Big and brown” may have been the most memorable phrase of the evening when the Cosgroves and the Drapers (Don reluctantly) make the trek to Cos Cob for Trudy’s dinner party. There’s been some speculation in the blogosphere about what this means; we’re of the opinion it’s Don’s way of asking for a large serving of his favorite whisky, Canadian Club.

But it’s the Draper’s gift of William Greenberg brownies in the red tin that made a splash at the Campbell’s, giving Pete and Trudy a pang of homesickness for the city they left behind for life in the suburbs. “Look what they brought,” Pete says to Trudy. “Doesn’t it make you homesick?” There are no bakeries and no Greenberg’s in Cos Cob Trudy informs her guests. Pete wants to try them “my way,” frozen, but apparently he’s alone in that. But we don’t think he’s talking just about the brownies.

brownies Big and Brown

Greenberg Brownies

William J. Greenberg’s bakery had a location at 1181 Madison Avenue in the 1960s (today the Madison Avenue location is at 1100). A specialist in “hostess gifts,” according to an article in The New York Times on May 17, 1960 titled, appropriately enough, “Gifts Rich in Calories to Please New Mothers,” Greenberg gifts became the food gift to give to young moms. “The reasoning behind this development,” said the Times, “seems to be that after months of careful diet control, every girl is entitled to a good cooky binge or at least the chance at one.” Greenberg’s brownies and other baked delicacies, such as his Schnecken, a type of cinnamon roll, were rich and Big and Brown expensive. A tin of four dozen brownies cost $5.85 in 1960 (today it’s $36 a dozen!). But they were worth it. In 1980, New York Magazin called them an “old money brownie — well bred and adventurous with a refined dazzle.”

Speaking of rich and expensive, that certainly describes the advertising prey of the evening, Jaguar Motor Cars, a potential account lost to that most humble of comestibles, if one can call it that, a simple piece of chewing gum. We hope we don’t have to explain.