Mixology 101

Drinking with Draper

Episode four: This week, a Mad Men-inspired cocktail

September 8, 2009

Hello, Patio. Today we call this drink “Diet Pepsi.”

Sunday’s Mad Men episode “The Arrangements” was all about mothers and fathers—surprising, then, that there wasn’t more drinking going on. We see some Bloody Marys in the jai alai meeting, of course. And later Betsy, Don, Betsy’s brother, and his wife are clearly drinking their way through the early stages of mourning when they chuckle over a joke about Gene, sending Sally into a fit of rage. (A brilliant moment—every kid remembers that bewildered feeling when adults laugh at a memory of a just-deceased loved one.)

But my favorite scene in “The Arrangements” is when Joan edits Peggy’s Roommate Wanted notice, telling her that her first version, “sounds like the stage direction from an Ibsen play." Joan recasts the ad to portray Peggy as a party girl in search of adventure, leaving poor P to figure out how to play the part.

Once again we see that Joan can sell an idea better than any suit skulking the halls of Sterling Cooper, but she’s got her own way of playing the game.

A great episode, but because it offers little in the way of interesting boozing, I bring you a recipe—inspired by Mad Men and developed exclusively for Sauced by Naga bartender Evan Martin. “This is a simple and modern twist on an Old Fashioned,” says Evan, “with some ingredients reflecting the show.”

The Mad-Fashioned

2 oz Old Grandad Bourbon (A)
0.5 oz Cherry Heering (a Danish cheery liqueur) and Grand Marnier reduction
2 dashes angostura bitters
3-4 Pepsi (B) ice cubes
A few hours before serving, fill an ice cube tray with Pepsi and freeze. When you are ready to serve, make the reduction: heat Cherry Heering and Grand Manier in a sauce pan until reduced by half. To mix the drink, combine bourbon and reduction in a glass or cocktail shaker filled with ice (plain ice, not Pepsi ice), and stir. Strain drink over a rocks glass filled with the Pepsi ice cubes and garnish with a cherry and an orange twist.

(A) You’ll remember old Grandad as the drink of choice for poor alky Freddy Rumsen.

(B) Patio soda—the diet bevey that outs Sal to his wife but also launches his directorial career—was an actual soda marketed by the Pepsi company in the 1960s.

Previously on Drinking with Draper: the meaning behind an Old Fashioned.

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