Photo: Andrew Hawley
The AMC television series Mad Men has helped re-popularize classic cocktails. To celebrate the final season, which premiered April 5, we present two of the preferred drinks from the show—and they happen to be heavyweights in the cocktail world. Don Draper can routinely be found at bars sipping on the sweet Old-Fashioned, as he famously does in the first scene of the series. Meanwhile, Roger Sterling’s liquid lunches often feature the potent Martini, specifically the Gibson kind. Like the two men, these drinks are a contrast in creation: while the Old-Fashioned is labour-intensive, a Martini can be made in the time it takes to say “Bond, James Bond.”
• 3 oz (90 ml) gin or vodka (gin will have more flavour and is the traditional spirit used)
• Dash of dry vermouth
• Lemon or olive
Chill a cocktail glass in the freezer (it’s worth it). In a mixing glass with ice, stir (do not shake, only newbies do that) the gin/vodka and dry vermouth. Pour into the cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or an olive. For a Gibson martini, replace the lemon twist/olive with a cocktail onion.
Recommended ingredients include mickeys of Tanqueray ($15.25) and Bombay Sapphire ($15.95), which are sufficient gins to use for a martini. If you want flavourless vodka instead, Absolut ($14.55) and Finlandia ($14.30) are smooth, affordable brands.
• 2 oz (60 ml) bourbon
• 1 white sugar cube
• Angostura bitters
• Dash of water
Place the sugar cube in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass. Add a dash of bitters and water. Crush the sugar with the back of a bar spoon and muddle until it is completely dissolved. Add two ice cubes and some of the bourbon. Stir and continue adding ice cubes and bourbon. Garnish with half a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry.
Recommended bourbons include Woodford Reserve ($24.95 for 375 ml), Four Roses ($26.95 for 750 ml), and Bulleit ($38.95 for 750 ml).
WHEN TO DRINK
The no-nonsense Martini is essentially pure alcohol, so typically they top off a long day. It shouldn’t be nursed either or it will warm too much. Drink it when you want to appear classy as fuck, or when you need a 15-minute break from life. The sweeter Old-Fashioned should be enjoyed more slowly and makes for a nice celebratory beverage. Ace your last exam, head to the bar, and reward yourself.