You can hardly watch Mad Men without craving a cocktail. If Don and his merry band of witty ad execs aren’t gulping down bourbon in the office, they’re throwing back Martinis and Old Fashioneds at lunch and dinner. Maybe it’s just me, but all this boozing is having a Pavlov effect on me. Every time I switch on the TV, cocktails come to mind. So if any of you are experiencing similar reactions (or you just want a good cocktail with your favorite TV show), here are some recommendations on cocktails to pair with this season’s popular shows.
You could have an Old Fashioned or a Gin Martini, but why not get a little crazy this time? The show is set in the 1960s, when people wore lime green dresses and plaid dinner jackets, ate psychedelic Jell-O molds, and talked to each other on pink telephones. Next time you settle in to watch Mad Men, try a very colorful Blue Hawaiian (from Season 4, Episode 3, when Joan makes her fiancé a Hawaiian-themed dinner):
1 ounce blue curaçao
1 ounce light rum
1 ounce cream of coconut
2 ounces pineapple juice
1 slice of pineapple
1 cup of ice
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Pour into highball glass over ice. Add a cherry and pineapple to garnish.
If blue isn’t your thing, try a Sidecar, a colorful classic that is sweet, sour and strong.
Put away the vodka and gin. You’ll need a drink that can really stand up to this show, something closer to a slap in the face, a punch in the gut. You need some mezcal. This Mexican hooch is the smoky cousin to tequila, and Mexicans often sip it neat. If you’re not up for the campfire kick on its own, use mezcal in an Old Fashioned instead.
Mezcal Old Fashioned
(Recipe by James Hensley)
2 ounces of añejo (aged) mezcal
1/4 ounce agave nectar (or simple syrup)
1 dash of Angostura bitters (or try grapefruit or chocolate bitters)
Combine in a mixing glass, add ice, and stir. Strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
For some reason, I can’t stop watching The Voice. I might have even tried to sing along once or twice when nobody else was in the room…maybe. If you want to be old school, you could drink a Cosmo while you’re watching (and not singing along — seriously, I wasn’t), but something with a bit more glitz would really be better. Meet the Fleur de Lis. It’s fruity, sparkly and not too sweet (because the ballads are sweet enough).
Fleur de Lis
1 ounce Raspberry Vodka
1/2 ounce Orange Liqueur
Fill with Champagne
Combine spirits in a mixing glass, and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a Champagne flute. Garnish with raspberries.
Game of Thrones
“Winter is coming,” so grab your sword (probably named Horsefang or Icepick) and fur cape, mount your trusty steed, and ride out to meet your enemies in battle! Or sit on the couch with a cocktail and watch medieval-looking people do that on TV instead. But don’t think that just because you aren’t on horseback that you can remain neutral in this power struggle. Pick a House and cocktail, then boo and hiss when your enemies appear on the screen.
Baratheon: Shot of Irish whiskey — Subtlety isn’t really a Baratheon trait. These guys don’t mess around with mixers or garnishes.
Greyjoy: Pickle Back — It’s briny and strong. It comes out of nowhere and kicks you in the ass.
Lannister: Abby Cocktail — It’s golden and delicious, seemingly innocent. Until you have another…and another.
Stark: Vodka Martini — It’s chilly in the North, and the Starks like it that way. Don’t expect them to sugarcoat anything either.
Targaryen: Black Widow — Daenerys is set on repaying the wrongs done to her family, and like the cocktail, growing more powerful by the minute.
Everyone is looking for their big break in this show, a chance to be just like Marilyn. So in honor of being just like Marilyn, show us your most glowing and innocent smile and settle in with a cocktail inspired by the starlet’s adoration of champagne.
Marilyn Monroe Champagne Cocktail
4 ounces Champagne or Sparkling Wine
1 ounce Apple Brandy
1 tsp. Grenadine
Men, if you’d prefer to forgo the pink, sparkly drinks, have a Whiskey Sour, inspired by The Seven Year Itch. Main character Richard Sherman is on holiday without his family, and tells his secretary (because everyone had a personal secretary back then): “I’m perfectly capable of fixing my own breakfast. As a matter of fact, I had a peanut butter sandwich and two Whisky Sours.”