4.4 min readBy Published On: April 6th, 2013Categories: Features0 Comments

AMC’s Mad Men finally returns after a much too long hiatus.  On Sunday, April 7th reconnect with Don Draper, Betty, Joan and the rest of the gang during their fifth season 2-hour premier.  The 1960’s drama begins at 9pm.   Round up some friends and host an impromptu Mad Men inspired cocktail party? 

How to invite your guests
In this day in age of social networking, texting and emails, why not do things the old-fashioned way?  A simple handwritten invite on festive cards left in a mailbox will be sight for sore eyes after the long hours spent focused on smart phones and inboxes on the computer.  If someone is too far away for a drop off invite, another retro way to invite them, pick up the phone and call your guest.  Just simple information, where and when and if you’d like your guests to bring anything is all you need to relay.  

What to serve
First thing that comes to mind when thinking of a cocktail party is booze of course.  Our first rule of thumb is even though it technically is a “cocktail” party you should have beer and wine to offer your guests.  Have a domestic beer – Miller High-Life is a great retro choice and it is the champagne of beers – and then one other trendier microbrew or import on hand.  Same for wine have a red and a white at the ready.  Pick one or two cocktails to serve.  We like the classic martini – maybe a little dirty or
For your cocktails, mix them in a pitcher and have them ready to serve in martini glasses.  This makes things less hectic then mixing up cocktails one at a time.  When the pitcher is empty, simply make another batch. 

For a cocktail party, you should serve finger food and dips.  You should not serve anything that requires sitting or utensils to eat.  You can also have a designated area for food as well.  A centrally located table where people can mix and mingle is the perfect spot.  Use a linen tablecloth and place appetizers and hors d’oeuvres on different tiers and levels.  It is pleasing to the eye and makes food more accessible to guests.  Serve up a retro menu a la Mad Men circa 1965 featuring Deviled Eggs, Pigs in a Blanket, Mini-Rueben on Cocktail Rye and Potato Chips and Onion Dip.

Boxes of candy cigarettes are a fun prop to have on hand and much healthier than actually smoking real cigarettes. 

What to listen to (before and after the show)
Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, Dean Martin.   Download them all at iTunes – they have a great selection.  Better yet, click on Pandora and make a Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass station – and you’ll be surprised at how much fun it is! 

What to wear
If you are gonna have a Mad Men cocktail party, you really should look the part.  A full skirt and little beaded cardigan would be lovely and very Betty Draper (don’t forget your hostess apron.) Or maybe a skinny pencil skirt and fitted sweater or sexy blouse if you are more of a Joan Holloway.  For the men, a sports coat and tie would be a perfectly swanky choice.  Or a smoking jacket if you have one. 

So there you have it all you cool cats and kittens, some fun and easy suggestions to throwing an impromptu “Mad Men” Cocktail Party.  Bottoms up!

Recipes:

Dirty Martini

  • 2½ oz gin?
  • 1½ oz dry vermouth?
  • ½ oz olive juice
  • ?3-4 green olives stuffed with blue cheese??

Add dry vermouth to the martini glass, rinse, and pour out. Pour gin, olive juice and ice into mixing glass and shake until chilled. Strain in the martini glass and drop the 3 to 4 olives as garnish.

Stinger

  • 1 oz cognac?
  • 1 oz crème de menthe

Put all ingredients in mixing glass. Shake briskly. Select brandy snifter. Pour into glass.

Simple Deviled Eggs:

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise?

  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise ?
  • ½ teaspoon dry ground mustard?
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar?
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt ?
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper ?
  • Paprika for garnish

Pop out (remove) the egg yolks to a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard powder, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Fill the empty egg white shells with the mixture and sprinkle lightly with paprika.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one day before serving.  Voile! Deviled Eggs!

Mini-Cocktail Reubens

  • 36 slices cocktail rye bread, toasted?
  • 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing?
  • 1 (8 oz.) can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained?
  • 1/4 lb. thinly-sliced corned beef – cut into 2 inch squares?
  • ¼ lb. Swiss cheese cut into 2 inch squares

Arrange the cocktail rye on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven to 225 degrees.  Bake for 5 to 7minutes until bread is toasted.  Remove from oven and spread each piece with a dollop of Thousand Island dressing?Add small amount of sauerkraut and place a piece of corned beef on each slice.?Top each with 1 square Swiss cheese.
Place them in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes until the cheese has melted.
And that’s it! 

Quick, easy and delicious!  Betty Draper would be proud!