Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Drumroll, please. The feverishly awaited premiere of Mad Men’s newest season is almost here. Hopefully you’ve all been drinking like Don Draper in anticipation of the moment (Sunday, March 25th at 9 pm ET, if you’re synchronizing your countdown). In fact, it’s increasingly easy to drink like the Old Fashioned-swilling star of show.
According to statistics from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, last summer more than five million barrels of bourbon and other whiskeys were aging in Kentucky. That’s the highest inventory since 1982. To celebrate Mad Men’s new season with Old Fashioneds, or some of the show’s other signature drinks, here’s a guide to places that specialize in them, plus some scenes from Mad Men that made them famous.
Mad Men’s Mint Julep Moment: In Season 1, Betty and Don Draper throw a springtime birthday party for their daughter, Sally; Betty makes a tray of Mint Juleps for the adults.
Mai Tai - The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar: San Francisco, California
Mad Men’s Mai Tai Moment: In Season 1, unsatisfied client Rachel Menken (who owns an upscale department store that’s considering Draper’s agency Sterling Cooper for its advertising) drinks a Mai Tai while Draper tries to win back her account and attempts to seduce her.
Tom Collins - The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mad Men’s Tom Collins Moment: In Season 2, Draper instructs his young daughter, Sally, on the art of mixing a Tom Collins for him and his neighbor Carlton Hanson: "Okay, you don't smash the cherry on that. Just plop it in at the end. Try to keep it in the top of the glass. Gin."
Old Fashioned - Jbird Cocktails: New York City
Mad Men’s Old Fashioned Moment: Lots of those. But the defining one, when we learn that it’s Draper's go-to drink before we even learn his name, comes in the first scene of the first episode of Season 1, when he tells the waiter in a smoky bar (where he's brainstorming ideas for a Lucky Strike campaign), "Do this again – Old Fashioned, please."
Vodka Gimlet - Bar UnCommon: New Orleans, Louisiana
Mad Men’s Vodka Gimlet Moment: The Gimlet is Betty Draper's drink of choice. After a Season 1 dinner with her husband's boss Roger Sterling and his wife, when she’s queasy in the car, Betty notes: “Lobster Newburg and Gimlets should get a divorce. They're not getting along well."
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