Where And How To Drink Like a Mad Man
Everyone's favorite booze-soaked, chain-smoking, adultery-laden television series is about to disappear until 2013; yes, Mad Men's season five finale airs this Sunday on AMC. (If you need to catch up, the first few seasons are on Netflix. You're welcome.) But there's no reason that your thirst for Old Fashioneds and vodka martinis should go unsatisfied while the show is on hiatus; there are plenty of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce-worthy destinations around town where you, too, can get sloshed in style. (The whole cheating on your spouse thing is strictly optional.)
Any cocktail bar worth the salt on their rims can make you a capable rendition of Don's alcoholic mistress, but it's easy enough to concoct your own textbook-perfect Old Fashioned at home. One sugar cube, three dashes of Angostura bitters, a little splash of water, then muddle; add whiskey (Canadian Club is what Don stocks in his office wet bar), squeeze a strip of orange zest over the glass and throw it in for garnish. Give it a stir (never shake) and tell your secretary to hold all your calls while you ponder a new angle to hawk brassieres for Playtex.
For something a bit more mod, head to Private Social for a slightly exotic twist on the classic. The Italian Old Fashioned combines Maker's Mark with Dolin Rouge, plus muddled orange and lemon peel, and it's rimmed with Campari dust. I imagine Draper in a fine Italian suit, sipping on this at an outdoor table overlooking the waterways of Venice, his snaggle-toothed but charming young bride Megan at his side.
If it's something a bit more feminine you crave, The People's Last Stand offers the Betty Draper, a lively combination of Maker's Mark, Maraschino liqueur, cherry bitters and champagne. It's a sparkly little number, not unlike something Don's ex might've worn to accompany her new politician husband to a fundraiser gala (prior to her uh, thyroid problem that popped up this season), with a touch of bitterness -- like Betty after she saw Don's new wife prancing around their fancy Park Avenue apartment topless. (People's also has Tiki night every Sunday if you're in the mood to sip a Scorpion out of a fishbowl a la Trader Vic's in its 1960s heyday.)
In season two, the agency dropped Mohawk Airlines to pursue the much bigger fish American, a storyline that was briefly revisited in last week's episode; who knows if the agency will ever land a big airline, but in the meantime I suggest you ponder future plot lines over an Aviation at the Windmill Lounge. A delicious mixture of gin, Maraschino liqueur, Crème de Violette and lemon juice, it's served up in a perfectly classic coupe that would look oh so elegant in ginger-haired office mynx Joan Harris's hand; proprietor Charlie Papaceno, famously a divorcee himself, would almost certainly lend a kind ear as Joan lamented her failed marriage and new-found status as the office strumpet.
If it's a three-martini lunch you're after, all that dark wood and leather at The Chesterfield is strongly reminiscent of the dimly lit watering holes that Roger and Don frequent to booze high-profile clients. Squint a bit, and you can almost imagine those two handsome devils seated at the bar -- they'd fit right in with their ultra-dapper fedoras -- talking up a couple young, leggy co-eds. You'll have to take it out to the patio if you want to go all out and chain-smoke Lucky Strikes, though.
And lest we forget the dear, departed Lane Pryce, honor him amongst the '60s basement décor at Cedars Social with a drink straight from merry old England, the Pimm's Cup -- or maybe the Suicide Door (rye, Aperol, habanero, absinthe), if you want to be a jerk about it.
What will season six bring? Will Don stay faithful to Megan? Will Peggy find success at her new agency? Will Pete Campbell continue his reign of douche-baggery? Will anyone else trip acid? There will be more marriages, trysts, pregnancies and infidelities, no doubt; for now, mix yourself a stiff drink Don Draper would approve of and tune in.