Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mad Men Cocktail Hour - The Old Fashioned

Good Evening My Lovelies!

Last Sunday, my beloved Mad Men returned for its seventh and final season.  This show got its hooks into me early on and never let go, so I'm VERY sad to know that it won't be long until I have to say good bye to it.  Last season, my trusty Mad-woman In Crime, Bridget, and I started holding weekly Mad Men Cocktail Hours/viewing parties.  Since we had a little finale party which was pretty epic (read epic hangovers from the French 75's), we thought it only fitting that we had another for the season premiere.  But without the hangovers.

And what better way to channel our Don Drapers than with a few Old Fashioneds.

While doing a little research on the Old Fashioned, it seems like we've finally found the original cocktail!  Imbibing Legend has it that in May of 1806, a man sent an inquiry about the exact definition of the word to The Balance and Columbia Repository.  Their published response defined a cocktail as "a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters - it is vulgarly called a bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head."  This may be their definition of a cocktail, but it is also that of an Old Fashioned and this publication was definitely not kidding when they say that it fuddles the head!  It definitely has the ability to do that and also put some hair on your chest.  Proceed with caution!

Like most drinks, there are many recipes out there.  While it's not the most traditional recipe, in my opinion, my sister makes the best Old Fashioned, using Rye whiskey and simple syrup (instead of muddling sugar with water).  She also uses more bitters than I've seen in most recipes.  And the result is incredibly delicious!  Like traditional Old Fashioneds, we also use over-sized ice cubes.  So much fun!!

Since there is no mixer, I find it best to give this cocktail a minute or two and let the ice melt a bit, so that the flavors come together and then you'll see why Don Draper is so fond of them!  And to get all dolled up and have an Old Fashioned in a dark smokey bar with Don Draper?  That sounds like a phenomenal night!

So now, how about we talk about the premiere episode, shall we?

The opening sequence with Don coming out to visit Megan, who is now living in L.A.?  Stunning.  The car, Megan's dress, the entire look was simply gorgeous!

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A couple this beautiful should be illegal.

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As a little bit of trivia, the filming of this scene at LAX was shut down after the shooting there last November.

Another bit of trivia, the restaurant that Megan has her business meeting in is none other than the fabulous Dresden Room, which we paid a visit to for my birthday just last month.  How appropriate was that?

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While we only have a few episodes to look forward to right now - the last season is being split in two, the second half will be aired in 2015 - I was surprised that the show stuck to its formula of not revealing too much in the first episode.  There isn't a lot of room to play and there were SO many things that were left unanswered.  First off - ROGER??  What has he gotten himself into now and will this actually be Roger's final downward spiral?  I sure hope not, what would we do without his one-liners?  But seriously, are six other people REALLY necessary for a good time?  I'd rather him dabble with LSD again, that was fun to watch!

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The interesting thing about this first episode is how starkly different the two coasts seem to be.  Things are dark in New York.  Everyone is profoundly unhappy.

And then there is chipper Pete in L.A.  Even his clothing serves as a billboard that he is no longer in New York.

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When he and Don meet for lunch, Pete picks Canter's.  I haven't been there in ages, but will need to pay it a visit again soon.  Best. Latkes. Ever.

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This series has been filming all over Los Angeles for the last six seasons and passing the locations off as New York.  While places like Musso & Frank and the Biltmore are hardly a stretch, I'm excited to see the places that they will be using in season seven since they no longer need to be surreptitious about where these locations actually are.

Am I the only one that's super excited for the next episode?

Until next time, Lovelies!

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