Mad Men: The Drinks

The TV series Mad Men is synonymous with many things – sharp suits, slick styling, male bravado and of course drinks. Plenty of drinks. An episode never does by without someone reaching for the glass as they try to take the edge off a moment at work or simply to savour the reassuring taste at the end of the day. Chief protagonist here is, of course, Don Draper closely followed by his colleague Roger Sterling. Both are discerning gents in their own right so it only seems fair to analyse the favoured tipple of the two alpha males amongst the pack.


Don Draper & The Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is Don’s signature drink. This classic bourbon drink is one he turns to countless times in the show, and also one he is adept at making himself too – as shown in the famous scene where he gives Conrad Hilton a masterclass when no barman was in sight.


Like any discerning gent, Don likes to know the perfect serve for his drink and you should too. So, how do you pour the perfect Old Fashioned? Elysium Magazine tells you how Don Draper likes his:

–          Take some orange peel and squeeze it with your fingers then rub the peel around the inside of a rocks glass

–          Place into the glass with 1 maraschino cherry, 1 tsp sugar syrup and 3 drops of aromatic bitters, together with 3 large ice cubes

–          Add 25ml of bourbon and stir for around 10 seconds then top up with another 25ml of bourbon and ice then stir again for 15 seconds

–          Serve garnished with a lemon peel

–          Enjoy like Don Draper


Roger Sterling & The Martini

The Martini is Roger’s cocktail of choice. He’s a man who prefers the clearer spirits but has no qualms about a shot of bourbon when the need arises either. Roger famously said he works to a three Martini diet when entertaining the clients – this smooth operator knows how to influence people and let them reveal themselves to him. Elysium Magazine has no doubt that a good Martini always helps Roger in such circumstances.


If you’re and man cut from the same cloth as Roger (James Bond is a fan of the cocktail too) you’ll indeed want to know how to make a great Martini for yourself. It’s what discerning gents do. Roger has a penchant for the Gibson Martini, a variation using cocktail onions instead of olives as the garnish. It’s a simple affair and here’s how to make one:

–          Stir 60ml of vodka or gin with 10ml of dry vermouth in a mixing glass

–          Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with 3 cocktail onions



Wildcard For The Lady

Mad Men being the show it is inevitably means a lady is involved at some point. If you’re enjoying your very own Mad Men-inspired cocktail it’s only right that your good lady should enjoy the fun too. Why not show off your cocktail skills with a Brandy Alexander – favoured by Don’s protégé Peggy Olson when she wants to impress. Rustle one up like this:


–          Moisten the rim of a chilled coupette glass then gently roll the glass over a plate of freshly ground nutmeg – shake  off any excess and set aside to chill

–          Mix 30ml of cognac with 30ml of crème de cacao and 30ml of fresh cream in a mixing glass

–          Shake then strain into the chilled coupette glass and sprinkle with ground nutmeg

–          Watch her enjoy your cocktail expertise




These cocktails are the perfect accompaniment to the premiere of the two-hour episode kicking things off in Mad Men Season 6 – 10pm on Sky Atlantic, Wednesday 10th April.

Amit Chakravarty

Amit Chakravarty

Amit has a refined taste for all things luxury lifestyle, with a particular penchant for men’s style. He’s keen on the latest watches – especially classic timepieces, new drinks, luxury travel, fine dining, executive technology, new gadgets and sports for the discerning gent.