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Having a 'Mad Men' party? Here's what to get for the bar, barware, and food

Tom Collins glasses from Abodeon What better way to drink your Sally Draper-inspired Tom Collins than from a frosted Tom Collins glass from Abodeon. A set of six costs $65. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
By Christopher Muther
Globe Staff / July 15, 2010
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Alcohol is one of the most important aspects of the show, so carefully replicated drinks should be the cornerstone of your “Mad Men’’ party. Naturally, you should have Heineken on hand to replicate Betty’s international dinner party, but cocktails are key. Adam Lantheaume, owner of the Boston Shaker and a “Mad Men’’ fanatic, marvels at the show’s accuracy. “They don’t mess around with their cocktails,’’ he says.


She may have an angelic face and Cindy Brady’s lisp, but when she’s not busy stealing or getting violent with other kids, little Sally mixes a mean Tom Collins for her parents.

2.5 oz. gin

1 oz. fresh lemon juice

.75 oz. simple syrup

Club soda

Maraschino cherry and orange wheel (for garnish)

Place everything but club soda in a shaker. Shake together over ice, strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice, top with club soda, and add garnish.


When Don mixes an Old Fashioned for Connie Hilton, this is the recipe he follows.

1 sugar cube

3 dashes of Angostura bitters

1 maraschino cherry

Half wheel orange

3 ounces of rye whiskey (Don’s brand is Old Overholt)

Place sugar cube on bottom of glass, put bitters on top, muddle the cube with a muddler, add fruit and muddle with sugar and bitters. Add ice, whiskey and stir.


The perfect accompaniment for cigarettes and gossiping about the neighbors with Francine.

2.5 oz. vodka

.75 oz lime juice cordial (for a true Betty gimlet, use Rose’s Lime Juice)

Though some would argue this drink would be stirred, Lantheaume says during the 1960s this drink would be shaken. For period accuracy, shake. When you shake, fill your shaker with cubes, and shake at least 15 seconds.


Unlike the parties of today, where most cocktails are served out of red plastic cups, in the early 1960s, hosts pulled out the fine stemware. To go a step further, pour your alcohol in decanters before guests arrive (but don’t forget to label which variety occupies each bottle).

Several stores in the area sell gorgeous vintage barware. Amid the new accessories and mid-century furniture, Abodeon (1731 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-497-0137) sells glasses from the 1950s and ’60s. The Cambridge Antique Market (201 Msgr. O’Brien Highway, Cambridge, 617-868-9655) has several dealers specializing in vintage glasses and barware. Buckaroo’s Mercantile (5 Brookline St., Cambridge, 617-492-4792) veers toward the campier edge of 1960s entertaining with essentials such as tiki mugs and ice buckets.


There is no question that you should have multiple bags of Utz chips around the house, but what would Betty serve if she was hosting friends? First, she’d find a good Jell-O salad recipe. Then she’d liven up those chips with this recipe from the 1959 Better Homes & Gardens “Holiday Cook Book’’:


Place potato chips on a baking sheet; sprinkle with marjoram, thyme, or basil. Heat in a 350 degree oven for five minutes.


Any decent “Mad Men’’ party needs a good gelatin salad. From Betty Crocker’s 1962 “New Good and Easy Cookbook’’ try Cheese Delight and see how brave your guests are feeling.

1 package (3 oz.) lemon-flavored gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1 cup grated cheese

1 can (8.5 oz.) crushed pineapple

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Combine gelatin and water. Chill until slightly thickened. Fold in cheese, drained pineapple, and whipped cream. Pour into a one quart mold. Chill. Serves six.

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