Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On March 25th, We Can All Have a Drink with This Guy

How to plan a Mad Men dinner party 

We’re all (well, aren’t we?) addicted to a certain T.V. show, and for many of us that’s Mad Men, which returns to AMC on March 25th. Friends of mine have either set the DVR for the 2-hour Season 5 premiere, or plan on catching it Sunday night. Per usual, I’ve got my antennae trained in the direction of party talk, and its picking up a big buzz for sixties themed cocktails and appetizers.

What are my friends doing? April got herself revved up for the series by reading Mad Women by Jane Maas. It’s a day in the life of a female copywriter in 1960s Manhattan. April’s Mad Men menu is a healthy affair that makes up for all the chain smoke surrounding the Camelot era. She’s having classic roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans with dinner rolls. She’s not sure about the dessert yet, but it’ll probably a cobbler, and most certainly what April describes as “straight up” Tanqueray martinis! We’ll have to visit her blog in a few weeks and see what’s on tap!

Ahhh….a girl after my own heart. I love a nice, stiff drink.

My little Mad Men gathering features The Perfect Martini. You’ll just have to click the link if you want its secrets (i.e. how many ice cubes; how much vermouth). In my 60s research I learned that servings sizes—especially when it came to drinking glasses in bars—were much smaller in the old days; about 5 ounces, compared to today’s 8! Is that why they were able to drink at work? In addition to martinis, I think Mint Juleps would be nice. I’m growing fresh mint in my backyard.

While the cocktails are reserved for show time, there’s the perfect 7 o’clock dinner to consider, one that pays homage to a time when there was more time. That’s right. It’s a dinner just like Mama (or in this case, Betty Draper used to make.) Some of us have held onto our TV trays, right? Well, get them out again for a reprisal of the Swanson TV dinner.

Got any rosemary growing alongside that mint? Fabulous. Use it—and fresh thyme—in my Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy.  You’ll be amazed at how moist it is—you’ve just got to make sure you buy high quality ground beef and equally fresh breadcrumbs. Stylize your own salad and/or vegetable sides for this All American supper—and don’t forget Cocoa Angel Food Cake with Raspberry Sauce for dessert; it’ll pick you up by your Fedora hat and take you straight to heaven.

If you’re looking for more great ammunition in your chilled glasses and shaker, please click on my 10 Kicked Up Cocktails post; though originally intended for Labor Day weekend, these elixirs could win over the toughest client…I mean party guest. You may also want to read my Mad Men inspired tiki party post for more retro ideas. I’d also like to suggest a nice book club party menu, since interpreting this show appeals to the art and literature geek in all of us.

Don’t hesitate to post your reviews the day after Mad Men premieres. It’s sure to leave a welcome after-taste when we’re all battling a case of the Mondays the morning after. Sounds like the perfect excuse for a 3 martini lunch to me.

Bottoms up, folks : )

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