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Aug 31

Mad Men Mondays: Old Fashioned & Mint Julep

Last night on Mad Men, there were classic martinis served at Joan's house (gin, 3 olives) and our copywriters were working on a Bacardi campaign, leading to multiple mentions of rum and coke. But two other drinks took precedence for me: the Old Fashioned that Don whipped up at the bar and the Mint Julep everyone was sipping at the party.


Once again, I'm consulting my Grandpa's books, The Bartender's Friend (1946) and Old Mr. Boston's Complete Bartenders Guide (1935).

The Old Fashioned
Since I love bourbon (and rye in particular), I'll often order an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan when I'm in a bar where I know the bartender will create an excellent one (such as McCormick & Schmick's or a Ruby's restaurant.)

1 lump sugar
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1/2 oz Ginger Ale
1 jigger Rye

Muddle together the sugar, bitters, and ginger ale.
Add to mixing glass or shaker, along with 2 lumps of ice and rye.
Pour into highball glass and garnish with orange slice and a cherry.

The Mint Julep
There are definitely more complex mint julep recipes out there, many involving your stove and a simple syrup. This version of the mint julep is the easy-to-make-behind-a-bar version

4 sprigs mint
crushed ice
1 tsp powdered sugar
1 tsp water
2 oz rye or bourbon
12 oz highball glass

Muddle 4 sprigs mint with powdered sugar and water and add to glass.
Fill glass quarter-full of shaved ice and stir.
Add 2 oz rye or bourbon
Top off with crushed ice and mint garnish

Photo Credit:
Photo from AMC, by Carin Baer
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Posted by Michelle at 9:47 am in Cocktails, Entertainment, Mad Men Monday, Pop Culture, Television | Permalink | Comments (5)

5 Responses to “Mad Men Mondays: Old Fashioned & Mint Julep”

  1. Evan says:

    I am wary of an Old Fashioned. I have ordered it a few times at different places, and it always is horrible. On paper it sounds wonderful, but there is something with the bitters that just leaves it tasting like I was drinking from an ash tray.
    A Manhattan, on the other hand, has always been a safe go-to. The Rookwood in Mt. Adams makes an amazing one.

  2. I am a huge bourbon fan and these two are among my favorite cocktails. I was surprised to find it’s really easy to make your own mint syrup for mint juleps (or mojitos). I made a huge batch of this recipe for the Derby and froze the extra: http://twurl.nl/qxrylt
    Evan – if you want to give Old Fashioneds another shot, I suggest you try one with the cherries and orange crushed in the bottom with the sugar. I think that really offsets the bitters.

  3. John Martin says:

    Ginger ale? In an Old Fashioned?
    Which book did that come from or is this a McCormick & Schmick’s or a Ruby’s restaurant innovation?

  4. Michelle says:

    I was surprised too. This came from the 1946 edition of The Bartender’s Friend.
    My grandpa was a bartender in the 40s and 50s. He had a bunch of wonderful bartending books and this one I happen to love. It’s a pocket-sized, easy reference book that I can picture any WWII-era bartender pulling out of their apron pocket.

  5. I tried that Mint Julep last night. Super deal.
    Thanks for the great tip.

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