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Jul 26

Mad Men Mondays: On the Rocks

Appointment television began again for me last night with the return of Mad Men, and of course, Mad Men Mondays! If you’re new to the blog, I try to fill you in a little bit on whatever our favorite ad men had to drink on the most recent episode. Sometimes they disappoint me, and I never catch a name or a label. Sometimes, it’s an amazing selection of potential bottles and cocktails.

Last night fell somewhere in the middle. Everyone was drinking something on the rocks, but it was primarily Don. In the past, he’s definitely been a bourbon and whiskey guy. Last night, they very purposely let us see the bottle of Canadian Club. (Think, for a moment, how liquor brands must be lining up to get their label on this show …)

Don Draper and Canadian ClubWhen I think of Canadian Club, I think of my Grandma. She always had some sitting around (although she was more of a bourbon girl – I take after Grandma). But Canadian Club has been around forever. It was originally created in 1858 in Detroit by distiller Hiram Walker. But even in the 1850s, the winds of Prohibition were beginning to blow. Hiram moved his distillery across the border to Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Walker aged his whiskey in oak barrels for a minimum of five years, which was revolutionary at the time. By doing this, he was able to pitch his whiskey as a premium drink. It became quite the rage in Gentlemen’s Clubs across the US and Canada, thus becoming Club whiskey. American distillers insisted that the word “Canadian” be included on the label, in hopes to deter people (buy American!). It didn’t work out quite as planned, however, and Canadian Club became an exclusive and sought after beverage. During Prohibition, one of Walker’s biggest clients was Al Capone, who made a fortune smuggling Canadian Club into Chicago from Windsor.

I suppose it’s only appropriate that Don has a bottle of Canadian Club on his office bar.

Roger, on the other hand, is a vodka drinker. Last season he was pretty excited over a bottle of Stoli vodka, another bit of alcohol that’s been around a while. There is, of course, some Stoli on Don’s office bar, apparently just for Roger.

Stoli (or rather, Stolichnaya) was introduced to the world sometime in the mid-1940s, although the actual date is under debate. Produced in Russia, it is fermented with wheat and rye grains, as well as artesian water from the Kaliningrad area. Once fermentation is complete, the spirit is distilled four times before being diluted with more fancy water.

Stoli was pretty hard to get in the 1960s, so when Roger scored his bottle or so last season, it was quite a coup. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that Pepsi struck a bargain with the Russian government to export Stoli to the west on a regular basis.

On a final note about the show, am I the only one really creeped out by little Sally?

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Posted by Michelle at 8:00 am in Cocktails, Entertainment, Mad Men Monday, Television | Permalink | Comments (5)

5 Responses to “Mad Men Mondays: On the Rocks”

  1. Dick Carlson says:

    Thanks for the spirit reading. I haven’t watched the show yet, but I’ll look forward to the bar bits.

    Mom and Dad drank CC when I was younger. When I started drinking (about 16) I tried it, but couldn’t stand the taste. I ended up drinking scotch (I was a Chivas man) into my 20′s, and then switched to gin.

    I’d like to see Sally squashed by a bus. She looks evil.

  2. Jenny says:

    Oh yes the age of vodka tonics. It brings back many family parties. I love the comments on the subliminal efforts to bring people’s labels to light. Definitely a show I must watch.

    http://www.blog.onxwine.com

  3. Dave says:

    Don’t forget the bottle of Jameson in Peggy’s office.

  4. Michelle says:

    Dave, I so missed that! Thanks for pointing it out!

  5. [...] Targeting is one of the corner stones of the success of paid search. The ability to place a message in front of consumers actively seeking out the advertiser’s product is gold dust – if you had told an Ad Man in 1950s Madison Avenue you could do that and provide them statistics related to copy and location, they’d have offered you their daughter’s hand in marriage. And a large bourbon. [...]

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