#PartyLikeAMadMan with us on Sunday, April 5, when AMC’s Mad Men returns with the final episodes titled, “The End of an Era”. Food, cocktail and lifestyle bloggers worldwide will be toasting their favorite Mad Men characters from the provocative, Emmy-award winning series with libations and dishes from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.
For our virtual party, I made the classic Waldorf Salad, first prepared in the 1890’s at The Waldorf Hotel, the predecessor to the Waldorf-Astoria, in NYC where “Connie” (Conrad) Hilton offered to have the famous salad sent up to the Presidential Suite where he and Don were discussing business in Season 3, Episode 6 – “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency“.
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 1 cup diced tender heart of celery
- 5 tablespoons well-seasoned mayonnaise*
- Lettuce or endive for serving
- Feel free to add your own additions such as grapes or nuts. I added thinly sliced fennel and coarsely chopped pecans and garnished the salad with fennel fronds.
Peel the apples and remove the cores. Divide each in half and then cut into thin slices. Reserve 6 slices and cut the remainder into thin julienne strips.
Combine the julienne strips of apple with celery and toss with half the mayonnaise. Place the mixture in the middle of a salad bowl and spread the remainder of the mayonnaise. Garnish the rim of the salad with lettuce leaves and decorate with celery leaves and apple slices.
*I used a little less mayonnaise and added a squeeze of Meyer lemon for acidity to balance the richness of the mayonnaise.
Recipe from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.
The salad’s original recipe of chopped apples and celery tossed with mayonnaise is widely attributed to Oscar Tschirky (who also created the popular classic Veal Oscar), the maitre d’ hôtel. By the 1960s, the Waldorf Salad recipe had evolved and included nuts, typically walnuts or pecans, and grapes. Since then the Waldorf Salad went through many iterations that included such diverse ingredients as smoked chicken, currants, Maine crabmeat, and crispy calamari. Other modern recipes now include raisins, watercress, and/or onions. Today the Waldorf Salad served at the Waldorf-Astoria includes chopped black truffle shavings and candied walnut halves.
As a kid, I never cared for Waldorf Salads – too heavy on the mayo and my mom’s version contained raisins… not a fan of raisins, then or now. They’re tolerable in cookies or granola, but I much prefer dried currants. I dined on the black truffle version years ago at the original Waldorf-Astoria in NYC and, more recently, at the Waldorf on The Bund in Shanghai. I may not have given the Waldorf Salad a second chance if it weren’t for a revived interest in retro 60s dishes and cocktails after escaping into the intoxicating era of Mad Men on Sunday nights. And, I’m glad I did! Martini on the side, of course.
Of course, for your Mad Men party, you absolutely must have a well-stocked bar and feature a couple of Mad Men era cocktails.
New York’s Roosevelt Hotel, a Mad Men setting, has shared three cocktail recipes that their Madison Club Lounge will mix for their Mad Men Finale Party. If you’re in Manhattan on April 5, head to The Roosevelt to take in the Mad Men premiere on a big screen, sip some classic cocktails, and enjoy food and giveaways in a setting that will take you right back to the Mad Men era. Sunday, April 5th, 7-11 p.m. You may even hear the echoes of Guy Lombardo and his orchestra.
Bartenders at the Madison Club Lounge, a classic New York City hotel bar in the Roosevelt, will mix these classic Mad Men drinks — Sterling Cooper Cosmopolitans, MadMenhattans and Dapper Dons — and happily shared the recipes with those of us who won’t be in Manhattan for the party. Manager Keith Riker says the “brown spirits”, and in particular the Manhattan, have grown in popularity since Mad Men premiered in 2007.
Sterling Cooper Cosmopolitan:
A cosmo might be the next favorite drink for the Mad Men crew. We imagine it will be sipped at Don’s retirement party.
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce cranberry juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 1/3 ounce Absolut Vodka Citron
Prosecco, to top off
Lime wheel, for garnish
Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well and double strain into large cocktail glass.
Top with Prosecco. Garnish with lime wheel and lemon slice.
Makes 1 drink
One one of the most popular cocktails ever made, and one of the most difficult to make well: everything hinges on both the types of bourbon and vermouth used and how they work in combination.
1 3/4 ounce Maker’s Mark bourbon
2 ounces Martini Rossi sweet vermouth
Dash of bitters
Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Stir ingredients in a shaker over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with cherry.
Makes 1 drink
Dapper Don Old Fashioned:
The very first cocktail to appear in Mad Men, and this popular drink makes many appearances in the series, as Don’s drink of choice. This version is made with his favorite whisky, Canadian Club. If you believe in client loyalty, when you make an orange twist, make it with Sunkist, a Sterling Cooper client.
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 orange slices
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 1/2 ounces Canadian Club whisky
Dash plain water
Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Place sugar in Old Fashioned glass with orange slice and saturate with bitters. Add a dash of plain water. Muddle until dissolved.
Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey. Garnish with orange slice, and a cocktail cherry.
Makes 1 drink
If you need to refresh your memory on past Mad Men episodes, visit AMC’s Mad Men page where you can watch full episodes, fan favorites, read about the cast and crew, and everything Mad Men!