Just so the purists are clear : a 1960’s Old fashioned involves terrible maraschino cherries, oranges and sugar cubes. When I mentioned Old Fashioned’s to a relative that just happened to ACTUALLY be drinking Old Fashioned’s in the 1960’s and onwards he scoffed and said ” Phhht. We smashed a sugar cube in the bottom of the glass, poured in the whisky and there you had it.”
And that’s the ticket. Old Fashioned’s in the 1960’s.
You smash a sugar cube and pour that whisky over it.
Maybe you threw in an ice-cube or two. And let me tell you, you sure didn’t have any of these “newfangled rock sized ice cubes” in your Old Fashioned.
You put in those cruddy small ice cubes and let it melt to dilute that whisky and sugar so that you could have three more. And you LIKED IT, buddy.
Side note: Did you guys see the awesome glass that I use for my Old Fashioned’s? Karlynn and I thrifted it in New Jersey along with the 11 other Zodiac glasses. We honestly have no clue what company made them, but they are definitely vintage and they were definitely around only 30 cents each. Karlynn was thrilled to nab the entire set for less than 6 bucks by the time we were done. I’m a Taurus, so I always choose the Taurus glass when it comes time for an Old Fashioned.
Karlynn had way too much fun taking these photos. Sugar cubes and terrible maraschino cherries. She was cackling about how totally tacky these Old Fashioned’s are, but you know what?
This is the 60’s, baby.
There’s no fancy herbs or spices. Frothy egg white? SHUT THE HELL UP AND DRINK A MAN’S DRINK.
There’s no wild shaking and pirouetting by a bartender while making these. This is a Don Draper old fashioned. You waved your cigarette-holding hand at a bartender when you were at a restaurant with a client and got what you wanted. You got your 8-year-old daughter to make you an Old Fashioned while you were at home, then tossed it back and had a drive in your car and threw the glass out the car window because you are the man and you can litter.
(In the real world Karlynn and I will totally kick your ass if you drink and drive because it’s illegal, irresponsible, immoral, terrible and more, but it’s a TV show so let’s suspend our disbelief and be immersed in the Mad Men story. Also, don’t throw your glass out of the window. Ever. That’s just not cool unless you are Don).
You’re Don Draper with 17 girlfriends and an Old Fashioned in your hand at all times. You’re an AD MAN.
Now back to real life. Don Draper was a total womanizing ass and a horrible father BUT if there’s one thing he got right, it’s that the old fashioned is a damn fine drink. This is what I have every night. I also prefer to use a large square ice cube because frankly, it doesn’t melt as fast.
This month, Karlynn and I hosted a Mad Men themed party in our vintage home bar. For the party, we featured cocktails based on characters from the popular TV show.
Here’s a look at the card I made; including the fun character profile; for the Don Draper Old Fashioned station:
Now let’s talk about how to make these bad boys the Mr. Kitchen Magpie way.
To make a Classic 1960’s Don Draper Old Fashioned, you need the following ingredients:
- Canadian Club whisky (Don would never use anything else, if you’ve seen the show, you know I speak the truth)
- Maraschino cherries
- A sugar cube
- Two orange slices (one for garnish and one to put in the drink)
- Angostura bitters (linked below)
- 1 large ice cube (the ice cube tray I use is linked below)
- A muddler (linked below)
To prepare it my way, get yourself a nice whisky glass and add 1 sugar cube and 1 maraschino cherry to the glass. Muddle the cherry and sugar cube. Add in an orange slice, muddle the fruit part of orange slice just enough to get the juice out. Add in your large ice cube. Pour two fingers of Canadian Club over the ice cube (should be even with the top of the ice cube. Add 3 dashes of Angostura bitters. Give it a light stir. Garnish with an orange slice.
Side note: I like to muddle the cherry, orange and sugar cube in mine. The traditional 1960’s method is to simply muddle the sugar cube, add in the maraschino as is and only use an orange slice for garnish on the side. I personally prefer the taste of mine but it’s completely up to you which method you choose to use.
Now throw your feet up and enjoy your drink like a boss because you’ve earned it.
To see all of the other drinks and the write up on the Mad Men Party, click these links below!
And there you have it! All the booze that you need for your Mad Men Themed Party!
Happy (and responsible) drinking everyone! Love you more than Old Fashioned’s,
Mike (aka Mr Magpie)
Get the perfect Old Fashioned Recipe and learn how to make a 1960's Don Draper Old Fashioned Cocktail, the way Don would have liked it.
- 3 oz Canadian Club whisky (two fingers or enough to cover the ice, basically)
- 1 Maraschino cherry
- 1 Sugar cube
- 2 slices Orange
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 large square Ice cube
Add 1 sugar cube and 1 maraschino cherry to your glass. Muddle them.
Add 1 orange slice to the glass. Muddle fruit portion lightly.
Add 1 large square ice cube.
Pour whisky over ice until it just covers the ice cube (about two fingers high).
Add 3 dashes of Angostura bitters.
Add orange slice for garnish.