AMC’s blockbuster hit series and Emmy award-winning show, Mad Men, is abundant with drama—along with cocktail swilling, cigarette smoking, overt sexism and inevitably, inter-office (read: adulturous) romance.
In honor of our favorite ad agency stars, here’s our guide to throwing a sophisticated, 60’s-inspired cocktail party that would make Betty Draper proud.
The Drinks: Think classic cocktails (and if you own a bar cart, roll it out).
Rarely seen without a glass of Scotch in hand, the ad men at Sterling Cooper are known to throw back Canadian Club (Don Draper’s pick) in nearly every scene. In addition to three-martini “business” lunches, work meetings on the show often include Bloody Marys, while the ladies seem to favor vodka gimlets (served in martini glasses with a wedge of lime) along with Mai Tais.
Keep it simple, and pick two or three retro cocktails to offer during the party (also consider the Old Fashioned or Grasshoper)–along with copious amounts of Scotch. Break out the decanter, highball glasses and any retro accessories (like a vintage tablecloth or tiki glasses) to help set the scene.
The Snacks Menu: Epitomizing the perfect 60’s housewife, Grace Kelly look-alike Betty Draper would serve fancy hors d’oeuvres on her best china to impress Don’s guests. Follow suit by dishing up a few old-school appetizers, like Deviled Eggs and finger sandwiches (on white bread of course). Add a few cheese balls and chips with onion dip (in honor of Pete’s chip and dip obsession) to keep the focus where it belongs: on the booze. Bonus points for keeping a supply of candy cigarettes out–it will help guests get into character.
The Music: By hour two, we hope you’ve served enough Scotch to make your guests start attempting the Twist. Sam Cooke, Ella Fitzgerald and Chubby Checker are fine choices for a 60’s soundtrack.
The Attire: Now for the fun part: costumes. Ladies should wear their best vintage dresses, hats, gloves and of course, matching shoes. Red lipstick and “done” hair is practically a requirement. Men can show off classic black suits worn with white shirts and ties–but adding a fedora will turn heads and hopefully encourage (inappropriate) flirtation.