11 Classic Cocktails Found on "Mad Men"

It Takes a TV Show to Remind Us Why We Love These Drinks

When it debuted "Mad Men" quickly became one of the most popular shows of the 21st century. Notable for its behind the scenes look at the "real world" of 1960s advertising, it is also known for drinks—and a lot of them.

Fitting for the era of the three-martini lunch, the show's characters are often seen with a cocktail in hand. Perfect for your next "Mad Men" binge, here are a few of the great classic cocktails that made an appearance on the show.

  • 01 of 11

    Old-Fashioned

    Old-Fashioned Cocktail
    Claire Cohen

    The most consumed drink on "Mad Men," the old-fashioned has become a boozy symbol for the show, almost another character unto itself. There really is no mystery to this drink and it's actually one of the easiest whiskey drinks to mix up.

    Bourbon is the whiskey of choice, though a fine rye is a good choice as well. Add an orange and cherry, a sugar cube and bitters and you're set to sip in retro style.

  • 02 of 11

    Manhattan

    Manhattan cocktail

    Claire Cohen

    The Manhattan is the iconic whiskey "martini" and a drink that you cannot pass by without noticing. While either bourbon or Canadian whiskies have been used for years, rye whiskey is back and it's a great excuse to return to the original recipe. Whichever whiskey you choose, simply mix it with sweet vermouth and a glorious drink is born.

  • 03 of 11

    Whiskey Sour

    Whiskey Sour

    The Spruce

    There are many sours in the world and the whiskey sour is the king of them all. The recipe is timeless and so easy to follow that it can easily become a new-old favorite. 

    It simply dresses up whiskey with lemon juice and simple syrup, though an egg white in the shaker takes it to a new level of awesomeness. Just be sure to make a good decision on the whiskey.

  • 04 of 11

    Mint Julep

    Classic Mint Julep Cocktails
    Claire Cohen

    The appeal of the mint julep goes far beyond the Kentucky Derby and there is no reason to reserve this amazing classic for a single day. The key to a really good mint julep is a really good bourbon, so choose wisely. Beyond that, you'll need fresh mint and either simple syrup or sugar. Easy peasy!

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Vodka Martini

    Vodka martini

    The Spruce

     

    Whiskey may have made its way into many "Mad Men" drinks, but vodka has a starring role as well. The show takes place at the height of the vodka boom when the then mostly Russian-produced liquor was just starting to become an American hit.

    In true "Mad Men" style, choose Smirnoff or Stoli for your vodka martini. Shake or stir it with a little dry vermouth and voila!

  • 06 of 11

    Gimlet

    glassic gimlet cocktail

    The Spruce

     

    You can make the gimlet with vodka or gin, but the vodka gimlet was the drink of choice for the ad execs on "Mad Men." It's beyond simple and a refreshingly tart cocktail that is sure to stimulate your senses on the first sip. 

    The secret to the gimlet? A top-shelf vodka and lime cordial. If you make the cordial from scratch, it's even better.

  • 07 of 11

    White Russian

    White Russian

    The Spruce

    A great and super easy drink that also hails from the vodka boom, the white Russian was just coming into its modern form during the era of "Mad Men." Filled with cream and Kahlua, it's the ultimate happy hour cocktail, just what you need to unwind after work. Then again, it's also a great choice when you're curled up on the couch trying to make it through season five!

  • 08 of 11

    Bloody Mary

    Bloody Mary

    The Spruce

    The ultimate brunch (or hangover) drink, the bloody Mary made a number of appearances during morning meetings on "Mad Men." If only that was acceptable workplace etiquette today!

    Nonetheless, it's a great tomato-based drink that can be made to fit your style. If you want to break from the vodka routine, opt for gin, tequila, whiskey, or skip the booze and make it a virgin.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Gibson

    Gibson Cocktail With Cocktail Onions
    James And James / Getty Images

    "Mad Men" drinks are not all about whiskey and vodka. Gin made a rare appearance as well and it was usually when someone ordered the occasional Gibson

    This drink is nothing more than a gin martini garnished with a cocktail olive or three. It may be a small change, but this tiny adornment does make a difference.

  • 10 of 11

    Blue Hawaiian

    Blue Hawaii cocktail

    The Spruce

     

    Two tiki cocktails shook up the swanky cocktail scene of "Mad Men" and the blue Hawaiian is one of them. It's perfect for those times when you get to step out of the office for a few days.

    You can think of it as a beautiful blue piña colada. The mix of rum and blue curacao with coconut and pineapple is fantastic and it can be shaken or blended, your choice.

  • 11 of 11

    Mai Tai

    Mai tai cocktail

    The Spruce

     

    One last drink will complete your "Mad Men" cocktail repertoire and this one is literally "out of this world." The mai tai is a favorite in the tiki scene and there are a number of recipes available, so there is sure to be one that is just your style. 

    The most classic recipe mixes light and dark rums, curacao, lime juice, and orgeat syrup. Yet, if you're in the mood for a fruitier drink, the tropical taste of a mai tai with pineapple and orange juices should do just fine.