Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I watched Sunday night's Mad Men episode, and am really excited about what's ahead for our man, Don Draper.  For those who haven't seen the episode, or the series, and want to be left in the dark, scroll down to the drink.

Draper is fun when he is in control of his life.  He made routinely bad choices as a husband, but, it was entertaining for us viewers because he controlled his life.  He was a self-made man in every respect.  This season though, until last episode, he was lost in the proverbial woods.  He was drinking too much, but that wasn't as tough to watch as the overall inability to control his surroundings.  The two go hand in hand of course, but the drinking was only a part of his issues. 

His wife left him, women generally found him less attractive, his work began to suffer, and his relationship with his children deteriorated.  Now, he seeks control.  He drinks, but drinks less.  He makes measured decisions (see not going home with the gorgeous co-worker Faye).  He works out.  He works out!!  I mean, we're talking about an era in which physical fitness was still unheard of for the modern working man. 

My favorite part of the episode was the initial scene.  Don diving into the pool, diving into water.  There is no greater archetype used in literature than water signaling a rebirth.  It was clear the direction the episode would take.  Don is back baby!  He's a new man.  He may not cavort with women the same way, but hopefully this new Don is as entertaining as the Don of seasons past.  For a fantastic comparison of last night's episode with "The Swimmer", a short story by the great John Cheever, read here.

And what would Don drink if given the chance?  Maybe the McCrory, a light cocktail with whisky.  Everyone on Mad Men loves whisky.

Taken from Esquire's fantastic online drink database, here.

1 ounce rye whisky
1 dash Angostura bitters
1/4 teaspoon superfine sugar
club soda
Stir in a Collins glass with 2 to 3 ice cubes, then fill to taste with club soda or seltzer; serve with a straw.

This is a decent drink, something you can throw together when you're low on supplies and don't want to get too tipsy.  It's low on alcohol, but thankfully rye whiskey provides enough flavor and punch that the club soda won't drown out its great qualities. 

One piece of advice - definitely put in a small amount of club soda, taste, and repeat until it's the right mix.  I probably put in a little too much club soda, as you can see from the photo.  My drink tastes just fine, but I probably could have used less club soda and been even happier.

This is a solid cocktail to drink before dinner.  A dinner out with the guys in the works?  Perfect, throw some of these together before heading out.

Enjoy the McCrory, we'll see you on Friday with the Honey Bee!
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