A Drink Like Don’s: How Mad Men Helped the Old Fashioned’s Revival

don-draper The season six premiere of Mad Men is coming up in just a few short weeks. AMC already has their promo out and as I watched the tantalizing clips the other night I remembered Don Draper’s yen for the Old Fashioned. I think it’s safe to say that the amber colored cocktail has made more appearances on that show than some of the supporting characters, and as a result, its quiet presence unleashed a whole new love for this classic drink.

Similar to the draw of the Cosmopolitan on Sex and the City, the Old Fashioned on Mad Men introduced many to this original whiskey cocktail and induced them to order it at bars in droves. As Robert Simonson wrote in a May 2012 article for the New York Times called “Old-Fashioned or New Fangled, the Old-Fashioned is Back,” “A quick scan of today’s drinking scene illustrates the cocktail’s new currency. It’s a rare craft cocktail bar whose debut menu doesn’t feature either the Old-Fashioned or a modern twist on the drink’s elegant formula of whiskey, water, sugar and bitters.”

In keeping with the resurgence of the Old Fashioned, Albert W. A. Schmid’s The Old Fashioned has over 40 recipes for variations on the drink, from the pared down, no explanation “The Old Waldorf Bar Old Fashioned” to the more exotic “Blackberry Honey Old Fashioned.” Though Don Draper might not have gone in for the latter, we happen to think he would approve of an entire book devoted to his favorite drink.


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