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The Drinker’s Guide to "Mad Men" Cocktails

Vodka Martini
Vodka Martini Image: / Tim Nusog

From Roger Sterling’s Vodka Martinis to Don Draper’s Old Fashioneds, the characters of Mad Men are rarely without a drink. Liquor is as much a part of the story as landing the next big ad campaign. Small wonder, then, that the TV show was known nearly as much for its cocktails as for its plot. Some might even argue that the show played a part in helping to resurrect many classics from the pre-Prohibition era and give them new life in the modern day.

So when you're rewatching it on streaming platforms, you’ll of course want to get in the mood by fixing some drinks to echo those that the characters are imbibing. These are seven staples that have been consumed in memorable Mad Men scenes.

  • Old Fashioned

    Bourbon Old Fashioned / Tim Nusog

    Whether he’s entertaining clients or meeting Megan for dinner, this most traditional of recipes is one of Don Draper’s favorites. In the third season, Don even makes an Old Fashioned for hotel baron Conrad Hilton. (Yes, that’s Paris’ great-grandfather.)

    Get the recipe.

  • Manhattan

    Manhattan cocktail / Tim Nusog

    After her breakup with Mark in season four, Peggy heads off to a bar with Don for some liquid consolation—and, really, who better to ask for relationship advice? As she sips her Manhattan, Don attempts to help, while Peggy accuses him of not finding her attractive enough.

    Get the recipe.

  • Vodka Gimlet

    Vodka Gimlet / Tim Nusog

    Shortly after their not-so-amicable divorce, Betty runs into Don and his young, blond date while out to dinner with her new beau, Henry Francis. She’s so shaken by the encounter that she proceeds to have a few too many Vodka Gimlets. “You need a drink?” Henry asks her. “That is not something you’re allowed to say.”

    Get the recipe.

  • Whiskey Sour

    Whiskey Sour / Tim Nusog

    This delicious and refreshing cocktail makes an appearance in season four when Lane’s father takes his son and Don to the Playboy Club. Lane downs three and then falls in love with his waitress, Toni.

    Get the recipe.

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  • Bloody Mary

    Bloody Mary / Tim Nusog

    Two seasons ago, after Roger and Joan are held up at gunpoint, Joan is so upset that, naturally, Roger comforts her in his special way. When Joan later discovers that she’s pregnant with Roger’s baby, we see her sipping a Bloody Mary while deciding on a plan of action.

    Get the recipe.

  • Gibson

    Gibson cocktail / Tim Nusog

    “My generation, we drink because it’s good,” Roger says. “Because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar. Because we deserve it.” And when he’s not enjoying vodka on the rocks or in Martinis, he’s ordering a Gibson, made with—what else?—vodka instead of the classic gin.

    Get the recipe.

  • Vodka Martini

    Vodka Martini / Tim Nusog

    Roger is a champion drinker, and his standard order is vodka on the rocks—Stoli, to be exact. But when he’s entertaining brand execs, he switches to the Vodka Martini—he sure does love his olive “dinners.”

    Get the recipe.