Published March 11, 2012
Does Don Draper do finger food? Judging by the first four seasons of TV's popular "Mad Men" show it doesn't seem likely unless we're talking about a belt of bourbon with a couple of smoking hot Lucky Strikes on the side.
But since that hardly sounds appetizing, we've come up with something a little tastier to greet the return of "Mad Men" on AMC on Mar. 25.
First up are the drinks, which include a classic martini — made with gin, easy on the vermouth — and a rummy Hawaiian punch. The latter is a particularly appropriate choice since Hawaiian Punch, the juice product initially created in the '30s as a syrup ice cream topping, was the focus for a classic ad campaign in the 1960s that introduced the character "Punchy" and the tagline "How about a nice Hawaiian punch?" That's an in-your-face approach that might have come straight out of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce agency.
And don't forget the Old Fashioned, ad exec Draper's drink of choice. This one's made with rye, the way Don did in season three's "My Old Kentucky Home," episode. We didn't vault over the bar counter to fix it, though.
For food, we went retro, starting with a plate of deviled eggs, all the better if you can serve them on one of those dimpled trays made especially for this purpose. These have chopped ham and a dash of hot sauce for the "devilry" part. Serve with a smirk and your best impression of the piquant wit of Roger Sterling.
Stuffed celery is a grown-up twist on the old "ants on a log" children's snack; this is something you can easily imagine the regal Joan Harris whipping up in her small kitchen.
We've also come up with an avocado and crab mini sandwich. Avocado — both as a food and color — was a big hit in the 1960s kitchen; this combo brings in a hint of California, the "Tomorrowland" state where Draper goes to overcome his past.
And, finally, how about a cheese ball platter, the nutty classic that everyone cracks jokes about, right up until the plate's scraped clean of its creamy, cheesy goodness. It's just the thing for the season premiere, a two-hour special written by series creator Matt Weiner.
What will happen this season? Who knows? The show creators are known for being stingy with spoilers. But it seems a safe bet these recipes will make for a perfectly swell party.