Hosting a Mad Men viewing party? We've got some ideas for you, from the costumes to the music, food and drinks. (PHOTO: AMC)
Mad Men season 5 officially kicks off this Sunday night on AMC with a two-hour premiere. From the Carnegie Club to the Paley Center for Media, New York City will play host to a slew of viewing parties, complete with all the food, cocktails and costumes that will surely bring everyone back to the '60s.
The next best thing of course, is hosting a Mad Men viewing party of your own. With three days to go before the big return of Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Peggy Olson and all the drama in the world of advertising, here are a few suggestions for your season five Mad Men party.
Costumes From a Joan dress to a Don vest, Mad Men has plenty to offer when it comes to style choices. If you're not spending the big bucks on an item or two from the Mad Men collection at Banana Republic (courtesy of the show's own costume designer Janie Bryant), head to your local vintage or second-hand clothing store for inspiration.
AMC also has an interactive fashion flip book with commentary from Bryant, who provides insider information on things like Trudy's jewels at the cuffs of her cocktail dress.
Borrowing from AMC's Mad Men Party Guide, hosts are also encouraged to don a hostess apron, pick up a few hats (try the dollar store or street stands, now that spring is here) and sport clamdiggers and ballet flats (if the cocktail dress isn't your thing).
Ladies -- don't forget the lipstick. Men -- don't forget the fedora.
Tip: Carrying an unlit cigarette or cigar also adds a splash of 1960s class to your party look.
Music It's the 1960s, which means The Beatles, Sam Cooke, and oh yeah, more Beatles.
No time for a personalized playlist? Buy AMC's Mad Men: A Musical Companion (digital or CD), the two-disc set released just one year ago. The compilation, which includes hits from Etta James, Connie Francis, Ella Fitzgerald and Marvin Gaye, will definitely put your party people in the right mood (back to the '60s). Official soundtracks for seasons one through four are also available for purchase.
Tip: For an even more realistic sound, try any of the above on vinyl.
Food The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook has plenty of recipes inspired by the show's first four seasons. From Trudy's roast chicken to a Caesar salad, the book is an endless resource of recipes (cocktails included).
The folks over at Epicurious also have a Mad Men menu for eight, which includes spicy-smokey peanuts, fillet of beef wellington paired with creamed spinach and potato gratin, finishing with a baked Alaska for dessert.
The Daily Meal, meanwhile, has suggested a buffet platter instead of a multi-course evening. (Spend a few minutes ordering takeout and transferring the food into mini bowls on a lazy Susan, suggests party planner Mary Giuliani).
Tip: If you really don't have time for a dinner menu prior to the 9 p.m. start time, send your viewers home with a Mad Men inspired cupcake. Our pick is the Brandy Alexander cupcake -- recipe available at food blog Rock Salt.
Drink Ah, the highlight of any Mad Men party -- what will everyone be drinking? A Blue Hawaiian? Dirty Partini? Vodka Gimlet? (We're looking at you, Betty). You really can't go wrong when it comes to the cocktail menu. To save money (and cleaning time), offer one or two signature cocktails, or tell your guests to bring their own mixers and spirit of choice. Have a bowl of punch (no alcohol) to serve as a buffer.
Here's a recipe for a Don Draper Old Fashioned:
Ingredients: 2 dashes of aromatic bitters ½ tsp of sugar dissolved with water and bitters 1 ½ oz of bourbon 1 cherry 1 orange slice 1 lemon wedge
Instructions: Fill glass with ice. Add cherry, orange slice, lemon wedge. Add bourbon. Serve in a rocks glass over ice.
For more ideas, watch this video of How To Drink Like A Mad Men, courtesy of New York Magazine's Vulture: