My all time favorite cocktail is the classic Old Fashioned. The reason this cocktail has prevailed throughout decades is because it's just THAT good.
I think it's fun to have a themed meal or cocktail when having friends over to watch an event or show on tv; and Mad Men is a perfect example. There's nothing like sippin' on an Old Fashioned with Don Draper.
The typical recipe seen today is an orange slice muddled in simple syrup with a marischino cherry or two, add a couple dashes of bitters, one shot of Whiskey (1.5 ounce), and topped with a splash of soda.
When at home, I only tweak mine slightly from that recipe.
I've recently discovered Four Roses bourbon. It's one of the best tasting bourbons at it's price range, which is pretty inexpensive. Plus it's got a cute story...
"It began when Paul Jones, Jr., the founder of Four Roses Bourbon, became smitten by the beauty of a Southern belle. It is said that he sent a proposal to her, and she replied that if her answer were "Yes," she would wear a corsage of roses on her gown to the upcoming grand ball. Paul Jones waited for her answer excitedly on that night of the grand ball…when she arrived in her beautiful gown, she wore a corsage of four red roses. He later named his Bourbon "Four Roses" as a symbol of his devout passion for the lovely belle, a passion he thereafter transferred to making his beloved Four Roses Bourbon."
I start of with a slice of a Cara Cara orange (a type of navel orange with a pinkish inside, they have a bit more tangy flavor and great color) and two maraschino cherries. Then I add 3 or 4 dashes of bitters (here I have pictured the typical Peychauds, but if you can get your hands on Fee Brother's bitters, they have much better flavor in my opinion) Then add a dash of simple syrup (which I never buy, I only make myself because it's much cheaper, here's an easy simple syrup recipe) or you can use a sugar cube if you have one handy.
Now it's time to muddle. I got my muddler for a couple bucks at an ABC store. I like my old fashioned extra muddled, making sure to crush the cherries and press hard on the orange rind to really release the citrus. Then you add ice and pour in your bourbon (1.5 ounce is a normal pour). Where the original recipe is just a splash of soda, I like to add a bit more; and I've discovered that orange/mandarin flavored soda water tastes delicious in this cocktail.
Voila! Now it's time for some Mad Men. ;)