Sunday, November 28, 2010

1960s Mad Men Cocktail Party

We may not own a tellie, but that doesn't stop us from watching one of our favourite Emmy-winning TV shows -- Mad Men. Joining the ranks of The Sopranos, The Wire, Band of Brothers, Curb your Enthusiasm, Lost, and Deadwood, Mad Men has become our latest TV obsession.

It's been awhile since we had a large get together at our flat, the last being the Wine Party back in May, we thought it would be fun to organise a soiree to celebrate the holiday season and all the upcoming December birthdays. Channeling my inner Betty Draper, we hosted a Mad Men 1960s themed cocktail party at our flat yesterday and it was a great evening with friends, cocktails, and faux cigarettes.

The Setting: Send out invites early so everyone has it on their "diary" as we all know Londoners have busy schedules. Ask Gents to come in skinny ties, plaid pants, and shirt/tie and Ladies in 1960s vintage attire (think: circle dresses, high heels, red lipstick and done hair).

The Bar: It's all about cocktails and cigarettes! A full bar is a must, but at the very least, have on hand high quality gin (Bombay Sapphire) for those 1960s classic martinis and Tom Collins (my favourite); bourbon (Old Fashioned, Mint Julep, and Whiskey Sour); vodka for Vodka Gimlet (Betty Draper's choice); and rum for your modern day Mojitos. Equally important, unless you like your drinks "neat," have mixers and other "bar kit" including soda water, tonic water, variety of juices, and lemons, limes, green olives, mint, and ice. Also invest in a cocktail set with both a Boston and Manhattan Shaker. 

Most of our friends are non-smokers so we got a bunch of faux cigarettes from the party store at Clapham Junction. It looked pretty darn real! Don't forget all your Lucky Strikes to set the tone; we cheated and wrapped biscuit boxes with Lucky Strike logos as decorations.

Music: Start your play list with jazzy notes such as Stan Getz or any Latin jazz. Then move on to classic rock such as The Beattles (Can't Buy Me Love, Love Me Do), Jimi Hendrix (All Along the Watch Tower) , The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, or pop rock including as Elvis or The Beach Boy, and Motown -- think The Supremes and The Temptations.

The Food: Keep it simple with 1960s classics Deviled Eggs, chip-n-dip in honour of Pete Campbell, veggie platter, lamb skewers, and a cheese plate. Also have on hand, peanuts, bread sticks with hummus, and crisp (chip for all you Americans).

Entertainment: Once everyone has had a few round of drinks, time for a 1960s trivia! At this party, the Americans were outnumbered by Brazilians so I had to split the two token Americans up since my trivia questions were somewhat North America-centric (I was excluded being the host) -- one team with  Keenan and the other team with our American friend representing New Jersey. I came up with trivia questions in four categories: Mad Men & 1960s TV; History & Politics; Pop Culture, Movies, and Music; and Sports. It was a lot of fun and looking forward to Season 5 of Mad Men and our next theme party get together.

Enjoy the photos below:
Keenan in Mad Men Mode
Channeling our inner Drapers...
Cigarettes and a glass of wine a la Betty Draper

Mad Men Yourself...Keenan and Lily


1960s Trivia Questions

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