Are you ready for some Mad Men? And do you have your cocktail shaker locked and loaded?
I'm torn about this final season premiere. I'm excited that the show is back but I'm also sad that the whole shebang is coming to end. However, I'm a firm believer that when a show is good, it should end gracefully, on a high, rather than continuing on ad infinitum until it jumps the shark.
(Are you listening, Shonda Rhimes? Grey's Anatomy should have ended about two seasons ago. Just sayin'.)
One of my favorite things about Mad Men (me and about a gajillion other people, I know) is the authentic mid-century feel of the sets and the costumes, as well as the characters' behaviors. And while those behaviors are not all admirable (e.g., smoking like chimneys), I think they did a lot of things right in the 50s and 60s.
Ah, classic vintage cocktails. No frou frou wine spritzers or pink umbrella drinks for the Mad Men, no sirreebob. (Can you imagine Don Draper ordering a skinny margarita?) And while Roger may have a weakness for a martini (or six) and Don his Old Fashioneds or Manhattans, mine is the same as moody ice queen Betty Draper Francis': the gimlet.
On this blog, my love of cocktails is no big secret. One Mad Men-era tradition we observe around Casa de Ninj is cocktail hour, and the house favorite, hands down, is the gimlet. Not only simple to make, with only two ingredients, gimlets are the most beautiful shade of celery green that you'll ever see. In fact, I once painted our living room what I dubbed “gimlet green”, although I didn't go so far as to bring a shakerful with me to color-match at the paint store.
Traditionally, gimlets are made with gin. As I've never been a big fan of gin (too juniper-y for me), I tend to shake up a vodka gimlet instead. Please note my verb choice: perfect gimlets are always shaken and served in beautiful stemware, never callously dumped over ice in a highball glass with a wedge of lime.
However, I recently discovered (late to the party, as usual) Tanqueray Rangpur gin, which is way less herbal and has a hint of fresh lime. And oh, that hint of lime makes a gimlet sublime!
The key to The Ninj's gimlet recipe is a little bit of water – just the right amount to keep the lime from overwhelming the entire composition. (In all fairness, the exact water-to-lime ratio was perfected by Mr. Ninj.)
Whether you prefer gin or vodka -- my fave brand is Luksusowa -- the recipe is the same; just pick your gimlet poison.
To celebrate the Mad Men final season, I've teamed up with some other awesome bloggers for a giveaway with some cool vintage and vintage-style prizes (plus a $100 Mod Cloth gift card!); enter via the widget just after the gimlet recipe. We're all featuring Mad Men-inspired vintage food and drink recipes, so be sure to check out their posts as well:
- Gin Rickey from Bakeaholic Mama
- Whiskey Sour from Pass the Sushi
- Old Fashioned from Poet in the Pantry
- Mad Men Manhattan with Mushroom Pate from Creative Culinary
- Pink French 75 from Kelly Bakes
- Sazerac Cocktail from Jelly Toast Blog
- Classic Negroni from The Messy Baker
- Vegan French Onion Dip from The Viet Vegan
- Pimento Cheese and Crackers from The Noshery
- Chicken Salad Sliders from The Lemon Bowl
- Fried Green Olives Stuffed with Blue Cheese from Simply Healthy Family
- Cheesy Asparagus Spirals from Comfortably Domestic
- Easy Cocktail Meatballs The Realistic Nutritionist
- JELL-O Crown Jewel Dessert Cake from The Apron Archives
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake from I am a Honeybee
Are you a Mad Men fan? More importantly, are you a fan of vintage cocktails? And most importantly, are you a gimlet lover? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.
The GimletMakes two 5-ounce gimlets.
6 ounces gin or vodka (I prefer Tanqueray Rangpur gin)
2 ounces sweetened lime juice
2 ounces cold water
Fill a cocktail shaker about half full with ice cubes. Shake vigorously to break up some of the cubes. Add the liquor, lime juice and water and shake again. Strain into 2 martini-style stemmed glasses.
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