Mad Men Old Fashioned Recipe

October 9, 2017 (Last Updated: January 6, 2021) - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Like the AMC Classic that inspired it, this Mad Men Old Fashioned Recipe is fun, tasty, and has big flavor. This tasty drink is like putting the 1950s in lowball class.

A picture of a mad men old fashioned on a park table with cards in the background

Some people like to say that there is only one way to make an Old Fashioned. I believe this is wrong. Some even sneer at the notion of an orange and cherry in their Old Fashioned just as some old curmudgeon may yell to the local kids to “Get off my lawn!” It makes the old curmudgeon’s lawn that much more tempting and fun to play on, doesn’t it? Today, for our very last Old Fashioned post, we are going to go down the route of a more modern take Old Fashioned cocktail that is inspired by the AMC hit, Mad Men. Enjoy our delicious Mad Men Old Fashioned Recipe!

Mad Men Old Fashioned Recipe

Prohibition and its role in a new Old Fashioned

As we talked about in the post on the history of the Old Fashioned, prohibition changed the nature of the cocktail world. Once prohibition was repealed, there was a whole bunch of tradition and history that was damaged. Additionally, there was also a new opportunity for new traditions and history be made.

During prohibition and after, we started seeing oranges and cherries be added to the Old Fashioned cocktail. We saw the ritual of muddling right in the glass disappear. We saw the Old Fashioned turn into the kind of cocktail that both Don Draper from Mad Men and mee maw might have drunk. Sure, it might resemble a bit of a fruit salad, but fruit salads are sometimes yummy, right?

Somewhere in the past decade or so, there has been a resurgence of a more traditional Old Fashioned, and that is great. It celebrates old-timey things and looks closely at the history of the cocktail. I love it. What I don’t like is that some dismiss the orange/cherry version of an Old Fashioned as **not** being an old fashioned. Just because the definition of something might change over time does not mean there is less value to either definition. Very reputable organizations have included the orange/cherry variation of the Old Fashioned as being the standard version. It is ok to celebrate the fruity version of the Old Fashioned!

Pouring bitters over sugar cube
Lemon, cherry, bitters, sugar in a glass
pours whiskey
Stirring the old fashioned cocktail
overhead view of an old fashioned cocktail

Mad Men Old Fashioned Recipe

With that, let’s get to it with the Mad Men version of the cocktail.


Mad Men Old Fashioned Recipe

A picture of a mad men old fashioned on a park table with cards in the background

An Old Fashioned recipe that stays true to Don Draper and the Mad Men Television series.

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 2 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 Minutes
  • Total Time: 5 Minutes
  • Yield: 1 Cocktail 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • 3 Dashes Bitters
  • 1 Orange Round (+ one wedge or round for garnish)
  • 1 Luxardo Maraschino Cherry (+ one cherry for garnish)
  • Splash Water
  • 1 Large Ice Cube


  1. Place sugar cube in lowball or Old Fashioned glass
  2. Add three dashes of bitter
  3. Add Maraschino Cherry
  4. Add Orange
  5. Add Splash of Water
  6. Muddle
  7. Remove orange rind
  8. Add Ice
  9. Add Whiskey
  10. Stir
  11. Add Orange and Cherry Garnish
  12. Serve

Keywords: Mad Men Old Fashioned

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  • Reply
    October 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Great to find your blog for amazing drink recipes!

  • Reply
    October 9, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    What a great looking drink! I really love your version!

    • Reply
      October 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      THANK YOU!

  • Reply
    Monica | Nourish & Fete
    October 9, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    This looks fantastic – I love your version! Makes me want to go mix up an Old Fashioned right this very moment!

  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    October 9, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    My husband loves that show…me not so much. He would get a kick out of this drink. Probably make one and watch an episode (or two).

  • Reply
    Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon
    October 9, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    What a great group of old fashioned posts! I did a ‘New England’ old fashioned recently with apple infused bourbon, and now I know I need to try your bacon recipe. As for the Mad Men old fashioned, I’m thinking that if a version of a cocktail has been enjoyed for 50 years, it’s pretty classic.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    I love the show mad men and that it was your inspiration for this cocktail!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
    October 9, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Hey, I live in bourbon country, and I say that you can make your Old Fashioned however you want! As long as you make one for me too 😉

  • Reply
    Jenni LeBaron
    October 10, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    An Old Fashioned is probably my signature drink but I don’t make them often enough at home. I should whip up another batch soon!

  • Reply
    Nicoletta @sugarlovespices
    October 14, 2017 at 10:19 am

    We don’t know much about cocktails so it’s always nice to find a blog like yours! So many interesting facts and that drink sounds amazing.

    • Reply
      October 14, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Thanks, Nicoletta!

  • Reply
    Amanda Mason
    October 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I’ve never had an old fashion before but I LOVE bitters! I used to work at a restaurant and the smell of bitters reminded my of Christmas! I’ll have to give this drink a try!!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Ive never met an old fashioned cocktail I haven’t liked. I’ll definitely be giving this a try…. I think it would be awesome for a dinner party we/re having next week!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I love an old fashioned and almost exclusively order them when I’m out. I switch back and forth between bourbon and ry and at home, I use an orange and cherry!

    • Reply
      October 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Luxardo Cherry? I looooove Luxardos

  • Reply
    Katie Crenshaw
    October 16, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Old Fashioned are my favorite drink! They don’t make them that well here in the South. I always order them when I visit my family in Wisconsin. I can’t wait to try this recipe and have one at home.

    • Reply
      October 16, 2017 at 6:14 am

      Isn’t a brandy Old Fashioned a state drink or something? 😉

  • Reply
    October 16, 2017 at 11:15 am

    This sounds like such a great drink! Thanks for sharing. I should try it!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    I love a good Old Fashioned! I really can’t believe I’ve never seen Mad Men. I think I need to make one of these and start watching one of these weekends!

  • Reply
    September 3, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I make it like Draper did in the bar. 1 cherry, 1 (brown) sugar cube, 3 dashes bitters – muddle. In another glass mix 2 ounces rye and 1 ounce of club soda with ice – stir – pour into cocktail glass containing cherry/bitters/sugar mix. Stir again. Garnish.

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