Welcome to Mad Men Week! Every day this week, I’m celebrating the March 25 return of “Mad Men” with a recipe inspired by the show. Because it’s my jam.
If “Mad Men” has a foodie, it’s my favorite character, Joan Holloway Harris (Christina Hendricks).
Sure, Betty Draper (January Jones) had a good run with her “Trip Around the World” menu in season 2, but since then, she’s been apron-deep in hot dogs and spaghetti.
I don’t think we’ve actually seen her eat in years. (Vodka Gimlets don’t count.)
On the other hand, Joan’s always on top of ’60s food trends. Entertaining buffet-style? Check. Ordering Chinese takeout? Absolutely for the office Christmas party. Jumping on the soul food trend? It’s hard to forget Lane Pryce’s reaction when she asks if he wants a breast or a thigh. (“Both!”)
She’s the one who makes sure the Sterling Cooper men have restaurant reservations at the hottest restaurants in New York.
So, you can’t conjure up a “Mad Men” menu without asking the question, “What would Joan serve?”
And, what would she wear?
Last season, Joan surprised her husband with a surprise Hawaiian-themed brunch for two.
Outfit? A Chinese-style mini-dress with dangling pineapple earrings and a lei.
Menu? Joanie had outdone herself with ambrosia (a fruit salad with orange segments, grated coconut and, in this case, maraschino cherries), a pineapple-glazed ham, biscuits and a bottle of Champagne on ice.
But if you look closely at her table, there’s also a glass filled with a mystery drink she’s been sipping.
Something sky blue.
It’s got to be a Blue Hawaiian.
The Blue Hawaiian is a variation on the Blue Hawaii cocktail invented by Harry Yee in 1957, when he was bartending in Waikiki. Tourists at his bar were ordering Hawaiian cocktails – only there weren’t really any – so Yee started inventing them.
The Tropical Itch? That’s a Yee original.
Banana Daiquiri? His, too.
He was also the first to start garnishing drinks with fun things, like paper umbrellas and backscratchers.
Bols asked Yee to create a cocktail featuring its new blue Curaçao (“CURE-a-sow”), a blue-dyed liqueur that tastes a lot like orange peel. That’s when he came up with the Blue Hawaii, a mixture of rum, vodka, blue Curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix.
The Blue Hawaiian is more like a Piña Colada. No vodka. No sweet-and-sour mix. Just blue Curaçao, rum, pineapple juice and cream of coconut.
Blend it with a cup of ice, and you’ve got a sweet, fruity, tropical slush as blue as the ocean.
It’s exactly the sort of new, exciting cocktail a foodie like Joan would stay abreast of.
It’s a drink made for daydreaming.
To work it like our favorite redhead, pick up some tiki accessories (e.g. a stack of leis, a tropical tablecloth and napkins, pineapple anything), wear your best Chinese-style mini-dress, and don’t forget the paper umbrellas.
Even More “Mad Men”:
Rum French Toast with Maple-Rum Syrup
“Big Texas Belt Buckle” T-Bone Steak
“Mad Men” Premiere Menu (2009)
Makes 1 cocktail
- 1 ounce blue Curaçao
- 1 ounce light rum
- 1 ounce cream of coconut
- 2 ounces pineapple juice
- 1 cup ice
- Garnish: cherry, pineapple slice
- Blend blue curaçao, rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice and ice.
- Pour into a tall glass.
- Garnish with a cherry and a slice of pineapple. Aloha!
Note: You can also combine the blue curaçao, rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice, and pour them into a highball glass filled with ice.