Don Draper Special

Before you Mad Men fans attack, yes, I imagine Don Draper wouldn't be caught dead drinking a cocktail with maraschino juice. But we are both spending out lunch hour with a rocks glass in hand all in the name of work. Some days my test kitchen may as well be the commissary at Sterling Cooper. It was just a few weeks ago I was testing margaritas while the baby napped (the babysitter was on duty, so please stop dialing the authorities).

Today, I'm tweaking a drink recipe I started on this weekend. Thankfully the Mr. enjoys a good post kid-bedtime cocktail as much as I do. My first pass started with some bourbon, maraschino juice (straight from the jar), orange juice, triple sec and splash of vermouth and seltzer. It was an interesting start and reminded me of what would happen if an old-fashioned loosened it's necktie.

The first fix was homemade maraschino cherries. After making them a few years back from Nick Mautone's Raising the Bar, its a crime I keep the jarred stuff in the fridge. It's ridiculously easy…to overcook them that is, so keep an eye. I lost track of time while making them yesterday and mine came out too soggy instead of plump and firm (new batch being made this afternoon and I'll post recipe when there are more respectable pics to accompany). That said, the taste is incomparable.

So, my latest incarnation of the drink is more refined. Still ladylike from the freshmade maraschino juice but manly enough with a bit of bourbon, vermouth and few dashes of orange bitters. Now, I need your help. Betty Draper drinks vodka gimlets, so I can't name it that.

Have a name you think is just right? Leave it in the comments for a chance to win a copy of Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries & Shakes cookbook. Comments must be left by 11:59pm tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27th, to be eligible and the winner will be chosen using It gets better, if I choose a name from any of the comments left, then another lucky person wins a copy of Curtis Stone's new Relaxed Cooking book. Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with. Good luck!


Mystery Cocktail

serve two

Make sure your seltzer is fresh and full of fizz. There's a link for Regan's orange bitters which I used, as well as a few others I added to the online store.

1 ounce bourbon

1 ounce marschino juice (not liquer)

two generous splashes of vermouth

few dashes of orange bitters


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in ingredients. Cover and shake until sweat beads form on outside. Strain into ice-filled rocks glasses. Add an equal amount of seltzer. Garnish each drink with a maraschino cherry.

**Winner is lucky number 11! Congrats Neucky.**

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