08 August, 2010

A 'Mad for Mad Men' Dinner Party - Part 2 - Invitations, Menus and Trivia

As promised in my last post, I thought I would give you my tips on how to host a great 'Mad Men' dinner party.

The table set in preparation for dinner - I brought out my best china and linen napkins! (PS I served the appetizers in the lounge with drinks, they are just on the dining table to keep them away the hands of my little children who would have devoured the lot otherwise!)

First, the most important thing: dinner and drinks. I was going to cook an exact replica of the 'trip around the world' dinner Betty hosts in Season 2 but I didn't really like the food she cooked for that (I am not a fan of gazpacho for a start!). So instead I devised a menu based on food and drinks featured in various Mad Men episodes (or with a New York theme), as follows:

Appetizers: Caramelised Onion dip in a 'Chip and Dip' with crackers, melba toast and pretzels (Season 1: Pete Campbell takes back an unwanted wedding present to the store, a 'Chip and Dip' which he says is used to serve onion dip and chips; Season 3: Betty looks for Melba Toast to eat whilst pregnant)

Entree: Waldorf Salad (Season 3: Connie from The Hilton mentions this iconic salad)

Main: Beef Wellington (Season 1: Roger Sterling orders this for one of his rendezvous with Joanie); served with Potato Gratin and Creamed Spinach (Season 1: Betty orders this during a dinner with Don)

Dessert: New York cheesecake (not featured in Mad Men but obviously very New York!).

I got all my recipes from the internet, except the New York cheesecake one, which I got from Jamie Oliver's 'Cook with Jamie' book (its called "Bloomin easy vanilla cheesecake'). I will leave it up to you to find the recipes you most like as the Beef Wellington can be made several ways (some use veal pate, others use prosciutto). I highly recommend the Jamie Oliver cheesecake - it is made with real vanilla pods (not essence) and orange zest and is absolutely fabulous. One tip for the Waldorf Salad - don't use commercially bought mayonnaise - yuch. Homemade mayo is fairly simple to make (again, I used a Jamie Oliver recipe), you just need an egg yolk, dijon mustard and lots of olive oil. It really made a difference to the salad - it was really nice and fresh with homemade mayonnaise.
Now onto drinks - yaaay! Obviously no Mad Men dinner party would be complete without the mandatory 'Old Fashioneds', 'Gimlets' and wine (Betty is always holding a glass of red wine in the evenings when Don comes home from work)(I try to emulate her!)

There are various recipes for 'Old Fashioneds' so I will leave it to you to find the one you like the most. I found that having some orange and lemon zest added a nice zing to it (I am not a fan of Bourbon whiskey) and some soda water makes it more palatable (otherwise it can be rather strong).

Next to creating a 'Mad Men' ambiance for your dinner party. As well as printing out vintage ads and putting these around the house, I also made up some menus to incorporate the theme of Mad Men and to show the guests the link between each course and the relevant 'Mad Men' episode. . .

(I have attached a copy of the menu to the bottom of this post if you want to look at it more closely)

I also put on some 1950's and 60's music (such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan). If you want to be really authentic, you can download the actual music used in the series from http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men/music/.

Another great way to get guests in a 'Mad Men' mood is to have games, so after the main course  for my dinner party I organized a ‘Mad Men’ trivia quiz, which was great fun. There are a lot of trivia questions on the Official Mad Men site http://www.amctv.com/games/. I have attached below the trivia questions I used (a mixture of my own ones and the ones from the Mad Men website). I included some silly ones to add some fun to the evening (eg: Exactly how many hours of work does Bert Cooper do per week? How many times in the series (S1-3) does Betty say to her children ‘Go watch TV’!)

I have also attached below a copy of the invitations I made up for my dinner, so feel free to use these if you wish!

I hope you have great fun holding your very own 'Mad for Mad Men' dinner party!




Where: [insert address]

Time and date: [insert]

Dress: Please dress as your favourite Mad Men character (if possible!)

Highlights: Gimlets, Old-fashioneds; a ‘Mad Men’ Triva contest and other fun-filled 1950’s and 60’s activities
Menu: I will be serving a 3 course meal, including a beef main. Please let me know if you have any dietary requirements.
Please bring: a bottle of wine and lots of room for food and drink!
Contact details: [insert]



Friday 23 July 2010

Caramelized Onion dip served in a ‘Chip and Dip’ with ‘Utz’ potato chip Pretzels and Melba toast (S1-3)
Waldorf Salad (S3)

Beef Wellington served with potato au gratin and creamed spinach (S1)

New York Cheesecake (S1-3)


1. An easy one to start off with. Who said this?

‘What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons’

Ans: Don Draper

2. Where do the Drapers live?

Ossining, up State New York?

3. What does FDDT stand for?

That’s how Bobbie Barrett refers to Don Draper’s way with the ladies: getting the Full Don Draper Treatment

4. Who at Sterling Cooper discovered Donald Draper and where? Ans: Roger Sterling, as a fur company

5. What are Joan Holloway’s measurements (bust, waist and hips please)?

Answer: I have no idea, but I would guess: 38DD; 27, 40

6. This is one for the girls: What would you do if Don Draper burst into your bedroom:

(a) ask him to take off his clothes and give you the ‘Full Don Draper treatment’

(b) ask him to leave his clothes on and admire his fantastic early 1960’s suit with white breastpocket fold and gold cufflinks all night

(c) ask for the Full Don Draper treatment but tell him to keep his brilliantly shined black shoes firmly on and be very careful not to tousle his immaculately groomed hair.

7. What does Betty give to Glen (Helen Bishop's son), per his request, when she is babysitting for him?

A cookie

A beer

A lock of hair

Her garter

A lock of her hair

Now onto some hard ones:

First, some from Season 1:

8. When Ken chases down the office girl to peek at her underwear, what color does he say he discovers?

• Blue

• Tangerine

• Pink

• White

Ans: Blue

9. What war did Don fight in?




Bay of Pigs Invasion

Ans: Korea

10. Which character says the following line: "Psychiatry is just this year's candy pink stove."

• Don Draper

• Roger Sterling

• Mona Sterling

• Ken Cosgrove

Ans: Roger Sterling

11. Which character says this line? "If you had your way, I would be stranded in some paperweight with my legs stuck in the air."

Helen Bishop

Peggy Olson

Joan Holloway


Ans: Joan Holloway (to Roger Sterling)

12. Which of these characters has sex in the Sterling Cooper offices?

• Pete Campbell

• Harry Crane

• Peggy Olson

• All of the above

Ans: all of the above

13. What breed of dogs are in the cage on the roof of Menken's department store?

Black Labs

Golden Retrievers

German Shepherds

Pit Bulls

Ans: German Shepherds

Now onto Season 2:

14. What is the name of Roger's childhood nanny?





Ans: Belva. During dinner at Toots Shore, Roger says, "My nanny Belva made fried chicken. I used to take it to school wrapped in wax paper."

15. Pete's postcard refers to Niagara Falls as "The ______ place on earth."





Ans: wettest. "He's on a honeymoon, right?" asks Peggy. "Hasn't left the room, apparently," Ken replies.

16. Which Frank O’Hara poem does Don Draper read from in Season 2?

Mayakovsky from the book ‘Meditations in an Emergency’

(read from it)

17. The characters on Mad Men do quite a bit of reading. Link each of these books to the characters that either referred to them or read them in the series

Atlas Shrugged - Bert Cooper told Don in Season 1 to spend $1.99 on a copy of Ayn Rand's book

Meditations in an Emergency - Don reads from this in Ep 1, S2

Ship of Fools - Betty reads on couch after defrosting the fridge

Lady Chatterley’s lover - Peggy asks to read it in S1 - I think it is Joanie’s copy

18. Airlines were mentioned frequently in Season 2. Which one was actually a Sterling Cooper client?

American Airlines

Mohawk Airlines

Pan Am


Ans: Mohawk: Eventually, however, Mohawk was dropped as a client when Sterling Cooper decided to go after American Airlines.

19. What is the name of the Draper’s family dog?

Polly (golden retriever)

20. At his physical, how much does Don admit to drinking and smoking every day?

4 drinks, one pack a day

4 drinks, two packs a day

5 drinks, two packs a day

5 drinks, one pack a day

The correct answer is 5 drinks, two packs a day

"You live too hard," the doctor tells him.

Now onto Season 3 I think:

21. When Gene and Sally go for a drive, how fast does Gene make the car go?

25 mph

30 mph

35 mph

40 mph

The correct answer is 25 mph

With Bobby sitting in the back seat, Gene takes the car to 25 mph to keep traffic flowing while Sally is driving.

22. How much time does Peggy spend going to and from work each day?

1 hour

2 hours

30 minutes

90 minutes

Ans: 2 hours Peggy tells Anita her total commute is two hours, requiring her to spend a fortune on subway fare, cabs and new pantyhose.

23. According to her ad for a roommate posted up in Sterling Cooper, how does Peggy feel about pets?

She'd prefer a pet-free home.

She'll only consider cats.

She's allergic to cats; dogs are fine.

She's a lover of all kinds of animals.

Margaret Olson, as Peggy calls herself on the ad, is allergic to cats but "will tolerate dogs

24. What does Duck send Peggy after their lunch time meeting?

A box of Godiva chocolates

A Cartier watch

Earrings from Tiffany's

An Hermes scarf

"Elegance and success" reads the attached note. Peggy muses, "I wonder who wrote that for him."

25. Where did Betty go to College?

Bryn Mawr?

For extra points, what was her major?

What did she say after revealing this tidbit? "We all have skills we don't use," says Betty

26. How much does Don tell Sal that the Lucky Strike account is worth to Sterling Cooper?

$5 million

$10 million

$20 million

$25 million

The correct answer is $25 million

"They could shut off our lights," says Don to Sal about letting his firing stand.


1. Who was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1963?

Supreme Court in 1963?

Earl Warren

Felix Frankfurter

Thurgood Marshall

Warren Burger

Ans: Earl Warren

An Eisenhower nominee and former governor of California, Warren was chief justice from 1953 to 1969.

2. Which Brit was proclaimed an honorary U.S. citizen by President Kennedy?

honorary U.S. citizen by President Kennedy?

Harold MacMillan

John Profumo

Queen Elizabeth II

Winston Churchill

The correct answer is Winston Churchill

Churchill was recognized on April 9 at a ceremony in the White House. Only five others, including the Marquis de Lafayette and Mother Teresa, have received the honor.

3. On June 11, Gov. George Wallace stood in front of the doors of what university to prevent black students from registering black students from registering? black students from registering?

University of Alabama

University of Georgia

University of Kentucky

University of Mississippi

Ans: Uni Alabama

Wallace was elected on a platform of segregation, declaring at his inauguration, "I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

4. Who was the highest paid movie star of 1963?

Cary Grant

Elizabeth Taylor

Sean Connery

Steve McQueen

Ans: Elizabeth Taylor - she received a $1 million salary for starring in that year's Cleopatra.

5. Which of these toys was introduced in 1963?

Crissy Doll

Easy Bake Oven

Etch A Sketch

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

Ans: Easy bake oven - Kenner introduced the pint-sized oven in 1963 for $15.95. Hasbro sells a modern version today.

6. On June 11, 1963, Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc assumed the lotus position in the middle of a Saigon street and proceeded to light himself on fire. As he burned to death, more than 300 fellow monks warded off police so that he could finish what he had set out to do. What was the monk protested? Against South Vietnam president Ngo Dinh Diem, a Catholic, U.S.-backed leader accused of repressing Buddhists

And a few general ones to close:

1. If you were a psychiatrist and Don Draper came to see you, what would your prognosis be?

2. How many sessions would he need to have to be cured?

3. Exactly how many hours of work does Bert Cooper do per week?

4. How many times in the series (S1-3) does Betty say to her children ‘Go watch TV’

5. Which Mad Men character are you most like?

6. Finally, if you were on a desert island, which character from Mad Men would you ask to take along with you and why?



  1. What a gorgeous idea! You certainly went to a lot of trouble, I love the idea of serving food mentioned in different episodes.

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  3. "What a gorgeous idea! You certainly went to a lot of trouble, I love the idea of serving food mentioned in different episodes." Agreed.


  4. Elated to know about this dinner party and hope you had amazing time. I am arranging a dinner party with my family at finest venue NYC. Hope to find an amazing party caterer who is reputed for making great food and book him soon.