How to Host an Authentic Mad Men Style Cocktail Party

Creating the look and feel of a Mad Men party doesn’t have to require a smoke-filled room. Stock up on some of these authentic 1960’s groovy goods, a few bottles of booze, and get ready to jam. Here are a few ways to throw an authentic Mad Men style cocktail party.  

Dress the Part

TMM_Red_Dresshe first thing most ladies will ask when planning or attending a party is, what on earth will I wear? Pick up this red hot 1960’s number from Etsy seller Catbooks 1940s and you’ll be sure to turn more heads than Joan at the holiday party.  Grab your guy a fedora and you’ll be good to go.

Where to Buy:  Check out Catbooks 1940’s vintage store on Etsy for this cherry red vintage 1960s very full skirt dress with lovely details and a fabulous hand-screened gray and white floral print on the skirt.


Set the Mood

No matter how many cocktails you can shake and stir, any party can fall flat without the perfect playlist.  Think the Beatles, with a mix of Ella Fitzgerald and Same Cooke.

Where to Buy: Impress your guests with your vinyl collection or buy AMC’s Mad Men: A Musical Companion (digital or CD), the two-disc set.


Be the Hostess With the Mostest

Now that you’ve invested in that “better-than-a-little-black-dress,” protect it with a retro half apron with side pocket. Look for vintage tablecloths and serving pieces like an ice bucket, punch bowl, and martini shaker to help create the look and feel of the period.

Cocktail(s) Anyone?

MM_Roly_PolyNo mad men party would be complete without getting a little blotto. Classic Cocktails like a Tom Collins, Gimlet or Old Fashioned (Don Draper’s drink of choice) are best served in some authentic mid-century barware.

Where to Buy:  Etsy store Marie Warren Arts has this set of atomic starburst black diamond roly poly glasses and spider carrier.  Or, add a set of these colorful Libbey Glassware Highballs to your collection from Etsy seller Someday Violet for an excuse to use some fun plastic swizzle sticks.

Serve it Up

Create several iconic dishes of the era:  From shrimp cocktail to Swedish Meatballs, and Ambrosia salad to Baked Alaska, my favorite 60’s fave which has made a recent comeback is the deviled egg – display them like a pro on a vintage deviled egg platter.

Recipes: Bon Appetit has this lovely list of 20 Recipes for a Retro Dinner Party.

Most importantly, be there or be square.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email