Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New York Public Library's "Mad Men" Reading List

If you are a dedicated fan of AMC's Mad Men (and I'm just going to assume that you are), you know that the characters frequently reference books and films specific to the show's 1960s milieu. One of the more notable examples would be Don Draper's  moving voice-over recitation of a poem by Frank O'Hara in the second season. But even the more casual glimpses of what books the characters are interested in can be revealing. Don's daughter, Sally, reads age-appropriate Nancy Drew mysteries. Bert Cooper, not surprisingly, extols the virtues of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's 1100-page love letter to the free market. The ladies of the secretarial pool whisper about Lady Chatterley's Lover, the genuinely racy D.H. Lawrence novel that was the subject of an influential obscenity trial in 1959. These are just a few of the many literary works that have been spotted on Mad Men. And, for that reason, we can thank the fine librarians at the New York Public Library for compiling a fairly extensive list of the books cited throughout the show's run. Needless to say, you can search our catalog for any of the titles that interest you.

The 'Mad Men' Reading List - New York Public Library

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recipe Tester: The PDT Cocktail Book

The PDT Cocktail Book (2011) by Jim Meehan and Chris Call
Call No.: 641.874 MEE
Find it in the catalog! 

Named after the super popular NYC cocktail lounge PDT at which nationally renowned mixologist, Jim Meehan, is the head bartender, the PDT Cocktail Book is a must read for bartenders and cocktail geeks.  It has all kinds of information on how to set up a bar, bar etiquette, bartending techniques, a lengthy bibliography (lest you run out of cocktail books to read), and lots and lots of recipes.  Even cooler, Jim Meehan includes liquor recommendations and exact recipes for drinks served at PDT, so if you can recreate them at home, if you are so inclined. That is--if you have the skills and a sizable liquor budget. Meehan also provides the background for each drink in the book, so you know who was responsible for creating a drink, as well as when and where a drink was created.  

To test out the cocktails in the book, I tried making to unusual PDT cocktails that involved some liquor infusing- Benton's Old Fashion and the Cinema Highball.  Below are the results of my experiments: