Build a Mad Men Bar with Vintage Cocktail Ware and Classic Recipes

Build a Mad Men Bar with Vintage Cocktail Ware and Classic Recipes

If all of this talk of fall entertaining drives you to drink, never fear, that's all you really need to be a great host. Building a stylish & chic bar can be your biggest asset during the cold and cozy seasons. Nothing welcomes someone into your home more than a freshly-poured drink on the rocks in a classic highball glass.

created at: 10/26/2010

I've assembled most of our barware from Etsy. Vintage highballs, drinks carts and ice buckets that would fit nicely in Don Draper's office create an air of elegance we're sorely missing these days. I say we bring the classic five o'clock cocktail hour back with finds like these.

created at: 10/26/2010

To build your own bar, collect classic pieces like vintage stirrers, lucite, teak or chrome ice buckets with matching tongs, highball glasses, and decanters.

vintage barware glasses

If you have a vintage rolling cart or bar, that's perfect to have on hand and pull out when guests come over for a drink. But you don't have to have a readymade bar; think outside the box.

In one of my old Domino magazines (pouring some out for my homies) I saw this huge and gorgeous piece they found in Martha's mag. While that particular piece costs a million dollars, it shows that thinking outside of the regular confines of a bar will pay off. I have a great armoir that would work, or an old book case could be converted to the perfect server.

created at: 10/26/2010

In a smaller pad or office area, use one of my previously suggested serving trays as your portable bar. As Victoria and Antonia did in Lonny magazine, add classic glass decanters to a great tray and have it resting on an antique trunk, ready to go!

Antique trunk bar tray

Eddy converted this Greek column side table into a fabulous bar.

Greek column side table into a bar tray

What is your favorite DIY bar or cocktail recipe? Let us know in a comment and stay tuned for another fresh Get Nested post this Thursday. Mine favorite cocktail recipe follows ...

Meg's Hot Toddy Recipe

In a larger mug, pour a generous shot of Jack Daniels, the juice from one large lemon slice, and a tablespoon of organic local honey (which helps with allergies too). Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle and add your favorite tea bag to your mug. A nice cinnamon or orange spice will be perfect. Add your hot water and steep for 5-10 minutes. Drink by the fire in a cozy sweater and enjoy!

(Cole family portrait by Wendy Hickock, Ice bucket & high ball photos from The Inside Source)

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Samantha S. on Oct 27, 2010:

I can't wait to try your Hot Toddy recipe! 

I made the Blue Hawaiian recipe from the Tiki Staycation Decor-It-Yourself video at my brother's graduation celebration. The drink went over so well that I hardly had time to party, I was so busy making everyone drinks!

Chris Gardner on Oct 27, 2010:

@Dantimdad - Can we see some photos of some of your projects? Interested in writing a little how-to or step-by-step? Send us an email at [email protected] if interested. Thanks!

dantimdad on Oct 26, 2010:

My favorite DIY bar is mine!  :)  I took a late 50's console stereo that I found in the trash and the electronics were long missing and gave it the twice over with lemon oil to bring it back to life.  I then mounted a shelf in the lift up portion to put bottles in and keep a mid-century cocktail tray on top with a martini set, high ball glasses and shot glasses on it.

I also made a credenza for my office out of another stereo I bought for $5 at thrift store this kind has the slide to the side lid and I used yaffa blocks to keep things in hidden away inside.


total cost for both:  about $10 and some left over plywood for shelves.

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