Cocktail Hour
By Karen Parr-Moody

Set in 1960s New York City, the television drama “Mad Men” details the world of Madison Avenue advertising, where the players breath a rarified air and sip scotch throughout the night (and day).

And with "Mad Men” recently concluding its Season Five, the most viewed of all, the interest in retro cocktail ware continues to be as popular as the accompanying Mid-century Modern furniture and fitted A-line skirts.

Take that trend and couple it with a steamy summer, and the timing is perfect for toasting a few friends with vintage barware.

When hosting an al fresco lunch or cocktails by the pool, vintage items add a touch of glamour. I could easily see a batch of mojitos served chilled in the cockatoo pitcher in the photo, above right ($39; Booth B-319). With its cornflower blue shade and its stylized feathers, this pitcher reminds one of the style of Dorothy Draper.

Shown with the cockatoo pitcher is a Prohibition style decanter ($22; Booth B-319). Such bottles were used to house liquor or spirits during that era, and while Prohibition was an abysmal failure, this decanter, with its Art Deco looks, is a lovely byproduct.

Want to go boating, picnicking or camping in high mixology style? Then tote along this Seventies bar ware set housed in a hardcover case (photo, above left; $58; Booth B-317). Called "The Portable Pub," it was made by Londonaire Limited and has enough room for three bottles of liquor and mixers. This mini pub also has a stirring spoon, four large cups for mixed drinks, two small shot cups, and a cork screw and can/bottle opener with faux bone handles. Talk about being able to take the party with you!

Another set of mixing tools is found in the photo, right, with this retro wine cooler ($22; Booth B-319). This set takes us back to the earlier era of the post Prohibition years, when cocktail accoutrements were extremely popular and were associated with glamour. Within this cooler are a variety of mixology items, including a muddler, a jigger, and ice tongs.




What goes better with a few cocktails than some games of chance? This retro canasta set takes us back to a time when Palm Beach grand dames had garden club, country club and canasta club scheduled into their weeks ($17; Booth B-319). Meanwhile, the fellows would have been taking a break at their club, sipping scotch and playing poker with chips like the ones pictured ($15; Booth B-319). With either of these games, one can take a trip back in time.

Vintage glamour is surely found in this variety of vintage cocktail accoutrements. And when used at a cocktail party, talking about their history will be almost as much fun as using them. Cheers!

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