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Party like mad... Or at least like Mad Men might

Does Don Draper do finger food? Judging by the first four seasons of TV's popular "Mad Men" show, it doesn't seem likely unless we're talking about a belt of bourbon with a couple of smoking hot Lucky Strikes on the side.

But since that hardly sounds appetizing, we've come up with something a little tastier to greet the return of "Mad Men" on AMC on Mar. 25.

First up are the drinks, which include a classic martini – made with gin, easy on the vermouth – and a rummy Hawaiian punch. The latter is a particularly appropriate choice since Hawaiian Punch, the juice product initially created in the '30s as a syrup ice cream topping, was the focus for a classic ad campaign in the 1960s that introduced the character "Punchy" and the tagline "How about a nice Hawaiian punch?" That's an in-your-face approach that might have come straight out of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce agency.

And don't forget the old fashioned, ad exec Draper's drink of choice. This one's made with rye, the way Don did in season three's "My Old Kentucky Home," episode. We didn't vault over the bar counter to fix it, though.

For food, we went retro, starting with a plate of deviled eggs, all the better if you can serve them on one of those dimpled trays made especially for this purpose. These have chopped ham and a dash of hot sauce for the "devilry" part. Serve with a smirk and your best impression of the piquant wit of Roger Sterling.

Stuffed celery is a grown-up twist on the old "ants on a log" children's snack; this is something you can easily imagine the regal Joan Harris whipping up in her small kitchen.

We've also come up with an avocado and crab mini sandwich. Avocado — both as a food and color — was a big hit in the 1960s kitchen; this combo brings in a hint of California, the "Tomorrowland" state where Draper goes to overcome his past.

And, finally, how about a cheese ball platter, the nutty classic that everyone cracks jokes about, right up until the plate's scraped clean of its creamy, cheesy goodness. It's just the thing for the season premiere, a two-hour special written by series creator Matt Weiner.

What will happen this season? Who knows? The show creators are known for being stingy with spoilers. But it seems a safe bet these recipes will make for a perfectly swell party.

Hawaiian Punch

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 12

12 ounces light rum

6 ounces dark rum

4 ounces orange curacao liqueur

4 ounces lime juice

46-ounce can pineapple juice

16-ounce jar maraschino cherries (with the juice)

20-ounce can pineapple rings

1 orange, cut into wedges

In a large punch bowl, combine the light rum, dark rum, curacao, lime juice, pineapple juice and the juice from the jar of maraschino cherries. Stir together. Garnish with the maraschino cherries, pineapple rings and orange wedges. Chill until ready to serve.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 260 calories; 0 calories from fat (0 percent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 5 mg sodium.

Old Fashioned

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

1 cube (or 1 teaspoon) sugar

2 maraschino cherries

2 slices orange

2 dashes bitters

Splash of soda water

2 ounces rye whiskey


In an old fashioned glass, combine the sugar, 1 cherry, 1 orange slice, the bitters and the soda water. Muddle the ingredients together in the glass until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Add the rye and a couple ice cubes. Garnish with the remaining cherry and orange slice.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 190 calories; 0 calories from fat (0 percent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 1 g fiber; 0 mg sodium.

Avocado And Crab Canapes

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 12

Twelve 1/2-inch-thick slices baguette

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Salt and ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon chopped pimento

1 avocado, pitted and cubed

1/2 cup lump crab meat

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush each slice of baguette on both sides with some of the melted butter. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes, or until toasted and lightly golden.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, hot sauce and olive oil. Gently stir in the chopped pimento, avocado cubes and crab meat.

Arrange the baguette slices on a serving platter. Top each with some of the avocado and crab salad.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 90 calories; 50 calories from fat (53 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 1 g fiber; 110 mg sodium.

Cheese Ball Platter

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 12

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon grated shallot

1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped green olives

1/4 cup chopped black olives

1/4 cup chopped pimento

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced

Butter crackers, to serve

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, shallot, green pepper, green olives, black olives, pimento, black pepper, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, onion powder and paprika. Roughly form the mixture into a lump in the bowl and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 1 hour.

Using your hands, for the mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in the sliced almonds. Serve on a platter with vegetables and crackers.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number, does not include cucumber or crackers): 90 calories; 80 calories from fat (80 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 115 mg sodium.

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