As you face the sobering news that "Mad Men" is in its last episodes, there are a few ways to hold on.
Consider a cocktail mixer. And update the concept with the Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer ($20), which takes away all the strain and efficiently does the job powered by two AAA batteries. Rabbit also contributes to the mix with a three-piece bar tool kit ($30), which includes a double jigger, a mojito muddler, and a cocktail strainer. They're available at metrokane.com
You'll find a long finish and considerable subtlety in the honey-hued Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey ($38). It makes a snappy, balanced Old Fashioned, with suggestions of spice. If you think Don Draper really is more of a single-malt guy: Bowmore 10 Year Old Devil's Cask Whisky ($185), a mahogany-shaded Scotch from the Islay producer. Hints of dried fruit and dark chocolate come through.
Between sips, enjoy the new edition of "Imbibe!" (Perigee, $17.50) by cocktail authority David Wondrich. It's a smart, smooth guide to the shaken and stirred, full of recipes and stories, as well as history. You'll get to know the revered 19th century "old-time bartender" and mixologist Jerry Thomas.
And peruse "Whiskey: What to Drink Next" (Sterling Epicure, $19.95) by Dominic Roskrow. It covers almost all you'll want to taste, from the familiar to Italian three-grain whisky (wheat, barley, rye) and quinoa whiskey, South African solera whisky to Irish poitín. Very good charts, playing off his "periodic table" of the whiskies.