The Essentials For A Mid-Century Bar and Blue Heaven Dishes – Reader Requests

Posted on Feb 20 2017 - 4:05am by RetroRuth

Welcome back to another Reader Request, where you ask me questions in the comments, through email or on our Facebook Page and I do my best to answer them truthfully.

Well, mostly truthfully.


Anyway, this week’s first question is from Stephanie, who writes:

I’m sure there are plenty of lists out there, but it would be fun and informative to hear what you two consider to be essential to stock a traditional mid-century bar.

Nice, Stephanie! While I hate to tell anyone what they “must” stock their bar with, since everyone’s tastes in cocktails differ greatly, this is the list of what you will need to drink along with our Vintage Cocktail Friday posts:







Sweet & Dry Vermouth

Crème de Menthe

Crème de Cacao



Grenadine (preferably real pomegranate version)

Angostura Bitters


Fresh Lemons & Limes

Maraschino Cherries

Seltzer or Soda

Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer

Tonic Water

Fresh Cream

Simple Syrup

Fun Extras:






Apple Brandy

Blackberry Brandy

Cherry Brandy

Peach Brandy







Sloe Gin

Orange Bitters

Simple Syrup flavored with real fruit

Keep in mind, this list is highly geared towards Tom’s tastes in cocktails, so feel free to choose your own adventure. And if anyone has any suggestions they would like us to know about or that they want to share with everyone, please feel free to leave them in the comments! We love bar suggestions.

The next isn’t really a question, but a cool picture from Amy A.

Amy A

Amy writes:

Hi Ruth!
I’m the person who made the lambie cake that resembled Marty Feldman a couple years ago.
Anyway, I live in New Orleans and came across this incredible mid-century dish/glassware set in an antique shop on Magazine Street. Naturally, I thought of you!
It reminded me of the cute little plates you use in your photos. I can’t get over the excellent condition, fab colors and graphics, and that it seems complete with everything you’d ever need to serve mid century menu favorites!
Anyway, I thought it was a kick and had to share it with you.

Thank you so much for the picture, Amy! This set looks like it is in great shape! This is called Blue Heaven, and it was made by Royal China. I only have a few pieces of it, but would love to own the whole set one day.

If I can find more room in my kitchen to store all my dish sets, that is. Whew.

If you have any questions or if you are looking for a certain recipe, please feel free to leave a comment, send me an email at or contact me through our Facebook page and I will see what I can do for you!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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10 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. OLD AND GRUMPY February 20, 2017 at 9:29 am - Reply

    5am west coast. Eyes not open and I find this. That IS a 50s bar.
    Perhaps that is why the greatest generation lives into there 90s.

    They are PICKLED !!!

    Great great Granny is 90. She keeps everyone well stocked. Some Grannys come over with saggy cupcakes. She brings a 5th.

    • brandy February 22, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

      Sorry to change the topic…but I love your screen name!

      • OLD AND GRUMPY February 22, 2017 at 7:08 pm - Reply

        Thanks. I earned it. Might be the only 60+ male that posts. I came to MCM looking for stuff I grew up with.(Disney Land tuna burger). Ruth has given me several good ones and a bunch of REAL BAD flashbacks.

        This is how we ate before Saint Julia.

  2. Dee February 20, 2017 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    I actually have an extensive bar with beautiful Culver Prado glassware but rarely partake, =( . I think I will start making your Friday drink from now on!

    OH those carousel glasses!!! I WANT!!

  3. Lassie February 20, 2017 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Unfortunately, one of us quit drinking altogether, and the other has to smuggle in her own secret stash of wine. And we don’t entertain vast hordes at cool parties, so no need for dozens of bottles of booze and ‘fresh cream’ on hand. What a world to fantasize about! A bar right out of ‘The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit’.

  4. OLD AND GRUMPY February 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    You listed Galliano.

    My father in law kept the giant decanter of it on his bar with a set of ornate under sized shot glasses. It was there from the mid 70s untill some time in the last few years. No one was to touch it. When the old guy filled the glasses and put them on the table it meant that we were having a toast because he was getting another grand baby. He had lots of shots.

  5. Laughing at idea of Marty Feldman lamb February 20, 2017 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Dear Ruth, please be a lamb and re-post the image of Amy’s Marty Feldmanesque lambie cake. I am desperate to view it, and am laughing as I imagine such a thing.

  6. brandy February 22, 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

    I hear Franjelico is suppose to be good…

    My husband and I are building an outside 50’s style tiki bar so we are looking to stock up on tiki related ingredients…we are going to need lots of rum,orgeat syrup,simple syrup and coconut milk…coconut and pineapple anything 😀

    • Twincats February 24, 2017 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      I love all things hazlenut, so Franjelico gets subbed for amaretto 90% of the time. It’s heaven in tiramisu!

      Also, I want a 50’s style tiki back yard, so I like your style, Brandy!

  7. Lori Jackson March 10, 2017 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    This is just what I’ve been looking for. Thank you so much! I was struggling to fill my bar, but not anymore. Thank you!!

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