Total Amount of Single Drinks (Don wins)

Total Amount of Beverage Drunk and Relative Amount of Alcohol (whiskey is strong stuff)

Kind of Drinks and Relative Reoccurrence (yes, it’s mostly whiskey)

Total Amount of Tobacco Smoked (the actors actually smoke herbal, nicotine-free cigarettes)

Drinking Relations Between Characters (you’re on your own here)

And these…these are just drinks we think.

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Infographic: How Much Do The Mad Men Really Drink?

Here’s the data on the boozing habits of your favorite admen.

My favorite moment in Mad Men is episode 7 of season 1. Roger Sterling makes a pass at Don Draper’s wife during a dinner party. The next day, Don accepts Roger’s apology—or so it seems. The episode devolves into a measure of manhood over lunch, a brute force martini-and-oyster binge that ends with the duo forced to take the stairs, drunk and late, 23 flights up to a meeting. Roger vomits all over. Don smirks, barely breaking a sweat. And the universe is balanced again.

How many drinks did Don and Roger consume that episode? Ten apiece. Precisely ten apiece. I know that because of this fantastic, unattributed series of visualizations (update: they’re by Arianna Belotti, Sofia Girelli, Daniele Lupatini, Gianluca Malimpensa, Mattia Parietti and Aurelie Pellat) developed during a workshop held by Santiago Ortiz. For the main piece, each character is a color on an axle of boozing. Don is the dominant force in pink, but it’s fun to see narratives play out in alcoholic consumption alone. The oyster scene is a great example—the biggest peak of the season—but the hints of yellow, Peggy Olson, that develop later in the season are equally telling. The humble secretary’s creativity is discovered, and she slowly becomes one of the guys.

The images also examine other alcoholic data. One chart breaks down what types of drinks were consumed each episode (as you’d expect, whiskey wins, but drinks like mai tais make an appearance), while another image averages the volume of each consumed drink with its relative strength. This concept is a bit harder to follow, but seems to imply that Pete, ever crafty, sneaks by with water now and again. Another chart breaks from booze altogether and looks instead at tobacco. Needless to say, these guys smoke as much as they drink. (And isn’t it going to suck when they inevitably give Don lung cancer. Ugh.)

The final visualization in the series is perhaps the most ambitious. It’s a waveform of characters that intersect when they drank together. And these points of intersection represent various locations (the office, a bar, or someone’s house). If you can glean a cohesive narrative from the scribbles, you’re a better man than me. But if you take joy in staring mindlessly at pretty pictures, possibly whilst extraordinarily drunk on the job, then welcome to the club, friend.

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  • Michael Shirley

    Indecipherable. Beautiful but fails to be an "infographic" by design ironically

  • Chip

    Very cool graphics and data visualization.  Great lengths are taken to establish the y-axis, however the x axis is not clearly defined.  Is it an entire season with each chunk of days as an episode?  Which season?  Reading it cold there is some ambiguity.  Nice work.

  • McBeachey

    Looks kinda cool, but totally indecipherable. The x axis says things like 3 Days, 1 Day, 2 Days, 1 Day, and there's some sort of depth going on, like a third z axis. This is a much better graphical representation of Mad Men. 

  • Jason

    Can you imagine what that chart would look like if they substituted drinks for cigarettes?

  • Gianluca Malimpensa

    Glad to be posted by your website but it should be better if you add creators' names in the article .

    • Arianna Belotti

    • Sofia Girelli

    • Daniele Lupatini

    • Gianluca Malimpensa

    • Mattia Parietti

    • Aurelie Pellat

  • dnllpt


    I'm one of the authors of this project! Our names are all written in the navigator bar you can trigger on the bottom of the screen. We would really appreciate if you can put them in the article (and, maybe, with a link to some account of ours).

    Anyway, thank you very much for liking the project! We're really glad!

  • Sandra

    Don't forget:  Don payed the elevator operator to say it was out of service, precisely so Roger would end up yakking all over their potential clients.

    Also, spoiler alert, really? Season one came out like five years ago? That's long enough.

  • Karin

    Oooh, spoilers!! Please add an alert for those who haven't watched all seasons yet!