Sinatra Rat Pack Theme Party

When I was growing up every man wanted to be as suave as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin who were the epitome of style and smooth crooning vocals. In the 1950s and 1960s, the popularity of the infamous Rat Pack’s antics, on stage and screen, with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop, captured the public’s attention. They were the ‘gold standard’ of hip and cool – confident and independent self-made men who rose to the top through their own merits.

Sinatra rebranded his music in the late 1950s, and with an Oscar win with From Here to Eternity, he was riding on top. The group emerged from the Humphrey Bogart Holmby Hills Rat Pack after Bogart died in 1957. Sinatra reshaped his own Pack with top talent and took the country by storm. Dean Martin was a very popular singer and actor who had split from the successful duo with Jerry Lewis. Sinatra mentored and helped singer and dancer Sammy Davis Jr.’s career. Joey Bishop was a leading comic at clubs and on TV. Actor Peter Lawford was married into the John F. Kennedy family which Sinatra helped JFK to win the presidency.

The group made several films together, including Ocean’s Eleven, Sergeant 3, Robin and the 7 Hoods, and Cannonball Run 1 and 2. Several additional films were made with only two or three of the members, such as Some Came Running, Johnny Cool, 4 for Texas, Marriage on the Rocks, and others.

Years later, Joey Bishop stated that none of them really drank while performing, it was just part of the gag. But they loved their booze and the following includes their favorite cocktails.

Rat Pack Members

Rare Photos of the Rat Pack That'll Take You Back in Time

Frank Sinatra (1915-1989) singer, actor, stage, film, and TV, was one of the most popular entertainers in the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. Nicknamed ‘Chairman of the Board’ and ‘Ole’ Blue Eyes’. He made it big as a singer and in the movies. One of the best-selling recording artists in history. Sinatra formed the Rat Pack to continue the Bogart Rat Pack and for publicity to maintain his cool and hip image. Awards- 11 Grammys, Oscar, 4 Golden Globes.

Dean Martin (1917-1995) singer, actor, stage, film, and TV, ‘The King of Cool’. One of the most popular entertainers in the 20th Century. Made it big by teaming up with Jerry Lewis on stage and film. Had two popular TV shows.

Sammy Davis, Jr. (1925-1990) dancer, singer, actor, stage, film, TV, civil rights activist. Awards – 2 Grammys, 5 Emmy nominations.

Peter Lawford (1923-1984) British-American leading man actor, film, TV. Brother-in-law of President John F. Kennedy.

Joey Bishop (1918-2007) comedian, actor, stage, film, and TV. Had three popular TV shows.

Other associate members of the Rat Pack were: Marilyn Monroe, Angie Dickinson, Juliet Prowse, Buddy Greco, Jimmy Van Heusen, Shirley MacLaine, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Jill St. John, Don Rickles, and others.

The original 1950s Rat Pack was the Holmby Hills Rat Pack that included Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, David Niven, Clifton Webb, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and others. “Associate” members included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jerry Lewis, Angie Dickinson, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, and others.

Rat Pack Movies

Frank sinatra the rat pack HD wallpapers | Pxfuel

Movies with Rat Pack members and associates working together include:

  • Artists and Models (1955) (Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine)
  • Around the World in 80 Days (1956) (Frank Sinatra, MacLaine)
  • Some Came Running (1958) (Sinatra, Martin, MacLaine)
  • Kings Go Forth (1958) (Sinatra, Tony Curtis)
  • Never So Few (1959) (Sinatra, Peter Lawford)
  • Rio Bravo (1959) (Martin, Angie Dickinson)
  • Some Like It Hot (1959) (Curtis, Marilyn Monroe)
  • Career (1959) (Martin, MacLaine)
  • Ocean’s 11 (1960) (Sinatra, Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Lawford, Joey Bishop, Dickinson, MacLaine)
  • Who Was That Lady (1960) (Martin, Curtis, Janet Leigh)
  • Can-Can (1960) (Sinatra, MacLaine, Juliet Prowse)
  • Pepe (1960) (Sinatra, Martin, Davis, Lawford, Bishop, Curtis, Leigh)
  • All In a Night’s Work (1961) (Martin, MacLaine)
  • Sergeants 3 (1962) (Sinatra, Martin, Davis, Lawford, Bishop)
  • The Manchurian Candidate (1962) (Sinatra, Leigh)
  • Somethings Got to Give (1962) (Martin, Monroe)
  • Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed (1963) (Martin, Jill St. John)
  • Come Blow Your Horn (1963) (Sinatra, Martin, St. John)
  • Johnny Cool (1963) (Davis, Bishop, Lawford)
  • 4 for Texas (1963) (Sinatra, Martin)
  • Who’s Been In My Bed (1963) (Martin, St. John)
  • Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964) (Sinatra, Martin, Davis)
  • What a Way to Go (1964) (Martin, MacLaine)
  • Marriage on the Rocks (1965) (Sinatra, Martin)
  • A Man Called Adam (1966) (Davis, Lawford)
  • Texas Across the River (1966) (Martin, Bishop)
  • Tony Rome (1967) (Sinatra, St. John)
  • Salt and Pepper (1968) (Davis, Lawford)
  • Sweet Charity (1969) (Davis, MacLaine)
  • Young Billy Young (1969) (Martin, Dickinson)
  • One More Time (1970) (Davis, Lawford)
  • The Cannonball Run (1981) (Martin, Davis)
  • Cannonball Run II (1984) (Sinatra, Martin, Davis, MacLaine)

Rat Pack Music

Frank Sinatra - Wikipedia

Sinatra, Martin, and Davis were highly talented and popular singers. Other leading jazz, lounge, and pop singers during their era included Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Patti Page, McGuire Sisters, Nat King Cole, Dinah Shore, Doris Day, Dinah Washington, Mel Tome, Al Martino, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gormet, Teresa Brewer, Eddie Fisher, Vic Damone, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Etta James, Perry Como, Julie London, Harry Belafonte, Judy Garland, Andy Williams, Lena Horne, and many others.

Frank Sinatra

Dean Martin

Sammy Davis Jr.

Ella Fitzgerald

Tony Bennett

Nat King Cole

McGuire Sisters

Julie London

Rat Pack Cocktails

What Makes a Bourbon? Tips For Ordering Your Perfect Glass of Whiskey -  Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar

Jack Daniels Bourbon

The Tennessee bourbon was Sinatra’s drink of choice, suggested to him by Jackie Gleason. Two parts bourbon, 4 ice cubes, and a splash of water.


Vodka Martini Cocktail Recipe

Sinatra’s other drink. Martinis are a widely popular drink that can be made with either gin or vodka. The martini was also popularized in James Bond films and the recent Mad Men TV show. Recipe: 6 parts gin or vodka, 1 part dry vermouth. Mix in a shaker with ice, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an olive with gin or a lemon twist with vodka.



The Manhattan cocktail originated in the 1870s in New York and was popular with the Sinatra Rat Pack. More recently it appeared on the Mad Men TV show. Recipe: 2 parts rye whisky or bourbon, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 dash Angostura bitters. Mix with ice, stir, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

High Ball

Sammy Davis Jr’s favorite drink. Recipe: 2 parts whisky or bourbon, 4 to 6 parts ginger ale, ice, lemon twist. Served in a highball glass.

Rusty Nail


A Rat Pack favorite. Recipe: 2 oz. scotch, 1/2 oz. Drambuie, lemon twist. Served with ice in an old fashion glass.

Flame of Love

Dean Martin’s favorite drink. Recipe: 2 oz. vodka, 1/4 oz. sherry, large orange peel squeezed, ice. Use a lighter to flame the orange peel to draw out the oils. Served in a cocktail glass.

1960s Party Food

1950s buffet | MATTHEW'S ISLAND

Cocktail party appetizers and entries were elegant preparations to impress the guests with a mix of rich gourmet delicacies and tasty comfort food to compliment the cocktail beverages. Many 1960s hors d’oeuvres were influenced by French cuisine as part of the American fascination with French style and culture at the time.

The following is a list of authentic food served at 1960s parties. You will notice that most of these are still served at parties today. To get ideas it is helpful to look at old cook books, such as Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, James Beard, Joy of Cooking, Julia Child, and Betty Crocker.

Salads – popular party salads included: cucumber salad, Italian antipasto, Greek salad, Jello mold with fruit, Ambrosia salad, three bean salad, potato salad, cole slaw, melon ball salad, vegetable tray, fruit tray, and others.

  • Cucumber salad – peeled and sliced cucumbers, sliced onions, sour cream, vinegar, dill, salt, pepper
  • Melon ball salad – scope out balls of watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew melon, put the melon balls in the carved out watermelon rind
  • Antipasto tray – tomato, cucumber, olives, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, grilled zucchini, cheeses, Genoa salami, prosciutto, other items
  • Greek salad tray – hummus and tzatziki dips, pita bread, feta cheese, grape tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peepers, pepperoncini, vegetarian stuffed grape leaves

Vegetable Vinaigrette – cooked vegetables in a vinaigrette. Vegetables can include asparagus, green beans, onion, peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, cauliflower, and others. The vinaigrette uses 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tb vinegar, 2 tb lemon juice, 2 tsp dill, 1 tsp paprika, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp dry mustard. Increase the measurements for large bunches of vegetables. Ingredients can be suited to taste. Serve chilled.

Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller Recipe | Epicurious

Wash 24 oysters and open into a half shell. In a saucepan mix: 1 cup chopped cooked spinach, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup butter, 1 tb parsley, 1 tb minced onion, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp paprika, and a dash of cayenne. Heat through. Spoon one tablespoon of spinach mixture atop each oyster half shell and bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Salmon Mousse

Layered Salmon Mousse. This should send your unsuspecting dinner guests  screaming from the table… | Salmon mousse recipes, Smoked salmon mousse,  Tuna mousse recipe

Flake, debone, deskin, and strain one 15 ½ oz. can of salmon. Reserve the salmon fluid and heat it along with two gelatin envelopes. Add 1 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 2 tb of lemon juice, 2 tsp Worcestershire, and partially chill. Fold in salmon, 1/2 cup finely chopped celery, 2 chopped hard boiled eggs minced, 2 tb chives chopped, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Fold in 1/2 cup whipping cream and then pour into a mold. Chill until firm. Unmold mousse unto a tray and with crackers and cucumber slices.


Blini con Caviale (Blini with Caviar) - Passion and cooking

Most often caviar is served on crème fraiche (buttermilk and heavy cream) or sour cream, over a blini pancake or toast point, and often garnished with minced onion and crumbled hard boiled eggs. Make sure to use plastic spoons when serving and enjoying caviar, since metal changes the taste.

Lobster Newburg

Shortcut Lobster Newburg |

3/4 pound of cooked lobster meat broken into chunks

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 egg yolks, beaten

1/4 cup butter

2 tb sherry

1/2 tsp salt

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 pinch ground nutmeg

Whisk cream and yolks, melt butter and stir in cream mixture and sherry, cook 5 to 8 minutes, do not boil, remove from heat, add spices and lobster, cook 5 minutes. Serve in puff pastry shells.

Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad Recipe | Food Network Kitchen | Food Network

2 cups tart apples diced

1 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped

1 cup grapes cut up

Make a dressing of 1/4 cup mayonaise, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Fold in other ingredients. Chill for 1 hour or overnight.

Chicken Ala King

Quick Chicken à la King Recipe -

4 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves cut up

1 (4.5 oz) can of mushrooms

1 green pepper, chopped

4 oz. pimento, chopped

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup flour

1 1/4 cup hot water

1 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Saute mushrooms and bell peppers in butter for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add flour, salt, pepper, cook over low heat until bubbly. Stir in milk, water, bouillon, bring to boil. Stir in chicken and pimento. Serve in puff pastry shells.

Skewers – bamboo skewers with pineapple, grapes, pears, apples, figs, dates, strawberries, melon balls, mandarin orange slices, olives, ham and pineapple, cheese and salami or ham, shrimp, sausage, or other items.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip – a baked dip with chopped spinach, chopped artichokes, mayonnaise, cream cheese, sour cream, parmesan, and one package of Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms with Bruschetta Topping - Jessica Gavin

Baked or broiled mushroom caps that can be stuffed with any combination of cheese, bacon, artichoke, crab, bread crumbs, spinach, onion, pecans, sausage, clams, oysters, or other items.

Prosciutto Wraps – melon balls, pineapple, figs, dates, pear, apple, peaches, apricots, nectarines, shrimp, mussels, grilled asparagus, goat cheese, mozzarella, or other items.


Cheese Fondue Recipe | French Fondue | The Spice House

A hot melted cheese dip in a fondue pot used to dip food items on long stemmed forks. Cheeses most often used include Swiss, emmenthaler, gruyere, and fontina. Items to dip can be cubes of bread, fruit, cooked vegetables, and other items.


Bruschetta with Basil, Prosciutto and Mozzarella recipe | Eat Smarter USA

Grilled bread topped with olive oil, chopped tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, prosciutto, grilled peppers and onions, and other items.


Salmon Mousse Canapes Recipe: How to Make It | Taste of Home

A savory food or a spread placed on a small piece of rye or pumpernickel bread, puff pastry, cracker, or cucumber slice. Items would be placed on a crème or cheese spread and often garnished with capers, sliced cucumber, crumpled hard-boiled egg, or chopped onion. Usual items on the canape could include: caviar, crab, lobster, lox, smoked salmon, foie gras, liver pate, anchovy, truffles, sautéed mushrooms, smoked oysters, cheese, prosciutto, or other items.

Crab Dip – dip prepared with cream cheese and lump crab meat. Additional items may include artichoke, onion, peppers, parmesan, and other. Baked or served cold.

Shrimp Cocktail – cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp, served with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce. Cocktail sauce can be made with chili sauce, catchup, horseradish, Tabasco, and lemon juice.

Stuffed EggsHard boiled eggs cut lengthwise, removed yolks to blend with stuffings.

  • Deviled eggs – add to taste – mustard, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, dill, pickle relish
  • Liver stuffed – 1/4 pound liver pate, 3 tb mayo, 1 tb chives, 1 tb lemon juice, dash cayenne, 1/4 tsp salt
  • Anchovy stuffed – 1 tb anchovy paste, 1/4 tsp Worcestershire, 1/4 cup mayo, 1 tb chives, 1 tb lemon juice, dash cayenne, 1/4 tsp salt
  • Creamy – 3 tb sour cream, 1 tb chives, 1 tb lemon juice, dash cayenne, 1/4 tsp salt
  • Caviar stuffed – 2 tb caviar, 2 tb capers, 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp mustard, 1/3 cup mayo, dash pepper
  • Almondine – 1/3 cup mayo, 1 tb chives, 1 tb lemon juice, dash cayenne, 1/4 tsp salt, garnish with chopped almonds

Swedish Meatballs

Cocktail Meatballs - Once Upon a Chef

In a mixing bowl add 1 pound of ground beef, 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 cup dry sherry, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper. Shape into 40 meatballs, coat in flour, brown in a skillet with 2 tb oil, drain on paper towel. To skillet add 2 tb butter, 1 tb flour, one 10 1/2 oz. can condensed beef consume, and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Add meatballs and 1 bayleaf. Simmer 15 minutes, serve on a hot chafing dish.

Bacon Wraps – broiled with crab, shrimp, chicken livers, sausage, olives, figs, dates, apricot, pineapple, fried oysters, water chestnuts, or other items.

Desserts – popular desserts in the 1950s included: pineapple upside down cake, angel food cake, bundt cake, pound cake, cheese cake, Rice Krispie squares, brownies, pies, and other favorite sweets still common today.


Rat Pack Style

The Rat Pack - All five members of the Rat Pack, from left, Peter ... -

Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop

Always setting the standard in style, either formal or casual, they wore it with a sign of confidence and respect. All of them were self-made men from humble beginnings who rose to the top through talent and hard work. They were the leaders of their time in entertainment, recordings, stage, Las Vegas, film, and TV.

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Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood, founder of AOIDE Bruce J. Wood has worked on Wall Street in business finance and strategy, and has written hundreds of finance business plans, strategic plans, economic feasibility studies, and economic impact studies. Bruce has lectured on creativity and strategic thinking, as well as worked on the development of numerous publishing, film, television, and performing arts projects, along with downtown revitalizations, using the arts as an economic catalyst. As an aficionado of music, art, and dance, Bruce is also a writer and an outdoor enthusiast. He has written poetry, blogs, articles, and many creative project concepts. He lives in the Metro Detroit area and enjoys writing poetry, backpacking, and ballroom dancing.

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