As into intoxicating visions go, it is hard to top the image of Christina Hendricks.

Especially when curled up in a banquette at her favorite L.A. bar. The swank speakeasy is everything Hendricks – the woman who makes the Mad Men especially mad – craves in a night out.

“Sexy, sophisticated, quiet enough for intimate conversation,” she says in that seductive whisper of hers. Settle in and tip a glass with her.

How she drives men to drink

As Joan Harris on Mad Men, Hendricks can be as aloof as she is voluptuous, sending Madison Avenue types straight to the bottle. By curious extension, it’s no stretch to say that the actress has helped ignite the vintage cocktail resurgence of recent years. Anytime a barkeep in his 20s with Brylcreemed hair and skinny suspenders starts pouring a perfectly chilled Sazerac, it’s worth raising a glass to Hendricks. No question why Johnnie Walker whiskey tapped her as brand ambassador. It’s not exactly Save the Children, but it is a cause clearly worth supporting

Why she likes the hard stuff

Never assume that a lovely woman likes girly drinks; Hendricks is anything but a Cosmopolitan woman. Just listen to her muse about the pleasures of a good pour: “I like mine simple, on the rocks,” she says, noting that Johnnie Walker Black is her label of choice. “It’s incredibly smooth on the tongue. A touch of caramel flavor. It warms everything inside.” Her husband spurred her interest in the hard stuff: “I always thought it was sexy when he ordered scotch and I’d take little sips of his drink.”

Why she’s not a Mormon

Though Hendricks, 36, grew up mostly in the Mormon bastion of Twin Falls, Idaho, the strict, straitlaced way of life wasn’t for her. Another place where Hendricks is surprisingly sedate? On the Mad Men set. Despite all the brown liquor in the scripts, Hendricks and the rest of the cast are actually swilling diluted Coca-Cola or tea.

Where to find her next

These days, the challenge is simply finding time to chill. Hendricks, married to actor Geoffrey Arend (ABC’s Body of Proof), she will appear in two films this fall: the action-thriller Drive and the comedy I Don’t Know How She Does It. She’s also gearing up for Mad Men’s fifth season, which is set to premiere this winter. Don Draper and the men of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce will undoubtedly throw back a few in Joan’s honour. With visions of Hendricks and her glass of scotch lingering, it will be a pleasure to join them. – David Hochman