When it comes to Dad's usual libation, many of us think immediately of Miller High Life or something similar. But this June 15, why not step up your game and show you've got some class?
To ensure your success in the drink department, two of the cities' finest mixologists are here to help with spot-on cocktail suggestions for dear old dad. Both made a beeline for the brown liquor, with some classic cocktails and some summery alternatives.
See also: Father's Day Eats: Top 5
Our first drink, from Jennifer Boutell of Bradstreet Craftshouse, gives a nod to the Wisconsin tradition of brandy cocktails while adding a bit of smoke to the classic Manhattan. This is a great cocktail to make at home -- it comes together easily and you can substitute less expensive options for most of the ingredients. Boutell reminds us that Vermouth needs to be refrigerated and has a short life once opened. Unless you cocktail on a large scale, it's probably best to get the small bottles.
The Father's Day Manhattan 1/4 ounce Lagavulin 16-year-old Islay Single Malt or other peat-y scotch whiskey 1 ounce Carpano Antica or any good Vermouth 1 ounce Pierre Ferrand cognac or a good brandy 1 ounce Old Overholt or Jim Beam rye whiskey 1 or 2 dashes Angostura bitters Orange twist 1 Luxardo cherry
Use a chilled martini or coupe glass. Pour the scotch into the glass, then swirl the liquid to the rim and coat the interior side of the glass. Dump out any additional scotch (into your mouth, if you like).
Combine the Vermouth, cognac or brandy, rye, and bitters in a separate glass with ice and stir gently. Strain and pour into the glass with the scotch rinse. Cut an orange twist from a fresh orange. Heat the twist with a match or lighter until shiny. Hold the peel over the cocktail and squeeze it, expressing the oils. Add a Luxardo cherry and enjoy. [page]
For a more summery alternative that might go well with al fresco Father's Day activities, Shawn Jones from Coup D'Etat suggests a traditional mint julep, which is perfect for day drinking. Gather some mint from your yard or local farmers market and whip up a few for your barbeque. You prepare and serve them in the same glass, so there's minimal cleanup. Jones recommends that if you substitute a different bourbon, try an 80-proof variety. And he asks that you be gentle with the mint and not get too aggressive when muddling. You want to release the oils, not pulverize a plant in your dad's honor.
Mint Julep This makes a double Bunch of mint; leaves for drink, sprig for garnish 1 ounce simple syrup 4 ounces Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey 1 or 2 dashes Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters Crushed ice
Place 6 to 8 mint leaves into a chilled lowball glass or metal cup. Pour the simple syrup over the mint then lightly press the mint and syrup with a muddler. Pour in the bourbon whiskey. Pack the glass full with crushed ice. Add a few dashes of the bitters. Crush and stir the ice into the drink so that some dilution occurs. Add more ice to top of glass and garnish with an ample sprig of mint.
Between a Mad Men-like smoky Manhattan and a julep that satisfies even in the hottest weather, Pops can push the High Life to the back (way back) of the shelf and be treated to some classy Father's Day libations instead.