Poor Dad. Mom is showered with flowers and eggs Benedict on her special day, but Father’s Day has been reduced to a charcoal commercial: crack a beer; grill a steak; repeat beer move.
Everyone knows that fathers are way cooler and more interesting than the tired stereotype. This year, toast them with a drink that’s worthy of all their complexities. These are recipes for fathers of all stripes, whether your pop is stern, silly, the strong, silent type or your best friend. Or a combination of all the above.
Making someone a cocktail is always a special sort of treat––relatively easy, but shows you care. Being able to make one for the father figure in your life is its own simple pleasure: A chance to gift the man who’s given you so much.
1. Sin Cyn
An elegant scotch cocktail can be difficult to achieve, thanks to the bold character of the spirit itself. In this case, single malt, Cynar and Carpano Antica––each powerful components––come together beautifully to demonstrate both strength and balance. Not unlike a father figure who is firm yet fair.
Sometimes one’s relationship with dad can be complex––perhaps even as complex as this combination of gin, barolo chinato and bitters. Maybe this deep, brooding cocktail will open up some meaningful conversations with your pops. After all, your issues can’t be as complicated as Luke and Darth’s.
3. Rum & Smoke
Here’s your chance to show Dad you’ve flourished in adulthood, a person of class and substance. This sophisticated blend of rum, sherry and bitter liqueur involves making your own smoked-rosemary simple syrup. The syrup is simple to make, but Dad doesn’t need to know that. Let him be wowed by your skills and impeccable taste.
4. Hemingway Daiquiri
Named for the literary legend who is hopefully nothing like your own papa, the Hemingway Daiquiri, a.k.a. Papa Doble, is the scribe’s take on a Daiquiri. White rum, maraschino liqueur, grapefruit and lime juice come together for a dangerously delicious drink that’s sure to encourage some storytelling. Remember, it’s his day: Let him tell the one about that time when you were three...
Salute the man who taught you how to ride a bike with this refreshing aperitivo. Campari, white wine and soda water, to top: Easy as, well, you get the idea. The drink has such a low proof that you actually could go for a bike ride together after sipping one of these. Go ahead, make an afternoon out of it.
Do you think of your dad as old fashioned, but he really doesn’t see what you’re talking about? Meet him halfway with this modern take on an Old Fashioned, featuring bourbon, peach bitters and, the tour de force: sweet tea oleo saccharum. It’s a summery take on the classic drink that––who knows?––maybe the two of you can bond over.
7. Ready Aim Fire
Firing up the grill on Father’s Day is traditional, but if you don’t want to go the barbecue route, rely on this cocktail to capture that essence without the open flame and meat sweats. Mezcal provides smoky backbone, while a pineapple syrup and Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub add sweetness and heat. And if you’re grilling? It’s a great pairing for smoky foods.
8. Top of the Morning
If the father in your life really just wants to have a beer and chill on his special day, you can oblige with this take on a Beermosa, which itself is a beery take on a Mimosa. Wheat beer, cava and OJ join forces to brighten brunch no matter the weather. Because Mom shouldn’t be the only one who gets the Eggs Benedict treatment.
9. Whiskey Smash
Here’s a drink for the father who doesn’t take himself too seriously: A summer bourbon classic brightened with lemon and mint. Solid, cool, yet entirely unpretentious. It’s the sort of cocktail that begs to be sipped outdoors, barefoot, lounging on the patio or swinging in a hammock. But take it easy: The Whiskey Smash is almost too drinkable. [Insert dad joke.]