THE BLOG

Three Bottles (and Cocktails) for Father's Day

06/18/2015 03:46 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2016

2015-06-18-1434651273-4125322-Martini.JPG
Planning on giving Dad a nice bottle bottle of booze and sharing drink this Father's Day? Why not take it a step further? Give him the bottle and then make the two of you a high-class cocktail with it. Here are three top tier bottles Dad might not have in his liquor cabinet and a cocktails to make with each. Each cocktail is a strong, spirit-forward, showcases the craftsmanship of the booze and is a slow-sipper that will give you maximum one on one dad time.

The Bottle: Añejo Tequila
This is not your typical margarita tequila, Añejo tequila has been aged for 1-3 years in oak barrels. So in addition to the familiar agave flavors, it also has rich barrel flavors reminiscent of bourbon like vanilla and toffee. Also like bourbon, Añejo can be sipped all on it's own.

Recommendations:
Don Julio Añejo
Herradurra Añejo
Partida Añejo
Milagro Añejo
Pueblo Viejo Añejo

The Cocktail: Tequila Old Fashioned
When mixing with Anejo it's best to keep things simple. Since it's been barrel aged, Añejo makes a killer Old Fashioned. Just swap out the whiskey for the tequila and replace the sugar with a barspoon of agave nectar.

Tequila Old Fashioned
2 oz Añejo tequila
barspoon (½ teaspoon) agave nectar
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
orange peel for garnish

Method
Combine all ingredients in a chilled mixing glass, fill with ice.
Stir and strain the cocktail into a rocks glass over ice - preferably one large cube.
Express the oils of the orange peel and add into the cocktail.

The Bottle: Rye Whiskey
If your dad likes bourbon and isn't on rye the bandwagon yet, it's time to bring him aboard. Rye is a delicious sipping whiskey with sharp assertive flavors that also come through beautifully in classic whiskey cocktails like the Manhattan and Old Fashioned.

Recommendations:
Russell's Reserve 6
Bulleit Rye
Knob Creek Rye
Whistle Pig 10
Michter's Rye
High West Rendezvous Rye
Rittenhouse Rye

The Cocktail: Sazerac
A 19th century classic from New Orleans that's seen a big resurgence in the last decade. It's like a brighter, more complex Old Fashioned. The three main differences are it uses Peychaud's Bitters instead of Angostura (though I still like to add one dash of Angostura), the glass is rinsed in Absinthe, which lends intriguing anise aromatics as you sip, and it's served neat, meaning it's in a rocks glass, but with no ice.

Sazerac
2 oz rye whiskey
¼ oz simple syrup (stir together equal parts sugar and warm/hot water until dissolved)
4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
splash of absinthe
lemon peel for garnish

Method
Fill a rocks glass with ice to chill (as opposed to chilling it in the freezer)
Combine all ingredients, except the absinthe, in a chilled mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir.
Remove ice from the rocks glass and add the splash of absinthe. Swirl the absinthe around so that it coats the inside of the glass, then discard it (or drink it!). This is the absinthe "rinse."
Strain the cocktail into the rocks glass, don't add any ice.
Express the oil of the lemon peel over the drinks and discard peel.

The Bottle: Navy Strength Gin
Navy Strength Gin is gin that is 114 proof, or 57% alcohol (Happy Father's Day indeed!). It's that high because it was often used on ships and at that level of alcohol you could spill it on gun powder and still light it. This is also where the word proof comes from. If the gun powder is still ignitable that means the booze is of a certain strength, "proof" that you weren't being cheated. Today, lighting gunpowder isn't so much of a concern, thankfully. That higher proof just means more booze and more flavor.

Recommendations:
Plymouth Navy Strength
Perry's Tot
Hayman's Royal Dock

The Cocktail: 50/50 Martini
A Martini that's equal parts gin and dry vermouth. I wouldn't recommend a dry martini with this stuff or it'll be a Father's Day to forget, or better yet one you won't remember. Upping the lower-proof vermouth portion brings the cocktail down to a responsible level, still allows the Navy Strength to express it's unique flavors and gives the vermouth a chance to shine for once. This is one world class Martini.

50/50 Martini
1½ oz Navy Strength gin
1½ oz dry vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters (optional)
lemon peel for garnish

Method
Combine all ingredients in a chilled mixing glass, fill with ice.
Stir and strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.
Express the oils of the lemon peel and add into the cocktail.

I raise a glass to my Dad, and to all Dad's everywhere. Happy Father's Day, cheers!