On the year’s designated day to celebrate fathers and father figures, you can smile at their corny jokes, let them putter around the tool shed, garden or grill and mix up a cocktail to show them you care. On this list of drinks is something for each kind of dad: stern, silly, stoic or a combination of any or all. No matter which drink you choose, any of these cocktails will be a serious upgrade from a standard beer or pour of whiskey for celebrating the dad in your life.
This twist on a Whiskey Sour takes the usual bourbon and lemon juice and adds honey syrup into the mix, rather than the usual simple syrup. It’s a small change that makes a big difference in this easy yet delicious three-ingredient cocktail.
Get Dad’s day started off right with this daytime drink, an agave-spirit twist on the Bloody Mary. Tequila swapped in for the usual vodka adds additional complexity, and the other ingredients—tomato and lemon juices, Tabasco, Tapatio and Worcestershire sauces, a dollop of horseradish, celery salt and black pepper—give the drink an aggressive savory complexity. Finish it off by garnishing it to high heck with delicious accoutrements.
If Dad loves a Negroni, he’s sure to like this classic rye-whiskey-fueled riff, similar to a Boulevardier. The recipe calls for equal parts of rye whiskey, Campari and dry vermouth, rendering a lighter, drier version of the common formula.
This refreshing trio of dark rum, ginger beer and lime juice is a classic combination that’s simply ideal for sipping outdoors on a summer day. To make the official version, you’ll need to use Gosling’s Black Seal rum, but in reality, any dark rum will do, whether black strap, spiced or any other kind Dad prefers.
Legendary bartender Dale DeGroff reintroduced this classic cocktail to contemporary drinkers. A fruity relative of the Mint Julep, this drink adds muddled lemon wedges to bourbon, simple syrup and mint leaves. It’s sure to be a smash hit with any dad.
Take Dad’s usual brew and give it a fun twist with this drink from Speed Rack co-founder and Llama Group beverage director Lynette Marrero. Her twist on a Shandy takes the usual lager-and-citrus combination and adds a homemade sour beer syrup and splash of the clear spirit of Dad’s choice.
The classic Manhattan, simple yet elegant, is the drink of sophisticated sorts. This version, which calls for splitting the vermouth between the sweet and dry styles, lightens up the drink a bit, while rye whiskey and Angostura bitters keep it perfect for evening sipping alongside a book and possibly a cigar.
If it’s good enough for Hemingway and JFK, this most classic of cocktails is sure to please your father, too. The simple and sublime mix of rum, lime juice and demerara sugar syrup produces a bright and pleasantly sour drink that’s easy to down by the trayful.
This classic cocktail, a close relative of the Old Fashioned, hails from New Orleans. It’s hotly debated whether it was originally crafted with cognac or rye whiskey. This recipe splits the difference, employing both spirits as well as a sugar cube and both Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters, along with the drink’s signature absinthe rinse, of course.
If your dad is a fan of beer and spice, he’ll love this spicy shandy. It’s easy to make, but the flavor packs a punch. To make it, simply combine lime juice, spiced rum, Tabasco and a splash of ginger beer, then top it all with pilsner. Recommended drinking scenario: near a grill piled high with Dad’s favorite foods.
This cocktail, distantly inspired by the Last Word, is an homage to the bitter liqueur Fernet-Branca. In this equal-parts recipe, the fernet joins with yellow Chartreuse, lime juice and demerara syrup to render a complex cocktail that’s finished with a black-sea-salt-coated lime wheel.