Getting the right Father’s Day gift is a high stakes situation. Whether you’ve been a terrible excuse for progeny all year and need to make up for it, or you’re trying to win the title of “favorite child” from your try-hard sibling (I’M ONTO YOU MARTHA), Father’s Day can get you a lot of points with Dad. Luckily, getting him the right gift is easy: he either wants scotch or gin. All dads can be broken into one of these two essential categories, and getting him the right bottle will prove you really get him. And just in case you’re unsure of which group your dad belongs to, here’s a quiz to help you figure it out. Note down the number of As or Bs as you go.
- Choose a dad accessory:
A) Tie B) Bow tie
- Choose a favorite dad-friendly historical figure:
A) Churchill B) FDR
- Choose a dad author:
A) Hemingway B) Fitzgerald
- Choose some dad music:
A) Rolling Stones B) The Beatles
- Choose a dad icon:
A) John Wayne B) James Bond
- Choose a dad pattern:
A) Flannel B) Gingham
- Choose a dad expression:
A) I’m not sleeping I’m just resting my eyes B) Up and at ’em
- Choose a dad condiment:
A) Catsup B) Mustard
- Choose a dad skill:
A) Changing your oil B) Ballroom / swing dancing
- Choose a dad paper:
A) Wall Street Journal B) New York Times
If you answered mostly As, your dad is going to want scotch. Mostly Bs, he’s a gin martini die hard. Below are two gifting options that would make either dad proud as heck to have you as a kid. If you want to make their Father’s Day even better, also give them the gift of time: time spent mixing them up a drink with the bottle you just gave them (if you’re lucky they’ll let you have a drink too).
The Right Gift for Scotch Dads: Speyburn 10 Year Single Malt
Whether or not they’d like to admit it, dads feel cool drinking scotch (to be fair, we all do). Giving him scotch for Father’s Day lets him live out the fantasy that you think he’s a sophisticated, stoic guy to be taken seriously even though most of the year you’re ruthlessly making fun of his bad texting and goofy hair.
The Speyburn 10 is a great option for a Father’s Day gift. It’s a fruit-forward Speyside scotch matured in American oak, ex-bourbon, and ex-sherry barrels and it works well as a daily drinking scotch or in cocktails. It’s also pretty affordable, and there’s nothing dads like more than a good deal. You could be introducing him to his new go-to bottle for life.
The other thing that makes the Speyburn 10 a good choice is that you can purchase it in a gift set that includes a small bottle of water sourced from Speyside. A little water in your scotch changes the molecular structure of your drink and can allow some of the dominant flavor notes to really shine. And what better water to use than the water used in the making of the whisky?
But just in case drinking neat scotch or scotch and branch isn’t your dad’s thing, here’s a fun Rob Roy-meets-Old Fashioned cocktail recipe you can mix up for him on the big day.
How to Make Him a Rob Fashioned
This cocktail combines two spirited whisky classics: a Rob Roy and an Old Fashioned. It’s got the scotch element you’d find in a Rob Roy, but it’s on a big rock and uses some syrup just like an Old Fashioned.
- 2.25 oz Speyburn 10 year
- .5 oz sweet vermouth
- .25-.5 oz fresh cherry syrup (depending on sweetness preferences)
- 3 dashes cherry bark vanilla bitters
- Orange twist
- Fresh cherries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh cherries, pits and stems removed
Instructions: Begin by adding the Speyburn 10 year, vermouth, syrup, and bitters to a mixing glass 3/4 full of ice. Next, stir the cocktail roughly 50 times. After that, strain the cocktail into a coupe with a large cube (the coupe should have a large basin, otherwise use a rocks glass). Lastly, express an orange twist over the surface of the drink then garnish it with some fresh cherries.
Syrup Instructions: First, bring a cup of water to a boil and gradually stir in all the sugar (don’t let it burn!) until it’s fully dissolved. Second, turn down the heat to a low simmer and add the cherries. Stir occasionally for the next 15-20 minutes before turning off the heat and allowing the mixture to sit for an additional 15 minutes. Third, strain out the solids and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature so it’s ready to use in your drink.
The Right Gift for Gin Dads: Caorunn Gin
Your martini-loving dad has gained significant wisdom throughout his life. Wisdom he has best used to help him arrive at his ideal version of a martini. He knows whether he likes it wet or dry, clean or dirty, and what type of garnish is best. However, while he may not be open to switching out an olive for a twist, we’ll bet he’d be down to try a new gin. Getting him a gin he might not have had before shows that while you know his tastes, you also want to give him something fresh and different to nerd out on. And Caorunn is the perfect candidate.
Caorunn is a quadruple distilled premium gin from Scotland, and it uses foraged botanicals and locally-sourced water to give it its unique flavor profile. It’s a clean, crisp, and versatile London dry that will give him a fun update to his favorite dad drink. And hey. This bad boy is reasonably priced which you know your dad will love (because in classic dad form, “money doesn’t grow on trees” is basically his catchphrase).
How To Make Him His Martini
After you give him the bottle, it’s time to get extra points by making him a kickass martini. Ask if he likes his wet or dry (wet means more vermouth, dry means less), clean or dirty (clean is no olive juice, dirty is more), and make sure to provide him with some different garnish options.
Executing his perfect cocktail well will show him that you’re really listening. While you haven’t done a great job with this when he’s given you advice about finances, dating, and plumbing, at least you’ve paid enough attention to know how to make him his drink. That’s something.
And if your dad is open to switching up his go-to recipe, here’s how I recommend mixing up an ideal martini with Caorunn:
- 2.5 oz Caorunn gin
- .75 oz dry vermouth
- Expressed lemon zest and lemon twist (or apple slice) garnish
Instructions: First, at least ten minutes before mixing the cocktail, start by rinsing your martini glass, shaking out the excess water, then placing it in the freezer. Second, pour the gin and vermouth in your mixing glass. Fill the mixing glass 3/4 full with ice, and stir briskly roughly 75 times. Third, remove your glass from the freezer and carefully strain the martini into your chilled glass (avoid letting any ice fragments into the martini glass). Fourth, express the lemon twist over the surface of the glass so that the oils coat the top of the drink. Finally, garnish with a lemon twist or an apple slice.