Pour Dad a Drink!


Strange thing about Father’s Day, really. Have you ever noticed, that there is actually International Mother’s Day, but with daddy that differs from place to place? As so often throughout human history, the “evil” doing, or the good, depending on how you look at it, of course, comes from the Catholic Church. Most countries celebrate Father’s Day on the 19th of March, being St. Joseph’s Day. Where I come from it’s “Ascension Thursday” (40 days past Easter) and the States -- with all the strong ties towards the UK (pun intended) -- celebrate on the 3rd Sunday of June. By far the coolest place to celebrate Father’s Day should be Taiwan, as 08/08 is spoken as “ba ba” in the Mandarin dialect, which in turn, is the same sound as the word “father.” Great fun too is Belgium, as they have two possibilities: St. Joseph’s Day and the second Sunday in June -- so one celebration, two occasions. Some Belgians might celebrate on the Christian holiday others might use the non-religious newer date. Though, you know me, I would find an excuse to get the most out of both days.

However, this wasn’t supposed to be a formal historical article, but rather, one about drinking. See, my religion is music, my church is Rock’n’Roll and my gods are Zeppelin and Floyd. And that’s exactly where my father and I meet. Ever listened to “Black Dog” -- first track on the IV? When that song comes up you’ll sure see the both of us headbanging, cracking open a beer and see to it that the stereo is cranked well past max. So in order to celebrate Father’s Day in style, here are four recipes the whole family (including little ones) can enjoy.

My dad came to visit me at the last bar I worked at every once in awhile, but usually by car. But not to worry, as he really likes a refreshing non-alcoholic drink, especially with lots of mint. While in the most bars you’ll have to chose between Ginger Ale and Tonic Water or might even just get simple Soda, what I like to do is take both. And then place a drop (or two) of Orange bitters on the decorative mint sprig, for some extra flavor.

The Mosquito
The Mosquito

The Mosquito (a.k.a. Drink’n’Drive Mojito)

- 3 sprigs of mint

- ⅔oz (20ml) fresh lime juice

- ⅓oz (10ml) simple syrup (syrup made from demerara or palm sugar is even better)

- filler: Ginger Ale and/or Tonic Water

Method: tear the leaves off of 2 sprigs and give ‘em a slap with your wrist. Drop them in a highball glass and add the syrup and the lime juice. Give it a stir, so the sweet and the sour mix (but it’s not sweet and sour mix - ew.) Fill with ice cubes and add the filler. Stick in the last sprig (slapped, of course) and enjoy. If the drink is for little ones, you may well go mad on the deco.

It’s summer and the bees are going all wild, so why not spice things up with one of the vast variations of honey out there? Summer is honey season, so pay a visit to your local beekeeper and see what he has to offer. In addition, add a new entry to the market, a honey-flavored Scotch and to round it all up, of course, a bourbon. This drink might be the only excuse for any bar to actually carry crushed ice, so just enjoy it, while it’s sunny outside.

Mint Julep
Mint Julep

Honey Badger’s Mint Julep

- 3 sprigs of mint

- ½ oz (15ml) “runny honey” (1:1 honey and water heated to almost boiling, then cooled)

- 1oz (30ml) Dewar’s Highlander Honey

- 1oz (30ml) Knob Creek Bourbon

Method: In a julep cup (a double rocks glass will suffice) drop the leaves of 2 mint sprigs, after giving them a proper whack. Add the runny honey and some crushed ice and give it a stir. Fill the whole cup with crushed ice and add the booze. Place a well slapped mint sprig in it as deco and put a short straw right next to it.

So, usually I would’ve gone for a deep brown over-aged rum and just the lime. But as I like my daiquiris a tad more sour at times, I chose to go for a recently discovered NY-based white rum and a mixture of lime and lemon, to give it the extra tang.

Pre-chilled for chillin'
Pre-chilled for chillin'

The Daiquiri

- 2 oz (60ml) The Noble Experiment Owney's NYC White Rum

- ⅔ oz (20ml) fresh lime juice

- ⅓ oz (10ml) fresh lemon juice

- ½ oz simple syrup

- lemon zest

Method: Put all ingredients in a Boston Shaker, add ice and give it a long hard shake. Double strain into (possibly pre-cooled) coupette. Twist the lemon zest over the drink and neatly wrap it around the stem.

Usually the Negroni might be a little too bitter for mum, hence the Aperol, the adjusted measures, and most of all the vanilla. And while we’re at improving the drink, let’s take that lovely Punt e Mes for a spin. After all those lovely drinks make sure to drop the little ones off with granny and give mum and dad some special alone time.

Mum’s Father’s Day Negroni

- 1 ⅓ oz (40ml) Sipsmith London Dry Gin

- 1oz (30ml) Punt e Mes

- ⅔oz (20ml) Aperol

- ½ fresh vanilla pod

- splash fresh orange juice

- (big fat) orange zest

Method: Place half a vanilla pod (cut up length wise) and a splash of fresh OJ in a double rocks glass and muddle gently. Add all the liquor and fill with ice cubes. Stir gently. Twist the orange zest over the drink, rub it along the rim and drop it in the drink.

Alt Method: Prepare in a mixing glass and double strain (because of the vanilla seeds) into a (possibly pre-cooled) coupette.

Happy Father’s Day and enjoy!

Author’s Note: Above mentioned syrups are really easy to do. Just put 2:1 Demerara or Palm sugar to water in a pan and heat it to just below boiling. when all the sugar is dissolved, let it cool. Done!