Father's Day Cocktails

Words by Difford's Guide

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Folk all over the world, from Antigua to Zimbabwe, celebrate Father's Day on the third Sunday in June*. It’s a chance to treat the old man to ye traditional gift of whisk(e)y or receive ye traditional badly drawn card from your spawn, should you have them.

Father's Day began in the US in the early 20th century, when a woman named Sonora Dodd sat in church listening to a Mother's Day sermon and wondered why there wasn't an equivalent for fathers. Sonora and her five siblings had been raised single-handedly by their war veteran dad in Spokane, Washington. And it took only one year from her first conversation with her pastor before both her town and her state were celebrating Father's Day.

If you're catching up with your dad for Father's Day, may we recommend you treat him to one of the following cocktails:

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Don's Delight
With: Añejo tequila, bourbon, amaretto, lime juice, sugar syrup and egg white.
We say: When made with Don Julio 1942, as this drink originally was, this is another memorable trick by the affable Brian Van Flandern.

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Papa Bear
With: Honey syrup, cognac, Krupnik honey liqueur and lemon juice.
We say: Delicately spiced and honeyed cognac.

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Made Man
With: Rye whiskey, Yellow Chartreuse, cherry brandy and Fernet Branca.
We say: Fernet Branca adds an almost smoky note to the rye, Yellow Chartreuse and cherry brandy combo. A great bittersweet after dinner digestif.

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Manhattan
With: Bourbon, maraschino syrup (from jar), swet vermouth and Angostura bitters.
We say: I must confess to preferring my Manhattans served 'sweet', or 'perfect' at a push. The Manhattan is complex, challenging and moreish. Best of all, it's available in a style to suit every palate.

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Old Pal
With: Canadian whisky, Campari and dry vermouth.
We say: A dry, bitter sipper for the more hardened palate.

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Papa Doble
With: Light rum, pink grapefruit juice, maraschino liqueur, lime juice and sugar syrup.
We say: A true Hemingway Special should be served without the addition of sugar. However, Hemingway had a hardened palate and more delicate drinkers may prefer the recipe above.

More specific but perhaps suited to your dad

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Blackbeard
With: Light rum, stout and cola.
We say: Something of a student drink, this tastes better than it sounds.

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Farmer's Tan
With: Mezcal, Cardamaro, orange curacao and Xocolatl Mole bitters.
We say: Mezcal, amaro and orange curacao sit well together with the bitters making for a well-balanced cocktail.

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Flying Frenchman
With: Absinthe, coffee liqueur and espresso coffee.
We say: Best described as an energy cocktail on steroids - equal parts absinthe, coffee liqueur and espresso. However, unlike most caffeine laden energy drinks the Flying Frenchman is very tasty.

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Fireman's Sour
With: Light white rum, lime juice, grenadine syrup and egg white.
We say: Smooth and balanced with great rum character. Lime fresh and fruity sweet.

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Godfather
With: Scotch whisky and amaretto.
We say: Scotch diluted and delicately sweetened with added almond notes - simply but tasty.

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Lazy Man Flip
With: Ruby port, calvados, single cream, sugar syrup and egg yolk.
We say: Obviously creamy but not too sweet with a great balance between the port and the calvados.

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Mexican in Manhattan
With: Añejo tequila, maraschino liqueur, bianco vermouth and lavender bitters.
We say: I tried making my usual Sweet Manhattan but with anejo tequila as the base spirit and it was not half bad, but there's something about tequila that says 'white' rather than 'red' vermouth. I also started with my favourite addition to a Sweet Manhattan: a half spoon of syrup from the maraschino cherry jar, but anejo tequila is so much more suited to maraschino liqueur. So I switched sweet vermouth for Bianco vermouth and Angostura Bitters for lavender bitters. (I love the combination of tequila and lavender.)

*Some European and Latin American countries celebrate Father's Day on the 19th March.