5 Boozy Gift Ideas for Father's Day

Cocktail 101

All the basics of the bar.


[Scotch photograph from Shutterstock]

Father's Day is coming, and it's time to think about getting something boozy for the favorite dad in your life, whether that's your father, your spouse, a father figure in your life, or George Michael.

With one child at home, and another on the way, I feel qualified to make a few suggestions. What I'm going for here are quirky and fun gifts, none of which is particularly expensive or hard to find. I think the best gifts are often ones that are a little offbeat and show a little consideration. (Dad doesn't have to know that you got the ideas here.) And though all of these gifts are booze-related, only one of them actually is, well, booze.

Old Fashioned Kit


[Photograph: Michael Dietsch]

Whiskey is an obvious gift: a lot of people love whiskey, dads included. But for this Father's Day, I'm going to suggest assembling a cocktail kit for Dad. A bottle of whiskey, a bottle of Angostura, and a Double Old-Fashioned glass or two. (He'll need sugar and some citrus, but he probably has those already; you can find lovely Old Fashioned glasses at Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, or your local housewares store, or consider eBay, Etsy, or your local thrift shop or flea market.)

For the whiskey in an Old Fashioned, I love Wild Turkey 101-proof bourbon. It's excellent and widely available; the higher proof means that the bourbon keeps its flavor while the ice melts; and for a high-proof whiskey, it's fairly inexpensive. Another option, for pretty much the very same reasons, is Rittenhouse Rye, but Rittenhouse is prone to shortages in many markets, so WT101 is my top choice.

If you're willing to go just a little more upmarket than WT or Rittenhouse, try Bulleit (either the bourbon or the rye) or Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon.



Flask? Ha! Your dad probably has seven of those. Instead, liven things up with some less common imbibing vessels. Cocktail Kingdom offers copper Moscow Mule mugs and Julep cups in either silver-plate or nickel.

To Have and Have Another


Does Dad love Hemingway? If he enjoys Ernest as much as he enjoys booze, he'll love To Have and Have Another, from Philip Greene, co-founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail. Greene has spent years researching Hemingway's drinking preferences, and he presents passages from Hemingway's books, newspaper and magazine articles, letters, and personal papers to document Papa's booze habits. The book is organized by drinks, from Absinthe to the White Lady, and in each section Greene provides recipes and vignettes from Hemingway's life and writings. The next time Dad reads Hemingway, he can do so with this book and a couple of bottles in hand.

Cocktail Menu Cover Art


If Dad has a home bar to decorate, consider buying him a cocktail-menu print from Cool Culinaria. The company collects vintage restaurant menus, cocktail menus, and restaurant signage from restaurants, bars, saloons, nightclubs, and diners from the middle of the twentieth century. Prices start at $28 for an 11x14 unframed print.

Do Molecular Mixology at Home


For the dad who loves playing Mad Scientist, this kit looks like an ideal gift. Imagine a mojito served in a sphere that bursts in the mouth, or a margarita topped with lime foam. I haven't had the chance to test this specific kit yet myself, but the idea is cool: ingredients and info to let Dad try out molecular mixology ideas at home. The kit contains a recipe DVD plus sachets of gelatin, xantham gum, and other food additives to help Dad make spheres and foams to liven up your next family cocktail hour.

What are your plans for Father's Day gifts?