It's almost Father's Day. And, if you're like me, you're thinking to yourself: "oh shit! I forgot to get my dad something!"
Now my dad is a brandy drinker so I am planning to just spend some time with him this weekend and hope I don't come off as cheap. But if your dad is a bourbon fan, the easy answer is that you could always buy him...well...bourbon. Of course, it's entirely possible that you are looking for something a little less boozy for dear old dad on his special day. Something that won't get you in trouble with mom for encouraging him. In such a case, you could give him something that will enhance his bourbon drinking long after that one bottle you thought of giving him would be emptied.
In that case, it just so happens I might have a few ideas for you. As you might have guessed from the number of reviews I post, I tend to have my share of bourbon along with your share and your neighbor's. And I just so happen to have a collection of favorite things that I can easily recommend to you.
First and foremost is glassware. Drinking out of good glassware is key to enjoying your bourbon. I'm not going to say that I haven't had a mini of Jim Beam out of a plastic glass in a hotel room, but it isn't the most pleasurable way to drink it.
- If dad is a taster of bourbon, a set of glencairn glasses is key. I got my set of six off of Amazon years ago and have been very happy with them.
- Of course, you don't want to taste whiskey all the time, sometimes you just want to drink it. And honestly, a glencairn isn't real easy to drink out of. In such a case, while I do like a nice heavy rocks glass, recently these small snifters have been the go to whenever they're clean. I bought one from Beam and one from A. Smith Bowman.
- But if you don't really feel like giving dad something with a logo emblazoned on it, visit a local antique store or an estate sale and look at the glassware. I've gotten some really cool old glasses that I absolutely love that way. One thing those folks from 50-60 years ago knew was drinking and the glasses they used are some of the most comfortable I've held.
But maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves. Dad needs to get the whiskey into the glass somehow, right? And even before he does that, he may even want to do something with it. Maybe make it into a cocktail? So utensils are essential.
- Sure dad could pull the cork out with his teeth and just splash some in the glass, but we aren't cowboys. This is the modern age and in the modern age we have things like measuring cups. My favorite is an OXO Stainless Steel one. This is the one I keep next to the bourbon shelf at all times.
- And what about that cocktail? If dad is making a whiskey sour, he'll need a lemon juiced. I have about 4 different juicers in the house, but the one I find most convenient is this hand juicer I got at Sur La Table. It's heavy and isn't too expensive. Plus I can just rinse it off when I'm finished. Most of the pulp stays in the lemon half.
- If dad is making something like a Manhattan though, he will need a spoon. I don't have a recommendation. I find that the choice of bar spoon is highly personal. Mine was a cheap one, it doesn't have the muddler end that everyone recommends. But it feels right in my hand and glides nicely in the mixing glass.
And once dad has made or poured his drink, it would be nice for him to have something to sit and read. The book I'm reading right now is Bourbon Empire by Reid Mitenbuler. I'll have a real review coming soon, but spoiler alert, I'm really enjoying it.
So if you don't want to get dad bourbon (due to mom's disapproving looks, or because he has so much good stuff you'd never be able to afford to top it) think about some of these other ways to enhance dad's bourbon experiences. Most of these things I like more than some of the bourbons I've reviewed lately.
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