Father’s Day is this weekend and whether you’re a prepared or a panicked gift-giver stuck on the eleventh hour, the clocks are ticking to find the perfect present.
It's true, Father’s Day shopping can be hard! Not every dad has a go to bottle that you can bank on being a hit. Nor are all a reclined whisky-sipping kind of guy that retreats to a man cave filled with sports and cigars. But that’s a good thing and something to be celebrated – the less we re-enforce outdated stereotypes with gifts that further compound them the better, so rejoice in the conundrum.
To help, we have put together some suggestions and explanations for what we think would make an extra special gift.
No gimmicks. No games. Just some good booze that’s a little bit more than another pair of cufflinks…
Gift ideas for Father's Day: Gin
For the adventure seeking father with an itinerant enthusiasm for life, maybe you’ll consider a gin that captures his curiosity.
On one hand Canaïma Gin has a tropical and transportive wit about it. An exotic escape for those with an affection for the extraordinary. It’s a gin that delivers big on flavour. Expect an aromatic trail of tropical fruits, citrus, and hints of black pepper, with an herbaceous, citrus hit on the palate.
The great thing about this gin is that it works well with fruity mixers given the complimentary flavours, making it ideal for summer punch recipes and garden parties.
If an Amazonian gin isn’t the right vibe but you like the idea of something exotic, Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin is a Dutch spirit with an Indonesian story to tell. Exploring the layers will reveal an incredibly fragrant upfront of lemongrass and rosehips that bursts into an intoxicatingly exotic mix. Unusual for all the right reasons and one of the most popular gins at Junipalooza - a sure sign of quality given the discerning drinkers there.
What we love about these brands however is that they never forget to lose sight of what gin is all about – juniper – so you know they deliver in a Negroni, G&T and other cocktails!
For the dads who pride themselves on their skills in the kitchen or behind the bar, gins that offer up a more savoury serve may just spark up some flavourful creations.
In a modern Australian twist, Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin is a textural and bright expression that uses three types of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and delivers savoury notes alongside a herbal backbone. These are cleverly accented through the use both citrus peel and lemon myrtle which give the gin a distinct personality. A great gin.
For lovers of meticulous detail and a dedication to absolute craft, especially those who love the outdoors Garden Swift Dry Gin is a fail-safe option. It was designed to capture the fleeting moment of nature, preserving each season’s flourishes and nuances in spirit form. With Father’s Day landing in the warmer months, the gin’s intricate range of soft leafy florals with ripe honeyed blood orange suit fresh garden garnishes, so proudly grown by your own gardening icon.
If you know that you that your father is into gin but no clue what style, there are a couple of gins that you can’t go “wrong” with. One of these is Plymouth Dry Gin. It’s a rich and smooth expression conceived as a result of a balanced blend of seven hand-selected botanicals with soft Dartmoor water. It suits those who favour a classic profile best, but the bottom line is that it’s a smooth, creamy, and full-bodied gin respected by all.
Maybe turn to what your dad likes to drink the gin with... If he likes something bright, bold, and bittersweet like a Negroni, you are halfway there to the perfect present! Equal parts Campari, Sweet Vermouth and a navy gin like Tarquin’s Sea Dog or Brighton Gin Seaside Strength is a 3-part gift that will allow you to celebrate Father’s Day the right way.
Gift ideas for Father's Day: Whisky, Cognac & Brandy
Flavours aside, a spirit that has a gift pack makes for an extra thoughtful present as often the boxes are intricate, tactile and add a sense of gravitas. Whisky, Cognac and Brandy are filled with such offerings.
The Lakes Whiskymaker’s Editions are perfect for the fathers with an affinity for interesting intricacies and finer details. Their Mosaic Edition delivers takes inspiration from the Silk Road, the ancient intercontinental avenue of east west trade and cultural exchange. You can expect flavours that conjure crisp autumn days where sharp air surrenders to the aromas of wood fire and spent leaves, to the heady spice melange of Moorish bazaars and onwards into light, delicate oriental wood.
Each of the editions has delivered a unique flavour journey based off an evocative idea and this edition is no different.
For the dads who have tried everything and who have an extensive whisky repertoire, Abasolo El Whisky De Mexico might just shake things up! It’s crafted from 100% Mexican Cacahuazintle corn. Its bold, different and eccentric with deep, nuanced notes of roasted corn, honey and vanilla. An homage to Mexican provenance and a great choice for an Old Fashioned, with a little twist of something new.
Flying from one side of the world to the other, any curious whisky drinker will have heard about the wonders of what Taiwan has to offer. Yes, Taiwan. Yes, genuinely world class. Kavalan Classic Single Malt Whisky is a fresh and clean spirit that holds a rich silky smoothness behind hints of exotic mango. For the father figure who has tried every Scotch under the sun – Kavalan is a tropical treat that makes for an exciting surprise. And then surprise again when they google some more and learn about the craft. And surprise again when they taste and appreciate the full spectrum of flavour in their glass. It's an amazing distillery.
We said no gimmicks nor clichés. But the Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon without a doubt calls for some kicked back leather chair celebration. Over the past year or two, we have had to get used to ‘at-home’ drinking, but why should that be any less special?
This is a higher proof variant takes the classic Maker's Mark and dials up the familiar flavour profile a notch or two. Take this as a sign to turn your living room into a classic whisky lounge for this extra special day. If you do, just lean into the stereotype and join for a cigar too as jokes aside, this pair particularly well.
Whisky however doesn’t just need to be drunk neat or on the rocks – embrace your inner bartender and turn what could be a couple sips into an occasion. The Blood & Sand Cocktail is one of the iconic Scotch cocktails for a reason. Simply combine Bruichladdich, The Laddie, Giffard Cherry Brandy, Sweet Vermouth and Orange Juice, give it a shake and there you have it – you’ve just made Father’s Day that little bit more special (…as well as boozy)!
If you are looking for something with the heat and strength of whisky but different yet don’t want to stray too far from his comfort zone, Cognac and Brandy could be your next bet. Seven Tails XO French Brandy is inspired by the art of alchemy, an innovative blend of Cognac, Armagnac and French Brandy aged between 3-30 years. It deliberately disrupts the status quo and showcases how vibrant the category can be.
However, if we have pushed the boat out a bit too far and you know the recipient of this gift would baulk at the idea of such non-conventional brandy, Martell is a beloved classic and one of the oldest Cognac houses. Opt for the VSOP and you’ll be met with golden amber aromas of caramelised dried fruits, or lean more towards the distinctive arch-shaped bottle of the XO a gift like no other.
If you are out to splash the cash and looking for something that goes beyond the liquid, The Glenfiddich 23yr Grand Cru is an exclusive expression that has been matured for 23 years in American and European oak, before being elegantly finished in rare French cuvée casks. The result is a malt with extraordinary character and well deserving of a few ‘ooo’s and ahh’s’ and a box to match.
Meanwhile, Nikka from the Barrel Whisky Gift Pack may be ideal for Japanese Whisky lovers. This nifty gift pack contains Japanese style rocks glasses, a jigger and a bottle of Nikka from the Barrel, making for a practical yet memorable gift.
Gift ideas for Father's Day: Tequila
Your mind may not immediately race towards Tequila (or Mezcal for that matter) when you think of Father’s Day but trust us on this one. Agave gives so much more than just a wedge of lime and a pinch of salt.
For all the dedicated "whisky dads" out there, Tequila may be too much of a jump – but take a look at this, Storywood Speyside Tequila, a reposado single malt that has been aged for 7 months in Scottish Speyside whisky barrels for a tantalisingly two-sided tipple. It’s a great idea for those with a non-conformist nature about them - a hybrid between Scotland and Mexico and liquid with some real quality about it.
For the fathers who likeMezcal, here’s something special: The Lost Explorer Espadín Mezcal. It encourages you to celebrate, contemplate and to sip curiously. The Espadín isn’t as smoky as some, allowing for a more approachable experience whilst still in amongst the depth of character. One to sip neat and to enjoy the subtly sweet and herbaceous nature at its fullest.
If you are looking for something that goes beyond the bottle, Tiempo Tequila offers up something a little extra. Consider it to be two presents in one! Each bottle is packaged in a limited-edition box displaying a print by graphic illustrator Alan Berry Rhys. A soft buttery agave guarded by subtle whisky and oak, Tiempo is an easy sipping Cristalino – equally good for the likes of a Paloma.
Tequila is one we aren’t afraid to sip neat, however we can never say no to a solid tequila-based cocktail to spice up the evening. If you are celebrating Father’s Day together, why not make an El Diablo - a bold and zesty concoction to say the least. A shaken combo of Tequila, Crème de Cassis, Lime Juice, and Ginger Beer – take our word for it when we say it’s a sure-fire way to brighten up his day.
Gift ideas for Father's Day: Rum
To top it all off, if you are looking for a kind of rum that has layers to it, from flavour, to story, to process and that looks good as a gift), Equiano Rum has just got it right.
As the world’s first African Caribbean Rum, the profile offers a true rum with a tropical warmth (without the need for a plane ticket!), complimented with rich notes of dried fruits, butterscotch, and caramel. Gift aside, Equiano is committed to do better and alongside a stunning bottle comes the story of Olaudah Equiano. If your dad is inspired by some history, this rum breathes equality and diversity into its core values, which makes this a brand one to stand behind, whilst you sip on an excellent transportive spirit.
Gift ideas for Father's Day: Vodka
What we love about gifting spirits as presents is that you don’t have to rely on festive excuses like Christmas, they can be a fun and creative way to show your love!
Doghouse Distillery have taken their delicious Baller Vodka and pimped it out with an addition of chilli and bacon flavouring. It’s crazy, spicy, and actually rather tasty for something than could be just a novelty. It’s packed with some hot habanero style heat – so if your dad likes a spicy Bloody Mary or just up for something a bit out there, we say why not!
Vodka unfortunately seems to fall under some underwhelming preconceptions, but for us when an often-nuanced spirit has something unique to offer, we just can’t say no.
One for the casual, curious and enthusiasts alike, Black Cow Vodka serves up something different. Black Cow is made entirely from grass-grazed cow’s milk. This unusual source results in an exceptionally smooth and versatile character. Be warned an easy sipping vodka may lead to a Father’s Day fuelled with some creamy Espresso Martini’s, followed by some inevitable and likely very awkward dad dancing.