If your dad is a bourbon or whiskey drinker, what better way is there to spend Father’s Day than surrounded by his favorite bourbons and maybe even a few new ones to try? The answer, of course, is there is no better way. Here’s how to turn Father’s Day into dad’s personal bourbon fest.
It Starts on the Grill
The smell of smoke, a cool drink in your hand, and great people around you make grilling one of the greatest of all man’s creations. When that first sizzle hits the summer air, you know it’s going to be a great day.
As the grill heats up, you and dad can start on the sauce. No, not that sauce. We’re talking about a bourbon whiskey BBQ sauce that’s finger-smacking delicious. Of course, if you want to start on that other “sauce,” who are we to stop you?
Dad’s New Favorite Bourbon Whiskey BBQ Sauce
½ onion, chopped into small pieces
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
2 cups ketchup
¼ cup tomato paste
⅓ cup cider vinegar (or distilled white vinegar if you prefer)
2 spoons of liquid smoke flavoring
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup of brown sugar
Small spoonful of hot pepper sauce (optional)
1-3 shots (to taste) of bourbon whiskey (we suggest Ezra Brooks or Rebel)*
This seems like a lot of ingredients, but trust us, they’re all worth it! In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the garlic, onion, and bourbon. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Mix in all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for another 20 minutes. Smooth out the sauce by straining it over a bowl or a glass container.
You can even make this ahead of time and bring it with you as a fantastic gift for dad.
*A quick note on cooking with liquor. The higher the proof (Ezra Brooks KSB is 90 proof, Rebel is 80 proof), the longer you should let the sauce simmer. You want to simmer it long enough to cook the alcohol out of it, but not so long that the flavor starts to taste bitter or burnt. Find the sweet spot by tasting it periodically (be careful, it’ll be hot).
For great ideas on what food to serve with this delicious sauce, check out our blog post on pairing bourbon and barbecue.
Bourbon Whiskey Tasting
While you wait for the food to cook, take a few moments to set up a proper bourbon and whiskey tasting. Grab a few bottles of dad’s favorite bourbon or whiskey and pour a couple of ounces in different glasses. You can compare different bourbons based on their proofs, whether they’re rye or wheat, pricepoint, finishes, or for just about any other reason. When tasting multiple dark spirits, it’s best to start with the lightest color or the lowest proof and finish with the darkest color or highest proof. Between tastings, a swig of water or a sniff of coffee beans helps to cleanse the palate.
If you want further steps on setting up a bourbon or whiskey tasting, there’s a great “How To” article over on the Daviess County blog.
This article on How to Bring Out Bourbon’s Best Flavor will help to take your bourbon tasting up a notch.
New Spirits to Add to Dad’s Collection
At Lux Row, we’ve grown our portfolio of spirits quite a bit over the last decade. We don’t want to toot our own horns, but we think these bourbons and whiskeys are worth adding to dad’s collection.
Daviess County Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, French Oak Finish, and Cabernet Sauvignon Finish offer a nod to the past but a sip of the future. Each bourbon is 96 proof and features a unique blend of ryed and wheated mash bills. Any one of these makes a great addition to any bar. Adding all three might make you your dad’s favorite person.
Back in 1843, David Nicholson was a grocery store owner in St. Louis, Missouri. One day, in the backroom of that store, he created one of the smoothest, most-treasured bourbons on the market today. David Nicholson 1843 and David Nicholson Reserve offer two distinct flavor profiles, and both are smooth enough to become you or your dad’s new everyday sipper.
From the classic Kentucky Straight to Ezra 99 and the best Bourbon Cream out there, it’s hard to go wrong when adding a few different bottles of Ezra to the bar.
Cocktails For Dads
While drinking whiskey neat is perfectly okay with us, there is an entire world of cocktails out there worth trying. Starting from simple-to-make to the more complex, these cocktails are dad-approved:
The Classics: Manhattan, Old-Fashioned, Whiskey Sour
The big three are not only easy to make, but they never go out of style. (Click to see each recipe)
Bring the Spice: Rye Drinks
For the dads who prefer a spicier drink.
The Sweeter side of Dad: Cocoa and Bourbon Cream
For dads who’d prefer to drink their dessert.
Father’s Day happens only once a year, so we hope your bourbon fest for dad is a great one.
Lux Row Distillers will be on production shut-down July 11th through 25th. Tours may be altered during this time. Thank you.