Worldwide icon-chevron-right Fifteen Father's Day cocktails for dad

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Lucky Smoke
Photograph: Skandia Shafer

Fifteen Father's Day cocktails for dad

Show dad how much you appreciate him this Father’s Day by getting him sloshed with the perfect cocktail recipe

By Dan Q Dao

Making dad Father’s Day breakfast-in-bed may have worked when you were a kid, but as the years have gone by, you may want to consider upgrading the eggs and bacon for a swanky home-cooked dinner complete with craft cocktails. For those celebrating the special day at home, whipping up a fine drink doesn’t have to be hard—especially if you’ve got the proper items for the home bar, a few great cocktail books and some easy cocktail recipes to make at home. From beer cocktails to riffs on old fashioneds, here are 15 stellar drinks from US bartenders to shake and stir this Father’s Day.

Father's Day cocktails

Cocoa Puff Mint Julep
Photograph: Courtesy Broken Shaker

Cocoa Puff Mint Julep

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars River North

Created by Trevor Alberts of Broken Shaker, Chicago, IL

“There is nothing more sublime than a julep on a summer day. This is a fun and approachable number for a whole brunch party or Father’s Day barbecue.”


2 oz of Cocoa-Puff–infused bourbon whiskey*

¼ oz coffee liqueur (Kahlúa or something similar)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

10 mint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a ten-ounce glass (ceramic or metal preferred). Gently muddle mint for three seconds with muddler or blunt kitchen instrument. Pulverize ice in a freezer bag with mallet (or use crushed ice). Pack glass with crushed ice and churn for five seconds. Top glass with additional crushed ice. Garnish with a bouquet of mint

*Cocoa Puff Bourbon can be made by steeping one cup of cereal in one 1 liter of 100 proof bourbon whiskey for 24 hours. Strain before using.
Shadow Boxer at Leyenda
Photograph: Courtesy Leyenda

Shadow Boxer

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Carroll Gardens

Created by Ivy Mix of Leyenda, New York, NY

"Serve it to Dad because it's boozy and slightly bitter, approachable but also a little standoffish due to the Campari. It's a contemplative cocktail. Maybe not like all Dads, but certainly like mine!"


1½ oz Yaguara

¾ oz Campari

¾ oz Dolin Dry Vermouth

¼ oz Blume Apricot Eau de Vie

¼ oz Giffard Pamplemousse

Stir up and add orange twist.

White Tuxedo at The Roosevelt
Photograph: Rita Mass

The White Tuxedo

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Warehouse District

Created by Justin Lavenue of The Roosevelt Room, Austin, TX

“The White Tuxedo is the perfect aperitif cocktail because it is elegantly dry and nutty from the dry sherry and bianco vermouth, and the addition of salted tarragon olive oil makes you salivate and coats your stomach, signaling that you're ready to eat. This is the ideal cocktail to enjoy with dad at home, before his favorite meal.”


1¼ oz Bombay Sapphire gin

1¼ oz Martini Bianco vermouth

½ oz Manzanilla sherry

2 dashes grapefruit bitters 

Stir well and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with lemon oil and six drops of salted, tarragon olive oil.

Sunday Britches at Kindred
Photograph: Courtesy Kindred

Sunday Britches

Created by Blake Pope of Kindred, Davidson, NC

“My pops always keeps a stocked liquor cabinet. He rarely drinks but likes to boast about his collection. When I stop home I like get creative with what he's got on-hand and break his normal go-to, an old-fashioned.”


1½ oz bourbon (Woodford Reserve, what pops likes)

¾ oz Campari

½ oz Lillet Blanc

6 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine ingredients in a rocks glass, stir and serve.

Washington and Jefferson at Redbird
Photograph: Courtesy Washington and Jefferson

Washington and Jefferson

Restaurants American creative Downtown Historic Core

Created by Tobin Shea of Redbird, Los Angeles, CA

"For the father who is a history buff, this is the perfect cocktail. Inspired by the remains of Thomas Jefferson's liquor cabinet, and George Washington's love of rye whiskey, this twist on the Manhattan features ingredients that were available in colonial times.”


¾ oz Old Overholt rye whiskey

¾ oz Appleton 12 yr rum

¾ oz Laird’s Applejack

¾ oz Broadbent Rainwater Madeira

¼ oz honey syrup (2:1 honey to water)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Orange peel for garnish

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass. Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with orange twist.

Lucky Smoke
Photograph: Courtesy the Spare Room

Lucky Smoke

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Hollywood

Created by Yael Vengroff & Eric Bugosh of The Spare Room, Los Angeles, CA

“The Lucky Smoke is a sophisticated play on an old-fashioned, often considered the quintessential ‘dad’s drink.’ With Japanese whiskey in place of a traditional bourbon or rye, this cocktail may just introduce Dad to his new favorite nightcap.”


1½ oz Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey

½ oz Navy Strength Rum

¼ oz banana liqueur

¼ oz vanilla syrup

2 dashes Miracle Mile Coconut Pandan Bitters

Wrapped pandan leaf

In a rocks glass filled with ice, combine the ingredients and stir with a bar spoon. Wrap the pandan leaf around the glass and serve.

Captain Cooper at Highway Restaurant
Photograph: Courtesy Highway

Captain Cooper

Created by Mark Noonan of Highway Restaurant & Bar, East Hampton, NY

“Named for Mercator Cooper, the very famous captain who sailed out of Sag Harbour in the 1800s, this is the perfect way to end Father’s Day...the Captain’s way!”


2 oz Breckenridge Bourbon

½ oz ginger syrup

2 peach slices and 1 whole strawberry (muddled)

Combine ingredients, muddle fruit and shake vigorously with ice. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with a strawberry slice.

Mezcaleria Las Flores
Photograph: Jay Schroeder

Five Unlucky Days

Bars and pubs Mezcalerias Logan Square

Created by Jay Schroeder of Mezcaleria Las Flores, Chicago, IL

“When it comes to booze, my father loves two things: brown liquor and fortified wine. He generally gravitates more towards port, but he has a serious soft spot for Manzanilla sherry. When we get together for family events I'll often bring two different sets of cocktail ingredients: one to make a crowd-pleaser, and one with a significantly more focused audience in mind. The latter generally gravitates to me, my father and sometimes my brother. Five Unlucky Days is tailor-made to my Dad's taste, and unfortunately I've yet to be able to put one together for him. That will change soon enough.”


1 drop nutmeg oil

½ oz Manzanilla sherry

½ oz CH Fernet

¾ oz Cimarron reposado tequila

¾ oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac

1 barspoon demerara syrup

Combine all ingredients in a pint glass and stir. Strain into a jicara (optional: gourd bowls made in Mexico; farther south, the dried fruit of the jicaro tree is made into sizable cups). Garnish with an expressed and discarded orange zest.

Photograph: Jay Schroeder
Photograph: Andrew Kist
Photograph: Andrew Kist

The Crooner

Restaurants American Midtown West

Created by Tommy Flynn of Trademark Taste + Grind, New York, NY

“My dad's sweet tooth and love of rum makes this the perfect cocktail for him. It's like getting lost on a tropical island with a big jar of Nutella and some fresh limes.”


1½ oz rum (preferably Mount Gay Black Barrel)

¾ oz Frangelico

¾ oz lime juice

Dash of tiki bitters

Egg white

Bar spoon cherry jam

Add ingredients into a shaker and shake without ice to get the full velvety feel of the egg white. Then, add ice and vigorously shake again. Strain into a coupe glass and add three Luxardo cherries on a skewer as a garnish.

Photograph: Andrew Kist
The Corner Office
Photograph: Courtesy The Corner Office

TCO Martinez

Created by Eric Liebtag of The Corner Office Restaurant + Martini Bar, Denver, CO

“We don’t like to admit it, but sometimes we take Dad for granted, and this drink is our chance to pay homage to dad with a real classic”


2½ oz Ransom Old Tom Gin

1¼ oz Carpano Antica vermouth

2 barspoons maraschino liqueur (preferably Luxardo)

3 dashes orange bitters


Orange twist, for garnish (optional)

Combine ingredients, stir and serve up.

Photograph: David Rangel
Photograph: David Rangel

Sunshine & Whiskey

Created by Catherine Bartlett of Lüke, San Antonio, TX

“The 'Sunshine & Whiskey' is a perfectly balanced summer libation that combines a Texas spirit with Texas honey for a refreshing yet bold warm weather cocktail. It’s boozy enough for Dad, but so smooth and easy to drink. Best of all—it's simple enough to make at home too!”


 oz Rebecca Creek whiskey

¾ oz B&B liqueur

1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz local honey  

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass over ice. Shake thoroughly, then strain into a rocks glass. Add ice and garnish with thin slice of lemon.

Photograph: David Rangel
Rum old-fashioned
Photograph: Courtesy Porchlight

Rum Old-Fashioned

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Chelsea

Created by Nick Bennett at Porchlight, New York, NY

"My dad isn’t much of a cocktail person and doesn’t really like his whiskey anymore, but he really does enjoy his rum. In the past he has enjoyed a Hemingway daiquiri or a mai tai. Most recently though he has liked a simple rum-forward cocktail. That is why this Father’s Day, I would serve my dad a rum old-fashioned style cocktail."


2 oz Jamaican rum (preferably Appleton 12)

1 tsp raw cane sugar (muddled)

2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters

1 tsp seltzer water

Orange twist

In a rocks glass muddle the bitters, sugar and seltzer together. Add the rum and top with ice. Give it a quick stir to mix it all together. Express the orange twist over the cocktail and insert it on the side of the glass. Enjoy on the couch watching ESPN or Conan the Barbarian, with all of the respect that you deserve.

Ginger Giant at Spring St Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Spring St Bar

The Ginger Giant

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Downtown Historic Core

Created by Coleen Morton of Spring St Bar, Los Angeles, CA

"Growing up I always imagined my father as Ginger Giant, stomping around with heavy feet. My homage to him and all fathers with personalities that boom across the room!”


1½ oz Teeling Irish Whiskey

¾ oz ginger syrup

¾ oz lemon juice

Boulevard Ginger Radler Beer

Stir ingredients in a pint glass and top with beer. In lieu of a Ginger Radler Beer, increase the ginger syrup to one ounce and use a double IPA.

Prince of Wales at the Logan Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy the Logan Hotel

Prince of Wales

Created by John Williams of Assembly at the Logan Hotel, Philadelphia, PA

“This classic cocktail is often credited to King Edward himself, concocted during his wayward days as the rebellious playboy Prince of Wales. If whiskey and champagne were the fuel for his famously decadent lifestyle, surely this drink is an appropriate way for dads to unwind on Father’s Day!”


1½ oz WhistlePig 100-proof rye

½ oz Luxardo Maraschino

½ oz pineapple syrup

2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

2½ oz sparkling Wine          

In a bowl or cocktail shaker, mix first four ingredients together and stir to combine. Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice and top with two and a half ounces of sparkling wine. Garnish with a piece of fresh pineapple and a mint leaf on a skewer.

Raisin Hell at Belle Shoals
Photograph: Courtesy Belle Shoals

Raisin Hell

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Williamsburg

Created by James Palumbo, Belle Shoals, New York, NY 

“The Raisin Hell is a dad's cocktail all the way through. It's strong and complex, it has whisky and bitters, it has a sweet side that's not overly pronounced, and the name is a pun. It's doesn't get much more fatherly than good ol' cringe-worthy dad joke.”

1½ oz Cuttysark Prohibition

½ oz Jägermeister

½ oz Punt e Mes

½ oz PX Sherry       

Stir and serve up with a lemon twist.


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