Father’s Day, the holiday dedicated to your dad.

When I think of Father’s Day, I run through the gift ideas list in my head. What did I get him last year? What interest has he been mentioning repeatedly? Preference for cut of meat? Favorite sports team? Quick thought interruption: remember the time he caught you joy riding without your license? Focus… Does he need more car wash supplies? Maybe a Home Depot gift card? I think I still have his shovel? Yes, definitely do. He might read this and want it back. I think I need to get him something that will impress but blur some memories of borrowed goods and adolescent mistakes. Let’s make an old fashioned, the “whiskey” business way.

Like most dads, my father appreciates a good drink that will put some hair on your chest — or maybe burn it. Strong drink with subtle soft characteristics. An old fashioned is everything I’m looking for when making a “thank you” cocktail. Let us add a twist to this classic.

Start off with the base of this cocktail, the bourbon. I like to stick with something on the warmer side, with a little hint of aromatic spices. A classic Kentucky bourbon will do the trick. I am reaching for Bulleit Bourbon. Make sure to go for the orange label, not the green, or else you will have a slap to the face of Rye. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rye whiskey with some ginger beer, but this is not the angle we’re going for with our old fashioned.

Normally, the old fashioned just requires some bitters and a garnish of citrus. I want more of a twist. Let’s add some blackberry syrup. Strong and stern our fathers may be, but there is always a sweet side to them. Blackberry syrup would be a great and delicious representation of their forgiving nature.

Bitters are simple, orange will bring out the aromas of the whiskey and bring a little acid back to this blackberry-sweetened cocktail. The lemon peel is a must and needs to be fresh. If you’re worried about your bar wench skill set, I have an easy solution to peel your zest. The potato peeler is about to be your best friend. Hold the lemon in your palm, pick a spot and peel toward yourself at an angle.

Now create:

Blackberry syrup:

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries from the store
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water.

Simmer down while stirring frequently. Strain the solids into a jar and keep in the fridge after cooling down to room temperature. Leftovers go great over ice cream.

Father’s Day Old Fashioned:

  • 2oz Bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon bitters
  • ½ ounce blackberry syrup
  • Garnish with lemon peel

Choice of Whiskey Glass, One large ice cube or ball. Place in the glass while creating.

In a separate glass, add your bourbon, blackberry syrup, a few dashes of orange bitters to your liking and lots of ice. Make sure to stir not shake. Roll that lemon peel like a Ho Ho and let the peel spring back. Garnish or drop into the side.

Pour over that large ice cube/ball and serve.

Serve several while gifting a shovel.