Pretty much any Father's Day gift guide you see is going to include at least one entry advising you to buy him a bottle of brown liquor. America's fathers, we're told, would like nothing more than an expensive bottle of scotch, or perhaps a more modestly-priced bottle of bourbon.
For many men, that's absolutely true. But just because dad enjoys his booze doesn't mean a bottle of Laphroaig or Maker's Mark is necessarily the best Father's Day gift. Perhaps he's already got way more liquor in the cabinet than he's ever going to be able to drink. Perhaps he's become more of a wine or martini guy in his old age. Perhaps he's building a home bar, and would rather get some tools for mixing his own cocktails.
Or maybe you'd just prefer to get him something a bit more creative than another bottle of hard liquor. Whatever, the case, we've gathered some clever gift ideas for the dad who likes the occasional drink, but wants to have a bit more fun with it.
Nonalcoholic Father's Day Gifts for Dads Who Like a Drink
Among the trendy products in booze-related gifting are whiskey stones. The cube-shaped stones are cooled in the freezer, and are then placed in a glass of liquor to cool it without watering it down.
But we've never been totally sold on the cooling power of whiskey stones, nor have we ever seen them offered at an actual bar. Instead, in most trendy cocktail bars, your beverage gets one giant cube or sphere of ice, which cools the drink without watering it down too much. You can buy trays for making these large cubes or spheres in your freezer, including this Japanese-made ice sphere tray.
If dad is looking to set up a home bar and mix up his own cocktails, he'll need to stock up on mixing tools. Or he could just get the Swiss army knife of bar tools: The Bar10der, which incorporates 10 tools into one package, including a strainer, a jigger, a muddler and a bottle opener.
It looks like it could be kind of a pain to wash -- since the tools don't detach, you'll need to wash the whole thing every time you zest an orange or cut a lime, and it's not dishwasher-safe. But if space is at a premium, this $40 tool packs (almost) everything you need to make cocktails in one package.
Wine experts will tell you it's good to let wine "breathe" by pouring it into a decanter. But if you don't have room for a full-sized decanter, or if you're disinclined to sit around waiting for your wine to improve in taste, you might try an aerator. Just pour your wine through this little device and into the glass, and it will supposedly get instantly aerated.
Dad's old, and he doesn't knock 'em back as quickly as he did in his youth. The downside? His beer might start get to get warm as he nurses it, and that bottle of chardonnay he took on the picnic with your mom may likewise grow tepid.
An ice pack and a cooler might remedy that problem. But a more clever solution is the Corkcicle, a cork affixed to the top of an icicle-like cooling element. Cool the Corkcicle in the freezer, then put it in the bottle after you've uncorked it. A more advanced version, the Corkcicle One, incorporates an aerator at the top so you can chill, aerate and pour all at once.
For beer drinkers, there's also the Chillsner, which works the same way as the Corkcicle but fits into a standard bottle of beer. It even has a drink-through spout.
If dad has started to build up a little wine collection, he may need another wine rack to hold -- and display -- his latest bottles. We're fans of this 9-bottle rack made of reclaimed barrel staves and recycled iron.
If the $180 price point gives you pause there are cheaper options, like this bamboo rack that holds more bottles and costs just $20. And there's also this wall-mounted rack that stores both bottles and glasses.
James Bond ordered his martinis shaken, not stirred. Now there's a third option: Whirled up in a tiny vortex.
The Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer means dad doesn't have to aggravate his old rotator-cuff injury every time he wants to make a martini. Just put in the booze and the ice and press the button, and you can watch a little tornado mix up your drink. The machine comes with a built-in strainer, and the two AAA batteries are included.
Every drinking man should have a flask, but this product takes the traditional metal flask and kicks it up a notch. The leather-bound flask has a circular recess which hides a collapsible, telescoping, metal shot glass. Once removed, the shot easily opens to its full two-ounce size, and just as easily collapses again to the replaced inside the flask.
That makes it a great option for measuring out a perfect shot for drink-mixing purposes. And most importantly, it lets you share the booze in the flask without spreading germs. The eight-ounce flask gets rave reviews on Amazon, where it sells for $25 plus free shipping.