3 Ways to Toast Dad
Food and DrinkFather's Day Cocktail Hour

3 Ways to Toast Dad

You can drink these cocktails with your father, let him enjoy them in peace or sip them during a call home.

Robbie Medwed

Robbie Medwed writes for koshercocktail.com. Find these and other kosher cocktail recipes there. L’chaim!

Thank Churchill Downs for turning the Mint Julep into a bourbon drink.
Thank Churchill Downs for turning the Mint Julep into a bourbon drink.

Father’s Day is all about coming together and celebrating the man who taught you everything you know. Let’s hope that’s Dad, but if not, you can celebrate that guy, too. Some folks might like to say Dad’s old, but I prefer to say he’s “classic.”

To celebrate all things Dad, here are three cocktail recipes to drink in his honor. They’re all considered classics, just like Dad.

You’re welcome to drink these with him, but don’t be disappointed when he asks you to make him one of these and then leave him alone. Dads can be like that sometimes.

Or you can just drink one of these in Dad’s honor while you give him a call. He’ll appreciate the thought, and you’ll appreciate the nice, cold drink on a hot summer’s day.

Mint Julep

Few drinks come with a history as storied as the Mint Julep. When the cocktail was first created in the late 1700s, it was built with lots of fresh fruit and had a gin or brandy base. It was a cocktail that signified wealth, as it required imported alcohol, fresh fruit and lots of ice, all of which were expensive. In the 1930s the folks at Churchill Downs co-opted the julep and, in partnership with local distilleries, switched the base alcohol to bourbon — and a legend was reborn.

Handful of fresh mint sprigs
½ ounce simple syrup (50/50 sugar and water, melted together)
2½ ounces whiskey
Crushed ice

In a glass (a silver cup is traditional but not required), gently muddle a few mint leaves in the simple syrup. Don’t pulverize them; that will make the drink bitter. Add crushed ice to fill the glass, then the whiskey. Stir gently. Garnish with a large handful of fresh mint sprigs. Instructions from the 1800s call for enough fresh mint to tickle your ears when you drink from the cup, so don’t be shy.


Lime juice and a touch of sweetness are keys to a proper Gimlet.

The Gimlet came of age in the 1960s. It’s a play on the martini but takes advantage of a classic 1960s ingredient: Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice. This version opts for fresh lime juice and simple syrup instead of the bottled stuff, but feel free to use the bottle if you want to stay classic.

2 ounces gin
1 ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup (50/50 sugar and water, melted together)
2 ounces gin
¾ ounce Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice

Combine all the ingredients and shake gently over ice. Strain and serve in a stemmed glass with a slice of lime to garnish.

Dark ’n’ Stormy

Technically speaking, a Dark ’n’ Stormy is only a Dark ’n’ Stormy with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.

The Dark ’n’ Stormy is one of my go-to summer cocktails, and it’s the official cocktail of Bermuda. It’s simple, it’s strong, and it’s just classy enough to make you feel like you’re drinking something special instead of just having rum and a mixer. It’s like when your Dad told you he was going to take you to a water park, but instead he just brought you to the house of a neighbor who had a pool with a slide.

Fun fact: The Dark ’n’ Stormy is a trademarked cocktail and name, owned by Gosling’s Rum. Technically, a true Dark ’n’ Stormy must be made with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. I’m sure I’m not the only one who grew up with Dad trying to pass off something store-brand as the original (and being told to like it or I’d get nothing), so you can make your own choices when it comes to which kind of dark rum you’d like to use.

2 ounces dark rum
Ginger beer to top

Pour the rum and ginger beer into a glass filled with ice (the original recipe also calls for a highball glass, but use what you have). Add a squeeze of lime, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Robbie Medwed writes about cocktails and alcohol at koshercocktail.com.

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