Buy Dad More Than a Drink

Creative ways to get your old man tipsy this Father’s Day.

Our collective celebrating of Hallmark holidays sure does reinforce many a cliché. Red roses and chocolates for your valentine, brunch and mimosas for Mum, and sports and booze stuff for Pop. While Mom gets "the pretty things," Dad usually gets something utilitarian or unemotional (I wonder how many sets of golf balls are purchased at the beginning of June?). But even a cliché can convey a little more feeling than a bow-tied bottle does. No matter what your father imbibes, here are a few suggestions for going beyond cliché for your Father's Day gift.If your dad enjoys a proper cocktail every once and again, why don't you give him one in a box—say, a cocktail from your favorite hangout or the historical version of his favorite drink. Print out a cool recipe card, writing up its history, and gather all the ingredients for a perfect cocktail. For example, if your dad enjoys gin martinis but rarely splurges on the good stuff, get him a bottle of Hendrick's or, if you want to go local, Dry Fly. Pair it with a jar of stuffed olives (pimiento, almond, garlic), and throw in a half-bottle of Quady's Vya dry vermouth from California. Remember to play bartender and crack the bottle to pour Dad his first one. How many of us have bought parents a good bottle, only to see it saved for eternity and beyond?Getting wine for Father's Day is the ultimate in boring, unless you pair it with accessories. If your dad is a "big red" drinker, ply him with a bottle or two from The Grateful Palate (www.gratefulpalate.com), an importer that specializes in Australian wines, particularly decadent shirazes like those from Hazyblur and Marquis Philips. Back up those juicy reds with the ultimate pairing: bacon. The Grateful Palate also runs the infamous Bacon of the Month Club, a pound of specialty bacon delivered monthly, along with recipes and plenty of pig paraphernalia. You may have to enlist your siblings or your mother to help foot the $150-a-year tab, but it's a pittance compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars Dad spent raising you. If you care about his health, remember that he'll need help enjoying all that pork.If your dad likes beer, you could put together a mixed case of his favorites, or you could spend the day finding new ones at the Washington Brewers Festival, June 13–15 at St. Edwards State Park in Kenmore. The state's top brewers will be in attendance, pouring nearly 200 beers in this picturesque setting. (Visit www.washingtonbeer.com for complete details.) The Brewers Festival is the best thought-out of the Washington Beer Commission's four annual festivals, with plenty of interaction for the whole family. I've attended plenty of alcohol-focused events that tried to be "family- friendly," but none so successfully as the Brewers Festival. While Friday night is 21-and-over only, on Saturday and Sunday (11 a.m.–8 p.m.) kids can enjoy the playground and their own beer garden—root beer garden, that is. Can't you just hear the little kids debating the merits of sassafras vs. horehound? Or for that matter, the older kids?Even though the only thing that matters to Dad may be a phone call or an afternoon with the grandchildren, you can give him something special without turning into Martha. Let's face it—you owe the guy.mdutton@seattleweekly.com

 
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