My dad can appreciate well-crafted food. While he doesn’t go out of his way to sit himself before any fragile souffles or dainty gelees, he can certainly respect the art of the dish. The same goes for beverages, except his beer habits reflect more of a meat-and-potatoes attitude. The pint of beer he likes the best is always the one he made himself (starting, for the fun of it, in the early 80’s) or something ‘easy’ from Trader Joe’s. A bottle of Jack Daniels in the cupboard usually means it’s the holiday season.
A cocktail that’s designed for him needs to have a solid structure, comprised of quality but available ingredients, without too many bells and whistles. I started by taking a generous slice of red apple, peeled it and chopped it, then muddled it aggressively with the faintest pinch of sugar in a rocks glass. Pour in ¾ ounce of Bulleit Rye, stack in as many ice cubes as will fit, and fill the rest of the glass with Maudite by Unibroue.
Maudite is forward but the rye lingers in the background. This cocktail is not a transformation of ingredients but a subtle coaxing of their more mellow expressions. I bring the glass to my nose and it smells of apple and pencil shavings, the likes of a fall day– maybe that’s the intrusion of childhood memories coming from the subject of the cocktail. It tastes malty and boozy, a bit bitter, sort of like a dry Calvados.
To the man who taught me not only how to ride a bike and change a tire, but to use a camera’s light meter, to compost, and to read the summer night sky. Who raised me to live actively, passionately, and to love and appreciate those around me, this one’s for you.
Happy Father’s Day, dad!
Father’s Day Maudite Rye
- generous slice of apple, gala or red delicious, chopped
- pinch of sugar
- 3/4 oz. Rye whiskey
- 1/2 bottle malty amber ale like Maudite
Muddle the apple with a pinch of sugar in a rocks glass. Pour whiskey over apple, fill the glass with ice all the way to the top, and fill with a malty amber like Maudite. Enjoy.