Today is the day we celebrate dad. When it comes to bourbon, I don’t think there’s any brand more appropriate for the occasion than Wild Turkey. With three father & son generations currently working at the distillery, the Russells have something incredibly unique in an industry where tradition is paramount.
It’s very likely that most of you reading are serious bourbon enthusiasts that sip your Wild Turkey neat or possibly on the rocks. If your dad appreciates the same, you might just skip to the end of this post. As for the rest, I’d wager most enthusiasts have fathers that enjoy their whiskey in cocktails or as a mixer with soda. With that in mind, I thought I’d suggest two drinks to share with your dad today (or any day, really). Followers of this blog might recall my Father’s Day post two years ago. This post will be similar, though showcasing different expressions.
Long & Lemon
Just a week or so ago, I watched an Instagram story where Wild Turkey Brand Ambassador Benny Hurwitz mixed up a creation called a “Long & Lemon.” While the name might be new (props to Clay Hack), the drink itself is essentially a classic bourbon & lemonade; however, instead of an old standby like Wild Turkey 101 as the spirit base, this version shines with a healthy pour of Wild Turkey Longbranch. For those that prefer to give the Long & Lemon a proper build, I suggest the following recipe courtesy of Benny:
Long & Lemon
In a tall glass…
3 oz water
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1.5 oz Longbranch Bourbon
Give it a quick stir then fill with lots of ice; Garnish with a mint sprig.
Sounds fantastic, though for me a simple mixture of Longbranch, ice (cubes or crushed), and any quality premixed lemonade (Minute Maid or Simply Lemonade) works just fine. You can serve it in a fancy rocks glass or an everyday Red Solo cup. Either way you’ll have a refreshing ice-cold spring & summer sipper that’s perfect for hanging out with dad.
A personal favorite, the Boulevardier is basically a Negroni cocktail crafted with whiskey instead of gin. Some say it’s an ideal drink for cooler weather. I say that’s nonsense. To me, the Boulevardier is a rock-solid bourbon classic that shines year-round (especially when using Russell’s Reserve 10-year). And while a bit more complicated than a Long & Lemon, it’s still an easy cocktail that requires very little effort to build. Here’s another quality recipe courtesy of Benny Hurwitz:
In a rocks glass …
1 oz Italian Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Campari
1 oz Russell’s Reserve 10-year Bourbon
Fill with ice and stir for 30-45 seconds; Garnish with an orange peel.
Delicious! I’m confident that any dad will appreciate this equal-parts standard – so much so, I assembled a “Boulevardier gift pack” for my dad this year. He’s a wine guy – Italian wine, primarily – so I figured this drink, at two-thirds Italian, would be right up his alley. I guess we’ll find out today!
Regardless of what you do or which drinks you might sip today, be sure to tell your father he’s the best. Mine sure is to me. Speaking of which, if you want to experience a little musical adventure this weekend, check out my dad’s ever-evolving project, Plastic Yellow Band. All downloads for the month of June benefit Guitars For Vets. There’s even a few free downloads that yours truly helped engineer and mix (see the SaintClay EP). So take a minute or two to browse. If anything, it’ll give my dad a huge smile.
I hope everyone has a fun and meaningful Father’s Day. And to those whose fathers have passed – know that their hopes and dreams live on through you. Their time – their love and lessons – will never be forgotten.
So, cheers to dads! May everyone have a happy Father’s Day. And cheers to Jimmy and Eddie Russell for giving us the best bourbon in the world to celebrate it with.