Forget ties and cufflinks. This year, celebrate Father’s Day with smoke, leather and spice. These rugged gifts reminiscent of cattle ranches and cowpokes are unapologetically masculine and perfect for the special dad in your life:
The gun-wielding cowboys from Frederic Remington’s statue Off the Range (Coming Through the Rye) were the inspiration for Owen Thomson’s rustic Daisy If You Do cocktail. The bar manager at Café Atlántico in Washington, D.C. sources leather from a saddle maker in Tennessee who uses vegetable oil, not chemicals, for the tanning process, and then steeps the hide overnight in blanco Tequila. Thomson says since guests often use “leather” to describe the aromas of certain wines or spirits, he thought it would be fun to give them the real deal.
Daisy If You Do
Courtesy of Owen Thomson, bar manager, Café Atlántico, Washington, D.C.
Thomson named this cocktail for a line in the movie Tombstone. It’s smoky, floral and sweet—an unexpected combination that works for summer.
1½ ounces leather-infused blanco Tequila (see note below)
¾ ounces rye berry-infused St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur (see note below)
¾ ounces lemon juice
Dash of Lagavulin, or another smoky Scotch
Soda water, to top
Lemon peel, for garnish
Add all ingredients except soda water and lemon peel to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice, top with soda water and garnish with a lemon peel.
Note: For the leather-infused tequila, take a large piece of vegetable oil-tanned leather (Available at Brettuns Village Leather at http://www.brettunsvillage.com/leather/piece_form.php), and steep overnight in a bottle of blanco Tequila, shaking occasionally. Remove leather.
Note: For the rye berry-infused St-Germain, order rye berries from Angelina’s Gourmet (sold through amazon.com), dry toast them in a pan, and steep a handful in a bottle of St- Germain for 2 hours, shaking occasionally. Strain out solids.
Whisky’s a Winner
The essential whisky glass for quintessential taste, your daddy dearest hasn’t tasted whisky until he’s experienced it in one of these Glencairn wide-bowl crystal whisky glasses from Wine Enthusiast catalog ($40 for a set of four). The custom-shaped glassware is designed to enhance the unique flavors and aromas of the spirit—and it has a comfortable grip. Etched with the Canadian maple leaf on the bottom, it’s machine-made with lead-free crystal. You can even have it engraved with a personalized message, and because the bowl is wide, throw in a set of ice cube alternatives made from hand-cut granite, Arctic Rocks ($15), to keep the whisky cool without diluting it.
A Glassful of Smoke
Cross a red wine with a strip of beef jerky and cracked pepper and you end up with a bottle of Côte-Rôtie. Hailing from the Northern Rhône village whose name translates to “roasted slope,” this smoky and intense Syrah is often blended with a small percentage of Viognier, a flowery white variety, which serves to stabilize the wine’s opaque ruby color. Though it’s admittedly more of a splurge purchase than a bargain buy, a glass of brooding Côte-Rôtie is the perfect Father’s Day accompaniment to grilled red meats and game birds. Look for bottles from these respected producers: Gangloff, Guigal and Jasmin.
A Meal Fit for a Cowboy
What would Father’s Day be without a hunk of meat cooked over an open flame? Proportioned for its namesake cattle herder, the Cowboy Rib-eye steak gets its succulent taste from the fact that it’s a bone-in cut of meat with loads of marbling, which ensures a moist and juicy experience. Daniel Patino, executive chef of the Scottsdale, Arizona restaurant Bourbon Steak, ramps up the steak’s flavor even more by adding a smoky rub made with smoked sea salt, ancho chili powder and black pepper. Patino always recommends allowing steaks to come to room temperature prior to grilling and letting the meat rest for a few minutes before serving, two techniques that further render a steak extra juicy. Serve the rib-eye with a garden salad and potatoes tossed with rosemary, olive oil and sea salt, wrapped in foil and grilled.
Cowboy Rib-eye Steak with Smoked Rub
Courtesy of Bourbon Steak, Scottsdale, AZ
Chef Patino says that you can also use the smoked rub when grilling chicken. “It melts into the crispy skin and is incredible.”
½ tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon roasted and cracked black pepper (see note)
½ tablespoon smoked ancho chili powder
2 tablespoons smoked sea salt (available at Williams-Sonoma or saltworks.us)
½ tablespoon dry mustard (preferably Coleman’s)
1 18-ounce Cowboy Rib-eye steak
Finely chop the fresh rosemary and mix in the roasted black pepper. Add the ancho chili powder, smoked sea salt and dry mustard, and stir to combine.
Preheat grill to 400°F. Season both sides of the rib-eye steak with the seasoning mixture. For medium rare, cook the steak for three minutes per side, or until an instant thermometer registers an internal temperature of 125 °F. Let the steak rest for five minutes before slicing.
Note: For the pepper, add whole black peppercorns to a small sauté pan and dry cook over medium heat until you can smell the pepper (about two minutes), occasionally shaking the pan to ensure an even toast. Transfer peppercorns from pan to a pepper grinder and coarsely grind into a small mixing bowl.
For the dad more apt to be found practicing his shaking and stirring techniques than perfecting his golf swing, Beverage Factory offers a black leather cocktail shaker ($19.97), and a 7-piece mini bar set ($33.95) with two-piece tube flasks, telescopic cups, ice tong, drink stirrer and curved waiter’s corkscrew, which all conveniently fit into a leather carrying case. Add The Bitter Truth’s bitters travel pack ($21) and a bottle of Dad’s favorite spirit and the budding home mixologist will be ready for traveling and tippling, though not at the same time. Whoah, cowboy!