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Archive for Father’s Day

FATHER’S DAY GIFT: The Best Flavored Cigars

A good smoke flavored with a good
drink. Photo courtesy


Some people enjoy their cigars with a beer, Bourbon or other spirit.

Ted’s Cigars combine both flavors in one.

Fifteen years ago, Ted Jackson was asked by Kentucky neighbor Maker’s Mark to make a cigar for a Derby party. The result was a premium cigar flavored with the famous Bourbon.

Jackson created a process to add a subtle bourbon flavor without affecting the integrity of the fine tobacco. A big hit, millions of Maker’s Mark cigars are now sold worldwide.

The flavored line expanded to include a HOPZ Craft Beer cigar, Grand Marnier, Dumante Verdenoce Pistachio Liqueur and Forty Creek Barrel Select Canadian Whisky.

The cigars are also available in traditional, unflavored versions including The Kentucky Derby, the official cigar of the famous horse race.

All of the cigars are packaged in glass tubes and do not require a humidifier. They are available in two distinct blends and three sizes, with either a Connecticut shade or a Maduro wrapper. Dads who enjoy a good cigar will welcome this unusual gift.


For special events, you can create cigars in a glass tube labeled with a company name, as well as custom neck bands.

The cigars are made by a partner company in the Dominican Republic, from a proprietary blend of Brazilian, Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco. The flavoring and packaging done at Jackson’s Louisville, Kentucky-based headquarters.

The products are carried at fine tobacconists nationwide and can be purchased online at



FATHER’S DAY GIFT: Home Brew Beer Kit

Even people who live in apartments with small kitchens can brew craft beer.

Beer-making kits, developed by the Brooklyn Brew Shop, make it easy for anyone to brew delicious beer at home.

It’s a gift any beer lover would like: the ability to experience first-hand what it takes to make a delicious brew.

The kit includes the finest barley, hops, yeast and spices, plus step-by-step instructions. You’ll see how easy it is to craft an all-natural home brew that’s as good as artisanal beers served at the best brew pubs.

Choose either fresh, light summer wheat beer or India Pale Ale (IPA), known for its bold, hops-intensive flavor. (Or why choose? Brew both!)


Now, BYO means brew your own! Make
premium craft beer in your kitchen. Photo
courtesy Williams-Sonoma.


  • The kit includes specialty equipment and ingredients needed for home-brewing, including grain, hops and yeast.
  • You supply the additional equipment and ingredients: a six-quart pot, fine-mesh strainer, funnel, honey and ice.
  • The kit produces one gallon of beer.
  • The equipment can be reused over and over to make more beer. It’s easy to purchase additional grain, hops and yeast to make your next batch.
    The craft brewing kit is available from Williams-Sonoma. One kit is $39.95.

    The entire brewing process takes about 17 days. If you start now, you can brew Dad or Hubby his own batch as a Father’s Day gift.

    Both of you might just turn into avid homebrewers. Check out the Home Brewing Association.

    Brush up on your beer types in our Beer Glossary.


    FATHER’S DAY: Have A Chocolate Cigar

    With Father’s Day less than a month away (June 19th), we’re beginning a countdown of Father’s Day gifts.

    If Dad likes milk chocolate, pass out the Seegars—creamy milk chocolate cigars from See’s Chocolate.

    Wrapped in brown foil and nestled inside a clear gift box, the “Seegars” have a traditional cigar band printed with an “S,” for See’s. You can find them at See’s candy shops and online at The three cigars weigh in at 3.19 ounces, and the box is $7.00.

    See’s chocolates are certified kosher by KSA.

    If Dad is a chocolate connoisseur, he’d prefer the chocolate cigars from Burdick Chocolate (shown in photo).


    On Father’s Day, hand out chocolate cigars.
    These are from Burdick Chocolate.


    A gourmet interpretation, these cigars, made of rum-flavored ganache cigars enrobed in milk and dark chocolate, look like the real McCoy. Burdick Chocolate has partnered with Grenada cacao farmers to build a chocolate factory on the island of Grenada. It turns the island’s finest cacao beans into the couverture chocolate used by Burdick.

    The cigars, delightful party favors, are $3.50 each; or six in a wooden “cigar box” for $28.00, at

  • Read our review of Burdick Chocolate, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.
  • Brush up on your chocolate terms in our Chocolate Glossary.


  • Comments

    FATHER’S DAY GIFTS: The Best Gourmet Gifts, 10% Off

    Our father always liked a bargain, so in his honor, we’re offering a 10% discount on everything in our gourmet e-store: Father’s Day Gifts as well as everyday treats.

    For Dad, there are:

  • Heart-healthy gifts, like fresh-picked avocados and the finest gourmet nuts.
  • Indulgent gifts, like the best toffee (also available sugar-free), chocolate and whoopie pies.
  • Calorie-free gifts, such as our favorite coffee (your purchase helps the rainforest).
  • Much more, including the best barbecue sauce—so thick, it’s called barbecue jam.
    Just enter promotion code DAD2011 at checkout to receive your discount. The promotion is valid through June 30, 2011.

    While you’re buying for Dad, you can pick up a treat for yourself.

    And share the code with food-loving friends.


    Stupendous handmade salami in Black,
    TruffleBarolo and Wild Boar. Photo
    courtesy Creminelli Brothers.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Gin Martini

    Vodka martinis overtook the original gin martini back in the 1990s. The trend was started by Bond, James Bond, who liked vodka martinis shaken, not stirred (and he picked that tip up from the writer Somerset Maugham).

    But new artisan gins are providing a reason to return to the original. Vodka is a simple, unflavored distillation. Gin is the opposite—so many different aromatics go into creating a fine gin, that each brand is very different from the next (see the components of gin). With very complex flavors—as much as any fine wine—fine gin, like fine Scotch, is delicious straight up.

    It also makes a better Martini. For Father’s Day, we’re trying a new small-batch gin, G’Vine. The word is a contraction of gin and the French word vigne, grapevine—for this gin is made in France from grapes instead of juniper berries.

    Make artisan gin part of your weekend celebration. Even if you’re not celebrating with your father, you can toast in his honor.

    Learn more about gin and find martini recipes:

  • Bluecoat American Dry Gin, a delight that’s distilled in Philadelphia
  • Martin Miller’s Gin, a special distillation from the U.K.
  • The Organic Spirits Company makes organic gin

    A Gibson is a martini garnished with cocktail
    onions instead of olives or lemon peel.
    Photo by Philip Pellat | IST

  • Classic gin recipes: Gimlet, Gin Fizz, Gin & Tonic, plus adaptations like a Gin Mojito and a Bloody Snapper (the Bloody Mary made with gin instead of vodka)

  • Comments

    FATHER’S DAY: Golf Ball Cupcakes

    The best golf ball cupcake we’ve seen,


    This is the best golf cupcake we’ve seen, created by Famous Cupcakes in Los Angeles.

    If you’re not in the neighborhood, you can make similar cupcakes at home. The key is finding chocolate golf balls. You can look for them online; we buy them from Woodhouse Chocolate). (If you think this recipe will become part of your repertoire, you can make your own with a golf ball mold.)

    You’ll also need some brand-new golf tees. Follow Famous Cupcake’s design and aim for red tees, which add bright color to the cupcake composition. Any flavor of cupcake will do, but think of what goes well with coconut.


    1. Make the “grass.” Put shredded coconut in a small bowl with green food color and mix with a fork. Spread the coconut on a plate, baking sheet or in a pan to dry.

    2. Frost cupcakes lightly with green-tinted buttercream—just enough frosting to enable the coconut to adhere. Prior to tinting the buttercream, reserve some to adhere the golf balls.

    3. Lightly tap the coconut onto the icing. Insert the (washed) tee and use icing to adhere the chocolate golf ball. Royal icing will make it adhere more firmly than buttercream.

    4. Serve to delighted golfers.

    Find more recipes in our Gourmet Cakes Section.


    FATHER’s DAY: The Joy Of Espresso (& Cappuccino & Latte)

    Still haven’t found that something special for Father’s Day? There are only 6 shopping days left!

    If money is no object, and if Dad loves specialty coffee drinks, then Saeco’s new Xelsis superautomatic coffee machine is pretty darn exciting.

    Superautomatics are complete “coffee centers” that perform the entire espresso- (or other coffee-) making process at the touch of a button. While you do have to load the machine with the ingredients (coffee beans, water, milk), that one touch then takes over.

    The Xelsis is a “dream machine”; it’s as if Saeco listened to all of the shortcomings consumers found with other superautomatics and designed the Xelsis to triumph on every detail.

    On the simplest level, the machine grinds the beans, makes the coffee and froths the milk. The espresso, lungo, latte, cappuccino, coffee or special beverage of your choice falls gracefully into your cup.


    Saeco’s new Xelsis Coffee Center: the “deam
    machine” for specialty coffee drinks.

    On the macro level, it takes time to study the details, which are available in print and online. Just a few: Milk never enters into the machine, so there are no milk pipes to clean. Removing the grounds is simple: There’s no drip tray or milk carafe to remove in order to open the door to the grinds. The machine even goes into Energy Safe mode after a few minutes, minimizing power consumption.

    • You can pre-program a “profile” with your specific desires (the strength and temperature of the coffee and the consistency of the milk foam, for example). Today, the Xelsis can accommodate six different profiles. In the fall, machines will have a fingerprint technology so everyone in an office can have a profile.

    • The water tank has a filter that purifies your tap water.

    • A separate steam nozzle can reheat your coffee (or tea, soup and other liquids not related to the Xelsis).

    This handsome stainless steel machine will turn the home or workplace into a high-end coffee bar. The removable milk pitcher can be kept in the refrigerator between uses. And it automatically cleans itself after each use!

    Around $3,000, it can be purchased at Bloomingdale’s and online at

    Find reviews of our favorite coffees, enlightening articles and recipes in our Gourmet Coffee Section.

    Also check out our Espresso Glossary, an education in the differences between affogato, cappuccino, espresso, lungo, macchiato, ristretto and just about every other coffee drink.


    FATHER’S DAY: A Gift Of Whiskey Stones

    Switch ice cubes for stone cubes and you
    won’t dilute your drink. Photo courtesy
    Sur La Table.


    Whiskey stones, you ask?

    Talk about “on the rocks!” For those who want to chill their whiskey, but not dilute it, whiskey stones are the elegant answer. (You don’t want to plop plastic ice cubes into a single malt, do you?)

    The concept was popularized in Scandinavia, where people have chilled whiskey with granite rocks for hundreds of years.

    These all-natural, handcrafted Vermont soapstone whiskey stones have superior thermal properties to granite, and won’t scratch the glass. They reside in the freezer until they’re called upon to do their job.

    Stones are nonporous, so they won’t impart any flavors or odors to the drink. The perfect cube shape of the stones also allows for a better and more even chilling.

    Give a set for Father’s Day to your favorite lover of Bourbon, Irish Whiskey, Scotch or other fine whiskey. Nine stones in a muslin storage bag—enough to chill three drinks—are $19.95 at Sur La Table.

    Need to learn the differences among these and other types of whiskey? See our Whiskey Glossary.)


    FATHER’S DAY: Special Chocolates For Dad

    Men don’t tend to swoon over boxes of pretty artisan chocolates. They’re more likely to dig into a chocolate bar.

    But how about a chocolate cigar?

    Woodhouse Chocolate (a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week) fills milk chocolate cigars with chocolate ganache—flavored with single malt Scotch! And yes, you can “smoke” it along with a glass of Scotch.

    Find more of our Father’s Day chocolate gifts, including real chocolate sprinkles (jimmies) made by one of the world’s greatest chocolate producers, Guittard.


    Chocolate cigars filled with Scotch-infused
    ganache. Photo courtesy Woodhouse Chocolate.


    FATHER’S DAY: Gourmet Food Gifts

    Dee Dee’s Gourmet Cheese Straws are
    great with a beer. Photo by Hannah
    Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.


    While and this blog are filled with gourmet food ideas, we’ve picked a few interesting and affordable gift ideas for Father’s Day:

    • Spicy cheese straws from Dee Dee’s Gourmet, in a reusable gift tin

    • Lucero artisan olive oil, made by a grandfather, father and son team in California

    • Beautiful heirloom beans from California’s Rancho Gordo, for dads who like to cook

    • Porto Mangiare Meatball Mix, for dads who cook a little bit—it makes delicious beef or turkey meatballs (there’s a gluten-free version, too)

    And more!

    See the tasty choices.


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