Are you old enough to remember when a Father’s Day gift meant a new tie? Today, how many dads even wear a tie most days?
Here are five items that most dads would much rather have.
CASA NOBLE TEQUILA
We discovered our favorite tequila last fall, when we had the privilege of tasting every expression. You can see our review, but the bottom line is: This tequila is so fine that even the blanco (silver) can be sipped straight.
There are the five standard expressions: Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo.
There are also rare, older expressions like Casa Noble’s Alta Belleza: Only 563 bottles were made for the world market, at $1,200 per bottle.
But you can treat a tequila-loving dad to a bottle of this great tequila starting at less than $40 for the blanco.
Our review includes a cheese pairing for the different expressions.
Here’s the Casa Noble website.
We’ve been fans of Irish cream liqueur since Bailey’s was first imported to the U.S. Now, Scotch drinkers have t heir own cream liqueur: Magnum Highland Cream Liqueur. A blending fine Speyside Scotch malt whisky with rich cream from Holland (the ancestral home of Holstein black and white dairy cows), we highly recommend it for gifting as well as personal imbibing.
It’s 34 proof (17% alcohol by volume), with an SRP of $27.99 per 750ml bottle. If you can’t find it locally, CraftSpiritsExchange.com will ship it nationally.
Try it in an adult milkshake, or make an egg cream with Magnum, chocolate liqueur and soda water.
Mascarpone is a rich, creamy cheese made by heating heavy cream and then curdling it with an vinegar instead of rennet. It’s a first cousin to clotted cream. The Mozzarella Company makes four mascarpone torta, the newest of which is flavored with crushed pecan pralines.
It is a wonderful dessert served with ginger snaps and strawberries; or stuffed into dates or dried apricots. The torta can dessert for two people; maybe four if you’ll settle for a small wedge.
Other flavors, for appetizers or the salad course, are ancho chile, basil and tomato basil. The tortas are $12.95 each from the Mozzarella Company.
Mascarpone is the fresh cheese used in tiramisu. Here’s more about mascarpone.
SANSAIRE SOUS VIDE
You don’t have to be a gourmet cook to love sous vide cooking, an easy way to prepare everyday recipes as well as fancy ones. The sous vide technique was developed in France to easily cook fine meals on trains, many portions at a time. Sous vide guarantees, for example, that a steak or piece of fish will turn out exactly as the client wishes. The quality of the food it produced attracted fine French chefs and caterers.
Sous vide machines quickly appeared in some of the world’s best restaurants. And now, you can have one at home.
The benefit of Sansaire is that it cooks food in the pots you already have; it’s not a bulky countertop machine. Its in the $168 range. Here’s more information.
Bitters can add interest to simple drinks like a vodka tonic or balance the sour and sweet flavors of sours and fizzes.
They’re essential ingredients in cocktails such as the Manhattan, Negroni, Rob Roy, Rum Sizzle, Sazerac and Singapore Sling. But modern mixologists have been using new varieties of artisan cocktails to create new flavors in their drinks.
Bitters are non-alcoholic essences extracted from aromatic barks, flowers, fruits, herbs and root. For most of their existence, they have been made for botanicals known for their medicinal properties (that long before alcohol was a leisure drink, it was used as medicine).
With the boom in artisan bitters over the last 20 years, they are now being made in flavors that have no root in homeopathy, but give great flavor accents to cocktails:
Aztec chocolate, black walnut, blood orange, cardamom, celery, cherry, chocolate, cranberry, cucumber, fig and cinnamon, grapefruit, habanero, lavender, lemon, mint, peach, rhubarb and others.
Whether you’re making a dry Martini or a Cosmopolitan, a splash of bitters provides a note of sophistication.
For mocktails, add them to club soda.
And try the latest use for bitters: add them to coffee, hot and iced.
The eight-flavor set shown, from Scrappy’s Bitters, is $38.99 for eight flavors.
For a set of 12 flavors from Fee Brothers is $99.90.
Individual bottles can be purchased in the $8-$13 range.