Margaritas are popular any day of the year. Make them look especially
elegant on Father’s Day—perhaps make the glasses part of his gift.



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June 2008
Last Updated February 2018

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cocktails

Classic Cocktails For Father’s Day

Treat Dad To The Oldies But Goodies With These Time-Honored Cocktail Recipes


Modern mixology, like today’s fine cuisine, has become a throw-down to see who can create the most complex, fascinating drinks with new flavors and nifty ingredients. In the process of entertaining cocktail customers with new wow factors, many of the classic drinks have fallen by the wayside. While some, like the Martini, are enjoying a renaissance (including hundreds of variations on the theme that make the drink unrecognizable, as in the Plum Sakétini), when was the last time anyone ordered a Tom Collins—even though a bar glass is named after it?

For Father’s Day, treat Dad and guests to a retro cocktail hour. Here are cocktail recipes for some oldies but goodies that haven’t been seen for a while, along with some classics that seem to be high on the list of the cocktail menu top hits:

If you have a hankering for other oldies, we’ll oblige with a slew of recipe variations on the Bloody Mary and the Martini.


While many people use Champagne to make a Bellini, the original, created in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, head bartender at Harry’s Bar in Venice, is made with Prosecco. The dry, sparkling Italian wine, is lighter than Champagne and doesn’t contribute Champagne’s chalk and mineral flavors to the drink. (Some people confuse the Bellini with the Mimosa, a cocktail made of Champagne and orange juice.)

The peachy color of the cocktail reminded Cipriani of the color of the garments of St. Francis in the 15th-century painting by Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini. Cipriani named the drink in Bellini’s honor. This summer marks the 60th anniversary of the Bellini—another reason to celebrate. This authentic Bellini recipe is courtesy of Martini & Rossi Prosecco.

Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 2 ounces white peach purée
  • Chilled Prosecco
  • Fresh lemon


  • Pour purée into a Champagne flute.
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  • Top with chilled Prosecco.

If you can’t find white peach purée locally, you can order it from The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley (read our review).

Bellini Cocktail
The Bellini is a peachy drink.

Grand Margarita

There are many claimants to the title of inventor of the Margarita—and almost as many different proportions of tequila, Triple Sec and fresh lime juice. History will never sort out the truth, but that shouldn’t stop any of us from enjoying all of the variations. One is this recipe for a Grand Margarita from Corzo, which uses Corzo’s Silver Tequila, a light-to medium-bodied tequila that is delicious on the rocks as well as in mixed drinks. It has cherry, papaya and pepper aromas and dried tropical fruits and pepper on the palate, finishing with some pineapple and spice flavors. It is not surprising that Corzo added pineapple juice to its Grand Margarita cocktail recipe.

A Grand Margarita, by the way, is one made with Grand Marnier instead of Triple Sec.

Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 3 parts Silver Tequila
  • 1 part Grand Marnier Liqueur
  • Dash fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • Kosher salt for rim
  • Fresh pineapple wedge for garnish
    (optional; if you can’t get fresh
    pineapple, you can use canned
    chunks on a skewer)


  • Wet and salt the glass rim.
  • Combine first four ingredients in a
    cocktail shaker.
  • Shake well and strain into a martini
  • Garnish with pineapple wedge (cut
    a slit into the wedge and insert onto
    the rim of the glass).
Grand Margarita
The ever-popular Margarita seems to be a classic with every generation.

For more Margarita recipes, see our basic and specialty Margarita recipes.


The Mojito takes its name from the African voodoo term mojo, which means “to cast a small spell.” According to the folks at Bacardi Rum, who have contributed this recipe, the drink can be traced to 1586, when Sir Francis Drake and his pirates attempted (unsuccessfully) to sack Havana for its gold. His associate, Richard Drake, was said to have invented a Mojito-like cocktail known as El Draque, that was made with aguardiente, a crude forerunner of rum, plus sugar, lime and mint. Around the mid-1800s, when the Bacardi Company was established, rum was substituted and the cocktail became known as the Mojito.

Always popular in Cuba, the drink made a short journey to Key West, and then into American cocktail society. Under the radar for many years as wine apéritifs topped cocktails in popularity, the Mojito has enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the popularity of Latin American cuisine.

Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 1 part rum
  • 3 parts club soda
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 part sugar


  • Place mint leaves, sugar and lime in a glass.  
  • Muddle well with a pestle or muddler.
  • Add rum, top off with club soda.
  • Stir well and garnish with sprigs of mint or a lime wheel.
Remind Dad that the Mojito was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway (who was also known to have enjoyed a few Margaritas, but his favorite drink was the Daiquiri).

Scotch & Ginger

This classic cocktail recipe is courtesy of Dewar’s, a brand of blended Scotch whisky created by John Dewar, Sr. in 1846. But this brand isn’t stuck in tradition: Today, the Master Blender, Stephanie Macleod, is one of few women in charge of producing Scotch whisky. (You may notice the spelling of “whisky” differs in the Scotland. In Ireland and the United States, the word whiskey is spelled with an “e.” The British, Scots and Canadians use “whisky,” evolved from “usky,” the phonetic translation of the original Gaelic, uisce beatha, “water of life.”)

Many Scotch drinkers ask for a Scotch and Soda or add water to their Scotch. The practice of adding ginger beer has dropped from fashion. If you like ginger ale, do yourself a favor and scout out ginger beer, its forerunner (if Dad likes ginger ale, gather up a gift sampler of all the ginger beers available in your area). While it can sometimes be found in an alcoholic version (the original ginger beer was a brewed alcoholic beverage), most U.S. ginger beers are soft drinks, but far more robust and flavorful than ginger ale. A classic ginger beer is made from ginger beer plant, lemon, sugar and water. You’ll get a hearty dose of ginger and far less sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) than in a ginger ale.

Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 1 part blended Scotch whiskey
  • 3 parts ginger beer
  • Orange or lime wedge for garnish


  • Fill a collins glass with ice and add
  • Top with ginger beer.
  • Garnish with an orange or lime
Instead of Scotch & Soda, have your Scotch with ginger beer.

Tom Collins

The original Tom Collins used a “wine glass full of gin.” Here’s the history of the Tom Collins cocktail.

Two notes: When you order a Tom Collins at a bar, Collins mix is generally sprayed from the fountain hose, not made from scratch. Second, few bars use real Collins glasses, which are larger than a highball glass and often frosted in texture.

Here’s the classic recipe, courtesy of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 2 parts gin
  • 1 part fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 part simple syrup
  • Club soda
  • Lemon wedge or fresh cherry


  • Pour first three ingredients into a
    Collins or highball glass with ice. Stir
  • Add more ice and top with club soda.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge or, since
    this is the beginning of fresh cherry
    season, a fresh cherry.
Tom Collins
Most experts agree, there never was a Tom Collins for whom the drink was named.