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5 Whiskeys That Make Good Father's Day Gifts

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So it’s come to this. You procrastinated on buying your dad a Father’s Day gift, and now you’re scrambling. Whiskey to the rescue! What dad wouldn’t love a nice bottle of whiskey for Father’s Day? It’s delicious. (And if your dad’s not into whiskey, it’s infinitely re-giftable.)

The only problem is picking the right bottle. Staring at a liquor store’s whiskey selection can be a daunting task, and if you give up and just pick the coolest-looking bottle, you might not end up with the tastiest booze. Since we started our “In the Spirit” column in the print version of mental_floss—seriously, why haven’t you subscribed yet?—we’ve been getting questions about our favorite types of hooch, and we’re always up to talking about drinks. If you’re in dire straits and need a hand picking a Father’s Day bottle, here are a few things we’ve enjoyed in the last few weeks. 

1. Canadian Whiskey: Caribou Crossing Single Barrel

Scotch and bourbon drinkers love to dismiss Canadian whiskey as bland, and with good reason—a lot of it is bland compared to its more aggressive international peers. Not this one. It takes the creamy mouthfeel that Canadian whiskey is known for but kicks it up with spicy pear flavors and a wallop of cinnamon. 

2. Single Malt Scotch: The Macallan 12

Buying single malts as gifts is a tricky business. The category encompasses a wide array of flavors, many of which are incredibly polarizing. (In the case of a smoky Islay like Laphroaig, one could argue whether it is delicious or that it tastes like a Band-Aid that survived a fire. Both positions are defensible.) So if you’re flying blind, we recommend nabbing a bottle of the Macallan 12 year old. Maturation in European sherry casks gives it a rich, complex flavor, but it steers well clear of the aggressive smoky or peaty tastes that can be off-putting. And if you really like your dad, upgrade to its older brother, the Macallan 18-year-old, which is pricy but lovely.

3. Tennessee Whiskey: George Dickel Barrel Select

George Dickel doesn’t get the same hype as its black-labeled Tennessee neighbor, but it’s every bit as good. Like many Dickel products, their premium bottling smells a bit like vitamins, but it also packs in a lot of fruity notes of apricot and sweet cherry.

4. Bourbon: Bulleit 10

Bulleit’s standard offering is a terrific bourbon, and its relatively new 10-year-old version amps up its rye spiciness and oaky flavors while still leaving room for a nice plum flavor to shine through. Plus, if your dad is into Westerns, the cowboy-inspired bottle looks like it would feel at home in a 19th-century saloon.

5. Irish Whiskey: Redbreast 12-Year-Old Cask Strength

Like their Canadian counterparts, Irish whiskeys can be on the subtle side—but not the cask-strength version of Redbreast’s 12-year-old single pot still whiskey. At over 117 proof, it slams your tongue with a fair amount of alcohol, but in the most delightful way possible. The potency makes it feel almost chewy in your mouth, and there’s an onslaught of apple and caramel flavors. Before I tried this one, I thought I didn’t like Irish whiskey. Turns out I was just drinking the wrong ones. Your dad will probably agree.

What did we miss? What whiskey are you buying your dad for his big day? Tell us in the comments! 

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The Latest Way to Enjoy Pho in Vietnam: As a Cocktail
James Duong, AFP/Getty Images
James Duong, AFP/Getty Images

Pho is something of a national dish in Vietnam. The noodle soup, typically topped with beef or chicken, can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There’s even a version of it for happy hour, as Lonely Planet reports.

The pho cocktail, served at Nê Cocktail Bar in Hanoi, contains many of the herbs and spices found in pho, like cinnamon, star anise, cilantro, and cardamom. Without the broth or meat, its taste is refreshingly sweet.

The drink's uniqueness makes it a popular choice among patrons, as does the dramatic way it's prepared. The bartender pours gin and triple sec through the top of a tall metal apparatus that contains three saucers holding the spices. He then lights the saucers on fire with a hand torch as the liquid flows through, allowing the flavors to infuse with the alcohol as the drink is filtered into a pitcher below.

The pho cocktail
James Duong, AFP/Getty Images

Pham Tien Tiep, who was named Vietnam’s best bartender at the Diageo Reserve World Class cocktail competition in 2012, created the cocktail six years ago while working at the famous French Colonial-era hotel the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, according to AFP. He has since brought his signature drink to several of the stylish bars he owns in Vietnam’s capital, including Nê Cocktail Bar.

Initially, he set out to create a drink that would represent Vietnam’s culture and history. “I created the pho cocktail at the Metropole Hotel, just above the war bunkers where the American musician Joan Baez sang to the staff and guests in December 1972 as bombs fell on the city,” Tiep told Word Vietnam magazine. “The alcohol in the cocktail is lit on fire to represent the bombs, while spices, such as chili and cinnamon, reflect the warmness of her voice.”

Tiep has a reputation for infusing his drinks with unusual local ingredients. He has also created a cocktail that features fish sauce, a popular condiment in Vietnam, and another that contains capsicum, chili, and lemongrass in an ode to the bo luc lac (shaking beef) dish, according to CNN.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Just 5 Alcoholic Drinks a Week Could Shorten Your Lifespan
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Wine lovers were elated when a scientific study last year suggested that drinking a glass of wine a day could help them live longer. Now a new study, published in The Lancet, finds that having more than 100 grams of alcohol a week (the amount in about five glasses of wine or pints of beer) could be detrimental to your health.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the British Heart Foundation studied the health data of nearly 600,000 drinkers in 19 countries and found that five to 10 alcoholic drinks a week (yes, red wine included) could shave six months off the life of a 40-year-old.

The penalty is even more severe for those who have 10 to 15 drinks a week (shortening a person’s life by one to two years), and those who imbibe more than 18 drinks a week could lose four to five years of their lives. In other words, your lifespan could be shortened by half an hour for every drink over the daily recommended limit, according to The Guardian, making it just as risky as smoking.

"The paper estimates a 40-year-old drinking four units a day above the guidelines [the equivalent of drinking three glasses of wine in a night] has roughly two years' lower life expectancy, which is around a 20th of their remaining life," David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at the University of Cambridge who was not involved with the study, tells The Guardian. "This works out at about an hour per day. So it's as if each unit above guidelines is taking, on average, about 15 minutes of life, about the same as a cigarette."

[h/t The Guardian]

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