No two dads are created equal, but if you'll allow us to take a guess at what the father or father-figure in your life might like, we reckon this selection of whisky-flavoured drinks, whisky-flavoured chocolates and whisky-flavoured bacon might tick the box. Just joking. We also have nifty tools for the garden, gorgeous glassware for the drinks cabinet, some new kitchen toys, salty snacks and spicy condiments, and coffee convenience that's set to be a life-changer. Whatever kind of dad he is, there's something delicious in here for him.
For cocktail hour
Archie Rose x East 33 cocktail trio
There are many ways to enjoy oysters, but the clever distillers at Archie Rose have come up with new drinks created especially for the occasion. Collaborating with East 33, who farm oysters all along the NSW coast, the Archie Rose team have unveiled two spirits. Hell's Gate vodka features native Dorrigo pepper to counteract the creaminess of oysters, while Noon's Up gin, a mix of river mint, sunrise lime and ginger, enhances the minerality of a Sydney rock oyster. Then there's the Kilpatrick Martini, a umami-loaded blend of Archie Rose Original Vodka, Lillet Blanc and lemon.
$169 for two dozen oysters and limited-edition Archie Rose Trio. Pre-order from east33.sydney
Pickles and preserves that put surplus vegetables to good use and reduce food waste? There's lots to love about the goodies from Cornersmith. Choose three that Dad will love and the crew will pop them in a tote that's ready for gifting, just like that. The fennel pickle makes a neat addition to charcuterie, while pineapple syrup is made from excess pineapple skins (make your own here) and makes great friends with tequila and a squeeze of lime. But go wild – it's your gift.
$50 for three items and a tote. Order from cornersmith.com.au.
Magic Mouth snacks
Part of the jerky renaissance, Marrickville outfit Magic Mouth are all about doing things the right way. They purchase free-range kangaroo, only work with organic and local ingredients and they don't just stick to meaty snacks either. Alongside their two roo products, Nice One and Spicy Boi, the crew do a killer smoked almond. Heck, maybe you'll even get a taste for jerky after trying this.
$8 for almonds, $12 for jerky, available from P&V stores in Sydney or order online.
Just launched in Australia, this tequila comes in four styles that are perfect for both sipping and making cocktails. The reposado is aged for nine to 11 months in American oak and is a great alternative to a neat whisky, while the honey-sweetened tequila plays into the natural sweetness of the spirit. There's also an espresso number for a true party-starter. This independent distillery in the Jalisco region of Mexico is named after Don Cazcabel, a healer of the same name who's amassed an impressive following. So you can tell Dad this is the cure for what ails him.
From $59.99 for 700ml. Order from Dan Murphys.
Cazcabel's colourful tequila range. Photo: Supplied
For the shiraz fan
Four Pillars x Yarra Yering Underhill Bloody Shiraz gin
What do you get when you combine one of the Yarra Valley's oldest shiraz vineyards and one of Victoria's wildest gins? A Bloody Shiraz release that's unlike any other. The annual Four Pillars project has been given some serious power in this limited-edition bottle, thanks to fruit from the Underhill vineyard at Yarra Yering, which was planted in 1973. Big tannins, bright fruit, a bitterness reminiscent of your favourite Italian digestifs and a deep plum colour add up to one unforgettable drink. You're bound to leave an impression on Dad with this one.
RRP $175 for 700ml. Available from August 24 at fourpillarsgin.com.au.
Gin or wine? Why not both? Four Pillars x Yarra Yering Underhill Bloody Shiraz gin. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen
Jancis Robinson x Richard Brendon decanter
When one of the world's foremost wine critics helps design a decanter, you don't have to tell us twice to add to cart. Jancis Robinson has more than 45 years' experience as a wine writer and judge, while UK designer Richard Brendon is known for celebrating artisan crafts, such as mouthblown glass. The pair designed this decanter especially to let cellared wines reveal their depth of flavour without too much exposure to oxygen.
$200. Order from City Wine Shop. Shipping available Australia-wide.
Boydell's leather wine bag
Picnics and barbecues are set to be the social gathering of spring and summer, so he'll need a stylish way to get his drink of choice from A to B. Enter this sleek leather wine carrier designed by Saddler & Co in collaboration with Hunter Valley winery Boydell's. Made by hand in the western plains of NSW using full-grain Australian cowhide, it's sure to stand up to whatever fun Dad throws at it.
$150. Order from Boydell's.
Boydell wine carriers for the discerning wine drinker. Photo: Dom Cherry
For the top chef
A Japanese knife
Prep for his latest cooking project will be a breeze when Dad's armed with a knife from ProTooling. The Sydney retailer stocks an enormous range of blades made with Japanese steel, a material prized for its superior hardness and thinner edge, leading to more precise cuts. No wonder so many leading Sydney chefs shop here. Start in the sub-$100 category or spend a bomb – there are more than 2000 choices. Check out protooling.com.au.
Throwing sausages you made yourself onto the hot plate is a sure-fire way to take barbecue pride to the next level. In Sydney, sign Dad up for virtual sausage-making classes run by the city's Sausage Queen, Chrissy Flanagan, who delivers two hours of tips, tricks and hands-on demonstrations on how to make top-notch snags. Dad will walk away with her formula that can be applied to any and all sausages, setting him up for life. Melburnians can learn the art from James Mele at The Meat Room, which runs small classes for 10 to 12 people using high-quality heritage pork raised on free-range farms. You'll learn the basics and also get advice on the best flavour combinations.
Sydney: Sausage Queen classes start at $70 for virtual, $199 in-person. Book a class or buy a voucher online.
Melbourne: The Meat Room classes are $280 in-person. Book a class or buy a voucher online.
Bodega Deli's curry spice pack
Even the most enthusiastic cook might be looking for some shortcuts right about now. Chef Pia Hambour creates spice blends under the Bodega Deli banner. Every product is a blend of hand-toasted and ground spices, as well as her experience in kitchens such as MoVida and New York restaurants Mission Chinese Food and Roberta's Pizza. A project born out of lockdown, Bodega Deli's curry pack, containing a jar of butter chicken spices and Japanese curry mix, is set to become a pantry staple.
$25, order from Bodega Deli.
Why stick to the boring old gas barbecue when there are new toys on offer? We don't think it'll take much to convince Dad to play with a Japanese grill, but here's the pitch. These grills use binchotan, Japanese charcoal that's prized for its ability to reach and maintain extremely high temperatures without much smoke or ash. The scorching heat translates into more flavour for your food, whether it's thinly sliced pork belly threaded onto skewers, grilled vegetables such as mushrooms or that summer favourite, prawns. Specialist Japanese and Korean cookware retailer My Cookware Australia sells the charcoal and all the other kit to go with the grill, too.
From $359, order from My Cookware Australia.
Ombra by Carlo Grossi
The Grossi name is synonymous with good eating in Melbourne. But with a copy of the latest cookbook from the family, it doesn't matter where you live. Carlo, son of chef Guy, has documented some of the best-loved dishes of Ombra Salumi Bar, the casual venue inspired by Venice's wine bars. At home, that translates into simple dinners like orecchiette with zucchini and ricotta or hands-on fun, such as pizza pockets known as pezze, filled with meatballs. There are also chapters on curing meat and making sausages, plus salads, sides and desserts. Dad could be whipping up an entire menu of Grossi goodness in no time.
RRP $39.99. See online retailers at Penguin's website.
For the morning person
Saltsmith Bacon (Melbourne only)
The folks at Saltsmith might be a little obsessed with creating the perfect rasher. Founded by friends Simon Lawry and David Ball, the pair focus solely on streaky bacon, playing around with different cures and smoking methods. There's a classic breakfast bacon cured in salt and sugar, a four-pepper option, and a collaboration with Starward that sees the bacon glazed with Starward whisky and Canadian maple for a salty-smoky hit. All bacon is made with free-range Victorian pork and is cold-smoked over wood, including peach and cherry. See saltsmith.com.au.
Saltsmith x Starward maple whisky bacon makes a great Father's Day breakfast. Photo: Supplied
Harris Farm Bacon Box for Dad (Sydney only)
In a sign from the universe, Father's Day falls on the same weekend as International Bacon Day, and to celebrate both occasions the good folks at Harris Farm have put together a box of Australia's best cured and smoked pork from small producers. Short-cut bacon from Black Forest, two types of streaky bacon from Canberra's award-winning Pialligo, and Uncles in Melbourne, and more are contained in the 1.2kg box.
$40, available to pre-order from August 23 from Harris Farm online.
For the sweet tooth
Koko Black's All His Favourites hamper
Hello, dark chocolate macadamias. Nice to meet you, salty cashew crunch. Didn't see you there, gianduja. This hamper, created especially for Father's Day, ticks all the boxes, whether he's a fan of smooth milk chocolate or something with a bit of power, such as the boozy Australian Spirits pralines spiked with Four Pillars lemon myrtle gin, Melbourne Moonshine's apple pie liqueur, The Rum Diary's vanilla rum and Starward whisky. There's even a pair of socks in the box!
$99, order from Koko Black.
For the camper
Dukes single-serve coffee
The clever cats at Dukes in Melbourne have given the coffee bag a makeover. Filled with either a seasonal espresso blend, a rich Brazilian single origin or an apricot and honey-tinged Ethiopian variety, these bags come in packs of six and only cost a tenner, which sounds like a bargain when you think of the convenience. All dad needs to pack for his next camping trip or bushwalk is a thermos of hot water and a couple of sachets, and he's set for a great cup in the great outdoors.
From $9.80 for six bags. Order from Dukes Coffee.
For the green thumb
Whether he's a long-time gardener or a more recent (read: lockdown) convert, we reckon dad always has room for more gardening kit. Opinel, maker of beautiful pocket knives with beech handles, also do a slick pair of secateurs. With a 20mm-cutting capacity and two opening widths to suit the user's hand, these are versatile enough to handle most small pruning jobs around the garden, whether it's herbs, flowers or shrubs.
$99, order from The Little Veggie Patch Co.
Dream secateurs for green-fingered fathers. Photo: Supplied
For the condiment king
Tuana hot sauce
Handmade on the south coast of New South Wales, Tuana is all about flavour over knock-your-socks-off heat. The Original sauce highlights smoky-sweet roasted capsicum, habanero chilli and tangy lime, while the Red is the answer to those who say "gimme more" – it contains Carolina Reaper, known as the hottest chilli in the world. You've been warned.
$15 for 150ml. Order from Tuana or find a stockist on the website.
Mabu Mabu's tomato sauce
We guarantee Dad hasn't tasted tomato sauce like this before. Bush tomato joins celery salt, powdered mustard and usual suspects such as garlic, onion, vinegar, sugar and organic tomatoes for a serious flavour hit that's ready to strike meat pies, hot chips or sausages at the next family barbecue. All sauces made by Mabu Mabu are produced with ingredients sourced from businesses passionate about developing Australia's Indigenous food industry. Think of them as the at-home prelude to a visit to Big Esso by Mabu Mabu, founder Nornie Bero's new restaurant at Melbourne's Federation Square.
$10.50 for 250ml. Order from Mabu Mabu.
For the forgetful father
A drinks subscription
Get yourself in his good books every month with a subscription delivering his favourite drink, whether that's beer or whisky. Melbourne craft brewers Moon Dog will show up every month (or when needed!) with a slab of dad's beer of choice to replenish the fridge. You can choose the frequency and the number of deliveries so there's no pesky lock-in terms. And postage is free.
From $52 for 24 cans. Order from Moon Dog.
Some whisky business, every month
If he's more about drams than cans, a subscription to Whisky Loot will keep him well-versed in new and exciting whiskys from 30-plus distilleries around the world. Each month, three pours arrive in the mail along with a video that acts as a guided tasting. There are notebooks to jot down what you're smelling and tasting, and if there's a particular whisky Dad likes, he can get 10 per cent off a full bottle when he orders. Choose from Explorer or Advanced subscriptions, depending on his knowledge.
From $169 for three months for Explorer subscription. Order from Whisky Loot.
A whisky subscription makes a wonderful monthly treat. Photo: Supplied
For the cheesy dad (and not just his jokes)
One-kilogram Pyengana cheddar truckle
If it's a choice between buying dad a pair of socks or cheese that smells like old socks, we know which we'd choose. Sure, there might be a touch of self-interest at play here, but one kilo of top-notch farmhouse cheese is an undeniably impressive gift. Pyengana, located in Tasmania's north-east, has been operating for 130 years and in that time they've honed the art of producing and maturing clothbound cheddar made with seriously good milk. Ploughman's lunches, Saturday afternoon cheeseboards, cheese toasties, tarts and more await dad. And hopefully you, too.
$90 for 1kg. Order from Mould Cheese Collective.
Sweet dreams are made of cheese. Photo: Supplied