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Drinks’ Alfonso
del Portillo has some pointers on bonding
with Pa this weekend

With Father’s Day just around the corner, we asked Spanish bartender Alfonso del Portillo Vardes, to
suggest thoughtful bar-related gifts, apart from a drink or two for some father-child bonding. The head bartender and beverage manager at Drinks on MG Road, Vardes says, “I like to play with proportions and taste. For the father, I suggest stronger cocktails in terms of
flavour and alcoholic content, and for kids, milder alcoholic content and more refreshing cocktails.”
Known to customise drinks for his patrons, Vardes tells us, “For the dads out there who prefer something strong yet fruity, the Brandy and Sand is the way to go. It features Hennessy VS and Lagavulin 16 (whiskey) with Cherry Heering (cherry liqueur), sweet vermouth and fresh orange juice.” Junior can try the Brandy Sour, which Vardes is happy to make with Martell VS (cognac), lime juice, sugar syrup and egg white.

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“A bar set comprising a decent shaker, jigger and bar spoon will make for a great gift for your dad,” he says. Skull bars spoons in metal, a leather bar tool bag, classy shakers and jiggers are some other recommendations. You could check out websites such as houseproud.in and propshop24.com for some really cool and handy bar accessories, similar to Vardes’ funky recommendations.

Bottoms Up
Liqueurs and bitter are a great way to stock up your Pa’s bar and Vardes recommends Angostura bitters. “I usually serve it in a drink with a twist of lime or a sprig of mint to balance the flavours,” he says. He also suggests you get your old man a bottle of Chartreuse liqueur – a concoction of 130 herbs and plants. “The Benedictine, also a herb-based liqueur is another good option, as is the popular orange-based Grand Marnier, if your dad prefers fruity notes,“ he concludes.

—Rashmi Rajagopal

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