Ever since I was a little girl, my dad taught me that food is more than just a source of energy. Our Sunday morning omelets were a ritual to start each week as a family. The crawfish boils we hosted in the spring were a chance to gather and connect with our neighbors. Spending hours smoking the Thanksgiving turkey was a lesson in patience and the importance of planning. And when he would ask my friends to share their favorite meals, he tapped into emotions and memories that could fuel conversations for hours.
Unsurprisingly, I turn to food when picking a Father's Day gift. Last year, I decided to send him a bottle of Haus, a wine-based apéritif that had shaken up my own pandemic cocktail routine. It was such a hit that I essentially have no choice but to send it to him again.
Apéritifs have been popular as pre-dinner drinks in Europe for centuries. Made with fruits, botanicals, and herbs, they contain less alcohol than traditional cocktails, so you can sip a glass or two without getting sloshed before a meal. They've become increasingly popular stateside with drinkers who want to enjoy the complexity of cocktails without the hangovers that often accompany them.
Haus takes pride in its use of local Californian ingredients, like jalapeños, lemons, rose, and chardonnay grapes, as well as what it leaves out. You won't find any artificial flavorings in its bottles, and they contain a fraction of the sugar used in legacy apéritif brands. The direct-to-consumer maker even lists the ingredients and nutritional information for every flavor on its site for full transparency.
I've tried nearly all of Haus' flavors, from bright and refreshing Citrus Flower to spicy Grapefruit Jalapeño to earthy Spiced Cherry, and honestly cannot pick a favorite. Each fits a different mood and occasion: sipped on the rocks for an after-work wind down, splashed with prosecco as a picnic refresher, mixed with another spirit for fuss-free cocktails. That's why I like to give Haus' Sampler Kit.
The 4-bottle set is customizable, so you can mix and match flavors based on your loved one's taste. My dad appreciates the smaller 200-millimeter bottles, which allow him to explore new flavors and order the full-sized versions of his favorites afterward. (Or if you know your special guy is a spritz fan, Haus just launched a new Duo that's specially curated for the summer sip.) Haus' bottles also happen to be beautiful enough to show off on the bar cart, so you can probably get away with not wrapping them.
Warning: The Sampler Kit is incredibly popular and has sold out four times in the last seven months. I recommend shopping the links below now so you're guaranteed to give the perfect Father's Day gift.
To buy: $50; drink.haus
To buy: $70; drink.haus