We’ve made plenty of resolutions on New Year’s Eve (usually inspired by several drinks), but we also tend to make some more serious ones after a bit of contemplation. Here are five, which we hope you’ll consider declaring. Happy New Year!
DRINK AMERICAN GIN:
Thanks to the craft-distilling boom, there’s now a big selection of American gins created from a wide variety of botanicals. While we like the Dorothy Parker American Gin and Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin produced in Brooklyn by Liquor.com advisory board member Allen Katz as well as Aviation Gin, hailing from Portland, Ore., and co-founded by talented barman Ryan Magarian, there are just too many good ones to list. During the next 12 months, you’ll have to find your own favorite.
While mixology is definitely thriving these days, the so-called golden age, when masters such as Jerry Thomas and William Schmidt were behind the bar, started in the 1860s and lasted until the 1920s. Even though these legends are long gone, you can easily get reprints of their books from places like Cocktail Kingdom. This year, check out at least a couple of these seminal volumes.
EMBRACE HIGH-PROOF LIQUOR:
One of the secrets to fixing great cocktails is high-proof spirits. Seriously. These potent bottlings, according to all-star bartender and Liquor.com advisory board member Dushan Zaric, have more flavor and stand up better to other ingredients in mixed drinks. So buy a high-octane liquor today and see for yourself.
MIX SPIRITS WITH BEER:
We obviously love spirits, but we also enjoy beer. And there’s no need to choose between the two types of alcohol when you can combine them. This summer, we found some delicious sudsy tipples at Tales of the Cocktail, which proved that the two can co-exist in a single glass. Toast 2013 with one of these concoctions!
TRY WHITE WHISKEY:
There’s now a surfeit of white whiskies on store shelves and menus, including the new Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye and soon Jim Beam’s Jacob’s Ghost. While these products are no substitute for mature bourbon and rye, we do use them in recipes that normally call for vodka. They’re also great as a base for homemade infusions.