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No More Airplane Bloody Marys, and Other Drinking Resolutions

Eating and drinking for a living is fraught with all sorts of hazards. Like drinking games involving duct tape. And generally overdoing it. A handful of professionals look back at 2017 to determine what they absolutely won't (and will) do again.

Champagne Corks

The thing about resolutions is that they’re always twofold: Mapping our intentions for the year ahead is as much about balancing vices as it is championing virtues.

As drinkers, we know that well, and the annual wiping clean of our proverbial slates is rarely without a few foggy memories. But as we reflect on the year’s highs and lows, we’re also given the opportunity to get truly excited about what’s to come—to think bigger, to drink smarter and to seek out more of what we genuinely like. It’s why so many of our intentions to “drink less of this” are coupled with an addendum to “drink more of that.” Because let’s face it: the boozier the resolution, the more fun it is to keep.

So, as we close the book on 2017—a year in which, frankly, many of us consumed a great deal more than we’d intended—we at PUNCH decided to check in with a few of our friends in the worlds of food and drink to ask how they’ll be drinking come 2018.

Aaron Goldfarb | PUNCH Contributor

I plan to drink doubly as much as usual in January to combat all those look-at-mes who do “dry” January. And I resolve to drink truly amazing things but not to Instagram them. Obscure mixed fermentation beers. Pre-prohibition whiskeys. Cocktails served in a shoe. You won’t see them online. Because I vow to enjoy the simple act of drinking and spending quality time with my drinking buddies, as opposed to trying to impress the anonymous strangers who follow me online. Likewise, I really need to quit being impressed by what the strangers I follow are drinking, eating, visiting, doing. 

Nicolas Palazzi | Owner, PM Spirits

I’ll be drinking more wines with personality. Fuck average stuff. It doesn’t need to be expensive to be great, it just needs personality. I’ll be drinking less cocktails. Don’t get me wrong—I like ‘em but I’m tired of ingesting subpar booze, which a lot of them are made with. I’m going to co-buy bottles with a small group of friends; there are way too many cool bottles out there in the world of neat spirits. 

Amanda Smeltz | Sommelier; Author, Imperial Bender

More drinking single-village or single-varietal mezcal thoughtfully—less ripping shots of it after (during) service during stress/rage meltdowns. Less Champagne because it’s freakin’ expensive. (More grower Cava and crémant and méthode ancestrale!) I’d like to say I’m going to stop drinking Negronis and Martinis after, say, 1 a.m., but then this would be one of those resolutions that you have zero chance of executing. More exercise to balance out my rates of consumption. The consumption’s not going anywhere, so I need to ramp up the running and other stuff that makes my body not feel like a sleep-deprived, squishy garbage can. 

Talia Baiocchi | Editor in Chief, PUNCH

I am often chastised for ordering the Basic B drink on any cocktail menu. I cannot be helped. In 2018, I will order all of the stupid fizzy watermelon drinks—and I will love every minute of it. Beyond that, I will remain committed to the four major food groups: Champagne, Sherry, Mezcal, Martini. I vow to stash away more wine, and to stop opening things I’ve stashed away as the sixth or seventh bottle of the night. To that end, I vow to always have appropriate sixth or seventh wines on hand. I vow to continue to drink broadly, but not at the expense of truly getting to know the wines, spirits and beers I love. And, lastly, I vow to remember that frozen Margaritas are not a good nightcap.

Alison Roman | Author, Dining In

For me, 2018 is going to be the year of the adult. Adults do things like get financial planners, schedule breakfast meetings and buy wine by the case. Last year, a friend and I split a case of Fossil & Till and it was truly the gift that kept on giving. It made me feel so “together” to have a stash of a nice-but-not-super-expensive, interesting-but-highly-drinkable bottle on hand at all times. 

Adam Sachs | Editor in Chief, Saveur

I resolve to go big and go home: I want to drink everything from magnums this year at home. Big bottles: nice to look at, fun to have on the table, fun to pour. I resolve to engage in zero conversations about the merits of natural wine with people who are angry about natural wine. In general, I’d like fewer conversations, thank you, and more reveries. I drink to enjoy: I don’t want facts—I want love songs, enthusiasm, celebration. I resolve to drink many many bottles of txakoli, sometimes quickly. I resolve to open the good stuff to sate my thirst while cooking, sometimes finishing it before company arrives, because even if I don’t share, surely the good stuff will inspire better cooking, which is its own form of generosity. 

Bianca Prum | Managing Editor, PUNCH

Anyone who knows me knows I am always down for pomp and circumstance. I love a frill. My go-to bar for the latter half of 2017 was The Grill. But I must admit, I’m feeling a little bit of fancy-fatigue—one that I think only a dive bar can cure. So, in 2018, I resolve to trade in my Tuxedos for rye on the rocks a little more frequently, and get back to regular status at a few of my favorites I’ve lost sight of lately.

Jon Bonné | Senior Contributing Editor, PUNCH

This coming year, I intend to drink more light Italian reds, California whites, Spanish mountain wines, off-season rosé and pretty much everything curious from Australia and Chile that I can get my hands on. I intend to drink more red Bordeaux, because hope springs eternal. I plan to drink more mezcal neat, because why not really savor it before it all disappears? And more marc, because Dan Barber isn’t the only one to make good things from throwaway produce. I vow to drink fewer whiskey drinks at the end of the night, and to stop being polite when someone pours me a mousy wine. Also, I’d promise to stop drinking airplane Bloody Marys and autoroute rest stop espressos, but we all know neither thing is going to happen.

Paul Einbund | Owner, The Morris

This year I plan to cut out Chartreuse… Oh, wait, did I say Chartreuse? I meant to say I plan on cutting out normal Chartreuse. I plan on consuming way more vintage Chartreuse, preferably pre-1960s. I also plan to drink more matcha. It’s so clean and so good. The ritual is part of the pleasure, so don’t cheat.

Kate Krader | Food Editor, Bloomberg Pursuits

In 2018, I resolve to remember that Jack and Ginger is no longer my late-night dive bar order, and that as much as I love my local bars, there are about a thousand more in the New York area that I need to explore. I also resolve to perfect the art of the Irish goodbye. I spend way too much time—and wasted alcohol energy—downing extra drinks as I endeavor to say a personal goodbye to everyone in the room. If there’s some rule of thumb, for instance, with a group of 10-plus people, leave and don’t look back, please let me know.

Allison Hamlin | Social Media Editor, PUNCH

In 2018, I will politely decline any drinking games that require duct tape. It also seems like a good year to embrace the classy, low-fuss lifestyle of the frozen bottled Martini. This will double as a reason to keep fancy olives on hand—I will try not to think of those as “dinner” too often. Though I will never tire of drinking close to home, I think this is the year to try some new places above 14th Street.

Toby Cecchini | Owner, Long Island Bar

At the risk of appearing an even more absurd snob than I already am, perhaps the only thing I’d like to change in my drinking habits this year is a vague concept I keep absentmindedly revisiting, which is to somehow get Madeira into my life, and return to port like it’s 1989. It’s obviously the rise and hegemony of sherry that’s brought these other two neglected fortified wines back to mind, but whatever the impetus.

Katie Parla | Author, Tasting Rome

[In 2017], I drank way too much alone in front of my Twitter feed to anesthetize myself against the daily offenses of the Trump administration. I want to not do that anymore. I resolve to drink wine with friends in wine bars like Rome’s Mostò and La Mescita where tweet-related hyperventilation is frowned upon. It’ll be tough, since elections are coming up in 2018 in Italy and the political climate has become increasingly volatile as fascists and neo-fascists are emboldened and mainstreamed. What a time to be alive! The wine world isn’t immune to this vile reality, of course, so I intend to eliminate any wines from my rotation made by winemakers who espouse anti-migrant and misogynist vitriol and drink more wine from winemakers who explicitly support migrant rights and other progressive causes. 

Besha Rodell | Australia Dining Critic, New York Times

This will be the year I get super annoyingly nerdy about German wines. I love riesling so much, but while casual osmosis through enthusiastic drinking has worked fine as a mode of learning when it comes to French and Italian wines, there’s something about German ones that my brain doesn’t retain in the same way. Which is weird, ’cause I’m descended from German Jews, so it should come naturally? That’s the way drinking works, right?

Lizzie Munro | Senior Editor, PUNCH

In 2018, I will be more adventurous, but only slightly so when it comes to drinking—by which I mean I will expand my list of go-to orders, then stay there like the curmudgeon that I am. I will buy wine less often, but in greater quantity. I will drink a lot more amaro. And I will keep drinking Martinis all the time, unapologetically, because screw it, I love them.

Dan Sabo | Director of Food and Beverage, Paligroup

I’ve been on a real low-ABV kick as of late, so I’m going to fully lean in to that. Lots of amaro and sherry. More red wine, too—small-producer, Central Coast, unfined-unfiltered type stuff. And more Champagne, but that’s just always a standing necessity in all our lives. In terms of things I’m going to kick, I think I’m finally done with beer. I don’t really like it; I don’t like how I feel when I drink it and I definitely do not care for how I feel the next day.

Megan Krigbaum | Contributing Editor, PUNCH

White wine doesn’t stand a chance in my house. Much like Aperol, if it’s there, we drink it and we never have enough. My goal is to get better about having a proper stash of white bottles at all times—chenin, aligote, pigato, the whole crew. And this is going to be the year that I master the art of the stirred drink. I hardly ever get the dilution right and I’m sick of drinking a too-thick Negronis or Manhattans. PUNCH Assistant Editor, Chloe Frechette, told me that she can actually now smell when a Martini’s stirred enough. I want that.

Chloe Frechette | Assistant Editor, PUNCH

Eight Martinis. One night. Some records aren’t meant to be broken.

Answers have been condensed and edited for clarity.

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