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 2018—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 2019.
Meredith Erickson | Author, Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse
In 2018, I had one book coming out and two books due, which really hindered my drinking. Never again! In 2019, I hope to have (way) less screen time and (way) more Champagne popping time. Not for celebration, but for any time at all. Also: A return to spontaneity! Yes, that’s something I can raise a glass to. Oh, and with an increase in bubbles comes the need for bubble storage, so maybe 2019 will be the year I finally get that wine fridge…
Marian Bull | Writer and Ceramicist
All year, I’ve had about 15 bottles of nice strong booze on my bar cart—Japanese whisky! Obscure gin! At least three types of r(h)um!—and I haven’t made a dent in any of them. So in 2018, I’m going to lean into all things low-ABV—the stuff I actually want to drink when I’m home alone and noodling around in the kitchen or laying on the floor after a long shift at my studio. More vermouth, more aperitifs, more stuff I can splash into a tall glass of seltzer. Also: more buying things by the case. I did this for my birthday party last year and have never felt more put together. (That is, until I started drinking the stuff.)
Abigail Gullo | Beverage Director, Ben Paris at The State Hotel
As I am moving to Seattle, I resolve to become an expert in Pacific Northwest wine. I am going to literally drink it all in and visit as many wineries as I can. Time to become a full blown sommelier. I also resolve to immerse myself in the Vancouver cocktail scene and Tinder the F outta that city until I get a Canadian boyfriend. It’s a modern U.S. escape plan.
Lizzie Munro | Art Director, PUNCH
I’ve spent the past few New Year’s Eves feeling as though the best part of the coming year will be saying goodbye to the one before it. That still holds true in some respects—let’s not forget that 2018 actually kicked off with people eating Tide Pods. But truth be told, I’m really hopeful, even excited, about the year to come. So while I won’t be giving up my Martini habit anytime soon, I will make a point to diversify, and to kick off my evenings with bubbles whenever possible. Champagne, crémant, sekt, Lambrusco—I’m here for all of it, with greater frequency, no matter the occasion. That, in itself, is something to look forward to.
Drew Lazor | Author, Session Cocktails
I have this terrifying, ever-growing stack of beer, cocktail and wine books that I’d like to read. I want to really read them and learn new things, not just glibly leaf through or Command-F an e-version for some factoid I need for an article. Speaking of articles, I have many desktop Stickies and notebooks filled with half-, quarter- and eighth-baked story ideas. If I can successfully convert even 20 percent of this illegible detritus into fully formed features, I’ll be happy. As for actual drinking? I have my friends I grew up with in Maryland and my friends from everywhere else. I’d like these groups to commingle a little more in 2019, and I think the best way to facilitate this is through one thing I know they all love: reasonably priced tequila.
Talia Baiocchi | Editor in Chief, PUNCH
I am happy to report that 2018 was the year that I mastered the art of drinking almost daily without ever overdoing it. Never once, I promise. In 2019, I will continue to refine my “practice,” while simultaneously expanding my repertoire. I will continue to build on my mezcal collection and maintain my steady diet of Chablis and Champagne and farmhouse ales. I will do a better job of buying and actually stashing wines to age rather than haphazardly opening them for no good reason. I will reconnect with Italy, the country that made me fall in love with drinking culture in the first place, and go deeper. And, finally, 2019 will be the year that the French 75 (Cognac, please) will go toe-to-toe with the Martini in the battle for my affection.
Katie Parla | Author, Food of the Italian South
My primary resolution for 2019 is to drink more water… hydration is important and I’ll need it if I am going to comfortably achieve my secondary goal of drinking more Lambrusco. So much of my Italy travel is focused on southern Italy, but recently I have been venturing north to Emilia-Romagna—especially Modena and its environs, where Angol d’Amig makes spontaneously fermented wines, Luciano Saetti and his daughter Sara disgorge bottles by hand and Vittorio Graziano embraces ancestral methods of making the region’s famous sparkling vino.
Allison Hamlin | Partnerships Manager, PUNCH
This fall, I hosted a score of mostly sober socialists at my apartment for a dear friend’s going-away party. Per my BYOB request, they all arrived thoughtfully armed with LaCroix for themselves and six-packs of bodega beer to share. Months later, there’s a bucket of cans in my kitchen and I am still fishing stray Flying Dog IPAs from the back of my fridge. This year, more parties, but a better eye for reading the room. Oh, and more Scotch! Lots and lots of Scotch, please.
Robert Simonson | Author, 3-Ingredient Cocktails; Contributing Editor, PUNCH
I resolve to go to fewer brand-sponsored cocktail competitions, as I regard them as a terrible waste of bartender time, creativity and energy. Oh, wait—I already attend none. Resolution: accomplished.
Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall | Author, Hungover
After having spent most of a decade on a book about hangovers, my resolution should probably be to never drink again, or write again—or at least never write about drinking again. And I should almost certainly stop taking the cure I found. But instead, my resolution will be to not market that cure, or patent it, but just give it to you straight, in the final chapter of the book I wrote. And with the money I make, should the book becomes a bestseller, I resolve to buy only the best organic wine, and the finest single-malt Scotch and toast to the health and happiness of every single one of you.
Chloe Frechette | Associate Editor, PUNCH
More magnums. As someone who is perpetually late, these joy-inducing, two-in-one bottles (many of which can be found well under $75) are the perfect antidote to my bad behavior. While a sensible person might vow to work on their punctuality in the new year, I think I’ll stick to my guns: more magnums, please.
David Coggins | Author, Men and Manners
Each year I swear I will drink less but drink better. Like many people I am taken with the improvement and availability of natural, biodynamic and organic wine. There seem to be more experts in restaurants and wine stores and I am happy to take their advice; I ask point-blank for something unusual and am happy with a glass of Jura white or unpronounceable orange wine. So, more of that in the new year. I also want to know more about sake. I know I like it and that, when I’m in Japan, I drink a lot of it and then fall asleep in taxis. But I’m embarrassed to say I know little of the specifics. So here’s to a more enlightened and moderate 2019.
Aaron Goldfarb | Author, Hacking Whiskey; Contributor, PUNCH
I resolve to drink more beer this year. I started as a “beer guy,” but over the last few years—as every brewery seemed hellbent on only making juicy IPAs and dessert stouts—I’ve moved away from it. It has become rote for me to continually repeat that “Beer is boring.” But it’s only boring if I let it be. So this year I’m going to work harder to find the breweries forging their own path—like Scratch Brewing, a southern Illinois farmhouse spot who brew beers with foraged flowers, leaves, twigs and even tree bark. They may not get the of-the-moment buzz from urban “haze bois,” but breweries like them, The Ale Apothecary, Forest & Main Brewing Co. and many others still remind me why I fell in love with beer in the first place.
Toby Cecchini | Owner, Long Island Bar
As my body has already smugly begun to enforce the “drink less, drink better” edict that has been so prevalent in the last few years, I will attempt to outwit it by resolving to open some of the ghost bottles I’ve been hoarding: the silent stills of Scotland, the trophy bourbons and ryes that might fetch my daughter’s college tuition on eBay, were I a more savvy collector. I will open these not just for myself in late night Gollum moments, but for larger, hale-fellow groups of even random and frankly undeserving imbibers who happen to be around when the whim strikes. And I would also like to get a real handle on how to make Pineau des Charentes a more frequent guest at the party.
Jason Diamond | Deputy Editor, PUNCH
I’m not going to give up my three or four (or five) Negronis a week habit or anything, but I’m going to get back to basics in 2019. I’m going to drink more beer. I grew up drinking beer and then somewhere along the way I became a Miller High Life or bust person. I got sick of going to places with 20 different IPAs. That, and I was hanging around too many people that wanted to talk about beer. But this past autumn, I got into the habit of going for a post-work pint at Gold Star, the Brooklyn beer haven a block away from my apartment. I’m going to do more of it over the next 365.
Khushbu Shah | Senior Food Editor, Thrillist
This year I am trying to better about actually writing down the names of wines I find I really enjoy and then, more importantly, going to the wine store and buying them. I struggle with this because there is so much wine in the world that I feel like I need to try, but like restaurants, sometimes you just want to be a regular.
Jon Bonné | Author, The New Wine Rules; Senior Contributing Editor, PUNCH
After several years with my nose to the Gallic grindstone, in 2019 I’ll get to spend time not thinking about France. So I resolve to do my damndest to get to Liguria and drink every last drop of pigato and vermentino I can find, or to Baden, so I can really understand those red wines. But who am I kidding? I’m still going to drink the hell out of French wine. Also, this will be the year I finally admit that Japanese whisky is my true whisky love, and needs to be consumed with vigor. Similarly, I resolve to dive back into sake, which I used to love with a vengeance, and which is finally enjoying the sort of blossoming—of importers, of diverse styles, of small producers—that the rest of the booze world is enjoying. Oh, and as always, more Chartreuse. Because my stomach will need it.
Laurie Woolever | Co-Host, “Carbface for Radio”
I retired from drinking alcohol in 2017; let’s just say I got too good at it. So, in 2019, I resolve to seek out and patronize those restaurants who are putting some real effort into their non-alcoholic cocktail lists, with extra love for nuanced, dry drinks that don’t just sub sweetness for booze. While traveling in Japan last year, I enjoyed the magical Asahi Dry Zero—no alcohol, no calories and reasonably beer-like enough to make a good pairing for yakitori and tempura—so I also resolve, in 2019, to figure out how to get my hands on it in the States.
Megan Krigbaum | Contributing Editor, PUNCH
So often these days, we’re focused on nothing but the new-new. In 2019, I have a plan to ease up on that and return to beloved winemakers—to put some bottles away for a few years from now and drink the wines that give me a sense of homecoming. I can’t wait to fill my tiny wine rack with some bottles from Domaine Rimbert in the Languedoc and Olga Raffault and Bernard Baudry in Chinon. I’ll be unabashed about ordering Elisabetta Foradori’s Teroldego every time I see it. Come spring, I will be all about Bruna Majé’s Pigato and Chidaine’s chenin blancs. And I’m going to guzzle some Champagne—as many bottles as I can find from Dhondt-Grellet—because it makes me happy.
Answers have been condensed and edited for clarity.