6 Ways to Be a Better Drinker in 2016

January  4, 2016

In a world that is painted in shades of grey and uncertainty, we have a tendency to make resolutions black or white: I’ll start doing this. I’ll stop doing that.

A rather handsome Old Fashioned Photo by James Ransom

When we make resolutions, we forget the nuances of real life, the endless little day-to-day challenges on which we expend our willpower, and we think we can make ourselves better people by being extreme. I’ll go to the gym every day or bust. I’ll give up sugar entirely or bust.

But this year, why can’t we be a little gentler on ourselves, and resolve, simply, to make some steps, to do something a little less, a little more, or a little better?

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Alcohol is one of the go-to's when it comes to resolutions. So many people give up drinking when January rolls around, but run out of resolve come cold, dreary February.

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Now, call me self-serving since I do make spirits for a living, but I think that for many of us, alcohol can have a very positive place in our lives. It is rich with tradition and symbolism, the fuel on which the pyramids were built, the tinder that has ignited many meaningful discussions. Drinks, like meals, are one of the ways we gather together.

Photo by James Ransom

This year, let’s resolve, perhaps to drink less, but also to drink better!

  1. Know where alcohol comes from in the first place!
  2. Learn the history of the cocktail, and what makes an Old Fashioned, well, old-fashioned
  3. Execute your cocktails with proper mixing technique, even if you don’t have fancy barware
  4. Make some of your cocktails low-proof (but still wonderfully tasty!)
  5. Mind your manners when drinking wine
  6. And up your dinner party game, starting with big batch cocktails and ending with a digestif

Ready to shake and stir?

Are there any cocktails you want to try making in 2016? Share with us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.


Alanna R. January 4, 2016
..I mean, hear, hear! ***
Alanna R. January 4, 2016
here, here!