Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Year's Drinking Resolutions

I fully admit I’m a creature of habit. That can come from the need to have everything in exactly the right place behind the bar so I can get your drinks out faster, the rapid onset of OCD because of the aforementioned need for placement, or perhaps it’s just, well, I’m boring. This year, I promise to expand my drinking horizons.
  • Drink more brown spirits: See, this is where it gets tricky. I’ve always fancied bourbon and scotch, but it’s time to branch out. I have my usual rotation of bourbons at the house or when I go out. It’s time to spice things up. Let’s drink rye this year! A nicely aged rye can compete with any bourbon out there and even add some spice to the mix. For scotch? Well, I admit I like the peaty Islays. Let’s go to the other side of the world and make it the year of Japanese single malts! Has anyone had Nikka, yet? It’s new to DC, and I think it could be my single malt of choice this year.
  • Drink lighter alcohol cocktails/spirits: Part of my job is to go out and drink. Sounds tough, doesn’t it? When you’re at a function with people of importance, you certainly don’t want to have more than you should of the potent drinks. This year when I go out, I’m going to start having more spritzes. The Aperol Spritz is perfect for this. You get tremendous flavor of orange, rhubarb, and gentian from the Aperol with the alcohol content no more than a glass of wine. Add some prosecco and club soda and you have yourself a refreshing cocktail that won’t make you the, um, life of the party. Another good way? Try some vermouth on the rocks with a twist of citrus. I’m not talking about your parents’ 6 year old bottle of Martini & Rossi that has 2 inches of dust on it. Splurge on a bottle of Carpano Antica or even go with Cocchi Vermouth di Torino at half the price. Want something lighter? A Dolin Blanc with a slice of orange is perfect in the summer.
  • Invest in a good tequila: We’ve all had the moment with tequila in college. That harsh shot with lime and salt was the cause of far too many rough mornings in the world. Tequila has undergone a renaissance, however. Even a silver tequila from Milagro provides a taste that doesn’t need lime and salt to make it palatable. My goal this year is to own a beautiful anejo. Anejo tequila is aged in oak barrels from 1 to 3 years and can be as elegant as a sipping whisk(e)y. They can range anywhere from honey notes to tropical notes depending on the producer. 
There you have it; 3 ways I plan on drinking better this year. Let’s all make it a point to branch out and try new things. Let me know what some of yours are.


Jeff Faile
Fiola Bar Manager & Mixologist