Forget Dry January: Five Cultured Cocktails For Launching Into the New Year

Not that we wish to dump on anyone’s plans to get healthy – especially as fatality has ominously stalked our existence since March of 2020. But not drinking for a month in January never really sounded like much of a strategy for anything, from where we stood. Rather, we would suggest a 12-month plan of being more conscious of one’s imbibing habits – for instance, don’t do it as a way to deal with problems that should otherwise be faced decisively and head on.

And while you’re at it, make a resolution to drink well, to do it in places where you enjoy spending time, and with people you like spending time with. That could simply mean not running around to all the trendiest new spots in your city, but rather committing to a once-a-week visit to whatever bar or lounge you genuinely love most, with the possibility of making a few new friends in the process.

Or, even better, hone those at-home mixology skills, in the process becoming the gracious epicurean host you’ve always meant to be. And to get you started, we’ve tapped five of our most favored boutique spirits brands to each offer up a signature cocktail recipe. Really, just think of how impressed your guests will be when you mix them a sophisticated tipple made with a crafted rye from New York Distilling Company…or more impressively, with iichiko Saiten Shochu, for a bit more exoticism.

Our friends at Teremana Tequila, Absolut Elyx and Laws San Luis Valley Rye also contributed, so there’s virtually a cocktail for every taste.

So, cheers…skål…乾杯…and Happy New Year!

Koji Old Fashioned (pictured top)

2 oz iichiko Saiten

.25 oz Simple syrup

2-3 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Orange slice

Garnish: Orange slice 

Glassware: Rocks glass 

Method: Mix all ingredients into glass with ice. Stir, then garnish with orange slice.


1 oz Teremana Blanco

1 oz Campari

.75 oz Sweet Vermouth

.25 oz Banana Liqueur

Garnish: Dried banana chips

Glassware: Rocks

Method: Stir and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with dried banana chips. 

The Shanty’s Fast Car

Created by New York Distilling Company

2 oz Ragtime Rye Bottled in Bond

.5 oz Fernet

.5 oz Aperol

Garnish: Orange Twist

Glassware: Coupe Glass

Method: Stir ingredients together. Pour into a Coupe glass and serve with an orange twist. 

Dry Tiny Tini Martini

5 oz Absolut Elyx 

1 oz Lillet Blanc

Garnish: Lemon zest

Glassware: Tiny Tini Coupe 

Method: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir over cubed ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and garnish.

Breakfast of Champions

2 oz Laws San Luis Valley Rye

.5 oz Averna Amaro

.25 oz Coffee Syrup*

Garnish: Orange twist

Glassware: Coupe glass

Method: Add all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir, strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

*Syrup: ½ cup strong black coffee (we prefer Corvus), ½ cup sugar. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and cool.

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