By Bob Lipinski

“The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year’s Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to.” (P.J. O’Rourke, 1947-2022, Political satirist, journalist, and author)

Growing up I remember New Year’s Eve vividly, with all the food, family, bottles of champagne and toasting when the “ball” dropped at midnight, while watching Guy Lombardo on television. In my household, we had a tradition, which took place immediately after midnight. My mother would ask each of us what our New Year’s resolution was. When it was my turn, I told her, “I’m going to give up drinking rum this year!” My mother turned to me and said, “You don’t drink rum?” I replied, “I know; that’s why it’ll be easy to give up!”

Things have changed over the years and although each of us probably makes a resolution to lose weight, eat better, be a better parent, exercise more, and so forth, the fact is that most people never follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. So, here are my thoughts and suggestions for a fresh start.

Instead of giving up “something” as a New Year’s Resolution, why not resolve to “try something new” or “different!” My list of “new” or “different” includes:

  • Try a different bottle of champagne every month
  • Visit the wine country
  • Enjoy a chilled bottle of White Zinfandel on a Sunday afternoon served with fresh fruit and soft cheese
  • Take an adult education or continuing education course on wine, cheese, or even craft beer
  • Buy a bottle of dry, white vermouth and serve yourself a glass well chilled with a lemon peel, instead of white wine. It will stand up to ice cubes!
  • Try a Chenin Blanc wine from South Africa
  • Learn how to make beer and brew a batch for summer picnics
  • Try a bottle of Tuaca…a golden-colored liqueur from Italy with flavors of citrus, caramel, and vanilla
  • Try a different cocktail, perhaps a Negroni: equal parts of Campari, red sweet vermouth, and gin
  • Buy a four-pack of Guinness “Foreign Extra Stout,” an offering with far more color, flavor, and richness than the standard Guinness Stout
  • Purchase a bottle of a rosé wine from Rioja, Spain
  • Enjoy a glass of Laird’s Applejack (apple brandy) from Scobeyville, New Jersey
  • As a great digestive, try a 4-ounce glass of Fernet-Branca from Italy. It is quite bitter tasting, but after about 15 minutes, you will feel great.
  • On the next visit to your favorite sushi restaurant, try a glass of chilled sake (or warm if you prefer)
  • Try a glass of rye whiskey on-the-rocks
  • If you are a beer lover, then try at least one new one every month
  • If you like tequila, then try mezcal
  • Instead of having a cocktail or glass of wine during a “happy hour,” try a glass of a well-chilled “fino” or “amontillado” sherry from Spain

“Now don’t say you can’t swear off drinking; it’s easy. I’ve done it a thousand times.” (W.C. Fields, 1880-1946, American Comic and Actor)

Bob Lipinski is the author of 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on He conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at OR


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