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New Drinking Rules for 2014

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While we can still hear the pop of Champagne bottles and the rattle of ice cubes in shakers, the party is now long over and it's, unbelievably, the start of 2014. We'll spend the first few hours of today cleaning up from last night's festivities and thinking about what we accomplished in 2013 and what we'd like to do in the new year. If you'll also be making some resolutions, we suggest you add these five spirited goals to your list. Cheers!

Switch Up Your Routine:

Try shaking things up in 2014 by swapping spirits. Begin with your standard order. So, if you love, say, Bourbon Manhattans, fix them with reposado or añejo tequila for a change. Or make a rum Old Fashioned instead of a whiskey one.

Make Friends:

Back in the day, just like you had a neighborhood butcher and tailor, you used to be on a first-name basis with your bartender. In 2014, introduce yourself to your favorite local mixologists and ask them what they have been drinking recently. Not only will they surely have plenty of good stories, but they'll also help you discover some excellent elixirs.

Open Something Special:

If you're like us, you have a number of bottles in the back of your liquor cabinet that you've been saving for a special occasion. Well, 2014 is the year that you find an opportunity to open at least one of them. You really don't need much of an excuse to share an incredible spirit with some friends and family.

Drink Better:

This year, promise to only use high-quality mixers such as Fever-Tree and Q Tonic when possible. Nothing ruins a drink faster than syrupy-sweet tonics, artificially flavored juices and cheap pre-made drink mixes. And don't be afraid to sample some of the new high-end bottled cocktails coming to market, including star bartender Charles Joly's Crafthouse line, which was introduced this past fall.

Pull Out the Blender:

For far too long, blenders were banished to cruise ships and chain restaurants. But during the last few years, craft bars have rediscovered the joys of an icy-cold and delicious frozen concoction. (Several, including New York's Mother's Ruin, have gone so far as to buy slushie machines.) So for a taste of summer in the middle of winter, pull out your blender and whip up a Strawberry Daiquiri or a Frohito. Cheers to 2014!

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