It’s no secret that we VinePair staffers enjoy exploring all that’s new when it comes to drinks. For many of us, 2022 started off with a sea of new trends and a robust Dry January lineup, which meant endless beverage options to choose from.
Be it a recipe shared via Zoom-style happy hours (yes, we’ve picked that back up) or a hidden gem on a bar or restaurant menu, nothing — not even January’s wintry cold — could stop our discerning palates from discovering delicious tipples. From Mai Tais to mezcal drinks, here are the best things we drank last month.
“The best thing I drank this month (I’m one of those Dry January types) was the grapefruit seltzer from Nixie, which is an astonishingly accurate rendition of grapefruit, given that it doesn’t have any actual juice in it (à la Spindrift). Somehow, the smell is EXACTLY right, with not just grapefruit essence but also the aromas of the pith.” —Zach Geballe, co-host and producer, “VinePair Podcast”
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“Over the past month, I was lucky enough to try a couple of bottles from Wayside Cider, a small-batch craft brand making crisp, refreshing, lower-ABV ciders that drink like hazy IPAs or summery sparkling wines. They paired well with every meal we had and really opened my eyes to what ciders have to offer.” —Dario Foroutan, social editor
“The best thing I drank last month was the Flirtibird cocktail at Angel’s Share in the East Village. It’s made with shochu, shiso, and yuzu and is served in a beautiful ceramic cup. It was so good, I had to order a second…” —Katie Brown, associate editor
“I had a Mai Tai on New Year’s Eve at the Bali Hai in San Diego. They’re famously good, but those things are NO joke. They even have a warning on the menu saying they have a limit of two per person.” —Lily Nelson, social video producer
“I was dining at Bacàn, an Italian restaurant and wine bar in Williamsburg, a few weeks ago and ordered a glass of Pinot Nero, but they were out of it. Our waiter ended up suggesting the 2019 La Stoppa Trebbiolo Vino Rosso, and I was so floored by how good it was that I asked for the bottle again to take a photo of the label. It was really vivacious and bold, and fit with the pasta I was eating perfectly.” —Danielle Grinberg, art director
“I recently tried Lo-Fi Aperitifs Gentian Amaro in a homemade cocktail and was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. Having never tasted amaro, I was unsure what to mix it with, but the herbal-citrusy taste wound up being a great fit with vodka. I also added a bit of honey, then topped the drink with Fever-Tree’s sparkling grapefruit mixer and a fresh sprig of rosemary.” —Jessica Fields, assistant editor
“I was lucky enough to escape to Mexico and had plenty of delicious tequila and mezcal cocktails. My absolute favorite was at La Copa in Todos Santos. The drink is called Chachita and is a delicious smoked Mezcalita drink made with mezcal, tamarindo, and rosemary. It’s smooth and smoky, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it.” —Lyndsey Corin, director, brand partnerships and sales
“The best thing I drank this month was a new style of Prosecco coming onto the market. The style is called Sui Lieviti and just means that it hangs out with the yeast for a little longer and is not as filtered. The result is a Prosecco with a soft bubble depth and smells like honey and flowers. It’s a little cloudy, but that’s where the magic is. This is NOT your Mimosa Prosecco. This is your oyster Prosecco.” —Keith Beavers, tastings director and host, “Wine 101” podcast
“This month, I had a makeup Christmas brunch with friends and was in charge of making the signature brunch cocktail. With help from VinePair’s various recipes, I went with the Breakfast Martini Sour, and it was a hit! Everyone, including myself, loved the sweet and sour combo from the marmalade and the lemon juice.” —Allison Kuklinski, manager, brand partnerships and activations
“Katie Brown has gotten me on the tequila soda with pineapple train — simple but always delicious. I recently had a weirdly amazing one at Bandits in the West Village. I think the bartender might have put eucalyptus in it because it tasted a little herbier than usual!” —Ariela Basson, associate designer
“A Hanky Panky! Created in the 1920s, it’s a classic cocktail that I had somehow never had before. With equal parts gin and sweet vermouth and a few dashes of Fernet Branca, it’s exceedingly simple to make — and very easy to drink.” —Joanna Sciarrino, executive editor