My New Year's Happy Hour Challenge: Try a New Cocktail

We have now, thankfully, almost crossed the threshold where the talk of New Year's resolutions is waning. Regardless, I still find myself thinking about fresh start approaches to my cooking and time in the kitchen — and here's one thing I'd like to do differently: branch out with the cocktails I make at home and order out with friends.

I'm a very predictable drinker. I'd say 90% of the time I order a Negroni or a similar bitter, amaro-based drink. When it's cold, I'll opt for something with whiskey or bourbon — or to mix things up, we'll sometimes do a fun, seasonal tequila cocktail. But really: Campari is my jam. When I'm around a good bartender I trust, I'll often welcome the experimentation and have him mix up something new for me, but in truth, I stick pretty close to home on the cocktail front.

When I read a piece in The New York Times recently about drinking more adventurous wines, it got me thinking that the same holds true for cocktails. It's so easy to get in a rut at home and when out with friends because you know what you like and it's reliable and delicious. But, much like wine ruts, after awhile you're no longer learning about new liquors, flavors or seasonal combinations that could really wake up the home bar — or at the very least make for an interesting cocktail.

So I'm resolving to drink more adventurously this year, too. Only my focus will be in breaking the Negroni rut: do you have any recommendations?

→ Read More: Your 2014 Resolution: Drink Adventurously by Eric Asimov for The New York Times

(Image credits: Faith Durand)

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