The Best Things We Drank in 2013

Extra dirty Gin Martinis, fresh coconut juice, egg creams: from classic to esoteric, here are our favorite drinks from the year.

Chocolate Egg Cream

Chocolate syrup, milk, and a spritz of cold seltzer combine in a frothy masterpiece of a drink that brings to mind ice cream parlors, shiny red stools, and soda jerks.

Chocolate Egg Cream made by Itgen's alumnus (and former SAVEUR managing editor), Greg Ferro. Don't get me wrong, I love to sip a nice glass of bubbly or draw on a tall, cold brew, but nothing is sweeter than a frothy, chocolate egg cream made by a veteran soda jerk, who is also a hell of a good guy. —Kellie Evans, Associate Food Editor

I opened a 2007 Brunello di montalcino from Mastrojanni that was absolute nectar of the gods. —James Oseland, Editor-in-Chief

A negroni during aperitivo hour at Villa Sparina in the Piedmont region of Italy. The hotel operates a vineyard that makes some of the best Gavi di Gavi in the world, but as the sun began to set each night over the braids of grape vines, I found myself ordering a negroni to accompany the salumi plate. It must have been the setting that made it so good—as hard as I try, I can't replicate the perfect bitter:sweet ratio at home. —Sophie Brickman, Senior Editor

I love the life in Podere il Saliceto's "BiFri", a bottle-fermented frizzante made with Trebbiano and Sauvignon Blanc grapes and natural yeasts. As you start pouring, the yeast at the bottom of the bottle "wakes up," making each glass taste different. —Dominique Lemoine, Assistant Editor

Kyushiki (Japanese Old Fashioned)

Japanese old-fashioned
Frequently found in Japanese baking, black sugar, or kuru sato, is made by boiling unrefined sugar cane and has a flavor similar to dark brown sugar. Combined with ginger, it adds spice and a deep molasses flavor to a traditional old fashioned.Laura Sant

I love to drink Old Fashioneds, and Extra Fancy has become my favorite place to indulge in a few. The bartenders all know me, and sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. —Farideh Sadeghin, Associate Director, Test Kitchen

The King Car Whisky from Kavalan distillery in Taiwan captured my attention with it's richly spiced, vanilla and clove nose, velvety smooth palate with a nice long, spicy oak finish. I can't wait until it becomes available in the US in 2014. —Felicia Campbell, Associate Editor

Oh my goodness gracious I cannot tell you how much I adored that bottle of

Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling 2007 that I drank, practically all by myself, at Gotham in New York City. Wow. —Betsy Andrews, Executive Editor

Fresh juice sipped out of a cracked green coconut, somewhere in the dodgier parts of Bangkok's Khlong Toey market, which is one of my favorite places in the world to wander around aimlessly. —Tejal Rao, Senior Editor

Whenever I open up a bottle of Pheasant's Tears Rkatsiteli 2009, from Republic of Georgia, time stops. That wine's gripping tannins and deep aromas of dried apricot, smoky puehr tea, and chrysanthemum are deeply evocative of Georgia for me, bringing me right back there. It's time travel. —Karen Shimizu, Senior Editor

I can't pinpoint the best gin cocktail I've had in 2013 (too many good ones!) so I'll analyze my other favorite drink instead: This summer I was completely addicted to the Rocket Fuel Iced Coffee at Sweetleaf in Long Island City, cold brewed with chicory and sweetened with whole milk and maple syrup. Recently I traded morning trips to the coffee shop for a chemex and a coffee subscription from Tonx, and they haven't disappointed me yet. Currently on the menu: Borana from Gedeo Zone, Ethiopia, with flavors of tropical fruit and aromas of jasmine. It's awesome. —Cory Baldwin, Associate Digital Editor

I've always been a fan of sour beers, and I've had a few this year that I really loved—topmost in my mind is a taste I had of BeerBrugna, a fruity sour ale brewed with plums and aged in oak barrels by Italian brewery LoverBeer. —Laura Sant, Assistant Digital Editor

Hudson whiskey
Farideh Sadeghin

I'm a dedicated Scotch drinker, but this is the year I fell in love with American whiskeys. I sampled Tuthilltown Spirits' Hudson Single-Malt early in the fall, and its apples-and-cinnamon flavor kept me going all through the season. —Helen Rosner, Executive Digital Editor

It was a press event for the grand opening of yet another throwback cocktail bar in New York City, The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog. But this one was different, something I realized the moment I took my first sip of the Banker's Punch, a transcendent combination of Irish whiskey, dark rum, port wine, bitters, raspberry cordial and lime juice garnished with nutmeg. It takes a lot to make a stand out cocktail in New York these days, but owners Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry pull it off nightly at this Financial District saloon. —Keith Pandolfi, Senior Editor

Definitely digging the extra-dirty gin martinis served up every day during happy hour (or anytime, really) at Grand Central Oyster Bar. The bartender hands you your brimming martini along with the leftover shaker pour in a pony glass on the side. —Judy Haubert, Associate Food Editor