There’s something about that gleaming canvas of a new year that makes you believe you can do anything – handy, given January’s now-traditional role as the departure lounge for our journeys to self-improvement. Whether you’re pledging to shake up your personal best with the help of an achingly fresh timepiece, or swearing off sugar and booze, this is your moment to be a brand new you.
Walking away from an indulgence like alcohol can be the trickiest ‘new year new me’ proposition, if only because it’s so hard to decide what to drink instead. Some take the view that alternatives aping the taste of booze only serve to make you miss it more, so a clean break may be best. But a drink is not just a thirst-quencher, it’s a calling card, projecting your image out to the world. Who do you want to be? Your next drink can tell you.
Kombucha drinkers are trailblazers, unafraid to plump for a drink nobody’s quite sure how to pronounce. Who cares if others wrinkle their noses in bewilderment while Kobucha advocates explain, like sages, that it’s made from fermented tea; let them scoff all they like into their own primitive beverages. Kombucha drinkers are intrepid tastemakers who do their own thing; they’re confident, health-conscious, performance-tracking multitaskers, always willing to race you there – on foot, by the way – just to prove they can win. And when they do drive, they can parallel park with one hand and swig their favoured musty brew with the other.
On the wrist? When every fraction of a second matters – and for a splash of Kombucha-proof sharpness – you’re going to need a TAG Heuer Connected, of course. Perhaps a steel case and sprint-proof rubber strap: fresh, fastidious and always with a trick up its sleeve.
Lime & Soda
A standard, a paragon of abstemiousness, the traditional post-drinking aperitif that aces simplicity but still packs a tooth-sizzling tang. Lime and soda drinkers are straightforward, decisive, and quick-thinking – no puzzling over a bar menu like it’s the New York Times crossword or wasting precious minutes watching a barman perform circus tricks with a cocktail shaker. Lime and soda lovers are clean and sharp, suffering fools so little they’ve raced on into the sunset before you can even get to the double-o of the word ‘fool’.
On the wrist? The Special Edition TAG Heuer Formula 1 X Senna – a motorsport icon, perfect for that sunset dash, matching your dash of lime with a Senna yellow stitching and exclusive embossed “S” pattern.
Drinking vinegar shrubs
It takes the strength of a giant not to let your face crease up like a discarded tissue as you taste that initial kick of a decent drinking vinegar. Shrub drinkers have such stamina as standard. They know the world doesn’t understand their penchant for this piquant, fruity close relative of what, on a better day, might be chip-shop vinegar. They’ve seen doubters come and go, carefully inhaling the sharp aroma, steeling themselves to hate it – and they’ve watched them tumble like dominoes. Vinegar fans – vinegrettes, maybe? – are unbothered by the chatter of those who ache for sweetness. The upper hand is theirs and there’s every chance it will be holding a key to a secret roof terrace so they can gaze at a skyline they know they will one day rule. Yes, that’s right, looks like the meek aren’t in line to inherit the Earth after all – shrub drinkers are first in the queue.
On the wrist? If world domination’s on the cards, you’re going to need a Monaco. Why not this one? Tradition revisited, with a black sunray-brushed dial, a red seconds indicator, and an iconic Heuer 02 movement, manufactured in-house.
An unpredictable, talented drink that commands respect. From a distance, it could almost be alcohol; once up close and hooting its spicy bouquet, you’re still not sure what pleasure awaits. Ginger ale drinkers are fiery, go-getters who tear up the rulebook and never plan where the night will take them. Whether they end up swapping filthy jokes on penthouse balconies with A-listers, or tucked up and snoozing under a stratospheric thread count, they consider every night a success so long as they wake up with that telltale post-ginger ale throat tingle that reminds them they’re still very much alive and totally in control.
On the wrist? Chiming perfectly with your ginger ale (and quarter of lime), the bronze cased, khaki-smoked dial TAG Heuer Autavia. Rugged enough to take even the spiciest of adventures in its stride.
The upscale mocktail drinker is worldly and adventurous and thrives on the element of surprise. Witness the calm, collected sophistication, unflinching even when presented with a goblet of dry ice, or a martini glass of artisanal twig sculpture and the tiniest amount of framboise syrup to taste. With a mocktail, you’re not only sipping the physical representation of a bartender’s ego, you’re inviting randomness, colour and risk into your life. A mocktail drinker chucks his car key at the valet and tells them to have a good time for the next hour. And if the car never comes back, what the hey, that just means another adventure is round the corner.
On the wrist? We can’t talk about colour, and just the right dose of surprise, without mentioning the TAG Heuer Carrera Montreal: a 160th anniversary limited edition – only 1000 ever made – with a Mondrian-esque blue azurage counters, yellow Super-Luminova® accents and a red-hot second hand.
A classic. Barring any last-minute surprises on brand availability, you know what you’re getting. As soon as the reassuring carbonic froth hits the back of your throat, you know that little caffeine hit chaser is up next. Cola drinkers are reliable, traditionalist, and recognise the beauty in an icon, but still very much in touch with their sense of fun. Haters may dismiss their choice of beverage as childish, but that’s part of the point: a cola drinker will always be young at heart, the cross-generational life and soul of the party – their boundless energy putting them at the centre of any all-nighter long.
On the wrist? A TAG Heuer Aquaracer, with its timeless Tortoise shell resin bezel and Super-LumiNova® hands. Midnight dive or dip? With the Aquaracer, that’s always an option.
Justin Myers GQ columnist, novelist