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2010: Down the Hatch

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On New Year's Eve, it's the wise man who stays home to reflect on the year past, rather than venture out inebriated, risking pickpockets, frostbite and sloppy kisses from strangers.

And what's still on everybody's mind, but the wobbly mega-sized global economy we're all part of these days? As we close out 2010, let us circumnavigate the globe, heralding the new year as it dawns from the South Pacific to the West Coast. We'll spend almost a full day treating our collective financial anxiety with appropriate libations.

Australia (8 a.m. Pittsburgh time): Any long-term economic woes Down Under might eventually be negated by an even worse problem -- the disappearing ozone layer, which could lead to the continent simply evaporating. No worries! Beer's still here, mate. Get the big can of Foster's Lager.

Singapore (11 a.m.): In a bit of bright news, we learned in 2010 that the rich got richer, some of them in this go-go Southeast Asian city. Settle in with a Singapore Sling, a classic cocktail of gin, cherry Heering, Benedictine and fresh pineapple juice, invented at the city's venerable Raffles Hotel.

Saudi Arabia (4 p.m.): No alcohol here; take a necessary breather to reflect soberly on petro-economics.

Greece (6 p.m.): After that break, we've got back-to-back stops in a couple of beleaguered countries threatening to drag down the European Union. Check in to newly austere-ified Greece for some syrupy cordials.

Ireland (7 p.m.): Follow up that oh-no ouzo in Ireland, where the Celtic Tiger has disappeared like so many bank assets. Do your part for the locals with a jar of Guinness and wee dram or three of whiskey.

Brazil (9 p.m.): This century may be the decade of other America -- our neighbors to the South. Brazil, with its vast resources and focus on energy sustainability, is leading the way. Celebrate with a caipirinha, the national cocktail made with cachaça (available at better LCB stores).

Newfoundland (10:30 p.m.): It's not all timber and cod over-fishing: Canada's easternmost province has its own rum, Screech, and, even more perplexing, its own time zone, marked on the half-hour. You'll never find Screech at the LCB; substitute any cheap rum.

Pittsburgh (midnight): Still here? Celebrate the 'Burgh's obsession with its past by uncapping a re-released beer of yore, Duquesne.

California (3 a.m.): The Golden State's country-sized economy is in shambles. Begin your own personal recovery by consuming large quantities of California's most-popular imported beverage: water. 

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