Flavour Revolution – Peach

Pit Stop

Peaches are best defined by the massive pit at the center of the fruit. That got the Sip Advisor thinking about some of the most famous pits, found outside fruits. Here’s what this eccentric old mind was able to come up with:

La Brea Tar Pits

Located near Los Angeles, these pits of heavy crude oil have trapped a countless number of animals over the years, including mammoths, sabre-toothed cats, wolves, bison, horses, bears, sloths, turtles, and even lions. The La Brea Tar Pits official website advertises itself as “The World’s Most Famous Ice Age Fossil Excavation Site”. It’s certainly an area I wouldn’t want to disappear into.

la_brea_tar_pits

Brad Pitt

The two-time World’s Sexiest Man (at least according to People Magazine, which has elected to not include the Sip Advisor’s name on voter’s ballots) is a universally known star. I’d say my favourite Brad Pitt work is Fight Club, but I still have issues with the guy for leaving Jennifer Aniston, in favour of Angelina Jolie. That is a decision I’ll never be able to understand and just have to make peace with.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Home to the Steelers (NFL), Penguins (NHL), and Pirates (MLB) of the sports world, the city is also the birthplace of notable folks, such as Jeff Goldblum, Ken Griffey Jr., Zachary Quinto, George A. Romero, Julie Benz, Joe Manganiello, Kurt Angle, and Gillian Jacobs. Lastly, one of my favourite American craft breweries, Fat Head, originated in the ‘Burgh and for that, we thank them!

Pit Bulls

Among dog fans, these pups go by the shortened term ‘Pits’. While they are sometimes feared for the occasional horror story that hits the rounds regarding attacks by dogs, anyone who owns one swears by their loving nature. Some famous pit bulls include Petey (The Little Rascals), Chance (Homeward Bound) and Champion (Parks and Recreation). There’s also the rapper of the same name, but whateves.

pit bull cat

Piper’s Pit – WWE

This was the wrestling talk show to end all talk shows. A place where many of professional wrestling’s greatest storylines either began, progressed, or ended. Hosted by the wild, unpredictable ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper, the Pit was the setting for Andre the Giant turning on Hulk Hogan, leading to their epic WrestleMania III showdown, and Piper’s own feuds with Jimmy Snuka and Adrian Adonis, among others.

Armpits

Armpits get a bit of a bad rap, as they are one of the central sweat zones for both males and females, sometimes causing embarrassing body odors. For some though, this is an area of sexual attraction and fetishism (known as maschalagnia). While that’s not for the Sip Advisor, I’m not here to judge. The female armpit hair debate, however, has a simple answer: the less the best!

Flavour Revolution: Tickled Peach

  • 1.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 1 oz Gin
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

There are also a number of famous pits and sinkholes, found around the world. And how could we forget The Peach Pit from Beverly Hills 90210, where the coolest kids from the richest zip code hung out. Ah, the wonderful 90’s!

August 1 – The Vancouver

Homegrown Hope

In this neck of the woods, this holiday long weekend is anchored by B.C. Day, which celebrates the province we British Columbians call home. With that in mind, the Sip Advisor wanted to look at the greatest citizens of the land (from the sports and entertainment realms, rather than politics, activism, and humanitarianism). Today, we salute these fine folks!

#5: Joe Sakic

Burnaby Joe, as he’s affectionately known in this corner of the world, was a two-time Stanley Cup champion (with the Colorado Avalanche – the team he now manages) and 13-time NHL all-star, winning numerous league awards during his career. Perhaps his greatest claim to fame was his role in leading Canada to their first Olympic hockey gold medal in 2002. Sakic recorded four goals and six assists in the tournament, including four points in the gold medal game, helping him earn MVP honours.

#4: Ryan Reynolds

The Green Lantern himself, Ryan Reynolds and I actually share the same alma mater and there is some debate over who is the most famous alumnus. Reynolds list of wives is quite impressive, rivaling his filmography. The Vancouver-born star has exchanged nuptials with singer Alanis Morissette, and actresses Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively. In 2016, Reynolds will star as the antihero Deadpool (in the film of the same name), a character he first played in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

#3: Seth Rogen

The cannabis smoking funny man responsible (with writing partner Evan Goldberg) for movies such as Superbad, Pineapple Express, This is the End, and The Interview, was born and bred in Vancouver. Rogen has also appeared in popular comedies including The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up,  Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and Neighbors, while providing his voice to animated productions like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Horton Hears a Who! Not bad for an atypical Hollywood leading man.

Seth Rogen High

#2: Steve Nash

Being an undersized white kid from Canada, not many could have projected that Steve Nash would have an NBA career, let alone a Hall of Fame caliber one. Even crazier, Nash didn’t start playing basketball until he was 12 or 13 years old. The Victoria, B.C. native (born in South Africa) recently retired after 18 NBA seasons, including two as league MVP. Today, Nash runs a chain of gyms located around the province, as well as owns a stake in the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer.

#1: Bryan Adams

The musician famous for songs such as Summer of ’69, Heaven, Everything I Do, and All for Love, has been rocking the world since the mid 70’s when he was only a teenager. Adams has also worked with some of the music industry’s most famous stars, including Tina Turner, Sting, Rod Stewart, and too many others to name. His work on soundtracks for movies like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The Three Musketeers brought him to another level of international fame, which he enjoys to this day.

Super Saturday Shot Day: The Vancouver

  • 0.75 oz Gin
  • 0.25 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Splash of Jagermeister
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden (a Medicine Hat, Alberta native) would have been included on this list, had he been more than an adopted son of the province. One day, someone else will write a similar list and the Sip Advisor will rank among the greatest British Columbians… mark my words!

Sip Trips #30: Beer, Balls, and Barbecue

While Mrs. Sip and I managed to find some rare quiet time Friday night (cracking into our ever-growing wine and beer collections), the weekend was quite busy with a number of events drawing our attention. Here’s how we fared during the mid-summer hustle and bustle!

On our way out to Ma and Pa Sip’s place in Delta on Saturday, we stopped by Four Winds Brewing, where they had just released another of their small batch beers, Pequeno Cabo (a brew aged in tequila barrels), which a friend had advised me of earlier in the week. When we got there, they had just run out of bottles (this is the thanks I get for letting Mrs. Sip sleep in!), but our server was very willing to help us track it down at one of the stores they distribute to. Since we were already there, we ordered glasses of their Wildflower Saison and Juxtapose Wild IPA. Both were very good, with the IPA being an offering that even Mrs. Sip was into, so we picked up a bottle for our family barbecue that afternoon.

tequila wake up

We then drove over to the One20 Public House’s liquor store, where lying in wait was the Pequeno Cabo. It was advertised as tasting reminiscent of a lime margarita and they weren’t joking. It was a sour-style brew that went down very easy. Would I buy it again? Perhaps not, but it was great to try while available.

As for the barbecue, it was a lot of fun, full of good food, good drinks, and good times. Although we came up short in our bid for bocce supremacy, Mrs. Sip and I performed quite well during the later evening’s beer pong and flippy cup shenanigans!

The next day, we had to head out earlier than usual, as we were meeting members of the Sip Syndicate for drinks, prior to the Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer game, to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We assembled at Back Forty, where upon arriving behind schedule, two pitchers of Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears had already been ordered and needed to be dealt with, as the game’s start time was approaching. Always up to the task, Mrs. Sip and I downed a couple glasses each and we were off.

soccer-kiss

The Whitecaps play out of BC Place Stadium, which has made strides in recent years to bring some craft beer into the venue. I spotted Parallel 49, Steamworks, and Stanley Park on some taps and there were others among the concessions. I also picked up a couple cups of Shocktop during halftime to quench my thirst.

A true highlight to the week was our meal at Wildebeest, following the game. To begin, I ordered the Uppercut cocktail, which mixed, Calvados, Italian Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur, Orange Bitters, and Peated Scotch, all served at room temperature. I liked the cocktail, but wonder if it would have been taken to a whole other level with the addition of some ice.

For food, our group decided to go for the option where you let them know how much each person in the party is willing to pay and they put together a menu for you. You can go between $40-$60, so we settled in the middle at $50 per head. We were then blown away to receive a seven-course shared meal, which included pork cutlets, beef carpaccio, poutine, bone marrow, an egg dish, strip loin steak, and halibut. It was a feast for the ages! Later in the meal, a round of Ardbeg Supervona Scotch was ordered and this was a truly decadent experience.

scotch in a can

Quite a bit of liquor news came out this week, most notably the announcement that establishments that manufacture alcoholic beverages (breweries, distilleries, wineries, etc.) around British Columbia will now be able to sell liquor products produced by other companies in their locations. This means that Ma Sip can now get a glass of wine, while accompanying myself and Mrs. Sip to some of our favourite breweries, much like she’s able to do when we travel in the U.S.

The August long weekend is upon us and despite Mrs. Sip taking off on me (again!) to Las Vegas with her girlfriends, the three days of rest will be full of poolside debauchery. Check back next week for a full recap!

Flavour Revolution – Apple

Forbidden Follies

While not specifically identified as the forbidden fruit that causes Adam and Eve to be kicked out of the Garden of Eden, it has long been believed that the apple denied all of us utopia. As a result, the apple is viewed as a symbol for a whole slew of things, including knowledge, sexuality, immortality, temptation, and sin. The Adam’s apple in men’s throats is named to reflect the forbidden fruit that is stuck in Adam’s esophagus. Here are some oddly forbidden items from around the world:

Time Travel Depictions – China

So, I guess media like Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, Back to the Future, Hot Tub Time Machine, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and even the third Ninja Turtles movie are all rare commodities on China’s black market movie and TV aisle. Reincarnation (without government permission) is also outlawed in China, as the government tries to take a shot at the Dalai Lama.

time-travel-drink

Original Baby Names – Denmark

I’m kind of cool with this law, as there are a lot of really stupid names out there. It’s not like Danish folks are that restricted, as there is an approved list of 24,000 names. If you really want a specialty name, you have the opportunity to make your case and get permission. I wonder who is the judge and jury of that court?

McDonald’s – Bolivia

Well, I guess the Sip Advisor will never go to Bolivia. McDonald’s wasn’t necessarily banned in the country, but citizens outright refused to eat at the fast food joint and profits became non-existent. After a 14-year attempt to gain ground in Bolivia, McDonald’s finally elected to waive the white flag of surrender and pack up shop.

St. Valentine’s Day – Saudi Arabia

With the pressure this “holiday” puts on some folks, I think this ban could be welcomed worldwide. No longer would guys have to pay double the price for flowers, chocolates, meals out, etc. on this one day of the year. And why should we need a specific day to show our loved ones what they mean to us. Let the revolution begin!

valentines benefits

Western Haircuts – Iran

This includes Mohawks, mullets, spikes, and ponytails. Thankfully for the 1980’s, the mullet ban didn’t cross over to other parts of the world. That would have cost us some great hair, where business was handled in the front, while partying was left for the back!

Yellow Clothing – Malaysia

When I was just a little sipper, my favourite colour was yellow (or as I called it, “lellow”). Had I been Malaysian-born, I may have never fallen in love with the hue. The ban started to counter an activist group that wore the shade. All this, despite the fact yellow is considered the royal colour in the country.

Small Breast Porn – Australia

Women with A-cup breasts, wanting to embark on a career in the adult industry, will have to take their talents outside of Australia. The country has banned films featuring women with small breasts, for fears that they will encourage pedophilia. I’m no lawyer, but there has to be some sort of human rights violation here.

turkey-breasts

Women Driving – Saudi Arabia

Since Mrs. Sip is a proud non-driver, yet forces me to vote every time an election rolls around, arguing that I should exercise my right to vote, do you think should I inform her, that she should exercise her right to drive!?

Scrabble – Romania

Any chance I can get them to also ban Taboo… man, I hate that game. As for Scrabble, I’m more of a Boggle man, when it comes to word games. Mrs. Sip is light years ahead of me in the realm of intelligence, but she can’t hold a candle to my Boggle skills!

Flavour Revolution: Herfordtini

Mark Twain once said: “The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.” There’s some serious truth to that statement and it goes hand in hand with the theory that any publicity can be good for a company or product. Hell, Twain’s work has been banned from time to time, so the man knew what he was talking about!

July 25 – Lipstick Lesbian

Coming Out

With Pride weekend upon us, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the greatest LGBT characters… and there are a lot of them, making this list very hard to narrow down. Somehow, the Sip Advisor was able to thin the herd, so let’s get to it!

#5: Daffyd Thomas – Little Britain

While he claims to be the only gay in the village, Daffyd takes exception when he’s not being recognized for his sexuality and while he feels he’s turning heads and making a statement, everyone else is totally cool with his lifestyle. In fact, many of the townspeople are also members of the LGBT community. Ironically, when others reveal their sexual orientation, Daffyd is prone to homophobic outbursts.

Daffyd Thomas - Little Britain

#4: Lafayette Reynolds – True Blood

The heavy make-up wearing, eyelash extension rocking short order cook makes the world of Bon Temps go round, in his own unique way.  Interestingly, Lafayette is killed off very early in The Southern Vampire Mysteries books, but the TV series took a different approach, as the character proved to be so popular with audiences. In a world full of horny, indiscriminate vampires, anything and everything can happen.

#3: Mr./Mrs. Garrison – South Park

Garrison has been everything from a straight male, to a gay male, to a transgendered straight female, to finally a transgendered lesbian female. Covering the entire gamut, Garrison is one of the show’s funniest characters and would make for a fascinating teacher. We have to remember that this is a universe where Satan also identifies as gay, having been in a relationship with Saddam Hussein of all people!

Mr. Garrison

#2: Waylon Smithers – The Simpsons

Poor Mr. Smithers… all he wants is to be loved and respected by his boss, Mr. Burns, who barely acknowledges his existence and hard work. The writers of The Simpsons joke that Mr. Smithers is “Burns-sexual,” although he is regularly seen as a fixed member of the Springfield LGBT community and social scene. Hopefully Mr. Smithers finds happiness, whether with or without Mr. Burns.

#1: Cam & Mitchell – Modern Family

Cam and Mitchell put the “modern” in Modern Family more so than any of the other characters. Over the course of the show, we’ve seen Cam and Mitchell’s relationship grow to include the adoption of a daughter and tying the knot. Throughout it all, the rest of the family has been incredibly supportive, even Mitchell’s old school father Jay, who while he doesn’t always show it, is very proud of his son.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Lipstick Lesbian

  • Wrap glass with Rainbow Candy
  • 0.5 oz Watermelon Pucker
  • 0.5 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Dash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Some honourable mentions go to Lt. Jim Dangle (Reno 911), Dean Craig Pelton (Community), Lloyd Lee (Entourage), Oscar Martinez (The Office), Mr. Humphries (Are You Being Served?), Ray Gillette (Archer), Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and – allegedly! – Bert and Ernie (Sesame Street). Have I missed anyone? Feel free to let me know below!

Sip Trips #29: Camping Capers

There’s a lot to get to this week, so let’s get right to it. With Mrs. Sip’s return from Europe, she brought home a bottle of Pimms Strawberry with a hint of Mint and a bottle of Croatian wine. Friends of ours, living in London, also had mini bottles of schnapps (peach and pear) to send back with her.

For our camping trip to Golden Ears, some serious shopping had to be done, to stock up on beverages for the getaway. While I prefer drinking from bottles, it’s always good to have some canned beer on you when camping, as it fits better in coolers, is easier to conceal (if need be… I don’t tell people how to live their lives!), and provides near identical relief.

camping tent

I grabbed the Big Rock Swinger Pack to satisfy this requirement. The mixed set included their Grasshopper Wheat Ale, 7B California Common, Rhine Stone Cowboy Kolsch, and Cherry Farini Kristalweizen, which I was particularly curious about and was looking forward to try. I like Big Rock, but I find their Grasshopper to be very light on the wheat side. The Cherry Farini was a little heavier, though, and I liked the flavour, which wasn’t too overwhelming. As for the rest of the pack, they were solid brews and just right for the summer heat.

While you always worry about whether your packed enough booze, some of the bottles I picked up with the hopes of consuming while out in the forest, I never even got to. This included the Red Truck Campfire Kolsch (ironic due to the current province-wide campfire ban), Old Yale Moon Dance Mango Wheat, Hoyne Dark Matter, and Cannery Blackberry Porter.

Mrs. Sip and I did split the Mango Wheat after returning to civilization, and while good, it wasn’t chilled to the right level, having just made the journey home with us in a cooler that had lost much of its cool. That’s my fault for jumping the gun on the beer, but thirst needed to be quenched!

camping bar

For future camping, we learned to save our canned beers for trips to the beach or hiking, as they travel a little easier than bottles and seem to stay chilled longer. Tasting glasses also seemed to be a hit, especially with bigger bomber bottles that were better split and shared among friends.

Late last week, we managed to squeeze in a bike ride to Postmark Brewing, where we sat down to a tasting flight of their beers, including the Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe (the brew that drew me into visiting the location), West Coast Pale Ale, IPA, and Dry Irish Stout.

While there, we also grabbed a couple of products from their store, including the Glassbender Farmhouse Ale and BISA, a Belgian ISA. It was interesting to note that the Farmhouse Ale was $4 cheaper in the store, compared to the adjacent restaurant. If you’re on the fence about whether to give the brew a shot, pick it up and take it home. Mrs. Sip and I both enjoyed it, pouring it into plastic wine glasses while camping, to emulate how the beverage was being served in the restaurant. The BISA, which combines tangerines and spice, is at the forefront of my Drinking ‘To Do’ List!

bears-on-camping

I also bought a bottle of Wiser’s Vanilla Spiced Whiskey recently, as I need to get caught up on all the recipes I wasn’t able to put together as first we had to vacate our apartment due to the flood all the way back at the start of May and then Mrs. Sip leaving for a month-long vacation in Europe, taking our camera with her.

The next week looks busy (when doesn’t it?) with a family barbecue, a trip to the drive-in theatre, a Vancouver Whitecaps game – where thankfully, the stadium has come to embrace the craft beer revolution! – and who knows what else wild stuff we’re likely to get up to!

Flavour Revolution – Marshmallow

Original Origins

Legend has it that the word s’more (one of the most popular marshmallow concoctions) is a contraction of “some more”, as in “I want some more s’mores!” As a wordsmith and general random information hound, I’ve often wondered where other words and concepts come from… here’s the answer to some of those origin stories:

Ponzi Scheme

I never really thought about the fact that the term Ponzi Scheme (taking money from new investors to pay older investors) came from an actual person. In fact, it came from the originator of the practice. In the early 1920’s, Charles Ponzi started taking money from investors for international postal coupons, promising returns of 50% in 45 days and 100% in 90 days. Although he never purchased the coupons, Ponzi quickly raked in $15 million as the scam went as viral as things could back in that time. Ponzi was later arrested and convicted, but went on to launch other schemes after his release. He eventually died in Brazil, an impoverished man.

pyramid-schemes

Boycott

Today, people boycott products and concepts for all sorts of reasons. We have Charles Boycott to thank for that, although it’s not like he ever wanted things to turn out this way. When Boycott tried to evict a number of tenants during the Irish Land War of 1880, the result was being ostracised by his own workers, who refused to lift a finger for their employer; the disruption of trade between Boycott and other local businesses; and even the stoppage of mail being delivered to Boycott. A number of famous boycotts have occurred since, including countries refusing to attend various Olympic Games and the use of boycotts to invoke changes in civil rights, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Guillotine

In 1789, Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin suggested to the French government that they find a more humane way of executing prisoners. His solution was to rapidly lop off their heads, rather than stick with the traditional methods used previously, such as beheading by sword and axe. The Guillotine would go on to be called France’s ‘National Razor’ – a term Gillette should steal for themselves – and was an immensely popular device, causing spectator events and parties surrounding executions. Despite this, Guillotin was not happy to be so closely associated with the device of death, his ancestors even trying to change its name, by appealing to the French government.

Turtle Guillotine

Sadism and Masochism

Two of the big four that make up the BDSM culture, can be attributed to people who practiced the acts, as well as wrote extensively on the subjects. Respectively, Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch can be credited with being the faces for these sexual behaviours, as introduced by Richard von Krafft-Ebing, a German psychiatrist, in his 1890 work ‘New Research in the Area of Psychopathology of Sex’. Half of Sade’s life was spent in various prisons and asylums, where he wrote many of his compositions. While Sacher-Masoch avoided jail time during his life, he also ended up in psychiatric care. Now, if only we could also explain bondage and domination in a similar fashion.

Miranda Rights

This right to remain silent, while being arrested by police in the United States, can be attributed to Ernesto Arturo Miranda, who argued that he was not informed what he was confessing to could be used against him as self-incriminating evidence, when he was detained, in 1963, on suspicion of kidnapping, rape, and armed robbery. Miranda was retried without his admissions being used in his subsequent trial and was convicted again. Upon being paroled, in 1972, Miranda would sell autographed Miranda Rights cards for $1.50 each. That was until he was killed in a bar fight in 1976. Many other countries have adopted similar warnings, since this case occured.

Flavour Revolution: Marshmallow Fondue

  • Swirl glass with Chocolate Syrup
  • 2 oz Marshmallow Vodka
  • Top with Chocolate Milk
  • Garnish with Mini Marshmallows

The largest s’more ever made weighed 1,600 pounds, consisting of 20,000 marshmallows and 7,000 chocolate bars. This was possible thanks to a 1927 Girl Scout Handbook recipe, which not only outlined the ingredients needed, but gave the treat its name!