Flavour Revolution – Violet

Pleasing Purple

I’ve always wanted to get my hands on a violet liqueur because you don’t see too many purple cocktails. With that in mind, the Sip Advisor started to think about the most notable things out there that are purple. Here is that list:

Purple Haze

Jimi Hendrix sure knew how to rock a guitar and this is one of his most recognizable songs. In fact, it was the opening track on the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s debut album, so it was technically the first time most listeners heard the band’s work. Many believe the song describes a psychedelic experience, but Hendrix called it a love song. Perhaps it was both! Also in the realm of purple-themed music is Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ and D-12’s ‘Purple Pills/Hills’.

purple hays

Purple Heart Award

Given to soldiers who are wounded or killed in action, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still handed out by the United States. The medal has been awarded since 1917 and was previously known as the Badge of Military Merit, dating all the way back to the time of George Washington. The estimates of how many times this medal has been awarded through the years is quite sobering. World War II alone accounts for 1,076,245, according to a 2009 National Geographic article.

Purple Nurple

These were the absolute worst growing up… perhaps the Indian burn was more painful in the short term, but purple nurples lasted longer in both throbbing ache and bruising. The bullying act has gone by other names, such as the titty twister and nipple cripple, but purple nurple is the name the Sip Advisor knew (and feared) it as. The purple nurple has been turned into a cocktail recipe, which sounds pretty good, combining Coconut Rum, Triple Sec, Blue Curacao, and Cranberry Juice.

purple nurple

The Color Purple

This book-turned-movie-turned-musical sees a poor, uneducated 14-year-old black girl, living in the southern U.S., deal with issues such as an abusive father, racial tension, sexism, women’s rights, and so much more. Written by Alice Walker, the book won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the National Book Award for Fiction. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg, starred a young Whoopi Goldberg and also featured the debut of Oprah Winfrey.

Purple People Eater

The tone of this song sounds like we should embrace the purple people eater, but I advocate avoiding it at all costs. The tune became a Billboard pop chart topper for about a month in 1958, which blows my mind, especially when compared to number one songs nowadays. The “one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater” made its way to also being a 1988 sci-fi-comedy family film, starring one Neil Patrick Harris. The movie’s plot is one whole sentence on Wikipedia!

Flavour Revolution: Blue Moon

There are also a few character who are memorable for their purple hue, clothing, or accessories. This list includes Ronald McDonald’s diabetic buddy Grimace; Barney the Dinosaur; Donatello of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; and the ‘Clown Prince of Crime,’ the Joker.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):
This recipe is a variation of the classic Aviation cocktail. There’s also a similar adaptation called Moonlight, which adds Cointreau and subs Lime Juice for Lemon Juice.
I upped the dose of Violette Liqueur from 0.5 oz to 1 oz, because I wanted it to be featured more

October 3 – Falling Star

Star Stunted

For the month of October, we will be looking at all things scary and perhaps nothing is more chilling than having to watch a movie starring one of these “actors”. Without further ado, here are some of the worst movie stars in the history of cinema:

#5: Madonna

I have never been much of a Madonna fan, so I’m even more perplexed when she’s been able to venture outside of music (what brought her to the dance) and into other artistic realms. The ‘Queen of Pop’ has done some good with films such as Evita and I did like Madge in A League of Their Own, but a collection of poor performances in movies like Shanghai Surprise, The Next Best Thing, and Swept Away reminds us of where she truly belongs. When you can’t even successfully act alongside your husbands (Sean Penn and later Guy Ritchie), then who can you work with.

Madonna Vogue

#4: Pauly Shore

How Pauly Shore’s brand of comedy was ever popular is one of life’s greatest unsolved mysteries. Granted, I would consider his movies Encino Man and, to a lesser degree, Son in Law, classics of my childhood. Shore eventually wore out his welcome though, with dismal films like In the Army Now, Jury Duty, and Bio-Dome. I guess there’s only so many times you can hear “Hey, buuuuuuddddyyyy,” before it loses all meaning. Shore’s fall from fame was quick, leading to a 2003 mockumentary called Pauly Shore is Dead, which sees the comedian fake his own death to make his movies more popular.

#3: Hulk Hogan

Most professional wrestlers, despite the nature of their business, are horrible actors. And yet somehow, the mustachioed Hulk Hogan has a laundry list of filmography credits, including some of the worst movies of all-time in Suburban Commando, Mr. Nanny, and Santa with Muscles. The popularity of Hulkamania (prior to racist rants) allowed Hogan to branch into the movie industry, but he should have stuck with the squared circle. Sure, things all got started off okay with Hogan’s small role as Thunderlips in Rocky III, but they quickly went off the rails following that appearance.

Hogan as Zeus

#2: Tom Green

While the Canadian comedian has been good in a couple movies (Road Trip, for example), as more of an ensemble character, than a lead, some of his work has been absolutely atrocious. Particularly films such as Freddy Got Fingered (one of the worst movie titles ever, for starters) and Stealing Harvard. Like Pauly Shore, Green was launched into orbit by MTV, prior to crash landing, but his fame was so high at one point that he was picked for Saturday Night Live hosting duties. This may have been largely due to his marriage to Drew Barrymore, but who can really tell.

#1: Shaquille O’Neal

When you receive a Razzie Award for basically depicting yourself, are other acting opportunities necessary? Shaquille O’Neal couldn’t even pass mustard in the basketball flick Blue Chips and yet still received starring roles in Kazaam and Steel, both of which were universally panned by critics and audiences, alike. Shaq has recently made minor appearances in a number of Adam Sandler films, and that’s where he’s best suited if wants to continue acting. It’s not often that one person can lay claim to being in some of the worst movies of all-time, as well as a video game (Shaq Fu) and musical releases (a number of rap CDs).

Super Saturday Shot Day: Falling Star

  • 1 oz Sambuca
  • Float Whiskey on Top

Honourable mentions go to artists like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, and Kelly Clarkson, who only avoid making the main list because they knew well enough to get out of the movie industry after one horrible outing. Sadly, we can’t say the same for action hero Steven Seagal…

Flavour Revolution – Cranberry

Thanks to Give

Cranberries play a large role in Thanksgiving feasts across Canada and the United States. In fact, 20% of the total annual harvest of the berries goes towards cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. This tradition may date back to Algonquian tribes sharing the berries with English settlers who were desperately hungry after their voyage to the ‘New World’. Thus, the earliest Thanksgiving meals incorporated the fruit. Here are some other Thanksgiving facts:

TV dinners came into existence thanks to a colossal mistake by the Swanson food company. With 26 tons of extra turkey meat, following Thanksgiving 1953, it was decided to cut up the birds, add some sides and sell a miniaturized version of the traditional turkey dinner.

Ron Swanson Dinner

The busiest day of the year for plumbing services in the U.S. is Black Friday – otherwise known as the day after Thanksgiving. This is due to many systems being overwhelmed the night before. I don’t know what they’re serving across the border, but I can confirm that none of my Turkey Day feasts have resulted in a destroyed toilet or pipes.

There are a number of locations throughout the United States that owe their namesake to Thanksgiving. This includes Turkey Creek in Louisiana; Turkey Creek in Arizona; Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Upper and Lower Turkeyfoot in Pennsylvania.

The same woman responsible for the nursery rhyme ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ can also be credited with Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday in the U.S. Sarah Josepha Hale worked tirelessly for 40 years to have Thanksgiving put on a similar pedestal as the Fourth of July. Finally, in 1863, president Abraham Lincoln declared that the final Thursday of November would be a day of giving thanks, while the U.S. Congress made it all official in 1941.

Abraham Lincoln Beard

The Canadian version of the event dates back to 1578, when English explorer, Sir Martin Frobisher, celebrated his successful journey to discover the Northwest Passage. Thanksgiving was used again 1872, occurring on April 15 to commemorate the Prince of Wales recovery from illness. The national holiday came into existence in 1879, originally held on November 6, before being moved to the second Monday of October, each year.

Often served as part of Thanksgiving dessert, the largest pumpkin pie ever weighed 2,020 pounds and was more than 12 feet long. The creation used 900 pounds of pumpkin and 250 pounds of crust (the best part of the pie!). That sounds like a mass genocide of Jack-O-Lanterns!

Other highlights of the American Thanksgiving period include the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which originated in 1924 and the annual Detroit Lions NFL matchup. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving Day every year (except during World War II) since 1934. That tradition beginner produced the first nationally broadcast football contest and 20 years later, in 1956, the first TV broadcast of the Thanksgiving game took place.

Flavour Revolution: Cranberry Crusher

Some of you little sippers reading this article might be thinking that its posting date is peculiar. Well, while our neighbours to the south celebrate Thanksgiving in late November, us Canadians party much earlier (and harder!) in mid-October. That said, I do envy the American’s four-day weekend version!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):

September 26 – Capital Punishment

Special Scribes

As we continue to celebrate the gloriousness that is the Sip Advisor (with my recent birthday and all), today we will look at the greatest writers out there in the land of fiction. Write-on my brothers and sisters!

#5: Jack Torrance – The Shining

It seemed like a good idea for writer Jack Torrance to take a job as a caretaker, looking after the massive Overlook Hotel estate in the Colorado mountains over the winter off-season… especially when he could use the solitude to get down to work. Only problem is the silence and seclusion turned an already damaged man into a complete psychopath, set on hunting down his own wife and son. Remember, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”

jack torrance

#4: Brian Griffin – Family Guy

This often pretentious dog considers himself a future legendary scribe, except for the fact that for the longest time, he only talked about writing the great American novel, never sitting down to actually pen it. When he finally does, Faster Than the Speed of Love, is shredded by critics. His follow-up self-help title Wish It, Want It, Do It becomes a best seller, but the fame and fortune for Brian is fleeting, as he lets it all go to his head and alienates those that love him.

#3: Paul Sheldon – Misery

I would never expect my work to get me into trouble (unless I give a liquor company a bad review and they boycott serving me!), but that’s exactly what happens to Paul Sheldon, after he decides to end his popular series of romance novels. He just so happens to also be in the custody of his ‘number one fan’ Annie Wilkes, when this conclusion is published and that leads to a whirlwind of pain, instead of being nursed back to health by the former medical professional.

misery hammer

#2: Jessica Fletcher – Murder, She Wrote

It’s pretty easy to get ideas for your best-selling mystery novels when real-life murders seem to follow you around like you’re death personified. Jessica Fletcher may reside in the sleepy, rural town of Cabot Cove (where there’s an out-of-proportion murder rate), but thanks to her success as an author, she often travels the world and… you guessed it, comes across even more brutality. At least she’s always able to solve the crime, outwitting bumbling police officers everywhere.

#1: Dr. Watson – Sherlock Holmes

Along with being a sidekick and companion, Dr. John Watson also took it upon himself to record the extensive case files of Sherlock Holmes. As a fan of a good mystery, I wonder where we would be without the writings of Dr. Watson (who was originally to be named ‘Ormond Sacker’). Dr. Watson becomes a biographer of sorts for Holmes, largely because he can’t stand others taking and receiving credit for the solving of high-profile crimes.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Capital Punishment

  • 0.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Garnish with ???

Some honourable mentions go to poets Mikey Blumberg (Recess) and Diane Chambers (Cheers), journalists Paul Hennessy (8 Simple Rules) and Ray Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond), crime novelist Richard Castle (Castle), columnist Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City), and TV writer Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke Show). May the words flow freely from your minds!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):
In The Shining, Jack Torrance is served a glass of Bourbon when he starts losing his mind and imagines Lloyd the bartender, as someone he can vent to about his frustrations. As a result, I picked a Bourbon-based shot recipe

Flavour Revolution – Chocolate

Running on Empty

Not to send anyone into a panic, but there are those out there (you know, scientific folks) who say that we are running short on chocolate. This is because of the costs involved and the commitment (up to five years) to grow cocoa beans. This may lead the treat to become quite costly in the future, which is why the Sip Advisor is downing chocolate bars like there’s no tomorrow… because there might not be. Here are some other commodities that are rapidly disappearing and may eventually cease to exist:


While there seems to be new wineries opening every day, across the globe, and demand for wine has increased greatly, production of the drink has fallen by 5%. Many smaller outlets just won’t be able to keep making whites and reds and people’s thirst for wine just won’t be satisfied. There are some that think the issue is more of an “Old World” wine problem and that “New World” countries such as the U.S., Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and New Zealand will close that gap.



Sticking with alcohols, fans of margaritas and general shot craziness should be concerned. Blue agave, the plant that is used to create tequila takes 12 years to reach maturity and worse, in 2007, disease struck Mexico’s agave crops, causing 20% to be destroyed. While there is a current stockpile of tequila, prices will certainly rise and with many farmers switching over to growing corn instead, who knows what the future holds for the taco and burrito accompaniment.


While I’m not a coffee fan (in fact, I’m a member of the anti-coffee lobby), I can only imagine the horrors of a world where those that drink copious amounts of coffee each day just to function, don’t have access to their fix. We’re talking zombie apocalypse here, people! The issue stems from droughts, high temperatures, and diseases which have affected coffee bean crops. Much, if not all of Arabica beans could disappear by 2080, if these trends continue as predicted.



I may not care about coffee, but I certainly have a crispy spot in my heart for bacon. The salty pork product is a splendid addition to everything from sandwiches to salads and even works as a vodka flavour. Sadly, this king of all meats is seeing decreased production thanks to farmer’s cutting costs, a 2012 drought across the Midwest United States, and a little something called the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. A worldwide shortage looms on the horizon and that is a world I don’t want to live in!


When not drinking beer, wine, or a cocktail, the Sip Advisor can routinely be found with a glass of water nearby. I love the clear stuff and I think we can all agree that it’s pretty important to the survival of the world. As for the problem, I’ll put it this way: we don’t have enough water to turn it into wine and take care of that other item that is diminishing. The scary stat of the day is that by 2025, it’s estimated that two-thirds of the world may be forced to live with little to no water.

Flavour Revolution: Revolve

We have also exhausted the world’s gold supply, but that really only concerns Scrooge McDuck and his money bin swims. Over the years, the Sip Advisor has written a lot about chocolate, so finding the right subject for the Flavour Revolution project was a tough decision. I hope you enjoyed the article and didn’t scare you too much about the future.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):
For those curious, I found some good Chocolate Whiskey recipes at the Bird Dog Whiskey website

September 19 – Birthday Cake

Best of 1983

As the Sip Advisor prepares to celebrate another birthday, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at the best of my birth year: 1983. It was a wonderful year… or so I’m told. Of course, the greatest moment of the year was the birth of yours truly, but I’m sure some other events could be defined as momentous. Let’s take a look back in history!

#5: Sony Camcorder

Just think of where amateur pornography would be without the advent of camcorders… scary thought, no? In all seriousness, this put the power to better record the greatest moments of our lives, in the hands of consumers. Despite this, the Sip Family didn’t finally jump on the video camera wagon until 2001. I’m not sure exactly why things happened like that, but that’s the story and we’re sticking to it.

Camcorder Tape

#4: Plinko on The Price is Right

As a lifelong Price is Right fan, I’m honoured to learn that one of my favourite games on the show, Plinko, was first unleashed on the world in 1983. This game of chance sees contestants drop a disc, from high above, down a board with pegs that cause the disc to bounce around. At the bottom, are a number of slots, with varying money amounts. When all the contestant’s discs have been used, they are awarded whatever the Plinko gods have blessed them with.

#3: Chicken McNugget

Mrs. Sip’s first favourite food as a youngster was all possible thanks to the product’s introduction in 1983. Folks, we’re through the looking glass here and talking about the McDonald’s Chicken McNugget. While I don’t order them as much as I did when I was younger, the Chicken McNugget is still placed before a hungry Sip Advisor from time to time. Of course, the McNuggetini wouldn’t be possible without these delicious chicken chunks!

10 McNuggets

#2: Video Games

What would eventually be released in North America in 1985 as the Nintendo Entertainment System, first hit shelves in Japan in 1983, as the Famicom, or Family Computer. Along with the home console, the game Mario Bros. debuted, including the first appearances of Luigi and the Koopa Troopers. While there was some good in the video game world in 1983, the year was also host to an industry crash, which took years to recover from.

#1: Technology

1983 brought forth one of the greatest inventions in the history of the world. In fact, every person reading this right now is using this creation. We’re talking about the freakin’ internet! Other technological advancements to hit the world in my birth year included the first cell phone call and the release of Microsoft Word, which has been a beacon of enjoyment and employment for the Sip Advisor.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Birthday Cake

  • 0.5 oz Citron Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Frangelico
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

Of course, there are some things 1983 brought us that we didn’t really need. Sweet Valley High books, for one… minivans would be another. Neither compares, though, to crack cocaine and the El Niño weather pattern!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):

Sip Trips #37: Home Stretch

You would think that with a big trip approaching for Mrs. Sip and myself that this week would be calm on the drinking front and more focused on last-minute errands and packing. But you don’t know Mrs. Sip and I. No, instead, we tried to balance both ideas, visiting with friends and family and celebrating a couple birthdays along the way.

The week began with a trip to Bin 941, which specializes in shared “tapatizers”. Cousin Sip had grabbed a Groupon for the meal, which included eight beers or two bottles of wine, with the selection of six different appetizers. We decided to go the beer route and I picked one round of Mad & Noisy IPA, followed by Granville Island ISA. I’d never heard of Mad & Noisy before, but apparently they are an offshoot of the Molson Brewery. Among our appies were their mountain of truffle fries, crab cakes, fried octopus, lamb skewers, and bread and dips. Some of the dishes were smaller than I would have hoped for, especially with sharing amongst a group of four, but everything tasted pretty damn good.

relationship with food

The next night, we were back at the Central City Brewpub on Beatty Street (wow, we’ve been there a lot lately). This time, it was to celebrate Sis-in-Law Sip’s birthday with the restaurant’s monthly feature Bacon Tasting Menu. This was comprised of a salad (with beer bacon lardon), main (double smoked deep fried bacon steak), and finished with dessert (maple bacon blondie). Each dish was paired with one of the brewery’s beers, while there was a choice for the salad between a Wheat Ale or Bacon Seraph Caesar. Mrs. Sip and I went with the Caesar, which was good, but should have gone with the beer. The main was combined with an IPA and dessert was joined by a Red Ale.

The Sip Advisor’s birthday is later this month, but we will be away for it and therefore, Mrs. Sip threw yours truly a little birthday bash with friends over the weekend. For this, we attended the BC Derby at Hastings Racecourse. The afternoon was highlighted by many beers (Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears and Granville Island Hefeweizen) gifted to me by friends, incredibly tight and exciting races, and some decent food cart snacks. Mrs. Sip and I broke even with our wagers and wins, although she did better than I did. My two big wins netted 40 and 90 cents, respectively!

horse racing drinking hats

For dinner, we went to Steamworks Brewpub in Gastown, where I ordered a flight consisting of Kanadische Kolsch, Sisu Salmiakki Gose, Smokey Scotch Ale, and Oatmeal Stout. Of the bunch, the Smokey Scotch Ale was my favourite. I also ordered a pint of the Empress IPA, following dinner. The restaurant does something with the IPA that I have never seen before, combining it with Bellini mix. Usually I see this done (if at all) with a lager or lighter brew. I tasted Cousin Sip’s serving of the drink and the two opposites work together, with tastes of bitter and sweet battling it out.

With Mrs. Sip and I heading to South Africa for the next month, Sip Trips will go on a brief hiatus, but we’ll be back with a vengeance upon our return. Keep sipping, my friends!