Flavour Revolution – Maraschino Cherry

Spit Take

Maraschino Cherries lack a pit, which is a bit of a shame. As a youngster, I loved spitting cherry pits out the car window on road trips and that thrill would simply be missing with the Maraschino variety. While my spitting was pure pleasure, these incidents led to much harm for all involved:

Roberto Alomar – Baltimore Orioles

When Alomar was up for election into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the only real knock against him was the spitting incident that had long-tarnished his reputation. At the end of the 1996 season, Alomar was arguing with umpire John Hirschbeck, when he spit in the official’s face. Alomar claimed Hirschbeck had used a racial slur against him and went so far as to say the umpire was bitter over the death of one of his kids. The two eventually made peace, with Alomar doing charity work for ALD research, the illness that claimed Hirschbeck’s child and Hirschbeck fully endorsing Alomar’s Hall of Fame appointment.

Invisible Spitters

Keith Hernandez – Seinfeld

In one of the greatest scenes ever from the popular “show about nothing,” Kramer and Newman take the audience through their experience after a Mets baseball game, where they claim they were spit on by star player Keith Hernandez. Using visuals that resemble the famous Zapruder footage from the JFK assassination, it is deduced by Jerry that there must have been a second spitter, a la the second shooter conspiracy theory, which is part of the JFK murder folklore. Interestingly, actor Wayne Knight, who played Newman, appeared in a similar scene in the 1991 movie JFK.

Roger Waters – Pink Floyd

During a concert in Montreal (us Canadians cause all the world’s problems!) on July 6, 1977, in front of about 80,000 fans, Waters spit in the face of one audience member. What spurned the Pink Floyd frontman to do this, you ask? Well, concert goers were lighting firecrackers, throughout the band’s performance, particularly during quiet sections of the show. It has long been thought that the events of this concert inspired Waters to create his concept for The Wall, which brought the band a whole new level of fame. So, at least they turned a negative into a positive!

Llama-Selfie

Bret Hart – World Wrestling Entertainment

When Hart’s more than a decade long relationship with the then World Wrestling Federation and its owner Vince McMahon went sour in 1997, one of the lasting images from the acrimonious split – in which McMahon and other officials changed the planned ending of Hart’s championship title defense against challenger Shawn Michaels – was Hart launching a loogie at the face of McMahon and scoring a direct hit. The entire incident was dubbed the Montreal Screw Job (wow, a lot of spitting happens in Montreal) and it took many years before fences were mended between both sides.

Frank Rijkaard – Holland

There seems to be a lot of spitting in the football world. So much so, in fact, that there are Top 10 lists on the subject. The most infamous, likely due to happening at the 1990 World Cup (the sport’s biggest tournament and event) involved Frank Rijkaard of Holland spitting in the hair of Rudi Voller of West Germany, not once, but twice. Rijkaard also twisted the ear of Voller and stomped on his foot. That is one pissed off Dutch dude. Somehow, the result was both men getting ejected from the game. Rijkaard later apologized, but the German press had already given him the nickname ‘Llama’!

Flavour Revolution: Vida Verde

  • Muddle Cucumber and Mint
  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 1 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Cucumber Slice

Maraschino Cherries are the perfect topping on cocktails to ice cream sundaes and everything in between (even baked hams). In fact, these fruits are so good as the final touch, that if you have a few good things happen to you, a smaller, nicer occurrence, might be called the “cherry on top”! Just like when you’re having a decent day and you wrap things up by reading The Sip Advisor…

July 4 – Stars and Stripes

American Made

While my neighbours to the south celebrate their Independence Day, I’d like to salute the most steadfast American patriots… well, at least of the fictional variety. And no, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter doesn’t count! On with the list:

#5: Sam the Eagle

This Muppet is a staunch advocate for the good ol’ U-S-of-A, while also being a straight-laced defender of decency and high culture. He certainly doesn’t fit in with many of his fellow Muppets, who rely on slapstick routines and lower-brow entertainment. Perhaps Sam’s biggest role was in the recent Muppets Most Wanted film, where he, as a CIA agent, teamed with an Interpol agent to clear the good name of Kermit the Frog and save the entire Muppets troupe, in the process.

Sam the Eagle

#4: Wrestling

The wrestling world is rife with American patriotism, featuring countless battles between red, white, and blue clad heroes versus villainous foreign foes. It’s hard to pinpoint one grappler in particular, but these are a few of the many who have fought in defense of Old Glory, capitalism, and the American way: Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Kurt Angle, The Patriot, Sgt. Slaughter, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, Jack Swagger, Dusty Rhodes, Corporal Kirchner, and the American Express. U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A!

#3: G.I. Joes

This line of Hasbro action figures was first released in 1964, representing four divisions of the United States’ armed forces: the army, navy, air force, and marines. In fact, the releases were the first to ever receive the designation “action figures”. A cartoon later came in 1985, which saw the Joes battle the evil terrorist group Cobra. Two films, in 2009 and 2013 (with one to come in 2016) have also been released for the franchise. Good will always triumph over evil!

GI Joes

#2: Uncle Sam

Used as a major symbol for propaganda, particularly during war times, Uncle Sam (who coincidentally has the initials, U.S.) has existed for approximately 200 years. Many believe that Uncle Sam was based on Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who helped provide soldiers with rations during the War of 1812. Regardless, if you see Uncle Sam, he probably wants you to fight for the country, joining one of the branches of U.S. armed forces.

#1: Captain America

Battling evil forces, the likes of which include the Red Skull, Barons Helmut and Heinrich Zero, Flag Smasher, and even Adolf Hitler, himself, Captain America is the ultimate defender and avenger (see what I did there!) of the United States against oppressors from other evil nations. With his trusty red, white, and blue shield, Captain America will be protecting the country (and world) for years to come. And to think, he was originally rejected as a member of the army, before going super soldier.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Stars and Stripes

I was surprised at how difficult this article was to put together. I figured there would be so many more glaring examples of fictional American patriots, but many weren’t so obvious. Perhaps I’ve just missed a number of folks that should have made this list. Let me know if I’m guilty of neglect!

Sip Trips #26: Canadian Celebration

While Mrs. Sip is away, the Sip Advisor mouse will play and that was certainly the case this past weekend. With Canada Day occurring mid-week, the partying stretched on… although, that’s not a lot different than if Mrs. Sip had been around the whole time. She is definitely missed around the offices here!

Canada Day

On my way out to Ma and Pa Sip’s place in Delta on Saturday, I stopped by Four Winds Brewing to see what was new at my hometown brewery. They have expanded since I last visited a couple years back and had a number of interesting beers on tap. I decided to sit down to a set of tasters, including their Saison, Grisette, Passionfruit Berlinerweisse, and Nectarous. The Nectarous was the reason for my trip out there, as I was informed of the limited release by a friend, and decided I wanted to add a bottle to my burgeoning brew collection.

The rest of the day was spent in gluttonous splendor, as the Sip Advisor ate and drank to his heart’s content. Cousin Sip brought over Granville Island Brewery’s summer mixed pack, while I tapped into a collection of ales, highlighted by my Russell Smokey the Beer, which was smoky and delicious. To be honest, I probably should have saved it for a time when I was more appreciative of what was going into my system, but it was the right beer at the right time.

As the next day left me kind of lonely and with the weather changing for the worse, I decided to run a couple errands and that always includes a stop at the liquor store. Here, I grabbed a six-pack of the Steamworks Killer Cucumber Ale, as well as bombers of Lighthouse Jackline Rhubarb Grisette and Elysian Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale. I’ve gone through most of the Cucumber pack and think I prefer the brew on tap, but have yet to crack open either of the bombers.

errands to run

For dinner Monday night, Ma and Pa Sip accompanied me to the Yaletown Brewery, where I enjoyed their chicken schnitzel sandwich, along with a Shangri La Saison. The strong beer (6.8%) went well with my meal and was a good beverage choice, given the recent heatwave in B.C.

Back in April, I wrote about coming across the Viniq Shimmery Liqueur and how it was one of the most amazing spirit products I’ve ever seen. It’s so cool, that Mrs. Sip was once showing it off to a friend and he was so mesmerized that he forgot to stop pouring the beer he was emptying and it spilled all over the place. Well, the company has now added a Ruby version to their line-up and I noticed that they have a bunch of great recipes available for each variation. Now, we just have to stop admiring the bottle and open it up!

Flavour Revolution – Cinnamon

Challenge Him

For some reason, people are willing to do stupid challenges with food and drink, one of those being eating straight cinnamon for the amusement of others. Here are some food challenges that will leave you shaking your head in astonishment:

Cinnamon/Flour

Trying to consume a spoonful of cinnamon, without the use of any water, sounds like a sure-fire way to ruin your day. When you learn of the health risks associated with the stunt – burned/collapsed lungs, as well as the fact cinnamon is toxic to the liver and kidneys in large doses – it seems all the more stupid. Despite the warnings, the challenge has been popularized by shows such as Tosh.0 and even MythBusters. The flour version involves ingesting a whole ladle of the white stuff. Good luck with that!

cinnamon-challenge

Saltine Crackers

Mrs. Sip is a cracker fiend, but she likes to enjoy her crispy treats with wine and cheese. She would never attempt to eat seven soda crackers without the aid of a beverage. That’s because she’s quite intelligent and the average person attempting these challenges is… well, not. I have to ask: Why Saltines? What did this cracker do to draw the ire, ridicule, and persecution of the online world? Athletes such as Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter have been associated with this challenge and its competitive nature.

Ghost Pepper

It amazes me how willing people are to film themselves eating hot foods, despite the tears and tantrums – and sometimes much worse – that are surely to result, just for a few hits on YouTube. I’m equally amazed that people will actually watch these videos, wasting their precious free time. The Ghost Pepper is one of the hottest in the world, known to literally turn its victims into apparitions (there’s a long-standing rumour that this is how Casper the Friendly Ghost perished)… or viral fools.

Sprite-Bananas/Mentos-Diet Coke

Remember the vinegar and baking soda volcanos many of us made for grade school science fairs? These two food challenges are like that; only the volcano setting has been replaced by your stomach and esophagus. Aren’t unexpected chemical reactions neat… and gross!? If I was a higher-up at the Coca-Cola company, I’d be pissed that Pepsi and 7-Up haven’t been implicated in any of these witch hunts. A good PR team, though, would turn this into the discovery of new and alternative fuel sources!

coke-and-mentos

Milk

There was a great Mad TV sketch many moons ago, where musician and chicken restauranteur Kenny Rogers performs a number of Jackass stunts, including a ‘Dairy Challenge’. At the end, Kenny (played by Will Sasso) concludes that “Nobody wins in a dairy challenge!” I only have milk on cereal and sometimes with chocolate chip cookies. Why anyone would go about downing a gallon of the stuff, sans something edible, is insane. Now I just want that plate of cookies!

Raw Eggs

We have the Rocky movie franchise to thank for popularizing this food challenge and I don’t know what’s worse: Having to wake up crazy early in the morning to start training or drinking a cocktail of raw eggs prior to said workout. Rocky performs the task without fear (likely due to years of brain damage from his boxing), though. The practice is still debated to this day, as people try to balance the risk of salmonella poisoning against whatever positive effects the concoction may provide.

Peeps

The only way I like my marshmallows, is roasting over a fire, about to be merged with chocolate and Graham crackers in a S’more. Even then, I settle for one gooey treat and would never be caught stuffing two dozen (sometimes 100) yellow puff birds in my mouth over a short time span. If this challenge came about because someone hated birds, I would like to view their other brochures and promotional material. Otherwise, count me out.

Flavour Revolution: Hot Tamale

  • Rim glass with Cinnamon-Sugar
  • 1.5 oz Jose Cuervo Cinge Tequila
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 0.25 oz Campari
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Despite the stupidity exhibited by all who try these challenges, we must remember that cinnamon plays a large role in many of the greatest desserts known to man. This includes cinnamon buns, Churros, and so many more. All would pair well with today’s cocktail!

June 27 – True Canadian

Canadian Content

Recently, we looked at some of the most notable Canadian patriots and icons, in RL (that means real life!). Today, we enter the fictional world and examine some of the greatest contributions to this country’s (and outside its borders) culture, from persons who have never actually existed:

#5: Northstar

While many have probably not heard of Northstar, he is an important figure in comic history and LGBT culture. A member of the Canadian Alpha Flight team (also featuring his sister Aurora and other members, such as Guardian, Sasquatch, Shaman, and Snowbird), Northstar gained notoriety for being the first openly gay major character created by Marvel Comics. Despite debuting in April 1979, Northstar didn’t officially come out until 1992. The superhero was finally allowed to marry his partner 20 years later, in 2012.

Northstar Marriage

#4: Bob and Doug McKenzie

These two hosers got their beginning on the SCTV sketch comedy show, leading to a feature film, Strange Brew, in which they are thrust into becoming unlikely heroes, trying to save their favourite brewery. If that’s not a definitive Canadian story, I don’t know what is! These roles launched the careers of both Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. In a great casting choice, Disney reunited the McKenzie brothers to play a pair of comical moose, Rutt and Tuke, in the movie Brother Bear, also set in the Canadian wilderness.

#3: Ike Broflovski –South Park

Ike is the adopted brother of Kyle, born in Canada as Peter Gints. As the main characters have aged, so has Ike, who is now in kindergarten, despite being only three years old.  Any episode that revolves around Ike is usually pretty good, whether he’s entered into a relationship with his adult teacher, is going through early puberty, caused by steroid, or is saving the Canadian Princess (wait, we have one of those?).  Crude TV stars Terrence and Phillip are also Canadian, which is why the folks of South Park, Colorado aren’t too happy with their neighbours from the north!

ike broflovski

#2: Trailer Park Boys

Julian, Ricky, Bubbles, and the rest of the gang seem to always be getting themselves into trouble, as they move from one get-rich-quick scheme to another, trying to avoid the capture of police and Sunnyvale Trailer Park disciplinarian Mr. Lahey and his partner in crime (and other things) Randy. Set in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, this mockumentary shows the love that can develop between folks stuck in hard times, as they scratch and claw their way towards better lives, sometimes taking shortcuts, rather than conventional means.

#1: Wolverine

One of the most rugged, bad ass superheroes has Canadian blood running through his veins… well, that and adamantium bones! Wolverine debuted all the way back in 1974 and over the rest of the decade, grew in popularity, leading to his own four-part series in 1982. The character has proven to be so prevalent, that he has been the focal point of numerous movies for the franchise. Wolverine’s on-again, off-again enemy Sabretooth also hails from Canada, as does Deadpool, who has been previously played by Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, and will be again in the 2016 eponymous feature film.

Super Saturday Shot Day: True Canadian

  • Rim glass with Bacon Bits
  • 0.75 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Maple Syrup

In closing, I have to include an honourable mention for Anne Shirley (better known as Anne of Green Gables), or else Mrs. Sip might strip me (wait for it) of my Canadian citizenship! Next week, we get to look at the fictional patriots from south of the border… and there are a lot of them!

Sip Trips #25: HOME!

Well, this last week brought some good news and some bad news. On the good side, Mrs. Sip and I were finally able to move back into our place, seven weeks after our kitchen sink suffered a burst pipe and a small flood ruined our apartment. On the bad side, Mrs. Sip left for a European vacation before this even happened, so the Sip Advisor was left to deal with the whole return by himself. At least I have sweet lady liquor as a companion and coping mechanism!

The evening before moving back in, Ma Sip and I shared a few appetizers at The Union. Although Mrs. Sip and I had lived right above this restaurant during our exile from home, we had never managed to actually eat there. The place features an Asian-fusion type menu, such as spring rolls, Thai chicken wings, and sweet and sour pork tacos. To wash it all down, I ordered a pint of their rotating tap, the Persephone Rum Runner Red Ale. It was a very enjoyable beer, so I’m glad I lucked upon the menu item.

Chinese Food

The next night, to show I had no favouritism to one parent over the other, I sat down to dinner with Pa Sip at one of the many Cactus Club locations. Over a delicious burger, I had sleeves of both the Ugly Wheat Ale and Pemberton Pilsner. Both beers went down easy, but I can’t say that either overly wowed me. Maybe that’s because I was enjoying my meal so much.

Long a fan of wheat beers, this weekend I picked up the recently released Okanagan Springs Hefeweizen Pack, featuring Sonder (banana-clove), Ginger, and Lime variations. Of the three, I think I liked the Lime option best, as it just goes so naturally with a wheat beer and especially when you’re drinking outside, in the sun and poolside at Ma and Pa Sip’s place.

Since the weekend, I was itching to get back on my bike and do some touring. On Tuesday, I finally had the opportunity and made my way over to the Granville Island Brewery, which has launched a few new releases recently that I wanted to try. I ordered a set of tasters that included the Two Tides ISA and Shipload of Hops Imperial IPA, as well as a couple old favourites in the False Creek Raspberry Ale and Hey Day Hefeweizen. I liked all four beers, with each bringing something new to the game, as I rotated around the set. Unfortunately, GIB’s Kellerbier was only available for growler fill, so I’ll have to try that another time.

bike crash

After leaving the island and en route to returning home (still feels weird to say after seven weeks out of our apartment), I made a pit stop at Legacy Liquor Store to see what was new in stock. There, I grabbed the Parallel 49 Apricotopus – an apricot-flavoured sour saison – and Russell Smokey the Beer rauchbier. I love my wheat and smoky brews, so I’m looking forward to trying both these offerings.

I’ll wrap things up this week with a quick product review: A few months back, Ma Sip bought me a bag of Guinness potato chips and they were amazing. Recently, she tracked down their Rich Beef Chilli variety and gifted me a bag. These were also quite enjoyable with a strong taste of chilli meat, mixed with the Guinness stout flavouring. It was a hit with this chippy monster. I just wish the Guinness products came in bigger bags!

Flavour Revolution – Bacon

Maniacs Unite

Bacon Mania has dominated the culinary universe for many years and the salty meat can be found in everything from sodas to massage oils, donuts to jelly beans. Here are some of the other manias that have taken over the world… for better or worse!

Beatlemania

When the Beatles first came over to North America, hysteria was common, especially among female fans, many of whom fainted upon seeing or hearing the Fab Four. The band was already popular in Germany and their homeland of the United Kingdom, but upon crossing the pond, things blew up beyond control. Amazingly, the group stopped doing live performances in 1966, because the frenzy of screaming fans made it impossible to have good shows. Other acts that have enjoyed varying degrees of mania, include Latin boy band Menudo (Menudomania), female superstars the Spice Girls (Spicemania), and Canadian “bad boy” Justin Bieber (Biebermania).

Beatlemania

Lisztomania

One of the original mainstream manias (dating back to 1841), centered around composer Franz Liszt. It’s hard to believe that in the subdued realm of classical music, there would be such fervor for one performer. I have to admit that judging by illustrations of the dude, he was a decently looking guy and his talent seems to have spoken for itself, as well. During his most popular years, Liszt’s performances were said to cause feelings of “mystical ecstasy”. Folks would even fight over the man’s discarded handkerchiefs and gloves. Worst of all, some obsessive fans tried to get a lock of Liszt’s hair or the remains of his coffee, to drink themselves.

Hulkamania/Wrestle Mania

The Rock N’ Wrestling connection in the 1980’s gave birth to two different manias that still exist to this day, 30 years later. On the shoulders of Hulk Hogan, the then World Wrestling Federation decided to break away from the sport’s territorial traditions and launch themselves as the first national wrestling promotion. Hogan’s immense popularity was later dubbed Hulkamania, with his many fans given the title of Hulkamaniacs. As part of their move into the mainstream, owner Vince McMahon created the mega event WrestleMania, which has gone on to become the Super Bowl of wrestling and recently celebrated its 31st incarnation.

hulkamania

Pottermania

We’ve discussed on this site before that the Sip Advisor isn’t much of a reader, so I really can’t understand the fixation behind a series of books… especially ones geared towards children, but obsessed over by grown adults (I guess the suggested age on the books of young adult was completely ignored). This mania includes everything from the writing of fan fiction to participating in role-playing games, and everything in between. The general public is not alone from enjoying the series, as Barack Obama, Stephen King, Keira Knightley, and others have all claimed to be fans of the works. Since Pottermania, we have also seen fads involving vampires, followed by zombies. What will be next?

Trudeaumania

Us Canadians don’t get very passionate about much (hockey, beer, and poutine being obvious exceptions), so the fact that a politician of all people was able to drum up such a craze over his entry into the national leadership race, is absolutely flabbergasting to the Sip Advisor. Pierre Trudeau certainly isn’t the only head of a nation to gain a cult following of sorts. His charisma, charm, and struggle to change the status quo all came about during an interesting time in history… yes, the turbulent 1960s! Not surprisingly, Trudeaumania began to wane when the Prime Minister of Canada married in 1971. Today, Trudeau’s son Justin is working towards leading the same country his father did.

Flavour Revolution: Bakon L’Orange

  • 1.5 oz Bakon Vodka
  • 0.25 oz Frangelico
  • 0.25 oz Grand Marnier
  • Splash of Vanilla
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with a Bacon Strip

Of course, there’s also some of my favourite manias, such as megalomania, kleptomania, and maniamania (yes, this is actually a thing!). My actual preferred mania is the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction at Disneyland’s California Adventure park. If you’ve never been on the ride, you must give it a try. The line-up is always worth it!