France – French 75

Champagne Showers

While I’ve chosen cognac as the spirit of choice while visiting France, that doesn’t mean we can’t devote some time to another well-associated libation for the country: champagne. I’m not the biggest fan of the stuff, but Mrs. Sip loves her bubbles and therefore, this article is dedicated to her and her taste in finer things… like the Sip Advisor!

Champagne was discovered accidentally and through a process that makers in the region are still trying to correct. When the cold weather hits this northern area, the fermentation procedure is interrupted and only continues when warm temperatures return while the wine is already bottled. This creates the carbonation and pressure that champagne is known for.

champagne-christopher-walken

Dom Perignon is often credited with inventing champagne in 1662, but he had some serious help from a British scientist named Christopher Merret, who broke down the process for creating the libation. Also, British bottles were stronger than the French ones and helped eliminate the likelihood of bottles bursting from the intense pressure of the drink.

In fact, the real Dom Perignon (a Benedictine monk) was one of the many who worked hard to prevent the second fermentation that creates champagne. What Perignon can be recognized for is giving champagne its classic colour. Champagne used to have a pale pink hue before Perignon started the process of blending grapes before pressing them, which caused red grapes to produce a white wine.

In 1813, Madame Clicquot Ponsardin created the riddling machine, which greatly improved champagne production and the quality of the product being released. These machines allowed for bottles to be turned upside down in order to have sediment (dead yeast) removed, refining the second fermentation process. The Veuve Clicquot champagne house still exists today.

Dom Perignon

Only the bottles produced in France’s Champagne region can be classified as champagne. It is known around the world by such other names as bubbly, Prosecco, brut, and sparkling wine. Today there are over 15,000 grape growers in Champagne, working with pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier grapes.

Although Double-O-7, James Bond, is best associated with the shaken, not stirred martini, in the films, he is most often seen downing champagne. In fact, the secret agent seems to like his bubbles so much, he has consumed close to 40 glasses. Perhaps Bond, the perpetual sex machine, was drawn to the classic champagne glass, which was designed from a wax mold of Marie Antoinette’s breast.

There are about 49 million bubbles in a typical bottle of champagne. Those suds can cause immense pressure in the bottle (90 pounds per square inch), which can launch a cork at 40 miles per hour. The world record for cork flight is 177 feet. Those same bubbles can cause a headache for drinkers, if consumed too quickly, as they cause the alcohol to enter your bloodstream quickly. Take your time with champagne and enjoy the taste of the wine and the cascade of the fizz.

Popped a Cap

Need more than a normal sized champagne bottle? How about a lot more? The Melchizedek serving provides 30 liters of the good stuff. That’s equivalent to 40 typical bottles. Despite the massive serving, these bottles pale in comparison to the price attached to some selections. The Shipwrecked 1907 Heidseick will set you back $275,000 per bottle. 200 bottles of the champagne were discovered in 1997, after sitting at the bottom of the ocean for 90 years, presumed to have fallen off the ship carrying it.

Champagne can be used for many other purposes. In the 1800s, English nobles used the drink to polish their boots. Many moons later, Marilyn Monroe is reported to have bathed in a tub filled with 350 bottles of champagne. Had they re-bottled the used bath water, they could have made millions. Instead, today we have a Marilyn Monroe-themed strawberries and cream vodka from Three Olives. I think some companies really missed the boat on this one.

France: French 75

French 75 Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Cognac
  • Top with Champagne
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

Although I don’t love champagne, it is perfect in helping celebrate milestones, triumphs, and even the passing of another day where you made it through alive. Drink up, my little sippers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Much like Italy, there are a number of liquor options available for France. I went with Cognac because it seemed like a nice way to change things up with this project. This is the Cognac version of the popular Gin-based cocktail that I found in my Mixology App. It tasted alright, but I’m still not a huge fan of Champagne in general.

August 16 – Columbo

Private Dicks

I like a good mystery and these gumshoes have offered some of the greatest examples of sleuthing known to the world. They each employ their own tactics, but the end result is always the same: the bad guy is punished for their crime and the good guy feels some sort of redemption. Here are the Top 5 detectives:

#5: Rescue Rangers

Sometimes, some crimes go slipping through the cracks (did anyone out there sing that opening!?)… and that’s when you need the Rescue Rangers: Chip, Dale, Gadget, and Monterey Jack (plus his little buddy Zipper). This classic Disney Afternoon animation block cartoon sees the legendary Chip and Dale and company solve crimes, such as missing pets and all the other stuff the real police don’t feel like investigating. The gang also regularly battle such villains as Fat Cat and Professor Norton Nimnul. Interestingly, Chip and Dale weren’t even originally planned to be part of the show, but were used to add some established Disney characters to the series.

Chip & Dale

#4: Ace Ventura

Of the Pet Detective variety, Ace is an unconventional investigator and devout animal lover. When hired to solve the case of missing Miami Dolphins mascot and real-life dolphin, Snowflake, he becomes embroiled in a complex mystery involving a disgruntled ex-player and Dolphins superstar quarterback Dan Marino. Can he crack the case before the Dolphins’ next big game and bring Snowflake home safely? This role launched the career of Jim Carrey and the surprise hit even produced a sequel, When Nature Calls, which sadly didn’t live up to the first film.

#3: Magnum P.I.

Thomas Magnum is a fine private detective. He’s willing to work on everything from cases involving cheating spouses to more serious stuff like drug rings and assassination plots. The former Vietnam veteran gets a ton of help from his buddies TC, Rick and even Higgins, all while living the good life in Robin Masters’ Hawaiian home. Played by the dreamy Tom Selleck, the iconic role had to be good, as he even gave up playing Indiana Jones thanks to the series’ shooting schedule. There has been talk of a movie or TV series remake, but I just don’t know if it could ever measure up to the original.

Magnum Man

#2: Sherlock Holmes

Along with his companion (and I don’t mean to make it sound like they are lovers… although I’m sure some have explored this premise), Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes is certainly London’s finest sleuth and is perhaps the world’s greatest. The creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes has appeared in countless forms of media. Some of my favourites include the recent movies with Robert Downey, Jr., the current BBC TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and the animated Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. With Holmes, you must always remember that the game is afoot!

#1: Lt. Columbo

I grew up on the disheveled detective and it’s probably because of him that I haven’t become a criminal mastermind… well, that and to be a mastermind, you need to have a fully-functioning brain. Peter Falk is a god damn legend in my books and all Mrs. Sip can do is roll her eyes when I stumble upon a Columbo mini-movie and have a brief celebration. Although she’s often mentioned, we never see Mrs. Columbo throughout the entirety of the series and we also never learn Lt. Columbo’s first name. Many have speculated that it’s Frank, as it appears when his LAPD ID badge is shown close up. Oh, one more thing, Columbo loves chili as much as he loves solving murders!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Columbo

Columbo Shot

  • 0.75 oz Campari
  • 0.25 oz Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Cigar

The Sip Advisor would make a horrible detective. Sure, I like solitude and spying on folks can be fun, but you can only get so drunk while on a stakeout and I would find the job cramping my current lifestyle. Plus, there’s the whole critical thinking aspect and all you little sippers know that isn’t in my wheelhouse!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I’m not sure if this shot (or cocktail I’ve shrunken down to shooter form) was actually meant in homage of the greatest detective of all-time, but I’m using it in that way anyway… there is an Italian connection between the character and Campari, so maybe there’s a match there. And how about that garnish!? Columbo was often seen smoking a stogie, so why not include it with the shooter. It all goes down okay and that bitter Campari aftertaste doesn’t kill like it usually does.

Argentina – Vampire Voodoo

Flea Kicker

Well, Argentina’s World Cup aspirations didn’t turn out exactly as they hoped thanks to the Sip Advisor’s German squad, but the country can still lay claim to the top footballer in the world today: Lionel Messi. Let’s learn a little more about the man affectionately known as La Pulga (The Flea):

Born on June 24, 1987 in Roasario, Argentina (same hometown as communist revolutionary Che Guevara), Lionel Messi has come a long way to being the wealthiest football player in the world. As a young boy, he suffered from a growth hormone deficiency and today he stands at only 5’7”. Good things come in small packages, though, as Messi has benefited from his speed and skill.

Lionel-Messi-Lionel-Organized

The future superstar’s first contract came at 13 years old and was written out on a napkin after Barcelona sporting director Carles Rexach became enamored with Messi’s play and wanted to sign him immediately. With the contract, Messi and his family were moved to Spain with the youngster’s medical bills being covered. Messi made his debut for Barcelona at the fresh age of 17 and became the youngest person to ever score for the team, at the time.

Messi became a citizen of Spain in 2005 and now holds two passports (including his Argentinian documents). La Pulga turned down a spot with the Spanish national team and made his international debut with Argentina in 2005, although it lasted all of 47 seconds when Messi came on as a substitute and was promptly given a red card for an alleged elbow.

Wearing #10 with Barcelona, Messi was given the jersey number by fellow football great Ronaldinho in 2008. The following year, Messi picked up his first Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. Those two awards were merged in 2010, with Messi winning what is now known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or a total of four consecutive times.

What Messi Sees

Messi is a scoring machine, racking up a world record 91 goals in a single year. He has recorded a staggering 365 goals, including numerous hat tricks, over his career and is still in his prime years. Messi has received praise from some of football’s greatest players ever, including fellow Argentinian Diego Maradona, who thinks of Messi as his “successor.”

Team accomplishments for Messi include: Three UEFA Champions League wins, Six La Liga championships, two Copas del Rey titles, five Supercopas de España victories, two Club World Cups, and a gold medal with Argentina at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

You ready to be really jealous of Messi? Thanks to his contract and endorsement deals, it’s estimated that the soccer star earns $128,000 each day. Even better, as part of his pact with Barcelona, the club covers his income tax payments. How can the Sip Advisor get that kind of agreement!

discipline-of-funny-soccer

With his substantial wealth, Messi launched the Leo Messi Foundation, which helps provide kids with education and health care. He is also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and is involved with helping people suffering from Fragile X Syndrome. Some of Messi’s charitable attention has been directed towards his hometown, where in 2013, he donated 600,000 pounds to the Victor J Vilela Children’s Hospital. The money was used to renovate the building’s oncology unit and fund training trips in Spain, for doctors.

In his personal life, Messi has been dating Antonella Roccuzzo since 2009. The two have a child together, named Thiago, who was born on November 2, 2012. This prompted Messi to write on his Facebook page: “Today I am the happiest man in the world, my son was born and thanks to God for this gift!” At just 72 hours old, young Thiago was signed to a supporters club contract with Messi’s original club, the Newell Old Boys. For lovers of ink (and supportive, loving fathers), Messi had Thiago’s name and handprints tattooed on his left calf.

Messi Scores

A devout Roman Catholic, Messi met Pope Francis (also from Argentina) at the Vatican in 2013. He said of the experience: “Without a doubt, today was one of the most special days of my life. We have to excel on and off the field.”

Despite the international fame and success, Messi is very shy and has been since his childhood. He does most of his communication through text messages, as he avoids talking on the phone as much as possible. Similarly, while most strikers go into epileptic fits when celebrating a goal, Messi is more likely to simply raise both arms in the air, a salute to his late grandma, who he believes is watching over him. Messi does not like to watch highlights of himself, but is a video game enthusiast, so perhaps that’s how he gets to view and appreciate his own virtual achievements. Not surprisingly, Messi has been featured on numerous video game covers.

Argentina: Vampire Voodoo

Vampire Voodoo Cocktail

  • 1 oz Malbec Wine
  • 1 oz Gin
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Raspberries

One last tidbit: Ginza Takana, a jeweler in Japan has created a solid gold replica of Messi’s left foot. The piece weighed in at 55 lbs. and was valued at $5.25 million. The proceeds of its sale are meant to help victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. That’s an artifact every Argentinian football nut would surely covet!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (1.5 Sips out of 5):
As I wrote before, Malbec cocktail recipes aren’t easy to come by. Therefore, I adapted this generic Red Wine cocktail to use that beautiful 1884 Malbec. Sadly, this drink was a complete miss. One or more ingredients just wasn’t right. I still can’t figure out if the Lemon or Lime Juice was to blame or if the Gin just wasn’t hitting the right chord. Either way, I have to say that I didn’t fall under the power of Vampire Voodoo.

Argentina – Sommelier Martini

Tango De La Muerte

Argentina is birthplace of the sexy tango dance style… or at least it claims to be and that’s good enough for the Sip Advisor. I’m a horrible dancer. I mean down right god awful. That said, I’m a decent writer and am probably better suited for creating an article about tango than performing it. So, let’s get right to it:

Tango’s long road to legitimacy began in the streets and brothels of Buenos Aires in the 19th century. Many immigrants came to Argentina to better their lives, but this resulted in there being 100,000 more men than women as of 1914. Therefore, to spend time with a lady, you had to either go to a brothel or a dance. The Sip Advisor would have probably taken the easier route, but those who think they can dance would have tried to ply their craft in a more traditional sock-hop style.

Practicing Tango

The tango is rife with notes of passion, sexual tension, and yearning. It has been described as “a vertical expression of a horizontal desire,” which to me sounds like my daily existence and advances towards Mrs. Sip. Because of sexuality exuded in the scandalous dance, upper class folk looked down upon the tango and from the years 1955-1983, while a conservative coup was in power, the sensual dance was forced to hide itself underground. Dancers were jailed and songs were banned until the oppressive power was forced out due to losing its popularity.

In Europe, tango arrived in 1912, first in Paris, of course. The dance that could feature improvisation and broke the trend of dances having fixed movements and everyone doing the same thing quickly spread across the country. When the upper class of Buenos Aires learned of how popular tango had become abroad, they brought it back to Argentina to be enjoyed in its homeland.

While American Tango is an offshoot of Argentinian Tango, the two are quite different. The American version is the one all you little sippers are probably familiar with, involving larger steps and more theatrics, commonly seen in competitions. The Argentinian style is tighter and on a smaller scale, likely used at social dances to woo prospective bed mates.

Tango Lessons

A milonga can either mean a tango variation with no pauses or the term can be applied to a club that hosts Argentinian tango dances. Here, rookies and veterans can share the floor and get their groove on, trying out new maneuvers or learning the art form.

Dubbed the ‘Dance of Love,’ the word tango comes from either the Latin word tango or the Portuguese word tangere, which both mean “to touch.” There are actually a number of different tango adaptations today, including Ballroom, Oriental, Liso, Orillero, Apilado, Canyengue, Salon, Nuevo, Finnish, and Chinese, as well as the aforementioned Argentinian and American.

The basic tango consists of five steps taken to eight beats of music: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. This has made the dance style easier to learn, plus it plays very well when trying to get your lady in the mood (although the Sip Advisor has always preferred a little bumping and grinding).

Two to Tango

For the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina (which the home country won, as opposed to their recent defeat at the hands of my Germany!), Adidas designed a special ball for the tournament and named it Tango. The ball was used again in 1982 for the World Cup in Spain, with the ball receiving the altered title Tango Málaga.

Author and entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss set the Guinness World Record for most tango spins in one minute in 2007. With partner, Alicia Monti, the two took to the Live with Regis and Kelly stage and completed 37 spins, breaking their own record of 27 set in Buenos Aires in 2005.

Tango Potato

Tangolates is an exercise that combines Pilates and tango into one aerobic workout. Developed by Tamara Di Tella in 2004, The activity is said to vastly help those who have suffered nervous system dysfunctions and uses partners and rhythmic music in the process.

A number of hit movies include tango scenes, including Scent of a Woman, True Lies, Evita, Moulin Rouge, Chicago, and even Schindler’s List of all films. Now that I’ve revealed that list, I expect Mrs. Sip to force me to watch each and every one of these entries. Perhaps it will lead to some amore!

Argentina: Sommelier Martini

Aug 11

  • 1 oz Malbec Wine
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Lemon Twist

Perhaps if I can slam back enough of these cocktails, I can be ready for some dirty dancing… and then again, perhaps it’s just better if I drink myself into such a stupor that the idea of shaking my groove thing goes right out the window!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Wow, I never thought it would be so difficult to find Malbec-specific recipes. That said, I found this little gem and it was quite good. Mrs. Sip and I love the 1884 Malbec I used so I at least knew the base would be great. I thought about using different flavoured vodkas with the drink, but in the end went with a straight version, so as not to have too many tastes competing with each other.

August 9 – Secret of the Ooze

Reptile Rebellion

I’m a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan and have been since the cool dudes with attitudes hit the airwaves in 1987. With the movie reboot that came out last night, it’s time to dedicate some space to turtle power and discuss the greatest reptiles ever. Let the debate begin!

#5: The Fraternity of Crocodiles – Pearls Before Swine

Some of the funniest Pearls Before Swine comics involve the Fraternity of Crocodiles (under their official name of Da Brudderhood of Zeeba Zeeba Eata) trying to get their chompers wrapped around the animals of Albany, California. These crocs really aren’t very bright, but they’re enthusiasm for eating zebras is unrivaled. Their failed attempts at procuring dinner is akin to Wile E. Coyote’s efforts and you find yourself routing for the bad guy to pick up a win.

zeeba_zeeba_eata

#4: Geico Gecko

I love this little mascot, who despite his gentle nature, seems to have a bite to him, as well. He is, after all, the smartest man in the room at high-level Geico meetings and that might be saying something about the insurance industry in general. The Geico Gecko was born out of the 1999 Screen Actors Guild strike, which resulted in the company not being able to use live actors. Kelsey Grammar originally voiced the character, but he has evolved into more of an everyman gecko with a Cockney accent.

#3: Rango

Perfectly cast, with Johnny Depp providing the lizard’s voice, Rango is the tale of a fish-out-of-water chameleon, who becomes sheriff of the desert town of Dirt and uncovers a mystery involving the area’s drinking water. I also have to give Rango props for dealing with the dreaded Rattlesnake Jake, using his brains to defeat the brawny gunslinger. Anytime a slithering snake is defeated, the Sip Advisor is a happy man.

rango-fear-and-loathing

#2: Bowser – Nintendo

One of the greatest video game baddies of all-time, Bowser seems obsessed with Princess Peach to the point that he’s kidnapped her so many times she’s developed a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome and doesn’t mind playing board games and going go-kart racing with the evil lizard king. Bowser even has his family members getting in on the sinful acts and you may defeat them, but the princess will likely be in another castle!

#1: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

You had to know that these four heroes in a half shell would take the top spot. Of course, Michaelangelo is my favourite among the troupe, but each member of the team holds a special place in my heart and brings something different to the table. One of my favourite things about the TMNT franchise is all the different sidekicks and villains that were introduced, from Casey Jones to the Shredder, and all the Bebop’s and Rocksteady’s in between.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Secret of the Ooze (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Aug 9

  • Rim glass with Candy Sugar
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Pisang Ambon
  • Splash of Sour Apple Mix
  • Dash of Lime Cordial

I have to throw some honourable mentions out to Dino (Flintstones), Godzilla, Tick-Tock (Peter Pan), Sir Hiss (Robin Hood), and Reptile (Mortal Kombat). One reptilian that is definitely on the hate list is Barney the Dinosaur… he gives all prehistoric beasts a bad name and should have been slaughtered by the Transformers Dinobots crew.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I wasn’t really happy with the Mutagen and other Ninja Turtles-themed drinks that already existed (although Drunken Moogle has a neat cocktail that actually uses the toy mutagen canister for its glass), so I built my own shot version, using as many green-coloured products I had in my arsenal. The results were a fruit punch of sorts, including the Lime Cordial Mrs. Sip and I made ourselves. This shooter also provided my first chance to use my new tilted shot glass, which goes perfectly with the theme, in my honest opinion.

Bermuda – Bella Donna

Objectified

For a small island nation (population 64,237 according to a 2010 census), there are a number of objects that have been attributed to Bermuda. Let’s take a look at some of these items:

Bermuda Shorts

These coverings were introduced to the world by the British Army and were worn by soldiers in tropical and desert settings. In fact, the British Navy still wear them. Today, Bermuda Shorts are worn in their country of creation as business attire by men, when combined with knee high socks, dress shirt, tie and blazer. Sounds a little goofy to me, but whateves. Bermudans probably think what I wear to work is just as ridiculous.

meanwhile in bermuda

Bermuda Kite

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height… I hope that song is now stuck in the heads of all you little sippers! The Bermuda Kite may vary in shape, but is typically hexagonal. The kites are mostly only flown at Easter in Bermuda and have taken on more of an art form role in the country. They are meant to symbolize Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Bermuda Kites have been used for world record attempts in the highest and longest flight categories.

Bermuda Grass

Other names for Bermuda Grass (or Cynodon Dactylon – it’s scientific title) include dog’s tooth grass, devil’s grass, and couch grass. The green stuff originates from the Middle East, but is found in abundance in Bermuda. While the grass is able to grow in salt-damaged soil, apparently, a version of this deadly weed-like lawn can produce cyanide in certain environments, accidentally killing livestock.

Bermuda Onion

A member of the Sweet Onion family, the Bermuda Onion was introduced to the country in 1616 and grew to be one of Bermuda’s greatest exports. As a result, Bermuda’s citizens were once known as ‘Onions,’ while Bermuda itself was known as ‘The Onion Patch.’ This industry saw a sharp decline after World War I, when similar onions began being farmed in other countries, namely the United States. Mark Twain once described the crop as “The pride and joy of Bermuda.”

grumpy-love-onions

Nautical Terms

Being an island, Bermuda has long had an association with watercrafts. Therefore, a number of seafaring objects and techniques have been given the Bermuda prefix. These include the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy, Bermuda Rig, and Bermuda Sloop. The Fitted Dinghy is a sail boat meant for racing using a design that dates back to the 17th century. The Rig and Sloop are different styles of rigging meant for sail boats, both developed around the same time as the Fitted Dinghy.

Animals

Among fauna unique to the country are the Bermuda Land Snail, the Bermuda Petrel, and the Bermuda Rock Skink. The Land Snail is thought to have existed for over 300,000 years. They were thought to be extinct at one point, thanks in some part to the introduction of edible snails, but a collection of them were found by a zoo intern in 2002 and efforts to repopulate the animal have since occurred.

snail-drunk

The Petrel is commonly called a cahow and is a nocturnal seabird. Early Spanish settlers avoided the island fearing that it was inhabited by devils, but it was actually the cries of the Petrel. When the English arrived on the island, the introduction of animals such as rats, cats, and dogs, resulted in the death of numerous birds, nearly wiping out the species. Today, the Petrel has recovered, thanks to being protected by law.

The Rock Skink, known as a rock lizard, these little guys only grow to about 8cm long, feeding on crickets, beetles, and small crustaceans. The Rock Skink is also protected under the law due to being endangered. I can’t have a ton of respect for the lizard, though, as they apparently can get stuck inside discarded bottles and cans and are unable to climb out… kind of like an alcoholic!

Bermuda: Bella Donna

Bella Donna Cocktail

It should be noted that there is also the Bermuda Triangle, which we looked at earlier this week. Although only one of the tips of the Devil’s Triangle touches Bermuda, the entire death trap has been given the Bermudan namesake. Perhaps Bermuda was the last to pass the blame on and got stuck with the moniker.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Nothing against this drink, but I wasn’t a fan of how the Amaretto and Sour Mix came together. It didn’t taste bad, but it had its own unique flavour that took some getting used to. The cocktail was kind of booze heavy, but in the end I would give it my recommendation.

Bermuda – Dark & Stormy

Get Lost

The Sip Advisor would like to think that he’s of at least average intelligence… that said, when I began to research what to cover during our visit to the island nation of Bermuda, I was at a loss. Then, as if a miracle occurred, I finally realized that the Bermuda Triangle (something I’ve been fascinated by for years) was in fact a Bermudan topic that could be written about. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the fabled area, but don’t get too close… I wouldn’t want to lose any of you little sippers!

Also known as the Devil’s Triangle, the Bermuda Triangle’s boundaries were originally set as being between Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Bermuda, although these locations vary depending on who is covering the area. Among the theories attached to the phenomenon are compass issues; rough ocean currents; human error; pirates; inclement weather, including hurricanes and cyclones; masses of methane hydrate gas, which could cause a ship to lose buoyancy and sink rapidly; and even supernatural events, involving UFOs, aliens, and the lost city of Atlantis.

Bermuda Triangle Productivity

Despite all the hullabaloo, the Bermuda Triangle zone is sailed regularly, including by cruise ships. Mrs. Sip and I love our cruises – the perfect blend of relaxation and activity – but I feel I would be a little apprehensive going through the Devil’s Triangle. Then again, the Sip Advisor has always been open to a dance with the devil!

The very first recorded incident of trouble with the Bermuda Triangle occurred in 1918 when the USS Cyclops was lost on a trip from Barbados to Baltimore, Maryland. All 309 crew and passengers perished in the event. Following the Cyclops, five other vessels experienced the same fate.

The first airplane incident to occur in the Bermuda Triangle happened in 1945 when an assembly of five TBF Avenger bombers all went missing. The mission, known as Flight 19 included 14 airmen. Even more tragic, the group sent out to search for the Flight 19 group also disappeared, this time with 13 casualties. Since then, four other aircraft have vanished, totaling 17 crew and 75 passengers lost at sea. Steven Spielberg used the Flight 19 incident in his movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, speculating that the troupe met its end thanks to an alien abduction.

Chuck Norris Bermuda Triangle

Mysterious happenings relating to the triangle have also occurred on land. In 1969, two lighthouse keepers at the Great Isaac Lighthouse in Bimini, Bahamas, went missing and were never located. My theory is that they went for a long romantic walk on the beach and they are still walking to this day… that or some kind of murder-suicide plot.

Fleetwood Mac and Barry Manilow have both released songs based on the Bermuda Triangle, while there have been a number of movies and even a mini-series based on the location. For thrill seekers not willing to actually enter the Devil’s Triangle, perhaps the theme park ride Bermuda Triangle at Sea World in Gold Coast, Australia may have been more up your alley. The popular attraction, which included rupturing volcanoes, spaceships and aliens, and a watery plunge (seemingly covering every possible explanation for the phenomenon) was unfortunately closed in 2010 and replaced in 2013.

Bermuda: Dark & Stormy

Dark & Stormy Cocktail

With my curiosity now satiated, it’s time to sit back with a nice drink and toast all the souls that lost their lives in the Bermuda Triangle. Join me, won’t you!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I had once vowed to never make this cocktail… or use Gosling’s Black Seal Rum for that matter, as the company holds a copyright on the recipe that goes against the unwritten bartender’s code of being able to share formulas without issue. Forgive and forget, I always drunkenly say! Usually when I see Ginger Beer among the ingredients of a cocktail, I automatically sub in Ginger Ale, but this time I used the legitimate version and even managed to locate an alcoholic orange-flavoured version of the product. All in all, the drink was quite tasty and I also enjoyed the Ginger Beer on its own.