May 23 – Mad Tea

Happiest Drinking on Earth

With Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration beginning this weekend, it’s certainly time to party. Now, if the Sip Advisor ends up on the receiving end of an invitation to the affair, I have to decide who I want to enjoy the evening with. Here are some great Disney characters to share a drink with!

#5: Belle

It’s always good to have a hot babe on your arm (or on the barstool next to you), as you enter any drinking hole. This is one of many reasons I keep Mrs. Sip as happy as possible and in my gainful employ. Sure, Belle is a little too into her books (so is Mrs. Sip) and that goes against the Sip Advisor’s grain, but behaviours can be changed. Being educated is a good base to have and I have to think that behind the whole prim and proper attitude, Belle’s a bit of a freak. After all, she did get together with a beast!

Belle Beasts

#4: Winnie the Pooh and Tigger

When going for wobbly pops in the 100 Acre Forest, I’d choose Winnie the Pooh and Tigger as my wingmen. Eeyore is forbidden from joining us, thanks to his gloomy view of the world, while Piglet is only invited so we have a designated driver on hand. Imagine the crazy things you could probably convince Tigger to do for your own entertainment? Plus, Pooh often gets gluttonous munchies similar to me, only his vice is a pot of honey, while the Sip Advisor is quick to reach for a bag of potato chips.

#3: Mr. Toad

If the parties thrown at Toad Hall are any evidence, the eccentric amphibian knows how to host a good shindig. We’re talking open bar, troublemaking weasels, people swinging from chandeliers… you know, all the good things in life! One issue might be Mr. Toad’s penchant for driving while under the influence – a definite no-no in the Sip Advisor’s books. Perhaps he needs me to keep him on the straight and narrow. His overbearing friends are also of concern, but we just won’t invite them.

mr-toads-ride

#2: Scrooge McDuck

Along with trading stories with the well-travelled mogul, Scrooge McDuck would be able to cover any tab the two of you racked up. We’re talking enjoying some of the world’s most expensive liquors in locales around the world, as you experience your latest DuckTale! I’m sure it wouldn’t take long for the Sip Advisor to earn a spot amongst McDuck’s nephews. Hell, I can’t be any more annoying than the accident prone Launchpad McQuack or the hapless Fenton Crackshell.

#1: Baloo

Baloo seems like a totally down-to-earth bear, needing only the bare necessities of life to get by. That’s what I look for most in a drinking companion. I prefer people who are easy going and don’t have a whole lot of drama surrounding them. There’s also the fact that Baloo has access to his own private plane and could fly the two of us to any remote location we want to visit. Hell, his buddy King Louie even has his own joint, Louie’s Place, where we can drink the place dry and probably for free!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Mad Tea

  • 0.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Green Tea
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with Mint Leaves

While narrowing this list was difficult, there are a number of Disney characters that you certainly wouldn’t want to sit down to drinks with. Cruella de Vil would certainly turn nasty and you’d have to think that Donald Duck would get quite mean after a few too many beverages. Then, there’s Jiminy Cricket… who the hell wants to have their conscience around when they’re slamming back the booze and getting up to stupid stuff!

Sip Trips #20: Shu-Swapping

With all of our apartment flood business still unsettled, it was another crazy week for me and Mrs. Sip. That meant a lot of days where a drink was in serious need and it all started with the first day of the Sip Trips cycle and a visit to The New Oxford’s patio with Cousin Sip. This was just the right setting to enjoy a Howe Sound Grapefruit ISA, which really hit the spot after another stressful day. Best of all, the happy hour beverage was only $3!

Seems-Legit-Cheap-Beer

The next night provided some rare one-on-one time for Mrs. Sip and me. Although brief, we used it to the best of our abilities, to rest our frayed and exhausted minds. We had a Social Shopper coupon to use that was nearing its expiry. Although we were running short on energy, I’m glad we made the journey to The Park at English Bay, allowing us to discover the place. Our coupon entitled us to a craft beer flight each and two appetizers. We ordered the Carolina Sliders and Mac N’ Cheese, which was the perfect amount of food for the two of us. Our beers included the Howe Sound Devil’s Elbow IPA, Cannery Naramata Nut Ale, Mill Street Vanilla Porter, and Central City Red Racer ISA. The icing on the cake came in the form of dueling pianos for entertainment. It was a nice break from the insane week that was.

The next morning, we were off to Salmon Arm, B.C., as Father-in-Law Sip was having a family reunion of sorts, to celebrate his brother’s 50th wedding anniversary. On the way there, we visited Harper’s Trail Winery, in Kamloops, to sample their wines and enjoy a picturesque picnic. Our only complaint was that the place charged $5 for each tasting and didn’t waive that fee with the purchase of a bottle, as seems to be the industry standard. In the end, I believe this strategy affects the winery most, as people who might have shelled out $20 for a bottle, stop at the $5 tasting fee. That’s just lost profits and hurts the overall experience.

family-reunions

Upon leaving Salmon Arm, we dropped into the Barley Station Brew Pub, which was serving up the beers of the Shuswap Lake Brewing Company. We grabbed a flight of tasters, including a Blonde Ale, Wit, Pilsner, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, and Stout. My favourite was the Pale Ale, which had just the right amount of hops and paired nicely with our snack of pulled pork poutine.

To wrap up another busy and frustrating week, Mrs. Sip and I found some rare weekday afternoon time together and decided to check out a local (well, if we weren’t currently forced from our home) happy hour deal. We ended up at PHAT Yaletown, which advertises $3 craft beer all day, every day. Mrs. Sip tried the Whistler Grapefruit Ale, while yours truly went with the Stanley Park Pale Ale. It was a rushed drink, as I had to get to an appointment, but when life is as chaotic as it has been recently, any drink will do!

May 16 – Astro Pop

Diversity Dominance

This coming Thursday (May 21) marks World Day for Cultural Diversity and I figured what better occasion to look at some of the most diverse groups ever assembled. I decided not to include any superhero collections, as they are naturally made up of very diverse individuals, from all walks of life. On with the list:

#5: Ghostwriter

This mystery solving team was made up of kids from various walks of life and even a ghost. Together, they used their puzzle solving skills to put the kibosh on evildoers… until funding for the public broadcast series ran dry. The origin story for Ghostwriter, of being a murdered Civil War slave, will make you think differently about your childhood. It also blows my mind that Samuel L. Jackson was once a character on this children’s show, given his propensity for dropping copious amounts of F-bombs in his films.

samuel-l-jackson

#4: Recess

With the Recess crew, you have the everyman leader (T.J.), star athlete (Vince), science nerd (Gretchen), tough as nails tomboy (Spinelli), gentle giant (Mikey), and army brat (Gus). With such a multi-talented group, their success and survival through games of All the Balls and issues with the playground’s elite ruling class, is completely understandable. My crew during elementary school was nothing like this, consisting of a few good-for-nothing youngsters trying to figure the world out.

#3: Guardians of the Galaxy

Let’s see, we had one genetically-modified raccoon, a basically mute tree, a warrior beast, an alien assassin… and some white guy with an awesome mixed tape! Although their coming together was pretty rocky – most of them wanted to harm, steal from, or kill one of the others – they eventually gelled into a squad capable of saving the universe. Who knows where their next adventure will take them, but it will surely showcase the group’s diverse skillset, to a wonderful soundtrack.

Samsung Guardians Galaxy

#2: Power Rangers

All the colours of the rainbow – physically and racially – make up this team of world defenders. With the original line-up, you had teens decked out in red, blue, black, yellow, and pink suits (with green soon to come). The squad was made up of a jock, a nerd, a party guy, an environmentalist, and a cheerleader. Racially, you had a few Caucasians, an African-American, and an Asian. Put them all together, like when their Zords combined to make the powerful Megazord and you have one formidable team.

#1: Captain Planet

The Planeteers literally came for across the globe, united by their passion for eliminating pollution, quelling natural disasters, and capturing eco-criminals.The team was made up of Gi (from Asia), Kwame (from Africa), Linka (from Europe), Ma-Ti (from South America), and Wheeler (from North America). The rogues gallery for this series was just as diverse (including some awesome names), with villains such as Hoggish Greedly, Verminous Skumm, Duke Nukem, Looten Plunder, and Sly Sludge.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Astro Pop

  • 0.25 oz Midori
  • 0.25 oz Blue Curacao
  • 0.25 oz Goldschlager
  • 0.25 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
  • 0.25 oz Rumple Minze
  • 0.25 oz Jagermeister

Some honourable mentions include the crews of Star Trek, Undergrads, Big Hero 6, Community, Saved by the Bell, and The Breakfast Club. Let’s keep coming together as people and being good to one another… saving the universe, one day at a time!

Sip Trips #19: On the Hunt

As Mrs. Sip and I continue to recover from the sink flood that forced us from our apartment last week, our schedule has remained busy with various commitments. While we didn’t visit any new locations, products were discovered, items were purchased, and libations were enjoyed. So, let’s get on with it, shall we?

liquor store cart

First, came a commercial for the new Mott’s Clamato Lime mixer, which has had me and other members of Caesar Nation salivating. It makes a good drink, with a citrus punch, but is lacking the spices of most of the Clamato line. My suggestion is to add what you desire into each drink, so you can tinker and find the recipe.

On Saturday, Ma and Pa Sip were hosting a party to welcome in the pool and swimming season. This necessitated a liquor store shopping trip, of course. There, we tasted Bacardi’s new Fuego Red Spice Rum – the first of its kind… or so we were told. I liked the spirit and was in need of some rum, with my collection currently packed away, so I grabbed a bottle. It goes real well with cola (no surprise there) and can also be enjoyed straight with a couple dashes of Tabasco sauce.

Also, while perusing the store’s beer section, one of the employees told me about the shipment of Central City Brewing’s Maple Bacon Breakfast Ale that had recently arrived. I loved this beer last summer, after sampling it at the company’s tasting room and was hoping it would return. The bottles weren’t even on the shelf yet and one case had already been emptied by the time I got my grubby little paws on them. The employee expected the shipment to be gone fast, so be vigilant my little sippers. It’s certainly worth picking up.

bacon-loving-dog

Other items we grabbed, included Fernie Brewing Company’s Kickstand Honey Kolsch, Moon Under Water’s This Is Hefeweizen (another favourite of mine and Mrs. Sip’s from summer gone by), and a host of German brews, as the event we were going to was themed as such.

One recent news item that deserves some discussion is the story of a man who recently sued MillerCoors for labelling their Blue Moon products as “craft beer.” I have to admit, that I do enjoy Blue Moon from time to time and have never really paid attention to how it’s labelled. That said, I know enough that it isn’t a craft product, like many other options across the U.S. But others aren’t so cognizant. I applaud this man for making an attempt to get full disclosure and honest labelling on beer, so that the educated and boorish (what Word gave as the antonym to “educated”) alike known what they’re pouring down their gullet.

In wrapping up this shorter-than-usual Sip Trip, I hope all the mothers out there had a great weekend and that all you little sippers spoiled them. I gifted Ma Sip a bottle of Aperol and a couple mini bottles of bubbly, so she can enjoy all the Aperol Spritzes she wants. Thanks for everything, Ma!

Flavour Revolution – Raspberry

Blowing a Raspberry

The Razzie Awards are like the anti-Oscars. They were invented by John J.B. Wilson in 1980, with the first ceremony being held in Wilson’s own living room. The trophy’s, which feature a golden raspberry on top of an 8mm film roll, have grown in popularity ever since. Here are some of the most-nominated Razzie Award contenders in Hollywood history:

Sylvester Stallone

It seems like everything Sly Stallone has ever done earned him some Razzie consideration, including his most famous characters in Rocky Balboa and John Rambo. Stallone even had the title “Worst Actor of the Decade” and later “Worst Actor of the Century” bestowed upon him, resulting from 32 nominations and 10 wins. “Yo Adrian, I did it!”

chiropractor-Stallone

Kevin Costner

Mr. Costner has survived a rollercoaster career, rife with many peaks and valleys. This has been highlighted by his two Oscars, three Golden Globes, and one Emmy, while contrasted by his many Razzie nominations and wins. We are talking about an actor who didn’t even bother trying to fake an English accent for his turn as the mythical Robin Hood.

Madonna

The Queen of Pop has earned the dubious distinction of being the Razzie’s All-Time Worst Actress, with 15 nominations and nine victories to her credit, thus far. At the top of that list, was the foundation’s “Worst Actress of the Century” prize. It should be noted however, that Madge has also picked up a Golden Globe for Evita. Maybe, for safety purposes, she should stick to music.

Eddie Murphy

The latter stages of Eddie Murphy’s career has not been nearly as kind to him, as the early triumphs he enjoyed. Films such as The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Norbit, Meet Dave, and A Thousand Words, cut into Murphy’s once immense popularity. At least he has a new Beverly Hills Cop sequel on the horizon. Perhaps that can put him back into the “Money in the Bank” classification.

eddie-murphy-prince

Sharon Stone

Clearly, sex doesn’t sell when it comes to the Razzie’s. For showing her most naughty bits in Basic Instinct, Stone received a nomination for “Worst New Star.” Most men appreciated her efforts, though. Perhaps worst of all, Stone was nominated, once again, a decade later for the same “Worst New Star” prize she had already won for the film Diabolique, as she tried to present a new side of her acting skills.

Adam Sandler

In one year alone (2011), Sandler accumulated 11 Razzie nominations, thanks to his work on Jack and Jill, Just Go With It, and Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star. Jack and Jill became the first movie to ever sweep the Razzie’s, winning 10 awards. Thanks to his dual role in the film, Sandler even picked up both the Worst Actor and Worst Actress honours, at the same time.

Flavour Revolution: Rose Royale

Some actors have even accepted their Razzie Award in person, beginning with Bill Cosby, for 1987’s Leonard, Part 6. Joining the controversial comedian in accepting this dubious honour are Tom Selleck, Tom Green, Ben Affleck, Halle Berry, and Sandra Bullock, among others.

Flavour Revolution – Maple

Canadian Chauvinism

Maple is a cultural icon of Canada, whether you’re talking about trees, syrup or anything else. We put it on everything, including in booze. Hell, the maple leaf is even featured on our country’s flag, giving us one of the most unique banners in the world. With national pride in mind, here are some of Canada’s greatest patriots and icons:

Don Cherry

Cherry has about as many detractors as he does fans, but one thing everyone agrees on is that ‘Grapes’ is a staunch supporter of Canada, its hockey players, its military troops, and its national sport. He may go about this the wrong way sometimes, such as questioning the heart of European players, for example, but his heart is usually in the right place. The guy practically bleeds red and white maple leafs, which is sometimes hard to detect given the distracting nature of his wardrobe!

don-cherry-back

Bret Hart

Wrestling is full of patriotic characters, but you don’t see too many Canadians waving the ol’ red and white maple leaf too wildly. Bret Hart, however, along with his Hart Foundation stable, ventured on a unique storyline in 1997, where he criticized the United States and the fans that called the country home. This made him wildly popular in Canada and vehemently hated south of the border. For the rest of his career, Hart always wore Canadian pride on his sleeve and cemented his legendary status.

Wayne Gretzky

Among many great athletes, ‘The Great One’ is Canada’s most iconic and not just because he played the country’s national sport. Gretzky’s influence spread throughout the world and he can be credited with the rise of hockey’s popularity as a sport, not only across the southern United States, but also in many other countries across the globe. Gretzky represented Canada on many occasions, perhaps most notably as part of the management team that brought Olympic hockey gold back to the country after 50 years.

The Beaver

Ah, the majestic beaver… and let’s be clear, the Sip Advisor is actually talking about the noble dam-building animal. The North American beaver has found its way to being featured on the nation’s five-cent piece, the country’s very first postage stamp, and beaver sculptures can also be found adorning the Canadian Parliament Building. Canada also has a number of other creatures that are culturally appreciated, including Canadian geese, loons, and Canadian horses.

gratuitous beaver shot

Molson Canadian Beer

The country’s national beer might not be much to brag about, in comparison to craft beer options across the nation, but it’s still something to be more proud of than Budweiser, Coors, and many of the other beverage options our continental neighbours seem to be so satisfied with. Molson Canadian has a brewing tradition that dates back to 1959 and for many young Canucks, is the first beer they ever enjoy. The Sip Advisor is one of these people and I am forever grateful for my earliest suds.

Tim Hortons

Nothing is more Canadian than donuts! Others would insist that the company’s coffee be included as part of the national identity combo, but not the Sip Advisor. Tim Hortons has grown across the country and even into other parts of the world. With products ranging from donuts to Timbits (donut holes), as well as sandwiches, soups, muffins, cookies, and everything else in between, Tim Hortons is one international contribution that can be enjoyed across the globe.

Poutine

Canada can’t be given much credit for creating items that have taken over the culinary scene, but poutine is one thing we devised and have shared – to great success – with the world over. You can’t go into a pub nowadays without the place having at least one poutine dish on their menu. Even most fast food chains, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, have made the creation available for eaters on the run. Add some bacon (preferably Canadian) onto the meal and you’re ready to gorge!

Flavour Revolution: Poor Sap

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Maple Liqueur
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Dash of Bitters
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

As a whole, Canada isn’t necessarily known for staunch patriotism… unless we’re talking about hockey and then it’s time to knuckle up. Many of our homegrown stars leave the country and never look back, trying to remove every hint of their Canadian ancestry. You will often hear debates over whether a celebrity is Canadian or not or the statement “I didn’t know he was from Canada.” The same can’t be said for the above entries.

May 9 – Last Goodbye

Finale Fail

It’s bad enough when a TV show you enjoy has been cancelled, but it’s even worse when that show isn’t given the opportunity to wrap up their storylines, leaving viewers and characters together in a dark void. I think a charity should be set up to fund series finale episodes for shows that have been abruptly cancelled or given their notice after a season has already been completed. Mrs. Sip has an even better idea, where networks should have to write into contracts a clause that allows any cancelled show one episode to tie all their loose threads together and end shows on the right note… or at least close to that. All this leads to the Top 5 TV shows that deserved a finale:

#5: Undergrads

After a short 13-episode run, Undergrads was no more, leaving a number of hanging storylines. Whatever happened with Nitz and the gang as they traversed the rigors of their undergrad education? Did Nitz ever finally realize his true feelings for Jessie? Shows that involve characters going off to college, should be given four-year contracts minimum to do a proper job on the experience. From time to time, there have been rumblings of a movie or second season to wrap up the series, but to this date, nothing has ever come of the talks.

undergrads_group

#4: Boomtown

This critically-acclaimed series, showing each story through numerous perspectives, just couldn’t win over enough viewers and was cancelled abruptly, six episodes into its second season. I urge everyone out there to seek out the first season of the show (it was available on DVD at one point), for some of the most amazing storytelling you could find on network TV. I kind of wish they had kept the series at just one season, as there was some closure in that final episode. Instead, they went for season two (which was originally fantastic news) and changed their formula and cast a little. Then, they were cancelled abruptly and we all lost out.

#3: Titus

Everyone I’ve ever talked to about this comedy, starring stand-up comedian Christopher Titus, says they loved it. Despite that, the show was cancelled after three seasons and 54 episodes, apparently due to Titus’ refusal to split himself and girlfriend Erin in the storyline. I can’t really blame him, given he was still married at the time to the real-life Erin. The show sort of faded out, as a result, with no true resolutions. Starting in 2010, there were rumours of a new Titus series, which would have seen him divorced from Erin, his father having passed away, and Titus experiencing a new, normal girlfriend, but those plans were cancelled in 2014.

#2: Married with Children

Given its 11-season run and how much it helped establish the Fox network as a viable option to the “Big 3” (NBC, CBS, ABC) in the channel’s infancy, it’s shocking that the show was so disregarded and cancelled without any respect for fans. Sure, there was the reunion episode a few years back that went over the show’s history, but we still never got to wrap the family up and see them move to the next stage in their lives. Perhaps it didn’t need the nice neat bow on the package send-off that other shows require, but they didn’t even air the last taped episode in the proper order and instead, what is now regarded as the “series finale” is just an ordinary episode.

#1: Deadwood

The final episode of season three ended in one of the most anti-climactic scenes I have ever witnessed. With tensions raised sky high between the citizens of the Deadwood mining town and the despicable George Hearst, the end result was… absolutely nothing! Given that episode turned out to be the end of the series, it was one of the most disappointing viewing experiences of my life. There was an agreement to wrap up the story with two made-for-TV movies, but those never came to fruition and most involved with the show consider it to be a dead subject.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Last Goodbye

  • 0.5 oz Cognac
  • 0.3 oz Cherry Brandy
  • 0.25 oz Triple Sec
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Others that may have made this list, save for movies or series reboots that were made years later, include: Firefly, Alf, Twin Peaks, Veronica Mars, and Gilligan’s Island, among others. Community was supposed to be the most recent TV tragedy on this list, cancelled last spring after already airing its season finale, but miraculously, it was picked up by Yahoo! Screen for a 13-episode sixth season.