Mixer Mania #13 – Made in Canada

Apparently, some of the credit for the development of Cream Soda as we know it today goes to Canadian James William Black. That got me thinking about all the other amazing things our great country has played a role in creating. Here are some of those items:

Insulin: So, while I can blame Canada for inventing delicacies such as Poutine and Nanaimo Bars, I can also thank it for creating the insulin many of us will need when diabetes strikes. We also brought the Pacemaker into existence, for what I can only assume were similar reasons.

Telephone: Canada has made great strides in the communications industry, also developing Walkie-Talkies, the BlackBerry (remember when these were must-have phone devices) and phone communication in the first place.

Cat on Phone

Light Bulb: If you’re afraid of the dark, you have Canada to thank for keeping things illuminated.

Zipper: This is one I’m not proud of, as zippers – particularly those I’m often asked to help Mrs. Sip with on dresses – are an enemy of the state for the Sip Advisor.

Standard Time: Do you feel the seconds of your life ticking away? Um, you’re welcome, I guess.

Pager: Providing the drug dealer and call girl industries with vital technological tools.

Pagers and Pay Phones.jpg

Prosthetic Hand: Thus making Darth Vader’s life, in a galaxy far far away, that much easier.

Snowblower/Snowmobile: Given Canadian winters, these were inevitable discoveries, whether you prefer to clean the white stuff up, or play in it.

Jockstrap: Men everywhere owe the protection of their junk to us Canadians, who saw a need and satisfied it.

Trivial Pursuit: While not as notorious for breaking up relationships and friendships as games like Monopoly and to a lesser extent Uno, Trivial Pursuit can certainly cause rifts between friends, families and couples.

Trivial Pursuit

Instant Replay: It figures Canadians would be to blame for this. We just love our hockey so much that we like to watch it over and over again, analyzing every minute detail.

Garbage Bag: I’m amazed in took until 1950 for some schmuck to place a bag in a bin. What did they do before this landmark discovery?

Caesar Cocktail: Trumping the Bloody Mary by leaps and bounds, the delicious drink is a staple of the Sip Advisor’s summer enjoyment.

Wonderbra: Everybody loves boobies, but it took a Canadian to enhance their presentation.

Mixer Mania #13: Ghost


  • 2 oz Vanilla Rum
  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • Top with Cream Soda
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Honourable mentions go to our vast list of sports creations, including Ice Hockey, Basketball, Lacrosse, Five-Pin Bowling and even Chuckwagon Racing, proving Canadians are more than a little crazy.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.25 Sips out of 5):
Given the name of the drink, I guess I was supposed to use clear Cream Soda, but whateves. I also subbed Cachaca in for the Rum and went with Vanilla Whiskey to add that element. Each sip of the cocktail reminded me of medicine at the beginning, before fading into a decent tasting experience, thus its lower score.

Snack Time #12 – Archer Farms Monster Trail Mix

The Sip Advisor is a bigtime fan of trail mixes. Mrs. Sip, cognizant of this fact, recently picked up a pack of Archer Farms Monster Trail Mix for me when she was recently in the States on a girls’ trip.

I’m particularly fond of the mixes that combine peanuts, cashews, almonds, raisins, and candy-coated chocolate, such as the Monster version. The added bonus of this product is the peanut butter chips it also includes. I really enjoy this mix, but find it to be lacking in nut content. To remedy the situation, I often combine the Monster assortment with other peanuts I have on hand, to better balance the blend.

Archer Farms Monster Trail Mix

Sold at Target stores, other Archer Farms variations include Simply Trail; Caramel Cashew; Black & White; Tex Mex; Peanut Butter Monster; Peanuts, Pretzels & Sesame Sticks; Sunny Cranberry; Handful of Everything; Zen Party; Sweet Cajun; and Bunny Bait; among others. They company also dabbles in the plain nut game, with packages including Raw Mixed Nuts; Roasted Jumbo Cashews; and Raw Almonds.

Each Archer Farms mix comes in a variety of formats, from 14 oz re-sealable packs to 36 oz containers. You can even get a bag containing 10 snack-size servings and trail mix bars, for those on the go.

For more Snack Time articles, please visit our main page…

Sip Trips #95: Long-Haul Trucking

Last weekend, the Sip Advisor did more driving over Friday, Saturday and Sunday than I have comparatively done for the rest of 2017. This included trips across the border to Bellingham, out east to Mission and Maple Ridge, and stops in between. Of course, beverages were also part of the weekend considerations.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we ended up in a Mexican restaurant of all places. Travelling to Bellingham, Washington to enjoy comedian Lewis Black perform at the Mount Baker Theatre, we decided to dine at the nearby Taco Lobo eatery. There, I paired a massive Al Pastor Burrito with a refreshing Boundary Bay Bellingham Blonde (no green beer for the Sip Advisor this year), while Mrs. Sip tried a trio of tacos and a serving of Horchata. I guess when Cinco de Mayo rolls around, we’ll have to visit an Irish pub, in exchange.

4-20 for Alcoholics

Dinner was very tasty and the show that followed was a lot of fun. The Mount Baker Theatre is a beautiful venue, reminding me of Vancouver Orpheum Theatre. We had planned to do some grocery shopping or pop into a craft brewery before heading home, but the daylight savings time hour change really affected us this year and we were pretty exhausted after the long work week, so unfortunately had to ditch those plans.

Later in the weekend, we were in Maple Ridge to visit a friend. She suggested having lunch at the Billy Miner Pub, which is located in a prime position along the water. Here, I ordered their Teriyaki Fries (pulled pork, smothered in teriyaki sauce and covered in cheese, crispy onions and diced green pepper), which were absolutely delicious. For my beverage, I had a tough choice to make, selecting from the pub’s extensive beer menu, but settled on a pint of the delightful Pfriem Family Citrus IPA.

Somewhere in all that indulgence, we also managed to have pizza dinners, breakfasts and coffee stops with various family members. How I will ever get into swimsuit shape for upcoming vacations to Las Vegas and our cruise from Rome to Dubai, I don’t know… but I’m willing to give it my best shot!

Beer of the Week #12 – Vancouver Island Carmanah Ale

Vancouver Island Brewing seems to be going through a bit of a rebranding, featuring a few old favourites with new names. Of those included in the new campaign is this product, which I picked up a six-pack of recently.

The Carmanah Ale is of the amber ale variety, featuring flavours of pine “as deep as a forest of Sitka spruces”. The 4.8% ABV easy drinking beverage was perfect for a long day of sipping, including drinking games, providing longevity and durability.

Vancouver Island Carmanah Ale

Joining the Carmanah Ale (aka Sea Dog Amber Ale) with new packaging is the Piper’s Pale Ale and 48 Dark Lager (formerly Hermann’s Dark Lager). The movement is using geographic coordinates, along with the tagline: “Where’s Next?”

The brewery did change ownership last summer, thus the company reboot. This particular release is named for Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, located on Vancouver Island. The park features numerous hiking trails.

For more Beer of the Week articles, please visit our main page…

Mixer Mania #12 – Until We Meet Again

Today’s mixer of choice is the Mountain Berry Blast flavour of Powerade. Drinking the concoction brings back memories of a childhood treat, the similarly flavoured Screamin’ Saucers. While I’ve come to peace with this product no longer being available to the public, there are other items I still crave and will never be able to eat or drink again:

President’s Choice Mustard Mesquite Barbecue Peanuts

These peanuts were so tasty that I even got Ma and Pa Sip hooked on them. And then, without any warning, they were gone from store shelves. They are still listed on the President’s Choice website, but without any price and stating that “product availability may vary in store”. Other peanuts in the line remain, but for some reason this variety has disappeared.

President_s Choice Mustard Mesquite Barbecue Peanuts

Keg Prime Rib Burger

What happens when you take a delicious, succulent burger and replace it with a bland, uninspired counterpart? The Sip Advisor boycotts your chain, that’s what! I’ve even spoken to servers before about the change in quality from the Prime Rib Burger to the beef blend Keg Burger and you know things are bad when they agree with me.

Payday Avalanche

On a holiday trip to Leavenworth, Washington about a decade ago, Mrs. Sip and I stumbled upon this treat in our hotel vending machine. So rare was the chocolate bar that Mrs. Sip and I started to wonder if it ever existed at all… despite the fact we both remember enjoying it together. We can find pictures of it online, but have yet to come across it ever again.

McDonald’s Big X-tra/Tasty

Every list similar to this contains at least one McDonald’s item, so here’s my pick. When I learned that McDonald’s outlets inside Walmart locations still served the Big X-tra (Big Tasty in the U.S.), I went out of my way to get the burger of my desire, sometimes even passing a full scale McDonald’s in the process. Sadly, the Walmart McDonald’s soon followed suit and killed the Big X-tra for good.

McDonald's Big Xtra.png

Nesquik Cereal

Moving to the cereal aisle, I’m not alone in saying that one of my favourite beverages growing up was chocolate milk. Oddly, there was something very satisfying about mixing milk with Nesquik chocolate syrup. Even better, was being able to have your morning meal and then drink the remaining chocolate milk. Then Nestle had to go and ruin things by abruptly discontinuing the product.

Cookies &

I was recently reminded of these cookie bars and as a self-professed cookie aficionado, you can bet I was a fan of these. The bars, released by Mars Inc., combined a crisp cookie crunch with some of the company’s most famous chocolate bars as toppings. These included Twix, M&Ms, Snickers and Milky Way, but the line was discontinued due to poor sales.

Mixer Mania #12: Flashback


  • 2 oz Vodka
  • Top with Powerade
  • Splash of Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

What products do you miss and wish you could try once again? Everybody has items they miss from the past and it’s always fun discussing the nostalgia behind them.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.75 Sips out of 5):
The recipe I found for this cocktail said to fill the remainder of the glass with Ginger Ale, but I wanted to feature the Powerade, so only used a splash of the pop. The best part of this cocktail was the appropriate name, given this article’s topic. Unfortunately, the drink was light on flavour and not very notable.

Snack Time #11: Reese’s Nutrageous Bar/Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cups

This week, we get a double shot of products from the amazing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups line. Anyone who isn’t a Reese’s fan either has a nut allergy (a reasonable excuse) or has some serious mental issues. There, I said it!

The Nutrageous Bar reminds me of a Peanut Butter Oh Henry, which is a very tasty treat in its own right. I really enjoyed the Nutrageous, which Ma Sip found in snack size, while in the US and I’m not sure if they’ve crossed the border into Canada yet… my guess would be not likely.

Reese's Nutrageous BarReese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cups.jpg

As for the Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cups, as soon as I saw these treats being advertised, I had to get my hands on them. We ended up having the King Cups variation, which I thought were a little overpriced at $2.19 for a pack, but the Reese’s Pieces add a nice crunch to the experience.

In conclusion, I commend the Reese’s research and development team and implore them to keep the new releases coming. Did you know H.B. Reese (the Reese behind the company) invented the treat in 1928, while fathering 16 children!

For more Snack Time articles, please visit our main page…

Sip Trips #94: Hard-Hitting Action

This past weekend, Mrs. Sip and I joined some friends at the World Rugby Sevens Series tour at BC Place, which is basically one non-stop party with some intense rugby action as a side attraction. We were lucky to get tickets, having to wait for when organizers released a second batch, but given we missed last year’s inaugural run of the event, we were just happy to be in attendance.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, teams have seven members on each side and play two seven-minute halves, with a very brief one-minute break in between. Once one contest is done, the next immediately begins and the day is full of boozing, costumes and other shenanigans.

The Thirsty Pigeon at BC Place

I was impressed with BC Place stepping up their craft beer game, but stadium pricing for drinks is completely out of whack. When the best deal is $16-plus for a 24-ounce pour, something needs to be changed. Although, judging by the inebriation of my fellow spectators, the pricing scheme was tolerable, if not ignorable.

I also have to commend the staff at BC Place, who had to turn this event around and clean up the stadium between day one and two of the event. You should have seen the accumulation of food and drink waste in each aisle, which builds a lot more given the event’s near 12-hour runtime, compared to your standard sporting occasion, which might last for a third of that time.

As for security, which one might expect would have been busy throughout the day, I didn’t see a single incident of fans having to be escorted out of the stadium or any issues between spectators. All in all, I think Vancouver put on a pretty good show for the weekend. Hopefully, that’s enough to earn a return engagement in 2018!