Mixer Mania #31 – Hard as they Come

Don’t get me wrong… I’ve been a root beer fan for many years, but I still can’t fully fathom why hard root beer has taken North America by storm. I mean, if I have the choice between a hard root beer and any craft beer, I’m reaching for the craft suds. With the fad in mind, let’s look at some of the hardest things out there, some real and some fictional:

Samoan Wrestler’s Heads

It’s long been a running joke in professional wrestling that a Samoan grappler’s head is virtually indestructible. For example, when an opponent would attempt a head butt, they would be the one to experience injury, while the Samoan would feel no effect, often laughing off the feeble attack.

Diamonds

That pretty little thing you’ve placed on your partner’s hand is actually one of the hardest substances known to man. Doesn’t seem so elegant anymore, does it!? Mrs. Sip has advised me that I should be shopping for another… better get on that.

Jawbreaker

Sometimes I don’t understand why this candy exists, given its unpleasant nature of causing dental damage for little to no enjoyment. A Gobstopper is okay because they breakdown easily enough, but those massive jawbreakers are simply a dentist’s dream.

Adamantium

Thought to be virtually indestructible, Adamantium is the element that has been fused to mutant Logan’s skeletal structure, turning him into a super weapon, code name: Wolverine. The painful procedure also caused Logan to become amnesic and forget his past.

Adamantium

Feminum

Sticking with indestructible super hero alloys, we have Feminum, used to forge Wonder Woman’s bracelets. This material can only be found on Paradise Island, home to Wonder Woman (aka Princess Diana) and her fellow Amazonians.

Anvil

Is there a better weapon in animated comedy than the anvil? Whether dropped by one of the Animaniacs or in a botched fashion by the lovable Wile E. Coyote, it can do some serious damage. You know, the type that causes chirping birdies or flashing stars to circle your noggin’.

Mixer Mania #31: Amber’s Revenge

Amber's Revenge.JPG

  • 1 oz Scotch
  • 0.5 oz Rum
  • 0.5 oz Tequila
  • Top with Root Beer
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

The whole hard root beer craze reminds me of a story my dad has told of a German relative trying root beer while visiting Canada and practically spitting out the soda upon discovering his beverage was far from the ales he was accustomed to back in Germany.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’m not sure who Amber is/was, but she must have been pretty pissed off, as I had to quarter each of the liquor ingredients to make the cocktail palatable. Not many drinks include Scotch, which is a slight shame because it works really well here and probably in other recipes.

Snack Time #30 – Doritos Sweet Chili Heat Tortilla Chips

While I previously only enjoyed Doritos Tortilla Chips on rare occasions (ie. whenever they were served), I have to credit this flavour as being my favourite of the line. I’m even willing to bump Cool Ranch down a peg to make that happen.

The Sweet Chili Heat variety has a wonderful mix of sweet and spicy, with a little burn on the backend that is addictive. For whatever reason, the taste reminds me of soy sauce, but I doubt this experience is shared universally. Maybe my palate is all out of whack.

Doritos Sweet Chili Heat

As Doritos describes: “Savour the sweet bold crunch and wait for the heat to kick in. The sweet and savoury spiciness of these tortilla chips will delight your taste buds, making sharing with friends and family a must at your next party, or get-together.”

I first tried these chips at a gathering for a wrestling pay-per-view and I was instantly hooked. Now I use them for nachos, providing a spicy version of the pub favourite, as well as chowing down on them on their own, with satisfying results.

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Beer of the Week #30 – Longwood Steam Punk Dunkelweizen

While relaxing at Ma and Pa Sip’s place recently, it was nice to sit back with this Longwood Brewing beer. The fact Mrs. Sip was kind enough to pick it up for me during a friend’s liquor store run was the icing on the cake.

The Steam Punk Dunkelweizen was very refreshing, made with 35% Canadian grown wheat, five different malts and Longwood’s in-house ale yeast. The 5% ABV, 19 IBUs beverage is just right for outdoor enjoyment, cooling down while in the sun.

Longwood Steam Punk Dunkelweizen

Available at BC Liquor Stores, I appreciate that Longwood products come in 568ml extra-tall cans, giving you that much more beer than the average serving. This is one of the brewery’s core products and can be found year round.

Some folks out there don’t know that a dunkelweizen is the darker, more sinister version of a hefeweizen. Okay, sinister may be a stretch, but it is definitely the darker twin brother of the hef, yet just as enjoyable.

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Mixer Mania #30 – Blowing Bubbles

One of the things that pops into my mind when working with Bubble Gum Soda is the character of Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys. That got me thinking of other characters with similar monikers… and there’s more than you would think. Here are some of the more infamous ones:

Trailer Park Boys

The trio of Julian, Ricky and Bubbles is always on the prowl for a get-rich-quick scheme, with Julian the brain, Ricky the muscle and Bubbles the heart of any operation. Bubbles real name has never been divulged, while his nickname certainly stems from his large glasses. The kitty-loving resident of Sunnyvale Trailer Park splits his time between fixing shopping carts, wrestling as the Green Bastard and playing a mean guitar.

Bubbles Kitties

Bubble Bobble

One of my favourite video games as a youngster was Bubble Bobble, featuring the characters of Bub and Bob, two bubble dragons. This classic Taito platformer sees the twins attempt to rescue their girlfriends from the Cave of Monsters. Given the creatures are good at blowing bubbles, I wonder how Bub and Bob were rewarded for their heroic efforts!?

Bubbles the Chimpanzee

Michael Jackson bought this chimp from a Texas research facility in the 1980s and turned him into an international celebrity, with exploits including drinking tea with the mayor of Osaka, Japan. Hopefully this wasn’t an attempt by Jackson to seem more normal! Bubbles is actually still alive, aged 34, and has lived at a Florida-based sanctuary since 2005.

Little Britain

Bubbles DeVere is the worst nightmare of every health spa. She has racked up massive debts at the Hill Grange Health Spa, often roams the facility in the buff, acts like a member of the social elite, and worst of all, she refuses to ever leave the place. As you can imagine, this leads to numerous hilarious situations, which oddly make Ms. DeVere endearing.

Bubbles Little Britain

Lilo & Stitch

Former CIA agent Cobra Bubbles is the social worker overseeing Lilo and her being in the custody of her older sister Nani. Despite some initial problems, by the end of the film, Cobra is a friend to the family, knowing full well that Stitch is not the family dog, but is in fact an alien species. This is thanks to his CIA experience… the truth is out there.

Legend of Zelda

The names of enemies in video games are often quite interesting. Did you know that if you encounter a flying skull (sometimes on fire) in the Legend of Zelda franchise, that these are known as Bubble. When hero Link is hit by a Bubble, he will react in different ways, depending on the type of Bubble. Through the series, players have met Fire, Ice and Cursed Bubbles, thus far.

Detroit Lions

For whatever reason, the NFL’s Detroit Lions logo, featured predominantly on the team’s helmets and various merchandise, is nicknamed Bubbles. This is apparently more of a fan nickname and not an official one, started by radio personality Art Regner, who once opined that the lion looked like he was “batting at bubbles”. Some would argue the Detroit franchise often plays that way, too.

Mixer Mania #30: Blue Bong

Blue Bong.JPG

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Gin
  • Top with Bubble Gum Soda
  • Splash of Blue Raspberry Mixer
  • Dash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Lollipop

While not a character, the importance of bubble wrap as a packing tool and an entertainment device cannot be underestimated… just wanted to get that out there!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 out of 5 Sips):
I did halve each of the alcohol ingredients to make the cocktail more palatable and it really worked. This beverage is quite tasty, with just the right amount of sweet and sour. I was forced to garnish to cocktail with a Lollipop, as Mrs. Sip recently got rid of all the candy garnishes – including bubble gum pieces – I had lying around. Such is married life!

Snack Time #29 – Oreo Jelly Donut Cookies

On Ma Sip’s recent shopping excursion to the US, she found these Oreo cookies and just had to pick up a pack for Mrs. Sip and I. Released on National Doughnut Day, the treat can be found exclusively at Walmart locations.

The cookies really do taste like jelly donuts, combining two great desserts into one. They are comprised of Golden Oreo cookies sandwiching custard cream with a raspberry cream center. They do work best with Golden Oreos, although I’d be curious to try a Chocolate Oreo version.

Oreo Jelly Donut Cookies

I really respect Oreo for experimenting with different flavours as much as they do. Other current (I believe) Oreo flavours I’d like to try, include Cookie Dough and Cinnamon Bun. Now, it’s just a matter of tracking down the packages, likely across the border.

Sadly, I missed out on such limited edition releases as Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, S’mores, Brownie Batter, and Root Beer Float. Now that’s playing around with a tried and true recipe!

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Sip Trips #111: Long Weekend Lounging

While the August long weekend was busy, there was actually far more time for rest and relaxation than I had originally anticipated. Still, it wasn’t all laid back and lazy:

On Friday, Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed a bit of a date night at local favourite Patron Tacos & Cantina. Straying slightly from our usual order, we split their Queso Fundido and Chicken Quesadilla dishes, while Mrs. Sip satisfied her craving for Horchata and I downed a pint of their Patron Lager. The meal was very filling, so we even took home some leftover with us.

Mexican Food.jpg

The next evening, the Sip Syndicate gathered at The Yale Saloon for dinner. Here, I paired a Granville Island Pale Ale with their BBQ Sample Plate (split with a friend), which included a serving of brisket with jalpeno cornbread, coleslaw, baked beans and potato salad. My only complaint from visiting the Yale Saloon last year remains the same, as it would be great to see more local craft beer added to the menu. At least a Granville Island selection is now available.

Following the meal, we made our way to Sunset Beach for the Celebration of Light fireworks. First, a quick liquor store stop was necessary, where we grabbed a pair of Postmark West Coast Pale Ale tall can four-packs to consume while watching the show in the sky. I was hesitant about attending the long weekend Saturday show (we typically see the lone Wednesday presentation for lighter crowds), but things weren’t anywhere near as bad as I feared. Best of all, the Team Canada contingent put on a fantastic show.

Fireworks.jpg

On Sunday, Mrs. Sip and I decided to get some of the shopping out of the way for our Baby Shower Beer Garden. I’ve been stressing over having a good mix and the right amount of brews for the event, so it was relieving to make a few decisions. Wanting to have a fair variety, we grabbed mixed packs from Big Rock, Central City, Bowen Island, and Vancouver Island breweries. We also picked up some traditional options in Blue Moon, Budweiser, Canadian and Strongbow Cider, to cover all our bases. Also while out, I nabbed the Phillips Hop Box for myself, along with an extra-tall can of Longwood’s Berried Alive Raspberry Ale.

Sadly, the long weekend couldn’t last forever, but that didn’t mean the fun halted. With the work week back in full swing, we took time out to attend the brand new IQ2000 trivia night hosted at the Central City Brew Pub on Wednesdays. Our team put on a pretty good performance, finishing third and earning a pass for six people to enjoy a tour and tasting at the brewery’s impressive Surrey location. As for food and drink, I was saddened to learn that my Crispy Crunch Burger is no longer on the menu. I settled for their Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich, which was also good. My beverage selections included the Mystery Tap (the cheapest brew on the menu for adventurous drinks), which turned out to be Central City’s Lemon Groove Golden Ale, followed by their White Ale. We’ll be back in a couple weeks to take home top prize!

Beer of the Week #29 – Twin Sails Hot Take IPA

While at Darby’s Gastown’s weekly trivia night recently, I planned ahead and selected this beverage off the menu. From Twin Sails Brewing, a particular claim moved this ale to the top of my list, leapfrogging other options.

What drew me to the Hot Take IPA was that it’s IPU count was zero… and that wasn’t a misprint. By adding hops after the beer’s boil, the brew still had many earmarks of an IPA, such as a 7% ABV and mix of fruit and hop flavour.

Twin Sails Hot Take IPA

I’d be curious to see friends of mine, who loathe IPAs and anything with a bitter taste, try this release. Would they love it, still hate it, or find it acceptable. For those curious, the beer is only available on tap at select locations.

You could always visit the brewery. I’m due for another trip to Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row, which Cousin Sip and I explored last summer. To have four solid operations with a five-minute walk of each other is a beer lovers dream!

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