Pennsylvania – Fish House Punch

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. The original capital of the country (Philadelphia) can be found in Pennsylvania, which was situated right in the middle of the new nation – six states below and six states above – earning it the nickname, the Keystone State. Let’s check out this important cog in America:

Motto: “Virtue, liberty, and independence” – That pretty much covers it all.

Food: Philly Cheesesteaks are known the world over. Created by Pat and Henry Olivieri at their hotdog stand, the original recipe called for a sandwich of beef, covered with cheese and onions. The meal proved so popular, the brothers opened Pat’s King of Steaks, which is still in business today. Visitors to Pennsylvania can’t leave the state without trying a cheesesteak.

Drink: Yuengling Brewing, founded in 1829, in Pottsville, is America’s oldest operating brewing company. Based on sales, it is one of the most successful breweries in the world today. It should also be noted that soda originated in Pennsylvania, in 1807, when druggist Townsend Speakman added fruit flavours to carbonated water, making it more drinkable.

Cheesesteak

Site to See: The Liberty Bell, located in Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park, is one of America’s most iconic symbols. It was originally used to gather legislators and make announcements to the public. Interestingly, the word Pennsylvania is misspelled ‘Pensylvania’ on the bell, as a decision on the official spelling of the state hadn’t been made yet.

Street: Chocolate and Cocoa Avenues intersect to make up the town square of Hershey. It is here, where The Hershey Company is headquartered, as well as the location of the Hersheypark amusement resort. Streetlamps along the routes are shaped like Hershey’s Kisses. Chocolate production in Pennsylvania has earned the state the nickname ‘Sweetest Place on Earth’.

TV Show: A few of my favourite shows take place in Pennsylvania, including The Goldbergs, The Office and Boy Meets World. Each contains numerous references to life in the state. I’ve also had It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on my ‘to watch’ list for some time, so hopefully it appears on a streaming service accessible in Canada one day.

Movie: Many of director M. Night Shyamalan’s films are set in Pennsylvania, including The Sixth Sense, Signs and The Eastrail 177 Trilogy (Unbreakable/Split/Glass). A majority of filming for each movie was done around the state, featuring notable landmarks. Shyamalan, the plot twist king, was born in India, but now resides in Penn Valley.

Liberty Bell

Book/Author: Husband and wife writer-illustrators Stan and Jan Berenstain were born in Philadelphia. Their Berenstain Bears series of children’s books is comprised of more than 300 releases, which have sold over 260 millions copies around the world, since debuting in 1962. Since their passings, the franchise has been continued by Stan and Jan’s son, Mike (also from Philly).

Fictional Character: Scrappy boxer Rocky Balboa (aka the Italian Stallion), is born and bred in Philadelphia. When the relatively unknown fighter is given a title shot against the World Heavyweight Champion, Apollo Creed, he is unable to win, but survives the 15-round battle at the Philadelphia Spectrum, making Balboa a true hometown hero.

Fictional City: One of my all-time favourite films is Slap Shot, about the fictional Charlestown Chiefs hockey team and their move to violence over skill, in order for the struggling franchise to win more games and draw more fans. Charlestown was based off real-life Johnstown, where the movie was filmed, and inspired by the Johnstown Jets hockey team.

Actor/Actress: A-listers of today, such as Will Smith and Bradley Cooper were born in Philadelphia. However, the nod for this category goes to James Stewart, star of such classics as It’s a Wonderful Life, Rear Window and Vertigo, who was born in Indiana. There, each Christmas, the suburb hosts an It’s a Wonderful Life celebration and film festival, in Stewart’s honour.

Berenstain Bears

Song: I’m going to go ahead and pick Amish Paradise by Weird Al Yankovic, given Pennsylvania’s massive Amish population (largest in the country). In the mid 1700’s, Amish immigrants settled in their new paradise and have remained since. I mean, there has to be a reason why they came to the state in droves… it’s not like they’re stubborn or anything like that!

Band/Musician: America’s Sweetheart, Taylor Swift, was born in West Reading. Starting her career as a country musician, Swift has transitioned successfully into the pop world and is one of the most popular artists in the world today. Some of her most recognized songs include Shake It Off, Blank Space, Bad Blood and Look What You Made Me Do.

People: For 33 years, Fred Rogers welcomed viewers into his home and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. There, the man born in Latrobe, taught children lessons of morality. Rogers was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy, as well as being inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.

Animal: Punxsutawney Phil has been predicting the weather since 1887. When the famous groundhog emerges from his burrow each February 2nd, if he sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter can be expected. If he doesn’t see his shadow, spring is near. Phil’s accuracy is only about 40 per cent. The film Groundhog Day resulted in annual crowds increasing from 2,000 to a record 40,000 people in 2020.

Invention: As we suffer through the COVID-19 pandemic, I think anytime a vaccine for a disease is invented, that’s a fantastic achievement. In 1952, Jonas Salk and others at the University of Pittsburgh created the first successful polio vaccine. By 1955, children were being vaccinated across America, with reported cases of polio dropping drastically.

Crime: On Septmeber 24, 1982, former prison guard George Banks went on a killing spree, murdering seven children (including five of his own), along with their four mothers, a neighbour and the mother of his ex-girlfriend. The event is known as the 1982 Wilkes-Barre Shootings. Banks was sentenced to death for the slayings, but was found mentally incompetent for execution.

Law: In Pennsylvania, a man may not purchase alcohol without the written permission of his wife. Can you imagine how that would go over in the Sip Family household? I mean, I often discuss liquor purchases with the missus, but ain’t no one stopping me from getting my drink on!

Sports Team: Pennsylvania’s Big 4 sports teams are split between Philadelphia – Eagles (NFL), Flyers (NHL), Phillies (MLB) and 76ers (NBA) – and Pittsburgh – Steelers (NFL), Penguins (NHL) and Pirates (MLB). Also, the Little League World Series is played annually in South Williamsport, where the event debuted in 1947, as the National Little League Tournament.

Polio Vaccine

Athlete: Two NBA icons were born in Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain. Bryant won five NBA championships and is thought of as one of the best players ever. Sadly, Bryant died in a helicopter crash earlier this year. Chamberlain makes this list solely based on bedding 20,000 women. Oh yeah, he also won two NBA titles (including one with the 76ers) and is the only player to score 100 points in a game.

Famous Home: Fallingwater, designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, can be found in Mill Run. It was built on top of a waterfall for the Kaufmann family of Kaufmann’s Department Store fame. The estate is a National Historic Landmark and is on the Smithsonian’s Life List of 28 Places to See Before You Die. Tours are available of the site.

Urban Legend: The Congelier House, in Pittsburgh, was considered America’s most haunted house. Tragic events at the home, including Mrs. Congelier killing her husband and their maid upon discovering their affair; a doctor who experimented on murdered women and workers disappearing from the boarding house, led to paranormal activity… although the house’s history has been discredited.

Museum: Two Pennsylvania museums stand out to me. The Big Mac Museum, in North Huntington, celebrates the burger first released in Pittsburgh, before becoming one of McDonald’s most popular menu items. There’s also the Houdini Museum, in Scranton, where illusionist Harry Houdini performed a number of his death-defying stunts.

Big Mac

Firsts: Pennsylvania was home to a number of metropolitan firsts that are now commonplace around the country. This included the first automobile service station, zoo (Philadelphia Zoo), hospital, circulating library, multi-lane highway (Pennsylvania Turnpike), baseball stadium, daily newspaper, movie theatre, and department store (Wanamaker’s).

Company: Crayola, makers of items such as crayons, coloured pencils, markers, paints, and more, is headquartered in Forks Township. It was originally founded in 1885, as Binney and Smith, by cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith. Today, Crayola is owned by Hallmark Cards. Crayola Crayons were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.

Events: With Philadelphia serving as the nation’s capital on a number of occasions, particularly during the birth of the country, the Declaration of Independence was signed and the U.S. Constitution written there. It’s central location, with regards to the 13 colonies, made it a perfect meeting spot for the revolutionary fighters and minds that shaped the republic.

Miscellaneous: Many notable historic moments have occurred throughout Pennsylvania, including President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (preceded by the Battle of Gettysburg) and the Crossing of the Delaware, by George Washington, during the American Revolutionary War. This event is now re-enacted every year in Pennsylvania on Christmas Day.

Fish House Punch

Fish House Punch

  • 1.5 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.75 oz Cognac
  • 0.5 oz Peach/Apricot brandy
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

The Fish House Punch is quite the concoction, so I found a single serving recipe perfect for my purposes. The drink was invented at Philadelphia’s Fish House fishing club, in 1732. George Washington was a fan of the beverage, once using it to make 13 toasts, one for each of the original states.

Oregon – Sloe Gin Fizz

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we visit Oregon, the…*checks notes*… um, Beaver State, where we will fully explore every nook and cranny and penetrate to the core of this amazing place. Things might get a little messy, so let’s put on our protective gear and get to it:

Motto: “She flies with her own wings” – She sounds kind of sexy!

Food: Tater Tots were created by Ore-Ida founders, the Grigg brothers, when they sought to do something with leftover potato slivers. Apparently, sales of Tater Tots only improved once the price was raised, giving the product value. A few other notable food manufacturing companies are also based in Oregon, including Voodoo Doughnuts, Tillamook Cheese and Kettle Brand Potato Chips.

Drink: Oregon is a drinker’s haven, with countless craft breweries (over 200, with Boneyard, Deschutes, Rogue and Breakside among my favourites from the state) and also the Willamette Valley Wine Region (aka Oregon Wine Country). Oregon is home to over 700 wineries. The Portland Beer and Wine Festival became a staple of Sip Family Easter long weekends for a few years before the event was discontinued.

Tater Tot

Site to See: Nestled in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains is Crater Lake National Park. Visitors can circuit the lake on the Rim Drive or explore one of the many trails in the area. Some other spectacular landscapes in the state include the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood, Silver Falls State Park, Hells Canyon, Oregon Dunes, and Oregon Caves National Monument.

Street: The Coast Highway 101 (aka U.S. Route 101) stretches from Washington, through Oregon, to California. Along the Oregon portion of the highway, the Pacific Ocean can be seen through almost the entire state, with only a few stretches taking drivers inland. It is also the main street in a number of Oregon’s coastal towns, sometimes causing traffic issues.

TV Show: While the show has gone to great lengths to protect its setting, the consensus is that The Simpsons takes place in Oregon. This theory comes largely from creator Matt Groening being an Oregonian and taking many aspects of the series from his early life in Portland. The show is the longest running American sitcom, airing 684 episodes over 31 seasons.

Movie: Tough choice here. I’ll have to go with childhood favourite, Short Circuit. Starring Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy, this film sees a robot (Johnny 5) become sentient and befriend those it meets. As the company who made the robot tries to get it back, Johnny 5’s new friends do what they can to protect it. Honourable mentions include Stand by Me, The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop.

Short Circuit

Book/Author: Beverly Cleary, born in McMinnville, is best known for The Ramona Collection children’s novels, featuring young troublemaker Ramona Quimby. The eight-book series is set in Portland, following the adventures of Ramona and her family and friends. Cleary won a National Book Award in 1981 for Ramona and Her Mother, the fifth book in the anthology.

Fictional Character: The extensive cast of characters from The Simpson has to highlight this category. While Homer Simpson is often cited as one of the greatest TV characters of all-time, other characters, such as Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Krusty the Clown, Principal Skinner, Chief Wiggum, and many others have entertained fans for over 30 years.

Fictional City: A number of projects have been set in invented Oregon locales. These include White Pine Bay (Bates Motel), Elk Cove (Overboard), Gravity Falls, Eureka, and Wayoutatown (Angry Beavers). It’s interesting that both Gravity Falls and Eureka center around mysterious towns. Add to that, Bates Motel is a Psycho prequel and one might be hesitant to visit Oregon.

Actor/Actress: Ty Burrell, of Modern Family fame, was born in Grants Pass. His work on Modern Family resulted in eight straight Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy nominations and two wins. Burrell has also appeared in movies such as Muppets Most Wanted, along with voicing characters in Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Finding Dory.

Homer Simpson

Song: Live Long in Oregon was originally written and performed by folk singer-songwriter Laura Gibson for the Cover Oregon Campaign, as part of the Affordable Health Care Act. Gibson was born in Coquille and her love for her home state is evident in lines like “I’ll sing for the place my heart has called home/Where the salt meets the air, meets the cold mountain snow.”

Band/Musician: The Kingsmen, best known for the rock classic, Louie Louie, were formed in Portland, in the early 1960’s. While Louie Louie peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart, the song has remained popular to this day. Part of the song’s notoriety came from it being banned in some places, due to supposed offensive lyrics.

People: The previously mentioned Matt Groening not only created The Simpsons, but has also been at the helm of animated comedies Futurama and Disenchantment. As a result of his career in TV, Groening has won 13 Emmy Awards and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Returning to his roots, Groening appeared as himself in a 2015 episode of Portlandia.

Animal: Bobbie the Wonder Dog became a national sensation in 1924, when he found his way home to Silverton, after going missing while his family was visiting relatives in Wolcott, Indiana. Bobbie’s journey spanned an incredible 3,000 miles and took six months to complete. Bobbie is remembered each year with the Silverton children’s pet parade.

Bobbie the Wonder Dog

Invention: Without one Oregon creation, the work I do would not be possible. The computer mouse was developed by Douglas Engelbart, of Portland. Sadly, Engelbart never received any royalties for his creation, with the patent being filed by SRI International, where he worked. Engelbart also helped with advancements in hypertext, networked computers and the internet.

Crime: The 1971 highjacking of a plane between Portland and Seattle, by the mysterious D.B. Cooper, has fascinated folks since it occurred. When the $200,000 ransom was paid, Cooper released the plane’s passengers and had the pilots return to the air, where he jumped into the Washington wilderness. While it’s believed Cooper didn’t survive the jump, his remains were never found and only a portion of the money was ever recovered.

Law: In Oregon, weddings on ice rinks are prohibited. Could this be the result of state shame regarding disgraced Portland-born figure skater Tonya Harding?

Sports Team: The Portland Trailblazers (NBA) are the state’s only Big 4 professional team, but the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer also enjoy a rabid fan base. As for college athletics, the University of Oregon Ducks and Oregon State University Beavers are the talk of the state, with their rivalry known as the Civil War, which dates all the way back to 1894.

DB Cooper

Athlete: It’s one thing to be a dual-sport athlete, but try mastering 10 different disciplines. Ashton Eaton may not be a household name, but the two-time Olympic gold medalist (London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016) in the decathlon not only won those events, but broke world records while doing so. Eaton, born in Portland, is now retired from competition.

Famous Home: The home of the Walsh family, from the beloved 1985 movie, The Goonies, can be found in Astoria. Dubbed the Goonies House, the home’s current owner (since 2001) originally welcomed fans of the film visiting the site, but eventually grew tired of them, due to disrespectful behaviour from a minority. Much of the home is now covered by blue tarp and visitors are discouraged to be there.

Urban Legend: The Shanghai Tunnels (aka Old Portland Underground) are located underneath the Old Town and Chinatown areas of the city. The tunnels were used for close to 100 years, for such illicit activity as human trafficking and are said to be haunted by those who lost their lives in the secret passages. Tours are available, but may come with disembodied voices talking and screaming.

Museum: The Historic Carousel & Museum, in Albany, houses one of the world’s largest collections of carved and painted animal carousel pieces. Much of the work on display was done by the Dentzel family, the first makers of carousels in the U.S. Admission and tours are free, while riding the carousel will only set you back $2.

Carousel

Firsts: Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official holiday (at least for federal workers), when they did so in 1887. They were joined shortly thereafter by Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. What is now celebrated on the first Monday of each September, was originally set for the first Saturday of every June.

Company: Global sportswear giant Nike, is headquartered in Beaverton. It’s the world’s largest retailer of athletic shoes and apparel. Nike is known for their ‘Just Do It’ ad campaign and endorsement of top athletes, such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. The company’s iconic swoosh logo was designed by a Portland graphic design student, who was paid a mere $35, although she was later gifted stock in the company.

Events: From the mid 1830’s to the late 1860’s, the Oregon Trail was used by settlers searching for greener pastures in the Pacific Northwest. An estimated 400,000 people used the route before it was superseded by the First Transcontinental Railroad. The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, in Baker City, documents the expeditions these travellers made.

Miscellaneous: There have been a number of separation attempts made in Oregon. These include the State of Jefferson (joining of southern Oregon and northern California) and Cascadia (western region independence from the state). There’s also the 1975 Ernest Callenbach novel Ecotopia, which discussed a merging of Washington, Oregon and northern California.

Sloe Gin Fizz

Sloe Gin Fizz

  • 1.5 oz Sloe Gin
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

In Loretta Lynn’s song, Portland, Oregon, the Sloe Gin Fizz cocktail is mentioned. Therefore, the city and state adopted the drink as their own. The lyrics go: “Well, Portland Oregon and sloe gin fizz/If that ain’t love, then tell me what is, uh huh, uh huh.” This was first experimentation with Sloe Gin and I look forward to more dabbling in the future.

Oklahoma – Sooner Spirit

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today we travel to Oklahoma, which received a ton of attention recently, as the place where the Tiger King saga largely took place. Let’s see if the Sooner State has more to offer than Joe Exotic and his cronies:

Motto: “Labor conquers all things” – No, I prefer to be lazy!

Food: Oklahoma has a State Meal, comprised of chicken fried steak, fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, black-eyed peas and pecan pie. While that feast sounds delicious, it has received criticism due to its high calorie count. One senator tried to have the meal repealed, but failed.

Drink: The Lunchbox cocktail (a shot of amaretto topped by orange juice and beer) was created at Edna’s, in Oklahoma City. I’ve featured this drink before and while Edna’s uses Coors Light in their concoction, I refuse to sink to such levels. At Edna’s you can even “Lunchbox up” an order of sweet potato fries, adding an amaretto-marshmallow sauce drizzle to the dish.

oklahoma-state-meal

Site to See: One of Oklahoma’s top tourist destinations is the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. The zoo is home to nearly 2,000 animals, and is among the oldest zoos in the country, opened in 1902. It offers up close experiences with flamingos, camels, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, sea lions, stingrays, and lorikeets, for additional costs.

Street: The much-loved Route 66 ran through Oklahoma, with the stretch known as Will Rogers Highway. Interstate 40 and State Highway 66 now occupy the path, but travellers can still find such highlights as the Coleman Theatre, Rock Café, Milk Bottle Grocery, many landmark gas stations, and the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, in Clinton.

TV Show: Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter, is set in Oklahoma City. The series ran for three seasons and 46 episodes and was about a hardened detective seeking to turn her life around with the help of her guardian angel. The show’s creator, Nancy Miller, was raised in Oklahoma City and many references about the state were incorporated into the series.

Movie: The Outsiders, starring one of the greatest young ensemble casts ever put together – with Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, and Ralph Macchio making up the Greasers gang) is set in Tulsa. Based on Oklahoman S.E. Hinton’s novel, the movie is about rival teenage gangs in the mid 1960’s and the fallout from their violence.

Outsiders

Book/Author: Speaking of Hinton, who was only a teenager herself when she wrote The Outsiders, each of her other young adult novels are set in Oklahoma. This includes That Was Then, This Is Now; Rumble Fish; Tex; and Taming the Star Runner. Only the last one hasn’t been adapted into a film. Hinton has been recognized as creating the young adult genre.

Fictional Character: Ponyboy, Sodapop, Darry, Dally, Two-Bit, Johnny… take your pick, The Outsiders are awesome. My favourite of the bunch is the wisecracking Two-Bit, played in the film by Emilio Estevez. A close second for me would be Darry, the leader of bunch, as you can’t go wrong with Patrick Swayze. Stays gold, Greasers.

Fictional City: Pyramid Corners is the setting of TV show The Torkelsons (later renamed Almost Home for its second season, which saw the family relocate to Seattle). The sitcom cast some notable actors in early roles, including Brittany Murphy and Alyson Hannigan, as well as guest appearances by Drew Carey, Ben Affleck and Jared Leto all before they were famous.

Actor/Actress: Perennial candidate for Sexiest Man Alive, Brad Pitt was born in Shawnee. His most notable roles include Fight Club, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (which he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for). Pitt has also garnered much attention for his personal life, due to relationships with Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie.

Brad Pitt

Song: Oklahoma not only has a number of songs about the state, it has its own musical, Oklahoma! The title song from that Rodgers and Hammerstein production (this was their first collaboration) was made the State Song in 1953. It is played regularly at the University of Oklahoma, for Oklahoma Sooners games, as well as other events at the school.

Band/Musician: Country music is big in Oklahoma and no one personifies the genre better than Garth Brooks. Brooks, born in Tulsa, is one of the best-selling artists of all-time, while his concert tours have also broken world records. Brooks has won two Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Not bad for a guy with Friends in Low Places.

People: Will Rogers did it all. He was an actor, cowboy, newspaper columnist and politician. He was also called ‘Oklahoma’s Favourite Son’. In 1935, Rogers died in a plane crash. The Will Rogers Memorial can be found in Claremore and around the state, the Will Rogers World Airport, Will Rogers Turnpike and 13 schools are all named in his honour.

Animal: Boomer and Sooner are white ponies, who serve as the mascots for the University of Oklahoma Sooners football team. When the squad scores a touchdown, the ponies pull a Sooner Schooner wagon across the field in celebration. The current pony pair is the fifth set used by the team, since being introduced in 1964.

Low Places

Invention: The shopping cart (originally called folding basket carriers) was invented by Humpty Dumpty grocery chain owner, Sylvan Goldman, to allow his customers to buy more items per visit. Next, the electric guitar was created and first used by musician Bob Dunn. Finally, voice messaging was developed by Gordon Matthews, earning him the nickname the ‘Father of Voicemail’.

Crime: The Oklahoma City Bombing, perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh, on April 19, 1995, caused much devastation, including 168 dead – many of them children – and 680 injured. McVeigh, who committed the act of terrorism as revenge against the federal government, was executed in 2001. Today, the site is home to the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Law: In Oklahoma, dogs must have a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate in groups of three or more on private property. Finally, someone is cracking down on these dangerous gangs.

Sports Team: The University of Oklahoma Sooners vs. Oklahoma State University Cowboys/Cowgirls rivalry – particularly seen in football, but also basketball and even wrestling – is known as the Bedlam Series. The state finally got a professional team when the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics relocated in 2008, becoming the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Shopping Cart

Athlete: Baseball legend, Mickey Mantle, was born in Spavinaw. He played his entire career for the New York Yankees, recording 536 home runs as a switch-hitter. Mantle excelled in the playoffs, appearing in 12 World Series, winning seven titles. He holds World Series records for home runs, RBIs and runs. Mantle was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Famous Home: The Marland Mansion, dubbed the Palace on the Prairie, can be found in Ponca City. It was originally the home of oil tycoon E.W. Marland and consists of 55 rooms, including 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and three kitchens. The estate was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and today, features a public museum.

Urban Legend: In Beaver Dunes State Park, there’s said to be a Shaman’s Portal, which has caused a number of disappearances, including Spanish conquistadors. Thus, it has been called Oklahoma’s Bermuda Triangle. The cause of the bizarre activity is thought to have come from a UFO crash or the site also being Native American burial grounds.

Museum: The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, in Oklahoma City, contains more than 28,000 pieces of art and historic items, celebrating the cowboy lifestyle. One exhibit features more than 100 firearms from the old west period. The facility also includes the replica town, Prosperity Junction, which visitors can move throughout and experience.

Cowboys

Firsts: I’m not sure this is one to be proud of, but Oklahoma was home to the first parking meter. Installed in July 1935, the Park-O-Meter No. 1 cost a whopping 5-cents per hour and was met with great outrage by people who considered them un-American. Still, the meters spread like wildfire across the country, as businesses enjoyed the quick vehicle turnover they created.

Company: Sonic Drive-In was founded in Shawnee and is now headquartered in Oklahoma City. The fast food chain is known for its extensive menu, including various burgers and dogs, along with sides like fries and onion rings, and slushes and milkshakes for drinks. The chain was named Sonic, thanks to its original slogan, “service with the speed of sound”.

Events: The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 brought 50,000 people to the territory, looking for their slice of the land pie. People trying to cheat the noon start time, earned the nickname Sooners, which became the State Nickname. Of course, over-farming did lead to the Oklahoma dust bowl of the 1930’s, but that was after many years of successful production.

Miscellaneous: Oklahoma has the most tornados in America, including a record of five in one day. As a result, detection of the destructive natural disasters is vital, with the first tornado forecast/warning taking place in the state in March 1948. All that activity made Oklahoma the perfect setting for the 1996 film Twister.

Sooner Spirit

Sooner Spirit

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • Splash of Sweet and Sour Mix
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Strawberry Slices

This cocktail is certainly on the boozy side and kind of resembles a margarita, with vodka subbed in for tequila. The grenadine turns the drink a colour similar to that of the Oklahoma Sooners jersey colour. The drink can be enjoyed while prepping for a Sooners football game, or to simply show pride in the state.

Ohio – Boozy Buckeye

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we travel to Ohio, the Buckeye State, to see what trouble we can get into. Given the state gave out the first ever traffic ticket, though, we better tread carefully. Let’s do it:

Motto: “With God, all things are possible” – All things are always possible…

Food: For those with a sweet tooth, Ohio has a number of options. Most notably, Buckeyes (balls of peanut butter fudge dipped in chocolate) are popular throughout the state. With a portion of the peanut butter exposed, they resemble the nuts from buckeye trees, the State Tree of Ohio. Life Savers Candy and Chewing Gum were also invented there.

Drink: Gem Beverages has operated in Ohio since 1923. Their most popular brand is Ski, a citrus soda, which comes in regular, diet, cherry and tropical flavours. This category seems like a good place to also mention that the pop-top (pull-tab) drink can was invented in 1959, by Ohioan Ermal Fraze, as he looked for a better way to open beers.

Buckeyes

Site to See: Cedar Point amusement park, in Sandusky, is the second oldest amusement park in the U.S. The park has been called ‘America’s Roller Coaster’ and contains 71 rides. It is the most visited seasonal theme park in the country. Cedar Point was awarded ‘Best Amusement Park in the World’ 16 years in a row (1997-2013) by Amusement Today.

Street: Euclid Avenue in Cleveland gained attention in the late 1800s and early 1900s for the wealthy families living along the route. With residents like John Rockefeller, the area became known as Millionaires’ Row and the beauty of the street earned it another nickname: The Showplace of America. There’s also a really neat three-way bridge in Zanesville, called the Y-Bridge.

TV Show: A number of good sitcoms are set in Ohio, including The Drew Carey Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Family Ties. Hit musical dramedy Glee also took place in the state. Of them all, The Drew Carey Show was probably my favourite, thanks to characters like Lewis and Oswald. Also, John Lithgow did an amazing job on 3rd Rock, while we can thank Family Ties for Michael J. Fox.

Movie: Did you know one of the greatest characters of the horror genre haunts Ohio… even its resident’s dreams? The A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, which sees Freddy Krueger stalk his victims in their sleep, was created by Wes Craven, who was born in Cleveland. There are nine Elm Street films, along with a TV series, novels, comic books and other media.

Freddy Krueger

Book/Author: As someone who grew up on this author’s work, I had to pick R.L. Stine for this category. His Goosebumps series introduced millions of kids to the concept of reading for fun, while his Fear Street series kept those kids, now as teenagers, interested in picking up a book. Stine’s countless novels have sold hundreds of millions of copies.

Fictional Character: The Hulk (real name Bruce Banner) is from Dayton. If I’m being honest, I was never really a fan of the character until Mark Ruffalo took over the role in The Avengers movies. The scene where he obliterates Loki by rag dolling him around is one of the best in any Marvel movie. Hulk SMASH, am I right!?

Fictional City: Coolsville is the hometown of Scooby-Doo and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang. Sure, a lot of weird happenings occur in the town, but as long as the Mystery Machine is nearby, you know the case is about to be solved by some meddling kids and their dog. Interestingly, there is a real town in Ohio, named Coolville, after founder Simeon W. Cooley.

Actor/Actress: Paul Newman, star of movies such as The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, The Sting, and a Sip Advisor personal favourite Slap Shot, was born in Shaker Heights. Newman was nominated a number of times for the Best Actor Oscar, finally winning one for The Color of Money. His Newman’s Own food company donates all after-tax profits to charity.

Paul Newman

Song: Ohio by The Black Keys is an ode to the state, with the group being formed in Akron. It was a bonus track on their album Brothers and contains lyrics such as “Get me home; Before, before I lose my mind. I need some space to let my; My tape rewind.” It should also be noted, Ohio has a State Rock Song, Hang On, Sloopy by The McCoys.

Band/Musician: Dave Grohl, frontman of the Foo Fighters and drummer for Nirvana before that, was born in Warren. While many famous people have a street named after them in their hometown, Grohl has an alley. Visitors to the landmark can find paintings and a sculpture of Grohl, as well as the world’s largest drumsticks. Grohl is said to visit the site on occasion.

People: Ohio is a capital of aviation. The Wright Brothers (Orville and Wilbur) were from Dayton, before moving to North Carolina and making the first successful motor-operated airplane flight. Also, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit earth, were born in Wapakoneta and Cambridge, respectively.

Animal: Smoky the Dog was a war dog, accompanying Corporal William A. Wynne, during World War II. Smoky’s efforts, running wires to help build an air base, saved about 250 soldiers from being exposed. After the war, Wynne and Smoky returned to Cleveland, where the dog became a national sensation, with her popularity reviving the Yorkshire Terrier breed.

Smoky the Dog

Invention: High school friends from Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, co-created comic book superhero Superman, with the character debuting in the first issue of Action Comics, in 1938. The rights to the character were sold for a mere $130, which was standard business in the industry at that time. While they were paid well by DC Comics afterwards, the duo regretted selling the copyright.

Crime: Ohio has had two sets of serial killer brothers terrorize the state. First, Anthony and Nathaniel Cook were incarcerated for raping and murdering at least nine white victims in Toledo, in racially-motivated crimes. Next, Gary and Thaddeus Lewingdon both received life sentences after committing 10 murders around the state, with robbery being their motive.

Law: It is illegal to get a fish drunk… but they make the best drinking buddies!

Sports Team: Ohio has many sports options spread across the state. Cleveland has three teams in the Indians (MLB), Browns (NFL) and Cavaliers (NBA), while Cincinnati has the Reds (MLB) and Bengals (NFL). Finally, there’s the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) and the Ohio State University Buckeyes football program, which also plays out of Columbus.

Superman

Athlete: Ohio has a trio of GOATs (greatest of all-time). This includes golfer Jack Nicklaus, who won 117 tournaments, including a record 18 majors; MLB all-time hits leader Pete Rose, winner of three World Series; and basketball superstar LeBron James, with three NBA championships, each of which he was the Finals MVP for. Rose and James played most of their careers in their home state.

Famous Home: A Christmas Story House can be found in Cleveland. In 2004, entrepreneur Brian Jones purchased the home on eBay for $150,000 and restored it to how it looks in the film. Jones also bought the house across the street, turning it into a museum, featuring props from the movie, such as the family’s car and a Red Ryder BB gun. You can even book an overnight stay in the home.

Urban Legend: What was once known as Boston Township, is now dubbed Helltown, an area of Ohio rife with stories of paranormal activity, Satan worshippers, the supposed “end of the world” road and the mutant ‘Peninsula Python’. The legends resulted from Boston becoming a ghost town in the mid 1970’s, as government began creating the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Museum: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame can be found in Cleveland and Canton, respectively. How did they end up in Ohio? Well, Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed was the first to use the term rock and roll, while in 1920, Canton hosted a meeting between four Ohio-based football teams, founding what today is the NFL.

Pete Rose

Firsts: Ohio has a lot of interesting firsts, including the original professional fire department and ambulance service, as well as the first police force to use a vehicle. The state also had the first concrete street and is where the first automobile was created. Cleveland was the first city lit by electricity and later had the first traffic signal system. Lastly, the first pro baseball team was the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

Company: Fast food restaurant Wendy’s was founded by Dave Thomas, in Columbus, in 1969. The chain, named after one of Thomas’ daughters, is now headquartered in Dublin, with their office located on Dave Thomas Boulevard. The restaurant is the third largest hamburger fast food chain in the world. Ohioans claim to have invented dipping fries into Frosty milkshakes.

Events: The Kent State Shootings, where National Guard members opened fire on unarmed student protestors, shocked the country. Four people were killed and nine wounded during the anti-Vietnam War rally. Criminal cases resulted in no convictions, while civil cases eventually resulted in a $675,000 settlement paid by the state to plaintiffs.

Miscellaneous: Ohio is known as “The Mother of Presidents”, given seven Commander-in-Chiefs have come from the state. This includes Ulysses S. Grant (18th President), Rutherford B. Hayes (19th President), James A. Garfield (20th President), Benjamin Harrison (23rd President), William McKinley (25th President), William H. Taft (27th President), and Warren G. Harding (29th President).

Boozy Buckeye

Boozy Buckeye

  • 1 oz Irish Cream or Bourbon
  • Top with Hot Chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp of Melted Peanut Butter
  • Garnish with Whipped Cream

This cocktail is meant to best replicate the Buckeyes dessert treats in liquid form. As for the debate between whether to use Irish Cream or Bourbon, I said to hell with it and used Peanut Butter Whiskey for even more of a peanut butter punch. A recipe variation I found uses two ounces of Coconut Rum and an ounce of Kahlua, instead. The beverage might be best enjoyed while tailgating before Ohio State Buckeyes football games.

Sip Trips #188: Sea to Sky

Taking the last week of August off to celebrate my and Mrs. Sip’s wedding anniversary and make a short getaway to Whistler with the Sip Family, was a perfect way to end the summer. We crammed a lot of stuff into a limited time, so let’s get right to the action:

Prior to our little vacation, we had a bit of activity that should be documented. A couple recent purchases included a six-pack of Spectrum Strawberry Ice Cream Pale Ale, which may be the best beer I’ve had all summer. It’s not too strong on the strawberry flavour, but just enough that you can enjoy it. I also picked up the Nude Vodka Soda Pride Pack for Mrs. Sip to try. It included six flavous (Cran Raspberry, Raspberry Lemon, Lime, Black Cherry, Mango, Peach), giving her a chance to sample a good variety of the brand’s offerings and decide if she wants to do more vodka soda products in the future.

Vodka Soda

We also dropped into Steamworks Brewing in Burnaby one evening. There, I had a delicious Imperial Red Ale, while Mrs. Sip ordered a flight, which included their Refresh Raspberry and Lemon Ale, Killer Cucumber Ale, Hazy Pale Ale and Black Angel IPA. We both particularly liked the Cucumber Ale, which I’ve had before, but never on tap.

The first portion of my week off was a night without kids, enjoying an overnight stay in Downtown Vancouver. We began with some happy hour snacks at 131 Water Kitchen & Bar. Our food included Crispy Chicken Bites and Veggie Spring Roll, which I paired with a 131 Lager. The beer went down like juice, while the food was good and enough to tide me over for our upcoming dinner.

To stock our hotel room, we picked up a tall can four-pack of Barkerville Sluice Juice Hazy Pale Ale, a bomber of Fuggles & Warlock Valkyrie Belgian Vineyard Ale and a bottle of wine. Unfortunately, our room’s fridge wasn’t really much of a cooling device, so we didn’t get to enjoy our treats as we had originally hoped.

Hotel Fridge

For dinner, we went to Lift Bar Grill View in Coal Harbour. Arriving just in time for a quick happy hour order, we each got a glass of house rosé, an appetizer of Humboldt Squid and an Oyster each (for aphrodisiacal reasons!). Mrs. Sip then went with the Halibut for dinner, while I elected to have the Burger. With my meal, I had a pint of Parkside Dusk Pale Ale. The restaurant also kindly gave us each a glass of dessert wines on the house, as a little anniversary delight.

The next morning, we had brunch at Bellaggio Cafe, where Mrs. Sip had Eggs Benedict and I went with the Chicken & Brussels Waffle. I also enjoyed a 3-ounce Caesar, which got the day off to a good start. Our activities while in the area, included the Dimensions Art Gallery, where visitors can become part of the art installations and solving a cold murder case with Vancouver Mysteries. I would recommend both to anyone looking for something to do in Vancouver.

After a brief respite, we were on the road to Whistler, which I hadn’t visited since New Year’s 2012-2013. On our way up, we stopped at the Howe Sound Brewpub in Squamish for lunch. There, I ordered the Hopraiser West Coast IPA, while Mrs. Sip went with the Alpine Traverse New World Tripel. To eat, we shared the Brewer’s Select Pizza, topped with pepperoni, bacon, and chorizo. We also received a taster of the Pamplemousse Pale Ale and grabbed tall cans of King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen and Jam Session Raspberry Cream Ale to go.

Summer Vacation

Before leaving Squamish, we also went to A-Frame Brewing, which only had a few of their own beers on tap. We put together a flight of their Okanagan Lake Cream Ale, Sproat Lake Pale Ale, Shuswap Lake West Coast IPA and finished the set with guest tap House of Funk Atomic Jam. The brewery had a food truck onsite, which allowed us to get Toddler Sip a Churro treat for dessert.

Our dinner that night was at The Keg, since we desired a slice of Billy Miner Pie. Our food selections included Prime Rib Sliders for me and a Lobster Tail for Mrs. Sip. I paired my meal with a Chili Mango Margarita that really hit the spot. Of course, that decadent Billy Miner Pie capped the meal, which the restaurant generously comped since it was our anniversary.

Our main event for the night was checking out the Vallea Lumina Light Walk. Words and photos can’t really describe how neat of an attraction this is. Set on a dark mountainous trail, you travel through some amazing light and sound experiences that make you feel connected to the surrounding nature. I’d love to revisit in the winter, if possible.

The next day, we left the village to explore a couple nearby breweries. First up, was Whistler Brewing, where we put together a flight of their The Blonde Spruce Goose, Wayside Apricot Wit, Chestnut Ale and Black Tusk Ale. It was a solidly built flight, if I don’t say so myself. The Sunny Daze Yuzu IPA, which I had wanted to try, wasn’t on tap, so I grabbed a tall can of it for the road and really enjoyed as a breakfast beer the next day.

Coast Mountain Brewing was our second stop and we ordered two flights to be able to try eight of their 11 brews. Our boards consisted of the Day Dream IPA, The Surveyor IPA, Forecast Pale Ale, Green Run Session IPA, Vanilla Bean Stout, Woodnutt Brown Ale, Sunbreak Saison, and Drink the Rainbow (made with Skittles). I feel like doing flights is a great way to try as much as possible, but a full serving is the best way to truly appreciate a beer, as palate fatigue seems to set in when we go the flight route.

Day three was my negotiated “don’t have to drive anywhere day”, so we spent the day exploring the village. For lunch, we ate at the High Mountain BrewHouse, where between Mrs. Sip and I, we had pints of their Belgian Tripel, Belgian Wit, Alta Lake Ale and Grizzly Brown Ale. Food seemed like a good idea with all those drinks, so we ordered the Four Cheese Pizza.

Pizza

Sadly, our stay in Whistler came to an end, but we weren’t ready to go home yet. We journeyed to Pemberton to hit a couple breweries there, starting with The Beer Farmers. Following our flight, made up of the Locals Only Lager, Farmers Daughter Biere de Table, Cover Crop Hazy IPA and Dunkelweizen, we completed the farm’s sunflower maze, which was a lot of fun, particularly for Toddler Sip.

Next up, was Pemberton Brewing, for a quick flight (U-Pick Strawberry Pale Ale, Cream Puff NE Pale Ale, Upside Down Brut IPA, Barb’s Nice Pear Rhubarb Pear Sour). We also brought home a bomber of Cream Puff NE Pale Ale, which will be a nice way to bring up memories of the journey, when we finally get around to enjoy it.

Road Trip

On our drive home, we stopped in Squamish again, to hit Backcountry Brewing. There, we had a fantastic Fig & Prosciutto Pizza (as well as an appetizer of Hushpuppies), to go along with a flight of beers. The flight included the Go Get Yourself Some Cheap Sunglasses IPA, Living in a Van Down By the River ISA, I’ll Take You to the Candy Shop Peach Sour and Patches O’Houlihan Porter. To go, Mrs. Sip grabbed a tall can four-pack of I’ll Take You to the Candy Shop Peach Sour and single tall can of Case of the Mondays Peach-Pineapple-Guava Sour.

Eight breweries over four days, completes to checklist for Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton. The expedition brought Toddler Sip’s number up to 96 breweries visited and Baby Sip up to 27. Parenting done right!

North Dakota – Smith and Curran

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, North Dakota gets the Sip Advisor treatment. It has a number of nicknames, including Flickertail State and Roughrider State. Apparently, North Dakota is the least visited state in the country, so let’s try to change that.

Motto: “Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable” – I feel like this slogan could easily be shortened.

Food: Much of North Dakota’s cuisine is influenced by German and Norwegian dishes. This includes Knoephla (potato dumpling soup), Fleischkuekle (meat pie) and Lefse (flatbread). It should also be noted, most pasta in America is made from North Dakota’s durum wheat, so think of that the next time you’re carbo-loading.

Drink: There’s not a lot going on in the drink world for North Dakota. However, I did discover that the state was the last in the country to have a winery, when Pointe of View Winery began operating in Burlington, in 2002. Pointe of View uses many different fruits in their wines, including their award-winning Rhubarb Wine.

Wineries

Site to See: Theodore Roosevelt was greatly influential in the establishment of the U.S. National Park system. So, it should comes as no surprise that he is the only person to have a park named after him. Found in North Dakota’s badlands, where Roosevelt became the man who ended up leading the nation, the park is heavily visited, with scenic drives and hiking opportunities.

Street: The Enchanted Highway is a 32-mile route in Regent, featuring a number of scrap metal sculptures. Each installation along the way has an area allowing cars to stop. Artist Gary Greff created the sculptures and maintains them, including Geese in Flight, the world’s largest metal sculpture, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

TV Show: While the movie Fargo is named for North Dakota’s biggest city, it mostly takes place in Minnesota. The TV show adaptation spends far more time in North Dakota, with parts of the first two seasons taking place in the state. The fourth season of the series will air this fall, starring Chris Rock, and set in Kansas City, Missouri, in the 1950’s.

Movie: Leprechaun, best known for Jennifer Aniston’s film debut, sees a North Dakota man return home from a trip to Ireland, where he stole a leprechaun’s pot of gold. The leprechaun follows, looking for revenge, but is trapped in a four-leaf clover. When the Redding family moves to the farm 10 years later, hilarity and horror ensues, as the leprechaun is released.

Leprechaun

Book/Author: Western writer, Louis L’Amour, was born in Jamestown. Over his career, L’Amour wrote 89 novels, 14 collections of short stories and two non-fiction pieces, and was called “one of the world’s most popular writers”. Many of his works were adapted into film, with his most notable character being Hondo, played by the legendary John Wayne.

Fictional Character: Jay Gatsby, protagonist of The Great Gatsby novel and movie adaptations, is from North Dakota. The self-made millionaire is known for hosting lavish parties in New York City. Gatsby has been portrayed by actors such as Leonardo Di Caprio and Robert Redford in film, while Kirk Douglas played Gatsby in a radio adaptation broadcast.

Fictional City: Rock Springs is the setting of primetime soap opera Blood & Oil, which sees a young couple move to the North Dakota town following the largest discovery of oil in U.S. history. The series stars Don Johnson as an oil tycoon, but only lasted one season and 10 episodes (cut from an original order of 13 episodes).

Actor/Actress: Angie Dickinson, born in Kulm, enjoyed a six-decade long acting career, most notably as star of TV show Police Woman, for which she was nominated for three Emmys. Also, Josh Duhamel was born in Minot, remaining involved with his hometown, co-owning the restaurant 10 North Main. He has starred in four of the five films from the Transformers franchise.

Gatsby

Song: North Dakota by Tigirlilly, is an ode to the state that would make any citizen proud. Tigirlilly is comprised of sisters, Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh, from the small town of Hazen. The pair, who have been writing and performing since they were preteens, are now pursuing their country music careers in Nashville, Tennessee.

Band/Musician: Rapper Wiz Khalifa was born in Minot. He is best known for songs such as Black and Yellow and Young, Wild & Free (with Snoop Dogg). There’s also barefoot guitarist Jonny Lang, born in Fargo, who has toured with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Jeff Beck, and Sting. He won a 2007 Grammy for the album Turn Around.

People: From musician, to TV host, to business mogul, Lawrence Welk did it all. Born in Strasburg, Welk’s music career, as a big bang leader, led to him hosting The Lawrence Welk Show from 1951 to 1982. Using the TV show, Welk promoted his business properties, including Welk Resorts, with a handful of locations across North America.

Animal: The National Buffalo Museum, in Jamestown, was home to White Cloud (Mahpiya Ska in the Sioux language), a rare albino buffalo. White Cloud died in 2016, at the age of 19. Prior to passing, she had returned to her home herd. The White Cloud Days Festival is still celebrated, with her white calf Dakota Miracle taking over the role of feature attraction.

Lawrence Welk

Invention: The Cream of Wheat porridge mix was invented in Grand Forks, in 1893. It debuted at that year’s World’s Columbian Exposition. Cream of Wheat has been in the news recently, as products with black characters have come under fire. Rastus, a black chef, appears on Cream of Wheat packaging and in ads, although this is being reviewed by the company.

Crime: In 1920, Henry Layer nearly wiped out an entire family, using a shotgun and a hatchet, after an argument over a dog biting his cow. Seven members of the Wolf family (parents and five daughters), as well as a neighbour boy were all found dead. Only the Wolf’s youngest child, a nine-month-old daughter was spared. Layer was given a life sentence, dying in prison five years later.

Law: It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in public with your shoes on. I’m not sure if wearing sandals is an issue and I’m assuming going barefoot makes everything okay. I hope they apply this law to babies and young children!

Sports Team: With no professional teams, the sporting void is filled by the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks and North Dakota State University Bison programs. When the school’s football squads meet, they battle for the Nickel Trophy. The Fighting Hawks men’s hockey team is also notable, having won eight national championships and many alum becoming NHL pros.

Cream of Wheat

Athlete: North Dakota’s most notable athletes weren’t born in the state, but were raised there. This includes home run machine Roger Maris, who held the MLB single-season record for homers for 37 years, and women’s mixed martial arts pioneer Ronda Rousey. Rousey is now enjoying a post-fighting career that includes professional wrestling and acting roles.

Famous Home: The Custer House, located in Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, is a reconstructed home of General George Custer, he of Custer’s Last Stand. Reconstructed or not, it’s said the ghost of Custer haunts the home, with visitors experiencing taps on their shoulder and objects moving. Other spirits may include Custer’s wife, soldiers who died in Custer’s charge and the distraught wives of those soldiers.

Urban Legend: The Legend of White Lady Lane takes place in Walhalla. The story goes, a young woman was murdered by the man who wished to marry her, when the girl’s mother forbid the arrangement. The woman can be seen, dressed in a white nightgown, near Eddie’s Bridge, perhaps searching for the man who killed her.

Museum: The Paul Broste Rock Museum, in Parshall, is hard to miss, given the site is built out of rocks. Broste wanted to showcase his collection of rocks, so he built the museum with Greece’s Parthenon in mind. The museum also houses Broste’s art works, including paintings, sculptures, illustrations, poems, and other pieces.

Rocks

Firsts: The first mosque in the U.S. was located in the remote town of Ross, with a population of around 100 people. Built in 1929, the small structure was used by Muslims who settled in the farming community. In 1979, the mosque was torn down, but was rebuilt in 2005, by one of the remaining families in the area.

Company: Mr. Bubble is America’s most popular bath product brand. The bubble bath was invented and distributed by North Dakota’s Gold Seal Company, until it was sold to Airwick Industries in 1986. Mr. Bubble has popped up in many TV shows and movies and even has its own holiday, first celebrated on the 50th anniversary of its original release.

Events: Two booms in North Dakota history helped increase the population of the state. This includes farming settlers arriving between 1879 and 1886, which brought 100,000 people north, and when oil drilling came to North Dakota in the 1970’s, which is paying off today, as North Dakota is the fastest growing state in the country.

Miscellaneous: Nobody knows for certain whether North Dakota is the 39th or 40th state. When both North and South Dakota were given statehood, President Benjamin Harrison shuffled the signed admission papers around to leave things vague. North Dakota generally gets the nod as the 39th state, based on it being first alphabetically.

Smith and Curran

Smith and Curran

  • 2 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Cream
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Garnish with Chocolate Sprinkles

This dessert cocktail was created at the Blue Blazer Lounge in Bismarck. It was named for two oilmen who frequented the bar, Wendell Smith and James Curran. The drink is also known as a Smith and Kearns, with Curran’s last name being altered. A variation of the beverage uses Kahlua instead of Crème de Cacao.

North Carolina – The New Cherry Bounce

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we explore North Carolina. Nicknamed the Tar Heel State, it sounds like we might get a little dirty, so let’s tread carefully. Oh hell, a careful pace has never been my way… let’s jump right in:

Motto: “To be, rather than to seem” – That slogan is a real thinker…

Food: In North Carolina, it’s all about barbecue, with the subject extending into all realms of the state, even its politics. This is because there are two competing styles, Lexington and Eastern, with proponents of each wanting their favourite to be the official state method. Pig Pickin’ barbecues, using whole pigs, are a North Carolina tradition.

Drink: I’ve always preferred Pepsi over Coca-Cola, and I have Caleb Bradham of North Carolina to thank for the beverage. In 1893, the drugstore clerk created Brad’s Drink, renaming it Pepsi-Cola in 1898. Today, Pepsi is its own food and beverage conglomerate, while Bradham was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1923, returning to the pharmacy world.

Pepsi

Site to See: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the country. Found on North Carolina’s border with Tennessee, hiking and camping seem to be major attractions of the area. Other North Carolina destinations include Grandfather Mountain and its Mile-High Swinging Bridge and Chimney Rock State Park.

Street: The Blue Ridge Parkway, nicknamed ‘America’s favorite drive’, provides a scenic 469-mile route, connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Shenandoah National Park, in Virginia. Highlights of the North Carolina portion, include Daniel Boone’s Trace, Looking Glass Rock, the Devil’s Courthouse mountaintop and many other places of interest.

TV Show: The Andy Griffith Show ran for eight seasons and 249 episodes, followed by spinoff series Mayberry R.F.D. airing for an additional three seasons and 78 episodes. The made-for-TV movie Return to Mayberry served as a series finale, giving fans a chance to say goodbye to classic characters such as Sheriff Andy Taylor, Deputy Barney Fife and others.

Movie: The Peanut Butter Falcon, starring Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen and Dakota Johnson, tells the story of a man with Down syndrome, who aspires to be a professional wrestler. He escapes from his assisted living facility, helped along on his journey by his social worker and a stranger he meets along the way. The movie was a sleeper hit and received mostly positive reviews.

Mayberry

Book/Author: William Sidney Porter, better known by his pen name O. Henry, was born in Greensboro. Porter was a short story writing machine, writing one each week for over a year during his most productive period. His most famous story is The Gift of the Magi, which has been adapted countless times. The O. Henry Award is given annually to the nation’s best short stories.

Fictional Character: Max Cady, villain of the movie Cape Fear, is one scary dude. Played by Robert Mitchum in the original and Robert De Niro in the remake, Cady will stop at nothing to get revenge on the lawyer who caused him to spend 14 years in prison for rape. For something lighter, there’s also Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton Jr. from Talladega Nights.

Fictional City: Mayberry, from The Andy Griffiths Show universe, is based on Mount Airy, the hometown of series star, Andy Griffiths. The innocent little town, where everyone knows each other, can make one pine for simpler times. Mayberry Days is an annual festival celebrated in Mount Airy and the town’s Andy Griffith Museum has a number of pieces from the classic show.

Actor/Actress: Zach Galifianakis, best known for his role as Alan, in The Hangover trilogy, was born in Wilkesboro. Galifianakis’ other credits, include voice work in the films Puss in Boots and The Lego Batman Movie, while his Between Two Ferns talk show won back-to-back Emmy Awards for Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program.

Song: Carolina In My Mind by James Taylor, was written while the singer was out of the country recording an album. The song is about his homesickness for North Carolina, where Taylor was raised. Taylor typically plays the track at his concerts and it has become an unofficial state song. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill uses the song extensively.

Band/Musician: This is a tough category to narrow down, with jazz legends Nina Simone, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk competing with country/bluegrass legends Earl Scruggs, Charlie Daniels and Randy Travis. Put them all together in a six-person steel cage match and I’m still not sure who emerges victorious, but the music will at least be good.

People: World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon, was born in Pinehurst. McMahon is credited with revolutionizing professional wrestling, when he turned his company (then the World Wrestling Federation) into a national phenomenon. His menagerie of flashy characters, combined with high production values forever changed the industry.

Animal: Ham the Chimp, the first hominid sent into space, lived his final years at the North Carolina Zoo. Ham got his name from the acronym for the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center, in New Mexico, which trained him for his 1961 mission. After dying, Ham’s remains were returned to New Mexico and buried at the International Space Hall of Fame.

Vince McMahon

Invention: North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park (RTP) can be credited with many great innovations. Among them, the Universal Product Code (barcode) found on merchandise in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australasia; Astroturf; cell phone technology advancements; LED lighting; and a potential HIV cure. RTP is the largest research park in the country.

Crime: Henry Louis Wallace (aka the Charlotte Strangler/Taco Bell Strangler) murdered 10 women in Charlotte, along with another victim in South Carolina. Most of his North Carolina victims were either friends or co-workers of his girlfriend or worked with him at Taco Bell. Wallace even attended a few of the funerals. He was sentenced to death and remains on death row.

Law: When a single man and single woman check into a hotel room together as a married couple, this makes them legally wed. Talk about an easy way to avoid expensive nuptials and all the drama that comes with it.

Sports Team: North Carolina has three professional teams, with the Panthers (NFL) and Hurricanes (NHL), as well as the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA. Also, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke University Blue Devils rivalry is a among the best in college basketball, while the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be found in Charlotte, where the racing series first ran in 1949.

nascar

Athlete: North Carolina was selected as site of the NASCAR Hall of Fame due to its long and storied history in racing. That includes being the home state of driver Richard Petty, who holds the record for NASCAR wins with 200. This earned him the nickname The King. Dale Earnhardt Sr. and son Dale Earnhardt Jr., are also natives of North Carolina.

Famous Home: The Biltmore Estate, a 255-room mansion, in Asheville, is the largest home in the country. On the grounds, visitors can also find beautiful gardens, shopping and dining options and even a winery. Asheville is also known for its many craft breweries, with the area having the most breweries per capita in the U.S.

Urban Legend: Roanoke Colony was the first American settlement established by England. It is also known as the Lost Colony because when its governor, John White, left for England and returned nearly three years later, everyone was gone. The only trace of them was the word “croatoan” carved into a tree. Were they massacred by Native American tribes? Did they join those same groups? The debate rages on.

Museum: The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, found in Hatteras Village, documents the long history of shipwrecks to take place along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. More than 600 vessels have been lost in the area, including Blackbeard’s infamous pirate ship Queen Anne’s Revenge. Also on display is a German Enigma machine from a sunken submarine.

Roanoke

Firsts: As a fan of the game, it bears mentioning the first mini golf course was opened in Pinehurst, in 1916, by James Barber. When he completed his course, set amongst gardens and fountains, the story goes Barber looked at his creation and said, “This’ll do.” The course was named Thistle Dhu, as a result. Putt-Putt golf was also established in North Carolina.

Company: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts was founded in 1937, in Winston-Salem, where it is headquartered today. The business was launched by Vernon Rudolph, after purchasing a recipe from a New Orleans chef. Annually, the Krispy Kreme Challenge sees competitors run five miles, eat a dozen doughnuts, then return, all in under an hour. The event benefits the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

Events: North Carolina license plates read “First In Flight”, because the Wright Brothers – Orville and Wilbur – completed the first motor-operated airplane flight in the state, in 1903. To commemorate their achievement, the Wright Brothers National Memorial was erected in Kill Devil Hills. There’s also a replica of the brother’s hangar at the site.

Miscellaneous: Christmas Town USA takes place each year in the small town of McAdenville (population 651, as of the 2010 census). Starting in 1956, the entire suburb is decorated with Christmas lights, drawing an estimated 600,000 vehicles to visit annually. The attraction is ranked as one of the country’s best holiday light displays.

The New Cherry Bounce

The New Cherry Bounce

  • 1.5 oz Cherry Whiskey
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Garnish with a Cherry

The Cherry Bounce – created at the legendary Isaac Hunter’s Tavern in Raleigh and a favourite beverage of George Washington – is a consensus choice for a North Carolina cocktail, but it basically just takes cherries, sugar and a base alcohol and let’s them blend together for a period of time. Therefore, I went with this serve-when-needed variation, subbing whiskey for vodka.

New York – Five Boroughs Cocktails

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we hit the bigtime, New York. There’s so much going on in the Empire State that a lot of categories will be filled with options. So, let’s take a bite out of the Big Apple and see how it tastes:

Motto: “Excelsior (Ever upward)” – And spinning… constantly spinning!

Food: As far as the Sip Advisor is concerned, the complete meal of New York-created foods is a Club Sandwich with side Potato Chips, finished with a slice of New York Cheesecake for dessert. Other creations worth mentioning include Buffalo Wings, Eggs Benedict, Chicken and Waffles, Waldorf Salad, Red Velvet Cake, and even Jell-O.

Drink: There is a cocktail for each of the five boroughs that make up New York City. This includes The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island Ferry drinks. New York can also be credited with the Long Island Iced Tea, Penicillin, Cosmopolitan, Martini, Appletini, Bloody Mary, Tom Collins, and New York Sour beverages.

Club Sandwich

Site to See: When Mrs. Sip and I were in New York City for far too short of a visit, we tried to see as much as we could. Our stops included Times Square, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, Central Park, and Grand Central Station. Outside of New York City, Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the country.

Street: Three industry hubs (financial, advertising, theatrical) can be found along New York City streets. First, Wall Street is home to the New York Stock Exchange, the largest in the world. Second, numerous ad agencies call Madison Avenue home, used as the setting for TV show Mad Men. Finally, Broadway is the epicenter of American theatre, with playhouses lining the route.

TV Show: The next time I’m in New York, I plan to take a TV show tour, given all the great shows that have been set in the state. These include Seinfeld, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, All in the Family, The King of Queens, Taxi, Law & Order, Sex and the City, and I Love Lucy.  Shows that can’t be toured, but deserve mention, include Futurama, Saturday Night Live, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sesame Street.

Movie: Another tough category to narrow down, I have to go with one of my all-time favourites, It’s a Wonderful Life. Starring Jimmy Stewart, this story of truly appreciating what you have, has become a Christmas classic, shown every holiday season. Honourable mentions include the Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchises, as well as The Warriors.

Wonderful Life

Book/Author: So many comic books are set in New York, including the likes of Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and Dr. Strange. All of these entries share the common thread that each was created or co-created by New Yorker Stan Lee. Lee is also responsible for other popular characters, such as the X-Men, Thor, Hulk, Black Panther, and Ant-Man.

Fictional Character: As a child, the Sip Advisor loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon and movies. The heroes in a half shell dwelled in the sewers of the New York City, being trained in martial arts by Splinter, before being required to save the city and world from evildoers. Associates of the Turtles, such as reporter April O’Neil and vigilante Casey Jones are also New Yorkers.

Fictional City: Riverdale, setting of the Archie Comics universe, is generally thought to be located in New York. This means the nearby towns of Greendale (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and Midvale (Josie and the Pussycats) are also likely in the state. The earliest Archie Comics reference the real-life Bronx neighbourhood Riverdale, but this changed as the series progressed.

Actor/Actress: A number of today’s A-list stars were born in New York. Among them, are Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Hathaway, Scarlet Johansson, Al Pacino, and Denzel Washington. A couple legends of the big and small screen also called the state home, including Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas and Mickey Rooney.

Stan Lee

Song: This category is down to two choices: New York, New York by Frank Sinatra and Empire State of Mind by Jay Z and Alicia Keys. Both are fitting anthems for New York City, as well as the rest of the state. I guess it all depends on your preferred style of music. If you don’t like either, artists such as Billy Joel and The Beastie Boys also have New York-based tracks.

Band/Musician: Another category filled with great options. I’ll go with The Ramones, as one of the first punk rock groups and revolutionaries for that style. Although not related, band members all adopted the last name Ramone. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

People: Women’s rights icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was born in Brooklyn. After a lengthy legal career, she was appointed to U.S. Supreme Court, in 1993. Nicknamed The Notorious R.B.G., Ginsburg was the subject of the 2018 biographical film, On the Basis of Sex, starring Felicity Jones. There’s even been a Sam Adams beer released in her honour.

Animal: After a history of incidents, including killing a circus spectator, Topsy the Elephant was sentenced to death by hanging, as part of a publicity stunt. The ASPCA objected to the public event (with admission to be charged), but eventually allowed for Topsy to be hung, poisoned and electrocuted. Footage of the 1903 execution exists, recorded by the Thomas Edison’s film company.

RBG

Invention: George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, patented the first film roll in 1884, which was eventually used with his Kodak Black camera, developed in 1888. His film also became the standard used for early motion pictures. The George Eastman Museum, in Rochester, is the oldest photography museum in the world, with an extensive film archive.

Crime: A few significant assassinations have taken place in New York, including the murders of U.S. President William McKinley, civil rights activist Malcolm X and musician John Lennon. McKinley was shot as he appeared at the 1901 Pan-American Expo. Malcolm X was swarmed by three members of the Nation of Islam, wounded 21 times. Lennon was killed outside his home by a man he had earlier signed an autograph for.

Law: In New York, it’s illegal to talk to a stranger in an elevator. There goes all that awkward small talk with people. I kind of hope this law has legs and spread outside the state.

Sports Team: New York City is a busy sporting hub with teams such as the Yankees and Mets (MLB), Knicks and Nets (NBA) and Islanders and Rangers (NHL). Buffalo also has a couple teams in the Bills (NFL) and Sabres (NHL). Although named New York, both the Jets and Giants (NFL) play in New Jersey. There’s also a ton of NCAA sports going on across the state.

Film

Athlete: Two of basketballs greatest players of all-time were born in New York City boroughs. Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were dominant athletes, winning six NBA Championships each. There’s also controversial boxer and ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’, Mike Tyson, the youngest fighter to ever win a heavyweight title.

Famous Home: There are a number of New York landmarks related to former U.S. Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and his cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Teddy Roosevelt Birthplace and Sagamore Hill estate were homes to Teddy at opposite ends of his life. Meanwhile, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, in Hyde Park, is where FDR hosted his famous fireside chats.

Urban Legend: In 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered six of his family members, in their Amityville home. A year later, the Lutz family moved into the home and began experiencing paranormal activity. These events inspired The Amity Horror franchise, with much debate over the authenticity of the Lutz’s accounts. The home still stands, although the address was changed to discourage visitors.

Museum: The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cooperstown, is a mecca for baseball lovers. Built in 1939, by the heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, exhibits today include Baseball at the Movies, One for the Books (about records set by players and teams), a walkthrough history of the sport, the Hall of Fame plaque gallery, and many others.

Mike Tyson

Firsts: The first pizzeria in the U.S. opened in New York City, in 1905. Lombardi’s Pizza still operates today, but was closed at one point for 10 years, before moving a block away from the original location. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the pizzeria first opening, pizzas were sold for only 5 cents, the price of a pie (they don’t sell slices) in 1905.

Company: All the major TV networks are headquartered in New York City, including ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. Top cable channels, such as HBO and Comedy Central also call NYC home. This, along with the city having some of the top newspapers, publishing houses and record companies, has led to it being called the media capital of the world.

Events: When two planes were flown into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the world stood still. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for what was later dubbed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which also included a plane crashing into the Pentagon and another into a field in Pennsylvania. All tolled, 2,977 people were killed, with a further 25,000 injured.

Miscellaneous: The ‘I Love New York’ (I ❤ NY) campaign, was launched in 1977, to bring attention to the state’s tourism industry. It included the famous slogan, logo and a song. ‘I Love New York’ has become the State Slogan and the logo – created by graphic designed, Milton Glaser, using a red crayon, while riding in a taxi – can be seen on all matters of souvenirs.

Five Boroughs 2

The Bronx

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 0.25 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.25 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

Brooklyn

  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • 0.5 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 0.25 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Manhattan

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Queens

  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

Staten Island Ferry

  • 2 oz Coconut Rum
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with a Pineapple Wedge/Coconut Shavings

There are so many cocktail options from the state of New York and I felt doing all five New York City boroughs cocktails was the best solution. For those keeping track, that meant 12 ounces of booze needed to be consumed, so you can bet the Sip Advisor enjoyed the experiment.

Sip Trips #187: August Arising

To kick off August, along with its traditional long weekend, the Sip Family got out and about, hitting five breweries over the break. That put Baby Sip at 18 breweries visited and Toddler Sip at a whopping 87. It helped that I took a few days off from work to extend the time away. We were busy, so let’s get right to the program:

Once worked wrapped up on the Friday before the long weekend, we set off to Patina Brewing in Port Coquitlam. Opened earlier this year, they don’t have many beers yet, but that is secondary to their delicious menu of barbecue foods. We gorged ourselves on pulled pork, beef brisket, skinny fries, and corn bread, with Mrs. Sip also ordering their seasoned popcorn. To drink, we put together a flight of Patina’s Stout, Double IPA and Juicy IPA, finished with Wildeye Brewing’s Hazy Pale Ale.

Cat BBQ

On the holiday Monday, we returned to Port Coquitlam to visit Northpaw Brewing. Our flight there, consisted of the Howay the Lads Brown Ale, Jamaican Pale Ale, C.R.E.A.M.-Sicle Orange Cream Shandy and Blueberry Kettle Sour. We worked our way through the flight by the time our order of Jamaican Patties (veggie, chicken, beef) arrived, so also got a pint of the Love Movement Milkshake IPA. This pairing was very good, as the patties were delicious – my favourite was the beef one – and the beer was quite refreshing in the hot weather.

Next up, was Foamers’ Folly Brewing in Pitt Meadows. I’ve always wanted to go here and now that I know it’s actually closer than I believed it to be, want to return very soon. Mrs. Sip and I elected to have two flights, given the expansive choice of beers. Our sets included the Uncultured Belgian Ale, Yarrow Hefeweizen, Lavender Earl Grey ESB, S’morter Porter (Nitro), Culeko Cucumber Lemongrass Kolsch, Rosemary ISA, Smoked Apiary Dunkelweizen, and Blackberry Lemoncello Sour Ale. My favourites were the Kolsch and ISA, both of which had nice notes of their advertised flavours. To go, we picked up a bomber of Amaretto Wild Sour Ale and a tall can of Wide Mouth Watermelon Wheat Ale.

The next day, we ventured to North Vancouver. First up, was Bridge Brewing, where another flight was in order, comprised of their Blueberry Pie Sour, Bourbon Blood Orange Wheat Ale, Side Kick Hazy Pale Ale and White Water Belgian IPA. Looking to have lunch, as well, we got the Taco Trio (pork, veggie, chicken), with the pork taco being a highlight, thanks to its pineapple accompaniment.

Tacos

Deciding to make our way back closer to home as it was a very hot day, we popped into the nearby Wildeye Brewing and really enjoyed our stop there. Another brewery, another flight, resulted in trying their Strawberry Cardamom Gose, After the Rain Hefeweizen, Choppy Waters Hazy IPA and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Stout. The Gose was my preferred brew here, with the Hef being a close runner up.

If that was just the start of the month, the rest of it should surely bear some great fruit. Mrs. Sip is hard at work planning a mini vacation for our clan, likely to Whistler, where we will enjoy breweries both there and en route to/from in Squamish. We will also celebrate our wedding anniversary in Downtown Vancouver and with the Sip Kids with Ma and Pa Sip, there will surely be some shenanigans.

New Mexico – Chimayó Cocktail

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we journey to New Mexico, to check out the Land of Enchantment, which sounds like something Disney should have copyrighted for their theme parks. Will this trip be just as magical? Let’s find out:

Motto: “It grows as it goes” – Perhaps the state’s mascot should be the Hungry Caterpillar.

Food: New Mexicans use chiles on and in everything from pizza and burgers to apple pie and ice cream. They even have a State Question: “Red or green?”, referring to either Red or Green Chile Sauce. When mixed together, this creates Christmas Sauce, which can be used on a variety of New Mexico favourites. Finish with a Biscochito Cookie and you’re feeling pretty good.

Drink: The Blue Sky Beverage Company was founded in Santa Fe, in 1971. Makers of all-natural soft drinks, Blue Sky is now owned by Coca-Cola. As a possible nod to the company, Blue Sky was the name of the crystal meth produced in TV show Breaking Bad (much more on that subject later). Also, Santa Fe Brewing Company was the state’s first craft brewery and is now its largest beer producer.

Red or Green

Site to See: Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to more than a hundred caves, although only three are open to the public. The main event of the trio, Carlsbad Caverns, was actually first explored by a teenager, in 1898, who named many of the rooms visitors see today. Over 400,000 people, on average, visit the park annually.

Street: Central Avenue, in Albuquerque, is one of the most important streets in the state. It was once part of the famous Route 66, during that highway’s lifespan. Today, notable attractions on the route include the KiMo Theatre, First National Bank Building, University of New Mexico main campus and Expo New Mexico, which hosts the New Mexico State Fair.

TV Show: The Breaking Bad universe, which also includes prequel Better Call Saul, is set in Albuquerque. Starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad has been called one of the greatest TV shows of all-time with Better Call Saul continuing that mantle. Combined, the shows will have run for 11 seasons, with Breaking Bad earning 16 Emmy Awards.

Movie: The Dollars Trilogy includes A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Starring Clint Eastwood as the Man with No Name, the Spaghetti Westerns (a style which was popularized by these films) are ranked among the best Western movies of all-time. They were not intended to be a trilogy, but the unnamed Eastwood character connected the dots.

Walter White

Book/Author: Written by Melinda Metz, the Roswell High series of young adult books follows three alien teenagers as they live amongst the human world. The series of 10 books were adapted into the TV show Roswell, which aired for three seasons (1999-2002) and was recently rebooted for another run, beginning in 2019.

Fictional Character: The characters of the Breaking Bad universe, most notably Walter White, Jesse Pinkman and Saul Goodman, have remained favourites of TV viewers, earning Saul his own prequel series and Jesse a sequel movie. Walter is generally regarded as one of the greatest TV characters ever, helped by the performance by Bryan Cranston.

Fictional City: With nothing particularly notable for this category, I wanted to share the story of Truth or Consequences, perhaps the greatest name for a city ever. Previously known as Hot Springs, the city changed its moniker as part of a contest run by the Truth or Consequences radio show, earning the right for the show to be aired from there on its 10th anniversary.

Actor/Actress: For a time, Demi Moore (born in Roswell) was the highest-paid actress ever, earning $12.5 million for the movie Striptease. That role capped a successful run of films, which included Ghost, A Few Good Men and Indecent Proposal. Also, Neil Patrick Harris, best known as womanizer Barney Stinson on the TV show How I Met Your Mother, was born in Albuquerque.

NPH

Song: O Fair New Mexico by Elizabeth Garrett (daughter of Sheriff Pat Garrett… more on him later), has been the State Song of New Mexico since 1917. There’s also a State Cowboy Song, Under the New Mexico Skies by Syd Masters, as well as a State Bilingual Song, New Mexico – Mi Lindo Nuevo Mexico by Pablo Mares. Combined, there’s a lot of options.

Band/Musician: John Denver was born in Roswell. He is best remembered for songs such as Take Me Home, Country Roads; Rocky Mountain High and Thank God I’m a Country Boy. Sadly, Denver died in a plane crash in 1997, at the age of 53. For the younger folks out there, Demi Lovato was born in Albuquerque, getting her break with the Disney franchise Camp Rock.

People: Amazon founder, President and CEO, Jeff Bezos, was born in Albuquerque. What began as an online bookstore, run out of Bezos’ garage, with a large investment from his parents, has turned into the biggest online retailer, making Bezos the richest man in the world and its first centi-billionaire. Bezos bought the Washington Post for $250 million… cash!

Animal: Smokey Bear was created by the U.S. Forest Service to warn people of the danger of forest fires. In 1950, a living symbol of the mascot was found in New Mexico’s Capitan Mountains, when a black bear cub was rescued from a tree as he avoided a blaze. Smokey Bear lived the rest of his life at Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo, with his remains returned to Capitan and buried at Smokey Bear Historical Park.

Jeff Bezos

Invention: New Mexico has been credited, or at least claimed, to be the inventors of two culinary items, the Breakfast Burrito and Frito Pie. The breakfast burrito first appeared on a menu in 1975, at Tia Sophia’s, in Santa Fe. The Frito Pie (corn chips, topped with chili and cheese inside the Frito bag) also comes from Santa Fe, where it was served at the Woolworth’s diner, in the 1960’s.

Crime: David Parker Ray (aka the Toy-Box Killer) is thought to have murdered as many as 60 women. His “toy-box” was a sound-proofed truck trailer, which he used to kidnap, torture, rape and presumably murder his victims. No bodies were ever discovered, but Ray was convicted of kidnapping and torture in 2001. He died a year later of a heart attack.

Law: The infamous McDonald’s Coffee Lawsuit was filed in New Mexico after 79-year-old Stella Liebeck suffered third-degree burns to her groin area when she spilled coffee. Obviously, coffee is hot, but the case arose from McDonald’s being warned repeatedly about the temperature of their drink. Liebeck was awarded $2.86 million, which was lowered to $640,000. She spent eight days in hospital, followed by further treatment for two years.

Sports Team: With no professional teams, college sports are the top game in the state. The University of New Mexico Lobos and New Mexico State University Aggies compete in a variety of sports, most notably their football programs, known as the Rio Grande Rivalry. There’s also the Albuquerque Isotopes Triple-A baseball team, which is named for The Simpsons episodes involving a similar squad.

Breakfast Burrito

Athlete: The Unser racing family, consisting of Al Sr., Bobby and Al Jr., are based in Albuquerque. Combined, those three won nine Indy 500 races and have each been inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. A series of successful racing video games were developed in the early to mid 1990’s, featuring Al Jr.

Famous Home: One of the oldest buildings in the country, the De Vargas Street House (aka the Oldest House), can be found in Santa Fe. Researchers believe the structure dates back to the 1600’s. Another impressive site, thought to be among the oldest continuously inhabited communities, is the Taos Pueblo settlement, built between 1000 and 1450.

Urban Legend: In 1947, a U.S. Army Air Forces balloon crashed near Roswell. Dubbed the Roswell UFO Incident, many people believe the object that had fallen out of the sky was actually an alien craft and a government conspiracy is covering up the truth. More recent interest in the event was sparked by an alien autopsy film, released in 1995 and revealed to be a hoax a decade later.

Museum: On July 14, 1881, legendary outlaw, William ‘Billy the Kid’ Bonney, was finally tracked down and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett, in Fort Sumner. The Billy the Kid Museum can now be found there, featuring artifacts from the young gunslinger’s assassination, as well as articles belonging to him. Billy the Kid was only 21 years old when he died.

Roswell

Firsts: For better or worse, the Atomic Bomb was developed in New Mexico, as part of the Manhattan Project. Code named Trinity, the first detonation of such a bomb took place in Alamogordo, on July 16, 1945. Weeks later, similar bombs were dropped on Japan, leading to the end of World War II. The test site is now a National Historic Landmark.

Company: With no recognizable companies to me, it should be noted that Microsoft was founded in Albuquerque, in 1975. Founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen moved the company to Seattle in 1979, to better attract developers. For more New Mexico flavour, convenience store chain Allsup’s was founded in Roswell, in 1956, and now has over 300 stores across New Mexico and Texas.

Events: During the 1898 Spanish-American War, fighters from New Mexico impressed Teddy Roosevelt so much, he began campaigning to have the territory become a U.S. state. New Mexico impressed once again during World War II, when Navajo code talkers used their language to get messages past the enemy. It’s the only military code to never be deciphered.

Miscellaneous: New Mexico is host to the largest air balloon festival in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The event runs for nine days each October and features 500 air balloons filling the sky. As a result of the festival’s success, New Mexico’s State Aircraft is the hot air balloon and the state is known as the Balloon Capital of the World.

Chimayó Cocktail

Chimayo Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 0.25 oz Crème de Cassis
  • Top with Apple Cider
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Apple Slices

Created in 1965, by Arturo Jaramillo, owner of the Rancho de Chimayó restaurant, in Chimayó, the drink has become the eatery’s signature beverage. The story goes that Jaramillo was looking for a way to use apple crops, which are bountiful in his part of the state, and this was the happy result.