Snack Time #20 – Imperial Nuts Sweet & Savory Bar Mix

Ma Sip found this Imperial Nuts snack mix in recent times and I can’t help but grab a handful or two every time I’m over for a visit. After all, the Sip Advisor is a massive trail mix fan.

The Sweet & Savory Bar Mix is very good… delicious even. Featuring Honey Roasted Peanuts, Pretzels, Smoked Almonds, Toffee Peanuts and Spicy Peanuts, what more could you ask for?

Imperial Nuts Sweet & Savory Bar Mix

The 1.28kg tub will keep you and your guests well fed for hours. As the canister advertises: “Plenty to share” and “Great for snacking”. I couldn’t have put things better myself.

While the mix is available at a number of different outlets, for Canadians, Ma Sip located the product at the Real Canadian Superstore chain. And I’m so very glad she did!

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

Beer of the Week #20 – Bridge Bourbon Blood Orange Wheat Ale

If you’re looking to “enjoy the deep south way up north”, then this Bridge Brewing release may be the perfect fit for you. I remember when I first saw it on menus a couple years ago, I had to order a few pints and satisfy my curiosity.

The Bourbon Blood Orange Wheat Ale is a good beer that can be enjoyed year round, but is especially perfect on a hot summer day. The 5.5% ABV, 20 IBUs beverage combines many of the Sip Advisor’s favourite alcohol elements, including bourbon, wheat beers, and fruit.

Bridge Bourbon Blood Orange Wheat Ale

Originally brewed solely for Tap & Barrel locations, the beer has grown from a seasonal release to being part of Bridge’s year round lineup. Given its popularity and availability, I’m surprised I didn’t get around to profiling it during last year’s BC Beer Baron project.

The product can be found in bomber-sized bottles and tall cans. I also recently spotted it in a variety six-pack from Bridge, which included two bottles each of the Bourbon Blood Orange, North Shore Pale Ale and Hopilano IPA.

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

Mixer Mania #20 – Measure of Success

Did you know that olives (the juice form being today’s feature mixer) were once used as a unit of measurement? A “k’zayit”, which translates to “like an olive” was used to estimate amounts of Jewish ceremonial foods, including challah, matzah and wine. Let’s take a look at some other odd units of measurement:


Based off of actor Wil Wheaton, this unit of measurement takes into account a person’s number of Twitter followers. A Wheaton is described as 500,000 followers, making a milliwheaton equivalent to 500 followers. Please take the time to follow the Sip Advisor on Twitter, so I can reach milliwheaton heights.


As a tribute, scientist Carl Sagan’s catchphrase “billions and billions” was turned into a unit of measurement for quantity. A Sagan can now be used to describe a large quantity of anything. For example, the Sip Advisor has consumed a Sagan amount of potato chips in his lifetime.



Artist Andy Warhol once famously said (I’m paraphrasing here) that every person will famous for 15 minutes. As a result, his name has been associated with the measurement of fame. Some folks out there who have achieved kilowarhol and megawarhol status, still haven’t left the world with anything tangible… you know, your Kardashians, et al.

Waffle House Index

This measurement is used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to calculate the effect of a storm and its following recovery efforts. It’s based on the Waffle House restaurant chain’s reputation of staying open during the worst of weather, serving up breakfast, while others are afraid to step outside.

Hobo Power

Coined by radio personality Adam Carolla, this unit can be used to describe an offending odor. It is based on a scale of 1-100, with 50 hobopower leading a person to become physically ill, while 100 hobopower results in death. Of course, this is all theoretical.



We can thank Futurama for this unit, which measures one’s coolness. Developed by Professor Farnsworth, and using Happy Days character Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli as a reference point, I once took the test and came away disappointed with a rare negative rating. Ay!


Unfortunately, this is another measurement where the Sip Advisor doesn’t show well. Mrs. Sip on the other hand ranks highly when associated with Helen of Troy, who is said to have had “the face that launched a thousand ships”. Therefore, a millihelen can be used to describe the beauty it takes to launch a single ship, while any negative helen (Sip Advisor territory) causes ships to be beached.

Mixer Mania #20: Crotch Kicker

Crotch Kicker.JPG

  • Rim glass with Salt
  • 1 oz Tequila
  • Top with Sweet and Sour Mix
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Olive Juice
  • Garnish with Olives

There is also a Big Mac Index in existence, but it actually sounds kind of legitimate and recognized, so I’m not touching that one. My personal Big Mac Index is calculated as one sandwich per every second visit to the chain.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.25 Sips out of 5):
I haven’t done much experimenting with Olive Juice, aside from the Dirty Martini. I thought this cocktail was decent, with a fair mix of sweet and sour tastes. I didn’t notice the Olive Juice very much and that may have been all for the best.

Snack Time #19 – Anthon Berg Chocolate Liqueurs Gift Box

Mrs. Sip and I were recently gifted this Anthon Berg Chocolate Liqueurs Gift Box. The 64-piece set includes bottles from Sauza Tequila, Jim Beam Bourbon, Cointreau Orange Liqueur, Canadian Club Whiskey, Galliano Vanilla Liqueur, Danzka Vodka, Borghetti Caffe Liqueur, and Remy Martin Cognac.

Despite not being a big dark chocolate fan, I do like these in small doses at one or two at a time. My favourites of the bunch seem to be the liqueur-flavoured options, while there aren’t any I dislike.

Anthon Berg Chocolate Liqueurs Gift Box

The collection is sold in many different formats, so the treats can be sampled at varying price points. I know Walmart (at least in Canada) often sells a set around Christmas that is reasonably priced and I believe contains 16 pieces.

Anthon Berg also has a Chocolate Cocktails line, which I’d be interested in trying. Drinks include the Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Mojito, and Strawberry Daiquiri.

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

Sip Trips #102: True North Strong and Free

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Central City Brewing has released the Red Racer Across the Nation case, featuring collaborative beers from 12 of the country’s provinces and territories (only newest territory Nunavut is left out). Always a fan of collaboration beers, I just had to pick up the set, going straight to the source to do so, before it was even rolled out to liquor stores. Each 330ml beer was brewed at Central City’s Surrey facility and was inspired by the province or territory it comes from. Here’s the lineup of the pack:

  • Left of the Divide IPA (with Four Winds Brewing from Delta, British Columbia)
  • Berry Light Berliner Weisse (with Last Best Brewing from Calgary, Alberta)
  • Wide Open Spaces Kellerbier (with Black Bridge Brewing from Swift Current, Saskatchewan)
  • Land of Rice and Honey Saison (with Half Pints Brewing from Winnipeg, Manitoba)
  • Upper Reaches Pale Ale (with Beau’s Brewing from Vankleek Hill, Ontario)
  • Bouclier Canadien Pilsner (with Le Trou Du Diable from Shawinigan, Quebec)
  • Restored Hop(e) ESB (with Picaroons Traditional Ales from Fredericton, New Brunswick)
  • “New” Scottish Ale (with Garrison Brewing from Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  • Bière d’ici Honey Ale (with PEI Brewing from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)
  • Hop To The East Hefeweizen (with Quidi Vidi Brewing from St. John’s, Newfoundland)
  • Swift Currant Dark Ale (with Yukon Brewing from Whitehorse, Yukon Territories)
  • Miner’s Refresh Grissette (with NWT Brewing from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories)

Central City Across the Nation Case

Hitting store shelves in early May, the beer sets were released in two formats: a 12-pack of the entire collection and two six-packs, featuring the East and West releases bundled together. Tasting events in each province have been arranged for the case’s launch. Sadly, the Sip Advisor will be out of town for both BC occasions. For a full listing of upcoming tastings, please view Central City’s press release.

The price tag of just under $35 (with tax and deposit) is quite a bit more than one would pay for the average case of craft beer, but this is a special release. I’m looking forward to trying a number of these beers and getting to know some of the breweries from across the nation.

“There is a great sense of comradery amongst us craft brewers in Canada, and what better way to show our pride in our country than to bring together some of Canada’s best breweries on a celebratory mix-pack to commemorate this huge Canadian milestone,” said Gary Lohin, brewmaster of Central City. “We all know Canada is renowned for our great beer and it has been such an honour to work with each of the breweries. We can’t wait to showcase some spectacular beers and the brewing talents of all 12 breweries.”

Beer of the Week #19 – Big Rock Kiwi Fruited Blonde Ale

Our recent travels with the Sip Syndicate led us to Big Rock Brewing’s Urban Eatery, where I selected this off-menu product. Given what I’ve seen so far this year, kiwi may be the experimental flavour of 2017 for BC breweries.

Despite not being my usual go-to beer style, I picked the Kiwi Fruited Blonde Ale because it was unique and something I had not tried before from the brewery. I was rewarded with a refreshing drink that went down easy and had a light kiwi tartness.

Big Rock Kiwi Fruited Blonde Ale

At 5.2% ABV and 30 IBUs, this beverage is another hit coming from the BC-based portion of Big Rock’s operations. Perfect to go along with a beer that features the kiwi bird on its bottle, the brew uses Southern Hemisphere Topaz Hops.

Available only in British Columbia, this limited edition beer (advertised as “an adventure unto itself”) can be found at the brewery’s Vancouver tap house. It can also be located in bomber-sized bottles at a liquor store near you.

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

Mixer Mania #19 – Dirty Deeds

Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The two are synonymous with one another, and have waged one of the greatest feuds of all-time. Let’s take a look at some of the tactics used by each company during the infamous Cola Wars, which has been simmering for decades:

New Coke

Looking to update their traditional recipe and leave Pepsi behind in their dust, Coca-Cola released New Coke. Despite a large marketing campaign, featuring the likes of Bill Cosby, this reboot backfired greatly on the company. Cosby even ended his relationship with Coke, stating that his credibility had suffered after endorsing the relaunch. Little did he know his character would fall to much greater depths years later.

New Coke.jpg

Exploiting Santa Claus and Polar Bears

Coca-Cola has often used cute mascots in its advertising. Heck, they are credited with creating the likeness that we now identify Santa Claus as. Their polar bear family has also been quite popular and Pepsi hasn’t crafted their own character, in reply.

Pepsi Challenge

Touring North America, the Pepsi Challenge tested consumers tastes over whether they preferred Pepsi or “the other brand”. It certainly increased the awareness of Pepsi and the original Pepsi Challenge is often cited as the impetus for the New Coke debacle.

Pepsi Points

The Pepsi Points initiative allowed drinkers to collect points from the products and redeem them for prizes. In response, Coca-Cola launched the Coke Rewards program. One funny story involved a Pepsi Points collector suing the company when he attempted to redeem the jet plane (with an advertised price of seven million Pepsi Points) featured in one of the commercials for the campaign.

Pepsi Points


On one side of the battlefield, you have General Coke, Sergeant Sprite, Brigadier Barq’s, Major Minute Maid, Private Powerade, and other enforcements. Their counterparts, of course, include Pepsi, 7-Up, Mug, Tropicana, Gatorade, and the rest. And that’s without even delving into their snack food businesses and other tentacles of the conglomerates. For every addition to one company’s line, there is a counterpoint from the opposition.


One of the biggest pissing contests between the two companies can be seen in who they pay to endorse their products. While Coke seems to be the athlete’s choice, with LeBron James and Wayne Gretzky coming onboard, Pepsi has reeled in top music acts, such as Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Kanye West, and Beyonce.


You’d think each company’s slogans wouldn’t matter too much, but they are loaded statements. For example, for Coke to call itself, “The Real Thing”, they’re pretty much saying that Pepsi is a copycat or fraud. On the other hand, Pepsi has gone so far as to use the catchphrase “The Best Drink Created Worldwide”… there’s no ambiguity with that.

Mixer Mania #19: Kalimotxo


  • 4 oz Red Wine
  • 4 oz Cola
  • Garnish with a Watermelon Slice

The war rages on to this day, with both companies battling for big-time sponsorship deals and getting into various venues as the exclusive beverage provider. I will admit that I’ve always been a Pepsi fan and find Coca-Cola to only be a tolerable substitution when there’s no other option to be had.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Also known as Calimocho, this drink – simple as it is – has become a hit within Spanish culture, so I had to give it a shot. Other recipes for the cocktail include a splash of Lemon Juice, but I didn’t have any on hand. The drink is actually quite tasty, reminding me of a Sangria-like beverage. Mrs. Sip, a member of the anti-pop lobby, even tried a quick sip and liked it. The Watermelon garnish was the result of that being the only fruit I had in the fridge.