Sip Trips #218: Vancouver Vibes

January was a fairly busy month, highlighted by celebrations for Mrs. Sip’s birthday. Let’s see what the Sip Family got up to for the beginning of the year:

Our first outing of 2023, saw Mrs. Sip and I take Girl Sip to a showing of the movie Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Prior to the film, we had a quick dinner at The Hub, where I really enjoyed my Yankee Burger (with subbed Smoked Pepper Jack Cheese) and Fries. I also had a serving of Moody Ales Amarillo Brown Ale and we received great service from all who worked our table.

Puss in Boots

That weekend, Mrs. Sip and I received our annual Vancouver Canucks membership perk, being invited to a Road Game Viewing Party at Sportsbar Live. We were able to each bring a few guests with us for the occasion, which offered an appy (one per two people), meal and first drink for each on the house. To drink, I had The Mule, followed by pints of Parkside Dreamboat Hazy IPA and Stanley Park 1897 Amber Ale. Our appies included a half serving of Sportsbar Nachos, two plates of Sportsbar Wings (Salt and Pepper and Honey Garlic) and XXL Mozzarella Sticks. For my meal, I went with the Sportsbar Cheeseburger. Aside from food and drink, the Sipplings received a stuffed animal of Fin the Orca mascot, while some members of the Canucks alumni members were on hand to sign autographs and take photos. To top off the outing, on our way home, members of the Canucks community team gave us vouchers for free tickets when they spotted us all decked out in out Canucks gear.

For Mrs. Sip’s birthday, we took the Sipplings to the Vancouver Aquarium, where I walked the exhibits with a pour of Stanley Park Trail Hopper IPA. Despite it being only 11am, we were celebrating, so why not!?

The fun continued through the weekend, as Mrs. Sip and I spent a couple kid-free days in Downtown Vancouver, staying at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Upon arriving, we hustled off to the H Tasting Lounge to enjoy a meal in one of their Winterlust domes. Our 3pm reservation meant we only had to reach a spending minimum of $150, which was very easy to achieve when we had pre-ordered a two-person Seafood Tower (crab legs, prawns, oysters, clams, mussels, salmon tartare, tuna tataki, wakame salad, chips). I’m typically not a tuna fan, but it was my favourite part of this platter.

Tuna

My drinks during our 2.5-hour seating were the happy hour special House Daiquiri (Havana Rum, lemon, coconut, hojicha); Korean Medicine (Dewar’s Blended Scotch, lapsang, lemon, gochujang, honey, ginger); Night Market (Appleton Rum, Sov Chili Vodka, five spice, pineapple, apple sidra); and Icons of Bayshore (Tanqueray Gin, Campari, Cointreau, passionfruit, orgeat, coconut, lime). Each drink was delicious and well-balanced. For additional eats, I had some Smash Beef Sliders and Truffle Fries, both off the happy hour menu. Lastly, I paired a Strange Fellows Talisman Pale Ale with my sliders, as I thought the two would make a good combo.

The next day, we had lunch at Cactus Club, where I tried the Polynesian Margarita (Teremana Blanco, guava, pineapple, ginger, lime, hibiscus, Thai chili), while Mrs. Sip had the Kyoto Fizz (Smirnoff Vodka, sake, yuzu, white peach, chamomile, lime, soda and thyme). To eat, I went with an old classic in the Chicken Tenders, harkening back to our early dating days as teenagers. The dish was a good way to fill up for all the drinking that lay ahead.

For an activity on this rainy day, Mrs. Sip and I tried Partee Putt, which allows folks to enjoy some mini golf action with drinks. We planned our visit for the venue’s happy hour, which rewarded me with a double Spiced Rum and Coke. I also tried one of their cocktails, going with the Lazy Hazy (Tanqueray Gin, elderflower, grapefruit and Stanley Park The Captain Hazy IPA), while Mrs. Sip had a pair of Very Berry Prosecco helpings. The golf provided lots of fun with interesting themed holes.

Mini Golf

For a group dinner with friends that night, we ventured to the Top of Vancouver. The restaurant had an odd rule that everyone at the table had to order from the Dine Out Vancouver menu or nobody could. Everyone had to unanimously agree, which was potentially tougher to do with a group of eight, but everyone decided to go off the special menu. My selections included the Caesar Salad, Roasted Jerk Chicken Breast and White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake, all of which were scrumptious (as was the bite I had of Mrs. Sip’s Cajun Arctic Char). As for beverages, I had a Parkside Humans IPA, followed by a Bourbon Arnold Palmer, sticking with the golf theme from earlier in our day.

Before heading home at the end of our weekend getaway, our group met up again for brunch at Café Medina. I really enjoyed the Liège Style Waffles they serve and also ordered the Sandwich au Porc. Sadly, all good things have to come to an end, even with a wonderful 2pm hotel checkout.

Waffles

To wrap up the month, we popped into Mainland Whisky, following a walk through the nearby Redwood Park Fairy Forest with the Sipplings. Mrs. Sip and I shared a trio of cocktails, comprised of the Iced Normando 2.0 (Cherry Whisky Cordial, NoCo, Dr. Pepper), Pineapple Express (Cinnamon Whisky, pineapple, lemon, sugar, egg white, cracked pepper) and Pie-Face (Cinnamon Whisky, Caramel Liqueur, apple cider, spices). For a snack, we demolished an order of yummy Garlic Parmesan Frites.

February is already filling up quickly and although our Family Day long weekend plans have gone through numerous revisions, it looks like we’ll have a ton of fun no matter where we end up!

Arizona Coyotes – Coyote on the Rocks

Throughout the year, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the National Hockey League (NHL), discovering the best and worst each team has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink based off the franchise. Today, we venture to the hotbed of hockey that is Arizona. While checking out the Coyotes operation, we must be mindful of the franchise’s past in Winnipeg as the first incarnation of the Jets:

Establishment Story: On July 1, 1996, the Winnipeg Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes, moving their operations from the frozen tundra to the desert. The original plan was to relocate to Minneaplos-St. Paul, but the new owners couldn’t arrange an arena lease, so Phoenix became the destination. A fan vote was conducted to name the team, with Coyotes being the winner over Scorpions.

Stanley Cups: The Jets/Coyotes franchise has never appeared in a Stanley Cup Final (the oldest team to have not made the Finals), let alone won the championship. The deepest the team has ever gone in the playoffs was the Western Conference Finals in 2012. It should be noted, the Jets were extremely successful during their stint in the World Hockey Association (WHA), winning the Avco Cup three times during the league’s seven seasons of existence.

Celebrity Fan: The ‘Godfather of Shock Rock’ Alice Cooper has long been a fan of the Coyotes, being an Arizona native since he was a teenager. The team has even given away Alice Cooper bobbleheads as a fan promotion in 2012. Cooper can often be spotted at games or rocking the classic Kachina-style jersey. Goalie Mike Smith even had Cooper painted on the back of his helmet in 2015.

Alice Cooper

Super Fan: Any supporter of the Coyotes has to be considered a super fan, no? Seriously, though, Leighton Accardo was a 9-year-old Coyotes supporter who sadly lost her 18-month battle with cancer in late 2020. Prior to passing, Accardo played youth hockey in the Arizona Kachinas program and was signed to a one-day contract by the Coyotes. On that night, rather than drop the puck for the ceremonial face-off, the youngster actually took the draw.

Mascot: Howler the Coyote (full name Canis Howlus Maximus) debuted in 2005. He wears jersey number 96, representing the year the team arrived in Arizona. Also, rather than have a captain’s ‘C’ on his jersey, Howler has the letter ‘M’ for mascot. Howler is best known for being a great drummer, joining area bands during Coyotes Foundation charity events.

Tradition: The White Out began as a Jets ritual, but carried over to Phoenix when the franchise relocated. It began in 1987 to counter the Calgary Flames ‘C of Red’, as the Jets were facing the Flames in the playoffs that season. Winnipeg swept the series and fans hoped the White Out would continue to bring good luck. In Arizona, lyrics to the Wang Chung song “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” have been altered to “Everybody wear white tonight” in marketing campaigns.

Appearances in Media: There are a couple documentaries feature footage of the original Jets. This includes Sel8nne, about the career of Teemu Selanne, and Death by Popcorn: The Tragedy of the Winnipeg Jets, covering the rise and fall of that franchise. The title comes from an incident in the 1990 playoffs, when the Jets were on the verge of finally defeating the Edmonton Oilers, until a fan threw popcorn on the ice, causing a long delay and changing the momentum of the game and series in the Oilers favour.

Howler

Events/Scandals: When the Coyotes selected Mitchell Miller in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, they didn’t realize the firestorm they were about to set off. According to a report weeks later in The Arizona Republic, Miller had been found guilty in 2016 of repeatedly bullying a developmentally disabled African American classmate. The Coyotes renounced the draft pick as a result.

Rivalry: Aside from brief flirtations with rivalries, the Coyotes greatest battle seems to be against financial stability. For a time, the Coyotes most hated opponents were the Los Angeles Kings, based on their heated 2012 Western Conference Final series. When the franchise was based in Winnipeg, perennial Smythe Division leaders the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames provided the team with many great clashes.

Tragedy: While playing with the Tucson Roadrunners (the Coyotes minor league affiliate), captain Craig Cunningham suffered a cardiac arrest prior to puck drop on November 19, 2016. It took 83 minutes of CPR to keep Cunningham alive. Due to the incident, Cunningham’s lower left leg had to be amputated because of an infection that followed circulation issues. No longer able to play, Cunningham was offered a pro scout position with the Coyotes.

Player Nicknames: The Coyotes greatest legacy on the game of hockey may be some of the nicknames the team has been responsible for over the Arizona/Winnipeg existence. Some include Finnish Flash (Teemu Selanne), Bulin Wall (goalie Nikolai Khabibulin) and BizNasty (Paul Bissonnette). A few others to be considered include Ducky (Dale Hawerchuk), Rhino (Zac Rinaldo), Goose (Alex Goligoski) and Stinky (Christian Fischer).

Arizona Coyotes

Line: When superstar Bobby Hull was joined by European imports Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson to form the Hot Line, the unit dominated the WHA. They played together for four seasons, winning two Avco Cups, before both Hedberg and Nilsson joined the NHL’s New York Rangers. Perhaps the greatest compliment of the trio came from Edmonton Oilers GM Glen Sather, who said he used the Hot Line as a template for building his 1980s dynasty teams.

Captain: Shane Doan spent his entire career as a member of the Coyotes. For 13 of those 21 seasons, he served as the team’s captain. At the time Doan retired in 2017, he was the longest-serving captain in the NHL, providing the Coyotes franchise with some semblance of stability amongst all their other issues. Doan’s jersey was retired by the team in 2019. He recorded 402 goals and 972 points over 1,540 games with the club, all franchise records.

Enforcer: Kris King’s tenure with the franchise spanned both the Winnipeg and Phoenix incarnations of the team. Originally brought in to provide protection for the likes of Teemu Selanne and Keith Tkachuk, the ‘King of Pain’ recorded 762 penalty minutes and 71 fighting majors over his five seasons with the club. King was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1996, given to an NHL player who has made significant contributions to their community.

Family Values: From 1993 to 1996, brothers Darryl and Darrin Shannon played together for the Jets. Coyote lifer Shane Doan had the pleasure of being part of the team’s draft table when they selected his son, Josh Doan, 37th overall in 2021. Josh was born and raised in Arizona, as his father played two decades with the franchise. Brothers Philip and Henrik Samuelsson were members of the organization at the same time, while dad Ulf was a former assistant coach.

Shane Doan

Returning Players: Radim Vrbata had three tenures with the Coyotes. He first played for the club for the 2007-08 season. He split the next campaign between the Tampa Bay Lightning and two teams in the Czech Extraliga, before returning to the Coyotes for five seasons. After a two-year stint with the Vancouver Canucks, Vrbata once again called Arizona home for a year. He finished his career with the Florida Panthers, retiring in 2018.

Short Stint: Coming out of the 2004-05 NHL lockout, legendary scorer Brett Hull joined the Coyotes. His dad’s #9 jersey (retired when the team was in Winnipeg) was unretired, allowing him to wear it. However, just five games into the season, Hull believed he could no longer play at the level he expected of himself and abruptly retired. He had recorded only one assist in those contests.

Undrafted: Winger Doug Smail signed with the Jets in 1980, following three years at the University of North Dakota. He remained with the team for 11 seasons and holds a couple interesting records, including the franchise mark for shorthanded goals (25), while sharing the NHL record with three others for fastest goal to start a game (five seconds). He was also the first player to ever join the U.K.’s Elite Ice Hockey League directly from the NHL.

Trade: It was tough to lose the face of their franchise, but at the 1990 NHL Draft, the Jets granted Dale Hawerchuk’s trade request, sending him to the Buffalo Sabres with a first-round draft choice. In return, the Jets received all-star defenseman Phil Housley, Scott Arniel, Jeff Parker and a first-round pick, used to select future star Keith Tkachuk. Another good move was acquiring Jeremy Roenick from the Chicago Blackhawks in 1996 for a package of assets. Roenick was a splashy move for the team’s Phoenix debut.

Brett Hull

Signing: When Mike Smith joined the Coyotes in 2011 on a very reasonable two-year, $4 million deal, he instantly legitimized the team’s goaltending. With Smith in net, the franchise won its first playoff series since 1987 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time ever. Smith’s success also came on offense, as he scored a rare goalie goal on October 19, 2013.

Draft Pick: Despite a long history of poor performances, the Coyotes have never held a draft pick better than third overall. The Jets selected first overall once, in 1981, taking future Hall of Fame member Dale Hawerchuk. Perhaps the franchise’s greatest pick of all-time was Teemu Selanne (10th overall in 1988), while their diamond in the rough find would be Nikolai Khabibulin (204th overall in 1992).

Holdouts: Nikolai Khabibulin’s contract impasse with the Coyotes, following the 1998-99 season, resulted in the goalie missing almost two full years of NHL action. Khabibulin would finally be traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 5, 2001, suiting up for the team twice before the end of the year. The move worked out well for Khabibulin, as the Lightning won the 2004 Stanley Cup, with him in the crease.

Buyouts: Mike Ribeiro’s time with the Coyotes was brief. Coming off a season where he scored a point per game with the Washington Capitals, Ribeiro signed a four-year, $22 million contract with the Coyotes in 2013. Following a single season, Ribeiro was bought out due to behavioural issues, related to alcohol use. Arizona paid Ribeiro $11,666,667 to not play for them, while the forward signed on with the Nashville Predators.

Mike Smith

Unique Game: For a 2006 pre-season game, the Coyotes returned to where it all began, playing the Edmonton Oilers in Winnipeg, 10 years after the Jets relocation to Phoenix. The Coyotes also opened the 2010 season with a pair of contests against the Boston Bruins in Prague, Czechia. Finally, there has been talk of the Coyotes playing an outdoor game in Mexico, which would be the first time NHL action has ever taken place in the country.

Goal: On March 2, 1993, Teemu Selanne surpassed Mike Bossy’s rookie scoring record of 53, with a goal against the Quebec Nordiques. The tally was made even more memorable thanks to Selanne’s celebration of throwing his glove into the air and using his stick as a gun to shoot it down. Selanne would finish the season with an incredible 76 goals and 132 points (also a NHL record), en route to being named the NHL’s top rookie, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy.

Fight/Brawl: An October 11, 1985 bench clearing brawl between the Jets and Calgary Flames is memorable for a couple reasons. The second period skirmish resulted in six game ejections, including Jets assistant coach Rick Bowness, who took a swipe at Flames enforcer Tim Hunter, the player thought to ignite the melee. Also ejected was Flames backup goalie Mark D’Amour, who was dressing in his first NHL game.

Injury: Coyotes star Clayton Keller had his 2021-22 season ended early when he crashed into the boards, fracturing his leg. A stretcher was needed to remove Keller from the ice, followed by surgery. Another notable injury was Jeremy Roenick having his jaw broken in 1999 by Derian Hatcher of the Dallas Stars. The blatant elbow was retribution for Roenick hitting Dallas superstar Mike Modano in the teams previous encounter. Hatcher was suspended seven games for the incident.

Teemu Selanne

Penalty: Jets tough guy Jimmy Mann was coming off a three-game suspension a month earlier for pushing a linesman, when on January 13, 1982, he left the bench and sucker punched Paul Gardner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, breaking his jaw. The attack was in retaliation for Gardner injuring a teammate just prior. For this offense, Mann was suspended for 10 games, along with being charged with assault causing bodily harm in Manitoba court. Mann pled guilty, receiving a maximum $500 fine.

Wildest Story: On December 8, 2021, it was announced the Coyotes owed $1.3 million in back taxes and they would be locked out of the Gila River Arena if the money was not paid by December 20, 2021. This was the last straw in their lease agreement with the City of Glendale and the Coyotes were forced to find a new home for the 2022-23 season, eventually coming to terms with Arizona State University to play out of their 5,000 seat Mullett Arena.

Blooper: Mike Smith was one of the best goalies in franchise history, but he is also remembered for one of the most bizarre own goals fans have ever seen. During a December 2013 game against the Buffalo Sabres, the puck launched into the air, coming down and getting stuck in the back of Smith’s gear. Smith, losing sight of the puck, backed into his own net. The tally is known today as the ‘Butt Goal’ and worst of all, it occurred in overtime, giving the Sabres the win.

Miscellaneous: During the 2003-04 season, netminder Brian Boucher recorded five consecutive shutouts, with a shutout streak of 332:01, setting modern day NHL records for both stats. The previous records belonged to Gary Durnan, who earned four consecutive shutouts and a streak of 309:21 playing for the Montreal Canadiens in 1949. The all-time records date back to the 1927-28 season, when Ottawa Senators goalie Alec Connell had six consecutive shutouts and a streak of 460:49.

Arizona Coyotes: Coyote on the Rocks

Coyote on the Rocks

  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

This beverage is similar to a Paloma, which is among the Sip Advisor’s favourite cocktails. Some differences include the addition of grenadine and no salt for the drink’s rim. I like the double entendre this recipe conjures, as you can imagine a coyote resting on rocks or it could just be the ice filling your glass.

Anaheim Ducks – Triple Deke

Throughout the year, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the National Hockey League (NHL), discovering the best and worst each team has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink based off the franchise. Today, we begin this trek with a look at the Anaheim Ducks. Let’s just see how mighty they are:

Establishment Story: The Ducks joined the NHL in 1993 as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The expansion team was born from the 1992 Walt Disney Company movie The Mighty Ducks, as Disney looked to expand into the sports ownership world. As of 2005, Disney is no longer behind the franchise and the team has dropped the ‘Mighty’ portion of their moniker, simply going as the Anaheim Ducks.

Stanley Cups: The Ducks lone Stanley Cup came in 2007, when they defeated the Ottawa Senators in five games. They reached the Stanley Cup Finals one other time, losing to the New Jersey Devils in seven games, ending their 2003 Cinderella post-season run. Despite being the Stanley Cup runner up, Ducks goalie Jean-Sébastien Giguère was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP.

Celebrity Fan: Emilio Estevez, star of The Mighty Ducks movie franchise as coach Gordon Bombay, is a fan of the team his movies are responsible for. Estevez often makes appearances in the Anaheim crowd when the team is in important situations, such as the Stanley Cup Finals. From time to time, Estevez also supports the team on his social media accounts.

Emilio Estevez

Super Fan: Given the Ducks beginnings as a popular movie franchise and its Disney connection, fans of the team stretch far and wide. Season ticket members of the club are known as the Orange Alliance. Among the diehards is Ned Marr, who can be easily recognized for his face and head paint (he’s bald after all), which he first donned during the 2013 playoffs. His popularity even led to appearing in a Papa John’s commercial.

Mascot: Wild Wing made his debut with the rest of the team in 1993. His name was picked through a fan vote and he wears the number 93, referencing the franchise’s founding year. In a case of fiction-inspiring-reality-inspiring-fiction, the character of Wildwing Flashblade from the Mighty Ducks cartoon series is based on Wild Wing the mascot. The Ducks very first game featured a secondary mascot, nicknamed The Iceman, but the electric guitar-playing hype man disappeared soon after.

Tradition: Through all incarnations of the Anaheim franchise, Fowl Towels have been a popular fan item, with folks at games waving the towels to cheer on the squad. The towels were originally white, but are now orange, matching the team’s home jerseys throughout the years. Some Ducks supporters also use duck call devices to root on the club.

Appearances in Media: The team’s logo and jerseys appeared in the aforementioned Mighty Ducks movie franchise, as well as its spinoff cartoon series. The reboot TV series Mighty Ducks: Game Changers has included cameos from current Ducks players, such as Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry and Max Jones. Lastly, in the first season of TV show Boy Meets World (a Disney production coinciding with the Ducks inaugural season), main character Cory Matthews wears a Mighty Ducks jersey.

Mighty Ducks

Events/Scandals: Bob Murray’s run as the Ducks GM both began and ended abruptly. He took over the role in November 2008, when previous GM Brian Burke suddenly joined the Toronto Maple Leafs. Murray’s term ended almost exactly 13 years later, when he resigned while under investigation by the team for an alleged history of verbal abuse to players and other staff members.

Rivalry: Fellow California-based teams, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, are natural rivals to the Ducks. Anaheim’s feud with Los Angeles is dubbed the Freeway Face-Off. Despite the animosity between the teams and fan bases, the two squads have only met in the playoffs once, with the Kings winning the 2014 series in seven games. The teams have also faced each other for the 2007 NHL Premiere from London and the 2014 Stadium Series at Dodger Stadium.

Tragedy: There are no direct tragedies associated with the Ducks, but fan favourite Ruslan Salei, who played in Anaheim for nine seasons, was among the 44 killed in the September 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team plane crash. The Belarussian was drafted by the Ducks ninth overall in 1996 and once held the franchise record for games played by a defenceman. Salei’s popularity led to the Honda Center, Anaheim’s home arena, being nicknamed ‘The House that Rusty Built’.

Player Nicknames: Corey Perry’s style of play has earned him two nicknames, one on each end of the spectrum. The first, Scorey Perry, was earned for his scoring prowess, including the career-high 50 he potted in 2010-11, earning him the Rocket Richard and Hart Memorial Trophies. The second, The Worm, comes from Perry’s knack of irritating his opponents.

Corey Perry

Line: Speaking of Corey Perry, his long-time partnership with Ryan Getzlaf led to a lot of success for the Ducks. The duo played together with Dustin Penner as the Kid Line/PPG Line and with Bobby Ryan as the RPG Line. Another very successful pair for the team was Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne. Their most notable third linemate was Steve Rucchin, a rare player to come to the NHL from the Canadian Interuniversity Sport route.

Captain: Ryan Getzlaf played his entire 17-season career with the Ducks, serving as captain from 2010 until his retirement in 2022. He holds the franchise record for most games played (1,157), points (1,019) and assists (737). Getzlaf was twice nominated for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, but failed to win the trophy. In retirement, Getzlaf is still an active member in the Anaheim community.

Enforcer: While I’d love to put the Bash Brothers (Fulton Reed and Dean Portman) here, from D2: The Mighty Ducks, the honour has to go to Todd Ewen, who holds the franchise records for penalty minutes in a season (285) and in a period (37). Sadly, Ewen commited suicide in 2015, aged 49. He had been suffering from depression for years, with chronic traumatic encephalopathy from his years as a fighter perhaps contributing to his death.

Family Values: Brothers Scott and Rob Niedermayer not only got to play together on the Ducks for four seasons, they got to share winning a Stanley Cup together. It was Scott’s fourth championship – following three with the New Jersey Devils – and Rob’s first. Scott was the team’s captain, while Rob was an alternate. After Scott finished his lap around the ice with the trophy, he passed it to Rob, which Scott described as a highlight of his career.

Ryan Getzlaf

Returning Players: Defenseman Francois Beauchemin had three stints with the Ducks. He was first traded to Anaheim in 2005, being part of the 2007 championship squad. Beauchemin joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent in 2009, but was traded back to Anaheim in 2011. His final tenure with the team was for the 2017-18 season, which he announced would be his final campaign, retiring as a Duck.

Short Stint: Dany Heatley’s NHL career wrapped up with six games as a member of the Ducks during the 2014-15 season. While playing for the Ducks minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, Heatley was traded to the Florida Panthers organization, but didn’t get into any games with them, instead playing for their minor league team, the San Antonio Rampage. Heatley then retired from hockey after a season in Germany.

Undrafted: Chris Kunitz was signed by Anaheim as an undrafted free agent in 2003, following being named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top NCAA men’s hockey player. He was actually lost to the Atlanta Thrashers on waivers in 2005, but reclaimed weeks later by the Ducks. Kunitz would go on to be a member of the 2007 Stanley Cup championship team.

Trade: Acquiring superstar Teemu Selanne and pairing him with Paul Kariya was one of the greatest moves in Ducks history. To nab Selanne, the team had to part with two former first round picks in Oleg Tverdovsky and Chad Kilger, but it was certainly worth it. Selanne would return to the club later in his career and be part of the franchise’s only Stanley Cup victory. Selanne holds many of the Ducks offensive records, including regular season goals, power-play goals and game-winning goals.

Teemu Selanne

Signing: The signings of Scott Neidermayer and Teemu Selanne (returning to the club) following the 2004-05 NHL lockout, would eventually lead to winning the 2007 Stanley Cup. On the flip side, the signing of Todd Bertuzzi in 2007 to a two-year, $8 million deal was eventually bought out after one season, as the Ducks had players like Corey Perry they needed to resign and were tight against the salary cap.

Draft Pick: The Ducks first ever player selection, Paul Kariya at 4th overall in 1993, was a very good one. Kariya became the face of the franchise for its first decade of existence, with his jersey number retired by the team in 2018. The 2003 draft also yielded great results, with Ryan Getzlaf (19th overall) and Corey Perry (28th overall) being chosen. The pair were integral to the Ducks 2007 Stanley Cup win.

Holdouts: When Paul Kariya’s first NHL contract expired in 1997, he and the Ducks failed to agree on a new pact. This led to Kariya missing the first 32 games of the 1997-98 campaign, prior to inking a two-year, $14 million deal. The holdout meant Kariya, a Japanese Canadian, was absent from the lineup as the Ducks and Vancouver Canucks played a pair of games in Tokyo to open the season.

Buyouts: It came as a bit of a shock when Corey Perry was bought out by the Ducks in 2019. Sure, his production had dropped in recent times, but he’d been with the franchise for 14 years. Another interesting case was that of defenseman Simon Després, who was let loose in 2017, with four years remaining on his contract, due to concerns over his concussion history.

Paul Kariya

Unique Game: Aside from the above-mentioned games against Los Angeles (2007 NHL Premiere from London and 2014 Stadium Series) and the Ducks travelling to Japan to open the 1997-98 season against Vancouver, the team has also played in destinations such as and Finland and Sweden (versus the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, respectively), for the 2011 NHL Premiere. Their contests in Tokyo were the first NHL games outside of North America that counted in the league standings.

Goal: Trevor Zegras is known for his high skill level and many highlight real goals. These include his lacrosse-style tally and batting out of the air a Sonny Milano alley-oop pass made over the net from behind it. Zegras’ flair for goal scoring led to him being invited to the 2022 NHL All-Star Game as a special guest to compete in the Breakaway Challenge. He was also made the cover athlete for the NHL 23 video game.

Fight/Brawl: A rather ordinary December 2001 game between the Ducks and the Calgary Flames took a turn late in the third period, when the teams took turns taking runs at each other’s goalies. The result was the last minute and a half featured constant fights off of each faceoff. By the end of the game, only one substitute player remained on each bench, with 309 penalty minutes recorded. A number of players were suspended or fined in the aftermath.

Injury: During the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, Devils defenceman Scott Stevens caught Paul Kariya with a crushing open ice hit that knocked the Ducks superstar out cold. In the days before concussion protocols, Kariya would return to the game just minutes later and even score a goal. Sadly, in 2011, Kariya would be forced to retire due to post-concussion syndrome and many point to this hit as one that contributed to Kariya’s issues.

Trevor Zegras

Penalty: During a March 2008 game against the Vancouver Canucks, Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger stomped on Ryan Kesler’s leg after the two had become tangled up. While the NHL originally let the incident pass unpunished, further video evidence resulted in an eight-game suspension for Pronger. Although Kesler wasn’t injured on the play, many thought the punishment was light, compared to Chris Simon’s 30-game suspension for a similar incident earlier that season.

Wildest Story: In the summer following Anaheim’s Stanley Cup triumph, Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe signed emerging forward Dustin Penner to a five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet. Ducks GM Brian Burke responded in the only way a responsible GM should, publically criticizing and name calling his counterpart. This led to the challenge of a barn fight, where a Lake Placid venue was even chosen, before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stepped in and made sure the bout didn’t happen.

Blooper: Mascots can sometimes be put in dangerous situations, all in the name of getting fans riled up. For the Ducks 1995 home opener pre-game show, Wild Wing was to leap over a wall of fire. While rehearsal apparently went smoothly, when it came time to perform the act live, the mascot fell directly onto the flames. Thankfully, Wild Wing wasn’t harmed in any way and was back to interacting with fans quickly.

Miscellaneous: In the early years of the franchise, Mighty Ducks merchandise sold more than all other NHL teams combined. This was assisted by items being sold at Disney theme parks and in Disney Stores. With Disney World being located in Florida, it’s likely Mighty Ducks items sold better there than their expansion cousin Florida Panthers could ever have imagined for themselves.

Anaheim Ducks: Triple Deke

Triple Deke

  • Muddled Cuccumber
  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Watermelon Liqueur
  • Garnish with Cucumber Slices

This cocktail is an homage to The Mighty Ducks movies, particularly the first film, when the triple deke move is used throughout. The recipe called for Watermelon Syrup to be used, but I elected to add some Watermelon Liqueur to the mix.

Best of 2022

The year was full of milestones, resulting in many memorable moments. Here are 10 highlights from the Sip Family’s 2022:

South of the Border

In February, the Sip Family finally travelled internationally again, enjoying a 10-day stay at a Mayan Riviera all-inclusive. The drinks flowed and the food filled, but playing with the Sipplings around the resort are the memories that remain.

Viva Las Vegas

To celebrate our 20th dating anniversary, Mrs. Sip and I spent a few days in Las Vegas, where we enjoyed some of our old favourites in the city and weaved in a bunch of new experiences. Vegas is always evolving and that’s the way we like it.

Vegas

Bachelor Blitz

One of my closest friends got married in May and prior to that party, was the stag in Summerland. Our group had a large home on a winery for the weekend, which was filled with lots of drinks, a couple games of golf and other shenanigans.

Down Mexico Way

In June, we returned to Mexico, this time to the west coast town of Puerto Vallarta for another all-inclusive week. Pool time for the Sipplings was balanced with drink time for Mrs. Sip and me. PV has become a favourite getaway stop for the Sip Advisor.

Four Seasons Playground

I was in the Okanagan a total of four times in 2022 and each vacation had it’s own merits for being included on this list. On this excursion, we celebrated Canada Day in the region, finding new breweries and other activities to share with the Sipplings.

Road Trip

Beantown Beauties

Along with a milestone dating anniversary, Mrs. Sip and I also celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. To do so, we journeyed to Boston for a few days of brews, baseball, amazing food and history. Best of all, nearly everything we did was walkable.

Floating Away

My and Girl Sip’s birthdays were celebrated onboard a Princess Cruises voyage from Vancouver to Los Angeles. While on the ship, we spent a fair bit of time with the Sipplings at the Kid’s Club, which was offset by beverges and other treats.

The Happiest Place on Earth… Finally!

Following the cruise, we spent a week at Disneyland, at last fulfilling a trip that was supposed to happen in 2020. It was a magical time, seeing the park through the eyes of Girl and Boy Sip, as well as getting to entertain our own inner child.

Disneyland

Brewingham

For the Remembrance Day long weekend, the Sip Family spent the break in Bellingham, Washington, where we took care of some Christmas shopping, had some great food and drink and best of all, got to spend some important time together.

‘Tis the Season

From early December, all the way through to New Year’s Day, there was little time for rest and relaxation. As is the case most years, we were booked pretty solid throughout the “holidays”… and I don’t regret a minute of it.

And that’s only the top 10. Many other nights out or in with friends and family were amazing times and I thank everyone who played a role in another amazing year!

Sip Trips #217: Christmas Craziness

December was the jam-packed month I’ve come to expect, especially since having kids. Christmas events, Vancouver Canucks games and many meals kept us out and about. Let’s see what the Sip Family got up to, as we bid adieu to 2022:

Early in the month, Mrs. Sip and I had a Canucks game to attend, so prior to the contest, we had dinner at The Keg in Yaletown, where I took full advantaged of their happy hour, ordering the Keg Burger & Fries, along with a pair of Gin Basil Lemonade cocktails. The feast was very good, but we still had time to kill before puck drop, so we walked over to Elisa, where we split a trio of drinks, including the Charring the Cosmos (Gin, Grilled Pineapple Agave Syrup, Lime, Soda, Lem-Marrakech Bitters), Earl Grey Martini (Gin, Amaretto, Earl Grey, Lavender Syrup, Egg White) and Roxanne (Scotch, Malbec, Lemon, Red Dragon Chai Syrup). We hope to return to Elisa another time for the full meal experience.

A few days later, we took Girl Sip out for a movie night, eating at the Old Spaghetti Factory beforehand. I selected the Chicken Parmagiana with Caesar Salad, which was good. It had been a while since I’d eaten at Old Spaghetti Factory and it was fun to try it again with Girl Sip, who is a passionate pasta fanatic.

Pasta

Later that week, Mrs. Sip and I needed to pick up a package at our mailbox in the U.S., so while across the line, we had a quick bite to eat at Gateway Taphouse & Grill in Blaine, Washington. To drink, I went with the Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale, while Mrs. Sip drank a pint of Beach Cat Meowy Christmas Winter Ale. For food, I took advantage of their $10 Burger Night, which included a burger and seasoned fries, which were a wedge/curly fry hybrid that I really liked.

In the middle of the month, Mrs. Sip and I received our winter VCBW Beer Boxes. I have to give a shout out to the breweries that continue to provide unique beers to this project, particularly Old Yale and Russell, which provided two beers this time. The Wild Eye Dark N Stormy cocktail-inspired beer was neat too.

Prior to another Canucks game, this time with the Sipplings in tow, we ate at Boston Pizza. I had the Boston-Sized Burger, which was very filling, paired with a couple pints of Rickard’s Red. The place was packed on this night and this caused service to be a little chaotic, which was the only downfall of a fun evening out.

Baby Sitting

Perhaps the dating highlight of the month was when Mrs. Sip and I were able to visit the Tinseltown Bar, being run out of the Vancouver Alpen Club. Tickets were $19 each and included a welcome drink (Mulled Wine, Hot Cider or Hot Chocolate with liquor of your choice). I went with a Hot Chocolate with Spiced Rum, which I enjoyed. As we played a few games and listened to various Christmas tunes, we also ordered four of the seven cocktails offered by the pop-up bar. This included the Jingle All the Way (Gin, Lime Juice, Cranberry Juice, Simple Syrup, Egg Whites), White Christmas (White Rum, Lime Juice, Mint, Simple Syrup, Club Soda, Candy Cane garnish), Holly Jolly (Vodka, Elderflower, Orange Juice, Ginger Beer, Mint garnish) and Sugar Plum Fairy (Chambord, Gin, Soda, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Sugar Rim, Mint garnish). Each drink was $10-$12 and all we tried were tasty.

For Christmas, I received a couple beers, a BC Liquor Store gift card and edible cocktail glitters from Mrs. Sip. The Sip-in-Laws provided me a bottle of Hennessy Cognac and Ma and Pa Sip gave me the Monin Holiday Cheer Collection syrup collection (Macadamia Nut, Peppermint, Dark Chocolate, Gingerbread, Toasted Marshmallow), as far as liquor-related presents went.

For Christmas dinner, I presented another cocktail menu for the family. It was my last chance to serve the 38th Birthday recipes I had been working on for most of the year, after Mrs. Sip and Cousin Sip’s joint birthday in January was vetoed due to a Covid lockdown. The menu was comprised of the Hold On Loosely (Southern Comfort, Cola, Orange Soda); stRontiUM (Bacardi Dragonfruit Rum, Sprite Winter Cranberry Soda, Maraschino Cherry Syrup); The Parallel (Grapefruit Soju, Peach Schnapps, Lemon Juice); Place Your Bets (Tito’s Vodka, Watermelon-Lime Club Soda, Raspberries and Blackberries); and Top of the Table (Tanqueray Rangpur Gin, Tonic Water, Raspberry-Lemonade). Each drink was connected to the number 38, as Hold On Loosely is a song by the rock group 38 Special, stRontiUM has an atomic number of 38, the 38th parallel separates North and South Korea, Place Your Bets is a reference to the 38 slots on a roulette wheel, and Top of the Table is connected to the 38 matches played by each team in a Premier League season.

Cocktail Menu

Following our last Canucks game of 2022, Mrs. Sip and I had a late night meal at Devil’s Elbow Ale and Smokehouse. As we shared their Pulled Pork Plate (our two sides were the Mac N’ Cheese Cornbread and Tater Tots), I had servings of the Main Street Naked Fox IPA and Moon Under Water Puft Daddy Marshmallow White Stout, while Mrs. Sip tried the Faculty 241 Minzeweizen and Container Dark Arts Belgian Quadrupel. It was a very nice end to a busy Christmas week.

But we were ready to wrap the month just yet. After taking the Sipplings to Science World (or as Boy Sip calls it: Science Circle), we had a late lunch/early dinner at R&B Ale & Pizza House. Mrs. Sip and I both took advantage of their Pizza and Beer deal for $20. She had the Mushroom Bianca pizza with Auld Nick Winter Ale, while I went with a delicious BBQ Brisket and Pineapple pizza with Hipster Haze Hazy IPA. The Sipplings were quite content with their Pretzel, followed by a sundae at Earnest Ice Cream.

Ice Cream

For New Year’s Eve, I picked up a 1.14-litre bottle of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and immediately put it to good use. Adding it all up, my New Year’s consumption included seven mixed drinks, five vodka sodas, two beers, a couple shots, and a partridge in a pear tree! Our group stayed up way too late and this was following a 40th birthday celebration the night before. Suffice to say, Mrs. Sip and I are still tired and trying to get back on a good sleep pattern.

2023 is already shaping up to be a busy year. I wish everyone out there reading this a Happy New Year and hope you’ll continue to follow along with the shenanigans of the Sip Family!

10th Anniversary!!!

The Sip Advisor is 10 years old today. During that time, I’ve made over 1,000 cocktails/shots and documented countless adventures from around the world.

While the project never became the cultural phenomenon I hoped it would be, I’ve enjoyed all I’ve learned about the beer, wine and spirit industries. Thank you to everyone that’s read any of my articles.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve done 365 days of cocktails and another 366 days of B.C. craft beers. We’ve travelled the world and enjoyed the flavour revolution. We’ve traversed the 50 American states and 10 Canadian provinces. 2023 will see the Sip Advisor delve into the best and worst of the 32 National Hockey League teams.

Personal developments have led to the introduction of Boy and Girl Sip (aka The Sipplings), along with a wild cast of characters, including Mrs. Sip, Ma and Pa Sip and others.

I look forward to the adventures the next 10 years of running this site will provide and how my liquor collection will grow over that span. Thank you again for following along on this journey!

-The Sip Advisor, ESQ.

My Grown-Up Christmas List

I’m sure everyone has heard that song ‘My Grown-Up Christmas List’. Well, here’s mine, minus the sappy singing:

  1. That Mrs. Sip and her gaggle of friends had calendar malfunctions, so they couldn’t book up every waking minute of my time.
  2. A parking permit for areas around Girl Sip’s school. Hell, let’s make it a universal parking pass. Seriously, if such an item existed, I’d have to at least consider purchasing it, regardless of cost.
  3. An extra half hour every morning for Mrs. Sip to get ready… but it probably still wouldn’t be enough.
  4. That the Vancouver Canucks were either good or bad, but not both.christmas list
  5. Peace on earth… A mute button for the Sipplings. Yeah, I like that better.
  6. A censor for my swearing.
  7. For all automatic sinks, soap dispensers, paper towel distributors, etc. to actually work.
  8. Finally, give me a reunion special or series of Married with Children. Surely, Al Bundy would STILL be a shoe salesman!

The Fruitquake (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

The Fruitquake

  • 1.5 oz Mango Chamoy Tequila
  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Lime Juice
  • Top with Mountain Dew Fruit Quake

What is on your grown-up Christmas list? Let me know in the comments section and maybe it will come true!

Saskatchewan – The Last Saskatchewan Pirate

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we’re off to the Land of the Living Skies, the prairie province of Saskatchewan. Will this article stretch as long as the province’s horizon? Let’s find out:

Motto: “From Many Peoples Strength” – I hope Saskatchewan is home to a pocket of strongmen.

Food: Saskatchewan is know for Regina-Style Pizza, which is cut into squares, piled high with sandwich meats, green peppers (for the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team), sauce and cheese. The pizza was introduced in 1970 at Houston Pizza, which was run by a Greek family of four brothers. The province also offers the unique Saskatoon Berry, which are similar to blueberries.

Drink: While the Caesar wasn’t invented in Saskatchewan, the largest version of the cocktail ever made belongs to the province. In 2019, Last Mountain Distillery combined 4,572 shots of their Dill Pickle Vodka with 318 bottles of Mott’s Clamato, 20 bottles of lime juice and 18 bottles of Worcestershire sauce to make a 750-litre vat of the drink. The record-breaking creation was garnished with two steaks, two blocks of cheese and a full celery stalk.

Pizza Food Pyramid

Site to See: Prince Albert National Park can be found in the middle of the province. The park offers a number of scenic drives, along with guided hikes and other activities to see as much of the 3,975 square kilomeres as you can. A highlight of the park is the cabin of Grey Owl, an English naturalist, who faked being Indigenous. Named Archibald Stansfeld Belaney at birth, he was depicted by Pierce Brosnan in the 1999 film Grey Owl.

Street: Albert Street is a major route in and out of downtown Regina. The road includes Albert Memorial Bridge, which is the longest bridge over the shortest span of water in the world. The bridge is decorated with a number of Egyptian features and was meant to be a memorial to Saskatchewan soldiers lost in World War I, although plaques listing the names of these people were never installed.

TV Show: Corner Gas, created by comedian Brent Butt, centers around the townsfolk of the fictional Dog River. The show ran for six seasons and 107 episodes before a feature film and animated series followed. Thanks to the popularity of the series, April 13, 2009 was declared Corner Gas Day in Saskatchewan. The cartoon Fugget About It and live action sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie are also set in the province.

Movie: Percy, starring Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci and Zach Braff, is based on the legal battle between Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser and massive corporation Monsanto over the use of the company’s patented seeds. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, with Schmeiser being able to keep his farm. Sadly, the real life Schmeiser died a week after the film’s release.

Corner Gas

Book/Author: Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell was published in 1947. The novel tells the coming-of-age story of farm boy Brian O’Connall during the Great Depression. A 1977 film adaptation was made, which became Canada’s highest grossing film of that year, taking in a whopping $1.2 million. A quote from the book was read by Donald Sutherland at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Fictional Character: I’ve stumbled across one source that says antihero Deadpool is from Saskatchewan, so I’m running with it. Known as the Merc with a Mouth, this mercenary is known to crack non-stop jokes while taking care of business. Played by Canadian Ryan Reynolds, the Deadpool film franchise has done very well, with a third installment of the series scheduled to be released in November 2024.

Fictional City: Dog River is based on the town of Rouleau. It has a population of only 500 people, most of them eccentric. Creator Brent Butt named the setting after his own hometown of Tisdale, where the Doghide River can be found. If you ever find yourself in Dog River, make sure to never mention rival neighbour town, Wullerton, which causes citizens to spit on the ground in disgust (even in the newspaper, The Howler).

Actor/Actress: Leslie Nielsen, best known for his bumbling straight man character in movies such as The Naked Gun franchise and Airplane!, was born in Regina. Nielsen enjoyed a long career, beginning with serious roles, before turning to comedy, appearing in over 100 films and 150 TV projects. Nielsen has stars on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Leslie Nielsen

Song: Long Gone to Saskatchewan, by country artist Corb Lund, compares living in the province compared to Lund’s native Alberta. Lines such as “She’s a little bit flatter but the cows are as fatter/So I think I’m gonna get me a tent/Cuz I can buy up an acre beside a nice lake here/For what it costs me at home to just rent” make it clear Lund sees the positives of Saskatchewan, “Where the gettin’s good if you’re gettin’ gone”.

Band/Musician: Colin James was born in Regina. The rock and blues artist first gained fame as the opening act for Stevie Ray Vaughan in the mid 1980s. James has won seven Juno awards from 17 nominations. His association with Saskatchewan led to a cameo appearance in an episode of Corner Gas. James also performed for Queen Elizabeth II, during her visit to the province in 2005.

People: Professional wrestler Roddy Piper (real name Roderick Toombs) was born in Saskatoon. Piper was one of the biggest wrestling stars of the 1980s Hulkamania era, remembered as much for his work in the ring as for his Piper’s Pit interview segment, which launched countless feuds and storylines. Piper’s popularity led to a number of roles in film and TV, most notably the cult classic movie They Live.

Animal: Scotty is the name given to a Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil discovered in Saskatchewan in 1991. What gained the fossil find so much attention is that Scotty is the largest T-Rex ever unearthed. Scotty can be found at the T.Rex Discovery Centre in Eastend. The dino was found by a high school principal and the name comes from the bottle of scotch the group shared in celebration.

Roddy Piper

Invention: For allowing me and my family to be able to receive medical treatments at no cost to us, Medicare (aka Universal Health Care) has to take this category. Former Saskatchewan Premier, Tommy Douglas, brought forward the Universal Health Care legislation in 1961, despite strong opposition by doctors, and is known as the Father of Medicare. Douglas was ranked The Greatest Canadian in 2004.

Crime: Saskatchewan has an odd history of mass murders, including Walter Bromley killing his five children in 1918; the 1967 Shell Lake Massacre, where Victor Hoffman randomly murdered nine members of the Peterson family; the 1969 Buffalo Narrows axe murders, where seven members of the Pederson family were bludgeoned; and the 2022 stabbing spree by Damien and Myles Sanderson that claimed 12 lives.

Sports Team: The Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League is a rare example of a non-hockey team being the top game in a Canadian province. Fans of the club are known as Rider Nation, with some diehards called Melonheads, for wearing watermelon helmets. The team has won four Grey Cup championships. It should also be noted, curling is the official sport of the province.

Athlete: Gordie Howe, nicknamed Mr. Hockey, was born in Floral. Howe played until the age of 52 (including six seasons in the World Hockey Association) and sits second on the NHL’s all-time list for goals, and games played, while ranking fourth in total points. Howe won four Stanley Cups and was named an NHL All-Star 23 times. Howe won the first NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Gordie Howe

Famous Home: Diefenbaker House can be found in Prince Albert. Designated a National Historic Site in 2019, it was the home of former Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker. The house is largely furnished with items from Diefenbaker’s Prime Minister residence in Ottawa. It should also be noted, Saskatoon’s international airport is named in Diefenbaker’s honour.

Urban Legend: The St. Louis Ghost Light or Ghost Train is a phenomenon in St. Louis, where people see a bright beam of light, similar to a train’s headlight, although nothing is actually there. The legend was profiled on the TV series Unsolved Mysteries and turned into a Canada Post stamp in 2014. Two high school students proved the spectacle was created by vehicle lights, but the legend has existed from before the invention of cars.

Museum: The Western Development Museum has four locations throughout the province, with the mission of highlighting the many advancements of Saskatchewan. Each location has its own theme, including: History of Transportation in Moose Jaw, Heritage Farm & Village in North Battleford, 1910 Boomtown in Saskatoon and Story of People in Yorkton. The museum network was founded in 1949.

Firsts: A few Canadian banking firsts occurred in Saskatchewan. Regina was the site of Canada’s first automated teller machines (ATMs); therefore, the first debit card transactions also took place there. Back then, the maximum cash that could be withdrawn from a machine was $30. Later, in 1988, Saskatchewan Credit Unions were the first financial institutions to issue debit cards to customers.

ATM

Company: The modern-day Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was created in Saskatchewan in 1928, when the province contracted the RCMP to become it’s police force. A number of other provinces would follow suit in 1932, with two others contracting the service in 1950. Only Ontario and Quebec have their own provincial policing. RCMP members can be recognized by their Red Serge ceremonial uniforms. The RCMP Heritage Centre can be found in Regina.

Events: The 1912 Regina Cyclone was the deadliest tornado in Canadian history, killing 28 people and causing approximately 300 other injuries. The natural disaster was responsible for $1.2 million in property damage, resulting in 2,500 people losing their homes. It took the city two years to repair all the damages and 10 years to pay off its debts from the incident. Actor Boris Karloff was in Regina at the time of the cyclone.

Miscellaneous: Saskatchewan is the only full province that does not observe daylight saving time. They remain on Central Standard Time year round, meaning during the spring and summer, they are in line with Alberta, while during the fall and winter, they are in line with Manitoba. This was the result of the 1966 Time Act, which I wish the rest of North America would adopt version of.

Saskatchewan: The Last Saskatchewan Pirate

The Last Saskatchewan Pirate

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • 0.5 oz Orange Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.25 oz Ginger Liqueur
  • Splash of Grapefruit Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

I would have loved to use Saskatoon Berry Liqueur for today’s drink, but it’s not available in these parts. Therefore, I went with this recipe, which gets its name from a folk song by The Arrogant Worms. The beverage uses Black Ginger Rum (would love to get my hands on the French product), which I achieved using Dark Rum and Ginger Liqueur.

Sip Trips #216: Bellingham Bonanza

November had a fair pace to it, including a mid-month getaway, along with other activities as we work towards the most wonderful time of the year. Let’s see what the Sip Family got up to throughout November:

The month began as many do, watching the Vancouver Canucks lose. While at the game, which started out well, only to end in misery, a friend and I took turns buying rounds. $20 for a tall craft beer at Rogers Arena is ridiculous and hard to accept. I had to do a double take each time the total came up on the payment machine. By comparison, we were able to buy late night happy hour pitchers at Browns Socialhouse following the game for the same price.

Beeramid

The highlight of November was our stay in Bellingham, Washington, over the Remembrance Day long weekend. Each night, our Oxford Suites hotel, offered a manager’s reception, with two drink tickets per guest. This allowed for a couple beers or wines to be enjoyed each day of our stay, so long as the kids allowed it. Mrs. Sip and I also had dinner at the hotel one night, where I really liked my Oxford Burger with Pasta Salad.

For dinner after arriving, we walked over to Buffalo Wild Wings at Bellis Fair Mall. This was my first time at the restaurant and I enjoyed my pair of Bird Dawgs (Honey BBQ and Buffalo), which is a chicken variation of hotdogs. Thanks to Mrs. Sip asking if I could mix and match flavour options, I was able to try two different versions of the meal, which I paired with a Breckenridge Christmas Ale. I hope to go back soon to try other menu items.

After visiting the fascinating Spark Museum, we dropped into Stemma Brewing. While there, I drank servings of the saBro That’s Fresh Hazy Fresh Hop IPA and Conditus Lager. I don’t normally go with lagers, but was curious about its blend of lemon and cayenne. I also got to try Mrs. Sip’s Skybright Winter Ale. To eat, we ordered some Birria Tacos from the food truck outside.

Birria Tacos

Next up, was returning to Bellis Fair Mall, to allow the kids to burn some energy at the Playdate playground. The best part of this place is that while the kids get to have their fun, parents and guardians are able to order beer and wine, along with various food offerings. Over two stays at Playdate, I was able to drink pints of Terramar Amber On, Breakside IPA and Stemma Hazy IPA. I would have taken the kids here if they only sold Budweiser, so for them to exclusively offer craft beers is a bonus. A playdate cafe, where adults can playdate too!

The next day, we started by perusing the Bellingham Farmer’s Market. This was followed by lunch at Boundary Bay Brewing, where Mrs. Sip and I shared the B.L.A.T. + Turkey with Tim’s Potato Chips. To drink, I ordered the Cosmic Visions Cold IPA. We’ve always enjoyed our times at Boundary Bay and this was no exception.

After lunch, Ma and Pa Sip took the Sipplings to a playground, while allowing Mrs. Sip and I a chance to relax at Stones Throw Brewing. It was a brief stay, but very much enjoyed, as I tried the Happy Valley Hazy IPA, while Mrs. Sip went with a hot cup of Mulled Wine. We really enjoyed our outdoor seats around a roaring fire.

Mulled Wine

Our last brewery stop of the day was at Otherlands Brewing. Here, I went with the Some Soft Returning Amber Kellerbier, while Mrs. Sip tried the Send in the Clouds Hefeweizen. We were tempted to try some the vegetarian dishes offered by the eatery, but had dinner upcoming.

For that meal, we visited Mi Mexico. To drink, I ordered the Bartender’s Special (Tequila, Triple Sec, Margarita Mix, topped with Cranberry Juice and Grand Marnier), which was very tasty. My feast consisted of the Burrito Al Pastor, which was enough for two people and quite good.

The next day, Mrs. Sip left for her girl’s trip to Las Vegas, while the remaining Sip Family members travelled to Blaine to check out Beach Cat Brewing. I had a pint of the Munchkin Red Ale, while the Sipplings played with the many games at the brewery. For dinner, Pa Sip and I picked up food from Boomer’s Drive-In. I had the delicious Bacon Swiss Burger with Curly Fries.

Curly Fries

One more food note for the trip, I finally tried a McDonald’s McRib, as the sandwich is celebrating a farewell tour in the U.S. The results were I wish I’d ordered my usual Mickey D’s favourites instead, but I can cross it off the food bucket list. I also brought home bottles of Tito’s Vodka and Dough Ball Cookie Dough Whiskey, along with a case of Mountain Dew Fruit Quake fruit cake-flavoured soda.

After returning from the vacation, Girl Sip and I had a daddy-daughter dinner at Boston Pizza. Monday nights are a perfect time to visit the chain, as draft beer is $1.50 off and individual pizzas are only $9.99 (about $5 off). I had a pint of Belgian Moon, along with a Tropical Chicken Pizza. While I don’t typically order dessert at restaurants, I had a free dessert for my birthday, through the BP app, so I went with the Loaded Brownie S’mores, off the Fall Menu. The dish was delicious, with the combo of hot brownie bites, toasted marshmallows and Graham Crackers being perfectly blended.

I hate smores - meme

We wrapped the month with a performance of Disney on Ice, an earlier birthday gift for Girl Sip. Prior to the show, we ate at the White Spot R+D Kitchen, where I had to get my usual Legendary Deluxe Burger (with Caesar Salad), despite some experimental options piquing my interest. I paired the burger I was craving with a serving of Off the Rail Big Red Ale, which completed a very good spread.

December is now here and we’ve already attended a few Christmas festivities. The month will only get crazier as we progress through it, so my liver has been warned of the impending work schedule!

Quebec – Caribou

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we visit La Belle Provence, otherwise known as Quebec. Please note, this article will not be written bilingually:

Motto: “I remember” – Remember what?

Food: There are a number of Monteal-style dishes, including bagels, smoked meat, hot dogs, melons, and even a steak seasoning. Aside from that, a popular Quebecois dish is Tourtière, comprised of minced meat (pork, veal, beef, etc.), combined with potatoes in a pie format. The meal is traditionally served as part of Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. The name for the dish comes from the device it’s made in.

Drink: While my and Mrs. Sip’s favourite Quebec-based brewery is Unibroue, Molson Brewery deserves mention here for providing most Canadians with their first beer experience. Molson was founded in Montreal all the way back in 1786 and still has some of its operations on the site of the original brewery. Molson merged with Coors in 2005, becoming Molson Coors.

Molson Beer

Site to See: A hard category to narrow down, some top sites include the Notre-Dame Basilica (stunning church in Montreal), Château Frontenac (historic hotel in Quebec City) and Mont-Tremblant (ski resort/village). The areas of Old Quebec and Old Montreal are also worth exploring, both combining historic and modern elements for total packages all can enjoy.

Street: Chemin du Roy, which is French for King’s Highway/King’s Road, connects Quebec City and Montreal, along the St. Lawrence River. When the 280 km (170 mile) long route was originally completed in 1737, it was the longest road in North America, outside of Mexico. The street is easily recognized by the Chemin du Roy markers, complete with crown logo, placed along the route.

TV Show: My favourite show set in Quebec is Just For Laughs, which airs stand-up comedy sets recorded at the annual comedy festival of the same name. The festival was founded in 1983 and has launched the careers of many comedians, as it’s seen as one of the greatest opportunities for an aspiring comic to advance their career and land TV and movie projects. The performers at each festival are a who’s who of comedy elite.

Movie: The Score, starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Angela Bassett and Marlon Brando (in his final film), is set in Montreal. The movie is about a safe cracker who takes one last job, looking for a big score going into retirement. Other notable films set in Quebec include the Les Boys franchise and Bon Cop, Bad Cop, which has dialogue in both English and French, becoming Canada’s first bilingual feature movie.

Quebec

Book/Author: The Hockey Sweater, by Roch Carrier, is a Quebec institution. The children’s book tells the tale of a young boy who’s obsessed with the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, but receives a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater by mistake, causing issues for the lad. The book was adapted into a memorable animated short one year after its release. A line from the book appeared on $5 bills printed between 2001 to 2013.

Fictional Character: A number of comic superheroes have Quebec roots, including Fleur de Lys, Northguard, Northstar and Aurora. Twin brother and sister, Northstar and Aurora, are members of the X-Men universe and were originally part of an all-Canadian group called Alpha Flight. Northstar is notable for being one of the first openly gay superheroes, whose wedding was the first same-sex marriage in mainstream comics.

Fictional City: The village of Three Pines is the setting of a series of 18 mystery novels by author Louise Penny. Three Pines is based on various small towns around Quebec. The books have been adapted into a TV series, which will begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on December 2, 2022, with Alfred Molina starring as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. The first book in the series, Still Life, was also turned into a TV movie in 2013.

Actor/Actress: William Shatner, known for his starring role as Captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek, was born in Montreal. Shatner, aged 91, is still going strong 70 years after his acting career began. Shatner has done it all, too, acting in films and TV series, along with releasing multiple music projects and publishing a host of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Shatner has Walk of Fame stars in both the U.S. and Canada.

William Shatner

Song: Gens du pays, which translates to People of my Country, is an unofficial national anthem for the people of Quebec, especially those who support the sovereign/separatist movement. It was written by poet and musician Gilles Vigneault and first performed on June 24, 1975. The folk classic tune is also used to celebrate birthdays, with some of the lyrics altered for the occasion.

Band/Musician: Celine Dion, best known for her smash hit My Heart Will Go On (from the movie Titanic), was born in Charlemagne. Dion’s other chart toppers include The Power of Love, Think Twice, Because You Loved Me, It’s All Coming Back to Me Now, and I’m Your Angel. Her 2003-2007 Las Vegas stay was the highest-grossing concert residency ever, followed by her Taking Chances World Tour being among the most successful concert tours of all-time.

People: Comedian Norm Macdonald was born in Quebec City in 1959. McDonald rose to fame on Saturday Night Live, where he served as anchor of the Weekend Update news segment. After leaving Saturday Night Live, Macdonald starred in the movie Dirty Work and TV series The Norm Show. Sadly, Macdonald passed away on September 14, 2021, following along battle with cancer that few knew he was waging.

Animal: Aisaqvak is a polar bear at Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien. In 2009, Aisaqvak gave birth to twin cubs, Ganuk (male) and Taiga (female), the first time twin polar bears were born in a Canadian zoo. In 2018, Aisaqvak had another cub, Kinuk (male). Ganuk and Taiga both ended up at the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in Ontario, where Taiga died in 2020. Both Aisaqvak and Kinuk remain at Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien.

Celine Dion

Invention: There’s a lot to choose from here, including the modern baby bottle, Wonder-Bra, peanut butter, snowmobile (Ski-Doo), modern telephone, Trivial Pursuit, and hockey, among others. It should be noted that Ski-Doo creator Joseph Bombardier later founded Bombardier, which went on to make advancements and create vehicles in the fields of aviation, railway systems and public transportation.

Crime: Quebec has quite the criminal history from mass shootings, such as the École Polytechnique Massacre or the Quebec City mosque shooting, to serial killers, including The Monster of Pont-Rouge (Léopold Dion), The Vampire Rapist (Wayne Boden), The Killer Handyman (William Fyfe) and The Mad Bumper (Yves Trudeau). There was also the Quebec Biker War, which lasted from 1994 to 2002, resulting in the deaths of 162 bikers and civilians.

Sports Team: There’s the beloved Montreal Canadiens… and then there’s everything else. Following the Canadiens is like a religion in the province to most of their fans. Other teams include the Montreal Alouettes (CFL) and Montreal Impact FC (MLS), while the Quebec Nordiques (NHL) and Montreal Expos (MLB) both been relocated to American cities. Big sports events hosted by Quebec include the Canadian Grand Prix and Rogers Cup (aka Canadian Open) tennis championship.

Athlete: So many great hockey players come from Quebec, including legends such as Maurice Richard, Jean Béliveau, Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, and many more. Outside the rink, the province has been represented by Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve in car racing, Myriam Bédard in biathalon, Arturo Gatti in boxing and Georges St-Pierre in mixed martial arts.

Montreal Canadiens

Famous Home: Habitat 67, built for Expo 1967, is a housing complex in Montreal, known for its unique design of having the 146 apartments form three open air pyramids. The design was formulated by architecture student Moshe Safdie, as part of his thesis project. The structure appeared on a 2017 Canada Post stamp, recognizing the 50th anniversary of Expo 1967 and may become a Lego famous buildings release.

Urban Legend: The Château Frontenac hotel, opened in December 1893, is a National Historic Site. With attractions that old, typically come tales of hauntings and the Château Frontenac is no different, said to be visited by at least two ghosts. The first, is Louis de Baude de Frontenac, who is said to inhabit the hotel’s second floor. The second, is a woman dressed in a white nightgown, who has been reported to get into bed with guests.

Museum: The Canadian Railway Museum, also known as Exporail, can be found in  Saint-Constant, near Montreal. Established in 1961, the museum houses a number of locomotives, highlighted by the train which pulled King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their 1939 trek across Canada. Visitors can also hop aboard the heritage streetcar or heritage railway, which operate on the site.

Firsts: The first organized ice hockey game to ever be played took place in Montreal, at the Victoria Skating Rink, on March 3, 1875. It pitted two teams of nine players on each side against each other. The players used a wooden disc, rather than a puck, and goals were scored by putting the block between two flags spaced eight feet apart, rather than a net. A whopping 40 people attended this important moment in the history of the sport.

Habitat 67

Company: While I really want to put Pornhub here, I’ll have to give the category to Cirque du Soleil, given the worldwide, all-ages popularity of the performance company. Founded by Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix in 1984, Cirque du Soleil now has multiple touring productions, as well as permanent shows across the world. In Las Vegas alone, visitors have their pick of six different shows produced by the company.

Events: Quebec has waged a long battle for sovereignty, including two failed referendums (in 1980 and 1995) seeking separation from the rest of Canada. One of the most notable incidents of the separation movement was the October Crisis, when members of the Front de libération du Québec kidnapped and murdered Labour Minister Pierre Laporte. The event caused Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to invoke the War Measures Act for the first time ever in Canada during peacetime.

Miscellaneous: Quebec hosts a myriad of interesting festivals, including the Just for Laughs Festival, Quebec Winter Carnival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Festival d’été de Québec, Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. The province also celebrates a number of unique holidays and traditions, such as St-Jean-Baptiste Day, National Patriots’ Day, Moving Day, Construction Holiday, Réveillon, Temps des Sucres and Noël des Campeurs.

Quebec: Caribou

Caribou

  • 3 oz Red Wine
  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • Splash of Maple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Cinnamon Stick

This drink has a long history. It was once said to be made by mixing caribou blood and whiskey, with the plasma later replaced by red wine. The concoction can be enjoyed hot or cold and is popular at various events around the province. Today, the beverage comes pre-mixed and bottled for consumers.