About Daniel Wilson

I love making drinks for my friends and family, and, of course, sampling my concoctions myself! Finding and playing around with recipes is a favourite past time of mine and I hope to share that passion with all my readers.

Mixer Mania #42 – Advent Amazement

Mrs. Sip has long been a tea drinker. The last couple years, she received tea advent calendars, which previously I didn’t know existed. With Christmas right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to look at other advent calendars that differ from your typical chocolate ones:

Make-Up/Beauty

There are numerous cosmetic advent calendars on the market. Every company you can think of seems to have put a collection together, with varying prices. Some focus on nails, others on the face. Beauty has never really been a concern for the Sip Advisor, as you can’t improve on perfection.

Cheese

The world’s first cheese advent calendar hit store shelves this year, after a blogger created her own in 2016 and the concept went viral. For only 8-pounds, fromage-aholics can find this product at ASDA stores across the UK. Not sure if similar products can be found in other countries.

Cheese Emergency

Jewellery/Charm Bracelet

Ma Sip loves her charm bracelets. So, when I came across an advent calendar version, which gave you the bracelet and then 24 holiday-themed charms over the Christmas season, I was thrilled… and Ma Sip was even more so.

Fly Fishing

A tackle box already kind of looks like an advent calendar, so why not release one for the Christmas season, with a lure for each day. One issue here, is that you’re not likely to head out each day of the calendar for a fishing expedition and to try your new treat.

Cookbook

While I like the concept of this advent calendar, you’re basically saying to the person you give this to: “Hey, why don’t you make me something different every day, through on of the busiest times of the year?” I don’t see that flying at the Sip Advisor headquarters.

Toys

For kids and kidults alike, come advent calendars from Play-Doh, Lego and Playmobil. Parents will just have to be vigilant that the toys aren’t consumed like traditional chocolates.

Eating Play-Doh

Craft Beer

While craft beer advent calendars can be found in most liquor stores, I’ll never forget Mrs. Sip personally making me one, comprised of 24 bomber bottles. Pulling it all together at the last minute – as she’s prone to do – the poor girl had to carry heavy boxes all around Vancouver. Her efforts paid off nicely, though!

Wine/Liquors

Similar to craft beer, there are wine, bubbly a liquor sets out there, typically featuring 24 mini bottles of the preferred subject matter. One particular Scotch advent calendar features rare whiskeys from around the world, setting buyers back 10,000-pounds.

Potato Chips

God bless Pringles. The potato chip company has released their own advent calendar, containing 12 tubes of various flavours. Apparently, the calendar is quite popular and has already sold out, with the products popping up on eBay for double the original retail price.

For Pets

Don’t have any kids or spouses you can spoil with an advent calendar? If you have pets, you can still get into the Christmas spirit with sets that provide toys and treats to your fur baby. The gift of giving is one of the best!

Mixer Mania #42: Irish Tea Party

Irish Tea Party.JPG

  • Absinthe Rinse
  • 1.5 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • Top with Green Tea
  • Garnish with Lime Wheel

The lead up to Christmas is my favourite part of the season, so sometimes I think advent calendars should just replace Christmas gifts… but they’re probably in a good place as a holiday enhancer, rather than as a main event player.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (1 Sip out of 5):
I was totally disappointed by this drink. The ingredients intrigued me, but the end result was a watery, flavourless cocktail. Mrs. Sip wants me to try it again with a different Green Tea – and I will – but it must be pointed out that round one of the beverage was a dud.

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Snack Time #41 – Lays BLT Potato Chips

The day has finally arrived when a BLT flavoured potato chip has been created, thanks to the fine folks at Lays Potato Chips. Why it took so long to dream up such an internationally recognized and beloved flavour, I don’t know.

These chips are fantastic. The bacon, tomato and light lettuce tastes are there, but I think what I love best about them is they managed to include the mayo finish you typically get when consuming a BLT. This really puts them over the edge in the delicious category.

Lays BLT Potato Chips.png

The BLT has always been one of my favourite sandwiches and my adoration of potato chips is well documented. Combining the two is like a dream come true. I only hope these aren’t just a limited edition flavour; however, sales may decide that.

To this day, I still weep that my suggested PB&J potato chip flavour was rejected by Lays because of nut allergy concerns. I believe they should make the product and those who have the allergy can choose to stay clear.

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

Sip Trips #117: Support and Remembrance

The Remembrance Day long weekend started with a trip to the Delta Lion Pub in North Delta. For Sip Advisor trivia buffs out there, here’s a little nugget: This was the first bar the Sip Advisor ever enjoyed a drink in, visiting on my 19th birthday for a couple rounds of wobbly pops. It’s also where Mrs. Sip and I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day 2010, hours after viewing the apartment that would become our first home together.

Unfortunately, our reason for stopping here this time wasn’t as joyous, as we were attending a fundraiser for a friend who is battling cancer. Mrs. Sip and I both grew up in North Delta, so the night was spent catching up with old friends and acquaintances. It’s funny that it often takes events like this to get everyone together in one place. The fundraiser was your typical burger-and-beer affair, but I must say the burger was delicious and the homemade-style potato chips were spectacular. The great turnout forced us to move away from the crowded private room and to the bar area, where I enjoyed a pint of the Steamworks Salted Chocolate Porter, while listening to the live band.

Burger and Beer.jpg

If anyone out there is interested in giving to the family and learning their story, please visit their GoFundMe page.

On Saturday, we enjoyed dinner at The Keg with some Sip Syndicate members. As I’m still looking for a menu item to replace my beloved Prime Rib Burger, I decided to try the restaurant’s Prime Rib Sliders. Well, my little sippers, I may have finally found that replacement. I really enjoyed the flavours of the horseradish Dijon and red wine herb jus. Plus, you can never go wrong with a healthy dose of crispy onion straws. My only complaint is that the charge to add a side fries to my meal was $5. That seems a little high to me, especially given the side serving size, but what can you do. For my drink, I went with a Keg Size (double) Bourbon Blackberry Smash, which was very tasty, albeit a quick-to-finish and costly cocktail.

The next day, Mrs. Sip and I visited Dageraad Brewing in Burnaby, while out for a drive in the area. This was Baby Sip’s first ever trip to a craft brewery with many more to come. The tasting room staff was great, providing us with a coaster and stickers for her baby scrapbook. As for drinks, we decided to split a flight of beers, which included their Lekkers, Blonde IPA, Brune, and 8-Degrees offerings. On our way out, I purchased a bottle of their very limited edition Entropy No. 5 Gin Barrel-Aged Blonde IPA. The product was released over the weekend and I picked up one of the last remaining bottles of 19 cases. Look out for a review of this brew in the next Beer of the Week article.

Limited Edition.jpg

The rest of the long weekend was spent putting up Christmas decorations and enjoying some family time together and, of course, partaking in a few beverages. To compensate for the return to work, I picked up Central City’s newest holiday release, the Smores Stout. Available at BC Liquor Stores, as well as other private locations, I’m really looking forward to trying this intriguing beverage.

Another busy week is on the horizon for the Sip Advisor crew. As we speak, my liver is going through demanding preparation and training for the holiday season… this is what all the year’s work has been leading up to and the payoff is just around the bend!

Beer of the Week #41 – Twa Dogs Drouthy Neibor IPA

My favourite part about the changing of the seasons is new seasonal beers and even better, fall and winter mixed cases. A new discovery for the Sip Advisor this autumn was the Twa Dogs Brewing Dog Pack case, featuring this beer.

The Drouthy Neibor IPA (aka Thirsty Neighbour) is a tasty, flavourful brew. At 7% ABV and 60 IBUs, the beverage is a hefty one, just the way the Sip Advisor likes ‘em. With that in mind, the product encourages drinkers to be part of their community and a good neighbour.

Twa Dogs Drouthy Neibor IPA

Each Twa Dogs release, as well as the brewery’s name, has a Robbie Burns theme to it. The IPA, inspired by Burns’ Tam O’ Shanter poem is named to “encourage you to ‘catch the moments’ and share your greatest tales with your own Drouthy Neibors.”

Also included in the Dog Pack is the Mistress of My Soul Saison, Keekin’ Glass Pilsner, and Jolly Beggar’s Pale Ale… and no, there are no spelling mistakes with any of the beer names. Twa Dog products can be found at BC Liquor Stores.

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

Mixer Mania #41 – Food Heroes

Both Blueberries and Pomegranates are considered superfoods, so combining the two into one juice seems like a super-duper food. Here’s a look at some of the most popular superfoods and where they rank with the Sip Advisor:

Spinach: The original superfood and performance enhancing drug of Popeye. I love Ma Sip’s patented spinach dip, but I think the ingredients that turn it into a dip likely take away some of its superfood shine.

Kale: I hate Kale. Hate, hate, hate it. There is nothing worse than reading a restaurant’s menu and seeing a Caesar Salad that sounds scrumptious, only to realize it’s kale and not lettuce-based.

Kale - Ale.jpg

Beans: Bean, beans the musical fruit… you know the rest. I like beans on a massive burrito, thus negating all the positive effects they are supposed to provide eaters with.

Sweet Potatoes: I’m not much of a yam fries guy, but this is the only way I’d choose to consume sweet potatoes.

Salmon: As a wee little sipper, the Sip Advisor wasn’t much of a salmon fan, which is practically criminal when you live in the Pacific Northwest. Over time, I’ve come to enjoy some salmon dishes, such as the cedar plank barbecued variety.

Wheatgrass: I wonder if wheatgrass can be used in hefeweizen beers?

Green Tea: Skip. I mean, it’s not even a food.

Dark Chocolate: Only milk chocolate for this hombre.

Broccoli: I like broccoli. I know that might shock some of you who have read the rest of this list. Here’s the catch, though: that little green tree had better be smothered in ranch dressing or fried in tempura if you going to put it on my plate.

Cauliflower: See broccoli… but to a lesser extent.

Cauliflower Trash

Garlic: I guess garlic fries kind of defeats the purpose of it being a superfood!

Beets: Interestingly, Pa Sip – a selective eater – loves beets. Unfortunately, that preference was not hereditary.

Avocados: Best known as the primary ingredient in guacamole, which I find to be hit and miss, depending on the creator. I find it safest to just avoid the green guck.

Greek Yogurt: While I like Greek food – souvlaki, calimari, etc. – their yogurt, and all yogurts in fact, are an enemy of the Sip Advisor state.

Quinoa: The thought of quinoa is enough to make the Sip Advisor cry.

Strawberries: Alright, this I can get behind. I love strawberries, especially the dipped in milk chocolate type. A very sensual superfood.

Watermelon: As much as I love strawberries, I worship watermelon. Watermelon isn’t nearly as sensual, however.

Oatmeal: Do cookies count!?

Oatmeal Win

Pistachios: While a fan of many nuts (that doesn’t sound right!), I have never really got behind pistachios. I do hear it’s a popular ice cream flavour, though.

Eggs: Mrs. Sip is big on egg dishes, but the Sip Advisor only partakes on occasion. Give me the other main elements of a balanced breakfast instead.

Almonds: My affinity for trail mix has been well-documented and a main ingredient of any good trail mix is the almond. You can also double up with the chocolate-covered variety, if you so choose.

Ginger: Does it count if it’s in liquid form and mixed with rum or whiskey?

Pumpkin: I appreciate their use as Halloween decorations, but don’t want anything to do with pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, or anything pumpkin-spiced.

Apples: I’m cool with apples… so long as they’re of the Granny Smith family… and perhaps smothered in caramel and other goodies.

Cranberries: I have a respect for cranberry juice and all the amazing cocktail that it provides. Speaking of cocktails, let’s get to today’s drink!

Mixer Mania #41: Shanah Tovah! (Happy New Year!)

Shanah Tovah.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • Top with Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Blueberries

Why can’t things like bacon and potato chips be considered superfoods? All we need is for one nutritionist to lose their mind and declare them as such. Kind of makes a guy want to go back to school, earn yet another degree and make this dream happen!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was good, but tasted too much like juice. The alcohol was virtually hidden, so should be consumed with caution. Then again, if you have no interest in alcohol flavours, this might be the beverage for you.

Snack Time #40 – Goldkenn Liquor Collection Chocolate Bars

Recent gifts for myself and Mrs. Sip included some Goldkenn Chocolate products. Of course, given our reputations, the delicacies came from the Swiss Chocolatier’s Liquor Collection and they were a very good introduction to the line.

Among the Chocolate Bars Mrs. Sip and I received, were the Amarula and Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey varieties. Both were very tasty and not too booze heavy. I particularly liked the honeycomb of the JD bar, while the fruit flavour of the Amarula bar was delicious.

Goldkenn Liquor Collection Chocolate Bars.png

Each bar is comprised of breakable pieces, so the treat can be savoured for some time. The collection also includes Beluga Vodka, Cointreau, Remy Martin Cognac, Grand Marnier, Saint James Rum, Famous Grouse Whiskey, and Morand Williamine Pear Liqueur.

The lineup reminds me of many of the chocolate liqueur bottle collections that are available, especially around Christmas. I’m hoping to try there bars and some of their Goldkenn siblings again very soon.

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

Baby Beverages #2 – Baby World Immersion

I’ve decided to make my Baby Beverages articles a monthly feature for the time being. As I take a look at all things going on in my and Mrs. Sip’s new life as parents, today we’ll tackle unsolicited advice, my balance of work and fatherhood with a newborn and some of the Sip Advisor’s favourite baby devices thus far. Let’s get things started:

When you’re a new parent, advice (good and bad) is coming at you from all angles. No amount of dodging, ducking, dipping, diving, and dodging will help you avoid all the voices. Not surprisingly, much of the information contradicts other tips and tricks you’ve been provided. My approach has been that while I will certainly make mistakes, that’s the only way to learn and become a better parent.

Baby Advice

Moving on, my work-life balance has been fairly good. Sure, my sleep per night (requiring my creation of the unit of measurement S/N) has been cut, but thanks to Mrs. Sip taking the bulk of overnight duties on work days, I’m still a functioning employee. Not fully-functioning, but I never really was to being with. I will say that sometimes it feels like I’m working two jobs: my typical work shift, followed by evenings with Baby Sip. Clocking in with Baby Sip is far more pleasurable, though.

Finally, we’ll wrap up with a look at some of the Sip Advisor’s favourite baby gadgets through the earliest stages. Since I’m on diaper duty whenever I’m home, I absolutely love our Diaper Genie. It was easy to set up and work with and gets my full seal of approval. I dare say diaper duty has been fun, minus the occasional mishap and mess. I also like the Graco Car Seat Adapter Mrs. Sip found on Amazon US. It was only $60 and has allowed us to move Baby Sip from vehicle to stroller and back with ease. The same product on Amazon Canada was a staggering $300-plus. Other items that have been essential to our child rearing so far are Baby Sip’s Fisher-Price Swing, Angelcare Bath Support, and various Sleep Sacks, among others.

Baby Beverages #2: Peer Pressure

Peer Pressure

  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Tequila
  • Beer (chase after shot, while people pressure you)

What will the next month of parenting bring me and Mrs. Sip? Only time will tell!