Idaho – Whiskey Sour

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Mostly known for their potato industry, it may surprise readers that Idaho is nicknamed the Gem State because practically every type of gemstone (72 different types) has been mined from the area. So, let’s find out if Idaho truly is a gem:

Motto: “Let it be perpetual” – I don’t know, I like finite endings, myself.

Food: The Idahoan Sandwich, served at Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese, in Coeur d’Alene, combines meatloaf and mashed potatoes, topped with cheese and dressed with a ketchup chili glaze. If you still haven’t had your fair share of starch, a popular Idaho dessert item is the Ice Cream Potato, a baked potato served with a dollop of ice cream and other sundae toppings.

Drink: Given Idaho is potato country, tater-based vodkas are popular in the state. The most well known may come from the Grand Teton Distillery, in Driggs. The company also offers a Huckleberry Vodka (using Idaho’s State Fruit), along with a few other spirit variations.

Smash Potato

Site to See: Craters of the Moon National Monument will have you feeling like you’ve landed on another planet. The unique terrain was created by volcanic eruptions and lava flow thousands of years ago. Sun Valley Ski Resort is also a popular destination, as the country’s first such attraction, and also where the world’s first ski lift was built.

Street: At 33 miles long, the longest main street in the U.S. can be found in Island Park. With a whopping population of 286 people (according to the 2010 census), nearly every citizen lives along Route 20, which leads to Yellowstone National Park. Island Park was created to allow liquor to be sold in the area, skirting Idaho laws at the time.

TV Show: Has a state ever had less success with TV shows set there than Idaho? The Napoleon Dynamite cartoon lasted only six episodes, while other projects Amazing Grace (five episodes), The Manhunter (22 episodes), Spinning Out (10 episodes), Wayward Pines (20 episodes), and The Grinder (22 episodes), are all forgettable.

Movie: Because there will be plenty of other opportunity to discuss Napoleon Dynamite below, I will choose The River Wild for this category. Starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon, this film tells the story of a family who goes rafting on Idaho’s Salmon River, encountering a trio of criminals along the way. The family must come together to overcome not only the fugitives, but the raging river, as well.

Chair Lift

Book/Author: Vardis Fisher, best known for his novels Children of God and Mountain Man – which was adapted into the 1972 film Jeremiah Johnson, starring Robert Redford – was born in Annis. Fisher also wrote The Idaho Guide, as part of the Federal Writer’s Project, the first guide published among all the American states.

Fictional Character: Napoleon Dynamite, protagonist of the surprise 2004 hit comedy film, is an awkward high school student, with a penchant for sketching mythical creatures, dancing and tater tots. The movie takes place in Preston, where it was also filmed on a budget of only $400,000.

Fictional City: Wayward Pines was used as the setting for the 2015-16 TV show of the same name, based on a series of books by Blake Crouch. The town is surrounded by an electrified fence and trying to escape is punished by death. The series had some star power attached to it, with Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard as stars and M. Night Shyamalan directing the pilot, but was cancelled in 2018, two years after airing its last episode.

Actor/Actress: Aaron Paul, best known for his role of Jesse Pinkman, from Breaking Bad, was born in Emmett. Paul will next be seen in the third season of HBO’s Westworld, as the character Caleb.

Napoleon Dynamite

Song: As much as I dislike The B-52s, their song Private Idaho is perhaps the most popular song ever recorded about the state. The track has been used in the movies My Own Private Idaho and The Wedding Singer and was the entrance song for the Idaho Steelheads of the East Coast Hockey League during the 2005-06 season.

Band/Musician: Formed in Boise, rock band Paul Revere & the Raiders enjoyed popularity and success from the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s. During this time, they recorded hits such as Kicks, Hungry and Indian Reservation. Founder Paul Revere died in 2014 from cancer, but his son Jamie leads the band now.

People: Joe Albertson, founder of the Albertsons chain of grocery stores, was raised in Caldwell. His first store was opened in 1939, in Boise, becoming one of the first one-stop supermarkets. Two additional stores were opened the following year, growing to be the second largest supermarket chain in North America. Albertson retired in 1976, aged 70.

Animal: The Appaloosa Horse is the State Horse of Idaho, appearing on a version of their license plates. Known for their spotted coat, conservation efforts for the breed led to the formation of the Appaloosa Horse Club, based out of Moscow (the Idaho city, that is). The horses are commonly used in western movies and TV series.

Hungry Horse

Invention: No matter what else was invented in Idaho, the second I learned the TV was designed (1927) and patented (1930) there, it was game over. My life, for better or worse, is greatly influenced by television and I have Philo Farnsworth to thank for that. The first image Farnsworth transmitted through TV was that of his wife.

Crime: Lyda Southard was one of the first known female serial killers in the U.S., having poisoned a number of husbands, a brother-in-law and even her own daughter, for life insurance payouts. Most of the crimes occurred in Idaho, with a couple taking place in Montana. Southard was eventually tried and convicted, sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, but escaped and remarried. She was returned to prison a year later and served her sentence.

Law: In Pocatello, it is illegal not to smile in public. I’m curious as to what the punishment for breaking this law would be. Perhaps a stint of happiness training, where all you do is have fun with endless resources.

Sports Team: With no pro teams, the Boise State University Broncos are the talk of the Idaho sports world. I would love to see a professional franchise come to Idaho and be called the Potatoes or Spuds or something of that ilk. Until then, I will continue waiting with baited breath.

Potatoes

Athlete: Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, Harmon Killebrew was fourth in career home runs when he retired and today sits 12th with 573 over his 22 years playing. Killebrew, born in Payette, was a 13-time All-Star and named the 1969 American League MVP.

Famous Home: Standrod Mansion, also known as Standrod Castle, was built in 1897, in Pocatello, by Drew William Standrod. The home is said to be haunted by the spirit of Standrod’s daughter, who died young. Visitors to the mansion, when it was a museum and event center owned by the city, reported feeling ill once they entered the place and others have seen the daughter in the tower window, which was her room when she was alive.

Urban Legend: Amongst some other interesting tales, I had to go with the theory that the state of Idaho is mythical. This wacky notion is actually debated by some (probably also flat earth folks) who ask questions such as “Do you know anybody from Idaho?” and debating the population size versus geographical size, among other arguments.

Museum: The Museum of Clean was opened in 2011, in Pocatello, by Don Aslett, a cleaning expert and co-founder of the Varsity House Cleaning Company. The museum displays 6,000 artifacts to do with cleaning and cleanliness, including early vacuum cleaners and washing machines. The site also has a small theatre, art gallery and gift shop.

Idaho

Firsts: Idaho is home to the world’s first nuclear power plant, which resulted in the city of Arco being the first to be lit by atomic energy. The downside of all this, is the area also experienced the world’s first nuclear meltdown.

Company: In many cities, Mrs. Sip and I have used the CityPASS system, which offers travellers access to a number of popular attractions at one discounted price. The company is based out of Idaho, of all places, launching in 1997 in Seattle and San Francisco, before other destinations were added in the following years.

Events: The largest forest fire in U.S. history, dubbed the Great Fire of 1910, burned entire cities in parts of Idaho and Montana. The blaze killed 87 people and destroyed an estimated $1 billion worth of timber. A notable survival story from the fire, featured Idaho firefighter Edward Pulaski saving most of his crew by taking refuge in an abandoned mine. Pulaski later invented a tool, with an axe at one end and an adze on the other, which became essential firefighter equipment.

Miscellaneous: Idaho is a made up word, originally suggested for what is now Colorado. Lobbyist George M. Willing said the word came from a Native-American language, meaning ‘gem of the mountains’. Despite the name being fabricated, it gained popularity and was later used for what is now Idaho… if it does, in fact, exist!

Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry and Orange Peel

In all my research, it was hard to find a cocktail associated with Idaho. That said, many articles referenced the Whiskey Sour as the state’s favourite alcoholic beverage, based on Google searches and liquor sales data. Variations of the Whiskey Sour recipe can turn it into a Boston Sour (with the addition of egg whites) or a New York Sour (with the addition of a red wine float).

Hawaii – Chi Chi

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. The last state to enter the union, Hawaii is a tropic paradise, making it hard to get any work done. I must press on, though, and give the Aloha State its due:

Motto: “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness” – So that’s all it takes for something to be beautiful.

Food: You can’t return from a trip to Hawaii without at least a couple packs of macadamia nuts to hand out to family, friends and coworkers. Hawaii was home to the first commercial macadamia nut farm, with the state’s Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation being the largest processor of macadamia seeds in the world.

Drink: While a number of cocktails have originated in Hawaii, we’ll look at the popular beverage POG. An acronym for Passionfruit-Orange-Guava, the juice was created by Haleakala Dairy product consultant Mary Soon, on the island of Maui. Most notably, the juice led to the POG milk caps fad of the 1990’s, also originating in Hawaii.

Macadamia Nut

Site to See: Dubbed the Paradise of the Pacific, there is much to view around the Hawaiian Islands. A definite sight to behold are the state’s active volcanoes, with two of them comprising Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, on the Big Island. The Kilauea Volcano – the world’s most active volcano – and Mauna Loa, offer visitors views of lava flows, along with unique plants and animals.

Street: On the island of Maui, the Road to Hana (aka Hana Highway) is a 64-mile long stretch that contains a number of picturesque sites, including Wailua Falls and the Seven Sacred Pools. Those renting a car for the journey may not have insurance coverage for part of the route, due to unpaved narrow roads with many blind turns along the way.

TV Show: Magnum P.I. ran for eight seasons and 162 episodes, following the adventures of private detective Thomas Magnum, as he investigated cases around the Hawaiian islands. Magnum is joined by fellow war vets T.C. and Rick, as well as thorn-in-the-side housemate Higgins, making for one of the most popular shows of the 1980’s. The theme song alone is legendary!

Movie: Forgetting Sarah Marshall sees musician Peter Bretter head to Hawaii to get over the breakup with his actress girlfriend Sarah Marshall, only to find that Sarah and her new boyfriend, who she cheated on Peter with, are at the exact same resort. Starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Russell Brand, this hilarious rom-com will have you wanting to leave for the islands as soon as possible.

Magnum PI

Book/Author: The series of Charlie Chan books, authored by Earl Derr Biggers, takes the fictional Chinese-American detective through six adventures in Hawaii and beyond. The character was based on real-life Hawaiian detective Chang Apana, a member of the Honolulu Police Department.

Fictional Character: The Hawaii Five-0 Task Force, led by Steve McGarrett, along with his partner Danny Williams, and associates Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua, are one of Honolulu’s greatest tools in fighting crime. Lines like “Book’em, Danno!” became a famous pop culture catchphrase and much like Magnum P.I., Hawaii Five-0’s theme song is iconic.

Fictional City: Kokaua, from Lilo & Stitch, is based on Hanapepe, on the island of Kauai. The town has embraced this association, with a mural announcing: “Home of Lilo & Stitch”.

Actor/Actress: Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, was born in Honolulu. Also known for his role as Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, the actor’s first role was on the TV show Baywatch: Hawaii. Furthermore, despite her Australian citizenship, Nicole Kidman was also born in Honolulu, as her parents were on student visas, at the time.

Jason Momoa

Song: Elvis Presley loved Hawaii, performing numerous times in the state, as well as filming a trio of movies on the islands. The 1961 musical Blue Hawaii, featured a title track performed by Elvis, covering the Bing Crosby/Shirley Ross original. The movie’s soundtrack topped the Billboard album charts for 20 weeks.

Band/Musician: One of music’s most popular artists today, Bruno Mars, was born in Honolulu. His list of hits includes Uptown Funk, Locked Out of Heaven, Grenade and 24K Magic have kept the young and old dancing for a decade now. Also have to give a shout out to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (better known as Iz), for his beautiful rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

People: Born in Honolulu (bet you’re getting tired of that line), Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States, from 2009 to 2017. During his first year in office, Obama was named the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He may be best remember for introducing the country to what was dubbed Obamacare and a nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage.

Animal: Tyke the Elephant, an animal performer with the Honolulu-based Circus International, became a symbol for animal rights, when she was brought down with 86 police bullets after escaping from a performance in Honolulu, following trampling her trainer to death and injuring her groomer. Over 60 years earlier, a similar incident occurred at the Kapiolani Zoo (now Honolulu Zoo), when Daisy the Elephant killed her trainer, forcing police to shoot the animal.

Bruno Mars

Invention: Although I was awful at it, Hawaii should be thanked for introducing the world to surfing and inventing surfboards. Perhaps I will attempt to ride the waves again someday… perhaps not!

Crime: The Honolulu Strangler was Hawaii’s first known serial killer. Between 1985 and 1986, five women were found bound, raped and strangled, aged 17 to 36. While the crime has never been solved, one serious suspect, Howard Gay, was identified, after leading police to the last victim’s body, saying a psychic told him a body would be found there. Even after failing a polygraph test, Gay was released due to lack of evidence.

Law: Hawaii works hard to preserve its natural beauty. That why some laws have been introduced to keep the state as picturesque as possible, including a ban on billboards across the state. Three other states also share this outlawing: Alaska, Maine and Vermont.

Sports Team: There are no professional sports teams in Hawaii, but the annual NFL Pro Bowl was played there every year between 1980-2016, except for 2010 and 2015. The game has since been moved to Orlando, Florida. That leaves the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors as the biggest game in the state, along with surfing competitions, such as the Triple Crown of Surfing and The Eddie.

Surfing

Athlete: Duke Kahanamoku was a competition swimmer and surfer, known for great athletic feats, the least of which include five Olympic medals. After dying at the age of 77, Duke’s ashes were scattered into the ocean off Waikiki Beach, where a statue to the man now resides. The Hawaiian legend has a chain of restaurants named after him, with locations in Hawaii, California and Florida.

Famous Home: ‘Iolani Palace, in Honolulu, is the only royal palace in the U.S. It was home to generations of Hawaiian monarchs and is now a National Historic Landmark, restored as a museum in 1978. On the original Hawaii Five-0, it was implied that the department’s office was located within the palace.

Urban Legend: Morgan’s Corner, in Honolulu, is said to be a site of much paranormal activity. Nearby, in 1948, two escaped convicts robbed the home of 68-year-old Therese Wilder. Wilder was gagged with a broken jaw, resulting in her suffocating. The two men were later caught and sentenced to death, although their executions were stayed at the last moment and their sentences reduced. Wilder is said to haunt the area, screaming for her life. A young girl is also said to appear in Morgan’s Corner, holding her own head, having died by hanging herself from a tree in the area.

Museum: Two permanently closed museums caught my eye for this category. First, Teddy Bear World, in Oahu, featured over 800 animatronic teddy bears, while the Paper Airplane Museum, in Maui, exhibited more than 2,000 paper airplanes of varying sizes.

Paper Airplanes

Firsts: Hawaii was the first state to legalize abortions by choice, in 1970, stating: “the State shall not deny or interfere with a female’s right to choose or obtain an abortion of a nonviable fetus or an abortion that is necessary to protect the life or health of the female”. 50 years later, some of the country still struggles with this concept.

Company: If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you can’t go far without coming across one of the many ABC Stores. Headquartered in Honolulu, the chain offers groceries and souvenirs, with a majority of their stores scattered across the state. The first store opened in Waikiki, in 1964, originally known as Mister K, after founder Sidney Kosasa.

Events: The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, on the island of Oahu, on December 7, 1941, brought the U.S. into World War II. 2,403 Americans lost their lives in the unexpected offensive, which was later deemed a war crime. The site is now a popular tourist attraction, featuring the USS Arizona Memorial.

Miscellaneous: While not created in Hawaii, a number of items have been named after the state. This includes Hawaiian Punch, Hawaiian Pizza, Toast Hawaii, and Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen. For the record, the Sip Advisor loved Hawaiian Pizza and doesn’t understand the backlash against it.

Chi Chi

Chi Chi

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Coconut Cream
  • Garnish with Maraschino Cherries
  • Sprinkle Coconut Shavings

The Chi Chi first came to my attention thanks to a South Park episode where Butters, as a young keiki (child), goes to the island for his hapanoa ceremony. The drink the native Hawaiians (aka time share owners) love is the Chi Chi, the supplies of which, are being jeopardized by a war between these natives and haoles (aka mainland visitors). The Chi Chi is also the official beverage of Puerto Rico and after having one martini style, not frozen, I can see why!

Georgia – Scarlett O’Hara/Rhett Butler

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we find ourselves in Georgia, not to be confused with the European country, which cause many-a-problem while researching this article. Let’s delve into the Peach State to see just how sweet it is:

Motto: “Wisdom, justice, and moderation” – I’m okay with those first two ideals, but I’ve never been one for moderation!

Food: Vidalia Onions are Georgia’s State Vegetable, grown in Vidalia. Uncharacteristically sweet, the onions may work well in Brunswick Stew, which both Georgia and Virginia have made claims to having created.

Drink: Coca-Cola, arguably the world’s most popular soda, was born and bred in Georgia. Originating as Pemberton’s French Wine Coca nerve tonic, in 1885, the beverage was de-alcoholised the following year and renamed Coca-Cola. Today, the Coca-Cola Company is based in Atlanta, where you can also find the World of Coca-Cola attraction (more on that below).

Coca Cola

Site to See: Georgia has seven natural wonders for visitors to choose from, including Amicalola Falls, Okefenokee Swamp, Providence Canyon, Radium Springs, Stone Mountain, Tallulah Gorge, and Warm Springs. Stone Mountain is the state’s most popular attraction, featuring a carving on the mountain of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Street: Peachtree Street in Atlanta is used for annual parades, for holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas, as well as for special event parades, including the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola and the 1995 Wold Series celebration for the Atlanta Braves. This main route should not be confused with the 71 other streets in Atlanta with Peachtree in its name. Frank Sinatra and John Mayer have sung about the street, while Elton John owns a home on it, inspiring his album Peachtree Road.

TV Show: As I write this, an episode of Matlock is playing in the background, so you know I’m a fan. Grandpa Simpson’s favourite show ran for nine seasons and 193 episodes of legal drama. Starring Andy Griffith as the titular southern lawyer, many believe the character was based on real-life litigator, Bobby Lee Cook, called the “dean of Georgia criminal defense attorneys”.

Movie: Gone with the Wind, starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, is a historical romance epic, set on a Georgia plantation during the American Civil War. Based on the book by Margaret Mitchell, the 1939 film set records for Oscar nominations and wins, taking eight of the 13 trophies it was up for.

Matlock

Book/Author: The Color Purple by Alice Walker, documents the lives of African-American women in the southern U.S. during the 1930’s. Taking place largely in Georgia, the book won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was adapted into a 1985 movie and nominated for 11 Oscars.

Fictional Character: A number of characters from The Walking Dead universe are from Georgia. This includes Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon, leaders of the group of survivors the graphic comic and TV show follows.

Fictional City: Hazzard County from The Dukes of Hazzard is where the Duke boys and cousin Daisy have their many run-ins with Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, while trying to keep their moonshine business running.

Actor/Actress: ‘America’s Sweetheart’, Julia Roberts, was born in Smyrna. The star of films such as Pretty Woman, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Erin Brockovich – for which she won a Best Actress Oscar in 2000 – continues to be busy with roles. Roberts has been named People magazine’s most beautiful woman a record five times.

Dukes of Hazzard

Song: There are a number of great songs which reference the state, including Georgia on My Mind (with versions by Ray Charles and James Brown), The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band, Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight & the Pips and The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia by Vicki Lawrence.

Band/Musician: Georgia has a long history of music, home to legendary artists like Ray Charles, James Brown, Little Richard, Gladys Knight and others. The next wave of stars includes Kanye West, Usher, T.I., Ludacris, and Lil Jon.

People: Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, later becoming the leader of the American Civil Rights Movement. He is best remembered for his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered at the Lincoln Memorial, prior to the 1963 March on Washington. Sadly, King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, dying at the age of 39.

Animal: Noah’s Ark Sanctuary in Locust Grove was home to not one famous animal, but three. Dubbed the BLT trio – for bear Baloo, lion Leo and tiger Shere Khan – the animals were rescued from an Atlanta drug kingpin’s home and happily lived together for years at Noah’s Ark. Sadly, Baloo is the last remaining of the threesome.

BLT Trio

Invention: Sure, the invention of anesthesia has helped countless people, but so has Girl Scout Cookies. The U.S. does things so much better than Canada in this regard, with many more flavours available. These include Tagalongs, Samoas and Do-Si-Dos, among others.

Crime: Hosting the 1996 Olympics was a boon for Atlanta, but it turned tragic due to a pipe bomb explosion at Centennial Olympic Park. Two people died (one from the blast, another from a heart attack) and 111 were injured, but it could have been so much worse, had it not been for security guard Richard Jewell, who evacuated the area. Jewell became a suspect afterwards, but the attack was perpetrated by Eric Rudolph. Jewell’s hero-to-villain story was the subject of the 2019 film Richard Jewell.

Law: In Georgia, it is illegal to live on a boat for more than 30 days in one calendar year. What about a van down by the river?

Sports Team: Atlanta has been home to teams from all Big 4 leagues, although both the Flames and Thrashers (NHL) were relocated to other cities. The Braves (MLB), Falcons (NFL) and Hawks (NBA) remain. Also, the PGA Masters Tournament is hosted annually at Augusta National Golf Club.

Girl Scout Cookies

Athlete: Amongst other sports stars, I have to choose Jackie Robinson, who broke the colour barrier in baseball, for this category. Robinson was born in Cairo, growing up in Pasadena, California. He battled through racism for years as he pursued his baseball career, opening the door for so many athletes to come after him. In 1997, Major League Baseball retired his jersey number (#42) league-wide. The 2013 movie 42 was based on Robinson’s life and accomplishments.

Famous Home: Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home is one of many sites that comprise the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park, in Atlanta. Other attractions include the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where both King Sr. and King Jr. were pastors and King Jr. was baptized, and the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

Urban Legend: The deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history occurred at the Winecoff Hotel, in Atlanta, on December 7, 1946. 119 people died, including some who jumped from higher floors, trying to escape the flames and smoke. The Ellis Hotel now sits on the site, with employees reporting ghost sightings and fire alarms going off at 2:48 am, the time the blaze started.

Museum: The World of Coca-Cola is part history museum, with exhibits on the soda’s secret formula and polar bear mascot, and part entertainment attraction, offering visitors the opportunity to taste over 100 different Coca-Cola products from around the world.

Jackie Robinson

Firsts: Georgia definitely helped with the Women’s Rights Movement, being the first state to allow women full property rights, as well as establishing the first college in the world to award women degrees at Wesleyan College, in Macon.

Company: Ted Turner’s extensive media empire, including channels like CNN, TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies, is headquartered in Atlanta. Turner also dabbled in the sports world, formerly owning both the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks, as well as World Championship Wrestling.

Events: Georgia was a hub of Civil War activity, highlighted by the 1864 Battle of Atlanta, which resulted in much of the city being burned to the ground, as Union troops hoped to cut off Confederate access to supplies. Atlanta suffered another major fire in 1917, destroying a large chunk of the capital.

Miscellaneous: The Varsity, in Atlanta, is the world’s largest drive-in fast food restaurant. The eatery, established in 1928, takes up two city blocks and offers seating for 800-plus patrons inside, with space for 600 cars outside. The Varsity even has their own lingo for menu ordering.

Scarlett O’Hara

Scarlett O'Hara

  • 2 oz Southern Comfort
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Rhett Butler

Rhett Butler

  • 2 oz Southern Comfort
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

This is the Sip Advisor’s first double drink of this project, as I had to include the cocktails made in honour of both of the main characters from Gone with the Wind. Apparently, the Scarlett O’Hara made Southern Comfort popular, subbing in for vodka in a recipe similar to a Cosmopolitan. The Rhett Butler is a little stiffer, just like the character. Both were enjoyable beverages.

Florida – Rum Runner

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today we travel to the Sunshine State for some fresh-squeezed orange juice and a slice of Key Lime Pie. Aside from citrus fruits, Florida has a lot else to offer, so let’s start our exploring:

Motto: “In God we trust” – Given Florida is an epicenter of the annual hurricane season, that’s probably a good idea!

Food: The Cuban Sandwich, comprised of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread, is a Sip Advisor favourite and I have restaurants in Tampa, Key West and Miami to thank for it. The sandwich has sparked a rivalry between Tampa and Miami over who does it best, with the conflict even reaching government levels.

Drink: Gatorade was developed in 1965 at the University of Florida, to help the Florida Gators football team replace bodily fluids lost during games, practices and workouts. Two years later, the Gators won their first Orange Bowl and another two years after that, Gatorade became a commercial product.

Gatorade

Site to See: The obvious choice here is the Disney World Resort, comprised of four theme parks, two water parks, 27 hotels, multiple golf courses, a campsite, and much more. If visiting Mickey Mouse and his pals isn’t your thing, there’s also the Kennedy Space Center or Everglades National Park, as popular tourist options.

Street: Duval Street in Key West is party central. When Mrs. Sip and I had the chance to crawl the street many moons ago, we hit a half dozen bars, drank our faces off and barely spent any money while doing so. While paid pub crawls are available, it’s just as fun to make your own route and meet fellow imbibers along the way.

TV Show: It would be a disservice to all my little sippers, if I didn’t pick The Golden Girls here. Running for seven seasons and 180 episodes, the sitcom starred such legends as Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, as four woman living in a retirement community in Miami. The theme song alone is enough to give viewers goosebumps!

Movie: The 1983 film Scarface documents the rags-to-riches story of Tony Montana, as he goes from Cuban refugee to Miami drug lord. The memorable Al Pacino character can be credited with some of movies greatest lines, including “Say hello to my little friend!”

Golden Girls

Book/Author: Since it hasn’t squeezed into a category yet, here I’ll highlight the Dexter series of books, by Florida writer Jeff Lindsay. Made into a TV series later, the Dexter stories involve a vigilante serial killer, who murders serial killers. Eight Dexter novels were released between 2004 and 2015.

Fictional Character: Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, is a wild and zany animal lover. Played by Jim Carrey, Ventura’s most high-profile case, involved the theft of Miami Dolphins animal mascot Snowflake and later the kidnapping of quarterback Dan Marino by a disgruntled ex-teammate.

Fictional City: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City takes place in Miami-based Vice City. The 1980’s-set video game follows ex-con Tommy Vercetti, as he moves up the city’s crime ladder, eventually seizing control of the entire empire. Back when the Sip Advisor has time for video games, this was a favourite.

Actor/Actress: On top of his acting chops, Sidney Poitier also gets the nod here for the barriers he knocked down during his career. This included being the first black actor to be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, for The Defiant Ones), and later the first black actor to win the award, for Lilies of the Field. Poitier has been honoured with a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth, as well as awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Ace Ventura

Song: With the highest percentage of people over 65 years old, it may come as no surprise that Florida’s State Song is Old Folks at Home by Stephen Foster. Written in 1851, the song has seen changes to controversial lyrics over time, especially since it’s often performed during government events.

Band/Musician: Rock star, Tom Petty, was born in Gainesville. Inspired by bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Petty always wanted to be a musician and achieved great fame with his band, The Heartbreakers, as well as other with other projects. A catalogue of successful songs saw Petty inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. The Sip Family saw Petty in concert in 2017, mere months before his untimely passing.

People: Comedian Daniel Tosh grew up in Titusville, graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in marketing, before beginning his stand up career. Tosh now hosts the popular Tosh.0 video clip show, which has aired for 11 seasons and counting.

Animal: For the Flipper films and TV series, which spanned 1963-1967, four real-life dolphins were used to portray the titular character. One of those animal actors, also doubled as the live mascot for the Miami Dolphins of the NFL, trained to do jumps in her tank when the team scored a touchdown or field goal.

Tom Petty

Invention: Given Florida’s weather, great advancements were made by inventors to keep people cool and protected from the sun and heat. These creations included mechanical refrigeration, air conditioning, and sunscreen. The personal computer was also invented in Florida, so there’s that.

Crime: After a troubled childhood and numerous run-ins with the law as an adult, Aileen Wuornos murdered seven men in Florida within a one-year span (1989-1990). She was convicted of six of the murders and executed by lethal injection in 2002. Wuornos’ story was documented in the 2003 film Monster, for which Charlize Theron won a Best Actress Oscar for her depiction of the serial killer.

Law: In Florida, all doors must open outward in public buildings, taking away that awkward push-or-pull moment when approaching any entrance.

Sports Team: Florida’s Big 4 professional sports landscape is spread among a number of cities. While most clubs are split between Miami – Dolphins (NFL), Marlins (MLB), Panthers (NHL), Heat (NBA) – and Tampa – Buccaneers (NFL), Rays (MLB), Lightning (NHL) – there is also the Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) and Orlando Magic (NBA).

Air Conditioning

Athlete: A trio of Dallas Cowboys legends and Pro Football Hall of Famers, in Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders, each hails from Florida. Add to that, iconic pro wrestler Hulk Hogan grew up in Florida and lives there to this day, and you’ve got quite the collection of athletic stars.

Famous Home: Ernest Hemingway House in Key West has been designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark. The author lived in the home from 1931-1939, writing some of his most famous titles. Hemingway House is now a tourist attraction, famous for the six- and seven-toed cats that live there, descendants of Hemingway’s original cats.

Urban Legend: The Devil’s Chair, located in Cassadega, is one of many graveyard benches found around the world (including England and other U.S. states), which is said to bring bad luck to any person who sits on the throne. What’s unique about the Florida seat is legend has it, a can of beer placed on it will be empty when checked the next morning… even if it’s unopened.

Museum: Florida is home to the most golf courses in the U.S., so it’s no surprise the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum would be found in the state. Located in St. Augustine, 26 different governing bodies from the golf world participate in the association, including male and female tours.

Gold Instructions

Firsts: On January 1, 1914, the world’s first scheduled commercial flight transported a single passenger (St. Petersburg mayor Abraham Pheil) from St. Petersburg to Tampa. Over 3,000 people attended the departure. Pilot Antony Jannus was the country’s first federally-licensed pilot.

Company: When Mrs. Sip and I were young travellers, we tried to hit the Hard Rock Café in many of the cities we ventured to. Headquartered in Davie, the music-influenced chain has 185 restaurants, 25 hotels and 12 casinos, spread across 74 countries. For cheaper fare, Burger King is also operated out of the state.

Events: The Cuban Revolution brought more than a million refugees to Florida, over a series of mass exoduses from the communist country. Continued issues between Cuba and the United States has also resulted in high-profile international incidents, such as the Elian Gonzalez custody battle.

Miscellaneous: News headlines containing the term “Florida Man” became popular in 2013 for the outrageous stories that usually followed. Some examples include: ‘Florida Man Tells Police Bag of Cocaine Found in Car Must have Blown in from the Wind’ and ‘Florida Man Arrested After Giving Aggressive Wet Willy’.

Rum Runner

Rum Runner

  • 1 oz Blackberry Liqueur/Chambord
  • 1 oz Banana Liqueur
  • 1 oz Light Rum
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • Top with Pineapple Juice and Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

There are many recipes for this cocktail, with mine being a bit of an amalgamation of them. I liked the overall blend of this drink, invented at the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar, in Islamorada, in reference to the rum-runners (aka bootleggers) who operated on Florida’s islands during prohibition.

Delaware – Orange Crush

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Delaware became the first state in the union, ratifying the constitution in 1787. Also known as the Diamond State, as Thomas Jefferson allegedly called Delaware a jewel for its location, let’s see if that endorsement rings true:

Motto: “Liberty and independence” – Someone was using their thesaurus.

Food: Scrapple, described by some as similar to SPAM, is comprised of pork scraps mixed with breading and spices, turning it into a loaf. It is then sliced and fried, prior to being served. The dish is so popular in Delaware, that the Apple Scrapple Festival has been held annually, in Bridgeville, since 1992.

Drink: Dogfish Head Brewery, based in Milton, has been in operation since 1995. Known for their experimental brews, the company’s wares can be found across much of the U.S. They also have two restaurants located in Rehoboth Beach, as well as alehouses in Maryland and Virginia.

Scrapple

Site to See: Delaware is best known for its beaches, most notably Rehoboth Beach, which has been called “The Nation’s Summer Capital”, thanks to so many visitors travelling to the area each year. Events at Rehoboth include the Independent Film Festival, Sea Witch Festival and Autumn Jazz Festival.

Street: Packet Alley, in New Castle, has been called Delaware’s most historic alley. This is thanks to the famous folks, such as President Andrew Jackson and frontiersman Davy Crockett, who have travelled the path, which connected stagecoaches dropping passengers off at one end, to load riverboats on the other end.

TV Show: Delaware is known for two TV shows, the animated Steven Universe (2013-2019) and action drama The Pretender (1996-2001), both set in fictional locales. Although I haven’t seen either series, they sound watchable by my easygoing tastes.

Movie: Goosebumps, starring Jack Black as author R.L. Stine, gets the nod here for letting the Sip Advisor relive some of his favourite books from childhood on the big screen. Set in the fictional town of Madison, the real-life Madison, Georgia was used for filming.

Goosebumps

Book/Author: John Dickinson, a Founding Father of the country, has been dubbed the Penman of the Revolution, for his works on the independence movement. These included the 1774 Petition to the King, 1775 Olive Branch Petition and 1775 Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms.

Fictional Character: Fight Club, at least the book by Chuck Palahniuk, is set in Delaware. That technically makes alter ego Tyler Durden a Delawarean. The leader behind Project Mayhem is a very memorable character… even if he is an imagined split personality.

Fictional City: Metropolis, where Clark Kent works as a reporter at the Daily Planet and saves the world as Superman, is located in, of all places, Delaware. This is based on a number of theories and Easter eggs, including license plates in the movie Superman Returns, being tagged with ‘The First State’ on them.

Actors/Actresses: Elisabeth Shue, born in Wilmington, has enjoyed a long and varied acting career. She starred in such 80’s classics as The Karate Kid, Adventures in Babysitting, Cocktail and Back to the Future II. Her most notable role was as a prostitute in Leaving Las Vegas, for which she was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress category.

Metropolis

Song: Delaware Slide by George Thorogood and The Destroyers is a close to eight-minute long track that is mostly instrumental. It’s a pretty rocking tune, though, so the length flies by.

Band/Musician: Speaking of Thorogood, the rocker was born in Wilmington. Thorogood has gone on to record hits like Bad to the Bone; I Drink Alone and One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (otherwise known as a Sip Advisor Trifecta). In 1981, Thorogood and The Destroyers completed a 50 shows in 50 states in 50 nights tour.

People: Thomas Garrett was a leader in the Underground Railroad. He nearly lost his fortune in the battle for Civil Rights for African-Americans, after being sued and fined for helping slaves escape their masters. Despite the perils, Garrett continued to help, freeing thousands who later called him their Moses.

Animal: Another nickname for Delaware is Blue Hen State. This traces back to the American Revolutionary War, when the bravery of Delaware soldiers was compared to Blue Hens that were used in cockfighting. The Blue Hen was adopted as the State Bird of Delaware in 1939.

George Thorogood

Invention: Delaware native Henry Heimlich invented the Heimlich Maneuver, helping to save countless lives around the world. His lesser known inventions, include the Heimlich Chest Drain Valve and Micro Trach Portable Oxygen System.

Crime: Delaware only has only had one known serial killer in its history. Steven Brian Pennell, aka the Route 40 Killer, was convicted of two murders and thought to be responsible for three others in the late 1980’s. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection and actually argued to have this sentence upheld. The execution took place on March 14, 1992.

Law: It is illegal in Delaware to pawn your wheelchair or any fake limb. Is it okay if it’s not your own?

Sports Team: No professional sports teams hail from Delaware, but the Dover International Speedway can be found there. Nicknamed the Monster Mile, it opened in 1969 and has hosted at least two NASCAR races every year since. The track has a maximum capacity of 135,000 spectators.

Heimlich Maneuver

Athlete: Elena Delle Donne, of the WNBA, was born in Wilmington. After playing college basketball for the University of Delaware Blue Hens, she was drafted second overall in the 2013 WNBA Draft. Delle Donne’s pro career has seen her win the WNBA Rookie of the Year award, two WNBA MVP titles and one WNBA Championship. She’s also the only female to join the exclusive 50-40-90 Club for successful shot percentages in a season, among eight NBA stars.

Famous Home: Nemours Mansion and Gardens, in Wilmington, was built by Alfred I. du Pont in the early 1900’s as a gift for his second wife. The French-style chateau features 105 rooms, filled with valuable furniture, antiques, art and tapestries. The grounds are patterned after France’s Gardens of Versailles and include a hedge maze, reflecting pool and “Temple of Love”, which has my interest piqued.

Urban Legend: Fort Delaware was a prison camp during the Civil War, holding more than 30,000 soldiers during that time. Approximately 10 per cent of those incarcerated, died from diseases such as dysentery and malaria. The spirits of the dead are said to haunt the site, which today offers 90-minute tours for entertainment purposes.

Museum: The Museum of Business History and Technology, in Wilmington, is loaded with antique typewriters, cash registers, telephones, clocks, and other office devices. I imagine it would give you a real appreciation for how much the working world has evolved, for better or worse.

Typewriter

Firsts: Called the “first American flag”, upholsterer Betsy Ross’ design of 13 alternating red and white stripes and 13 white stars on a blue background (both signifying the original 13 colonies to join the union), was first flown at the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, in Delaware, on September 3, 1777.

Company: DuPont, headquartered in Wilmington, is responsible for the creation of nylon, neoprene, Teflon, Mylar, Kevlar, Lycra, and other synthetic fibers. The company has been integral to Delaware’s existence in a symbiotic relationship, with the DuPont family being worth billions of dollars today.

Events: As the first colony to ratify the American constitution, independence – and the battle for it – played a great role in shaping Delaware. With the debate on separating from the British deadlocked, Delawarean Caesar Rodney rode 70 miles from Dover to Philadelphia to cast the deciding vote. The Declaration of Independence was signed soon after.

Miscellaneous: Delaware was the only state with no National Park System units (which includes national parks, historic sites, battlefields, memorials, monuments, etc.), until 2013, when President Barack Obama designated the First State National Monument (later the First State National Historical Park) as one.

Orange Crush

Orange Crush

  • 2 oz Orange Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with an Orange Slice

Although it was invented in Maryland, the Orange Crush is a popular cocktail on the beaches of Delaware. Recipes I saw insisted you use fresh-squeezed OJ, so who am I to challenge that kind of logic and reason? The drink was pretty good and I can understand its admiration.

Connecticut – Yale Cocktail

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Connecticut is known by many nicknames – Constitution State, Nutmeg State, Arsenal of the Nation – so let’s dig deep and learn what these Nutmeggers are really all about:

Motto: “He who is transplanted still sustains” – Well, that’s a relief!

Food: Connecticut has laid claim to creating some of the Sip Advisor’s favourite all-time foods, including Lobster Rolls, Hamburgers and Hotdogs. For folks with a sweet tooth, the state is also the birthplace of lollipops and PEZ.

Drink: Foxon Park Beverage Company, based in East Haven, are famous for their White Birch Soda, among other flavours. They are the commonly paired with New Haven-Style Pizza, for a complete, balanced Connecticut meal.

Pez

Site to See: Yale University, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious schools, is home to museums and picturesque grounds. Visitors can also try to locate the hideaways of Yale’s infamous secret societies, such as Skull and Bones and Scroll and Key.

Street: Described as “the most beautiful street in America” by both Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven is lined with 19th century mansions, including Yale Univeristy’s president’s house.

TV Show: Who’s the Boss, starring Tony Danza, was set in Fairfield. Danza played a widowed former baseball player, who becomes the live-in housekeeper for a divorced ad exec. The series lasted eight seasons and 196 episodes and is best known for introducing the world to Alyssa Milano.

Movie: The Tim Burton classic Beetlejuice, is set in the fictional Connecticut town of Winter River. Here, young couple Adam and Barbara Maitland tragically die and experience life after death, including the zany Beetlejuice. Just don’t say his name three times.

Tony Danza

Book/Author: In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe (from Litchfield) published Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which highlighted the suffering of African-American slaves. Later, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln is said to have said to the author: “so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war”.

Fictional Character: Professional wrestler Hunter Hearst Helmsley (later shortened to Triple H), was originally billed from Greenwich, using a Connecticut Blueblood gimmick. After some ups and downs to start his WWE career, Helmsley has gone on to be one of the most successful wrestlers of all-time and the real-life Paul Levesque is now an executive with the company that made him famous.

Fictional City: Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls is a small town home to many unique characters. As a teenage mother, Lorelei Gilmore escapes here, leaving behind her parents and the privileged life she’s known in Hartford.

Actors/Actresses: Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show, was born in Kent. Aside from providing his voice talents to many projects, McFarlane has also appeared in live action fare, including The Orville and A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Triple H

Song: For whatever reason, Yankee Doodle is the State Song of Connecticut, but Connecticut by Judy Garland and Bing Crosby really should be. The tune is extremely complimentary song about the state, with lines like “No matter where I’d chance to be, Connecticut is the place for me.”

Band/Musician: I have to go with crooner Michael Bolton here, best known for the hits “When A Man Loves a Woman” and “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”, both of which he won a Grammys for. It’s hard to believe Bolton got his start in hard rock and heavy metal bands in the 70’s and 80’s.

People: P.T. Barnum, a founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, was born in Bethel. He would later become the Mayor of Bridgeport and a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, serving Fairfield. Barnum has been featured in a number of film and TV projects, most notably portrayed by Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman.

Animal: Sergeant Stubby became the mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, serving with the unit in World War I. The mixed-breed mutt saved troops from mustard gas attacks and helped medics locate wounded soldiers. His story was documented in the 2018 animated movie, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero.

Michael Bolton

Invention: Of the many products created in Connecticut, I have to choose the vacuum cleaner, invented by Ira Hobart Spencer, of Hartford. However, if you want to avoid doing chores, you could get caught up playing outside with another invention from the state, the Frisbee.

Crime: The murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley, in Greenwich, may not have garnered as much attention as it did, if it hadn’t been for one of the potential suspects being Michael Skakel, a relation of the famous Kennedy clan. Skakel was convicted in 2002 of the 1975 murder, although the conviction was vacated in 2018.

Law: It is illegal to keep town records where alcohol is sold. There goes my dream of a city hall/liquor store combo!

Sports Team: The only professional team to exist in Connecticut was the now defunct Hartford Whalers of the NHL. The team relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina following the 1996-97 season, renamed the Carolina Hurricanes. The Whalers may be best remembered for their official theme song, Brass Bonanza.

Athlete: Chris Drury (born in Trumbull) and Brian Leetch (raised in Cheshire) have a lot in common. Both were multi-sport athletes growing up – with Drury being the winning pitcher at the 1989 Little League World Series – choosing careers in hockey. Each would win the NHL’s rookie of the year award, as well as a Stanley Cup championship for Leetch in 1994 (also named MVP of the playoffs) and for Drury in 2001.

Famous Home: Legendary author Mark Twain moved his family to Hartford in 1873. There, he wrote his most popular works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The home has been restored, with National Geographic calling it one of the ten best historic homes in the world.

Urban Legends: Lake Compounce, the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the U.S., is said to be haunted and cursed. The land where the park now sits was sold by Chief John Compound to white settlers. Legend has it, Chief Compound died soon after and other deaths have occurred on the grounds since, including drownings and construction accidents. Lake Compounce was also where the band Milli Vanilli were first exposed as lip-synchers.

Museum: Connecticut’s Trash Museum has been permanently closed, so I’ll have to settle on the Lock Museum of America, in Terryville. Here, you can check out a massive collection of locks and keys, as well as try on hand cuffs and leg irons, for kinkier visitors.

Mark Twain

Firsts: Some important American versions of books were first published in Connecticut, including the telephone book (containing only 50 names and numbers) and dictionary. Noah Webster, you know, of Webster’s Dictionary fame, published A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language in 1806. His next edition, An American Dictionary of the English Language, took two decades to complete, containing 70,000 words.

Company: TV production is a big industry in Connecticut, with companies such as ESPN (in Bristol) and WWE (in Stamford) setting up their headquarters in the state. It should also be noted, Subway is based in Milford, with the first restaurant, dubbed Pete’s Super Submarines, opened in 1965, in Bridgeport.

Events: With slavery outlawed in 1848 and the Underground Railroad travelling through the state, Connecticut participated on the Union side of the Civil War. Although no fighting took place in the state, what would become the Yale-New Haven Hospital treated thousands of injured soldiers, while the New Haven Arms Company and Colt’s Manufacturing Company provided fighters with weaponry.

Miscellaneous: Connecticut is unique in having a State Hero (Nathan Hale) and State Heroine (Prudence Crandall). Hale was a soldier and spy during the American Revolutionary War, hanged by the English for treason, at the age of 21. Crandall was a teacher and activist, who taught the first racially integrated class in the U.S.

Yale Cocktail

Yale Cocktail

  • 2 oz of Gin
  • 0.75 oz Crème de Violette
  • 0.25 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

This cocktail is named after Yale University, thanks to the drink’s bluish hue, which matches the school’s colour. There are many variations to this drink recipe, including using Blue Curacao instead of Crème de Violette. I used the recipe straight from Yale’s Alumni Magazine… go straight to the source, is what I always say!

Colorado – Colorado Bulldog

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Nicknamed the Centennial State, after joining the union in 1876, Colorado is our mile high destination today. Let’s see what trouble we can get up to:

Motto: “Nothing without providence” – Well, it’s nice to be protected!

Food: Jolly Ranchers were created in Golden, by company founder Bill Harmsen. The brand is now owned by the Hershey Company. I’m not a big candy guy, but a flavourful Jolly Rancher can sometimes hit the spot.

Drink: Colorado is a beer-lovers heaven. For those who prefer mass-produced products, you have Coors Brewing, while the craft beer connoisseur has multiple options, with companies like New Belgium Brewing tops among them.

Jolly Ranchers

Site to See: The state’s national parks are must-see attractions, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park and Great Sand Dunes National Park. Mesa Verde features the carved-in-cliff homes of the Pueblo people, including the impressive Cliff Palace.

Street: Running east-west through Denver, Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous street in the U.S. The route has been nicknamed the “longest, wickedest street in America” and stretches for 42 miles. Along the road, highlights include the State Capitol and a Voodoo Doughnut location.

TV Show: South Park is one of the longest running shows of all-time, currently at 23 seasons and 307 episodes aired. South Park is probably a place you wouldn’t want to live if it existed, but it’s fun to watch the mayhem from afar. The citizens of the “quiet, little mountain town” really make the show, with each viewer having their own favourites.

Movie: The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson, is set in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The Stanley Hotel, which was the inspiration for Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel in the novel, can be visited in Estes Park. With this, I can segue to the second half of Dumb and Dumber (perhaps the Sip Advisor’s favourite all-time film, much to Mrs. Sip’s chagrin) taking place in Aspen, with the Stanley Hotel used for the Hotel Danbury in that film.

The Shining

Book/Author: Speaking of book-to-movie adaptations starring Jack Nicholson, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was written by Ken Kesey, who was born in La Junta. The controversial book has been banned in some places, despite its commercial and critical success.

Fictional Character: One of the greatest characters ever created is Eric Cartman from South Park. Sure, the little bastard is as evil as they come, but he’s also endearing in his own way. At the same time, you can both rout for and revile the foul-mouthed youngster.

Fictional City: With South Park already getting some ink above, here I’ll highlight Greendale from Community. Greendale Community College may be one of the wildest schools in existence, highlighted by annual paintball battles that engulf the entire student body. If given the opportunity, I would certainly enroll.

Actor/Actress: Tim Allen, the star of TV shows such as Home Improvement and Last Man Standing (set in Denver), as well as films including The Santa Clause trilogy, Galaxy Quest, Christmas with the Kranks, and the Toy Story franchise, was born in Denver.

Eric Cartman

Song: Rocky Mountain High by John Denver became Colorado’s second State Song in 2007. Denver’s ode to the state came a few years after moving to Aspen, where he would live for much of his life. Born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., when a name change was suggested, he chose Denver for a surname, the capital of his favourite state. After tragically dying in a 1997 plane crash, his ashes were scattered in the Rocky Mountains.

Band/Musician: Pop rock band OneRepublic was formed in Colorado Springs. The group is best known for their hit Counting Stars, which topped music charts in six different countries, including Canada and the U.K., but peaked at number two in the U.S.

People: Former senator and presidential candidate John Kerry was born in Aurora. Kerry served as U.S. Secretary of State during Barack Obama’s second term as president, retiring with the end of that administration.

Animal: Colorado’s official State Pets are the dogs and cats adopted from Colorado animal shelters and rescues. Aside from that, Duane ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ Chapman hails from Denver, but I don’t think he counts as a famous animal.

Rocky Mountain High

Invention: The first Teddy Bear was said to have been constructed by maids at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs. They put scraps of material together and presented the bear to President Teddy Roosevelt, while he stayed there on a hunting trip. The Teddy Bear became a worldwide sensation and its popularity has never waned.

Crime: There are some doozy crimes in the history of Colorado. The Columbine High mass shooting, murder of JonBenét Ramsey, and Aurora Theater mass shooting all took place within the state. Other notable crimes have been featured on the TV show Homicide Hunter, which looks at the cases of Lt. Joe Kenda, a former detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Law: It is illegal to mutilate a rock in a Colorado state park. I’ve always had it out for those geological formations, but I guess I’ll have to bottle up my hatred when travelling through the state.

Sports Team: Another state that has one team in each of the Big 4 sports leagues: Denver Broncos (NFL), Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Colorado Rockies (MLB), Denver Nuggets (NBA). Colorado is also known for its many world-class ski resorts, bringing many travellers to locations such as Aspen and Vail for some fresh powder.

Joe Kenda

Athlete: An inaugural inductee into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1965, boxer Jack Dempsey was born in Manassa. Nicknamed the ‘Manassa Mauler’, Dempsey was World Heavyweight Champion from 1919-1926, becoming a cultural icon of the time. He passed away in 1983, aged 87.

Famous Home: Sculptured House is an elliptical-curved home, located in Golden. The place was designed by architect Charles Deaton and built on Genesee Mountain. Sculptured House was featured in Woody Allen’s 1973 film Sleeper, giving it the nickname, Sleeper House. It has also appeared on MTV’s Extreme Cribs.

Urban Legend: Famous outlaw Butch Cassidy is believed to have buried treasures at some locations around Colorado, with thousands of dollars up for grabs for those willing to search the hordes out. The Wild Bunch gang leader was killed in Bolivia, on the run from the law, before he could retrieve these deposits.

Museum: If you can’t get to the fields of MLB’s 30 teams, perhaps you’ll want to visit the National Ballpark Museum, in Denver. The gallery’s collection includes seats from some of the most storied stadiums in the sport’s history, as well as other memorabilia and exhibits.

Jack Dempsey

Firsts: Colorado was among the first states (along with Washington) to legalize marijuana in 2012. Cannabis sales in the state passed $1 billion in 2016 and the industry continues to grow (literally!).

Company: What would become the Coors Brewing Company was first established in Golden in 1873. The brewery was run by a Coors family member from then until 2002. Sadly, the Coors legacy is mixed with some tragedy, including the suicide of Adolph Coors I and the murder of Adolph Coors III, during a botched kidnapping for ransom plot.

Events: In 1858, gold was discovered in Colorado, leading to an influx of people to the region and popularizing the phrase “Pikes Peak or Bust”. Central City, founded in 1859, is known as “The Richest Square Mile on Earth”, with a total gold output between 1859-1918 of over $83 million.

Miscellaneous: You always have to be careful when mentioning “highest” in reference to Colorado, but the state contains the highest paved road, bridge, railway and sand dune in the U.S. It was on one of those high points (Pikes Peak), where America the Beautiful was written by Katherine Lee Bates, becoming a national anthem alternative to some.

Colorado Bulldog

Colorado Bulldog

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • Top with Cola
  • Splash of Light Cream/Milk
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

The Colorado Bulldog is basically a White Russian, enhanced (or not, depending on your view) with some cola. I turned my serving into more of a dessert cocktail, using Smores Vodka and Chili Chocolate Kahlua in the beverage. It turned out fairly well, but I don’t think this drink will feature regularly in my libation rotation.