Flavour Revolution – Cinnamon

Challenge Him

For some reason, people are willing to do stupid challenges with food and drink, one of those being eating straight cinnamon for the amusement of others. Here are some food challenges that will leave you shaking your head in astonishment:

Cinnamon/Flour

Trying to consume a spoonful of cinnamon, without the use of any water, sounds like a sure-fire way to ruin your day. When you learn of the health risks associated with the stunt – burned/collapsed lungs, as well as the fact cinnamon is toxic to the liver and kidneys in large doses – it seems all the more stupid. Despite the warnings, the challenge has been popularized by shows such as Tosh.0 and even MythBusters. The flour version involves ingesting a whole ladle of the white stuff. Good luck with that!

cinnamon-challenge

Saltine Crackers

Mrs. Sip is a cracker fiend, but she likes to enjoy her crispy treats with wine and cheese. She would never attempt to eat seven soda crackers without the aid of a beverage. That’s because she’s quite intelligent and the average person attempting these challenges is… well, not. I have to ask: Why Saltines? What did this cracker do to draw the ire, ridicule, and persecution of the online world? Athletes such as Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter have been associated with this challenge and its competitive nature.

Ghost Pepper

It amazes me how willing people are to film themselves eating hot foods, despite the tears and tantrums – and sometimes much worse – that are surely to result, just for a few hits on YouTube. I’m equally amazed that people will actually watch these videos, wasting their precious free time. The Ghost Pepper is one of the hottest in the world, known to literally turn its victims into apparitions (there’s a long-standing rumour that this is how Casper the Friendly Ghost perished)… or viral fools.

Sprite-Bananas/Mentos-Diet Coke

Remember the vinegar and baking soda volcanos many of us made for grade school science fairs? These two food challenges are like that; only the volcano setting has been replaced by your stomach and esophagus. Aren’t unexpected chemical reactions neat… and gross!? If I was a higher-up at the Coca-Cola company, I’d be pissed that Pepsi and 7-Up haven’t been implicated in any of these witch hunts. A good PR team, though, would turn this into the discovery of new and alternative fuel sources!

coke-and-mentos

Milk

There was a great Mad TV sketch many moons ago, where musician and chicken restauranteur Kenny Rogers performs a number of Jackass stunts, including a ‘Dairy Challenge’. At the end, Kenny (played by Will Sasso) concludes that “Nobody wins in a dairy challenge!” I only have milk on cereal and sometimes with chocolate chip cookies. Why anyone would go about downing a gallon of the stuff, sans something edible, is insane. Now I just want that plate of cookies!

Raw Eggs

We have the Rocky movie franchise to thank for popularizing this food challenge and I don’t know what’s worse: Having to wake up crazy early in the morning to start training or drinking a cocktail of raw eggs prior to said workout. Rocky performs the task without fear (likely due to years of brain damage from his boxing), though. The practice is still debated to this day, as people try to balance the risk of salmonella poisoning against whatever positive effects the concoction may provide.

Peeps

The only way I like my marshmallows, is roasting over a fire, about to be merged with chocolate and Graham crackers in a S’more. Even then, I settle for one gooey treat and would never be caught stuffing two dozen (sometimes 100) yellow puff birds in my mouth over a short time span. If this challenge came about because someone hated birds, I would like to view their other brochures and promotional material. Otherwise, count me out.

Flavour Revolution: Hot Tamale

Hot Tamale Cocktail

  • Rim glass with Cinnamon-Sugar
  • 1.5 oz Jose Cuervo Cinge Tequila
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 0.25 oz Campari
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Despite the stupidity exhibited by all who try these challenges, we must remember that cinnamon plays a large role in many of the greatest desserts known to man. This includes cinnamon buns, Churros, and so many more. All would pair well with today’s cocktail!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is basically a Margarita recipe with the only downside being the Campari. It’s not so bad, but I’ve grown to really detest the aperitif and anything it touches. The Cinge Tequila shouldn’t get the bad rap most are quick to give it. It’s a nice twist on the classic alcohol and perfect for playing around with.

Advertisements

Mexico – Sea of Cortez

Lucha Libre Lunacy

Wrestling and especially masked wrestlers are a huge hit in Mexico… perhaps more so than anywhere else in the world. The mask adds a dash of mystery to each character and also provides them a colourful outfit and persona. The fast-paced, high-flying in-ring style of the luchadores is mesmerizing for fans and has been captivating spectators for close to a century. Let’s take a look at some of the personalities and history of the genre:

Mask Manufacturing

Don Antonio Martinez is credited with creating some of the earliest lucha libre masks, moving to the face veneers from a successful leather boot business. As the story goes, Martinez employed a set of 17 facial measurements (a trade secret to this day) to help make the masks feel snug for the grapplers using them. Some of Mexico’s greatest wrestling stars would go on to wear a Martinez mask, taking the sport to unimaginable heights.

Lucha_libre_máscaras

The Saint

It takes some dedication to wear your wrestling mask at all times, inside and outside the ring. El Santo became one of Mexico’s cultural icons, appearing in countless movies, comic books, and other media. He only revealed his face to the world late in his life. Appearing on a talk show more than a year after his final match (at the age of 65, no less!), without warning El Santo removed his mask. One week later, the star passed away after suffering a heart attack. The grappler was buried donning his trademark silver disguise. His funeral was one of the biggest in Mexico’s history.

Legendary Lineage

Another hugely popular lucha libre fixture was Mil Mascaras. Hell, the guy even appeared on three different Mexican stamps. Mascaras competed all around the world and is considered one of the most influential wrestlers of all-time. A ban on masked wrestlers appearing at Madison Square Gardens was even lifted specifically so Mascaras could work for the then World Wrestling Federation. His legend lives on today through his nephew and current WWE superstar Alberto Del Rio. While Mascaras has never been unmasked during his lengthy career, Del Rio wrestles sans cover.

Dancing with the Demon

Blue Demon rounds out lucha libres first “Big Three” group of stars (also including El Santo and Mil Mascaras). Much like his fellow “Big Three” alums, Demon starred in numerous feature films, even leading a group of masked wrestlers on the big screen. Together they were dubbed The Champions of Justice and gave other legendary super groups such as the Justice League and Avengers a run for their money. Okay, I made that part up, but they were definitely more proficient when it came to cartwheels and somersaults!

misterioenlasbermudas

I guess the “big three” were kind of like the Rat Pack… yup, Frank, Dean and Sammy were replaced by El Santo, Mil Mascaras and Blue Demon!

For Sale

I nearly every market around Mexico, a traveler can find wrestling masks of varying quality to be purchased. The disguises include replicas for some of the biggest stars of Mexico, as well as those for competitors who have gained popularity abroad. You can even pick up the odd comic superhero façade, such as Spider-Man and Captain America.

Something to Lose

It is humiliating for a wrestler to be unmasked and therefore one of the most exciting and highly-anticipated contests in Mexico is the Mask Match (aka Luchas de Apuestas, which translates to “gambling fights”), where the loser has to reveal their face to the viewing audience. If the masked wrestler’s opponent doesn’t wear a mask, they often put their hair on the line in return. When a wrestler loses and is unmasked, it is common for his personal information to finally be recognized and published. That star is often no longer allowed to compete as that character, a further humiliation heaped on top of the original loss.

Big Time

In 1994, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) joined forces with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) to co-promote a pay-per-view event entitled When Worlds Collide. The show launched the careers of many Mexico-based stars, including Rey Mysterio, Jr., La Parka, Eddie Guerrero, and Konnan. Thanks to this platform, the grapplers started being signed to contracts with bigger American promotions like Extreme Championship Wrestling and the aforementioned WCW.

Mexico Wrestlers

No Respect

Throughout the mid to late 1990’s, more and more wrestlers from Mexico exploded onto the scene in the U.S., exciting fans with their speed, agility, and aerial offense. Things started off pretty well for the imports, but soon turned sour as the roster became flooded with foreign talent, most of whom weren’t featured much and found themselves buried underneath the bigger American grapplers. A number of stars were stripped of their mask in matches that had little to no meaning. Rey Mysterio, Juventud Guerra, and Psicosis all found themselves without their familiar covering and despite revealing themselves to fans, saw little improvement to their position in the pecking order.

Return to Glory

In 2002, pint-sized phenom Rey Mysterio (nee Jr.) debuted with the world’s largest wrestling company WWE, returning to wearing the mask that once brought him such great popularity. Bursting onto the scene by defeating some of WWE’s top stars, a renaissance of masked competitors seemed on the horizon. Sure enough, in 2006, Mysterio captured the World Heavyweight Title. No small feat (pun intended) for the 5’6” ultimate underdog!

Mexico: Sea of Cortez

Sea of Cortez Cocktail

 

  • Rim glass with Salt, Sugar and Chili Flakes
  • 1 oz Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Chipotle Spirit
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Grapefruit Soda
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

The luchadores comprise the Sip Advisor’s favourite style of wrestling. I just love seeing these smaller guys steal the show from the larger, hulking bodies with their crazy, high-risk action-packed contests. Perhaps it’s the cruiserweight in me or maybe it’s just the thrill of watching people fly through the air with complete disregard to their own safety. Either way, I thank them for their contributions to my entertainment.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
This recipe provided one of my first chances to use the Chipotle Spirit I picked up a couple months back at Rogue Distillery in Portland, Oregon. On that trip, myself and Ma and Pa Sip ate at Gustav’s Pub, where I found this recipe. My favourite aspect is the rim, complete with Chili Flakes, which take a margarita recipe and make it that much better. I went with Grapefruit Soda instead of Juice and may have found a new mixer to advocate for. I love my drinks that have a bit of a bite to them and this was certainly no different!

November 14 – Breaking Bad

Regretful Decisions

Recently, I did a series of articles about actors that probably regretted movie roles they had turned down. Today, I embark on a similar series, but change the medium. We’re looking at TV characters that have been passed up on… usually for the better!

Paul Giamatti as Michael Scott (The Office)

The iconic role that made Steve Carell a household name and launched his movie career could have gone to someone else. Paul Giamatti turned down the U.S.-version of David Brent and focused on his movie career. A few others were reportedly considered for the role, including Hank Azaria, Martin Short, Bob Odenkirk, and even Rainn Wilson, who ended up as the best possible Dwight Schrute imaginable.

giamatti-scott

Pamela Anderson as Dana Scully (X-Files)

The show would have been much less sci-fi and a little more parody had this poor choice actually happened. I’m not a fan, but the X-Files staff made a great move by going in another direction. You can also bet that if Anderson had taken the roll, there would have been more slow-motion running scenes and the skimpiest outfits possible for a paranormal investigator!

John Cusack/Matthew Broderick as Walter White (Breaking Bad)

I’m a huge Bryan Cranston fan, long before he became a meth-making, cancer-surviving maniac. I even heard one joke that Walter White is Cranston’s character on Malcolm in the Middle after he goes into hiding! Getting back on track, apparently both Cusack and Broderick turned down the role, leaving the door wide open for Cranston. I can kind of see Cusack doing an okay job, but Broderick would have been a long shot to make this work.

Katie Holmes as Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Good lord I hate this show with a vehement passion. The story goes that Holmes passed on Buffy in order to finish high school (a commendable action), before she joined the cast of Dawson’s Creek the next year (an uncommendable action). Sarah Michelle Gellar had originally auditioned for the role on Cordelia, but thankfully the domino effect introduced the world to Charisma Carpenter, who later posed for Playboy and that’s all that really matters!

holmes-buffy

Ryan Reynolds and Xander Harris (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Speaking of that which shall not be named, my alma mater homey (The Green Lantern and I attended the same college) saw the writing on the wall and passed on this nerd-captivating show. He has since gone on to become a Hollywood heartthrob, while Nicholas Brendon has gone on to do a variety of work, but nothing near the level of his Xander Harris (the one character I didn’t mind on the show) fame.

John Hawkes as The Governor (The Walking Dead)

I’m not familiar with who John Hawkes actually is (he actually played a few roles you know, you jackass), but I find his reasoning to be sound. He refused the role of The Governor, as he thought someone else could do the character better. Enter David Morrissey, who has provided the character a hauntingly authoritative aura in his battles with Rick Grimes and the other survivors.

Paul Shaffer as George Costanza (Seinfeld)

I can’t imagine anyone other than Jason Alexander portraying Costanza: Lord of the Idiots. Shaffer, best known as David Letterman’s band leader, was left a message from Jerry Seinfled, offering him the role if he wanted it, but due to his other commitments, Shaffer never even returned the call. I just don’t think the show would have been very good without Alexander in the role of Jerry’s best friend.

Drink #318: Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Blue Salt/Rock Candy
  • 2 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedges

What will tomorrow’s sequel list hold? Wouldn’t you like to know? And for a small fee, I’ll tell you. Hey, gotta support this project somehow!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I don’t have any major complaints about this cocktail, but it didn’t measure up to many of the drinks I’ve been making recently. I’m glad the Blue Candy Powder rim worked out as it helped with the Breaking Bad crystal meth theme. Tequila and Lemonade are a good combo, so give it a chance sometime.

February 22 – Blue Lagoon Margarita

National Margarita Day

Margarita, margarita, there ain’t nothin’ sweeter… that, my little sippers, is the little tune I sing whenever I’m having a margarita. And today is a holy day for those who love their tequila and triple sec (TNT) based drinks! To celebrate in my own way, I made a Blue Lagoon Margarita.

Margarita Day

Blue Lagoon (no relation to the cocktail) is a 1980 movie that is largely remembered for featuring a young Brooke Shields parading naked around a deserted island – although a body double was used in most scenes and Shields’ hair was glued to her breasts in others, but I digress – and that got me thinking about (among other more titular things) what I would want to have with me if I was stranded alone on an island.

Reading Material:

Well, there’s one fork in the road this can go down… I mean, you are all alone with no human contact for the foreseeable future. Porn may be the best choice here, however, here at The Sip, I like to think we are of average intelligence and class and therefore I will actually bring books with me (Mrs. Sip would be so proud). I would probably pack a collection of the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader entries as these books are massive and full of thousands of interesting tidbits. Once you read them all, you could go back to the start and scan them over again, filling your head with so much trivia (aka useless knowledge) and nobody to share it with. If you were ever rescued, you could then go on Jeopardy and place second… gotta be careful with those daily doubles.

Watchables:

Obviously you can’t pack up your entire DVD collection for this trip and while resorting to a laptop filled with illegally downloaded movies and TV shows (again my legal counsel has forced me to state that the Sip Advisor does not endorse the illegal downloading of copyright material) would be the super-geek thing to do, you also have to consider the fact that there would be no outlets to charge your battery. Therefore, with a portable DVD player and an eight-hour battery I’m going to narrow my choices down to three movies: Slap Shot, Dumb & Dumber and Anchorman. The jury has spoken.

Tunes:

We are accustomed to going everywhere we travel with the ability to listen to our own music, creating a playlist for your entire life. On the island, though, you’d be limited to your one charge of battery, just like the DVD player. Would you use it all up in one epic jam, or would you spread the songs out over an extended period of time? I’d probably try to make everything seem like a montage and kill the battery in a matter of hours. I’m not very good with the long-term planning.

Island DVD & IPOD

Food & Drink:

My main concern here is how difficult it would be for me to create my own alcohol (and ice… warm drinks suck). Providing the island has lush amounts of fruits, I may be able to make my own flavoured concoctions. Maybe I would luck out and there would be a hidden stash of rum on the island like the one Captain Jack Sparrow was abandoned on.

As far as munchies go, a lifetime supply of potato chips would be great. Any flavor will do, except for any of those god-awful country-specific special flavours like Lamb & Mint (UK) or Vegemite (Australia). For the sweet tooth, any collection of chocolate should suffice. As for real food, who needs it? If no one is around to see how gross and out-of-shape you’re getting, does it really matter? And do you really want to max out your life expectancy on a deserted island?

Miscellaneous:

Oh, let’s see… the ability to harness electricity would surely help… you know, the usual stuff.

Comforts:

I think a pet is necessary when stranded. If I can’t have some sort of monkey sent to help me out, than a cat will do the trick. Anything to rid the island of all bird species, who provide nothing meaningful to my existence. Stupid poop machines.

Finally, if I could swing it, I’d have Mrs. Sip sent to the island to join me (kicking and screaming!). Then I’d impose the Brooke Shields rule into action and without a body double to do all the heavy lifting, you could finally call the place paradise!

Drink #53: Blue Lagoon Margarita

Blue Lagoon Margarita

  • 1 oz Tequila
  • 1 oz Blue Curacao
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Top with Pineapple Juice/Soda
  • Garnish with Orange Slice

Everyone has their own idea of what they would bring to a deserted island. What would help you survive the lonely exile?

Make sure to have your daily does of vitamin-M (margarita) today and party like it’s 2013!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I was disappointed with this recipe. Perhaps it’s because I used Pineapple Soda, instead of juice, which drastically changed the drink’s taste to a more fizzy one.

February 19 – Strawberry Sentiment

The Big 5-0

It’s milestone time here at The Sip as we hit the half-century mark on the 365-day drink challenge! It’s been a wilder ride than Mr. Toad’s, thus far, and to celebrate, here are some liquor-related memes to enjoy!:

Cosby

Bill Cosby rules and for a man who put Jell-O on the map, he must wonder what all these kids are doing nowadays tinkering with Jell-O innocence. Well, Bill, kids do say and do the darnedest things!

Motivation

This is about as bad as when you’re at Disneyland and someone uses their wheelchair to get to the front of the line-up only to then step out of it and able-bodily enter and exit the ride, while you’ve waited hours for the same attraction. You almost hope they slip and fall on some karma.

Distilled Spirits

This is a religion I can get behind. Gotta love that there is not one, but two bottles by this guy’s feet. However, I’m worried that his condition will no longer allow him to reach those bottles, which would be a shame. He’s got a rocking beard, though.

Bath

I don’t think this is what his AA sponsor meant by getting clean. Personally, I think this guy looks a little too happy given that he is surrounded by empties. Well, when you can’t get lucky, I guess the next best thing to do is take a bath with all your closest friends.

Sled

Yeah, salad sucks… unless it’s Caesar salad. This idea looks like an awesome good time. Hopefully the crash at the end of the stunt was worth it. It would be hard explaining to your wife the big hole in your wall afterwards, especially with a chalk outline that includes a beer can!

Molotov Cocktail

I absolutely love this guy. I wish I knew who he was. You can write anything around this picture and it’s hilarious. Mrs. Sip is often startled from her nap as I lose my shit viewing memes involving this happy ginger. Rock on, buddy… rock on!

Drink #50: Strawberry Sentiment (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Strawberry Sentiment Drink

  • Rim glass with salt
  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 0.75 oz Cointreau
  • Top with half Ginger Ale, half Brisk Strawberry-Melon
  • Garnish with a Strawberry Heart

Cheers and here’s to the next 50 drinks here at The Sip Advisor!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I really liked this margarita-esque recipe. From the salt rim to the Strawberry-Melon mixer, I enjoyed every ingredient. A great way to celebrate this Sip Advisor 50th post milestone!

January 20 – Melon Margarita

Tequilas

Well friends and fellow sippers, I’m back from Mexico, with a ton of new booze, so that seems like the perfect opportunity to launch into Tequila Week. Each day I’ll feature a different tequila-based cocktail and together we’ll all get a little loco!

Also, before I left for our holiday I sent a kindly-worded letter to my liver advising it (I seem to do a lot of advising) of the upcoming situation. When I returned home, this was waiting for me. My liver must have mailed it or something (doesn’t your liver mail you stuff?):

Rebuttal from my Liver

Check Liver Light

Dear Sip Advisor,

So, let me get this straight… first you drag me to Mexico – kicking and screaming as only a poor liver can – for a tortuous week at an all-inclusive resort, and just when I think I’ll finally get some rest, you have the audacity to announce that today is the start of Tequila Week!

At the resort, you decided, in your infinite wisdom, to do your own all-inclusive challenge and try to have one of every single drink on their pool bar menus. There were 72 drink mixes on that menu, what the firetruck were you thinking!? The only thing that steered you away from this (after you were already halfway through the list, mind you) was when you grew tired of the sugary mixes the bartenders were using. But naturally that’s about the time when you discovered the anejo dark rum… thanks a lot buddy [sigh].

How did you like the 24-hour flu I e-mailed your way? That was supposed to stop you, or at the very least, slow you down. Instead you took one day off and then made up for the missed action when you’d recovered.

I would, hereby, like to announce my secession from your body… if only I could find a way out.

Your long-suffering frenemy,

Liver

Hmmm… tough love, but my liver does have a point. Sugary pre-made mixes are generally a big no-no for all my little sippers out there. When you can, try to make all or the majority of your drink from scratch, or at the very least, use higher quality fresh juices or mixer. Your liver (and your friends) will thank you for it!

Without further ado, here is the first tequila drink, starting with a slight spin on an old classic:

Drink #20: Melon Margarita

Melon Margarita

  • Rim glass with lemon or lime juice, followed by salt
  • 1.5 oz tequila
  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Top with Margarita Mix (optional)
  • Garnish with lime or watermelon wedge

I hope the rest of Tequila Week is as delicious as today was. Have a great tequila recipe that you’d like to see featured here on Sip Advisor? Just let my liver and me know!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m a big Margarita fan (providing it’s on the rocks and not frozen) and I also have a massive appreciation for melon liqueur. Put the two together and you should have one fine cocktail and here, you do.