Mixer Mania #43 – Stereotypes and Sodas

The love of watermelon, fried chicken and grape soda. These are all things stereotypically associated with African Americans… but I love those things, too. Well, maybe not the grape soda, but it is today’s feature mixer. Let’s take a look at some other odd stereotypes and try not to offend anyone:

Canadians Live in Igloos

Not only do I not live in an igloo, but I don’t know anyone that does. Heck, most folks I know – all typical Canadians – don’t even like being outside much during the winter months. It’s also pretty hard to build an igloo in my neck of the woods, where rain is much more common and we may only get a light snowfall once or twice a year.

Canada Sorry.jpg

Russians Drink Vodka Like Water

This Sip Advisor has been known to do this too, but I don’t have an drop of Russian blood running through my gorgeous body. While Russia does rank as one of the world’s highest consumers of alcohol, I have it on good authority that they drink all liquors like water and don’t confine themselves to simply vodka.

Japanese are Ninjas

Throughout our 2016 trip to Japan, where Mrs. Sip and I travelled extensively around the country, I did not come face-to-face with any ninjas. That makes sense though, as ninjas are supposed to lurk quietly in the shadows. I bet they were everywhere.

Blondes are Dumb, Have More Fun

If being dumb means having more fun, then sign me up! Hold up, given my dirty blonde locks, lack of intelligence and hard drinking ways, I may already be one of the posterchildren for this concept.

Blondes Dumb.jpg

French are Rude

While this might not apply to every French citizen, from my own experiences, I have witnessed a few examples to prove the theory true. Perhaps it needs to read: Parisians Are Rude. This is best exemplified by a cab driver who refused to understand our destination of “Eiffel Tower,” until we changed it to “Tour Eiffel.”

British Have Bad Teeth

In one episode of The Simpsons, Lisa needs braces for her teeth and is shown what will happen if she does not get them with the Big Book of British Smiles, depicting a bevy of unsavoury grins. Perhaps this is caused by another prevalent British stereotype of their cuisine being relatively awful.

Mixer Mania #43: Purple Haze

Purple Haze

  • Rim glass with Sugar
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • 1 oz Root Beer Schnapps
  • Top with Grape Soda
  • Splash of Milk

What other stereotypes leave you scratching your head as to where the idea was ever conceived? I think I survived the article without causing too many international incidents!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I picked this drink to profile because of the interesting recipe. The result was a pretty decent drink that Mrs. Sip described as a girlie drink… I beg to differ!

Mixer Mania #18 – Using and Abusing

For some time, commercials have aired hyping chocolate milk as the perfect post-workout beverage. Yes, better than protein shakes, regular milk, water, or sports drinks. Regardless of how legit this claim may be, it got the Sip Advisor thinking about fictional substances used by characters to enhance their physique:

Weight Gain 4000 – South Park

In Eric Cartman’s obsession to be a “beefcake” for his televised award ceremony, after winning his school’s Save Our Fragile Planet essay contest, he begins taking doses of Weight Gain 4000. Well, at least the product came as advertised. By the end of the episode, Cartman has swelled to a massive size and is barely moveable. In his mind, though, the added pounds are simply muscle mass. Cartman does get the fame he wanted, though, as his obesity lands him on talk show Geraldo.

Cartman Weight Gain 4000

Thump – Aqua Teen Hunger Force

After being hospitalized for high blood pressure, Master Shake decides to get into shape. His method of doing this is to drink copious amounts of an illegal fitness beverage called Thump. The product’s flavour options – Mango Bitch Slap, Coconut What Did You Say To Me, and Blueberry Butt Rape – would have most people reconsider, but this is Master Shake we’re talking about. Of course, the muscles gained come to life and start a murderous rampage… just another day in South Jersey!

Powersauce – The Simpsons

Looking to shed his trademark spare tire, Homer Simpson turns to the Rainier Wolfcastle endorsed Powersauce bars to help with his efforts in the gym. Homer’s dedication to only eating foods in bar form led to him becoming the next spokesperson for Powersauce bars and their representative to scale the ominous Murderhorn Mountain. Homer ends up being successful in reaching the Murderhorn peak, but it is also learned that Powersauce bars are merely made from apple cores and Chinese newspapers.

Homer Powersauce Bars

Spinach – Popeye

Popeye has been using this “performance-enhancing substance” throughout his career, with Olive Oyl his enabler. Popeye simply grabs a can of spinach, pops it open and consumes the vegetable, leading to bulging muscles that get him through a number of dire situations. In the real world, spinach sales increased as a result of the character’s association with it. Ironically, spinach was chosen as Popeye’s supplement of choice, due to its iron content, which was later determined to be a miscalculation.

Venom – Batman

The supervillain Bane gains his massive physique by abusing this super steroid. The addictive formula must be constantly administered, directly to Bane’s brain, or else the user will suffer extreme withdrawal. The drug makes Bane so strong, that he is able to break Batman’s back and send him into temporary retirement. Of course, anytime his stream of Venom is disrupted, Bane becomes weak and easily defeated. After all, every antagonist has to have their Achilles’ heel.

Mixer Mania #18: Dirty Bastard

Dirty Bastard.JPG

  • 1 oz Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Chocolate Milk
  • Garnish with Maraschino Cherries

I don’t think I would take any of these enhancers. No, I’ll stick to the chocolate milk – preferably booze-fueled – thank you very much!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
The highlight of this martini might have been finally opening the bottle of Bailey’s Cherry Chocolate Irish Crème I’ve been holding onto for far too long. Despite all the booze that’s part of this recipe, the cocktail is fairly light and the flavours are quite cohesive.

Cocktail Corner – Clean Slate

Good Riddance

As the Sip Advisor has done in years past, it’s time to look back at those that enjoyed the best and worst years in 2015. As for me, 2015 was a mixed bag of amazing experiences and personal lows. I’m happy to bid farewell to the year and start fresh with 2016. Let’s see who’s likely to join me:

#5: Jared Fogle and Subway

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Jared Fogle went from the face of Subway and role model to those looking to shed pounds, to public pariah overnight, after it was revealed he was being investigated for paying for sex with minors and receiving and distributing child pornography. The fall was even swifter than his rise to fame as spokesperson of the sandwich shop. As 2015 came to a close, Fogle was sentenced to a 15-year prison term. I wonder if he can get his precious sandwiches from behind bars?

Jared Subway

#4: Hulk Hogan

Once the greatest star the wrestling industry has ever seen, the full damage of Hulk Hogan’s leaked sex tape from 2007 was finally revealed in 2015. In the video, Hogan uses racial slurs in describing the thought of his daughter Brooke’s dating a black man and instantly, the ‘drink your milk, take your vitamins (ahem, steroids),’ all-American hero was gone. There will be no Hulking-up from this and if we ever see Hogan again in a WWE ring, it will be a complete and total shock.

#3: Sepp Blatter and FIFA

One of the most crooked sports organizations in the world was finally served a slice of humble pie, in the form of an FBI-lead investigation into corruption accusations against a number of FIFA officials and president Sepp Blatter. After originally forging ahead and even winning his bid for re-election as head of the football association, Blatter eventually chose to resign due to the scandal. Most recently, Blatter was banned from any FIFA involvement for eight years.

Sepp-Blatter-FIFA

#2: Bill Cosby

Despite a collection of friends, colleagues, and fans who are still willing to defend Bill Cosby, in light of countless drugging and sexual assault allegations, the comedy legend was finally backed into a corner and charged with sexual assault by Pennsylvania authorities, on December 30, 2015. To date, more than 50 women have come forward in recent years, claiming that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. Depending on where this heads in 2016, Cosby could top this list next year.

#1: Syrian Refugees

With images of bodies – young and old – washed ashore, as Syrian refugees attempted to flee their country for better lives, amidst civil war and unrest, this international incident finally came to the forefront in 2015. With many countries accepting the four million refugees into their borders, let’s hope that 2016 is a year in which the Syrian refugees are moved from the worst list, to the best, finding new and prosperous homes, around the world.

Cocktail Corner: Clean Slate

Jan 4

  • Rim glass with Sugar
  • 0.75 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Sour Apple Mixer
  • Top with Champagne

Some dishonourable mentions include fraudster Martin Shkreli, reality star rapist Josh Duggar, Volkswagen, Ashley Madison and their users, Ebola victims, and American police. Next week, we look at those who had a great 2015 and look to ride that momentum in the New Year.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I did some tinkering with this recipe, but the end result was a decent drink. There’s a bunch of different flavours all competing for your attention, with the Amaretto probably winning the battle. A fun drink for New Year’s celebrations.

November 14 – False Alarm

Audial Dismay

Last week, we looked at the heavenly sounds that bring a smile to my face. This week, we’re not so lucky. This article might as well be called: “The Sounds that Keep the Sip Advisor Up at Night, Living in a Downtown Condo.” That’s simply too long, though, so here we go with the aptly titled “Bad Sounds”:

#5: Crying Babies/Kids

While this causes a natural instinct to kick in among mothers, it’s annoying as hell to everyone else in the general vicinity. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for the parents of a wailing youngster, as I know I will likely be in that position one day. That doesn’t stop the clamor from waking the Sip Advisor as he’s trying to catch a little shuteye on flights or enjoy the typically pleasant sounds of Disneyland. The worst is when a kid can turn it off and on, in an attempt to get attention.

cry boobs appear

#4: Trucks Backing Up

Beep, beep, BEEEEEEP… you get the point. Mrs. Sip and I live near a few businesses and I am often disturbed from my slumber by this increasingly annoying sound. I get the safety reason behind larger vehicles being able to warn people and other cars that they’re reversing, but why do these cautions have to be so loud, especially in the middle of the night in residential areas. Can’t you see a psychopathic driver setting his truck in reverse and then abandoning it, revelling in the misery of those within earshot!?

#3: Honking Horns

The Sip Advisor really hates people that are horn happy (almost called them horny, but I don’t discriminate there). The type of people that tap their horn whenever they are frustrated, regardless of if it’s justified or not. Yes, traffic might be backed up, but laying on your horn isn’t going to help matters. The worst is when I’m walking along, lost in thought and I’m startled by some idiot blaring his horn. Usually, when I looked around to see what the commotion is about, there’s no issue at all.

horn gun shots

#2: Alarm Clock

No matter how nice the file you choose on your phone or whether it’s your favourite song of all-time, when this noise wakes you up, you’re not very happy. It can actually make you turn sour on a song you used to enjoy, as I went through when Mrs. Sip used Californication by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for a couple years. Now she uses Coldplay’s Paradise, but I’m not sure I ever really liked that song in the first place. The only good alarm is waking up naturally, on your own schedule.

#1: Car Alarms

Worse than an alarm you’re expecting, is one you don’t, especially if it goes unclaimed, as it always does in the case of useless car alarms. With all the street parking downtown, Mrs. Sip and I are subjected to car alarms on a near regularly basis. Worst of all, is when the terrorizing sounds follow you while camping, of all places. You figure you’re getting away from all the disturbances of city life when you’re out in the wilderness, but that wasn’t the case recently for us. I exasperatedly looked at Mrs. Sip and said, “We just can’t get away from it!”

Super Saturday Shot Day: False Alarm

Some honourable mentions include dripping water, insects buzzing by your head, and emergency vehicle sirens, which narrowly misses making the list because of its necessity. Have I missed a sound that you find absolutely unnecessary and deplorable? Let me know!

Flavour Revolution – Hazelnut

Nutty Goodness

As we delve into some Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, I thought it would be a good time to discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of the nut world, or better put: the ones I love versus the ones I loathe!

Good:

Peanuts – I am a certified peanut fiend. I like most all types, with the exception being peanuts in shells and with their skins still on. I’m just not a fan of the fuss and mess that comes with them. I’m currently in the process of devising a masterful trail mix recipe, set to include honey roasted peanuts, Smarties, chocolate covered raisins, and cashews (more on them later).

elephant peanut

Almonds – These are best smothered in chocolate and not being sold by one of those groups that charges an arm and a leg for a small box. Charity be damned when I want my almond fix. Almonds also work on their own, roasted or salted. I also have massive respect for almonds for the flavouring they lend to Amaretto, one of my preferred nightcaps.

Macadamia Nuts – The Hawaiian treat, which everyone must bring back when vacationing on the islands, is a favourite of mine and Mrs. Sip. We are particularly fond of the Mauna Loa line, which includes varieties such as milk and dark chocolate, honey roasted, Maui onion and garlic, and coffee glaze. A couple companies have also devised Macadamia Nut liqueurs, which are very tasty.

Cashews – I absolutely love cashews, but they are so darn expensive that I only get them on very special occasions (ie. when other people serve them and I’m lucky enough to be on hand to help them with their abundant supply). Figuring everything was cheaper in southern Africa, during our recent travels, I grabbed a pack of cashews, without even looking at the price. When they were scanned at the checkout, my jaw dropped, but I’m not one to leave an item behind. They were delicious and got me through some long bus days.

cashews mixed nuts

Bad:

Pecans – I like pecans in Turtles chocolates, but little else. I think it’s because the other ingredients make up for this lackluster nut. There’s just something about the taste of pecans that I can’t wrap my head around. The texture is also an issue for the Sip Advisor.

Chestnuts – The roasted ones at Christmas smell so good, but it’s like eating warm paste, if you bother to buy a pack. My displeasure with chestnuts has even caused me to question my enjoyment of the yuletide classic The Christmas Song, which opens with the line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”…

roasted chestnuts

Walnuts – It’s amazing how odd these nuts look, inside their cases. They remind me of a turtle shell and don’t look very appetizing. I think I turned on walnuts when considering the work it takes to get one open, using a nutcracker (which, given its name, brings about many images of horror) and then having to clean up the mess that creates.

Corn Nuts – These are the jawbreakers of the nut world and while they come in many interesting flavours (some of which I’d like to see brought over to other nut and even potato chip options), I just don’t enjoy the munching experience that comes along with corn nuts.

Flavour Revolution: Mister Frangelico

  • Rim glass with Crushed Nuts
  • 1 oz Frangelico
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • Splash of Orgeat Syrup

There are also a few nuts that I just don’t have any opinion on one way or the other. These include hazelnuts (funny enough, given today’s liqueur choice), Pistachios, and Brazil Nuts. Have I missed anything?

September 26 – Capital Punishment

Special Scribes

As we continue to celebrate the gloriousness that is the Sip Advisor (with my recent birthday and all), today we will look at the greatest writers out there in the land of fiction. Write-on my brothers and sisters!

#5: Jack Torrance – The Shining

It seemed like a good idea for writer Jack Torrance to take a job as a caretaker, looking after the massive Overlook Hotel estate in the Colorado mountains over the winter off-season… especially when he could use the solitude to get down to work. Only problem is the silence and seclusion turned an already damaged man into a complete psychopath, set on hunting down his own wife and son. Remember, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”

jack torrance

#4: Brian Griffin – Family Guy

This often pretentious dog considers himself a future legendary scribe, except for the fact that for the longest time, he only talked about writing the great American novel, never sitting down to actually pen it. When he finally does, Faster Than the Speed of Love, is shredded by critics. His follow-up self-help title Wish It, Want It, Do It becomes a best seller, but the fame and fortune for Brian is fleeting, as he lets it all go to his head and alienates those that love him.

#3: Paul Sheldon – Misery

I would never expect my work to get me into trouble (unless I give a liquor company a bad review and they boycott serving me!), but that’s exactly what happens to Paul Sheldon, after he decides to end his popular series of romance novels. He just so happens to also be in the custody of his ‘number one fan’ Annie Wilkes, when this conclusion is published and that leads to a whirlwind of pain, instead of being nursed back to health by the former medical professional.

misery hammer

#2: Jessica Fletcher – Murder, She Wrote

It’s pretty easy to get ideas for your best-selling mystery novels when real-life murders seem to follow you around like you’re death personified. Jessica Fletcher may reside in the sleepy, rural town of Cabot Cove (where there’s an out-of-proportion murder rate), but thanks to her success as an author, she often travels the world and… you guessed it, comes across even more brutality. At least she’s always able to solve the crime, outwitting bumbling police officers everywhere.

#1: Dr. Watson – Sherlock Holmes

Along with being a sidekick and companion, Dr. John Watson also took it upon himself to record the extensive case files of Sherlock Holmes. As a fan of a good mystery, I wonder where we would be without the writings of Dr. Watson (who was originally to be named ‘Ormond Sacker’). Dr. Watson becomes a biographer of sorts for Holmes, largely because he can’t stand others taking and receiving credit for the solving of high-profile crimes.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Capital Punishment

  • Rim glass with Crushed Nuts
  • 0.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto

Some honourable mentions go to poets Mikey Blumberg (Recess) and Diane Chambers (Cheers), journalists Paul Hennessy (8 Simple Rules) and Ray Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond), crime novelist Richard Castle (Castle), columnist Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City), and TV writer Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke Show). May the words flow freely from your minds!

August 29 – After Work Special

Lame Labour

Admittedly, the Sip Advisor isn’t content with his current career. Apparently, I’m not alone, as there is a lot of literature out there about why people hate their occupation and what they should do about it. With Labour Day rapidly approaching, here are some other folks that really hated their job:

#5: Walter White – Breaking Bad

Before moving to a life of crime and meth production, Walter was a high school chemistry teacher. And it’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, but he had previously been on the cutting edge of the science world, before selling his share in an idea that would eventually become quite profitable. Walt is so underpaid as a teacher that he has to take a side job as a carwash cashier and when he’s diagnosed with cancer, he has to enter into the seedy world of drug manufacturing, in order to make enough cash to keep up his treatment.

making meth

#4: Peter Gibbons – Office Space

Out of all the entries on this list, I probably identify most with Peter, who is frustrated with his place in life and the lack of pleasure his mundane, dead end career brings him. His dealings with his boss are excruciating and he has no other option but to take all the crap. Flanked by his colleagues Michael and Samir, the trio try to take a small cut from each transaction coming through the company, only to have their program give them a much larger slice than they intended. At least they got to destroy the printer that was always breaking down.

#3: Jim Halpert – The Office

In a similar fashion to Peter from Office Space, Jim is young and talented, but stuck in a job that pays the bills, while not providing the satisfaction he’s really searching for. If it wasn’t for his attraction to receptionist Pam Beasley, he probably would have bolted years earlier. I gotta say, though, working closely with your girlfriend/wife and getting to see her at all hours is something I would love to do. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s cool with the Sip Advisor. In time, Jim figures things out and begins to pursue an interest in a start-up sports marketing company.

Jim Halpert Try

#2: Homer Simpson – The Simpsons

While Homer has tackled numerous jobs (boxer, sports mascot, snow plow driver, voice actor, etc.) during the show’s long run, the one he has to attend day in, day out, is one he does not enjoy. Homer was able to break free once from the Nuclear Power Plant, but with another baby on the way, was forced to return and grovel for his job back. A sign now sits in his sector, which states: “Don’t Forget: You’re Here Forever.” Homer changed the sign with photos to read “Do It For Her” in reference to daughter Maggie, the reason he had to return.

#1: Al Bundy – Married with Children

Nearly every episode of this iconic show featured woman’s shoe salesman, Al Bundy, returning from a day of work in which he didn’t get paid very well, but was verbally and sometimes physically abused by the clientele. “So a fat woman walks into the store today,” is usually how the tale began and ended with an epic struggle to fit a woman’s foot (or hoof as Al often called it) into a shoe that was too many sizes smaller than needed. So much for a guy who once had dreams of playing pro football… all until he was married with children!

Super Saturday Shot Day: After Work Special

  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with Coconut Shavings

For those out there that are working in what they love to do (or at least what they went to school for), I am absolutely jelly of you. Sadly, the Sip Advisor has to save his passions for outside of work… and I don’t even get paid for my efforts. One day, my rainbow will come though. I just have to keep my head held high and reach for the sky!

July 18 – Red Baron #2

Sordid Sequels

With the prevalence of movie sequels nowadays (the summer season being riddled with them), it’s amazing that some of these franchises never received a second treatment. Hell, we waited 20 years for a follow-up to Dumb & Dumber! Some supplemental films get stuck in development hell (for example, Jurassic World, which was finally released last month, 14 years after the last film), while others never get off the ground and running. Here are the Top 5 films we should have seen a sequel to:

#5: Quick Hits

I’m going to lead off this article with a few honourable mentions, with brief ideas I would have for the sequels. Snakes on a Plane – Why not ‘Snakes on a Train’!? Wedding Crashers – The twist for this movie is that the main characters from the original have their wedding crashed, by the next generation of comedic stars. Serenity – What’s left of the infamous space crew goes after Fox executives to teach them lessons on giving up too soon. Team America: World Police – Not gonna lie, I just want more puppets! If any film studios want to hire me, my agent will be happy to hammer out a contract!

Brokeback Mountain 2

#4: Zombieland

Mrs. Sip and I are big fans of the original movie, particularly the rules of surviving a zombie apocalypse that appeared throughout the film. Following the success of the first installment, all of the main cast members expressed interest in returning for a sequel, but nothing has come to fruition as of yet. There was an attempt to bring Zombieland to the small screen with both a CBS and later Amazon series, but the CBS run never materialized and an Amazon ordered pilot was not picked up. In October 2014, rumours of a movie sequel surfaced again, so there’s still a chance for the franchise.

#3: Roger Rabbit

A sequel to Roger Rabbit has been in development for years, following the success of the first movie, released all the way back in 1988. One of the biggest hurdles was original director Steven Spielberg having a change of heart, as the original script would have seen Roger’s origin story and saving Jessica Rabbit from being kidnapped by Nazis. After Spielberg made Schindler’s List, he decided he could no longer combine Nazis and comedy. In 2013, news surfaced of a Roger Rabbit-Mickey Mouse buddy comedy, but no updates have come from the original reports.

Toy Story 9

#2: Beetlejuice

There have been numerous attempts to bring a second Beetlejuice movie to the big screen after the quirky 1988 film was both a critical and commercial success. Scripts have been written that included Beetlejuice moving his operations to Hawaii, where he was to battle an ancient Hawaiian Kahuna and win surf competitions… seriously, this was in the script. As recently as January 2015, news broke that a script had been finished and that director Tim Burton, along with stars Michael Keaton and Wynona Ryder would participate.

#1: Ghostbusters

With a third installment of the popular Ghostbusters franchise due in theatres in 2016, it will have been a long time between releases, with Ghostbusters 2 hitting big screens all the way back in 1989. Since then, fans have held their breath, waiting for a follow-up. Interestingly, the third film will star a cast of female Ghostbusters, including Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. Will that work out for the devoted supporters that have longed for just one more run of the Ecto 1? Time will only tell, but I’m willing to give it a chance.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Red Baron #2

  • 0.75 oz Crown Royal
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Cranberries

There’s a great scene at the end of 22 Jump Street that suggests the franchise could make numerous sequels in the future; everything from Medical School to Culinary School. There are some films, however, that as much as I’d love to see more of the story or characters, are better as one-offs. This list would include Inception, The Sixth Sense, and Fight Club… you know, movies with cliffhanger endings or big twists that just couldn’t be replicated.

January 31 – Hotel California

California Screamin’

Mrs. Sip and I are frequent visitors to California and I try to blast some California-set tunes every time we are approaching our destination. Let’s take a look at the Sip Advisor’s California playlist!

#5: Going to California – Led Zeppelin

I doubt Led Zeppelin wrote this song about the Sip Advisor, but the lyrics “Going to California with an aching in my heart” kind of told my story. I was once a naïve teen on my way to California with the opportunity to meet a pretty little lady. That lady ended up being the future Mrs. Sip, who I first met in Disneyland all the way back in 2002. “Someone told me there’s a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair”… Mrs. Sip lacked both those things when we met, but I won her over!

#4: Californication/Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers

You knew at some point that the Red Hot Chili Peppers would appear on this list. The band has a long history of being influenced by California. Sadly, Mrs. Sip has made Californication her alarm music and therefore I have grown to have great disdain for the song I once thoroughly enjoyed. Coincidentally, Mrs. Sip and I actually met a girl named Dani in California… except she’s originally from Colorado and Dani’s just a shortened version of her middle name… I think it still counts!

#3: California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas

Given where the Sip Advisor and Mrs. Sip live (Vancouver, Canada), this song can really speak to us at times. You know, with all the leaves being brown and the sky turned gray and all. At that point, we’re desperate for the warmth and sunshine that California offers, leaving behind the “Wet Coast!” The Mamas and the Papas’ hit has been covered by so many artists, including high profile acts America, The Beach Boys, and R.E.M. Even Alvin and the Chipmunks have copied the song.

#2: Hotel California – The Eagles

“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave…” If that was true about California, I’d be quite happy. This begs the question: Where exactly is the Hotel California? Well, some have said it’s an inn located in San Francisco that was turned into a Church of Satan, while others believe it to be a mental hospital. While the original song is amazing, I absolutely love the flamenco-inspired acoustic adaptation that was first played live during The Eagles 1994 Hell Freezes Over reunion tour.

#1: California Love – 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre

This is a true California anthem, mentioning numerous areas of the state. San Diego, the Bay Area (San Francisco and Oakland), Long Beach, Sacramento, Pasadena, Inglewood, Hollywood, Los Angeles, and Compton all get shout outs. Speaking of Compton, on one shuttle from LAX to Anaheim (where Mrs. Sip and I typically wind up on visits to California) we went through the notorious city to drop off a fellow passenger. Sadly, I was too afraid to play this song, for fear of getting a cap in my ass!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Hotel California

Hotel California Shot

Narrowly missing the cut for this list was California Girls by The Beach Boys. While babes from Cali are fun, they don’t necessarily have to be from there to get the Sip Advisor going. Now, I’m no music expert, but I’d venture a guess that California is the most sung about state in the U.S., with perhaps New York challenging that prediction. One song that definitely sucks is the theme to California Dreams… I hated that Saved by the Bell rip-off so very, very much!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is actually a cocktail recipe, but I thought it sounded neat, wanted to give it a try, and thought it went good with the theme of this post. You got a problem with that!? The recipe calls for 0.5 oz of Blue Curacao, but I took the opportunity to use my Bols Blue Curacao Foam again and I think the visual results speak for themselves. All the flavours here are light and tasty, so it all came together pretty well.

Hungary – My Cherry Baby

Cube Compulsion

The Sip Advisor gets easily frustrated by toys like the Rubik’s Cube. I suppose there are some things my massive intellect just can’t solve… and I’m at peace with that fact. Let’s take a closer look at this popular toy, invented by Hungarian Erno Rubik:

The Rubik’s Cube (originally called the Magic Cube, before it was released worldwide in 1980) was created in 1974, as a way for Rubik to help explain three-dimensional geometry. At the time, Rubik was only 29 years old, but was already a sculptor and architecture professor. When Rubik’s had created his cube, it took him a month to solve for the first time. Later, Rubik could solve his own puzzle in under a minute, which he showed off at trade shows.

Rubiks Cube Solved

More than 350 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold around the world and thanks to these sales, it is the best-selling toy of all-time. After its international release, it won Toy of the Year honours in 1980 and again in 1981. The popularity of the toy bred the first annual International Rubik’s Championships in 1982, which was won by Minh Thai of the U.S. with a time of 22.95 seconds. A World Cube Association was created in 2004 to govern international competitions and chart world records.

The Rubik’s Cube can be solved in 20 moves or less, regardless of how it’s mixed up. This has created an entire sub-genre of speed cubers. These folks can solve the Rubik’s puzzle in under six seconds. All this, despite the fact that the toy has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 (into the quintillions) possible patterns. A guide to solving the Rubik’s Cube was created by a 12-year-old, Patrick Bossert of England, in 1981 and went on to become a best-seller, with 1.5 million copies sold.

The world record for fastest completion to the Rubik’s Cube is held by Mats Valk of the Netherlands. He solved the puzzle in 5.55 seconds, beating the previous best time of 5.66 seconds. A smartphone-powered Lego robot, known by the name CubeStormer 3, solved a Rubik’s Cube in 3.253 seconds, blowing away all the competition. These are the robots who will one day take over the world, pissed that they were made to endlessly solve puzzles.

Rubiks Cube Hard

Within the world of speed cubing, there are those not happy to simply solve the puzzle quickly. Some competitors take things to whole new levels of insanity, like one guy who did one-handed push-ups, while only taking 25 seconds to complete the challenge. Another fella solved the Rubik’s Cube in 23.80 seconds… while blindfolded! Perhaps most intimidating is the three-year-old Chinese toddler who was done with the toy in under two minutes.

You just knew a toy like this would have entries in the smallest, largest, and most expensive categories. The smallest is 1omm wide and was designed by Evgeniy Grigoriev of Russia. The largest can be found in Knoxville, Tennessee and measures three metres tall, weighing in at over 500kg. As for most expensive, it was created by Diamond Cutters International in 1995. Dubbed the ‘Masterpiece Cube,’ it features amethyst, rubies, and emeralds, all set in gold and valued at $1.5 million.

If you simply can’t put the device down, you may be a Cubaholic (and that doesn’t mean you like taking frequent trips to Cuba or chain-smoking fine cigars). A documentary, titled Cubers, was released in 2008 and followed the lives of some of those afflicted with the compulsion as well as those competing for the title of World Rubik’s Cube Champion.

Rubiks Cube Bra

The Rubik’s Cube has been featured in numerous areas of popular culture, including: movies, TV shows, comics, music videos, songs, art, and museum exhibits. Seeking to take advantage of the toy’s popularity, a Saturday morning cartoon debuted in 1983, called ‘Rubik, The Amazing Cube’ and featured a sentient Rubik’s Cube, who could come to the aid of a Hispanic family. It only lasted one season and 18 episodes and starred Ron Palillo (aka Arnold Horshack) as the titular toy.

On the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, earlier this year, the toy was featured as part of the daily Google Doodle, as a playable interactive puzzle. It’s only fitting to end this piece with some words from the inventor himself: “If you are curious, you’ll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them.”

Hungary: My Cherry Baby

My Cherry Baby Cocktail

  • Muddle Cherries
  • 0.75 oz Palinka (Cherry)
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Top with Champagne
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Thanks to working on this article, I’m adding “Solve a Rubik’s Cube” to my lifetime bucket list and it may eventually be what does me in (despite the current odds favourite in Vegas being alcohol-induced bungee accident), but I will achieve this feat!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was just too sweet… and not in the New World Order wrestling way. The flavours were nice, but some changes need to be made to the recipe to make it a little more likable and evened out.