Mixer Mania #14 – Apple Jacks

There are so many idioms that involve apples. No other fruit is used so frequently to convey completely unrelated ideas

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

I’d imagine this phrase was invented by the apple farmer’s industry, looking to boost sales and profit off of people’s anxiety.

Comparing apples and oranges

Have you ever seen an orange apple? For that matter, have you ever seen an orange that is anything but orange (provided it hasn’t gone rotten or moldy)?

Apples to Oranges

The apple of my eye

This is certainly how Mrs. Sip views me, as someone she cherishes above everyone else. Wishful thinking, perhaps!?

The Big Apple

Of all folks, it was a sports writer who first gave New York the nickname the Big Apple, when referring to the horse racing scene and all the money available from it in the city.

Good and bad apples/Rotten apple

I’d like to think that I’m a good apple among many bad/rotten apples in this world, but maybe there’s a little bruising on the ol’ Sip Advisor, too.

How do you like them apples?

Did you know that this expression has an abbreviation (HDYLTA), which is pronounced ‘huduyuluta’? I wish I could say that I made that up for this article. Anyhoo, the rhetorical phrase may come from the British use of ‘Toffee Apple’ trench mortars in World War I.

How Do You Like Them Apples

The apple never falls far from the tree

While using fruit to compare fathers/sons or mothers/daughters seems apropos, when you pick up said apple and throw it far away from the tree, that’s when you get estranged fruit/family.

As American as apple pie

Not to offend any of my American readers, but I always thought of the US as a state fair deep-fried dessert kind of country. Us Canadians call dibs on the majestic donut, though.

It takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch/barrel/bushel

Regardless of how the song goes, it’s been scientifically proven that one bad apple does in fact spoil a whole group of the fruit.

Upset the apple cart

Just like this site has been attempting to do since its launch, we aim to disturb the status quo and change the cocktail world… for the better, of course.

Mixer Mania #14: Dirty Apple

Dirty Apple

  • 1.5 oz Kahlua
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Splash of Milk
  • Garnish with an Apple Slice

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.25 Sips out of 5):
I made this cocktail even dirtier, going with my Chili Chocolate version of Kahlua for an added touch of spice. I also subbed in Apple Lime Juice, which has been a trusted mixer for the Sip Advisor for years. The drink turned out pretty well.

Flavour Revolution – Marula

Animal Crackers

Mrs. Sip and I recently returned from a month-long journey to southern Africa and were completely enamoured with the animals the continent is famous for. We also have a fondness for Amarula Cream, a liqueur from South Africa that takes Bailey’s and other Irish crème’s to task. Today, we enjoy Amarula Gold (the Cream’s golden cousin), while looking at the greatest pop culture examples of the creatures we enjoyed during our travels:

Lions:

One of the most famous lions is known simply for his iconic roar, seen at the start of MGM movies. Leo is still introducing viewers to films to this day. The lion has also been adopted as the logo for two different football teams, the Detroit Lions (NFL) and my hometown BC Lions (CFL). That’s interesting because while lions are fierce hunters, they’re also incredibly lazy. In the media world, there are notable lions in Simba, Mufasa, and Scar from The Lion King, as well as Aslan (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) and the Cowardly Lion (The Wizard of Oz).

lion lesson

Buffalos:

There aren’t really any fictional buffalos to choose from, but there is the city of Buffalo, New York, which is home to such teams as the Sabres (NHL), and Bills (NFL). There’s also the Order of the Water Buffalo, with such dignified members as Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. Lastly, one can also include Buffalo Bill, the deranged serial killer from Silence of the Lambs… on second thought, maybe he should be left off the list.

Rhinos:

The horned beasts seem to be the perfect animal for animated antagonists. This can be seen with one of Spiderman’s greatest foes, Rhino, as well as Rocksteady from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If we are to use the characters as examples of how rhinos are viewed by animators, then they’re certainly not the brightest individuals. Lastly, pro wrestler Terry Gerin, adopted the name Rhino (later changed to Rhyno, because actual rhinos love suing over intellectual property rights!), when he debuted with Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1999. Sadly, rhinos are rapidly decreasing in population, with poachers seeking their valuable horns, to be used for sexual potency.

Elephants:

Like lions, elephants have factored into a lot of media. One of Disney’s most cherished characters is that of Dumbo, the flying elephant. There’s also Babar; Dr. Seuss’s Horton (who heard a Who); Bart Simpson’s brief pet, Stampy; and Big Bird’s imaginary friend Snuffleupagus. Another fan favourite is Elephant Ears donuts, because there’s never a bad donut and these cinnamon-sugar sprinkled gems are no exception.

elephant-dancing-snufflin

Leopards:

Famous leopards are about as rare as spotting the cat in the wild. The leopard is the only major African animal that we didn’t see on our recent vacation and our guide told us in all his years of taking tourists through Africa, he’s only seen a handful, himself. The only notable leopard that came to mind was Bagheera from The Jungle Book. His protective ways ensured young Mowgli’s survival in the wild.

Giraffes:

Youngsters today may not know about Geoffrey, the Toys R’ Us mascot, but he played a huge role in my childhood. He made many of the children from my generation want to be a Toys R’ Us kid! Originally named Dr. G. Raffe, the spokesanimal has been with the company since 1957.

Hippos:

The board game Hungry Hungry Hippos painted a lighter image on these dangerous beasts, who are known to charge at the boats of tourists for no other reason than because they feel like it. Despite their antagonistic nature, there is still the classic Christmas song “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. Perhaps the little girl making the request just didn’t know any better.

hungry-hippos-game

Crocodiles:

Perhaps the most famous crocodile is Tick-Tock, the tormentor of Capt. James Hook and the beast that took the pirate’s hand. Crocodiles are often depicted as bad guys. This includes Killer Croc, a frequent nemesis of Batman; King K. Rool, the thorn in the side of Donkey Kong and his extended family; and the Fraternity of Crocodiles, from the comic Pearls Before Swine, who are often in pursuit of zebras (or zeebas as the frat calls them), despite their minimal intelligence.

Quick Hits:

Zebras: Fruit Stripe Zebra – Given the gum’s appearance, it was natural that Fruit Stripe would adopt a Zebra as its mascot

Cheetahs: I’ve enjoyed the recent Cheetos commercials starring Chester Cheetah, as he helps snackers get their share of the cheese-flavoured grub

Meerkats: In the real world, there was the popular Meerkat Manor nature series… in animation, we of course had Timon from The Lion King

Warthog: Speaking of Timon, you can’t forget his buddy Pumbaa… and just like the previously mentioned Rocksteady took after a rhino, his thug pal Bebop was mutated from a warthog

Hyenas: One last time we go back to The Lion King, with this pack of cackling baddies: Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed

Flavour Revolution: Golden Apple

  • 1.5 oz Amarula Gold
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Splash of Sour Apple Mixer
  • Garnish with an Apple Slice

Many of these animals comprise the Big 5 (lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos), placed in that group because of their difficulty in hunting. There are also a Small 5 (elephant shrew, buffalo weaver, leopard tortoise, ant lion, rhino beetle), based on miniature versions of the Big 5, as well as an Ugly 5 (warthog, hyena, marabou stork, vulture, and wildebeest), which is kind of self-explanatory.

Flavour Revolution – Pear

Shapely Figures

The term “gone pear-shaped” often refers to plans that have gone awry. This can include anything from an elaborate bank robbery to the simplest of tasks. Many theories exist as to why the pear was chosen, including the shape of deflated balloons, the distending of a failed gun barrel blast, the errors in forming pottery or blown glass, and even the construction of excrement. Here are some other popular metaphors using food and drink:

Carrot and Stick

Rewards and punishment… this is a theory the Sip Advisor can really get behind. There’s also the similar carrot on a stick idiom, but this lacks the fear of any punishment, so what’s the point of that! This term has even led to a portmanteau: throffer – threat + offer. The carrot and stick idea is best exemplified with acts of extortion, where protection is offered for a price, with harm being the only alternative.

carrot and stick

Apple of My Eye

If there is something or someone you treasure above all else, then that item is the “apple of your eye”. For me, this would probably include Mrs. Sip, my family, my wonderful liquor collection, my blog, and television. Are you allowed to have more than one “apple of your eye”? Is a bushel of apples okay? I’m just going to go ahead and approve that theory right here!

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade

I recently wrote an entire article based on this theory and I largely believe that you have to make the best of what you are given. It’s not the easiest thing to do and sometimes it takes some time to settle for what you have, but you’ll be happier if you make peace with your lemons. At this point of my life, I turn most lemons into cocktails, so I’m a very happy man!

Having Your Cake and Eating it Too

This term can basically be described as not being able to possess something and consume it as well. Once it’s been used or eaten, it’s gone. Again, this is something I can associate with my booze assortment, which is awesome to show off, but you always want to drink it too. When a bottle is gone, it’s a sad day, but I always reflect on all the awesome concoctions it went into.

having cake and eating it too

Chew the Fat

Making small talk can often be excruciating… especially if you have to come up with things to discuss with those you’d rather not be around. There was once an e-mail hoax that attempted to explain this phrase, describing that long ago in the past, people would bring out bacon when company came over, thus showing off their wealth. This bacon and its fat grew this false explanation.

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Growing up, I was a Kool-Aid kid, but I’d like to think I’ve never fallen for any of the bullshit that this figure of speech is usually applied to. The term was first used following the Jonestown Massacre, when more than 900 of Jim Jones’ followers blindly drank a cyanide-laced beverage, committing mass suicide. Ironically, the drink used was actually Flavor Aid, not Kool-Aid.

Heinz 57

Based off of an early Heinz company slogan, which advertised 57 varieties of products, it was eventually attributed to anything that contained a large number of parts. The idiom became so popular, it was used as the price point ($57 million) the Heinz company paid to the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers for the naming rights to Heinz field. I bet they wish the motto had been Heinz 4, or something like that.

Flavour Revolution: A Lovely Pear

  • 1.5 oz Pear Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • Splash of Grape Juice
  • Splash of  Lime Juice
  • Splash of Apple Juice
  • Dash of Apothecary Smokey Pear Bitters
  • Garnish with a Pear Slice

The pear is also a symbol of immortality to Chinese. How such a bland fruit gained this great association is beyond the Sip Advisor. The Chinese also thought sharing a pear was bad luck as it signifies the separation of friends or lovers. Thankfully, Mrs. Sip and I won’t be sharing pears anytime soon!

Flavour Revolution – Donut

Pastry Perfection

Donuts are a pretty big deal around the world, but I’m personally curious as to how some of the globe’s biggest chains got their start in the industry. If you are too, you’re in luck. Here are some of those tales!

Tim Hortons

This Canadian classic was started by professional hockey star Tim Horton in 1964. Does it get any more Canadian than combining hockey and donuts!? When Horton passed away in 1974, his business partner Ron Joyce bought out the Horton family’s remaining shares of the company for only $1 million. On the plus side, one of Horton’s daughters married one of Joyce’s sons, bringing the Horton family back into the fold (and company fortune!). With Joyce at the helm, the chain slowly spread across the country and eventually outnumbered McDonald’s locations. Now owned by Burger King, Tim Horton’s franchises can be found throughout the United States, parts of the U.K. and even in the Middle East. As of 2015, Joyce has a net worth of $1.2 billion.

Canadian Crime Scene

Krispy Kreme

One of the oldest donut chains (establish all the way back in 1937) in existence, Krispy Kreme started out as a uncle and nephew operation, first in Paducah, Kentucky and next in Nashville, Tennessee. The franchise even had delivery trucks at one point and hopefully they dropped by right after the daily milk drop off! When Krispy Kreme first came to Canada, line-ups stretched for hours, just to get a bite of the tasty treat. While folks are mostly familiar with the company’s glazed donuts, they also offer a number of other varieties… but everyone knows what brought Krispy Kreme to the dance. Aside from the Great White North, Krispy Kreme has also made its way to countries like Mexico, Australia, India, Colombia, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, China, Japan, and so many more.

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut is one of the most unique pastry companies around, with their array of interesting offerings, including the Captain My Captain (with Captain Crunch cereal bits), the Marshall Mathers (with M&M minis), and the Old Dirty Bastard (with Oreo cookies and peanut butter). We’ve now stayed twice at a hotel across the street from Voodoo’s downtown Portland location and have been mesmerized by the constant line that forms in front of the store. Their donut creations are on the edgier side of the ledger, with a couple selections even being banned because they included medication as toppings. The chain currently has four locations, with the first opening in 2003. Although they are relatively young, they have grown in fame quite rapidly.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Established in 1948 as Open Kettle and later Kettle Donuts, founder William Rosenberg finally settled on Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950. His concept came from the success he saw in selling food and drinks at factories and construction sites. Like many other donut enterprises, coffee sales also make up a huge portion of Dunkin’ Donuts popularity and success, despite coffee’s grossness.  I can’t recall ever going to a Dunkin’ Donuts throughout my travels around the world, but it is on my ever-growing “To Do” list. Today, you can find Dunkin’ Donuts in 30 different countries (outside the U.S.), which will help in me crossing a visit off my bucket list. One thing that gives me pause, though, is the website DunkinDonuts.org, which allowed customers to complain about the company… before they bought and shut the site down.

steal-a-donut-truck

BeaverTails

Returning north of the border, BeaverTails are flattened donuts topped with a variety of garnishes, such as Nutella, cookies, chocolate, fruit, cinnamon sugar, whip cream, and much more. They are meant to salute one of Canada’s most treasured animals, the noble beaver (I’ll allow you little sippers to make your own dirty jokes here). The first BeaverTails location opened in 1978, in Killaloe, Ontario of all places. The chain can now be found in other parts of Canada, the U.S., South Korea, and Japan. The company enjoyed international attention when U.S. President Barack Obama made it a point to stop at the chain when visiting the Canadian capital. They even created an Obama Tail for the occasion, comprised of cinnamon sugar, maple-flavoured eyes, and a Nutella ‘O’.

Donut King

Adding some international flair, this franchise, founded in 1981, is based in Australia and has hundreds of outlets across the country. With the Australian market conquered, the Donut King chain has grown into China, which doesn’t seem like the most natural of expansion choices, but I’m not the one who has to explain decisions to shareholders. In 2007, Donut King took part in constructing the world’s largest donut, to celebrate the release of The Simpson Movie on DVD. The project combined 90,000 regular size pastries, a half tonne of pink frosting, and 30kg of sprinkles. The end result weighed 3.5 tonnes and stretched six meters. The effort took 40 people working for nine hours. I only wonder who got to eat the treat at the end of the project!

Flavour Revolution: Apple Fritter Martini

Apple Fritter Martini

  • 1.5 oz Glazed Donut Liqueur
  • 1 oz Apple-Cinnamon Vodka
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Dash of Maple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Donut

There are some other popular chains around the world, such as Churromania in Venezuela, Go Nuts Donuts in the Phillippines, and Mister Donut in Japan, but they had never come into my consciousness before researching this piece. Still, you have to give credit to all those making doughy snacks across the globe!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
While this recipe doesn’t call for it, I added a dash of Mrs. Sip’s recently-purchased Apple-Cinnamon Vodka and it was a really nice touch. All the other ingredients came together nicely and although I was worried the martini would be too sweet, it wasn’t. All in all, it was quite delicious and a crowd pleaser!

Bolivia – Manzana Smash

Drive with Destiny

North Yungas Road in Bolivia has been given the menacing title of ‘World’s Most Dangerous Road.’ The stretch of 60-plus kilometer highway, connecting the capital city of La Paz to Bolivia’s Amazon Rainforest, is estimated to kill between 200-300 travelers each year. Now, the Sip Advisor likes his occasional doses of danger, but this seems a little too treacherous. Buckle up tightly, cause here we go!

Bolivians refer to the road as El Camino de la Muerte, which translated means ‘Road of Death’. It has also acquired monikers like Grove’s Road, Coroico Road, Camino de las Yungas, Death Road, or Road of Fate (the name which I prefer the most). While a couple of those don’t sound so bad, the last two are particularly worrisome. Interestingly, the road was built in the 1930’s by Paraguayan prisoners, during the Chaco War. I wonder how many died during construction of the hazardous route.

Old-Yungas-Road-Bolivia

I know what you’re thinking: if the road is so dangerous, why would anyone in their right mind ever take it. Well, it is one of the only routes that will get you into the Amazon Rainforest. Personally, I think I’ll take my rainforest in the Rainforest Café style, where I can have a nice wrap, fries, and beverage in a collectible cup instead! There is also a South Yungas Road, connecting La Paz to the town of Chulumani, that is said to be just as dangerous and the northern route.

After leaving La Paz, drivers will ascend 15,000-feet, followed by a 4,000-feet descent into the town of Coroico. The road is often only one lane wide and if you expect to see many guardrails, best of luck to you. That’s one “I spy with my little eye” game that will not yield results. The road is marked with crosses in many spots where vehicles have gone off the pavement and fallen off the cliffs, so that might be a better “I spy” item. If you do go off the road, you’re looking at a potential 600-meter fall.

As if things weren’t challenging enough already, during Bolivia’s rainy season, from November to March, rain and fog can severely obstruct visibility, as well as affect the road, turning it into a muddy mess and causing loss of traction. Falling rocks and dust from other vehicles can also be issues drivers have to deal with. Lastly (perhaps literally), if you get too close to the edge, the roadway may slip out from under you.

Yungas Road Traffic

Rules of the road include the downhill driver giving the right of way to the uphill drive, to ensure the faster moving downhill vehicles slow down when coming upon a car going in the other direction and driver’s having to be on the left side of the road (a contrast to the rest of the country), so they can view their outside wheels and position against the cliff when making passes.

In 2006, a project to update the highway was completed. Added features included widening sections of the road to accommodate two lanes, updated paving, new bridges, drainage, and even an entirely original section between the towns of Chusquipata and Yolosa, bypassing one of the worst portions of the old road. The work took 20 years to complete and yes, they finally added some damn guardrails!

Yungas Road Crosses

While North Yungas Road has become a death trap to many motorists, thrill-seeking mountain bikers have come to love the route, which includes a massive downhill portion of about 64 kilometers. There’s even tour groups operating to suit the needs of daredevil cyclists. Since 1998, 18 cyclists (and perhaps more) have not survived the Road of Death. It has also become a popular destination for those who want to try their hand (ahem, luck) at the treacherous route.

North Yungas Road has been featured in TV shows such as Top Gear, Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads, and World’s Most Dangerous Roads, as well as a Mitsubishi Outlander commercial – the first to ever be filmed on the death trap. We’ll depart (bad choice of word) with this chilling fact: the single worst accident to occur happened in 1983 when a bus left the road, rolling down into a canyon below and killing over 100 passengers.

Bolivia: Manzana Smash

Manzana Smash Cocktail

  • Muddle Lime and Apple Wedges
  • 1.5 oz Agwa
  • Splash of Apple Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Apple Wedge

While they weren’t killed by El Camino de la Muerte, this seems like as perfect a time as any to reveal that legendary outlaw duo of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid died in Bolivia, following a long shootout with Bolivian soldiers. It’s believed one of the bandits shot the other to put him out of his misery after a fatal wound and then turned the gun on himself.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
There’s a bunch of really good recipes (particularly shots) at the Agwa site and I only wish I had more than two mini bottles of the liquor to try them all. The best part about this cocktail is how nice the Apple and Lime mixes. No wonder there’s an Apple-Lime Juice, which has become one of my favourite non-soda mixers!

Norway – Kitten Cuddler

Raid and Pillage

The Vikings have a badass reputation and frankly, it’s well deserved. Many of these figures, hailing from Scandinavia and particularly Norway, have rap sheets that would make a writer for Game of Thrones light up, as it opens new doors to wrath and associated violence. Let’s take a look at the exploits of some of the greatest Vikings:

Erik the Red

Erik the Red’s early life was built around repeatedly being exiled after committing murder. Therefore, he created his own Viking colony on what is now Greenland, which he also discovered. There, Erik the Red was free to do whatever he wanted. Although bloodshed is largely associated with Erik, his nickname ‘The Red’ more likely referred to his hair and beard. He was father to other Viking notables, explorer Leif Eriksson and warrior princess (not Xena) Freydis Eriksdottir.

Vikings-Give Up

Ragnar Lodbrok

In order to prove he was a badass to a princess, Lodbrok demolished a horde of invading poisonous snakes. Karma caught up to him eventually, though, as he was executed by being thrown into a pit of serpents. Although Lodbrok’s actual existence has been questioned, he was said to be father to other legendary Vikings, including Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, and Ivar Ragnarsson.

Ivar Ragnarsson

Speaking of the devil, Ivar was a ruthless warrior who used captured kings as playthings, expending them for target practice and other horrific executions. Ivar’s nickname, ‘The Boneless,’ was thought to refer to anything from an ailment causing his bones to break easily, to being impotent, to being incredibly flexible. Regardless, Ivar ruled parts of what is now Denmark and Sweden, as well as Dublin.

Leif Eriksson

Eriksson is most notable for discovering North America (500 years before Christopher Columbus), although the finding was likely accidental. He had meant to return to Norway, but his ship was blown off course towards modern day Canada. Eriksson was more of an explorer and not a Viking in the classic raid and pillage sense. He was said to be quite intelligent, while also possessing the strong frame of a typical Viking. The U.S. even celebrates Leif Eriksson Day every October 9th!

Vikings Pillaged

Eric Haraldsson

Eric had a thirst for blood and power, even killing his own brothers to become King of Norway. This earned him the moniker, Eric Bloodaxe. His reign over the Norwegian kingdom was short-lived, however, as one remaining broski returned and overthrew Eric, who had angered many of the nobility with his ruling tactics. Eric turned his attention to Northumbria and became king there, before dying in battle.

Sweyn Forkbeard

Forkbeard first came to prominence by going to war with his own father and emerging as the King of Denmark, upon being victorious. Following that, it seemed he held a major grudge against England, attacking them repeatedly over the rest of his life and even ruling the realm for a time. His anger towards England was thought to be based on his sister dying during the kingdom’s massacre of Danish citizens. Forkbeard also invaded Norway and divided up the country with his allies.

Vikings Fight

Harald Hardrada

While exiled from Norway, Hardrada became leader of the Byzantine emperor’s Varangian Guard. When he returned to Norway, he fought to become king. Hardrada means “Hard Ruler,” a name he received for his constant wars and harsh reign. Hardrada believed he had a claim to the throne of England, upon the death of that king, and died in battle, after being shot in the throat with an arrow, trying to make good on his perceived right.

Egil Skallagrimsson

Skallagrimsson was both a warrior and a poet, covering every aspect that makes a lady swoon (not to mention the namesake of an Icelandic brewery!). He is said to have written his first works at the young age of three, but also killed for the first time at seven years old. When the Norwegian king grew tired of Skallagrimsson’s exploits, he was exiled and began his years of terror, amassing a fortune and high kill count. He even murdered the slave who helped him bury his treasure.

Norway: Kitten Cuddler

Kitten Cuddler Cocktail

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Crème de Bananes
  • 0.5 oz Cloudberry Liqueur
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Splash of Apple Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

I wonder what my Viking nickname would have been. I’m thinking Word Whisperer sounds alright, but I’d hope my contemporaries would incorporate my legendary boozing into the moniker and call me something like Liquor Leviathan!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
Cloudberry Liqueur is made from berries found in Norway. This is quite the complex recipe, but it is totally worth the intricate construction. I think the cocktail name is quite funny in contrast to the article it’s combined with… kitten cuddlers and raiding and pillaging Vikings don’t really go hand-in-hand. I topped this cocktail with my Bols Banana Liqueur foam and it was a perfect touch to the drink.

Poland – Warsaw Cooler

Da Freakin’ Pope

Poland has a ton of famous folks to offer as fodder for this Around the World project. Sure, the country can lay claim to dignitaries such as director Roman Polanski, astronomer Nicholas Copernicus, scientist Marie Curie, and musician Frederic Chopin, but the man born Karol Józef Wojtyła in Wadowice, Poland tops them all. That’s because he’s better known as Pope John Paul II… which, I’m led to believe is a pretty big deal. From this point forward, as we learn about the Pontiff, I will refer to his as JP2, his rapping name:

Despite considering a career in theatre as a young man, JP2 became an ordained priest in 1946. 32 years later, at the age of 58, he ascended to the position of Pope, becoming the first Polish Pope ever, as well as the first non-Italian Holy Father since 1522. In between all that, he was appointed Archbishop of Krakow and made a Cardinal (and here I never knew he played baseball (St. Louis) or football (Arizona)).

pope ready to rock

JP2’s reign as Pope lasted more than 26 years, ranking him second all-time for longest tenure as the head of the church. He certainly lasted longer than John Paul I (aka ‘the smiling pope’), who died one month after being appointed. At 58 years old when elected, Wojtyla became one of the youngest Popes in history.

When JP2 made his first trip back to Poland, after becoming the Pope, in 1979, 300,000 people came out to see their famous countryman. At one point during his visit, the crowd applauded for 14 minutes straight. I’m lucky to generate my own slow-clap whenever I serve a drink and nobody seems willing to join in with the ovation.

JP2 was an avid writer and averaged 3,000 penned pages per year during his years at the very top of the church. Combined, his works would equal 20 bibles in length. JP2 can also speak eight different languages. As you little sippers have seen over the years, I struggle with one language and it’s my native tongue! Another random tidbit: JP2 created World Youth Day in 1986 and it has since been celebrated around the world. As someone who is no longer a youth, it kind of sucks to be excluded from this party.

Pope with Bush

In 1981, JP2 was shot in the stomach, right arm and left hand by Mehmet Ali Agca (from Turkey), as his procession entered St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City. Doctors needed over five hours of surgery to repair damaged done by the attack and the Pope remained in hospital recovering for two and a half months. The assassination attempt occurred on the feast day for Our Lady of Fatima and after he survived, JP2 placed one of the bullets used in his attempted murder in the crown of the Lady of Fatima statue. Shortly after being released from the hospital, the Pope decided to meet with his attacker, although their discussion was kept confidential.

The Popemobile already existed before this attack in various forms, but following the assassination attempt, the vehicle was outfitted with bulletproof glass. Oddly, the site of the murder plot, St. Peter’s Square, often hosts events where the Pope’s vehicle is open air.

popemobile

In 1994, JP2 was named Time Magazine’s ‘Man of the Year.’ This is an honour I’m still holding my breath for, although I’m starting to feel a little light-headed. Of the Pontiff, Time wrote: “His power rests in the word, not the sword… He is an army of one, and his empire is both as ethereal and as ubiquitous as the soul.”

Pope John Paul’s career was filled with apologies to groups harmed by the Catholic Church. In total, he delivered more than 100 public admissions of guilt involving subjects including the African slave trade, Protestant Reformation and burning people at the stake, crimes against women and women’s rights, inactivity during the Holocaust, and, of course, Catholic sex abuse victims. The only time I ever apologize is when I don’t have time to scarf some potato chips and I leave my potato bros hanging.

Making Mrs. Sip furiously jealous, JP2 travelled more than any other Pope in the history of Popedom. If you added up all the miles (775,000) he traversed over his career, you would have been able to travel to the moon and back three times. He appeared in 129 countries and was even the first Pope to enter a mosque.

Pope Computer

A fan of sport and the outdoors all his life, JP2 didn’t give up skiing until he was 73 years old. Can you imagine a dude roaring down the mountain dressed in all white and with that extravagant hat on his head!? Better yet, do you think they converted any of the chairlifts into a bulletproof, Popemobile style transporter!?

JP2 passed away on April 2, 2005 from heart failure, cardio-circulatory collapse, and septic shock. He had also waged a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and was 84 at the time of his death.

Poland: Warsaw Cooler

Warsaw Cooler Cocktail

  • 1 oz Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Spiced Rum
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Drips of Honey
  • Garnish with an Apple Slice

Pope John Paul II sure led a controversial life, but he was easy to cover than Roman Polanski would have been. Something about that long standing sexual assault case would have been too glaring to not spend a fair bit of time and words on. To the Popemobile, my little sippers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’ve wanted to try the Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka for some time and here the opportunity finally presented itself. The Vodka is very interesting and I’ve already gone ahead and enjoyed it in various cocktails, particularly Caesars! This recipe was pretty damn good. It was a touch sweet, but nothing too dramatic. Them bison’s make some good booze!