Argentina – Vampire Voodoo

Flea Kicker

Well, Argentina’s World Cup aspirations didn’t turn out exactly as they hoped thanks to the Sip Advisor’s German squad, but the country can still lay claim to the top footballer in the world today: Lionel Messi. Let’s learn a little more about the man affectionately known as La Pulga (The Flea):

Born on June 24, 1987 in Roasario, Argentina (same hometown as communist revolutionary Che Guevara), Lionel Messi has come a long way to being the wealthiest football player in the world. As a young boy, he suffered from a growth hormone deficiency and today he stands at only 5’7”. Good things come in small packages, though, as Messi has benefited from his speed and skill.

Lionel-Messi-Lionel-Organized

The future superstar’s first contract came at 13 years old and was written out on a napkin after Barcelona sporting director Carles Rexach became enamored with Messi’s play and wanted to sign him immediately. With the contract, Messi and his family were moved to Spain with the youngster’s medical bills being covered. Messi made his debut for Barcelona at the fresh age of 17 and became the youngest person to ever score for the team, at the time.

Messi became a citizen of Spain in 2005 and now holds two passports (including his Argentinian documents). La Pulga turned down a spot with the Spanish national team and made his international debut with Argentina in 2005, although it lasted all of 47 seconds when Messi came on as a substitute and was promptly given a red card for an alleged elbow.

Wearing #10 with Barcelona, Messi was given the jersey number by fellow football great Ronaldinho in 2008. The following year, Messi picked up his first Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. Those two awards were merged in 2010, with Messi winning what is now known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or a total of four consecutive times.

What Messi Sees

Messi is a scoring machine, racking up a world record 91 goals in a single year. He has recorded a staggering 365 goals, including numerous hat tricks, over his career and is still in his prime years. Messi has received praise from some of football’s greatest players ever, including fellow Argentinian Diego Maradona, who thinks of Messi as his “successor.”

Team accomplishments for Messi include: Three UEFA Champions League wins, Six La Liga championships, two Copas del Rey titles, five Supercopas de España victories, two Club World Cups, and a gold medal with Argentina at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

You ready to be really jealous of Messi? Thanks to his contract and endorsement deals, it’s estimated that the soccer star earns $128,000 each day. Even better, as part of his pact with Barcelona, the club covers his income tax payments. How can the Sip Advisor get that kind of agreement!

discipline-of-funny-soccer

With his substantial wealth, Messi launched the Leo Messi Foundation, which helps provide kids with education and health care. He is also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and is involved with helping people suffering from Fragile X Syndrome. Some of Messi’s charitable attention has been directed towards his hometown, where in 2013, he donated 600,000 pounds to the Victor J Vilela Children’s Hospital. The money was used to renovate the building’s oncology unit and fund training trips in Spain, for doctors.

In his personal life, Messi has been dating Antonella Roccuzzo since 2009. The two have a child together, named Thiago, who was born on November 2, 2012. This prompted Messi to write on his Facebook page: “Today I am the happiest man in the world, my son was born and thanks to God for this gift!” At just 72 hours old, young Thiago was signed to a supporters club contract with Messi’s original club, the Newell Old Boys. For lovers of ink (and supportive, loving fathers), Messi had Thiago’s name and handprints tattooed on his left calf.

Messi Scores

A devout Roman Catholic, Messi met Pope Francis (also from Argentina) at the Vatican in 2013. He said of the experience: “Without a doubt, today was one of the most special days of my life. We have to excel on and off the field.”

Despite the international fame and success, Messi is very shy and has been since his childhood. He does most of his communication through text messages, as he avoids talking on the phone as much as possible. Similarly, while most strikers go into epileptic fits when celebrating a goal, Messi is more likely to simply raise both arms in the air, a salute to his late grandma, who he believes is watching over him. Messi does not like to watch highlights of himself, but is a video game enthusiast, so perhaps that’s how he gets to view and appreciate his own virtual achievements. Not surprisingly, Messi has been featured on numerous video game covers.

Argentina: Vampire Voodoo

Vampire Voodoo Cocktail

  • 1 oz Malbec Wine
  • 1 oz Gin
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Raspberries

One last tidbit: Ginza Takana, a jeweler in Japan has created a solid gold replica of Messi’s left foot. The piece weighed in at 55 lbs. and was valued at $5.25 million. The proceeds of its sale are meant to help victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. That’s an artifact every Argentinian football nut would surely covet!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (1.5 Sips out of 5):
As I wrote before, Malbec cocktail recipes aren’t easy to come by. Therefore, I adapted this generic Red Wine cocktail to use that beautiful 1884 Malbec. Sadly, this drink was a complete miss. One or more ingredients just wasn’t right. I still can’t figure out if the Lemon or Lime Juice was to blame or if the Gin just wasn’t hitting the right chord. Either way, I have to say that I didn’t fall under the power of Vampire Voodoo.

Argentina – Sommelier Martini

Tango De La Muerte

Argentina is birthplace of the sexy tango dance style… or at least it claims to be and that’s good enough for the Sip Advisor. I’m a horrible dancer. I mean down right god awful. That said, I’m a decent writer and am probably better suited for creating an article about tango than performing it. So, let’s get right to it:

Tango’s long road to legitimacy began in the streets and brothels of Buenos Aires in the 19th century. Many immigrants came to Argentina to better their lives, but this resulted in there being 100,000 more men than women as of 1914. Therefore, to spend time with a lady, you had to either go to a brothel or a dance. The Sip Advisor would have probably taken the easier route, but those who think they can dance would have tried to ply their craft in a more traditional sock-hop style.

Practicing Tango

The tango is rife with notes of passion, sexual tension, and yearning. It has been described as “a vertical expression of a horizontal desire,” which to me sounds like my daily existence and advances towards Mrs. Sip. Because of sexuality exuded in the scandalous dance, upper class folk looked down upon the tango and from the years 1955-1983, while a conservative coup was in power, the sensual dance was forced to hide itself underground. Dancers were jailed and songs were banned until the oppressive power was forced out due to losing its popularity.

In Europe, tango arrived in 1912, first in Paris, of course. The dance that could feature improvisation and broke the trend of dances having fixed movements and everyone doing the same thing quickly spread across the country. When the upper class of Buenos Aires learned of how popular tango had become abroad, they brought it back to Argentina to be enjoyed in its homeland.

While American Tango is an offshoot of Argentinian Tango, the two are quite different. The American version is the one all you little sippers are probably familiar with, involving larger steps and more theatrics, commonly seen in competitions. The Argentinian style is tighter and on a smaller scale, likely used at social dances to woo prospective bed mates.

Tango Lessons

A milonga can either mean a tango variation with no pauses or the term can be applied to a club that hosts Argentinian tango dances. Here, rookies and veterans can share the floor and get their groove on, trying out new maneuvers or learning the art form.

Dubbed the ‘Dance of Love,’ the word tango comes from either the Latin word tango or the Portuguese word tangere, which both mean “to touch.” There are actually a number of different tango adaptations today, including Ballroom, Oriental, Liso, Orillero, Apilado, Canyengue, Salon, Nuevo, Finnish, and Chinese, as well as the aforementioned Argentinian and American.

The basic tango consists of five steps taken to eight beats of music: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. This has made the dance style easier to learn, plus it plays very well when trying to get your lady in the mood (although the Sip Advisor has always preferred a little bumping and grinding).

Two to Tango

For the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina (which the home country won, as opposed to their recent defeat at the hands of my Germany!), Adidas designed a special ball for the tournament and named it Tango. The ball was used again in 1982 for the World Cup in Spain, with the ball receiving the altered title Tango Málaga.

Author and entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss set the Guinness World Record for most tango spins in one minute in 2007. With partner, Alicia Monti, the two took to the Live with Regis and Kelly stage and completed 37 spins, breaking their own record of 27 set in Buenos Aires in 2005.

Tango Potato

Tangolates is an exercise that combines Pilates and tango into one aerobic workout. Developed by Tamara Di Tella in 2004, The activity is said to vastly help those who have suffered nervous system dysfunctions and uses partners and rhythmic music in the process.

A number of hit movies include tango scenes, including Scent of a Woman, True Lies, Evita, Moulin Rouge, Chicago, and even Schindler’s List of all films. Now that I’ve revealed that list, I expect Mrs. Sip to force me to watch each and every one of these entries. Perhaps it will lead to some amore!

Argentina: Sommelier Martini

Aug 11

  • 1 oz Malbec Wine
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Lemon Twist

Perhaps if I can slam back enough of these cocktails, I can be ready for some dirty dancing… and then again, perhaps it’s just better if I drink myself into such a stupor that the idea of shaking my groove thing goes right out the window!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Wow, I never thought it would be so difficult to find Malbec-specific recipes. That said, I found this little gem and it was quite good. Mrs. Sip and I love the 1884 Malbec I used so I at least knew the base would be great. I thought about using different flavoured vodkas with the drink, but in the end went with a straight version, so as not to have too many tastes competing with each other.