Flavour Revolution – Bacon

Maniacs Unite

Bacon Mania has dominated the culinary universe for many years and the salty meat can be found in everything from sodas to massage oils, donuts to jelly beans. Here are some of the other manias that have taken over the world… for better or worse!

Beatlemania

When the Beatles first came over to North America, hysteria was common, especially among female fans, many of whom fainted upon seeing or hearing the Fab Four. The band was already popular in Germany and their homeland of the United Kingdom, but upon crossing the pond, things blew up beyond control. Amazingly, the group stopped doing live performances in 1966, because the frenzy of screaming fans made it impossible to have good shows. Other acts that have enjoyed varying degrees of mania, include Latin boy band Menudo (Menudomania), female superstars the Spice Girls (Spicemania), and Canadian “bad boy” Justin Bieber (Biebermania).

Beatlemania

Lisztomania

One of the original mainstream manias (dating back to 1841), centered around composer Franz Liszt. It’s hard to believe that in the subdued realm of classical music, there would be such fervor for one performer. I have to admit that judging by illustrations of the dude, he was a decently looking guy and his talent seems to have spoken for itself, as well. During his most popular years, Liszt’s performances were said to cause feelings of “mystical ecstasy”. Folks would even fight over the man’s discarded handkerchiefs and gloves. Worst of all, some obsessive fans tried to get a lock of Liszt’s hair or the remains of his coffee, to drink themselves.

Hulkamania/Wrestle Mania

The Rock N’ Wrestling connection in the 1980’s gave birth to two different manias that still exist to this day, 30 years later. On the shoulders of Hulk Hogan, the then World Wrestling Federation decided to break away from the sport’s territorial traditions and launch themselves as the first national wrestling promotion. Hogan’s immense popularity was later dubbed Hulkamania, with his many fans given the title of Hulkamaniacs. As part of their move into the mainstream, owner Vince McMahon created the mega event WrestleMania, which has gone on to become the Super Bowl of wrestling and recently celebrated its 31st incarnation.

hulkamania

Pottermania

We’ve discussed on this site before that the Sip Advisor isn’t much of a reader, so I really can’t understand the fixation behind a series of books… especially ones geared towards children, but obsessed over by grown adults (I guess the suggested age on the books of young adult was completely ignored). This mania includes everything from the writing of fan fiction to participating in role-playing games, and everything in between. The general public is not alone from enjoying the series, as Barack Obama, Stephen King, Keira Knightley, and others have all claimed to be fans of the works. Since Pottermania, we have also seen fads involving vampires, followed by zombies. What will be next?

Trudeaumania

Us Canadians don’t get very passionate about much (hockey, beer, and poutine being obvious exceptions), so the fact that a politician of all people was able to drum up such a craze over his entry into the national leadership race, is absolutely flabbergasting to the Sip Advisor. Pierre Trudeau certainly isn’t the only head of a nation to gain a cult following of sorts. His charisma, charm, and struggle to change the status quo all came about during an interesting time in history… yes, the turbulent 1960s! Not surprisingly, Trudeaumania began to wane when the Prime Minister of Canada married in 1971. Today, Trudeau’s son Justin is working towards leading the same country his father did.

Flavour Revolution: Bakon L’Orange

  • 1.5 oz Bakon Vodka
  • 0.25 oz Frangelico
  • 0.25 oz Grand Marnier
  • Splash of Vanilla
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with a Bacon Strip

Of course, there’s also some of my favourite manias, such as megalomania, kleptomania, and maniamania (yes, this is actually a thing!). My actual preferred mania is the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction at Disneyland’s California Adventure park. If you’ve never been on the ride, you must give it a try. The line-up is always worth it!

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May 7 – Caesar

Well Hung

I never get hung over. Don’t get me wrong, I can feel a little off the day after a heavy drinking effort, but I do not display the normal symptoms of a hangover. Mrs. Sip and friends marvel over my invincibility against hangovers… or more accurately they get green with jealousy. Haters say that the dreaded morning after monster will catch up to me, but how can it ever sneak up on you when you have a perpetual buzz going!?

hangover cat

The Caesar (a Canadian original and menu staple), today’s libation du jour, is thought to be a steadfast hangover cure. Although this isn’t a proven fact, most drinkers would swear by it. Here are some other solutions to your throbbing headache, nausea, dehydration, and weakness – at least I’ve heard that’s what a hangover feels like:

Coffee

I don’t drink the stuff at the best of times, so I’m pretty sure it would make me sicker than I was before, if I tried it as a cure. According to some studies, drinking coffee may increase your alertness the morning after drinking, but it will also increase your dehydration. So, to sum up, I have once again proven that coffee and all its subsidiaries suck and should be stricken from the earth.

Aspirin, Gravol & Other Meds

I have been advised before to take an Aspirin before going to bed after drinking heavy. I laughed obnoxiously at the time and I’m still laughing today. Meds can actually be helpful to cure what ails you, though. Aspirin will relieve your headache and Gravol will settle your stomach. If you don’t have any pills lying around, Ginger Ale can also work wonders on the system. It makes a great mixer, to boot!

hangover not drinking

Fast Food

A morning run to McDonalds, Burger King, or any other fast food joint may not actually cure a hangover, but it’s a perfectly good reason to start the day right with a greasy meal! Then when you’re sitting on the couch all day feeling lethargic, you can blame your breakfast, rather than your hangover.

More Alcohol

This would be my favourite solution to a hangover, but apparently the “hair of the dog” approach will eventually make you feel worse, as you build toxins on top of already consumed poisons. The Caesar would fall into this category, with drinkers arguing that the blend of ingredients, and in particular the clamato juice (tomato juice if you’re making a Bloody Mary), is enough to jump start their body the day after getting smashed.

hangover keep drinking

Exercise

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good workout, but after a night out, even when I don’t get hangovers, the thought of an early morning bike or weight lifting session makes me shiver. I like to start the day slowly after getting blotto. I’ll eventually hit the gym, but I’m in no rush whatsoever to get there. The only exercise I want the morning after painting the town red is a little cuddling, if you smell what I’m cookin’.

Sleep

The complete opposite of exercise, staying in bed is a little more up my alley. Sleeping one off is as literal a hangover cure as you can find. A true warrior, though, doesn’t save his drinking for the weekends. Yes, us man-among-men types can hit the bottle with a fire so strong that it’s mesmerizing and still wake up early the next day, hop out of bed and be a stud at work. That’s when you know you’re a legend… or an alcoholic, whateves.

hangover-funny

Bacon

My good friend and future best man (you should always be planning ahead), bacon, has actually been recently proven to help make people feel better after they’ve hit the bottle too hard. Specifically a bacon sandwich can do the trick, thanks to the carbs in bread and the protein in bacon. Both these substances provide the body with essential amino acids which will help with recovery. Is there anything bacon can’t do!?

Water/Sports Drinks

If I’m not having an alcoholic bevvy and you see the Sip Advisor with a drink in my hand, it’s likely going to be water. I drink so much water every day, I figure that’s why I never get a hangover. Oddly, I don’t drink much water during a hardcore boozing session, but I have friends who swear by doing a 1-1 or 2-1 ratio of alcohol to water or sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade) beverages. I’ve never been a mathematician, so that just seems like too much work to me.

Drink #127: Caesar

Caesar Drink

  • Rim glass with Celery Salt
  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Bakon Vodka)
  • Top with Clamato Juice
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
  • Dash of Hot Sauce
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Horseradish
  • Garnish with Celery Stalk, Pickled Skewer, Spicy Bean, and Lime Wedge

Apparently, there are actually hangover pills. Personally, I wouldn’t give them much stock. Why waste your money on something that probably doesn’t even work, when you all you apparently really need is bacon and water? If you hate me because I don’t get hangovers, let me know. The best insults you can hurl my way may appear in a future post!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I’ve always been a fair-weather friend of the Caesar. I neither love it, nor hate it. However, now I’m a fan as apparently I just had to make one for myself. This eco-system of a drink was delicious. It was salty, spicy, savoury, and flavourful, all at the same time. A cocktail that was wonderfully enjoyed on a beautiful day!

April 4 – Bakon Bloody Mary

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, BACON!

Sweet Jesus, I love bacon. In fact, I think pigs are one of the most delicious animals known to man. If they don’t top the list, they’re a close second behind the Dodo Bird.

I was raised on BLTs and my own creation, B&Ps (Bacon and Pickles), sandwiches. Bacon is a suitable ingredient in nearly every recipe. I throw bacon bits on my tacos, Caesar salads, French fries, pizza, pasta, ice cream, you name it.

Bacon enhances every food item I put it on. It’s a spectacular addition to burgers, even worth the additional charge you are given. And I never thought I could love potato chips more until I found flavours like Smokey Bacon and Sour Crème and Bacon. Then my world was truly complete.

I could wax on about cured meats forever, but largely due to an overdose of bacon, I’m letting some other experts do my work for me. So, my little sippers, here’s some Sip Advisor edutainment, which I hope you will enjoy as much as I did:

Drink #94: Bakon Bloody Mary

Bakon Bloody Mary Cocktail Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Bakon Vodka
  • Top with Tomato Juice
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco Sauce
  • Dash of Celery Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of Horseradish
  • Garnish with Spicy Green Bean and Bacon Strips

I’m happy to report that after all the cool things I’ve had bacon on or in (chocolate and mayonnaise included), I can finally say that I’ve found a way to meld it to my other passion, liquor. Much thanks need to be heaved upon Ma and Pa Sip for picking up a bottle of Bakon Vodka and letting me crack it open for the first taste!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
While I have to say that I prefer Caesars, this Bloody Mary wasn’t horrible. The Bakon Vodka is very interesting, smelling and tasting like the cured meat. While I was at it, I thought, “why not throw a slice of real bacon into the mix?” A decision I will never regret!

January 14 – Spiced Sour

Evolution

Evolution-Alcohol

One of my favourite elements of mixology is trying new liquors and mixers and seeing how different things come together in look and taste. I love how innovative some companies are becoming, as they release different flavours and adaptations of their normal products.

There are a ton of flavoured vodkas and rums out there. Vodka companies like Van Gogh and Pinnacle seem to be bringing out new flavours on a regular basis, while Stoli and Smirnoff can be counted on for the more traditional tastes like various berry and citrus brands. Bacardi and Captain Morgan have this variety covered in the rum world. Whiskey and tequila companies seem to be getting on board with this concept as well and over the last few years, we’ve seen a number of innovative products hit the market.

Some of the more interesting flavours I’ve seen out there, that I’d like to try, include:

Three Olives Loopy (Froot Loops-flavoured vodka) – It’s very important to start your day off on the right note with a balanced breakfast. I bet Toucan Sam never smelled this one coming!

Loopy

Van Gogh Peanut Butter & Jelly Vodka – Why not drink my favourite sandwich (and I make a mean PB&J).

PB&J

Bakon Vodka – I’m a huge bacon fan and can’t wait to sample this sometime, although it’s a bit pricey. If they ever create a pulled pork vodka, I’ll be first in line!

bakon-vodka

360 Glazed Donut Vodka – With the Froot Loops, PB&J, bacon and now donut flavours, you have breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, respectively, all covered.

360-Glazed-Donut-Vodka

Malibu Red (coconut rum mixed with tequila) – I’m really curious about this liquor. The coconut and tequila blend might be really nice and a unique twist for some new cocktails.

malibu-red

Malibu Fresh (coconut rum mixed with mint) – Like Malibu Red, I have to give this a try before judging, but at first glance, I just can’t see coconut and mint coming together well… or maybe I can.

CORBY DISTILLERIES LIMITED - Malibu® Coconut Rum

Crown Royal Maple – I fully intend to pour this on waffles and pancakes. I love Crown Royal and trust that they know what they’re doing.

crown-royal-maple

With all that said, I recently picked up a bottle of Wiser’s Spiced Whiskey. I was excited to try this because I love spiced rum (particularly Sailor Jerry’s) and I love whiskey. Put the two together and you should be on the right track. The Wiser’s did not disappoint and came with a little card advertising a few recipes to try with the new release. One of those was the Spiced Sour, an adaptation of the Whiskey Sour, one of my all-time faves.

Drink #14: Spiced Sour

Spiced Sour Cocktail

  • 2 oz Wiser’s Spiced Whiskey
  • 1.5 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • Dash of egg whites
  • Garnish with lemon wedge and Maraschino cherry

I have to admit that I didn’t even realize until this post was almost complete that I forgot the egg whites. Usually you shake all the ingredients together and strain. The egg whites leave a foamy layer at the top of the drink. All the recipes I was looking at skip this step of the process, but I’ve made enough whiskey sours in my time that I should know better. I apologize to all the little Sip-A-Maniacs out there. I am, of course, open to better names for fans of this blog…

Do you have other examples of liquor-flavour evolution that you’d like to pass on to me? That would be greatly appreciated. My thanks, in advance!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m such a maroon. After making the drink, taking the required photos and downing that bad boy, I realized that I had neglected to include the frothy egg whites in the concoction. Well, dock the Sip Advisor a couple points on your score card. The drink is very heavy in lemon flavour, which sometimes I find to be too much. Otherwise, it’s a recommendable cocktail.