Sip Trips #73: Around the World at Home

As it is with most weeks for me and Mrs. Sip, the last one was pretty darn busy. We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary, co-hosted the Sip Advisor’s annual beer pong tournament, participated in a Disney trivia event, and had a fun meal out in New West. Here are some notes from the week that was:

Four Years Strong

Mrs. Sip has always wanted to try Lupo, an upscale Italian restaurant in downtown Vancouver. I figured with our anniversary approaching, it might finally be time to book a reservation. We had a wonderful meal – prior to watching Book of Mormon – which included a shared Bufala Mozzarella Salad to start, Ricotta Gnocchi (with pork cheeks) for Mrs. Sip and Taglierini (with wild mushrooms and chilies) for myself, and finished with a Gelato trio for dessert. The meal was washed down with a very nice bottle of Italian pinot grigio.

Italian Food

SIP-A-Dee-Do-Da

When the Sip Alliance first heard about Disney trivia, hosted at The Pint, we were keenly interested, as Disney love runs in the family. This event proved to be so popular that they kept adding dates and one night quickly grew to four, thanks to the massive waitlist. Unlike some other trivia activities around town, there was a $5 entrance price for this one, but we were just happy to have a spot.

While we finished just outside the top three teams, I was impressed with The Pint’s food menu. This includes a number of great options, perhaps best highlighted by being able to order wings, chicken strips, rice bowls, pulled pork, and other items, done 40 different ways (varying sauces and dry rubs). On Tuesday’s, you can get their Team Platters for $19, instead of $32, while pitchers are only $15. My only complaint would be that their craft beer lineup is lacking, especially for a place called The Pint.

Dipping Sauces

Taco Time

With the week being as busy as it was, Mrs. Sip and I decided we needed a little one-on-one time. Therefore, I made the trip out to New West, where the bronzed goddess works, to join her for a meal at Originals Restaurante Mexicano. We both ordered taco platters, trying a total of six different styles, with our mutual favourite being the Carnitas (slow cooked fried pork in cinnamon and orange). The restaurant also had three craft beers on tap and it was far from your typical selections. Ridge Brewing, Dogwood Brewing and Dead Frog Brewing were all represented. Best of all, the eatery has two happy hours, from 3-6 and 8-11, where these beverages can be had for only $4.

This upcoming Labour Day long weekend will provide a rare stay-cation for Mrs. Sip and I. All that really means is that there is much trouble we can get up to. Check back next week to see exactly how we handled the time off!

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Sip Trips #30: Beer, Balls, and Barbecue

While Mrs. Sip and I managed to find some rare quiet time Friday night (cracking into our ever-growing wine and beer collections), the weekend was quite busy with a number of events drawing our attention. Here’s how we fared during the mid-summer hustle and bustle!

On our way out to Ma and Pa Sip’s place in Delta on Saturday, we stopped by Four Winds Brewing, where they had just released another of their small batch beers, Pequeno Cabo (a brew aged in tequila barrels), which a friend had advised me of earlier in the week. When we got there, they had just run out of bottles (this is the thanks I get for letting Mrs. Sip sleep in!), but our server was very willing to help us track it down at one of the stores they distribute to. Since we were already there, we ordered glasses of their Wildflower Saison and Juxtapose Wild IPA. Both were very good, with the IPA being an offering that even Mrs. Sip was into, so we picked up a bottle for our family barbecue that afternoon.

tequila wake up

We then drove over to the One20 Public House’s liquor store, where lying in wait was the Pequeno Cabo. It was advertised as tasting reminiscent of a lime margarita and they weren’t joking. It was a sour-style brew that went down very easy. Would I buy it again? Perhaps not, but it was great to try while available.

As for the barbecue, it was a lot of fun, full of good food, good drinks, and good times. Although we came up short in our bid for bocce supremacy, Mrs. Sip and I performed quite well during the later evening’s beer pong and flippy cup shenanigans!

The next day, we had to head out earlier than usual, as we were meeting members of the Sip Syndicate for drinks, prior to the Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer game, to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We assembled at Back Forty, where upon arriving behind schedule, two pitchers of Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears had already been ordered and needed to be dealt with, as the game’s start time was approaching. Always up to the task, Mrs. Sip and I downed a couple glasses each and we were off.

soccer-kiss

The Whitecaps play out of BC Place Stadium, which has made strides in recent years to bring some craft beer into the venue. I spotted Parallel 49, Steamworks, and Stanley Park on some taps and there were others among the concessions. I also picked up a couple cups of Shocktop during halftime to quench my thirst.

A true highlight to the week was our meal at Wildebeest, following the game. To begin, I ordered the Uppercut cocktail, which mixed, Calvados, Italian Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur, Orange Bitters, and Peated Scotch, all served at room temperature. I liked the cocktail, but wonder if it would have been taken to a whole other level with the addition of some ice.

For food, our group decided to go for the option where you let them know how much each person in the party is willing to pay and they put together a menu for you. You can go between $40-$60, so we settled in the middle at $50 per head. We were then blown away to receive a seven-course shared meal, which included pork cutlets, beef carpaccio, poutine, bone marrow, an egg dish, strip loin steak, and halibut. It was a feast for the ages! Later in the meal, a round of Ardbeg Supervona Scotch was ordered and this was a truly decadent experience.

scotch in a can

Quite a bit of liquor news came out this week, most notably the announcement that establishments that manufacture alcoholic beverages (breweries, distilleries, wineries, etc.) around British Columbia will now be able to sell liquor products produced by other companies in their locations. This means that Ma Sip can now get a glass of wine, while accompanying myself and Mrs. Sip to some of our favourite breweries, much like she’s able to do when we travel in the U.S.

The August long weekend is upon us and despite Mrs. Sip taking off on me (again!) to Las Vegas with her girlfriends, the three days of rest will be full of poolside debauchery. Check back next week for a full recap!

July 26 – Beer’s Knees

Beerfest

Over my years, I’ve picked up many a drinking game (after all, who doesn’t like to increase their boozing fun with some friendly competition and laughs?). Here are some of my favourites:

Beer Pong

Playing in teams of two, Beer Pong is the art of throwing (or bouncing) ping pong balls across a table into cups on the other end. Depending on which cup you hit, you might be in line for bonus cups to be eliminated, which are then drunk by your foes. Eliminate all of your opponent’s cups and you win. At the Sip Advisor headquarters, I am the host of an annual Beer Pong tournament. This year will mark the fourth edition of the event, which has featured some of the finest pongers among my circle of friends and associates. We’re always trying to adapt our house rules to make the experience flow smoothly and provide guests with a great time. While it’s been three years since I last tasted championship glory in the inaugural tournament, I look to finally return to the winner’s circle this year and be the complete annoying, narcissist, ass I know I can be. Last note, always respect house rules where you’re playing!

Even Jesus played Beer Pong... looks like a shutout is brewing!

Even Jesus played Beer Pong… looks like a shutout is brewing!

Flippy Cup

Another very active drinking game, which features teams of three to five competing to down their beer and flip their cup, situated on the edge of the table, onto its top in a relay-style race. This game inspires great camaraderie amongst your mates and also vicious feuds with your opponents (or that one person on your team who costs you every race because they just can’t get the core concept of the game). It’s best to break up into teams (boys vs. girls, city yuppies vs. country bumpkins, or however you want to split the group) and duel it out in a best-of-seven series. Once the series has been decided, switch the teams up and go again. This game can get a little messy, so you might want to play outside, or on a table you don’t mind trashing a little before it’s cleaned up.

Never Have I Ever

This is the fastest way to get to know your friends more intimately than you ever intended (or possibly wanted). It’s a pretty simple game: sit in a circle of sorts and go around saying something you’ve never done before. Those who have actually done it, have to take a sip of their drink. You can throw anything out there, from feats of daredevilry (wow, that’s actually a word… I thought I was making it up) to actions of a more adult nature. There’s no real ending to this game unless people grow tired of their privacy being invaded or you just don’t have much else left to learn about your peeps. It’s a perfect game for camping and sitting around the fire pit. It can get a little rowdy however, so be careful of noise levels if you’re in a public place at later evening hours.

Never Have I

King’s Cup/Ring of Fire/Sociables

This is a great game when you just want to sit back and chill out, while getting bombed and having a ton of fun. It has multiple names, so use whichever you prefer. You start by laying out a full deck of cards in a ring around the center cup. Each card means something different and house rules can often vary. For example, 2 means you drink, while 3 means me drink, and so on, in other rules, 2 and 3, can mean give out those numbers of drinks.. Some cards have more active rules, like making up a rule that every player has to abide by and proposing a category that people have to name items for. Each time a King is drawn that player pours as much of his or her drink as they want into the centre cup. The game continues until the fourth King is pulled and whoever is unfortunate enough to draw that card has to down the center cup. This game can get interesting fast if everyone is drinking something different as anticipation grows as to who will draw the last king and be forced to drink the mixed brew!

Drink #207: Beer’s Knees

Beer's Knees Beer Drink

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Honey Syrup
  • Top with Hefeweizen (I used Rickard’s White)
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedge

The names and rules of some of these games may be different in your neck of the woods. I’m simply describing them as I know them. If you have any Beer Pong rule suggestions for my upcoming tournament, feel free to pass them along. We might not use the rule, but I always appreciate having options. Same thing goes for drinking games I’ve neglected to mention in this article.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Lemon Juice tastes really good with Hefeweizen Beer (no surprise there!) and the touch of honey is a nice little bonus, adding a sweet ending to each sip of the beer cocktail.