Mixer Mania #29 – Shell Game

Over the years, the Sip Advisor has drank beverages from a wide array of chalices. As we feature Coconut Water this week, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the devices used to serve me a drink:

Coconut

There’s nothing like drinking basically straight rum out of a coconut, as we did in Belize. We later saw the same vendor hurriedly approaching us with a large knife. Had we not paid the fair rate? Was he after more of our tourist dollars? Nah, he just wanted to cut the coconut up for us to eat the meat inside… crisis averted!

Beer Bong

While chugging a beer is not my favourite thing to do, in some party settings, it is the right thing to do! A friend of ours used to have a skeleton beer bong, nicknamed Skeletor, which always made things festive fast. All you need was someone tall enough to hold the pouring end.

Beer Bong Kid

Marshmallow

During the first year of this website’s existence, I was tasked with creating a different cocktail or shot, every day for the entire year. Getting created, I decided to serve one shooter from a hollowed marshmallow. The shot did have to be consumed quickly, though, as the marshmallow was quick to leak.

Strawberry

Another Sip Advisor project had me using a strawberry as a side shooter to the cocktail I had made. You had to be very careful to cut the piece of fruit just right, but it did hold its liquor better than the fibrous marshmallow.

Glass Boot

Swakopmund, Namibia is an area of Southwest Africa that was a former German colony and therefore has many features of a Bavarian town. Here, I ordered a boot of beer, which held more than two pints worth of ale. I didn’t think much of it, being the brew hound that I am, but the rest of the tour group all wanted photos holding the massive serving.

Boot of Beer

Plastic Football

Las Vegas is home to some of the most unusual souvenir glasses I’ve ever seen, from guitars to the Statue of Liberty. On one trip to Sin City, I picked up a plastic football sipper, which we were later able to use for a drunken pick-up game.

Fishbowl

Sticking with Las Vegas, when we were there to celebrate Broski Sip’s 21st birthday a decade ago, Mrs. Sip, Cousin Sip and I joined him in drinking a massive cocktail blend served in a large bowl. This took place at Kahunaville inside Treasure Island, which unfortunately doesn’t exist any longer.

Fishbowl Drinking

Watermelon

On a camping trip a few years ago, our group made holes in a watermelon and inserted bottles of vodka into those openings. The result was a heavily-boozed up melon. The fruit was so liquefied, in fact, that it was like eating a drinking a mushy soup.

Team Pitcher

During my days living in Toronto, our school crew would frequent the Fox & Fiddle Pub near campus, often on their karaoke nights. There, we would sit down to what they called Team Pitchers, which were the equivalent to at least two normal pitchers and even came with a contraption to keep the suds cool.

Mixer Mania #29: Blue on Blue

Blue on Blue.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Coconut Water
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with Blueberries

If I had to add anything to my drinking bucket list, it would be to enjoy a beverage from the Stanley Cup. Now all I have to do is find a way to get my hands on the hardest trophy to win in sports!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This recipe comes courtesy of the Absolut Vodka website, which has always maintained an eclectic cocktail collection. I’ve never been much of a fan of Coconut Water, but this drink is actually decent. I’ll give credit to the Cranberry Juice, of course!

Mixer Mania #7 – Promotional Propensity

If the Sip Advisor had to put his money on which soda war had the best advertising campaigns, it would probably go to the great battle of lemon-lime beverages, fought primarily between 7-Up and Sprite forces. Here are the most memorable promotions from each combatant:

7-Up: “Make 7 Up Yours”

Featuring Orlando Jones of Mad TV fame, this series first showed the comedian walking the streets in a shirt that said “Make 7” on the front and “Up Yours” on the back. He would then tell passersby to “Make 7 Up Yours”, to which those he offended would respond by saying stuff like “Same to you!” Taking advantage of the popularity of the slogan, t-shirts were even released, of which the Sip Advisor proudly owned one. The other commercials were also very funny.

Sprite: “Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst.”

This campaign featured a series of ads that poked fun at other drink company promotional concepts. One in particular, featured legendary wrestler Sting showing up to wrestle an adolescent boy, who thought swigging some Sprite would give him the skills necessary to battle the grappler. Another sees cute orange drink mascot Sun Fizz come to life, only to terrorize an entire family, including their dog. Damn, the late 90’s to early 2000’s were fun.

Mixer Mania #7: Electric Jam

Electric Jam.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

Of the two campaigns presented above, I find it very hard to pick a winner. I think I have to give the slight edge to 7-Up, given I actually owned the t-shirt and have been a long-time Mad TV fan.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I feel I’ve seen recipes similar to this before, with different names. For the Blue Curacao content, I went with my trusty foam pump, which helped finish the cool colouring of the drink. I also used Skyy Blood Orange Vodka to complete the citrus experience. All in all, the cocktail was pretty good, if a little on the sweet side.

July 4 – Stars and Stripes

American Made

While my neighbours to the south celebrate their Independence Day, I’d like to salute the most steadfast American patriots… well, at least of the fictional variety. And no, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter doesn’t count! On with the list:

#5: Sam the Eagle

This Muppet is a staunch advocate for the good ol’ U-S-of-A, while also being a straight-laced defender of decency and high culture. He certainly doesn’t fit in with many of his fellow Muppets, who rely on slapstick routines and lower-brow entertainment. Perhaps Sam’s biggest role was in the recent Muppets Most Wanted film, where he, as a CIA agent, teamed with an Interpol agent to clear the good name of Kermit the Frog and save the entire Muppets troupe, in the process.

Sam the Eagle

#4: Wrestling

The wrestling world is rife with American patriotism, featuring countless battles between red, white, and blue clad heroes versus villainous foreign foes. It’s hard to pinpoint one grappler in particular, but these are a few of the many who have fought in defense of Old Glory, capitalism, and the American way: Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Kurt Angle, The Patriot, Sgt. Slaughter, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, Jack Swagger, Dusty Rhodes, Corporal Kirchner, and the American Express. U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A!

#3: G.I. Joes

This line of Hasbro action figures was first released in 1964, representing four divisions of the United States’ armed forces: the army, navy, air force, and marines. In fact, the releases were the first to ever receive the designation “action figures”. A cartoon later came in 1985, which saw the Joes battle the evil terrorist group Cobra. Two films, in 2009 and 2013 (with one to come in 2016) have also been released for the franchise. Good will always triumph over evil!

GI Joes

#2: Uncle Sam

Used as a major symbol for propaganda, particularly during war times, Uncle Sam (who coincidentally has the initials, U.S.) has existed for approximately 200 years. Many believe that Uncle Sam was based on Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who helped provide soldiers with rations during the War of 1812. Regardless, if you see Uncle Sam, he probably wants you to fight for the country, joining one of the branches of U.S. armed forces.

#1: Captain America

Battling evil forces, the likes of which include the Red Skull, Barons Helmut and Heinrich Zero, Flag Smasher, and even Adolf Hitler, himself, Captain America is the ultimate defender and avenger (see what I did there!) of the United States against oppressors from other evil nations. With his trusty red, white, and blue shield, Captain America will be protecting the country (and world) for years to come. And to think, he was originally rejected as a member of the army, before going super soldier.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Stars and Stripes

I was surprised at how difficult this article was to put together. I figured there would be so many more glaring examples of fictional American patriots, but many weren’t so obvious. Perhaps I’ve just missed a number of folks that should have made this list. Let me know if I’m guilty of neglect!

May 16 – Astro Pop

Diversity Dominance

This coming Thursday (May 21) marks World Day for Cultural Diversity and I figured what better occasion to look at some of the most diverse groups ever assembled. I decided not to include any superhero collections, as they are naturally made up of very diverse individuals, from all walks of life. On with the list:

#5: Ghostwriter

This mystery solving team was made up of kids from various walks of life and even a ghost. Together, they used their puzzle solving skills to put the kibosh on evildoers… until funding for the public broadcast series ran dry. The origin story for Ghostwriter, of being a murdered Civil War slave, will make you think differently about your childhood. It also blows my mind that Samuel L. Jackson was once a character on this children’s show, given his propensity for dropping copious amounts of F-bombs in his films.

samuel-l-jackson

#4: Recess

With the Recess crew, you have the everyman leader (T.J.), star athlete (Vince), science nerd (Gretchen), tough as nails tomboy (Spinelli), gentle giant (Mikey), and army brat (Gus). With such a multi-talented group, their success and survival through games of All the Balls and issues with the playground’s elite ruling class, is completely understandable. My crew during elementary school was nothing like this, consisting of a few good-for-nothing youngsters trying to figure the world out.

#3: Guardians of the Galaxy

Let’s see, we had one genetically-modified raccoon, a basically mute tree, a warrior beast, an alien assassin… and some white guy with an awesome mixed tape! Although their coming together was pretty rocky – most of them wanted to harm, steal from, or kill one of the others – they eventually gelled into a squad capable of saving the universe. Who knows where their next adventure will take them, but it will surely showcase the group’s diverse skillset, to a wonderful soundtrack.

Samsung Guardians Galaxy

#2: Power Rangers

All the colours of the rainbow – physically and racially – make up this team of world defenders. With the original line-up, you had teens decked out in red, blue, black, yellow, and pink suits (with green soon to come). The squad was made up of a jock, a nerd, a party guy, an environmentalist, and a cheerleader. Racially, you had a few Caucasians, an African-American, and an Asian. Put them all together, like when their Zords combined to make the powerful Megazord and you have one formidable team.

#1: Captain Planet

The Planeteers literally came for across the globe, united by their passion for eliminating pollution, quelling natural disasters, and capturing eco-criminals.The team was made up of Gi (from Asia), Kwame (from Africa), Linka (from Europe), Ma-Ti (from South America), and Wheeler (from North America). The rogues gallery for this series was just as diverse (including some awesome names), with villains such as Hoggish Greedly, Verminous Skumm, Duke Nukem, Looten Plunder, and Sly Sludge.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Astro Pop

  • 0.25 oz Midori
  • 0.25 oz Blue Curacao
  • 0.25 oz Goldschlager
  • 0.25 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
  • 0.25 oz Rumple Minze
  • 0.25 oz Jagermeister

Some honourable mentions include the crews of Star Trek, Undergrads, Big Hero 6, Community, Saved by the Bell, and The Breakfast Club. Let’s keep coming together as people and being good to one another… saving the universe, one day at a time!

April 11 – Penalty Shot

Line Dancing

As hockey fans around the world gear up for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Sip Advisor thought it might be a good time to look at some of the sport’s greatest line combos. This list was narrowed down by taking into account the success of the line, as well as how awesome the name they were given was. Let’s get the puck rolling:

#5: West Coast Express – Brendan Morrison, Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi

After a string of dismal years, Vancouver Canucks fans finally had something to cheer about again, when this line began filling the back of the net and piling up points. Once put together, each enjoyed the best years of their career, with Naslund and Bertuzzi even finishing second and third in league scoring during the 2002-03 season. Sadly, a long-awaited Stanley Cup never materialized, thanks in part to Bertuzzi’s indefinite suspension, after punching Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore in the back of the head. The West Coast Express is actually a commuter train line in the Sip Advisor’s home area, connecting people living in the suburbs of Vancouver to the downtown core.

West Coast Express Canucks

#4: Capital Punishment Line – Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley

Playing in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, the Senators enjoyed their greatest success as a franchise on the backs of Alfredsson, Spezza, and Heatley. The trio took the Senators all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007, but they were defeated by the Anaheim Ducks in five games. The three stars were also given the nickname ‘The Pizza Line’ thanks to the Pizza Pizza chain offering to give away free slices to ticket holders, anytime the Senators scored at least five goals. With the line racking up points that season, it happened often. Ironically, Canada abolished capital punishment in 1976… I guess this threesome never got the news!

#3: Legion of Doom – Eric Lindros, John Leclair, Mikael Renberg

For a time, Lindros was the most dominant player in the game, utilizing his size, strength, and natural talent. Flanking him on the wings were Leclair and Renberg, who each enjoyed great seasons playing with ‘The Big E’. The line combined for 305 goals and 361 assists over three season, highlighted by a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 1997. The line’s name was created (or at least borrowed) by teammate Jim Montgomery, before being used and promoted by Flyers announcer Gene Hart. While they weren’t as successful as the Broad Street Bullies of the 1970’s, the Legion of Doom ushered in a new generation of Flyers dominance.

legion-of-doom-flyers

#2: Red Army – Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Viacheslav Fetisov

As if three forwards weren’t enough, imagine icing an entire five-man unit that could cohesively work together and dominate the opposition. All hailing from Russia and formerly starring for that country’s national team, the Red Army had been built by Red Wings coach, Scotty Bowman, who had always admired the USSR’s playing style. The gamble worked out well for Detroit, as the team won the Stanley Cup in 1997 and repeated the feat in 1998. Sadly, Konstantinov was not part of the second championship, as just days after the 1997 win, he was involved in a serious auto wreck, which ended his career. The only thing missing was a Russian goaltender to complete the on-ice sweep.

#1: Trio Grande – Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies

When New York Islanders coach Al Arbour combined these three young, highly-touted players in 1977, it’s what would eventually push them over the edge and produce a four-year Stanley Cup dynasty. The line combined for 668 goals and 1498 points, throughout the years, piling up trophies, team records, and other accolades, during that time. Both Trottier and Bossy would win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP (1980 and 1982, respectively), proving the line was also quite productive in the crunch time that is the playoffs. All three members of the line have had their numbers retired by the Islanders and been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Penalty Shot

Penalty Shot Shooter

  • 0.25 oz Blue Curacao
  • 0.25 oz Gin
  • 0.25 oz Tequila
  • 0.25 oz Citron Vodka
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • Garnish with a Cinnamon Stick

Honourable mentions go to the French Connection (Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, Rene Robert), the Triple Crown Line (Dave Taylor, Charlie Simmer, Marcel Dionne), and That 70’s Line (Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson). While not making up a complete line, one of the most prolific scoring duos in hockey history, Brett Hull and Adam Oates, were given the nickname Hull and Oates, a play on the musical act Hall and Oates… too bad neither of them rocked a great 80’s porn stache!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This shooter had a nice blue colour until I added the dash of Cinnamon and then it all turned into a fuzzy green hue… I think it still looks okay, though. I used a Cinnamon Stick for garnish to imitate a good ol’ fashioned wooden hockey stick. As for taste, this all came together like a Long Island Iced Tea, just miniaturized. And that’s a drink that goes down easy.

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.

Ukraine – Black Sea Blackout

Hearty Homage

While I’m not of Ukrainian descent in any way, Ma Sip always made a point of celebrating Ukrainian Christmas in late January. With that, came a healthy dose of perogies and cabbage rolls. Borsht is also an originally Ukrainian dish, which has been adapted around the world. You might not want to read this article on an empty stomach, because we’re delving into the best of Ukrainian cuisine!

Borscht

This soup, made from beets, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and spices is a Ukraine original. There is said to be about 30 different varieties of borscht, depending on ingredients used. Borscht can be served either hot or cold, just like pizza, although I don’t think the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be going out of their way for soup. The country is also known for a number of other brothy offerings, none of which seem overly appetizing, in the Sip Advisor’s opinion.

Borscht Dog

Similar to the fabled Bible Belt in the United States, there is a Borscht Belt, referring to parts of Upstate New York, where many Jewish immigrants vacationed between the 1920s and 1970s, bringing the Ukrainian dish with them over to America. Also dubbed the Jewish Alps, the area consists of many out of business summer resorts, although many stars got their start performing there, including comedians, singers, dancers, musicians, and variety acts. The area even inspired Fozzie Bear!

Pierogies

Although the pierogy was invented in Poland, it is a staple of Ukrainian meals. The people of Ukraine call these dumplings varenyky and they can be found stuffed with potato and cheese, meat, cabbage, mushrooms, or anything else that meets your fancy. Pierogies can be either savory or sweet and while some choose to boil their dumplings, the Sip Advisor is an advocate for the fried variety, especially if topped with crisp bacon, sautéed onions, and drizzled with ketchup and ranch dressing (freaky deaky!).

Pierogi Eater

The dessert pierogy options are typically stuffed with various berries or even cheese. They are topped with anything from butter to jam to honey. There is even a type of pierogy called Lazy Varenyky and we all know how fond of laziness the Sip Advisor can be. Varenyky monuments can be found in a couple Ukrainian towns and have even popped in in Glendon, Alberta, Canada, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.

Cabbage Rolls

While never likely to make the Sip Advisor’s list of favourite foods, cabbage rolls have a devoted following around the world. In the Ukraine, cabbage leaves are either pickled or parboiled and then usually stuffed with only rice. This was because cabbage rolls were a meal of the peasants and meat was too expensive. Of course, the recipe has evolved in recent times to include meats, vegetables, and even tofu.

Cabbage Rolls Food

Cabbage rolls are typically cooked in or topped with sauces such as tomato juice, beef or vegetable stock, or different soup broths. Variations of this Eastern European classic have travelled the globe, to places including China (bai cai juan); Japan (rōru kyabetsu); Brazil (charuto de repolho); Iran (dolmeye kalam); Quebec, Canada (cigares au chou); and numerous other locales.

Babka

Famously known for its inclusion in an episode of Seinfeld, where Jerry and the gang are picking up a cake for a party they’ve all been invited to and in typical fashion, things go quite differently than intended. The Babka is a sweet bread, often baked with raisins and other dried fruit. It is mostly only produced at Easter to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ – as the dough rises, so shall the lord… or something to that effect!

Babka Barker

Unlike most cakes, which are long/round, the Babka is tall and cylindrical. The Babka dates back thousands of years, with evidence that ancient Greeks and Romans dined of the delicacy. Some versions of the dessert, typically from Sardinia, Italy, are decorated intricately with flowers and become more of an art form than a holiday food item. You’d feel horrible scarfing down something that looked so festive. Now that we have an appetizer, main, side, and dessert, I think it’s time for a drink!

Ukraine: Black Sea Blackout

Black Sea Blackout Cocktail

As I mentioned in one of my 25 Days of Christmas articles, Ukrainians (as well as other Eastern Europeans) also have a 12-course Christmas Eve feast, consisting of 12 meatless dishes, meant to symbolize the 12 Apostles. This year, I will do my own 12-course meal consisting of 12 different flavours of potato chips!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail is supposed to use the regular Khortytsa Vodka and more Blue Curacao than I was willing to let into a drink, so I adapted the recipe a smidge. The results were quite nice, especially when paired with my Cran-Lemonade mixer, which is a wonderful addition to any bar. The Honey Hot Pepper Vodka also lends a nice little burn at the end of each sip.

Germany – Black Blood

Beer Bash

It is certainly on mine and Mrs. Sip’s boozy bucket list to one day attend the Oktoberfest event in Munich, Germany. After all, Germany is already a place where we absolutely love the beers, food, and snacks, so why not join some fellow revelers. For now, though, let’s take a journey together to Munich and get into the spirit of the festival. Don’t forget your lederhosen!

Although named Oktoberfest, the event begins on the third weekend of September – coincidentally right around the time of the Sip Advisor’s birthday! – and lasts until the first Sunday of October. The event is over 200 years old and was first celebrated in commemoration of the marriage between King Ludwig and Queen Therese in 1810. The grounds which have always housed the festival are called Theresienwiese and are known by locals as the Wiesn.

Oktoberfest

Only breweries operating within Munich are allowed to supply the festival with their suds and each has a tent on the fairgrounds that holds thousands of people. The beers available include: Hofbräuhaus München, Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu, Paulaner Bräu, Löwenbräu, Hacker-Pschorr Bräu, and Augustiner Bräu. There’s a couple in that list I know I’ve enjoyed in the past, so things are looking up for Mr. and Mrs. Sip!

In the beginning, the beer was brewed in March with a higher alcohol percentage, so it could last through the summer. It was then expended in the fall, so as to diminish the stock for the next brewing season… and the circle of life continues endlessly. It should be noted that there is also a wine tent during the modern day Oktoberfests, appeasing all walks of life.

The festivities aren’t allowed to begin until an official 12-gun salute, followed by the mayor announcing “O’ zapft is!,” meaning “It’s tapped!” The first mug of ale is then handed to the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria, and only then can us regular folks start boozing. Oktoberfest has a carnival feel to it, as the event began as a county fair, featuring horseracing, various contests, and freak shows. The activities have changed over time, but the freak show is now just a natural occurrence.

Oktoberfest Punishment

If accompanied by an adult, 14 year olds are allowed to partake in all the joys of Oktoberfest and 16 year olds can join the fun on their own accord. Young children are even allowed to attend the festival (without drinking), although I’m not sure I’d want to leave my kids at any daycare tent there. The child crowd has resulted in numerous cases of missing kids, as many as 100 reports in 2012, thanks to parents imbibing a little too much.

In fact, the Lost and Found department is quite busy during Oktoberfest, having approximately 4,000 misplaced items come to their attention each year. Other lost possessions have included cell phones, wallets, passports, glasses, keys, clothing items, dentures, crutches, wheelchairs, strollers, and even dogs. Perhaps the most bizarre item turned in was a Viking helmet… although, it does kind of fit the whole theme.

Although swigging from glass beer steins is a highlight of the party, they weren’t used until 1892. Before that, stone and metal steins were filled with wonderful German brews. The current glass is called a Maß (good luck with the pronunciation!), which holds 1 litre of beer and will cost around €12 each pour. These steins are great souvenirs, but rather than purchase one, many tourists will try to steal it (Mrs. Sip, I’m looking at you!). This can result in a charge of theft if caught by security guards.

Oktoberfest Lost Child

If you can’t handle the stronger beer mixed with hot temperatures, you may be labeled with the term Bierleichen, which translated means Beer Corpse. Water and pop are also available for purchase to quench your thirst, but cost nearly as much as the booze, so you might as well keep drinking beer. Food options include roasted chickens, sausages, giant pretzels, and other traditional German fare.

Some downsides: While tourists may have visions of oom-pah bands playing the day away, while getting their drink on, music above 85 decibels isn’t allowed to be played until after 6:00pm. Also, to use a toilet, you will likely be charged, but that’s no different to other parts of the country and continent. This concept has provided some funny stories for the Sip Advisor over the years and travels.

To get a spot in one of the packed tents, visitors may have to purchase food and drink vouchers beforehand, sort of a reservation, exhibiting that you will make full use of the tent and drop some good money inside. Similarly, hotels book up very quickly during this time and making arrangements one year in advance is common. The price for accommodation will also be at a premium, so beware!

Oktoberfest Sleep

In 2004, a counterfeit ticket ring was busted after waiters inside a couple of the tents contacted police when they were handed suspicious vouchers. Had the scheme worked, the beer companies would have lost about $500,000 thanks to the nearly 30,000 forgeries. Sticking with crime, stein fights are known to occur and serious injuries have happened. Prosecution can lead to sentences of between six months and life in prison, depending on severity of the injuries.

Sadly, Oktoberfest has been forced into cancellation 24 times, mostly as a result of war and cholera epidemics. There were also issues during the 1920’s depression, which caused the event to be missed. On the bright side, Paris Hilton was banned from future Oktoberfests after attending the festival in 2006 as a spokesperson for a local canned wine product. She was said to have cheapened the event… a serious no-no in Munich circles.

Amid all the celebrating, a terrorist attack occurred at the 1980 Oktoberfest, where a pipe bomb was detonated, killing 13 people and injuring more than 200. Officials concluded that it was the work of right-wing extremist Gundolf Köhler, who died while placing the explosive. There is some dispute over whether Köhler acted alone or was part of a larger conspiracy.

Oktoberfest 2013 - Opening Day

The festival has jumped into the digital age with a few apps that enhance the whole experience. The event’s official app lets users input their height, weight, and how much beer they’ve consumed to learn their blood-alcohol level and how long it will take to sober up. There’s also the ‘Wiesn Flirt and Find’ app, which allows visitors to meet on the grounds for romance, a quick hook-up, or whatever else they may fancy.

If you can’t get to Germany, Oktoberfest events around the world include: Cincinnati, Ohio (largest in the United States); Denver, Colorado; Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario (largest in Canada); Blumenau, Brazil; Lima, Peru; Hong Kong, China; Bangalore, India; Hoh-Chi-Minh City, Vietnam; and Taybeh, Palestinian, of all places. Taybeh is home to the only brewery in all of the West Bank region.

Germany: Black Blood

Black Blood Cocktail

  • 1 oz Jagermeister
  • 1 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Squirt
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

If anyone out there wants to sponsor the Sip Advisor’s trip to Oktoberfest, that would be awesome. In exchange, I’ll try to steal a stein for you, risking freedom and well-being for my generous benefactor. I think it would totally be worth it!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
As per usual, I went with Grapefruit Soda over Grapefruit Juice because I’ve learned over time that I just don’t like heavy juices (orange, pineapple, etc.) in my cocktails. These colours came together really interestingly, with the yellow Squirt turning some of the Blue Curacao and Jagermeister green. It certainly isn’t black, like the drink’s name would have you thinking.

July 5 – Too Cool for School

Teacher’s Pet

I have never felt comfortable in a teacher or trainer position and while these folks only play the role on TV and in movies, they do a pretty damn good job of it. I tip my metaphorical hat and give them my full attention. Here are the top five educators in media:

#5: Mr. Feeny – Boy Meets World

Guide and neighbour to the young, impressionable Cory Matthews, Mr. Feeny will always be remembered as the voice of Knight Rider… I mean as the voice of reason when Cory was facing a dilemma at school or in his personal life. As the kids moved from grade school to high school to college, Feeny came along with them, jumping from teacher to administrator to professor to pedo… no, he never went that far. When you really think about it, though, how awful would it be to live next door to your teacher/principal/professor? He’d always know what you were up to and there’d be no separation of school and not school.

What Would Mr. Feeny Do

#4: Mr. Belding – Saved by the Bell

Mr. Belding is the authority figure children of the 80’s most identify with, as a school disciplinarian. His many run-ins with Zack Morris and the gang led to many of our fondest childhood memories and without him, we probably wouldn’t realize that principals actually do have a heart and are, in fact, real people. Belding was not without his faults, though. His relationship with his students bordered on creepy. He had a guy’s night with Zack, Slater and Screech, eating pizza and talking philosophically with the boys in Zack’s bedroom. What kind of absentee parents would allow this to happen under their own roof?

#3: Mr. Garrison – South Park

Mr. Garrison, has gone from Mr. to Mrs. and back to Mr. again. He’s been straight, gay, lesbian and even hat-sexual. While dealing with the potty-mouthed children at South Park Elementary, Garrison is just as likely to be caught cursing up a storm and acting as childishly as his students. His antics have resulted in his being fired or suspended on a few occasions and he seems to suffer from a number of mental health issues. Whether it be Mr. or Mrs. or something completely different, Garrison is one of the funniest recurring characters on the show and being in his classroom would be a very unique experience.

Mr. Garrison

#2: Dean Pelton – Community

Much like Belding, Dean Pelton has an odd affiliation with his student body, particularly that of Jeff Winger, unofficial leader of everyone’s favourite study group. While he just wants to better the image of his school, he goes about it in all the wrong ways, often leading to mass chaos on the campus. For example, end-of-the-year paintball tournaments have turned the community college into a post-apocalyptic warzone. If that is enough to make you want to enrol at the school, which for the Sip Advisor it is, then well done Dean… mission accomplished!

#1: Principal Skinner – The Simpsons

Perhaps the longest running school official and therefore, the most famous on this list, Skinner has a tough job, trying to operate Springfield Elementary on a shoestring budget and dealing with delinquents like Bart Simpson and below-average intelligence pupils, such as Ralph Wiggum. When he’s not challenged by the student body, he has to deal with Superintendent Chalmers breathing down his neck. And did you know that he’s not even the real principal Skinner??? Oh wait, we were supposed to completely forget that ever happened. My bad.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Too Cool for School

Too Cool for School Shot

  • Rim glass with Coconut Shavings
  • 0.3 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.3 oz Mango Rum
  • 0.3 oz Blue Curacao
  • 0.3 oz Orange Juice
  • 0.3 oz Pineapple Juice

Honourable mentions include Gabe Kotter (Welcome Back Kotter), Peggy Hill (King of the Hill), and anything Ben Stein does (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off/The Wonder Years). I only include them so as to avoid the omnipotent threat of detention!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Yet another cocktail I had to convert into a shot for my own purposes… what is this world coming to!? The shot was heavy with tropical juices, but it was nice to have the Mango and Coconut Rums come in with the aftertaste. This shooter provided my first opportunity to use the Bols Blue Curacao foam I picked up in Europe and I think I’ll have a lot of fun playing with this neat product in the future!