November 11 – Burnt Martini

Hall of Fame 2014

Last year, we opened the doors to the Sip Advisor Hall of Fame, inducting five spirits, one entry into the beer and wine wing, and one mixer, as well. It was a festive evening, although nobody really remembers much about it! Without further ado, here is the class of 2014!

Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey

Honey Whiskey was the final cut from last year’s Hall of Fame class (with two other whiskeys going in), making it a surefire entry this year. I love this stuff, going so far as to chip one of my teeth when I couldn’t get my flask open and the container was carrying this elixir… not one of my finer moments, but it did occur. Even Mrs. Sip, who has a love-hate relationship with whiskey, is a fan of cocktails made with JD Honey (which would be my porn name if the industry was lucky enough to have me!).

JD Bees

Tanqueray Gin

Although I’m a big fan of gin, this is the first alcohol of that genre to enter the hallowed halls of the Sip Advisor Hall of Fame and it was a tough choice. After a close race between Tanqueray and a competitor brand, the nod went to Tanqueray thanks in large part to the Rangpur variety that I have enjoyed so much, since picking up earlier this year. It has leap-frogged all other options in the phylum to find its place amongst so many other fine spirits.

Appleton Rum

I’m sad to say that Appleton Rum is currently not part of the Sip Advisor liquor colletion after being a mainstay for years. After using and finishing it for Jamaica week, I have yet to replace it and Appleton has become a casualty of having to pick up other rums for the Around the World project, instead. That doesn’t mean that the fondness has faded, however, and it won’t be long before the shelves are stocked again with this fine rum.

Absolut Vodka

Like gin, vodka was absent from the inaugural Sip Advisor Hall of Fame class, an act that must be remedied. Also like gin, it came down to a very difficult decision between a few companies, but in the end, it was inspirational flavours that won the day. Absolut has all the usual suspects available for consumption, but advancements such as their fine City Series, and mixing of interesting flavours has pushed Absolut ahead of its contemporaries and into the hall.

Absolut Flavors

Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps

Rounding out the spirit entrants into the Hall of Fame is Peppermint Schnapps, which is great on its own as a shooter, or combined with hot chocolate and a few other drinks. Around Christmas, there are so many events that are favourable to Peppermint Schnapps-spiked beverages. It’s no wonder that mint is often on the Sip Advisor’s breath and emanating from Sip family mugs and thermoses.

1884 Malbec Wine

Wine gets the nod over beer this year in the category they share. Mrs. Sip and I have enjoyed many lazy Sundays with a bottle of this Argentinian red. I even used it for this year’s Around the World project, when the Sip Advisor visited Argentina. This wine is perfect great evenings with a loved one, relaxing and boozing (the two things the Sip Advisor does better than perhaps anyone else). I like adding a little ice to my wines (even reds), which I hope you little sippers won’t hold against me.

Dr. Pepper

In the mixer wing, Dr. Pepper joins Pepsi, perfectly depicting the evolution of the Sip Advisor’s drinking habits. When I’m looking for an easy-to-make well drink, I’ll often toss in anything from the aforementioned Honey Whiskey to Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum (part of last year’s HoF class) and top whatever spirit I’ve chosen with Dr. Pepper. The flavours are more intense with this soda than others available, making for a crisp, tasty, and effervescent experience.

Hall of Fame 2014: Burnt Martini

Burnt Martini

It’s so nice to see everyone all decked out in their finest threads. We sure make a great looking group. I wonder which spirits will finally hear their names called next year for enshrinement… only time will tell!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
As we did last year, with the Dirty Martini, we’re pulling out a very classic recipe for our annual Hall of Fame article. This edition gets the Burnt Martini, which combines two of my favourite alcohol varieties in Gin and Scotch. It was a nice drink, but certainly strong. The smoky flavour of the Scotch at the end of each sip was quite enjoyable.

June 26 – Lemon Cry

Just Dew It

We continue our four-part series examining the new Mountain Dew flavours today, tasting the White Out selection. With a name like that, this mixer is sure to be a favourite of white supremacists everywhere, but how will it fare in the Sip Advisor headquarters? Carrying on yesterdays theme, we again check out another smattering of liquors that look fascinating to try. If anyone wants to be my rich benefactor and allow me to sample these alcohols, I am open to a quid pro quo arrangement (*wink, wink*)!

Malibu Fresh

Most people wouldn’t think of combining coconut and mint, but that’s one of the greatest things about mixology: experimenting with different ingredients and stumbling upon something that is delicious, despite conventional wisdom saying those elements shouldn’t blend together very well. If I could get my hands on some Malibu Fresh (I saw it in stores briefly last year), I would put it straight to work in some coconut mojitos!

malibu_fresh

After Shock Liqueur / Fire & Ice

These two spirits combine cinnamon and peppermint liqueurs, which I find to be such an interesting contrast. I guess you could just put together ingredients like Fireball Whiskey and Peppermint Schnapps, but I don’t think the results would work out as well. I like the names of each alcohol, too, with Fire & Ice perhaps being one of the most aptly-named spirits in libation history!

Bombay Sapphire East

This alcohol takes the already wonderful Bombay Sapphire Gin and adds a couple “eastern” elements to alter the flavour. Lemongrass and black peppercorns join the party, apparently to offset the sweetness of American tonic water. I’m very curious to try this spirit and can see it working well in a number of cocktails. Let’s make all our dreams come true and track down this mysterious treasure.

Bombay Sapphire East

Hot & Sweet Cactus

As I’ve mentioned on this site before, Hot & Sweet was one of the liqueurs Mrs. Sip and I found in Norway. It can best be described as a salty Black Sambuca. I have since found other flavours put out by the company including Hot & Sweet Cactus. I have no clue how the flavours of salt, licorice and cactus will all come together. I only hope that the prickly needles aren’t part of the alcohol, as it may be punishment enough just to swallow the concoction.

Oddka Electricity Vodka

When I first found out about Oddka Electricity, I immediately thought the taste would be similar to licking a battery. Now, Mrs. Sip will tell you that I do a lot of pretty stupid stuff, with a complete and utter disregard for my own body and well-being. That is why I must taste this vodka (licking the battery wasn’t enough to quell my curiousity!) and report to the world about its notes and highlights.

Drink #177: Lemon Cry

Lemon Cry Cocktail

Well, we’re now at the halfway point of the Mountain Dew discovery challenge. Two more days of liquors I want to taste and Mountain Dews I must taste are right around the corner. Won’t ya be my neighbour!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I found that this was a very good drink. My decision to use Honey Whiskey was amazing (no surprise there) and the other ingredients provided a fun sour martini experience.
The White Out Mountain Dew is probably the closest to the original flavour and works well as a refreshing soda and mixer.