Kentucky – Kentucky Mule

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we stop in Kentucky for some bourbon and bluegrass music. The Bluegrass State, named for the blue flowers from the species of grass found in the area, is known for so much more, so let’s get to it:

Motto: “United we stand, divided we fall” – Sounds like something you’d see on a movie poster.

Food: Kentucky Fried Chicken, with its secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices was first introduced in the state, but that seems too easy for this category. Instead, let’s go with the Hot Brown Sandwich, invented at Louisville’s Brown Hotel. The sandwich features chicken or turkey breast, with bacon and Mornay sauce, which is baked or broiled until the bread is crispy. It is very popular throughout Kentucky.

Drink: 95 per cent of all Bourbon is produced in Kentucky, with more barrels aging across the state than its population. Bardstown is known as the Bourbon Capital of the World and hosts an annual Bourbon Festival. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail includes distilleries such as Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, Bulleit, Four Roses, Wild Turkey, Evan Williams, and Maker’s Mark.

Bourbon

Site to See: Mammoth Cave National Park is home to the longest cave system in the world and it’s still being explored today. It is the second oldest tourist attraction in the U.S., after Niagara Falls. Mammoth Cave was named a World Heritage Site in 1981.

Street: Along Main Street in Louisville, a number of attractions can be found, including the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Kentucky Science Center and Frazier History Museum. Restaurants and bars also line this entertainment district.

TV Show: Daniel Boone aired for six season and 165 episodes, following the adventures of the real-life frontiersman. Set in Boonesborough (founded by Boone), the series starred Fess Parker, who was previously known for playing Davy Crockett. When Disney refused to sell the rights to Davy Crockett to NBC, Daniel Boone became the subject matter.

Movie: Coal Miner’s Daughter is a biographical film about Kentucky singer, Loretta Lynn. Starring Sissy Spacek, the movie documents Lynn’s rise from humble beginnings to being a top country music star. Spacek won an Oscar for her role, including singing all of Lynn’s most popular songs.

Loretta Lynn

Book/Author: The father of gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson, was born in Louisville. His most famous works include Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary, both of which starred Johnny Depp, when adapted into films. Thompson and Depp were friends and the actor made sure to carry out the writer’s last wishes to have his ashes shot out of a cannon.

Fictional Character: Rick Grimes, leader of the focal group of survivors in The Walking Dead, is Kentucky born and bred. A police officer, prior to the zombie apocalypse, Rick is highly-skilled in fighting the “walkers” and also with survival tactics.

Fictional City: There wasn’t much to choose from for this category, but I did find that the movie In Country was set in Hopewell. The box office flop stars Bruce Willis, just after he became Die Hard famous, but is about a high school graduate (played by Emily Lloyd) trying to learn about her father who she never met after he died in the Vietnam War.

Actor/Actress: Three Hollywood A-listers hail from Kentucky: Johnny Depp, George Clooney and Jennifer Lawrence. They were born in Owensboro, Lexington and Indian Hills, respectively. The trio have been responsible for some of the most memorable movies and characters of recent times, but have never worked together in any combination.

Hunter S. Thompson

Song: Bluegrass music is the State Music of Kentucky and a fine example of the style (which the Sip Advisor is a fan of) is Blue Moon of Kentucky, by Bill Monroe. The song has also been recorded by Elvis Presley, rearranged to be a rock and roll tune, and released as the B-side of The King’s first single in 1954.

Band/Musician: More on Monroe, who was born in Rosine, and has been called the father of the Bluegrass genre. After all, his band The Blue Grass Boys, inspired the name of the style. Monroe was made an honorary Kentucky Colonel in 1966 and inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

People: The fact opposing leaders of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, were born in the same state, one year and less than 100 miles apart, is fascinating. Both were said to be politically moderate, so maybe that can be traced back to their Kentucky roots.

Animal: Of course, a state filled with so much horse racing history, would also be home to a couple iconic thoroughbreds. Man o’War had an almost unblemished record, losing only one race over his career. He sired War Admiral, who won the Triple Crown in 1937, and grandfathered Seabiscuit, who continued the family tradition of winning.

Invention: Nathan Stubblefield, from Murray, invented wireless telephones, which some debate were radio transmissions, making Stubblefield’s exhibitions the first ever radio broadcasts. Either way, his work led to further developments of the medium.

Crime: The infamous Hatfield vs. McCoy feud took place between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky. The murder of Asa Harmon McCoy, in January 1865, is said to have ignited the feud, which would go on to claim the lives of 13 members of the two families. In 1979, descendants from each family waged a different kind of war on the TV game show, Family Feud.

Law: In Kentucky, it is illegal to hunt game from the window of a moving vehicle. This applies to all animals, except whales. Whales after all, are the most dangerous game on land, so the use of vehicles are a necessity.

Sports Team: The Kentucky Derby is a highlight of the annual sporting calendar. The first leg of the American Triple Crown, it is the oldest continuously run horse race in the U.S. and although the sprint lasts only two minutes, the duration is called ‘the most exciting two minutes in sports’. The University of Kentucky Wildcats vs. University of Louisville Cardinals NCAA basketball rivalry is also huge across the state.

Kentucky Derby

Athlete: The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, was born Cassius Clay, in Louisville. Ali was a three-time Heavyweight Champion and also won a gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics. However, Ali’s fame extended outside the boxing world, as an activist and philanthropist, following his in-ring career. Ali was picked to light the torch at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, but that appearance highlighted the Parkinson’s disease he was suffering from. Ali passed away in June 2016, at the age of 74.

Famous Home: The Muhammad Ali Childhood Home, can be found in Louisville. Here, the future sports icon grew up and first began to box. Today, the unmistakeable pink home is filled with memorabilia from Ali’s life and career and guided tours are available.

Urban Legend: Waverly Hills Sanatorium, in Louisville, is considered one of the most haunted places in America. Some of the legends surrounding the former hospital for tuberculosis patients, include the ghost of a nurse haunting the first floor, room 502 being the site of a suicide/murder and the tunnel used to discretely remove bodies from the facility being rife with paranormal activity. Today, the facility hosts ghost tours and can be stayed in overnight.

Museum: Louisville Slugger baseball bats are synonymous with the sport, having been used by professionals since the late 1800’s. The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is home to the storied history of the company. Visitors can’t miss the place, as the world’s largest baseball bat is found at its entrance. You can even enter a batting cage and try bat models from the past and present.

muhammad-ali

Firsts: The first commercial winery in the U.S., was opened in Nicholasville, in 1799. Over 200 years later, the winery still stands, restored to depict what it would have looked like in its earliest years. The site seems like a perfect place to celebrate Mother’s Day, which was first observed in Kentucky on April 20, 1887, as a project started by teacher Mary Towles Sasseen, to honour her mother.

Company: A trio of popular restaurant chains are headquartered in Kentucky. This includes KFC, A&W and Papa John’s Pizza. It should be noted, KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders may not have been a Kentucky native, but his famous creation led to him being recommissioned a Kentucky Colonel, an image he maintained for the rest of his life.

Events: The War of 1812 was catastrophic for Kentucky, as half of the American soldiers killed were from the state, despite battles not taking place there. Kentucky also greatly supplied the war effort, including mining of the Mammoth Cave.

Miscellaneous: Kentucky’s Fort Knox, is home to the United States Bullion Depository, which stores a majority of the country’s gold reserves (estimated in July 2019 to be worth $210.8 billion). In the past, it has also safely held the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Kentucky Mule

Kentucky Mule

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • Top with Ginger Beer
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Although the obvious choice for Kentucky is the Mint Julep, the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby, I’ve already made that drink for this site and I never do repeats. I had to choose something using Bourbon, given its association with the state, so I went with the delicious Kentucky Mule, to sort of keep with the horse theme.

Mixer Mania #24 – Cut of Pork

As today’s featured mixer is the Lester’s Fixins Bacon Soda, I just can’t get the pork product out of my mind. That got me thinking about all the great fictional pigs out there. Here are some of those swine:

Porky Pig – Looney Tunes

Porky Pig has been stuttering his way into our hearts since 1935. Although Porky can sometimes be pushed to the limits of sanity (by the likes of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck), he’s generally a jovial fellow. We’ll always remember him for his trademark catchphrase: “That’s all folks!”

Miss Piggy – The Muppets

If Porky Pig is the king of the sty, then Miss Piggy would be his queen. I’d actually like to see a crossover project of that nature, although you’d have to imagine Miss Piggy would only be using Porky to make long-time beau Kermit the Frog jealous.

Overly Attached Girlfriend

Babe – Babe

This little porker was so talented, it was considered for a Best Actor Oscar… only the character was played by countless animals, so it was hard to nominate one sole “actor”. Still, folks fell in love with Babe, leading to a sequel that earned high praise from both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

Hamton J. Pig – Tiny Toon Adventures

Following in the footsteps of Porky Pig is a daunting task, but at least at Acme Looniversity, Hamton has the opportunity to learn from the master, himself. Much like Porky, Hamton is often at the mercy of his partners, such as Plucky Duck.

ManBearPig – South Park

A figment from the imagination of former US vice-president Al Gore, ManBearPig was something to be feared. Of course, during the Imaginationland saga, ManBearPig comes to life and is every bit as terrible as Mr. Gore always claimed it would be.

manbearpig

Piglet – Winnie the Pooh

While Piglet is among my least favourite Winnie the Pooh characters, the loyal friendship he provides to the loveable honey-obsessed bear is truly touching. Piglet even got his own feature film, which featured Pooh and pals searching for the little alarmist.

Pumbaa – The Lion King

Warthog Pumbaa, along with meerkat Timon, seemingly help young lion Simba mature from cat to king of the jungle through the course of one song. These sidekicks to the future ruler of the Pridelands proved so popular that they received their own cartoon series and film.

Ganon – The Legend of Zelda

Before he was changed to a human, the evil sorcerer Ganon was originally a pig-like being and a thorn in the side of Hyrulians everywhere. His tireless pursuit of the Triforce – for the purpose of malicious intent and Hyrule domination – has led to many adventures for our hero Link.

Ganondorf

Bebop – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Sticking with pig-like baddies, this mutant warthog is a constant pain for the TMNT crew to deal with. Although, along with fellow thug Rocksteady, he’s mostly a bumbling temporary distraction, Bebop has been known to do some degree of damage, along the way.

Bad Piggies – Angry Birds

The antagonists of the Angry Birds franchise have proven so popular that they even got their own game: Bad Piggies. Sure, they are evil and have stolen bird eggs for consumption – plus the pigs surly snicker when you fail a level is infuriating – but there’s something endearing about these villains.

Mixer Mania #24: Bacon & Eggs

Bacon & Eggs.JPG

  • Rim glass with Bacon Bits
  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • Top with Bacon Soda
  • Dash of Egg Whites

Pigs may perhaps be the best tasting animal out there, but you wouldn’t want to eat those previous little piggies.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Much like with my efforts to find a cocktail recipe for the Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda, this was not an easy task. I went with this idea and altered it as needed. The drink was highlighted by the Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey and the Bacon Bit Rim. That said, the Bacon Soda was a decent contributor, as well.

Mixer Mania #9 – Two of a Kind

Today, we’ll be combining two different mixers, Lemonade and Iced Tea (known as an Arnold Palmer). The pair work together so well, it got me thinking about all the other duos out there that deserve recognition for their continued success as a tandem:

Batman & Robin

While Batman often works alone, his partnership with young ward Robin has also been beneficial to the citizens of Gotham City, who despite all they have experienced, still choose to call the dangerous metropolis home. While the two usually exhibit a mentor-pupil bond, Robin has been known to break out on his own, thanks to the tutelage of the Caped Crusader.

batman-and-robin-movie

Bert & Ernie

The long-time “roommates” may not have a perfect relationship, but their friendship has endured for close to 50 years, even after all of Bert’s frustration with Ernie. Can you blame him? Imagine you had a friend/partner who took up the bathroom for hours, playing with a rubber ducky. Neat fact, Bert & Ernie were the only two Muppets to appear in the Sesame Street pilot, launching the franchise.

Tom & Jerry

Where one appears, the other is surely to follow. Typically set against each other, I always enjoyed those rare moments when the two put aside their differences and teamed together. I may have been in the minority on that, though. The duo even inspired Itchy & Scratchy of The Simpsons fame, who managed to take cartoon violence up a whole lot of notches.

Scooby Doo & Shaggy

This duo’s love of insanely immense meals and mutual dislike of mysteries made them friends for life (as seen through the A Pup Named Scooby Doo series). They’re such a close pair that Shaggy can even understand Scooby, despite the latter being a completely different species. The one time I tried talking to my pets, I was given horrible looks. We did managed to solve a mystery, though.

scooby-doo-villains

Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson

Speaking of sleuth tandems, Sherlock Holmes is perhaps the greatest private investigator to ever live… and Dr. Watson has always been by his side, recording the cases. Watson chips in from time to time, but it’s Holmes brilliance that makes the team so successful. Watson does play a vital role in keeping Holmes in check and in some versions, providing some necessary muscle.

Pinky & The Brain

Whenever Mrs. Sip asks me what I want to do that night, I quickly respond: “Try to take over the world!” Yeah, I’m a real peach to live with. The line is all thanks to these lab mice, who continually try to leave their Acme Labs cage behind, in favour of world dominance. And, while you’d expect Pinky to cause the downfall of most of their schemes, it’s actually The Brain who is often to blame.

Mixer Mania #9: Tipsy Palmer

Tipsy Palmer.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • Top with Arnold Palmer Half & Half
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

Honourable mentions go to Lucy & Ethel (I Love Lucy), Wayne & Garth (Wayne’s World), Beavis & Butt-head, and Penn & Teller, to name a few. Of course, this list doesn’t even include pairs from the sports world, which would be a whole different article.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I was hoping to use a slightly more complex recipe, but surprisingly couldn’t find many options for the Arnold Palmer Half & Half. That said, this drink was very refreshing and my decision to use Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey certainly paid off.

Cocktail Corner – Fashionably Late

Here’s Looking At You

For my birthday in September, I took a look at the best of 1983. To celebrate Mrs. Sip’s anniversary today, I decided we should delve into her birth year of 1984. Yes, on top of being more successful and better looking, Mrs. Sip is younger than yours truly. So, what do I bring to the table… sweet posts like this! I’ll be looking at the year in regards to what impacted Mrs. Sip the most, rather than myself. So, while 1984 was amazing for TV show debuts (The Cosby Show, Transformers, Murder She Wrote, Night Court), those series matter more to me, than her. On with the list and again, happy birthday, honey!:

#5: MAC Make-Up Launches

While Mrs. Sip is a natural beauty, the minimal make-up she uses is often from MAC and when she really wants to get gussied up for a special event, she lets the artists at the company do their thing. I am no cosmetics expert, but I can only assume they make fine products if Mrs. Sip and others have committed their time and financial resources to them. Not that she needs the help, but Mrs. Sip certainly looks stunning after applying MAC wares.

makeup lipsticks

#4: Legal Taping Using Betamax

Growing up, Mrs. Sip had a regular routine that consisted of coming home from school, napping, doing her homework, and then staying up late watching TV shows she had taped from earlier, before repeating the process. Well, that would have never been possible had the Betamax not won a 1984 legal battle versus Universal City Studios, which allowed home videotaping to be legalized. Given Mrs. Sip’s profession as a lawyer, a landmark legal decision seems perfect for this article.

#3: Movie Releases

1984 was an amazing year for feature films, with hits like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Revenge of the Nerds, Beverly Hills Cop, Police Academy, and many more all hitting the big screen. Many of these movies are beloved by Mrs. Sip, particularly Indiana Jones and Gremlins. All that’s missing is a Star Wars movie and you might have been able to call this the most important year in 80’s cinema.

Indiana Jones Temple Run

#2: Craft Breweries Open in B.C.

With the opening of both Granville Island Brewing and Vancouver Island Brewing (clearly, the islands knew something long before the rest of the province) craft beer arrived in British Columbia and while Mrs. Sip and I weren’t drinking back then, their hard work established a growing movement which we would finally be able to enjoy much later. While wine is still Mrs. Sip’s beverage of choice, she has become a craft beer junkie just like the Sip Advisor.

#1: Cirque du Soleil is Founded

Mrs. Sip is a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil productions, having seen a number of the Las Vegas-based shows, as well as big top performances here at home. Before hitting the international stage, Cirque du Soleil grew from a small touring operation in Quebec, Canada. Today, their combination of circus, theatrics, costumes, atmosphere, and music is loved the world over. Among Mrs. Sip’s favourite Cirque shows are O, Ka, and Love, proving it doesn’t take a long title to make a great experience.

Cocktail Corner: Fashionably Late

Jan 19

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Port
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

Mrs. Sip shares her birth year with such dignitaries as Scarlett Johansson and LeBron James. Some honourable mentions for 1984, include Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, Michael Jordan being drafted into the NBA, the creation of Tetris, and the birth of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in comic form. At least the actual 1984 didn’t turn out like the classic George Orwell novel, which showed the world in a state of dystopia. That said, 1984 brought the birth of crack cocaine, as well as the discovery of the AIDS virus, so maybe the novel wasn’t that far off.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This drink is, of course, in honour of the habitually late Mrs. Sip. I used Vanilla Spiced Whiskey in favour of Bourbon and that added a whole bonus flavour to the cocktail. My Port choice came from Backyard Vineyards, where Mrs. Sip is a member. Everything came together quite nicely for a refreshing, interesting martini.

September 26 – Capital Punishment

Special Scribes

As we continue to celebrate the gloriousness that is the Sip Advisor (with my recent birthday and all), today we will look at the greatest writers out there in the land of fiction. Write-on my brothers and sisters!

#5: Jack Torrance – The Shining

It seemed like a good idea for writer Jack Torrance to take a job as a caretaker, looking after the massive Overlook Hotel estate in the Colorado mountains over the winter off-season… especially when he could use the solitude to get down to work. Only problem is the silence and seclusion turned an already damaged man into a complete psychopath, set on hunting down his own wife and son. Remember, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”

jack torrance

#4: Brian Griffin – Family Guy

This often pretentious dog considers himself a future legendary scribe, except for the fact that for the longest time, he only talked about writing the great American novel, never sitting down to actually pen it. When he finally does, Faster Than the Speed of Love, is shredded by critics. His follow-up self-help title Wish It, Want It, Do It becomes a best seller, but the fame and fortune for Brian is fleeting, as he lets it all go to his head and alienates those that love him.

#3: Paul Sheldon – Misery

I would never expect my work to get me into trouble (unless I give a liquor company a bad review and they boycott serving me!), but that’s exactly what happens to Paul Sheldon, after he decides to end his popular series of romance novels. He just so happens to also be in the custody of his ‘number one fan’ Annie Wilkes, when this conclusion is published and that leads to a whirlwind of pain, instead of being nursed back to health by the former medical professional.

misery hammer

#2: Jessica Fletcher – Murder, She Wrote

It’s pretty easy to get ideas for your best-selling mystery novels when real-life murders seem to follow you around like you’re death personified. Jessica Fletcher may reside in the sleepy, rural town of Cabot Cove (where there’s an out-of-proportion murder rate), but thanks to her success as an author, she often travels the world and… you guessed it, comes across even more brutality. At least she’s always able to solve the crime, outwitting bumbling police officers everywhere.

#1: Dr. Watson – Sherlock Holmes

Along with being a sidekick and companion, Dr. John Watson also took it upon himself to record the extensive case files of Sherlock Holmes. As a fan of a good mystery, I wonder where we would be without the writings of Dr. Watson (who was originally to be named ‘Ormond Sacker’). Dr. Watson becomes a biographer of sorts for Holmes, largely because he can’t stand others taking and receiving credit for the solving of high-profile crimes.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Capital Punishment

  • Rim glass with Crushed Nuts
  • 0.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto

Some honourable mentions go to poets Mikey Blumberg (Recess) and Diane Chambers (Cheers), journalists Paul Hennessy (8 Simple Rules) and Ray Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond), crime novelist Richard Castle (Castle), columnist Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City), and TV writer Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke Show). May the words flow freely from your minds!

Flavour Revolution – Banana

Fave Foods

Bananas are making a huge comeback – in fact, they may have never been so popular – thanks to the Minions and their fondness for the tropical fruit… heck, “banana” is one of the few words that can be understood from the Minionese language. Despite all the wonderful food out there, some characters have favourites, preferring one item over anything else. Here are some of the finest examples:

Cookies – Cookie Monster

Thank the lord above that this character wasn’t created nowadays or he might have been Fruit-in-Yogurt Monster or something ridiculous like that. As a proud and certified member of the Cookie Monster club, I fully endorse the high pursuit of cookie happiness. While the Sip Advisor has his favourite cookie options, Cookie Monster is not picky in the slightest. Every treat is perfect for the occasion.

Lasagna – Garfield

While this kitty isn’t adverse to any food, lasagna is by far his favourite. This is based on the fact that creator Jim Davis is also a lasagna lover, saying fans come up to him often saying their cats eat the Italian dish. The thought of any cat I’ve ever had enjoying pasta noodles just doesn’t jive, but Garfield is in it for the meat and cheese (kind of sounds like Mrs. Sip!).

Pizza – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Mostly all teens love pizza and that’s no different with these heroes in a half shell, who manage to get their hands on the meal, despite living in the sewers beneath New York City. What took the Turtles enjoyment of pizza to a whole other level was the wacky combinations they ordered, such as granola and licorice, peanut butter and clams, and coconut and sweet pickle.

Donuts – Homer Simpson

If there’s one thing Homer Simpson loves more than beer and even pork chops, it’s donuts. So much so, that one element of currency in the game The Simpsons: Tapped Out, is the dessert treat. Donuts have played a role in many of Homer’s adventures, most notably, the selling of his soul for a tasty pastry… to a devil Ned Flanders, of all people!

Homer Donut

Honey – Winnie the Pooh

The lengths, to which Winnie the Pooh will go, in the pursuit of honey (or ‘hunny’ as it’s known in the Hundred Acre Wood), are pretty remarkable. This loveable, seemingly always hungry bear has a habit of getting his head caught in a honey pot, but it’s totally worth it for a smackeral of the good stuff. There’s even a song, penned by Pooh, which is basically all about honey love!

Tater Tots – Napoleon Dynamite

The only thing that gets Napoleon Dynamite through a tough day of school (or at his dysfunctional home, for that matter) is the promise of tater tots from the school cafeteria. The teen always seems to have the side dish on him, often stuffed in his pockets for later enjoyment. He also doesn’t hesitate to snatch his friend’s tater tots, if the opportunity arises.

Marmalade – Paddington Bear

Much like his carnivorous counterpart, Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear has a weakness for a toast accompaniment. In Paddington’s case, it is a fondness for marmalade. In 2007, Paddington tried “something different” with Marmite sandwiches, but he will always be a marmalade bear. If we’re talking preserves, the Sip Advisor is more of a raspberry jam fan, but whateves!

Flavour Revolution: Monkey Business

  • Muddle Cardamom Pods
  • 1.5 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Bols Banana Liqueur
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Cardamom Pods

Some honourable mentions include Monterrey Jack (Rescue Rangers) and his crazed obsession with cheese; Bugs Bunny (Looney Tunes) and his penchant for chomping on a carrot every time he’s foiled an antagonist; and Popeye, who without spinach, would have absolutely no chance against the dastardly Bluto, in his pursuit of Olive Oil. I can’t help but notice that many of my favourite characters ever comprise this list. When you add the Sip Advisor as a bona fide potato chip connoisseur, the article is complete!

March 21 – The Punisher

Power to the People

Vigilantes fascinate me to a degree. People who are willing to take justice into their own hands and set the wrongs of the legal system right, taking up a cause and fighting for the people who have no voice. This list will not include super heroes who have special powers, but just ordinary folks, trying to make a difference:

#5: Casey Jones

While the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are vigilantes in their own right, it’s Casey Jones who goes out night after night with no special powers to protect him and takes care of business with an array of sports-themed weapons, highlighted by his protective mask and hockey stick armament. Jones is best remembered for his appearance in the original TMNT movie, where Michelangelo calls his “Wayne Gretzky on steroids!” and he joins the team and helps take down Shredder and the Foot Clan.

Casey Jones

#4: Dexter

The serial killer of serial killers, Dexter is there to pick up the scraps whenever the justice system fails. Operating under a code passed down to him by his father, police officer Harry Morgan, Dexter stalks his prey and once he has confirmed that they are indeed guilty as charged, he puts them in his kill room and under the knife… quite literally. It’s funny how much you can like someone that would normally be so reviled. Does the end justify his means? After all, Dexter is still a murderer.

#3: Machete

The former Mexican Federale (played by real-life ex-inmate Danny Trejo) is one badass you don’t want to mess with. Still, some idiot – drug kingpin Rogelio Torrez – decided to murder Machete’s wife and daughter, which sends Machete over the edge and seeking revenge. Machete’s kill count soars to astronomical numbers and the bloodshed is immense while his vengeance is being sought. Amusingly, Trejo’s own mother has likened calling her son by his killer character’s name.

Machete

#2: Kick-Ass

Before becoming a “superhero,” Dave Lizewski had hoped to make a difference in his crime-ridden city. He gets beat up pretty bad on his first attempt, but this results in severe nerve damage and numerous metal plates being surgically implanted in his body, thus making him somewhat impervious to pain. Along with fellow do-gooders like Hit-Girl, Colonel Stars and Stripes, Night Bitch, and Battle Guy, Kick-Ass takes to the streets to dole out some vigilante justice and keep would-be criminals in check.

#1: The Punisher

After his family is killed by members of organized crime, Frank Castle has nothing left to lose and becomes The Punisher, a vigilante who is hell bent on extracting revenge for his fallen kin and ridding the world of evildoers. The Punisher has become more of an anti-hero thanks to his willingness to take on all contracts and for the ruthless nature in which he operates. The man gets the job done, though, unwilling to let anyone get in the way of his end goal: total villain annihilation.

Super Saturday Shot Day: The Punisher

The Punisher Shot

  • Rim glass with Chocolate Sprinkles
  • 0.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • Splash of Mudslide Mix

Honourable mentions go to the A-Team, the Boondock Saints, and Batman, who narrowly misses this list because of his immense wealth, unlike other less fortunate crime fighters. Now, I will surely have Batman haunting me and stalking the Sip Advisor like some easy-to-catch prey!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
There are other Punisher/Vigilante recipes out there that I considered, but I felt this one best represented the character. I was missing both Mudslide Mix and Whip Cream (which you’re supposed to garnish the drink with), but mixed my own Mudslide ingredients (Irish Creme, Kahlua, Vodka, Milk) and went with some Chocolate Sprinkles for presentation points. The best part of this shooter is that it couldn’t be further from a punishment and is actually quite delightful!

June 20 – Texas Roadkill

On the Road Again

With the summer rapidly approaching, families are likely making plans for road trips, vacations, and other forms of long distance travel. After reading this list and viewing the media listed, you may want to reconsider. Here are the Top 5 road trip movies, which never go according to plan!

#5: Zombieland

Can road trips still occur in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world? Zombieland proves they can, as our four heroes – identified only by the city which they hail from – try to survive together and decide the safest place for them to be is Pacific Playland in Los Angeles – after all, there might be Twinkies there! When they arrive, through a mine field of the undead, they discover there really is no safe place left in the world, except maybe with each other.

zombieland twinkies

#4: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Neal Page is having a bad day… and it’s about to get a lot worse. While trying to get home for Thanksgiving, his simple flight from New York to Chicago is transformed into a three-day nightmare, with an unwelcome companion, Del Griffith, along for the journey. One thing after another goes wrong, usually caused by the affable Griffith. In the end, the two men share the holiday together and a new appreciation for what they have.

#3: Beavis and Butt-head Do America

Despite Mrs. Sip’s refusal to watch this film, it’s a great movie that everyone should watch at least once. Heck, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel actually gave the flick two thumbs up. The story sees our favourite teenage delinquents trek across the country, in search of their missing TV, while also getting unwittingly entangled in a murder-for-hire plot. Everything comes to a head in Washington, D.C., with the White House as a backdrop and the ATF’s intervention.

beavis-and-butthead

#2: Little Miss Sunshine

This sleeper hit sees the dysfunctional Hoover family set out for the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, which daughter Olive has lucked her way into. Along for the ride are Olive’s parents (currently going through some marital issues), moody brother, suicidal uncle, and drug-abusing grandfather. That sounds like a hell of a car load to the Sip Advisor! Best of all, the troupe is making the journey in a rundown VW Microbus, which makes for some not-so-comfortable family bonding.

#1: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Starring an ensemble cast that included legends such as Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, and Jonathan Winters, this film sees a number of travelers race to uncover $350,000 buried in the Santa Rosita Beach State Park. The movie Rat Race was a remake of sorts to the original, if you’re hoping to watch a more contemporary version of the story. There was also a great parody of the concept in an episode of The Simpsons. The things people do for money!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Texas Roadkill

  • 0.3 oz Rum
  • 0.3 oz Gin
  • 0.3 oz Vodka
  • 0.3 oz Bourbon
  • Dash of Tabasco Sauce

The best part about these movies is that they remind you of your own travel experiences (albeit probably not as eventful). For example, the film EuroTrip allows Mrs. Sip and me to reminisce about our Contiki tour around the continent, while National Lampoon’s Vacation makes me look back fondly on road trips across the U.S. with family. Lastly, Almost Famous inspires foggy memories of that time I toured North America with my bluegrass band… okay, I might have made that one up.

Flavour Revolution – Pomegranate

Seed Stories

Have you ever wondered why most of us go through six months of shitty(ier) weather (and I ain’t talking about scientific mumbo jumbo)? Well, it’s all because of the pomegranate… or its seeds to be exact. At least, that’s how the Greek myth goes. In fact, the pomegranate is viewed in a number of different ways by some of the world’s greatest civilizations. Let’s see how the fruit is depicted around the globe:

Ancient Greece

Let’s start with this sordid tale of unrequited love, kidnapping, and confinement. It all began when Hades, lord of the underworld, fell in love with Persephone (daughter of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest). Hades took Persephone against her will to the underworld to be his wife and kept her there by feeding her six pomegranate seeds. As a result, Persephone had to spend six months every year in the underworld (the winter months), thus giving pomegranates the title “fruit of the dead”.

Hades Greek Mythology

Ancient Egypt

Backtracking, the Ancient Egyptians viewed the pomegranate as a symbol of prosperity and ambition and they were required to be readily available to the pharaohs. Pomegranates were drawn on crypt walls, a figure for life after death, with the infamous King Tut being entombed with a pomegranate vase. The pomegranate’s juice was also used to treat various illnesses and infections, such as tapeworm, while the fruit’s flowers were turned into dye for leather products.

Ancient Israel

When Moses sent scouts to the ‘Promised Land,’ they returned with pomegranates to show the area’s fertility. Therefore, it is a common practice on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana to eat the fruit because it is a symbol of prosperity. The pomegranates 613 seeds are said to match the 613 commandments of the Torah. In my typical luck, my last pomegranate only had 612 seeds. I wonder which commandment doesn’t apply to the Sip Advisor?

Western Europe

Here’s where the pomegranate takes on a bit of a morbid identity (I mean, aside from being known as the “fruit of the dead”), as it was often depicted in paintings as breaking open, to symbolize the suffering of Jesus and his later resurrection. Sometime in the distant future, the Sip Advisor’s suffering and resurrection will be portrayed by a bottle of liquor falling to the ground and smashing to pieces… however the liquor will still reach the lips of my many disciples.

Pomegranate Pain

Qur’an

In this ancient text, pomegranates are described as growing in the gardens of paradise and being an example of a positive thing that God creates. Nowadays, you’d have to cite items like the X-Box, Playstation, and Wii to get across to youngsters that God, in fact, creates good things… or at least robots do. And God created those robots, am I right!?

Armenia

Armenians believe that the pomegranate represents fertility, abundance, and marriage. One potentially messy Armenian tradition is to give a bride a pomegranate and let her throw it against the wall. Hopefully nobody gets in the way, or a game of dodge ball may ensue. Anyway, the scattered seeds of the smashed fruit are said to guarantee the bride’s – as well as the groom’s – fertility. Remember, it takes two to tango!

Fertility Drugs

Persia

Love and fertility is the name of the game for Persians. Also, the mythical character of Isfandiyar is said to have become invincible after eating a pomegranate. Clearly, I haven’t been enjoying my pomegranate liqueur enough to absorb such powers. If I consume a fair bit, I feel invincible, but have never disappeared. It would be fun to play ghost every once in a while and scare the bejesus out unsuspecting folk.

China

In China, the pomegranate symbolizes fertility and many children… too bad the Chinese are only allowed, by law, to have one child, thus negating and powerful vibes the pomegranate may send their way. Many homes were even adorned with pictures of ripe pomegranates, their seeds highlighted in the works, which was meant to bless the family with high numbers of offspring.

Flavour Revolution: Burning Duchess

Burning Duchess Cocktail

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
  • Dash of Agave Syrup
  • 1 Sliced Jalapeno
  • Top with Tonic Water
  • Garnish with a Jalapeno Slice

To sum up, here’s what we’ve learned about the pomegranate: they have a lot to do with how many children you have, how successful your marriage may be, and how much wealth you may acquire, but at the same time, may lead you to be destined to an eternity in the underworld. I guess that’s why the fruit is so expensive in grocery stores!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Build the drink by combining the Bourbon, Pomegranate Liqueur, and Agave Syrup, stirring to blend ingredients, before adding the sliced Jalapeno and shaking the mix. Pour into a glass and top with Tonic Water, making it ready to serve. I enjoyed this cocktail, which wasn’t a huge surprise, as I like a bite to my drinks. The Tonic Water left a bit of an odd aftertaste, but not enough to diminish from the rest of the recipe.

January 17 – Attorney Privilege

Order in the Court

With Mrs. Sip’s birthday right around the corner, I thought I’d salute her profession and take a look at the greatest fictional lawyers. I have to preface this piece by saying that I did not include serious legal dramas, such as Law & Order (and all its subsidiaries), The Practice, Boston Legal, etc. So, without further ado, here are the litigators I’d choose to have watching my interests!

#5: Barry Zuckercorn – Arrested Development

Barry Zuckercorn has looked after the legal interests of the Bluth family for decades, but is out of his league when George Sr. is arrested and charged with investment fraud and even treason against the country. After years of negligent representation, Zuckercorn is finally replaced by the smooth, fast-talking Bob Loblaw, although is hired back when Loblaw deserts the Bluth’s. Still, you gotta love a lawyer whose ads ask: “Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?”

Zuckercorn

#4: Dan Fielding & Christine Sullivan – Night Court

One of the things that made Night Court so amazing was the banter back and forth between district attorney Dan Fielding and public defender Christine Sullivan – throw in judge Harold T. Stone and you have the makings of some fine legal repartee. Ironically, it was the sleazy, womanizing Fielding who was actually the prosecutor, while truthful and naïve Sullivan was the public defender. And who couldn’t love that wicked theme song blasted at the start of each episode!

#3: Lionel Hutz – The Simpsons

Lionel Hutz is an ambulance chasing, injury-faking, schyster, who makes every joke about lawyers seem accurate and all contempt hurled towards that profession justifiable. Hutz represented the Simpson family in a variety of suits, including Bart being hit by Mr. Burns vehicle, Bart ingesting a jagged metal Krusty-O cereal toy, and Homer being barred from a seafood buffet. This character could have had so many more great moments had its voice actor Phil Hartman not been tragically killed.

Lionel Hutz

#2: Vincent Gambini – My Cousin Vinny

The gruff, inexperienced lawyer – who seemed to be out of his element in the courtroom – eventually earned the respect of the entire court, including the judge who jailed him for contempt. Vinny’s different style of practicing law saves his wrongly accused cousin from a murder charge and possible death penalty. A sequel to the film never took place, despite a script being written. Marisa Tomei, despite winning an Oscar for her role as Vinny’s girlfriend, was not interested in reprising the character.

#1: Saul Goodman – Breaking Bad

When you represent (among other seedy clients) a pair of meth cooks, you’re bound to get a little dirty yourself… and that’s just the way Saul likes it. Heck, Saul Goodman isn’t even the guy’s real name. If you break it down, he’s really saying “It’s all good, man!” Saul is willing to go to all lengths for his clients, so long as the compensation is there. Saul will be getting his own show soon, aired exclusively on Netflix. So, if you ever find yourself in trouble, you “Better Call Saul!”

Super Saturday Shot Day: Attorney Privilege

Attorney Privilege Shot

  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Orgeat Syrup
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Wow, was this ever a hard list to narrow down… I would also hire Fletcher Reede (Liar Liar), at least before he went all soft; Harvey Birdman (Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law), because the Sip Advisor is really a rejected Hanna-Barbera animated character; and Ben Matlock and Perry Mason, simply because they’re badass lawyers who rarely lose a case, despite having the odds stacked against them!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I decided to go with this shooter, over another recipe, because Mrs. Sip is a fan of Orgeat Syrup and this drink is dedicated to her, after all! It was pretty good and what I would call a Man’s Man shot, what with the classic Bourbon and Angostura Bitters combo. This would make for a Mad Man-esque cocktail, if the proportions were upped.