Flavour Revolution – Maraschino Cherry

Spit Take

Maraschino Cherries lack a pit, which is a bit of a shame. As a youngster, I loved spitting cherry pits out the car window on road trips and that thrill would simply be missing with the Maraschino variety. While my spitting was pure pleasure, these incidents led to much harm for all involved:

Roberto Alomar – Baltimore Orioles

When Alomar was up for election into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the only real knock against him was the spitting incident that had long-tarnished his reputation. At the end of the 1996 season, Alomar was arguing with umpire John Hirschbeck, when he spit in the official’s face. Alomar claimed Hirschbeck had used a racial slur against him and went so far as to say the umpire was bitter over the death of one of his kids. The two eventually made peace, with Alomar doing charity work for ALD research, the illness that claimed Hirschbeck’s child and Hirschbeck fully endorsing Alomar’s Hall of Fame appointment.

Invisible Spitters

Keith Hernandez – Seinfeld

In one of the greatest scenes ever from the popular “show about nothing,” Kramer and Newman take the audience through their experience after a Mets baseball game, where they claim they were spit on by star player Keith Hernandez. Using visuals that resemble the famous Zapruder footage from the JFK assassination, it is deduced by Jerry that there must have been a second spitter, a la the second shooter conspiracy theory, which is part of the JFK murder folklore. Interestingly, actor Wayne Knight, who played Newman, appeared in a similar scene in the 1991 movie JFK.

Roger Waters – Pink Floyd

During a concert in Montreal (us Canadians cause all the world’s problems!) on July 6, 1977, in front of about 80,000 fans, Waters spit in the face of one audience member. What spurned the Pink Floyd frontman to do this, you ask? Well, concert goers were lighting firecrackers, throughout the band’s performance, particularly during quiet sections of the show. It has long been thought that the events of this concert inspired Waters to create his concept for The Wall, which brought the band a whole new level of fame. So, at least they turned a negative into a positive!

Llama-Selfie

Bret Hart – World Wrestling Entertainment

When Hart’s more than a decade long relationship with the then World Wrestling Federation and its owner Vince McMahon went sour in 1997, one of the lasting images from the acrimonious split – in which McMahon and other officials changed the planned ending of Hart’s championship title defense against challenger Shawn Michaels – was Hart launching a loogie at the face of McMahon and scoring a direct hit. The entire incident was dubbed the Montreal Screw Job (wow, a lot of spitting happens in Montreal) and it took many years before fences were mended between both sides.

Frank Rijkaard – Holland

There seems to be a lot of spitting in the football world. So much so, in fact, that there are Top 10 lists on the subject. The most infamous, likely due to happening at the 1990 World Cup (the sport’s biggest tournament and event) involved Frank Rijkaard of Holland spitting in the hair of Rudi Voller of West Germany, not once, but twice. Rijkaard also twisted the ear of Voller and stomped on his foot. That is one pissed off Dutch dude. Somehow, the result was both men getting ejected from the game. Rijkaard later apologized, but the German press had already given him the nickname ‘Llama’!

Flavour Revolution: Vida Verde

Vida Verde

  • Muddle Cucumber and Mint
  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 1 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Cucumber Slice

Maraschino Cherries are the perfect topping on cocktails to ice cream sundaes and everything in between (even baked hams). In fact, these fruits are so good as the final touch, that if you have a few good things happen to you, a smaller, nicer occurrence, might be called the “cherry on top”! Just like when you’re having a decent day and you wrap things up by reading The Sip Advisor…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
There’s a lot going on with this cocktail and it’s all good! The drink is very refreshing thanks to the Cucumber-Mint combo and there’s both sweet and sour to be had. A very enjoyable sipping experience!

Flavour Revolution – Maple

Canadian Chauvinism

Maple is a cultural icon of Canada, whether you’re talking about trees, syrup or anything else. We put it on everything, including in booze. Hell, the maple leaf is even featured on our country’s flag, giving us one of the most unique banners in the world. With national pride in mind, here are some of Canada’s greatest patriots and icons:

Don Cherry

Cherry has about as many detractors as he does fans, but one thing everyone agrees on is that ‘Grapes’ is a staunch supporter of Canada, its hockey players, its military troops, and its national sport. He may go about this the wrong way sometimes, such as questioning the heart of European players, for example, but his heart is usually in the right place. The guy practically bleeds red and white maple leafs, which is sometimes hard to detect given the distracting nature of his wardrobe!

don-cherry-back

Bret Hart

Wrestling is full of patriotic characters, but you don’t see too many Canadians waving the ol’ red and white maple leaf too wildly. Bret Hart, however, along with his Hart Foundation stable, ventured on a unique storyline in 1997, where he criticized the United States and the fans that called the country home. This made him wildly popular in Canada and vehemently hated south of the border. For the rest of his career, Hart always wore Canadian pride on his sleeve and cemented his legendary status.

Wayne Gretzky

Among many great athletes, ‘The Great One’ is Canada’s most iconic and not just because he played the country’s national sport. Gretzky’s influence spread throughout the world and he can be credited with the rise of hockey’s popularity as a sport, not only across the southern United States, but also in many other countries across the globe. Gretzky represented Canada on many occasions, perhaps most notably as part of the management team that brought Olympic hockey gold back to the country after 50 years.

The Beaver

Ah, the majestic beaver… and let’s be clear, the Sip Advisor is actually talking about the noble dam-building animal. The North American beaver has found its way to being featured on the nation’s five-cent piece, the country’s very first postage stamp, and beaver sculptures can also be found adorning the Canadian Parliament Building. Canada also has a number of other creatures that are culturally appreciated, including Canadian geese, loons, and Canadian horses.

gratuitous beaver shot

Molson Canadian Beer

The country’s national beer might not be much to brag about, in comparison to craft beer options across the nation, but it’s still something to be more proud of than Budweiser, Coors, and many of the other beverage options our continental neighbours seem to be so satisfied with. Molson Canadian has a brewing tradition that dates back to 1959 and for many young Canucks, is the first beer they ever enjoy. The Sip Advisor is one of these people and I am forever grateful for my earliest suds.

Tim Hortons

Nothing is more Canadian than donuts! Others would insist that the company’s coffee be included as part of the national identity combo, but not the Sip Advisor. Tim Hortons has grown across the country and even into other parts of the world. With products ranging from donuts to Timbits (donut holes), as well as sandwiches, soups, muffins, cookies, and everything else in between, Tim Hortons is one international contribution that can be enjoyed across the globe.

Poutine

Canada can’t be given much credit for creating items that have taken over the culinary scene, but poutine is one thing we devised and have shared – to great success – with the world over. You can’t go into a pub nowadays without the place having at least one poutine dish on their menu. Even most fast food chains, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, have made the creation available for eaters on the run. Add some bacon (preferably Canadian) onto the meal and you’re ready to gorge!

Flavour Revolution: Poor Sap

Poor Sap Martini

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Maple Liqueur
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Dash of Bitters
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

As a whole, Canada isn’t necessarily known for staunch patriotism… unless we’re talking about hockey and then it’s time to knuckle up. Many of our homegrown stars leave the country and never look back, trying to remove every hint of their Canadian ancestry. You will often hear debates over whether a celebrity is Canadian or not or the statement “I didn’t know he was from Canada.” The same can’t be said for the above entries.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
With three ounces of liquor, this is a strong martini, but the taste is pretty solid. Of course, I used a Canadian Whiskey (Crown Royal) for the cocktail. I might have slightly overdone it with the Bitters, but it all depends on your taste preferences. All in all, a good drink.

September 6 – ABC

A Good Read

With school coming back into session for many little sippers out there (although not here in B.C., where it looks like we might have the makings of a long teacher’s strike), it might be time to snatch some good reading material. While I would never classify myself as an avid reader, there have been some books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Mrs. Sip would love to see me sit down more often with a book, but TV’s warm loving embrace is just too much to break. Here are my favourite books/series throughout life:

#5: Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stein

One of the only things I enjoyed about elementary school (save for gym, recess, and spelling tests… what can I say, I was born to write) was the monthly Scholastic book catalogue that came out, providing me an opportunity to grow my Goosebumps collection, which sits to this day in a drawer at Ma and Pa Sip’s home. I still fondly remember some of these stories, such as Attack of the Mutants, A Night in Terror Tower, and The Phantom of the Auditorium. The covers on these novels alone were enough to chill your blood and get you pumped for your next classroom quiet time. There were 62 releases in the original series and a TV show followed, but when it came to screen screams, I was more of an Are You Afraid of the Dark fan.

goosebumps report

#4: The Rebel League: World Hockey Association by Ed Willes

The World Hockey Association had a brief life, but it changed the landscape of professional hockey and in some circumstances, the entire sports world. Journalist Ed Willes takes the reader through the league’s tumultuous existence from conception to absorption by the NHL, right through a mess of teams going out of business or being relocated. The dichotomy of the league, with its highly-skilled players meshing with fight-filled contests, is just one aspect of a mesmerizing story. Willes captures all the sordid tales and behind-the-scenes dealings that made the WHA such a fascinating flash in the pan. Largely based on this book, I was able to rank the WHA #1 on my list of top defunct sports leagues. I only wish I had been able to experience some of the action in-person.

#3: Get Fuzzy Treasuries by Darby Conley

I never really got into comic books as a youngster, fancying my superheroes on the screen, as opposed to in my hands (save for some of the sexy female heroines). That said, I do prefer to look at brightly coloured pictures, rather than printed words, and that can come in the form of some lighter entertainment. My hands down favourite daily funny is Get Fuzzy, which focuses on the interactions of human Rob Wilco with his pets/roommates Bucky Katt and Satchel Pooch. Bucky is a little terror, who is constantly trying to run (scratch that, ruin) the household, while Satchel is a sweet and gentle pup, happy to have a chew toy and a quiet place to nap. Rob just gets stuck in the middle, just like your typical real world pet owner.

GF

#2: Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers by Bathroom Readers’ Institute

I really enjoy learning unknown tidbits about subjects I’m interested in and this series is perfect for exactly that. Thanks to these books, I’m an integral member of any trivia team I’m invited to join (aside from my wonderful personality!) and the lesser known facts my brain is able to absorb have garnered me a fair bit of free booze! The best thing about Bathroom Readers is that you can read one piece or a selection of articles… I guess it depends on how long you’ll be in the bathroom. I personally prefer to not have a book in my hands while I’m on the pot, but admittedly, that is what these releases were meant for. My favourites from the Uncle John library include TV, Movies, and Hockey.

#1: Have a Nice Day by Mick Foley

While my favourite books are sports-related, Mick Foley’s wrestling autobiography is a no-brainer to top this list. And I’m not alone in my fondness for this story. Books released by wrestlers exploded after the success of Mick Foley’s first attempt and the string of publications is going strong to this day. In Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, Foley guides us through the earliest days of his life and career with a wit and warmth that makes it extremely hard to put the book down… even for a non-reader such as myself. I have yet to check out Foley’s other two non-fiction releases, but have heard good things about both and should really take the time to pick them up.

Super Saturday Shot Day: ABC

ABC Shot

  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Bailey’s Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Cognac
  • Garnish with Orange Wedge

Given my penchant for wrestling reads, I would also recommend autobiographies by Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, and Chris Jericho, as well as the book WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling. There are a number of others I would endorse, but it’s time to get back to the library and go silent!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
You layer the ingredients in A-B-C order and that allowed me to finally use the layering tool I received a few months back. It worked out really well and looks great, am I right!? The shot tasted fantastic, especially when the Irish Crème kicked in following the two liquors, which move a little quicker. Too bad I couldn’t think of a D-garnish to continue the ABC theme.

April 5 – Body Slammer

Showcase of the Immortals

WWE WrestleMania has featured countless wrestlers, as well as a host of celebrities in its 30-year history. While the glitz and glamour make WrestleMania the company’s biggest show of the year, it’s the performances of the grapplers that are remembered the most by fans all around the world. Here are the top five performers in WrestleMania’s illustrious history:

#5: Triple H

Given his WrestleMania debut, it was hard to imagine that Triple H (or Hunter Hearst Helmsley as he was known back in 1996) would ever make a list of this type. Then, he was defeated in mere minutes by a returning Ultimate Warrior. Nearly two decades later, Triple H finds himself married to the boss’ daughter and holding an Executive Vice President role within WWE. Triple H became a top draw for the company in 1999 and rode his success to numerous WrestleMania main events, usually defending the World Championship. To this day, he stills appears on the annual card, in one of the prime spots, despite his semi-retirement.

#4: Bret Hart

If you wanted to throw out a lame analogy, you could say that ‘The Hitman’ was the Hart and soul of WrestleMania, especially in its second decade of existence. The Canadian grappler wrestled at each event from 1986-97 and also returned for a one-time battle against WWE owner Vince McMahon at WrestleMania XXVI. During his prime years, Hart’s performances often stole the show, including wrestling two matches at the 10th event, defending the World Title in a 60-minute Iron Man match at the 12th show, and his epic brawl with Steve Austin at the 13th rendition.

#3: Hulk Hogan

The Hulkster participated or played some role in the WrestleMania main event for the show’s first nine broadcasts. He returned to WWE in 2002 and battled The Rock at WrestleMania XVIII, in a confrontation between two of the sport’s greatest icons. The next year, Hogan gained some long-simmering revenge over boss Vince McMahon – the two men who can be most credited with the success of the WrestleMania concept. At six different WrestleMania events, Hogan either defended the World Title or challenged for it. For WrestleMania XXX, Hogan returned from five years away from WWE to host the spectacle.

#2: Shawn Michaels

Dubbed ‘Mr. WrestleMania’, Shawn Michaels always seems to shine the brightest come the big event. While Michaels first WrestleMania appearance was all the way back in 1989, it wasn’t until 1994 when he became a top-level player with his hightlight reel ladder match versus Razor Ramon. Despite losing the contest, the ‘Showstopper’s’ career was launched and two years later, he captured the World Championship at WrestleMania XII. After a four-year hiatus from the ring, Michaels returned to put on a number of classic, show-stealing performances, working with a new generation of stars, like Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, and John Cena.

#1: The Undertaker

Riding a winning streak of 21-0 at the annual event, the Undertaker continues to thrill audiences nearly a quarter of a decade after he debuted. He has only missed two of the last 23 WrestleMania cards and during that time, has battled every monster possible at WWE’s biggest show of the year, including Giant Gonzales, King Kong Bundy, Sycho Sid, and Kane. He’s also defeated some of the industry’s top names as he’s piled up the wins. Legends like Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kevin Nash, Jake Roberts, Jimmy Snuka, and others have all fallen to ‘The Deadman’. With each passing year, the streak has become a more integral part of the WrestleMania hype.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Body Slammer

Apr 5

The ‘Showcase of the Immortals’, as they call it, used to be a pretty big deal for the Sip Advisor. While I don’t follow wrestling as religiously as I once did, it is still on my bucket list to one day attend a WrestleMania show. Perhaps The Sip Advisor will grow to the point where I’m even offered a spot on the show and can get my greedy paws on a couple of the WWE Divas!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was really good and I certainly didn’t feel like I’d just been body slammed. I used Fireball Whiskey to go along with the Goldschlager and that just heightened the cinnamon flavour. I used my cowboy boot shot glass, as it closely resembled a wrestling boot. Thankfully, I still had some mini wrestling figures lying around at Ma and Pa Sip’s house to go along with my diorama and here we see ol’ Stone Cold Steve Austin delivering his trademark stunner to Kane, while The Undertaker prepares to chokeslam The Rock straight to hell!

July 15 – Lay Back and Relax

Panic Attack

We’ve all been there… these incidents come up in our lives and although they are relatively routine, our anxiety level rises, we begin to perspire, and all the crazy worst-case scenarios we can ponder rush through our mind. Then, when it’s all over we let out a light chuckle and wonder why we got so worried in the first place…

Gas Light Comes On

You’ve been watching your gas meter for most of the drive, noticing it incrementally drop as you make your trek. You get your first moment of panic as it drops under the 1/8th notch and continues to fall sharply. Then, the little orange light flashes on and you’re a mess, thinking your car will break down right then and there. Until you find a gas station, especially if you’re in unfamiliar territory, you’re a nervous wreck. When you find a station you race into it, nearly hitting a pedestrian or two (don’t worry, they don’t matter) and you fill your car up like breathing oxygen into a breathless human. All’s well that ends well!

caroutofgas

Meeting a Celebrity

Not that I’ve met many in my life, but the few I have (in a non-working, journalistic capacity) have caused me to get super shy and tongue-tied. Broski Sip and I once went to a nearby Walmart to meet wrestler Bret Hart and have him sign his autobiography, which was to be my Christmas gift that year from Broski. As we approached his table, all I could utter was a quick thank you, before we shuffled off. A few months later, I conducted a 15-minute interview over the phone with the grappling legend, without a single star-struck moment.

Splitting the Bill/Calculating Tips

You’re out with friends for dinner or drinks and the bill comes. How should it be split? Who ordered what? How’s everyone paying? I think it’s just all the questions that come up after a bill has been presented that can raise anxiety. I don’t know why tipping gets me a little nervous. I’m a good tipper and many places now give you suggested percentages to tip. If you’re paying electronically, you can let science do all the calculations. We all just need to relax a little.

lastsupperbillsplit

Getting ID’d

I’ve been legal age in Canada for more than a decade and even in the U.S., for quite some time. I don’t get as apprehensive about it anymore, but when I was in my mid-20’s I got worried every time I was ID’d. Would they accuse me of having fake identification? Not likely. I still get worried sometimes across the border, because they don’t necessarily know what our IDs look like and we have had some incidents where they insist on a passport over our normally adequate driver’s licenses.

Parallel Parking

I absolutely hate parallel parking to the point where I refuse to do it. This can be an issue sometimes, given I live in a downtown core and am often forced to run errands for Mrs. Sip (hmmm, maybe my problem is Mrs. Sip!?) I’m actually a decent parallel parker if I have to do it, but I’ve rarely been forced into the situation, so why risk it when you can usually find a better and more accessible spot with a little patience?

parallel-parking

Border Crossing

This one is very similar to getting ID’d. I think it’s just because you don’t know what to expect from a border guard. Will they be friendly, or a total jerk? What questions will they ask you? Even if you haven’t done anything wrong in your entire life, you feel like a border patrol agent will somehow sniff out your one minor transgression. Then, all they ask you is where you’re going and wave you through without incident!

Getting a Haircut

Every time I get a haircut, there’s always a few moments at the start of the job, when you look in the mirror and look so totally ridiculous that thoughts start running through your head about how your luck has finally run out and this will be an awful haircut. I always think, if all else fails I could shave my head (a little ace in the hole for the male sex). Of course, the haircut always turns out well in the end, but for those few moments when you can’t see that the end result will be fine, you’re sweating bullets.

Drink #196: Lay Back and Relax

Lay Back and Relax Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Chambord
  • Splash of Grand Marnier
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with Strawberry and Palm Tree Stir Stick

I know I’m not the only one that has a small panic during these moments. Join me in exercising your demons and perhaps you won’t feel so bad about these tasks in the future. Have I missed anything that really makes you anxious? Like Frasier Crane, I’m listening!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I figured this drink would be good and I wasn’t disappointed. It might be a little sweet for some, but that can be solved by dropping the increments of some of the spirits and upping the milk content. A perfect cocktail for dessert.