Mixer Mania #45 – Use and Abuse

‘Tis the time of year that we bundle up indoors with a cup of hot chocolate and rewatch our favourite Christmas movies and TV specials. With that comes advertisements, where Santa has been used to sell everything from soda to snacks. Sure, we have Coca-Cola to thank for the modern image of jolly ol’ St. Nick, but other companies have done more to tarnish the legacy of Santa than build it up. Here are some of the most shameless uses of the yuletide icon:

Painkillers

Mrs. Sip and I just saw this Aleve ad the other day and while it seems harmless, the underlying message is concerning. To see Santa requiring medication to perform his annual duties should frighten every young tot in the world. It also takes away some of the big guy’s magic, thinking he suffers to bring joy to children all over the world. And what if Aleve is a gateway drug to more serious painkillers, causing Santa to have an opioid addiction and eventually need rehab to get his life and career back together.

Santa Aleve

Cigarettes

A number of companies have used Santa to market their smokes. I particularly like the one which shows Santa taking a break from his Christmas Eve activities to enjoy some smooth nicotine. This includes lighting up inside a family’s home, as he kicks back on a cozy chair, filling the dwelling with smoke. And here I thought he was more into milk and cookies… better leave a carton out for the gift-giver this year, ensuring years of good fortune and gifts.

Santa Smokes.jpg

Booze

Brands such as Crown Royal, Dewar’s, Martini, and Budweiser have all used Kris Kringle as a marketing figure to hawk their wares. The Byrrh company even released an ad in 1934 showing an very inebriated Santa – so drunk he can’t continue his epic yearly journey – taking five atop a home’s roof and drinking the wine-based aperitif. St. Nick is so blitzed that he even hallucinates an angel to share the liquor with, but she doesn’t look very impressed with Father Christmas. Maybe he’s sexually harassing her.

Santa Wine

Guns

With all the gun violence around the world, particularly in the U.S., why shouldn’t Santa also protect himself? That’s what one Californian gun range figured, when a billboard popped up in the state in 2014, featuring Santa (accessorized with dark sunglasses, of course) with a menacing glare and proudly holding an assault rifle. The owner of the range stated: “I got guns from Santa Claus when I was growing up. Some people get toys and some people get firearms. It’s kind of just where you’re from.” Indeed…

Santa Guns.png

Mixer Mania #45: All Warm And Fuzzy

All Warm And Fuzzy

  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Baileys Irish Cream
  • 0.5 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 0.25 oz Cointreau
  • 0.25 oz Cognac
  • Top with Hot Chocolate
  • Garnish with a Marshmallow

What other examples of Santa Claus exploitation exist out there? Part of me wants to know and the other part would rather those examples stay hidden.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This drink is very tasty. It is certainly boozy and that was with me halving each liquor measurement. The recipe originally called for Grand Marnier, which I had to substitute with Cointreau and Cognac. There’s a lot of flavours going on, but the end result is warmth and a little decadence!

Advertisements

Sip Trips #5 – Cask Comforts

No need for a lengthy lead up, let’s cut right to the chase. The big outing this week for the Sip Advisor was attending Yaletown Brewery’s Caskival 2015 event on Saturday. The event featured 13 cask IPAs, from 13 different craft breweries around the region.

For $25, each person received a punch card for the 13 casks and then it was time to travel around and get your IPA on! Beers were provided by Whistler BrewHouse, 33 Acres, Brassneck, Red Truck, Yellow Dog, Moody Ales, Bomber, Bridge, Deep Cove, Steel & Oak, Yaletown Brewery, Big Ridge, and Parallel 49.

IPAs

After about half our cards were punched out, we were in need of some eats, which we found at The Distillery, next door. With beers at a minimum of 5.5% and most in the 7% range (maxing out with the Parallel 49 Toques of Hazard 9.2% offering) we were all flying pretty high by the end of the event. Still, my punch card was fully used… a grand achievement!

I’ve really been getting into IPAs over the last year and many of these were very good. I found that I’m not really into dark IPAs, such as Bridge Brewing’s Black Rye IPA. If I had to choose a favourite among the bunch, it would have been Red Truck’s Citrus IPA, which blends lemon, lime, and orange juices together with your typical heavy hops.

That evening, I was part host to a birthday celebration for Mrs. Sip and I used my legendary skills to defend the title ‘King of Mojitos,’ which I bestowed upon myself many years ago. Raspberries, blackberries, limes, and mint were flying around everywhere. I think I even wound up with some fruit in my hair!

Mojito Dog

To celebrate the end of the work week, Mrs. Sip and I finally cracked open the Steel & Oak/Four Winds Gratzer collaboration I mentioned last week and the dark, smoked sour brew came exactly as advertised. It’s a lighter beer, at only 4%, but tastes really good and goes down easy. I wish we had more in the fridge!

In new product releases, I stumbled upon Schweppes Dark Ginger Ale the other day. While I didn’t pick it up, I’m very curious, given my affinity for ginger ale, as a cocktail mixer. And here I always thought ginger ale was already quite dark, especially compared to lemon-lime sodas. This may be a rare item to hit Canadian markets first.

The biggest liquor news of the week may have been Budweiser’s anti-craft beer ad, which aired during the Super Bowl. It broke the internet, as far as fans of micro-breweries are concerned and many of them immediately backlashed against the campaign. Jim Vorel of Paste Magazine, perfectly attacked the attack ad, most notably pointing out that Budweiser slammed a beer flavour that is made by a brewery they recently acquired. What a bunch of mooks!

January 24 – Pigskin Shot

Game within a Game

With the 2015 NFL Super Bowl just over a week away, I thought I’d help out all my little sippers out there, that might not be a fan of the sport, and perhaps find themselves invited to a big game party. Here’s some ways you can enjoy the game, while not exactly enjoying the game!

#5: Half-Time Show

The choice of entertainment for each year’s big game opens up great debate. Usually, in the end, whichever act has been invited to perform puts on a good show and everyone walks away happy. This year, viewers will be treated to the musical stylings of Katy Perry, who had a massive year in 2014 with hits like “Roar” and “Dark Horse”. Perry will be joined by Lenny Kravitz, which will at least add a rock element to the show. Let’s hope we get a repeat of 2004 and if you’re lucky, you might even get to see some boobies!

Barely Watch Super Bowl

#4: Betting

Whether you’ve got money on the line in Vegas, between friends, or in some kind of office pool, it seems that betting on the big game is as essential as which beer you’re going to bring to the affair. Prop bets have also become really big with each passing Super Bowl. These include wagers on everything surrounding the game, from the national anthem, to what coaches will wear, to what colour Gatorade will be dumped on the winning bench boss. If you play your cards right, you might bring home enough cash to cover your food and drink losses!

#3: Food

Speaking of edibles, the Super Bowl offers a myriad of snacking choices and it’s certainly a day you don’t want to be inhibited by any diets or cleanses. The dip options alone, are enough to make your head spin. And what goes best with most dips? Well, chips, naturally. We all know that the Sip Advisor is a chippy fiend and I’ll use any excuse to stock up on as many bags as I can fit into our cupboards. Hell, most years I don’t even watch the game, but make it a point to do a little shopping spree prior, and then I just let it ride until the stock has been depleted!

Super Bowl Food

#2: Drink

Food and drink go hand-in-hand, but the Sip Advisor has always leaned towards liquid nourishment. When hosting or attending a party, it’s tough choosing what to stock your or your buddy’s fridge with. While beer is a natural choice for watching sports, there are a number of other options available and the cocktail revolution has allowed for something to be available to everyone. As for brew options, treat yourself. Don’t settle for the easy choices, like Budweiser (or Canadian for us fans north of the border) and instead, grab a case of craft brew and be a true beer snob!

#1: Commercials

For some people, the only reason they tune into the game, is to watch the enormously expensive commercials that break the program up. Each year, there is a set of memorable ads that become an extension of the game. Did you know that the Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” campaign started with a Super Bowl spot? Then there’s also perennial top contender Budweiser. The company has used both the Clydesdales and Wassup guys for a number of outstanding adverts, regardless of how you feel about the actual product or company.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Pigskin Shot

Pigskin Shot

  • 0.5 oz Midori
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

What other tactics can we share together to help anti-football fans make it through the Super Bowl? If it’s any consolation, at least it only occurs once each year, not like all these stupid awards shows that often have invites flying the other (female to male) direction. A dude may have to deal with the Oscar’s, Grammy’s, Golden Globes, Emmy’s, and others. One football game seems fair in comparison!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I was originally going to do a shot called Blitz, which combined Irish Crème, Kahlua and Pineapple Juice. I was curious about how that would all go together, but the result was mass curdling, which looked disgusting. Therefore, I found this recipe instead, which was much nicer. I even used my recently acquired Grey Goose Le Melon in the vodka slot and it worked perfectly with the Midori!

Czech Republic – Beerly Legal

Brew Handles

Budweiser (made by Anheuser-Busch) is one of the most popular beer brands around the world thanks to corporate sponsorship deal with various sports leagues, heavy advertising, and product placement in movies and TV. What many people don’t know, is how Budweiser came to be, taking their moniker from two breweries based in the city of České Budějovice (Budweis), in the Czech Republic. Let’s take a closer look at this sordid tale:

Beer has been brewed in the city of Budějovice since the 13th century, evening holding the position of imperial brewery for the Holy Roman Empire at one time. The Czech Republic’s largest brewery is the “Pivovar Budějovický Budvar” (Budweiser Budvar Brewery), which was established in 1895. One hundred years earlier, the oldest Czech brewery was founded, under the name “Budweiser Bier Bürgerbräu.” Both companies sold their beer under the name Budweiser.

bud versus

Budweiser Bürgerbräu crossed the pond and hit the United States in 1871. Five years later, in 1876, Anheuser-Busch began using the Budweiser brand and registered it as a trademark two years later, in 1878. The Anheuser-Busch version of Budweiser was originally an imitation of the Czech product, before carving out its own niche in the brewing industry.

The Budweiser trademark dispute has been fought since 1907, with Anheuser-Busch trying to worm its way into European countries, citing their trademark registration. To counter, the Czech breweries state that Budweiser is not just a generic name, but actually refers to beers made in the city of Budweis. The direct translation is ‘beers from Budweis,’ which Anheuser-Busch certainly can’t claim, unless there’s a town in St. Louis nobody has previously heard of, also called Budweis.

Regardless, an agreement between all three breweries was reached in 1938, allowing Anheuser-Busch to label their beers Budweiser in North America only. Anheuser-Busch has made numerous offers to buy out the Budweiser Budvar Brewery, in order to acquire the global rights to the name and beer, but the Czech government has stepped in and declined all bids. The Budweiser name is a matter of national pride and who doesn’t like sticking it to big American corporations every now and again!

i before e bud

With the fall of communism in the early 1990’s, the Czech breweries worked to regain the rights to their names, using international Protected Geographical Indication, to help with their fight. As of January 2013, the Czech companies had won 89 of 124 cases against Anheuser-Busch (eight ending in a draw), but there are many other actions pending, in jurisdictions around the world.

As a result of the litigation between the three companies, beers made by the state-owned Budweiser Budvar Brewery are labelled Czechvar in North America, while Budweiser America is sold as simply Bud across European Union markets. Today, Budweiser Bürgerbräu is known by “Pivovar Samson” or “B. B. Bürgerbräu” in the U.S. and recently regained the Budweiser naming rights for Europe.

i-love-you-too-beer

Anheuser-Busch and the Budweiser Budvar Brewery have even worked in partnership with one another. Starting in 2007, Anheuser-Busch started to import the Czechvar beer into the U.S. Business certainly does make for strange bedfellows, although the agreement was terminated in 2012. The United Kingdom and Ireland are some of the rare places where all brands are able to use the Budweiser name.

As for Anheuser-Busch, they keep plugging along, hocking their water… er, I mean beer to hundreds of millions of people who just don’t know any better. Mrs. Sip and I hate it when a place we go to is featuring Budweiser as their daily deal. We’re not saying you have to be a craft beer snob or anything like that, but if you’re going to put anything in your system, it might as well be a decent brew!

Czech Republic: Beerly Legal

Beerly Legal Beer Cocktail

  • 1 oz Campari
  • Top with Czechvar Beer
  • Splash of Orange Soda
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Sticking with brews, the Pilsner style of beer was also invented in the Czech Republic, this time in the city of Plzeň. Beer brewing is still a thriving industry in the Czech Republic, with countless breweries. Heck, the Czech’s even have the highest beer consumption per capita in the world!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I love the name of this cocktail, but Campari has ruined (yet again) what should have been a great drink. If I make it again, I would completely exclude the Italian herbal liqueur. Thankfully, my bottle is almost empty and I can say without any hesitation that it will not be replaced. On a side note, I used Orange Soda in place of Tangerine Juice.

Croatia – Naked Lady

Spotty Reputation

Without Croatia, we might have never been introduced to 101 Dalmatians. These spotted dogs come from the Dalmatia region of the country (which has a coat of arms that features leopards, not Dalmatians) and were once used as carriage dogs many years ago. Because of this, they are typically very comfortable around horses and can keep up to them. Let’s learn a little more about the pooches:

One of the first uses of the breed was to guard the borders of Dalmatia. They have also found work as rescue dogs, hunting dogs, circus dogs, and watch dogs. Hey, it’s a living!

Dalmatian Spots

Dalmatians have gone by other names over time, including Carriage Dog, English Coach Dog, Plum Pudding Dog, and the Spotted Dick Dog. The British sure have a funky way of naming their pups and you really have to wonder which bloke came up with that last one, as accurate as it may be.

A fully grown Dalmatian can weigh anywhere between 35 and 70 pounds and their average lifespan is 10-13 years, although some have lived to the ripe old age of 16. Dalmatian litters range from 9-13 pups, although in rare occurrences, larger broods have been born in one go, with a reported 18-puppy birthing in 2009.

When a Dalmatian is born, it has an all-white coat and its trademark spots only appear at about three weeks. By the time they are one month old, they will have most of their spots, but other will appears throughout the dog’s life, just at a slower rate. The spots are usually black or brown, but some rarer colours do occur, such as bluish-grey, orange, yellow, and even tri-coloured.

Dalmatian Shadow

Dalmatians are high energy dogs and one negative effect of the popular book (written by Dodie Smith) and animated and live-action Disney movies was the increase of people adopting Dalmatian dogs for their children, only to realize they weren’t suitable animals for kids. Sadly, this resulted in many of the dogs being given up for adoption by underprepared owners, which was exacerbated by unethical breeders, who were already mass-producing poorly bred puppies to take advantage of the fad. Happily, a number of groups popped up to deal with the overwhelming number of Dalmatians looking for homes.

The dogs are often associated with fire departments, which began when Dalmatians transitioned from carriages to fire engines. Dalmatians today are used as mascots for firehouses and as ambassadors for fire safety education with the young and old alike. It’s not uncommon for a firefighter to own a Dalmatian as their pet, to honour their past heroics.

Dalmatians Coloring Book

According to the Dalmatian Club of America, 12% of the Dalmatian population is deaf, while other dogs of the breed can only hear in one ear. On the positive side, Dalmatians lack the typical “dog smell” and are fairly clean pets, thanks to a lack of oil in their fur.

The Dalmatian is also largely associated with Budweiser beer and the company’s Busch Gardens theme parks. Anytime you see the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses, you can bet their Dalmatian carriage dog is close by. The brewing company has assembled a number of these teams and they tour around promoting the product. Dalmatians were even used to guard beer wagons, as the driver went about his business making deliveries. Let’s salute this proud, noble, beer protector!

Croatia: Naked Lady

Naked Lady Martini

  • 1 oz Rum
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Rakija
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Lemon Zest

Aside from Dalmatians, the necktie also technically comes from Croatia, as it is a descendent of the cravat. If I had chosen to write about that, though, it would have largely been to take shots at all the schlubs who have to wear one every day to work!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Wow, Rakija is strong, but I can’t say that I don’t like the liqueur. This martini was decent with some complex flavours going on. I’m curious to try Rakija in other recipes and see if I can find a grand slam recipe for the spirit!

July 23 – Sizzler

Phrases to Drink By

There are a million different beers out there, so differentiating yourself from the competition is very important. One way to do so is to adopt a catchy mantra that grabs the customer and forces them to give your suds a fair shot. Here are some of the best:

Dos Equis – Stay Thirsty My Friends

I really like this slogan… not that I wish people aren’t able to quench their thirst, as that would suck and it goes against the core concept of the Sip Advisor. But we should always be looking for opportunities to enjoy some libations with our closest friends and family. The line is especially epic when delivered by “the most interesting man in the world,” who has become an idol of sorts for myself.

dos equis

Heineken – Heineken Refreshes the Parts Other Beers Cannot Reach

I’m curious as to which exact parts are being refreshed when I drink a Heineken compared to other options. Could it be the part that’s in the name, the heiney? Moving on, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of Heineken, but I did like their brewery tour and experience in Amsterdam and I think this slogan is pretty clever, despite its vagueness.

Corona – Miles Away From Ordinary

I always enjoyed the Corona ads that were set at the beach and featured people just relaxing and soaking in all of life’s pleasures. While I’ve learned I like other Mexican selections better (Modelo, Pacifico, etc.), Corona is the perfect beach beer. It was even my drink of choice as I established a world record for drinking a beer underwater… definitely, miles away from ordinary.

Molson Canadian – I Am Canadian

Us Canadians are pretty proud of our beer… even the cheap stuff. Home to some of the finest micro-breweries in existence, we also churn out the big business stuff and brag about how much better our suds are compared to our southern neighbours. How accurate this is, is up for debate, but the I Am Canadian campaign did launch the famous commercial below, as well as a ton of Canadian patriotism (a rare find, indeed).

Sleeman’s – Notoriously Good

Thanks to the beer’s association with pirates, bootlegging, Al Capone, and other seedy characters, the brewery has decided to embrace that legacy with its ‘Notoriously Good’ ad campaign. I like Sleeman’s mixed pack of brews, as they are perfect for relaxing pool side at the Sip Advisor retreat home. I have spent countless hours floating and burning with a Sleeman’s nearby… because, I am after all, notoriously good!

Budweiser – This Bud’s For You

Budweiser has had a lot of memorable ad campaigns, from the Clysdale horses to the “Wassup” guys, but nothing will beat this classic slogan, which has become part of the American lexicon. I even remember when Bud Bundy used the catchphrase to his advantage on Married with Children. While Mrs. Sip is still furious over Budweiser stealing its name from an established European brewery, there’s not much any of us can do about it but drink up!

Carlsberg – Probably the Best Beer in the World

I don’t know what I find so funny about the “probably” thrown in at the start of this slogan, but when I first saw it in the U.K. I thought it was hilarious. I was “probably” drunk at the time, so that helps! While I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Carlsberg because it was our go-to brew for games of beer pong, while living in England, I’d have to say that it’s actually “probably not” the best beer in the world.

carlsberg

…or not

Foster’s – Australian for Beer

While Mrs. Sip lived in Australia (and I joined her for six magical weeks), we learned that Australians wouldn’t dare even touch Foster’s. Still, it is advertised as one of the country’s greatest exports, so maybe the slogan should correctly read: Foster’s, American for Australian Beer. I can’t say that I’ve ever had a Foster’s beer, the only offering on this list I haven’t tried. That will be remedied immediately.

Red Stripe – It’s BEER. Hooray beer!

As if Jamaicans need to find a good reason to party… I guess the celebration of beer is as good excuse as any, but when you live in a tropical paradise, full of sandy beaches, scantily clad women, and easily accessible marijuana, what is there to complain about? I suppose you could point to the serious crimes perpetrated around the country, but you should just relax and crack another Red Stripe!

Labatt Blue – If I Wanted Water, I Would Have Asked for Water

I feel that this was a shot at American beers, fired directly across the bow, courtesy of a Canadian brewery. Labatt is the best-selling Canadian beer around the world, which gives them some clout to be able to make these statements. I personally like the slogan, regardless of its intentions, because when I want some suds, I don’t want them to be watered down… a cardinal sin in the brewing industry.

Sapporo – Senses Never Forget

Sapporo is one of my favourite walking beers when I’m in Las Vegas because it comes in an absolutely massive can that is perfect for sharing and will last you a good distance. My senses surely have never forgotten this, even while I spend much of my Vegas vacation trashed. I also like the company’s new commercials which feature dragon’s warming the brewing vats with their fire.

Drink #204: Sizzler

Sizzler Beer drink recipe

  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Top with half Lager and half Lemonade (I used Rickard’s Shandy)
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedges

As a fan of micro-breweries, I wish more of them would put out their own slogans and not leave it to the big breweries to solely play the game. Then again, the big boys are the ones who can put more resources towards marketing campaigns. Back to drinking!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Using a Shandy Beer basically covers the Beer-Lemonade combo, but I did add a little extra Lemonade for good measure. The Vodka and Honey Whiskey mix tasted good before I even added the brew and I’ll have to consider it for a future recipe.