June 13 – PayDay

Extravagant Eccentricities

With great money comes great financial stupidity… or at least that’s how it seems for some celebrities and their spending habits. Here are some of the wildest purchases made by the stars, many of which later led to financial hardships:

#5: Kanye West – 10 Burger King Franchises ($7.5 million)

I think many people dream of owning their own fast food chain (unless they’re vegan or some other weird dietary thing), having the food at their disposal whenever they are in need of a quick snack. Hell, Richie Rich had a McDonald’s in his expansive mansion back in the 1994 feature film. Anyway, how have we not started calling Kanye ‘The Burger King’? Is it because he bought these joints for his wife, Kim Kardashian, as a wedding gift? At least, access to all those BK outlets, across Europe, will certainly help Kardashian keep up her ample assets.

Kanye Burger King

#4: Mike Tyson – Bathtub ($2 million)

That bathtub, given to now ex-wife Robin Givens as a Christmas present, would have to be jewel-encrusted and include technology only seen on The Jetson’s to justify the exorbitant cost. For the Sip Advisor, it would also have to be outfitted with laser beams that caused Mrs. Sip to immediately shed her clothing, whenever activated (by remote control, of course!). I mean, I guess that’s what people generally do before getting into the tub, but it would be a required feature for me. Tyson’s money troubles have been well-documented, with the former Heavyweight Champ racking up millions in debt.

#3: Celine Dion – Humidifier ($2 million)

We get it, you use your voice (unfortunately) to make your oodles of money, but $2 million seems incredibly excessive for a device you can usually find for a few hundred dollars… and that’s if you want to splurge. For the amount of money Dion was willing to shell out, there better be guarantees that you will never suffer from deadly diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and basically everything else that can be medically diagnosed. The air moisturizer was installed into her Las Vegas hotel room when she was performing nightly at the Caesar’s Palace Coliseum. Viva Las Vegas, I suppose.

Celine Dion Titanic

#2: Kim Basinger – City of Braselton, Georgia ($20 million)

Talk about getting bad advice from your entourage. In 1989, Basinger was encouraged by family members to buy the town of Braselton, Georgia, for $20 million. What association did Basinger and company have with the city of Braselton? Absolutely none. You’d think she was born there or at least had a wonderful family vacation there in her youth. Basinger tried to turn the town into a resort destination, which would host an annual film festival, along with other tourist attractions and movie studios. The whole ordeal caused Basinger to file for bankruptcy and have tension with her family.

#1: Nicholas Cage – Numerous (Millions and millions…)

No wonder the Oscar winner has had his fair share of financial difficulties, given the lavish spending habits he has exhibited, throughout his career. Cage can be credited with buying everything from a Bavarian castle, to a tropical island, to a dinosaur skull. He has also assembled one of the most impressive comic book collections, including Action Comics #1, featuring the debut of Superman. Thus, Cage has been forced to take a number of roles that he really should have avoided, simply to earn a paycheck. I gotta say, though, $3 million for an island in the Bahamas seems pretty reasonable!

Super Saturday Shot Day: PayDay

  • Rim the glass with Salt
  • 1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1 oz Frangelico
  • Garnish with a PayDay Ball

There are so many other bizarre, expensive purchases made by celebrities, it’s hard to cram them all into one article. Suffice to say, if you have the money, why not enjoy it. Too often, though, these stars’ lifestyles often lead to trouble, when the cash coming in and going out doesn’t even out.

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Flavour Revolution – Donut

Pastry Perfection

Donuts are a pretty big deal around the world, but I’m personally curious as to how some of the globe’s biggest chains got their start in the industry. If you are too, you’re in luck. Here are some of those tales!

Tim Hortons

This Canadian classic was started by professional hockey star Tim Horton in 1964. Does it get any more Canadian than combining hockey and donuts!? When Horton passed away in 1974, his business partner Ron Joyce bought out the Horton family’s remaining shares of the company for only $1 million. On the plus side, one of Horton’s daughters married one of Joyce’s sons, bringing the Horton family back into the fold (and company fortune!). With Joyce at the helm, the chain slowly spread across the country and eventually outnumbered McDonald’s locations. Now owned by Burger King, Tim Horton’s franchises can be found throughout the United States, parts of the U.K. and even in the Middle East. As of 2015, Joyce has a net worth of $1.2 billion.

Canadian Crime Scene

Krispy Kreme

One of the oldest donut chains (establish all the way back in 1937) in existence, Krispy Kreme started out as a uncle and nephew operation, first in Paducah, Kentucky and next in Nashville, Tennessee. The franchise even had delivery trucks at one point and hopefully they dropped by right after the daily milk drop off! When Krispy Kreme first came to Canada, line-ups stretched for hours, just to get a bite of the tasty treat. While folks are mostly familiar with the company’s glazed donuts, they also offer a number of other varieties… but everyone knows what brought Krispy Kreme to the dance. Aside from the Great White North, Krispy Kreme has also made its way to countries like Mexico, Australia, India, Colombia, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, China, Japan, and so many more.

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut is one of the most unique pastry companies around, with their array of interesting offerings, including the Captain My Captain (with Captain Crunch cereal bits), the Marshall Mathers (with M&M minis), and the Old Dirty Bastard (with Oreo cookies and peanut butter). We’ve now stayed twice at a hotel across the street from Voodoo’s downtown Portland location and have been mesmerized by the constant line that forms in front of the store. Their donut creations are on the edgier side of the ledger, with a couple selections even being banned because they included medication as toppings. The chain currently has four locations, with the first opening in 2003. Although they are relatively young, they have grown in fame quite rapidly.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Established in 1948 as Open Kettle and later Kettle Donuts, founder William Rosenberg finally settled on Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950. His concept came from the success he saw in selling food and drinks at factories and construction sites. Like many other donut enterprises, coffee sales also make up a huge portion of Dunkin’ Donuts popularity and success, despite coffee’s grossness.  I can’t recall ever going to a Dunkin’ Donuts throughout my travels around the world, but it is on my ever-growing “To Do” list. Today, you can find Dunkin’ Donuts in 30 different countries (outside the U.S.), which will help in me crossing a visit off my bucket list. One thing that gives me pause, though, is the website DunkinDonuts.org, which allowed customers to complain about the company… before they bought and shut the site down.

steal-a-donut-truck

BeaverTails

Returning north of the border, BeaverTails are flattened donuts topped with a variety of garnishes, such as Nutella, cookies, chocolate, fruit, cinnamon sugar, whip cream, and much more. They are meant to salute one of Canada’s most treasured animals, the noble beaver (I’ll allow you little sippers to make your own dirty jokes here). The first BeaverTails location opened in 1978, in Killaloe, Ontario of all places. The chain can now be found in other parts of Canada, the U.S., South Korea, and Japan. The company enjoyed international attention when U.S. President Barack Obama made it a point to stop at the chain when visiting the Canadian capital. They even created an Obama Tail for the occasion, comprised of cinnamon sugar, maple-flavoured eyes, and a Nutella ‘O’.

Donut King

Adding some international flair, this franchise, founded in 1981, is based in Australia and has hundreds of outlets across the country. With the Australian market conquered, the Donut King chain has grown into China, which doesn’t seem like the most natural of expansion choices, but I’m not the one who has to explain decisions to shareholders. In 2007, Donut King took part in constructing the world’s largest donut, to celebrate the release of The Simpson Movie on DVD. The project combined 90,000 regular size pastries, a half tonne of pink frosting, and 30kg of sprinkles. The end result weighed 3.5 tonnes and stretched six meters. The effort took 40 people working for nine hours. I only wonder who got to eat the treat at the end of the project!

Flavour Revolution: Apple Fritter Martini

Apple Fritter Martini

  • 1.5 oz Glazed Donut Liqueur
  • 1 oz Apple-Cinnamon Vodka
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Dash of Maple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Donut

There are some other popular chains around the world, such as Churromania in Venezuela, Go Nuts Donuts in the Phillippines, and Mister Donut in Japan, but they had never come into my consciousness before researching this piece. Still, you have to give credit to all those making doughy snacks across the globe!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
While this recipe doesn’t call for it, I added a dash of Mrs. Sip’s recently-purchased Apple-Cinnamon Vodka and it was a really nice touch. All the other ingredients came together nicely and although I was worried the martini would be too sweet, it wasn’t. All in all, it was quite delicious and a crowd pleaser!

Canada – Unsuspecting Victim

Legend of Poutine

As we continue our trek across Canada’s often frozen tundra, we discover another of the country’s greatest products: poutine. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, it basically means fries with gravy and cheese curds, but it can also be so much more. Let’s take a look at Canada’s cultural cuisine.

Poutine Heart Attacks

As with most things that earn a cult status and become famous, there are many that claim to have created the dish. A number of French Canadian cities also assert that they are the home of poutine’s invention. Drummondville, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Victoriaville, and Warwick each have ponies in this race.

It is commonly believed that poutine earned its name (which is French slang for “a mess”) when a trucker asked cook Fernand Lachance to add cheese curds to his fries in the 1950’s.

You can really make anything with the poutine base of fries and curds. Butter chicken, ribs, ground beef, pulled pork, and most other meats can be used in recipes. There are also Greek and Italian poutines which include Greek salad and gyro meat and Bolognese sauce and Italian sausage, respectively.

Chef Chuck Hughes even won an episode of Iron Chef America with an offering of lobster poutine, which sounds so amazingly fantastic. Not so fantastic (to the Sip Advisor, at least) are recipes which include foie gras, caviar, and truffles. I’d still give them a shot, though and probably end up eating crow.

Despite its wonderful taste, one major downside of poutine is its high-caloric value. Servings can range from 750-1,500 calories depending on how many ingredients are thrown on top of the base.

calories-poutine

A number of fast food joints have also jumped aboard the literal gravy train. New York Fries, KFC, Burger King, Dairy Queen, A&W, Wendy’s, and even McDonald’s, known for their world famous skinny fries, have got in on the poutine act. A number of poutine specific restaurants have also began popping up across Canada. In a small area of downtown Vancouver, you can find La Belle Patate, Smoke’s Poutinerie, Mean Poutine, and others.

My favourite rendition of the meal is available at my local watering hole, Jimmy’s Taphouse. It’s not an elaborate serving of the delicacy, but what pushes it over the edge is the chipotle drizzle they put over the fries, giving it a bit of spice. The menu item is also on the bar’s half price happy hour menu, which makes it all the more amazing.

Jones Soda released a poutine-flavoured beverage for a limited time in 2013, which was met with mostly harsh reviews. Still, I wish I could track it down and use it in a drink recipe. If you have a bottle lying around, donations to The Sip Advisor are always accepted and like a church offering plate are strongly encouraged!

Some close family members of poutine include Disco Fries (using mozza cheese and served in New Jersey and New York since the 1970’s), Chili Cheese Fries, and In-N-Out Burger’s Animal Fries (with cheese, onions, and secret sauce).

All this talk of poutine has worked up quite an appetite for me, so we’ll close with a note on perhaps the most famous moment for the popular dish. For Rick Mercer’s satirical ‘Talking to Americans’ segment on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, during the 2000 U.S. election, Mercer told George W. Bush that Prime Minister Jean Poutine had endorsed him. The actual Canadian PM at the time was Jean Chretien, but not a single interviewee picked up on the discrepancy. When President Bush made his first trip to Canada, he joked that he wanted to thank Mr. Poutine for the endorsement, finally clued in to the gag.

Canada: Unsuspecting Victim

Unsuspecting Victim Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 oz Crown Royal Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz Chambord
  • 0.75 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Pineapple Juice and Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Wheels

This is one of the few things we can thank the French for… that and an endless number of liquor options. Please share your favourite poutine recipe, fact, or story. Then go get yourself some of Canada’s finest gastronomic delight!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Well, my little sippers, it happened again. I ended up with some Pineapple Juice that had gone bad and came out as clumpy as some poutine gravies. Luckily, I had some Pineapple Soda still lying around and it added a very nice touch to the drink. The always reliable (aren’t all Canadian items!) Crown Royal Whiskey tasted really good combined with the Chambord and Amaretto and everything mixed together made for an excellent cocktail.

September 1 – Kir Royale

Your Majesty

There have been many fictional monarchs over the course of history. Some rulers are worthy of mention, while others have had subpar reigns. Here are some of the most liked and most hated to take the throne:

Joffrey Baratheon

As I’ve written before, I can’t wait to see this little brat get his comeuppance. It will happen and the only question is who will deliver that sweet blow? Will it be Tyrion Lannister, who has struggled to rein in Joffrey’s psychopathic behavior? Will it be Daenerys Targaryen, who is building an army to reclaim her family’s rightful place of power? My money is on Arya Stark, who only has sweet revenge on her mind. It will probably be someone we never expected, however. And if you are one of those self righteous people who has some inside knowledge because you’ve “read the book” (cough, cough, Mrs. Sip), don’t tell me a damn thing!

Joffrey

Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler

Jerry Lawler earned his crown in the Memphis wrestling territory and went on to hold that region’s championship countless times… it probably helped that he was usually an owner of the promotion. World Wrestling Entertainment used to also host an annual King of the Ring tournament, which was won by such dignitaries as Randy Savage (with Queen Sherri Martel), Steve Austin, and Brock Lesnar.

Queen of Hearts

Off with their heads! Poor Alice, stuck in Wonderland and having the most bizarre time ever… she goes from a quiet game of croquet to running for her life, while some mad queen wants her head served up by the executioner. And they call croquet a gentleman’s game (I don’t know that for fact, if you haven’t already noticed by now I just make stuff up as I go along). Luckily, Alice escape with her skull still attached to her body, but will she ever be the same?

Kingdom of Eternia

Most people are probably asking: what the hell is this. Well friends, this kingdom would consist of King Randor, Queen Marlena, Prince Adam, and Princess Adora. The last two are otherwise known as He-Man and She-Ra. Together, they were part of one of the greatest marketing concepts ever: combining action figures with cartoons and comics. I only wish I had come up with this billion-dollar idea.

He-Man & She-Ra

Evil Queen

There are few queens that are as wicked as the Evil Queen. She actually enlisted a huntsman to track down Snow White, the fairest of them all, kill her and bring back her heart as proof of the assassination. Her maliciousness has only been heightened on Once Upon a Time where she continues her battles with Snow White, Prince Charming, and all the other characters of Disney fantasy.

Burger King

I wish that I was king of burgers… I’m sure this would come with an endless supply of the meals from all parts of the world. You could probably summon a burger whenever you wanted one. Then, all you’d have to do is become buddies with the Fry King and Milkshake King and you’d have the full meal deal! As long as I didn’t have to look as creepy as the Burger King mascot, I’d be fine with the challenges and responsibilities of such a title.

Simba

Of course I had to have a kitty entry into this category. King of the Pride Lands, Simba has a rough go of things when he is led to believe that his actions caused his father Mufasa’s death. Thankfully, he meets Timon and Pumbaa, who restore his confidence. He also bangs his childhood sweetie, Nala, and then returns home to battle his uncle Scar over his right to the throne. Upon victory, he literally becomes the Lion King, although I have a feeling other kitties would challenge his claims.

Drink #244: Kir Royale

Kir Royal Drink Recipe

I think I’d be a good king, similar to how I preside over all you little sippers. I would make sure that my constituents are provided for in all realms of the booze world, including liquor, mixers, garnishes, and even drunken snackies like chips and pulled pork. If we really want to make this happen, let’s start a revolution tomorrow. Are you in!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Mrs. Sip really liked this mix and she seemed to stumble upon the perfect fix for wines and champagnes that are a little too sweet. As for myself, I enjoyed the cocktail. The Blackcurrant Liqueur is a unique spirit and the Cherry garnish looked awesome!

July 22 – Cincinnati Lunchbox

Burger Bar

Very few things compliment a tall, cold mug of beer like burgers do. I’ve been privileged to enjoy a number of fine selections. Here are some of my favourites:

Legendary Burger – White Spot

A darling of Western Canada (particularly the province of British Columbia), I can rarely remember a trip to White Spot that didn’t result in ordering this burger. You scan the menu every single time and even contemplate ordering something other than the norm, but you always end up asking for your favourite and you never regret doing so. The secret recipe Triple-O sauce is to die for and should be available to purchase.

Legendary Burger

Prime Rib Burger – The Keg

Ordered off of its bar menu, most Keg restaurants will allow this to be selected even if you’re in their main dining room, as well. The ones that don’t are listed near the top of my always growing ‘enemy list’. This burger is absolutely fantastic. The seasoning, combined with all the toppings makes for one tasty meal. Take my advice and throw in an extra buck for the bacon. Unbelievably, it’s one of the cheapest items on the restaurant’s menu to boot!

Whopper – Burger King

Flame broiled, yes please! The thing I love best about the Whopper is that it is loaded with toppings. Toppings are essential to any burger enjoyment and the King has read that message loud and clear. I appreciate that the chain has found its way into a number of airports, giving me an opportunity to have a decent meal on the run. Burger King is also one of the few food vendors in movie theatres around my parts, taking advantage of hungry moviegoers.

whopper

Big Xtra – McDonalds

Although I can only find this burger (known as the Big N’ Tasty in the U.S.) at Wal-Mart-connected McDonalds, it is worth the trip. In my opinion, all burgers need essential ingredients and this meal covers all the bases. You have your lettuce, tomato, mayo, ketchup, pickles, and onions… all the colours of the rainbow. Perhaps the only thing missing is a couple strips of bacon, but we’ll let that transgression pass.

Big Crunch – KFC

I had to include a chicken burger on this list and the best place in the world for bird meat is hands down KFC. I haven’t had a Big Crunch in a couple years, but just writing this has me craving the delicious 11 secret herbs and spices recipe. A little tip for chicken burger connoisseurs, try dipping your meal in ketchup before each bite, adding another wonderful flavour to the mix.

Big-Crunch

Kobe Beef Sliders – Milestones

Perhaps the only thing better than one big burger is three mini burgers! Most of my beef selections come sans cheese, but in this case, I’m happy to leave the mozzarella on. The Milestones sliders are topped with crispy onion straws and are accompanied by a delicious sesame mustard sauce for dipping. The appetizer is perfect for sharing and Mrs. Sip and I have been known to gorge ourselves on a couple starters prior to skipping dinner!

Bacon Deluxe – Red Mill Burgers

I learned of Red Mill Burgers watching Man vs. Food, as host Adam Richman toured a selection of restaurants in Seattle, Washington. Thankfully, that means the franchise’s locations are only a two-hour drive away for Mrs. Sip and I. Well worth it, I would say! When we arrived, the line-up for ordering was out the door and it didn’t take long to understand why. Loaded with toppings and the delicious Mill Sauce, I was in burger heaven and I enjoyed the euphoria the entire two-hour trip home!

Drink #203: Cincinnati Lunchbox

Cincinnati Lunchbox Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • Top with half Orange Juice and half Beer (I used GIB Hefeweizen)
  • Garnish with Orange Slice

All this talk of burgers has got me really hungry… and all this mentioning of beer has got me really thirsty. Why won’t someone satisfy my needs!? I don’t ask for much. Only to be fed, thirst quenched, and legions of fans who will do my bidding!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Not a bad beer cocktail, but a little sweet and not really memorable… it doesn’t live up to the burgers listed above. I was looking forward to this drink, as Hefeweizen Beers are my favourite, but I think the Orange Juice took over too much.

 

May 7 – Caesar

Well Hung

I never get hung over. Don’t get me wrong, I can feel a little off the day after a heavy drinking effort, but I do not display the normal symptoms of a hangover. Mrs. Sip and friends marvel over my invincibility against hangovers… or more accurately they get green with jealousy. Haters say that the dreaded morning after monster will catch up to me, but how can it ever sneak up on you when you have a perpetual buzz going!?

hangover cat

The Caesar (a Canadian original and menu staple), today’s libation du jour, is thought to be a steadfast hangover cure. Although this isn’t a proven fact, most drinkers would swear by it. Here are some other solutions to your throbbing headache, nausea, dehydration, and weakness – at least I’ve heard that’s what a hangover feels like:

Coffee

I don’t drink the stuff at the best of times, so I’m pretty sure it would make me sicker than I was before, if I tried it as a cure. According to some studies, drinking coffee may increase your alertness the morning after drinking, but it will also increase your dehydration. So, to sum up, I have once again proven that coffee and all its subsidiaries suck and should be stricken from the earth.

Aspirin, Gravol & Other Meds

I have been advised before to take an Aspirin before going to bed after drinking heavy. I laughed obnoxiously at the time and I’m still laughing today. Meds can actually be helpful to cure what ails you, though. Aspirin will relieve your headache and Gravol will settle your stomach. If you don’t have any pills lying around, Ginger Ale can also work wonders on the system. It makes a great mixer, to boot!

hangover not drinking

Fast Food

A morning run to McDonalds, Burger King, or any other fast food joint may not actually cure a hangover, but it’s a perfectly good reason to start the day right with a greasy meal! Then when you’re sitting on the couch all day feeling lethargic, you can blame your breakfast, rather than your hangover.

More Alcohol

This would be my favourite solution to a hangover, but apparently the “hair of the dog” approach will eventually make you feel worse, as you build toxins on top of already consumed poisons. The Caesar would fall into this category, with drinkers arguing that the blend of ingredients, and in particular the clamato juice (tomato juice if you’re making a Bloody Mary), is enough to jump start their body the day after getting smashed.

hangover keep drinking

Exercise

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good workout, but after a night out, even when I don’t get hangovers, the thought of an early morning bike or weight lifting session makes me shiver. I like to start the day slowly after getting blotto. I’ll eventually hit the gym, but I’m in no rush whatsoever to get there. The only exercise I want the morning after painting the town red is a little cuddling, if you smell what I’m cookin’.

Sleep

The complete opposite of exercise, staying in bed is a little more up my alley. Sleeping one off is as literal a hangover cure as you can find. A true warrior, though, doesn’t save his drinking for the weekends. Yes, us man-among-men types can hit the bottle with a fire so strong that it’s mesmerizing and still wake up early the next day, hop out of bed and be a stud at work. That’s when you know you’re a legend… or an alcoholic, whateves.

hangover-funny

Bacon

My good friend and future best man (you should always be planning ahead), bacon, has actually been recently proven to help make people feel better after they’ve hit the bottle too hard. Specifically a bacon sandwich can do the trick, thanks to the carbs in bread and the protein in bacon. Both these substances provide the body with essential amino acids which will help with recovery. Is there anything bacon can’t do!?

Water/Sports Drinks

If I’m not having an alcoholic bevvy and you see the Sip Advisor with a drink in my hand, it’s likely going to be water. I drink so much water every day, I figure that’s why I never get a hangover. Oddly, I don’t drink much water during a hardcore boozing session, but I have friends who swear by doing a 1-1 or 2-1 ratio of alcohol to water or sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade) beverages. I’ve never been a mathematician, so that just seems like too much work to me.

Drink #127: Caesar

Caesar Drink

  • Rim glass with Celery Salt
  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Bakon Vodka)
  • Top with Clamato Juice
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
  • Dash of Hot Sauce
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Horseradish
  • Garnish with Celery Stalk, Pickled Skewer, Spicy Bean, and Lime Wedge

Apparently, there are actually hangover pills. Personally, I wouldn’t give them much stock. Why waste your money on something that probably doesn’t even work, when you all you apparently really need is bacon and water? If you hate me because I don’t get hangovers, let me know. The best insults you can hurl my way may appear in a future post!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I’ve always been a fair-weather friend of the Caesar. I neither love it, nor hate it. However, now I’m a fan as apparently I just had to make one for myself. This eco-system of a drink was delicious. It was salty, spicy, savoury, and flavourful, all at the same time. A cocktail that was wonderfully enjoyed on a beautiful day!

February 15 – Banana Split Martini

Sip Harmony

Valentine’s Day 2013 has come and gone, which means you have 365 days to find a partner (or new partner, if you weren’t happy with your V-Day gift) for the 2014 edition. If you follow The Sip Advisor’s date night advice (yeah, I’m good at that, too) you’ll do just fine… only fine, not great (our legal counsel insisted I throw that line in to cover our asses).

Dinner Out

I like to take Mrs. Sip to the finest McDonalds, which in our neck of the woods, means homeless people outside, bathrooms you have to be buzzed into, watered down pop stations and receiving you order wrong two-out-of-every-three times. Remember to always keep your options open. If your date is being fussy and wants to try something new on this special occasion, make sure there’s a Burger King nearby as a back-up.

Dinner Date

Movie Time

The first obstacle with this option is agreeing on a movie. Unfortunately, as they don’t show pornography in megaplex cinemas, my second choice is usually a comedy. Problem is your date will likely want to see one of the romantic variety and now you’re really suffering. She better be worth it, friend. Sneaking in your own snacks is a must, or else you’ll be stuck putting a mortgage on your home to get a freakin’ drink (in a size that will burst your bladder and make you miss the climax of the film) and bag of popcorn.

Drinks on the Town

I’ve never been one to advocate drinking on a date…said the Sip Advisor never. I’ve had dates with drinks! The Cosmo and I once had a beautiful night out together, enjoying each other’s elixir. When it came time to seal the deal, though, I found out Cosmo saw me as more of a friend. We’re still close, but I’ll never forget how close I came to spending a night with sweet lady Cosmo.

Drinks Out

Do Something Crazy!

As fun as bowling, mini-golf and ice skating (for us Canadians) can be, there’s nothing like giving your heart to each other while it’s jumping out of your chest. Great advancements have been made in tandem daredevil activities and even if you only go on one date together, he or she will never forget you or their near-death experience (I personally recommend Zorbing… what says love more than be stuck in a giant plastic ball and being pushed down a hill with that special someone?). Then again, the way I bowl, that may be as near-death as most people are willing to go.

Staying In

Lock the door, throw away the key and stay home. Better clear it with your date first, or else she’ll think you’ve taken her prisoner… although some ladies and gents might like that. Whether it’s to relax and watch Hockey Night in Canada (or, fine, a movie) together; have a romantic, candlelit dinner; or push the twin beds together for a night of wild passion; sometimes staying in is the best course of action.

The most important thing to plan for when staying home, is every night in together should start with a couple of these!

Drink #46: Banana Split Martini

Banana Split Martini

  • 1.5 oz Chocolate Whipped Vodka
  • 1 oz Crème de Bananes (I used Bols)
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Whip Cream
  • Garnish with chocolate sprinkles, banana slice and raspberry

If any of these tricks of the trade work for you, you can pay homage to me by giving your future child the middle name “Sip Advisor”… kind of has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This might have been my favourite of the Chocolate Week cocktails. It tasted very similar to the dessert of the same name and was just as fun to drink as it is to eat.