Flavour Revolution – Peppermint

Stripped and Striped

Candy canes are one of many infamously striped items we enjoy in our daily life. Here are some of the other striped wonders the world has brought us:

Referees

Love them or hate them – and really, only a mother could love them – referees are a necessary element to most sports (albeit completely useless in baseball where computers can better detect balls and strikes). I have a theory that refs dress like zebras so fans can easily identify exactly where to direct their venomous hatred, when they feel their team has been wronged.

ref screws team

Sports Jerseys

Many teams out there on the sports landscape feature some kind of striping in their choice of jersey colours. Perhaps the most famous squad to don stripes (or in this case, pinstripes), is the New York Yankees. An urban legend exists that the Yankees adopted the pinstripe look to make portly star Babe Ruth look slimmer, but in actuality, the style was already used well before Ruth joined the franchise.

Clothes

Of course, the clothing industry is an obvious choice for striped items and some of the most iconic characters in pop culture have been known to wear these materials. Ronald McDonald sports striped socks. Similarly, two sociopaths, Dennis the Menace and Freddy Krueger, traditionally rock striped shirts. Some people think stripes don’t look good on them, while others don the look regularly.

Animals

The animal kingdom is full of creatures with stripes, including zebras, bumble bees, Bengal tigers, fish, raccoons, and even skunks. Therefore, Pepe Le Pew, Nemo, and Rocket Raccoon are among some of the popular characters that have streaks. And don’t forget that poor little kitty that always manages to accidentally gain stripes and become a target for Pepe Le Pew’s unwanted advances.

skunks as cats

Candy Stripers

I had to be careful not to type candy “strippers”, which is far more appealing than a trip to the hospital! Candy Stripers are often hospital volunteers, decked out in red and white striped uniforms. The whole concept originated in East Orange, New Jersey, all the way back in 1944, when a high school civics class project designed the uniforms to be used at the East Orange General Hospital.

Watermelons

My favourite fruit has a distinct striped pattern on its outer shell, which can be a telltale sign as to whether the melon is ripe, so long as the area between the stripes is light green. As beautiful as a watermelon looks on the outside, what we really care about is the delicious fruit inside. Watermelons should be a symbol of harmony and acceptance, because it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Crosswalks

We use them every day – not that some drivers seem to really care or notice – to “safely” moved about the world. The most famous sidewalk in existence is likely the one The Beatles crossed on their Abbey Road album cover. Since its release, thousands of Beatle-files have tried to recreate the scene, including the Sip Family… and we looked pretty good doing it.

zebra-crosswalk

Billiards Balls

Solids versus stripes… like gang warfare, that’s what the game of billiards really comes down to. The first player to sink a ball (whether it be a solid 1-7 or a striped 9-15), then works the rest of the contest to eliminate the other balls that match the ball they originally pocketed. At times, I’ve been a decent pool player, but I’m no master of the parlor game. I’ll definitely never be a pool hall hustler!

Barber Poles

Back in the day, these red, white, and blue striped poles were essential in identifying locations where one could get their hair cut… that and the many customers emerging from the shops with fresh dos. Today, the barber pole is a thing of the past. I personally blame the Barber Shop movie franchise, but that might be reaching a little.

Jail Uniforms

Up until orange jumpsuits (Orange is the New Black, after all) became the norm, we associated black and white striped clothing with criminals. This is because the uniforms were a “badge of shame” and were only changed when rehabilitation of prisoners began to be favoured over punishment. That said, to this day, if you want to dress up as a jailbird for Halloween, a black and white striped costume will do.

inmate_apparel

Flags

Most national banners out there feature a striped pattern of sorts. Most notably perhaps, is the American flag, which is iconic for its 50 stars – each representing a state within the union – and also its red and white alternating stripes. Many other countries flags are comprised of stripes, such as the United Kingdom, Greece, Cuba, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and others.

Circus Tents

After American Horror Story: Freakshow, I can’t look at circus tents the same anymore, but striping is a traditional feature of the big top venues. When the Cirque du Soleil tour comes to the city each year, everyone knows its location thanks to the colourful tent that pops up in downtown Vancouver. It also helps that it’s located in the same spot annually, but the tent definitely draws attention.

Flavour Revolution: Crème de Candy Cane

  • 1.5 oz Burnett’s Candy Cane Vodka
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Milk
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Candy Cane

Really, a striped pattern could be featured on absolutely anything. As for entries with “stripe” in their name, there’s the rock band The White Stripes and the Jamaican lager Red Stripe. Lastly, the main baddie in Gremlins is also named Stripe, thanks to his tuft of white hair.

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December 29 – Fireside Choco-Chat

Something to Talk About

I sometimes like to watch those year-in-review retrospectives you find on news and sports channels. It gives you a real picture of what happened the previous 365 days and an idea of what to expect when the calendar turns over. So, as we try to stay warm by the fire, here are the people and topics we most discussed in 2013:

Miley Cyrus

People have been shaking their groove things for many years, but it took a raunchy twerking performance by former child star Miley Cyrus at the MTV Music Video Awards to really help the pop singer burst on the scene. She followed that up with a string of other wild antics and her music video for Wrecking Ball, which features the artist (and all of her tan lines – you figure she would have got some colour before this production) swinging nude from the construction device and licking a filthy sledgehammer.

miley-cyrus

Prince George

Perhaps it’s the anti-parent in me or perhaps it’s the fact I couldn’t care less about celebrity offspring in general, but I don’t get the interest in the whole royal baby thing. Sadly, this kid is more famous that any of us will ever be and he still needs someone to wipe his own ass. I’d praise his genetic luck, but years of royal inbreeding have to catch up to reality eventually. At least he can claim things of Kate Middleton that most men would kill to also have rights to.

Concussion Awareness

This is the hottest topic in the sports world (even surpassing steroids) and it only seems to be getting more serious with each passing year. In 2013, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with its former players for concussion treatment and earlier this month, news came out that a similar class action lawsuit was being filed against the NHL. While the players involved should be compensated, I feel we’re travelling down a slippery slope towards the elimination of contact sports entirely.

Rob Ford

The every-man mayor proved he was much more than your typical person and provided late night shows with copious amounts of material. Sure he continues to leave a black eye on the city of Toronto by refusing to step down and out of the public spotlight, but it’s no worse than their professional hockey team has been doing for years! Perhaps once he’s experienced close to 50 years of futility he’ll finally call it a day.

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West

Kim and Kanye, or Kim-ye as they have been unitedly known, are perhaps Hollywood’s hottest power couple right now. This is what you get when you combine the amazingly egotistical Kanye West (he is the voice of our generation, after all) and the talentless yet uber famous Kim Kardashian (sorry, what exactly has she done again?). Don’t forget about baby North West, who has the perfect name for a fragrance already lined up: North by North West!

Fifty Shades of Grey

The franchise should really be called Fifty Shades of Who Cares, although I know I’m waging a winless battle. I’m just so outnumbered by women in their middle ages who love their mommy porn. How powerful is this group, you ask? Well, they’ve already forced Charlie Hunnam to give up on his role as Christian Grey in the film just because many thought he didn’t fit the part and backlashed against the performer on social media. What’s next? Will they get me booted off my own site because I’m far too talented? They may have a case there!

Drink #363: Fireside Choco-Chat

Fireside Choco-Chat Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Marshmallow Vodka (I used Smirnoff Fluffed)
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • Top with Hot Chocolate
  • Garnish with Whip Cream and a Chocolate Spoon

Before we retire for the evening, we should pay tribute to those who passed on in 2013. May there be drinks waiting for you all wherever you may be!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I went with Candy Cane Vodka instead of Peppermint Schnapps and that might have changed the taste. While I had looked forward to mixing Fluffed and Candy Cane Vodka with Hot Chocolate, I wasn’t overly impressed with the final product. Mrs. Sip liked it better than I did, however.

December 13 – Tinsel Bellini

Christmas Blitzed

As the holiday season rapidly rushes by, it’s important to sit back and take in all that surrounds you. That can definitely include the many winter-themed alcohol options, most of which are only released at this time of year. Here are some to keep an eye out for!

Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack

This spirit blends Jack Daniel’s famous Tennessee whiskey with Apple Cider liqueur and holiday spices. I’m not entirely sure what qualifies as a holiday spice, but I’m hoping the term somehow includes beautiful women bedecked in Christmas lingerie. Now fetch me some mistletoe and dangle that shrubbery from all the required erogenous zones!

Winter-Jack-Cider

Peppermint Schnapps

I’m not sure why, perhaps its candy canes, but the peppermint flavour has a rich history and association with the Christmas season. It could also be because I spike a lot of drinks with Peppermint Schnapps when I’m out and about town in the chilly temperatures. One particular fond memory I have is from sneaking in a bottle at Disneyland and getting torched before the spectacular Christmas fireworks show, which finishes with a smattering of fake snow to frolic in.

Burnett’s Candy Cane Vodka

I’ve been planning to use this liquor during the Christmas season, ever since Ma and Pa Sip picked it up last year. In fact, it was featured in my recent Snowflaketini and I’ll probably bring it back for an encore performance later this month, so stay tuned… Burnett’s also has a Suger Cookie Vodka, as well!

Pinnacle Cinnamon Roll Vodka

Sticking with flavoured vodkas, one of the newest releases is a crossover between Pinnacle Vodka and Cinnabon to bring the world a Cinnamon Roll-based alcohol. Cinnabon buns are a bit of a tradition for Christmas morning breakfast for myself. We don’t have them every year, but when we do, it’s a very merry Christmas!

cinnabon-vodka

Kahlua Gingerbread

While most Kahlua products can be enjoyed during the winter, thanks to their excellent mixability with hot beverages like coffee and hot chocolate, the Kahlua Gingerbread release is a particular stand out for the holiday season. If you get wrecked enough on the sauce, you might even enjoy making your gingerbread house… that or destroy the entire village in some sort of stupor!

Evan Williams Egg Nog

There seems to be a dispute as to what liquor should go into your Egg Nog. I was raised to believe that some sort of rum should be used, preferably a spiced rum, but other places lean toward a whiskey or bourbon, as is the case with this product. I suppose, in the end, as long as your getting your swerve (and your nog) on, the debate doesn’t really matter!

Malibu Winter/Snowcoco

What’s neat about this product is that instead of just being coconut flavoured, the company actually added bits of coconut to the spirit and offered a window on the bottle through the labelling, so you could see the chunks float around, much like the bits in a snow globe. I think it only comes out as a seasonal release, so pick it up while you can.

Malibu-Winter

Yukon Jack Perma Frost Liqueur

I grabbed this product last month and while I’ve always appreciated Peppermint Schnapps, the Perma Frost Liqueur takes that tradition to a whole ‘nutha level with the addition of cinnamon spice. Also, unlike Peppermint Schnapps, which usually comes in at about 20% alcohol content, Perma Frost packs a punch at a whopping 50%!

Sourz Spirited Winter

This limited edition release combines sour cranberry and sour apple, two of the holiday season’s most prolific fruits. I’m very curious to sample this libation, but I believe it may have only been released for a short time in 2010. Like Indiana Jones, I will find my treasure!

Vana Tallinn Winter Spice

Vana Tallinn is Estonia’s primary spirit and this is their winter adaptation. The liqueur is so good that it has been selected Best Estonian Food for 2013 in the alcohol category. It is enriched with holiday spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and nutmeg. Mrs. Sip and I grabbed a bottle of Vana Tallinn last spring and now I wish I could have the Winter Spice, as well.

Drink #347: Tinsel Bellini

Tinsel Bellini Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Sugar
  • 2 oz Hpnotiq
  • 1 oz Limoncello
  • Top with Champagne
  • Splash of Lime Juice

Of course, there’s also a bunch of Christmas-themed beers and wines out there, but I figured I’d stick to the harder stuff… art, imitating life!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
It was a total pain in the ass to achieve the icicle look using Simple Syrup and Sugar, but I think in the end the visuals totally made the frustration worth it. Blending Limoncello and Hpnotiq together was an interesting combo that tasted pretty good.