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.

Portugal – Maria McClaire

Fatal Attraction

The Portuguese are big into fatalism and it has even spawned the country’s national music genre, called Fado. They are quick to use the word “oxalá”, which translated means “if only” or “hopefully”. Let’s check out some of the most popular quotes on fate and see if we can join the Portuguese and get our heads wrapped around this cosmic concept:

“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.” ― Lemony Snicket

I think this quote has to be my favourite of the bunch because it greatly describes how so many different people (“the waiters”) can play varying roles in your life and can push and pull you in different directions, some of which you’ll want to travel and others you’d avoid like the plague.

Fate Cat

“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…” ― John Lennon

Leave it to John Lennon to confuse and interest you all at the same time. This great lyric comes from The Beatles classic, All You Need is Love, and while it’s been proven time and time again that you, in fact, need a little more than simply love, it’s certainly a wonderful start and can be the impetus for your greatest adventures!

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote would seem to say that we have more power than we think in our own lives. That the universe will follow suit and fix itself accordingly to our wishes and desires. I hope that this is accurate. I’d like to think that I drive fate and not the other way around. I’m probably wrong, but I refuse to stop believing.

“Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been fate. People are always a little confused about this, as they are in the case of miracles. When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that’s a miracle. But of course if someone is killed by a freak chain of events — the oil spilled just there, the safety fence broken just there — that must also be a miracle. Just because it’s not nice doesn’t mean it’s not miraculous.” ― Terry Pratchett

Mrs. Sip and her sister are huge fans of Terry Pratchett and even I must admit that I dig this quote. It’s so true that the word fate gets tossed around mostly for moments of tragedy. I tend to use it much more in the positive light, such as the fate of love, friendship, and great occurrences during one’s life.

Tempting Fate

“Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him.” ― Groucho Marx

I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Mrs. Sip does most of our planning and that has resulted in the Sip Advisor living a charmed life, with folks regularly saying they want what I have or being interested in my activities because I lead a fun-filled, fascinating lifestyle. Keep up the good work, Mrs. Sip!

“What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.” ― Donald Trump

So, if we are to believe The Donald, I guess he didn’t react too well to fate in the following situations where he turned out to be a mega loser: the death of the United States Football League; his multiple failed marriages; and worst yet, the bungling of Trump Vodka. Gotta give the guy props for always trying, though.

Tempting Fate Kitty

“I believe in luck and fate and I believe in karma, that the energy you put out in the world comes back to meet you.” ― Chris Pine

I’m a huge believer in karma. It guides most of what I do and when things take a downturn, I’m quick to examine what I may have done to cause my own misfortune. Finding a perfect balance in your own life is something I think all folks chase and if they don’t, they end up suffering and being miserable.

“Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.” ― Les Brown

This reminds me of the old adage: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. You have to roll with what you are given and turn bad into good. If you’re lucky enough to largely get good right off the bat, then you have to embrace that and turn it into as much positivity as possible, staving off the bad as long as you can.

Portugal: Maria McClaire

Maria McClaire Martini

  • 1.5 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Port
  • 0.5 oz Campari
  • Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Garnish with Peach Slice

What are your thoughts on fate? Did these quotes inspire anyone out there in the Land of Sip? Did I inspire any of you to be better people? Probably not, so let’s just enjoy a quick drink together and go our separate ways!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
If you’d like to check out more Port recipes, check out this great site. When I originally made this cocktail, I had a bit of a mind lapse and used Irish Creme instead of Irish Whiskey… let’s just say things turned out much better when I realized my transgression and corrected the recipe.

August 16 – Columbo

Private Dicks

I like a good mystery and these gumshoes have offered some of the greatest examples of sleuthing known to the world. They each employ their own tactics, but the end result is always the same: the bad guy is punished for their crime and the good guy feels some sort of redemption. Here are the Top 5 detectives:

#5: Rescue Rangers

Sometimes, some crimes go slipping through the cracks (did anyone out there sing that opening!?)… and that’s when you need the Rescue Rangers: Chip, Dale, Gadget, and Monterey Jack (plus his little buddy Zipper). This classic Disney Afternoon animation block cartoon sees the legendary Chip and Dale and company solve crimes, such as missing pets and all the other stuff the real police don’t feel like investigating. The gang also regularly battle such villains as Fat Cat and Professor Norton Nimnul. Interestingly, Chip and Dale weren’t even originally planned to be part of the show, but were used to add some established Disney characters to the series.

Chip & Dale

#4: Ace Ventura

Of the Pet Detective variety, Ace is an unconventional investigator and devout animal lover. When hired to solve the case of missing Miami Dolphins mascot and real-life dolphin, Snowflake, he becomes embroiled in a complex mystery involving a disgruntled ex-player and Dolphins superstar quarterback Dan Marino. Can he crack the case before the Dolphins’ next big game and bring Snowflake home safely? This role launched the career of Jim Carrey and the surprise hit even produced a sequel, When Nature Calls, which sadly didn’t live up to the first film.

#3: Magnum P.I.

Thomas Magnum is a fine private detective. He’s willing to work on everything from cases involving cheating spouses to more serious stuff like drug rings and assassination plots. The former Vietnam veteran gets a ton of help from his buddies TC, Rick and even Higgins, all while living the good life in Robin Masters’ Hawaiian home. Played by the dreamy Tom Selleck, the iconic role had to be good, as he even gave up playing Indiana Jones thanks to the series’ shooting schedule. There has been talk of a movie or TV series remake, but I just don’t know if it could ever measure up to the original.

Magnum Man

#2: Sherlock Holmes

Along with his companion (and I don’t mean to make it sound like they are lovers… although I’m sure some have explored this premise), Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes is certainly London’s finest sleuth and is perhaps the world’s greatest. The creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes has appeared in countless forms of media. Some of my favourites include the recent movies with Robert Downey, Jr., the current BBC TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and the animated Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. With Holmes, you must always remember that the game is afoot!

#1: Lt. Columbo

I grew up on the disheveled detective and it’s probably because of him that I haven’t become a criminal mastermind… well, that and to be a mastermind, you need to have a fully-functioning brain. Peter Falk is a god damn legend in my books and all Mrs. Sip can do is roll her eyes when I stumble upon a Columbo mini-movie and have a brief celebration. Although she’s often mentioned, we never see Mrs. Columbo throughout the entirety of the series and we also never learn Lt. Columbo’s first name. Many have speculated that it’s Frank, as it appears when his LAPD ID badge is shown close up. Oh, one more thing, Columbo loves chili as much as he loves solving murders!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Columbo

Columbo Shot

  • 0.75 oz Campari
  • 0.25 oz Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Cigar

The Sip Advisor would make a horrible detective. Sure, I like solitude and spying on folks can be fun, but you can only get so drunk while on a stakeout and I would find the job cramping my current lifestyle. Plus, there’s the whole critical thinking aspect and all you little sippers know that isn’t in my wheelhouse!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I’m not sure if this shot (or cocktail I’ve shrunken down to shooter form) was actually meant in homage of the greatest detective of all-time, but I’m using it in that way anyway… there is an Italian connection between the character and Campari, so maybe there’s a match there. And how about that garnish!? Columbo was often seen smoking a stogie, so why not include it with the shooter. It all goes down okay and that bitter Campari aftertaste doesn’t kill like it usually does.

Croatia – Belle of the Ball

Mad Scientist

While most have heard of Thomas Edison, the same can’t be said for his rival Nikola Tesla. Tesla was born in what is now Croatia in 1856 and the genius inventor created and theorized significantly over his life, but fell into obscurity after dying. Only in recent years, have his achievements gained more recognition with many coming to the conclusion that his alternate current (AC) electricity was in fact better and safer than Edison’s direct current (DC) electricity. So, let’s tune up some AC/DC and learn about the unsung hero:

Tesla once worked for Edison, designing and improving electrical equipment. As he relocated from France to the United States, he was aboard a ship that faced a mutiny and was nearly tossed overboard. Some of his money, luggage, and even his ticket aboard the vessel were stolen. When he arrived in New York City, he had four cents to his name. He must have hid those pennies real well!

Tesla Electrifying

The beginning of the two men’s rivalry may have occurred when Tesla began redesigning Edison’s motors and generators with the promise of a $50,000 reward. When improvements were made, Edison said he was merely joking, although he did offer a weekly pay raise to Tesla, who quit the job immediately.

The War of Currents between Edison and George Westinghouse (who employed Tesla as a consultant and used his alternate current patents and inventions) drove both men to the brink of bankruptcy. The AC current won the war, despite Edison’s smear campaign against Tesla and Westinghouse, using AC to electrocute animals in an attempt to show it as more dangerous and even inadvertently creating the electric chair method of capital punishment. Suck it, Edison!

Legends persist that Tesla and Edison were to be co-winners of the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics, but one or both of them refused the honour thanks to their bitter hatred of each other. Some even say that Edison, who had grown wealthy thanks to his inventions, balked at the reward just to make sure Tesla didn’t receive any prize money.

Tesla's Bitch

Because of his Eastern European ethnicity and some of his concepts and inventions, Tesla gained a reputation as a mad scientist and a number of conspiracy theories center on the inventor, such as UFO and occult related notions. Some of Tesla’s papers are still classified by the U.S. government and when asked for through Freedom of Information requests, are heavily censored.

A hero of super villains everywhere, Tesla claimed to have invented a death ray, dubbed ‘Teleforce.’ Known as a “directed-energy weapon” or even a “peace ray,” Tesla insisted he had built and tested the device. When he grew suspicious of spies and other officials trying to steal the plans from him, he revealed that the entire blueprint was in his mind and had never been drawn out on paper.

Despite all the rumours, Tesla had over 700 patents to his name and can be credited with work in robotics, radar, wireless communication, lighting, and so much more. Tesla was also a showman and often invited the press to his birthday party, where he would unveil new creations and discuss his various theories. Among his greatest inventions was the Tesla Coil, which allowed the transmission of electrical energy without wires.

Tesla Coils

As it is with most brilliant people, Tesla had some quirks. He claimed to only need two hours sleep each night (although he napped, as well) and had some issues with obsessive compulsive disorder, including the cleaning of cutlery and a fascination with the number three, going so far as to wash his hands three times in a row and walk around a building thrice before entering.

Sounding like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, Tesla denounced marriage and sex, stating “I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.” At least he didn’t use Sheldon’s term of coitus when he believed that getting down with his bad self would take away from his scientific achievements. Hey, the guy did create remote control, radio, and even lasers, so perhaps he was onto something.

One thing I can certainly fault Tesla for (I mean, aside from his anti-sex agenda) was his affection for pigeons. I’ve written numerous times about my disdain for the winged rats, but Tesla would go so far as to rescue injured pigeons and bring them home. He even fell in love with one, writing “I loved that pigeon as a man loves a woman, and she loved me. As long as I had her, there was a purpose to my life.” Now, that, my little sippers, is a prime example of eccentricity!

Tesla Kitten

Tesla passed away in 1943, with little to no fortune, unlike his contemporaries, Edison and Westinghouse. After dying, Tesla was cremated with his ashes being placed in a golden sphere urn, as the sphere was his favourite shape (despite reportedly hating round jewelry like pearls and even going so far as to not speak to women who wore them). The urn is on display at the Nikola Tesla museum in Belgrade, Serbia.

Posthumous honours for the scientist include the unit of measure for magnetic field strength being known as a “tesla” and an electric car company, Tesla Motors, being named in memory of the inventor. Best of all, he now has a Sip Advisor article dedicated to his work!

Croatia: Belle of the Ball

Belle of the Ball Cocktail

  • 0.75 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Rakija
  • 0.25 oz Campari
  • 0.25 oz Jagermeister
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with Orange Slice

I’ve become interested in Tesla in recent years and it seems I’m not alone, as others become recognizant of the fact that his contributions to the world went largely uncelebrated compared to some of his partners and adversaries. This drink is made in his honour!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail is pretty good… until that damn Campari bitter aftertaste kicks in and dominates the whole experience. The Rakija is pretty strong too, but not in a necessarily bad way. The cocktail measurements don’t provide a big drink, so it’s not like you’re dedicating a lot of time to it. Give it a shot if you’re curious, but it might be one recipe to avoid.

Spain – First Avenue

I’d Tap That

Without Spain, we wouldn’t have tapas… and without tapas, we would never eat. Okay, that might be a little bit of exaggeration, but we certainly appreciate the invention of the appetizer, for without it, monstrous starter platters could not be devoured! Let’s take a look at some common Spanish tapas (according to Wikipedia – the number one source for online legitimacy) and see whether they pass the Sip Advisor taste test:

Tapas or Tapass

Albóndigas: Meatballs with sauce

Okay, we’re off to a decent start. Who doesn’t like meatballs? Well, I guess vegetarians and vegans, but do they really count?

Tortillitas de Camarones: Battered prawn fritters

Anything described as “battered” can play on my team!

Pimientos de Padrón: Small green peppers fried in olive oil or served raw (most are mild, but a few in each batch are quite spicy)

Finding the spicy green peppers is like locating the toy in a box of cereal. At first, you’re really happy because you found the surprise before anyone else could get to it. Joy turns to disappointment quickly, however, when you realize the toy isn’t that great anyway, much like a spicy green pepper when you’re expecting mild!

Aceitunas: Olives, sometimes with a filling of anchovies or red bell pepper

To me, appies need to be something more than a condiment stuffed with another condiment, but I sadly don’t call the shots in the country of Spain.

fuck-you-tapas

Solomillo al Whisky: Fried pork scallops, marinated using whisky, brandy or white wine and olive oil

Put the pork scallops aside and give me a couple bottles of your best marinade!

Cojonuda (superb female): A slice of Spanish morcilla with a fried quail egg over bread – it can also be prepared with a little strip of red, spicy pepper

Looked up morcilla and it is actually blood sausage, so there’s strike one. Strike two is the fried quail egg although I’m sure somewhere in the world it is a delicacy. While I can’t find anything to call the cojonuda out, I’ve decided to change the rules of baseball to suit my purpose and now all you need is two strike to retire a batter.

Cojonudo (superb male): A slice of Spanish chorizo with a fried quail egg over a slice of bread

So, there are male and female versions of cojonudo… is your sexual orientation decided by which you prefer? What if you like to swing both ways?

Pincho Moruno: A stick with spicy meat, made of pork, lamb or chicken

Nothing beats meat on a stick unless it’s spicy meat!

Appetizers

Empanadillas: Turnovers filled with meats and vegetables

Any food pocket device stuffed with more food will always shoot to the top of my favourite list. The name would have you thinking you’re about to eat a small animal, however.

Gambas: Prawns sauteed in salsa negra (peppercorn sauce), al ajillo (with garlic), or pil-pil (with chopped chili peppers)

Poor prawns… such a small creature and still gets stuffed with any number of items.

Mejillones Rellenos: Stuffed mussels, sometimes called tigres (“tigers”) because of the spicy taste

Mrs. Sip would love her some tiger muscles, but I have to note that tiger ice cream isn’t spicy and I think this calls into the question the process of describing spice levels using animals. I feel calling them dragon muscles would be more apt.

Patatas Bravas or Papas Bravas: Fried potato dices served with salsa brava a spicy tomato sauce – sometimes served also with mayo or aioli

Are these like brave little potatoes… you know, in a similar vein to the Brave Little Toaster?

Tapas Bill

Chorizo a la Sidra: Chorizo sausage slowly cooked in cider

Cider, you say? Not my favourite, but it does have booze in it!

Chorizo al Vino: Chorizo sausage slowly cooked in wine

See above, but even better!

Calamares or Rabas: Rings of battered squid

I wonder if the Spanish can rival Greek calamari? Perhaps both countries should send me some of their finest product and I will, once and for all, get to the bottom of this ever-deepening mystery.

Zamburiñas: Renowned Galician scallops, often served in a marinera, tomato-based sauce

Renowned??? I’ll be the judge of that. Again, Spain, send some my way and we’ll send out the results as soon as our little feast has concluded!

Spain: First Avenue

First Avenue Martini

  • 1.5 oz Sherry
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau
  • Splash of Campari
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Garnish with an Orange Wedge

Sometimes I’m into the idea of tapas and other times, I loathe them. While they’re a treasure trove of variety and perfect portion size for the ladies, a dude sometimes wants something he can really sink his teeth into like a fat burger or other hearty meal. The worst is going out with a group and splitting a bunch of appies… you will not have a good time!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes: (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was pretty good. Even when I subbed in Tonic Water for Club Soda, it wasn’t as bitter as I feared it would be, especially with the splash of Campari there to team up with the Tonic. I guess the Cointreau and Sherry balance out the sweet-bitter war and make for an interesting cocktail.

England – London Cup

Riot Brigade

From South Africa, we head north to merry old England. While it may or may not have originated there, the country has long been known as a hotbed of football hooliganism. Here’s a look at some of the most notorious hooligan firms and the anarchy they have caused!

Hooliganism Industry

6.57 Crew – Portsmouth FC

Taking their name from the depature time of trains from Southsea Station in Portsmouth to London’s Waterloo Station, the 6.57 Crew has been subject of TV documentaries and books on their hooliganism. The club has even had a 10-year old member arrested and convicted of violent disorder. For the 2006 Football World Cup, 130 members of the 6.57 Crew were forced to hand over their passports, limiting their ability to travel to Germany for the tournament.

Chelsea Headhunters – Chelsea FC

This firm has been linked to white supremacist groups, such as Combat 18, a neo-Nazi organization. One member, Kevin Whitton, was sentenced to life in prison for assaulting a bar manager, in which Whitton held the arms of the victim while another Headhunter smashed a beer glass into his face. The Headhunters have long-standing rivalries with firms representing other London-based teams, including Arsenal, Tottenham, and Queens Park.

Millwall Bushwackers – Millwall FC

Any group who chants “No one likes us, we don’t care!” has members that are in need of a serious hug. Perhaps they weren’t given much attention and love as youngsters. Anyway, The Den, where Millwall FC played was closed on five separate occasions by the Football Association due to fan violence. Clearly, these Bushwackers aren’t the fun loving type like the Bushwackers of wrestling fame.

bushwackers

Red Army – Manchester United FC

Sometimes called the Men in Black (hunting aliens when not disrupting soccer matches), the Red Army’s most infamous year might have been 1974-75, while Man U was relegated to the Second Division of the English League. During that season, Red Army supporters often outnumbered home team fans, while United was on the road, causing havoc with each stop across the country. The firm is largely cited as a reason for crowd segregation and fencing at UK football stadiums.

Inter City Firm – West Ham United FC

The ICF has been the basis for one film (Green Street Hooligans) about hooliganism, while serving as consultants on another (The Firm). A movie was also made about former leader Cass Pennant, who despite being black during a time of heavy racism, rose to the top of the ICF and served four years in prison (the first to ever be given a long-term sentence) as a result of his hooligan actions.

Men Discussing

Leeds United Service Crew – Leeds United FC

The LUSC has even been known to beat up opposing fans in wheelchairs… now that’s hardcore. Leeds United has done much to distance itself from the firm, as the level of violence caused by the LUSC has nearly ruined the team. Leeds United was banned from European competition for four years in the late 70’s thanks to fans rioting and in Telford United refused to host the team at their own stadium in 1987, due to the LUSC’s reputation.

The Muckers – Blackpool FC

Colloquially, “mucker” means good friend, but these Blackpool supporters certainly weren’t amiable with fans from other squads. Despite Blackpool’s history of being a lower-tier team, The Muckers were a major league firm, making a 1985 BBC list of the six worst clubs, as far as fan violence was concerned. The Muckers have gone through a number of eras and leaders, seemingly resembling a gang, rather than fans, and participating in West Side Story type rumbles (minus the dancing and singing, of course!).

England: London Cup

London Cup Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Tanqueray Rangpur Gin
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Campari
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice and Lemonade
  • Garnish with Cucumber Slices

While the heyday of hooligan firms is long behind us, football fan violence still exists. I’m still thankful nothing broke out during the Man United game Mrs. Sip and I attended in 2007, although our street car did break down in the middle of the town, making for an interesting trip home!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
For my England posts, I wanted to pick up a new and unique Gin and I found exactly that with the Tanqueray Rangpur. I had never seen this product before and was happy to come across it in a duty free shop in the Dominican Republic. The spirit combines Gin with Rangpur Limes as well as some other spices and it is quite refreshing. The same can be said for today’s cocktail, which I enjoyed despite the presence of Campari.

September 29 – Negroni

Bittersweet

There are some legendary roles that have been passed up by actors and actresses for various reasons. That probably made some of these folks pretty bitter… let’s take a look!:

Tom Selleck – Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

The Magnum P.I. star and his moustache were slated to play the role of archeologist Indiana Jones, but Selleck wasn’t allowed to vacate his TV role long enough to film the movie. The role went to Harrison Ford instead and three sequels followed. Selleck has done okay since, but lost out on playing such a treasured character. At least Selleck didn’t have to suffer through the backlash The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull received.

tom-selleck-indiana-jones

Molly Ringwald – Vivian (Pretty Woman) / Molly (Ghost)

The 1980’s icon missed the boat on a couple big roles in 1990 including Vivian in Pretty Woman and Molly in Ghost, played by Julia Roberts and Demi Moore respectively. Instead, Ringwald was living and acting in France. When she returned stateside, she had parts in TV movies and series but hasn’t done anything of note since her heyday decades ago. Roberts and Moore on the other hand enjoyed strong careers after these movies.

Will Smith – Neo (The Matrix)

I am certainly not a fan of The Matrix trilogy of movies and apparently, neither was Smith. The Fresh Prince turned down the character of Neo, saying he found the script too hard to follow. Instead, Smith would go on to make Wild Wild West, a universally panned film, around the same time. Smith has also admitted that Keanu Reeves was perfect for the role, which I take to mean the character was always intended to be one-dimensional, monotone, and boring.

will smith as neo

Mel Gibson – Bruce Wayne/Batman (Batman)

With all the uproar over the selection of Ben Affleck to play Batman, it’s interesting to note actors who previously passed on the iconic role. Gibson turned down the offer for Tim Burton’s 1989 film, believing the movie would be a flop… and this is all before his high-profile meltdown. Michael Keaton, of course, stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park before the franchise took a downswing with Val Kilmer and George Clooney behind the mask.

Sean Connery – Gandalf (Lord of the Rings)

The former James Bond legend passed on the role of Gandalf, reasoning that he didn’t “get” fantasy (because, you know, the James Bond plots are super realistic) and instead went on to make The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a movie that involves superheroes and is based on comics. Yup, that seems much more grounded in reality. Connery was paid $17 million for his part in the League, but it also pushed him to retire from acting. Had he accepted the Gandalf role and the offered 15% of the box office, he could have made $400 million through the trilogy!

sean-connery-gandalf

Denzel Washington – Det. David Mills (Se7en)

Denzel reportedly turned down the role later played by Brad Pitt, saying the movie was too dark. Apparently, he later regretted passing on the part, but he did alright for himself eventually, with an Oscar win for Training Day. Se7en launched Pitt into superstardom and also paired him with director David Fincher. Over the years, the two would also combine their efforts for Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Kevin Costner – Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption)

Costner was huge in the early 90’s and his acceptance of the Andy Dufresne role would have helped him avoid the total bomb that became his Waterworld passion project. After Waterworld, it took quite some time for Costner to rid himself of the stench of failure (must have been some stinky water on that set) and some could argue he’s never fully recovered. Tim Robbins took the Andy Dufresne part and went on to enjoy a renaissance of sorts.

Drink #272: Negroni

Negroni Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire East)
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

I sincerely hope that every actor and actress whose career was launched by one of these roles originally turned down sends that person some kind of gift basket each year, thanking them for their poor judgment and decision making. Join us tomorrow for part two of this franchise!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (1.5 Sips out of 5):
I knew going into this cocktail that I wasn’t going to like it very much. I find Campari’s bitterness to be too harsh and the Sweet Vermouth wasn’t able to bring it back to a tolerable level. I’m unclear as to why this has become such a classic cocktail. I guess there are enough people out there that prefer bitter drinks.