Quebec – Caribou

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we visit La Belle Provence, otherwise known as Quebec. Please note, this article will not be written bilingually:

Motto: “I remember” – Remember what?

Food: There are a number of Monteal-style dishes, including bagels, smoked meat, hot dogs, melons, and even a steak seasoning. Aside from that, a popular Quebecois dish is Tourtière, comprised of minced meat (pork, veal, beef, etc.), combined with potatoes in a pie format. The meal is traditionally served as part of Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. The name for the dish comes from the device it’s made in.

Drink: While my and Mrs. Sip’s favourite Quebec-based brewery is Unibroue, Molson Brewery deserves mention here for providing most Canadians with their first beer experience. Molson was founded in Montreal all the way back in 1786 and still has some of its operations on the site of the original brewery. Molson merged with Coors in 2005, becoming Molson Coors.

Molson Beer

Site to See: A hard category to narrow down, some top sites include the Notre-Dame Basilica (stunning church in Montreal), Château Frontenac (historic hotel in Quebec City) and Mont-Tremblant (ski resort/village). The areas of Old Quebec and Old Montreal are also worth exploring, both combining historic and modern elements for total packages all can enjoy.

Street: Chemin du Roy, which is French for King’s Highway/King’s Road, connects Quebec City and Montreal, along the St. Lawrence River. When the 280 km (170 mile) long route was originally completed in 1737, it was the longest road in North America, outside of Mexico. The street is easily recognized by the Chemin du Roy markers, complete with crown logo, placed along the route.

TV Show: My favourite show set in Quebec is Just For Laughs, which airs stand-up comedy sets recorded at the annual comedy festival of the same name. The festival was founded in 1983 and has launched the careers of many comedians, as it’s seen as one of the greatest opportunities for an aspiring comic to advance their career and land TV and movie projects. The performers at each festival are a who’s who of comedy elite.

Movie: The Score, starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Angela Bassett and Marlon Brando (in his final film), is set in Montreal. The movie is about a safe cracker who takes one last job, looking for a big score going into retirement. Other notable films set in Quebec include the Les Boys franchise and Bon Cop, Bad Cop, which has dialogue in both English and French, becoming Canada’s first bilingual feature movie.

Quebec

Book/Author: The Hockey Sweater, by Roch Carrier, is a Quebec institution. The children’s book tells the tale of a young boy who’s obsessed with the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, but receives a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater by mistake, causing issues for the lad. The book was adapted into a memorable animated short one year after its release. A line from the book appeared on $5 bills printed between 2001 to 2013.

Fictional Character: A number of comic superheroes have Quebec roots, including Fleur de Lys, Northguard, Northstar and Aurora. Twin brother and sister, Northstar and Aurora, are members of the X-Men universe and were originally part of an all-Canadian group called Alpha Flight. Northstar is notable for being one of the first openly gay superheroes, whose wedding was the first same-sex marriage in mainstream comics.

Fictional City: The village of Three Pines is the setting of a series of 18 mystery novels by author Louise Penny. Three Pines is based on various small towns around Quebec. The books have been adapted into a TV series, which will begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on December 2, 2022, with Alfred Molina starring as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. The first book in the series, Still Life, was also turned into a TV movie in 2013.

Actor/Actress: William Shatner, known for his starring role as Captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek, was born in Montreal. Shatner, aged 91, is still going strong 70 years after his acting career began. Shatner has done it all, too, acting in films and TV series, along with releasing multiple music projects and publishing a host of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Shatner has Walk of Fame stars in both the U.S. and Canada.

William Shatner

Song: Gens du pays, which translates to People of my Country, is an unofficial national anthem for the people of Quebec, especially those who support the sovereign/separatist movement. It was written by poet and musician Gilles Vigneault and first performed on June 24, 1975. The folk classic tune is also used to celebrate birthdays, with some of the lyrics altered for the occasion.

Band/Musician: Celine Dion, best known for her smash hit My Heart Will Go On (from the movie Titanic), was born in Charlemagne. Dion’s other chart toppers include The Power of Love, Think Twice, Because You Loved Me, It’s All Coming Back to Me Now, and I’m Your Angel. Her 2003-2007 Las Vegas stay was the highest-grossing concert residency ever, followed by her Taking Chances World Tour being among the most successful concert tours of all-time.

People: Comedian Norm Macdonald was born in Quebec City in 1959. McDonald rose to fame on Saturday Night Live, where he served as anchor of the Weekend Update news segment. After leaving Saturday Night Live, Macdonald starred in the movie Dirty Work and TV series The Norm Show. Sadly, Macdonald passed away on September 14, 2021, following along battle with cancer that few knew he was waging.

Animal: Aisaqvak is a polar bear at Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien. In 2009, Aisaqvak gave birth to twin cubs, Ganuk (male) and Taiga (female), the first time twin polar bears were born in a Canadian zoo. In 2018, Aisaqvak had another cub, Kinuk (male). Ganuk and Taiga both ended up at the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in Ontario, where Taiga died in 2020. Both Aisaqvak and Kinuk remain at Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien.

Celine Dion

Invention: There’s a lot to choose from here, including the modern baby bottle, Wonder-Bra, peanut butter, snowmobile (Ski-Doo), modern telephone, Trivial Pursuit, and hockey, among others. It should be noted that Ski-Doo creator Joseph Bombardier later founded Bombardier, which went on to make advancements and create vehicles in the fields of aviation, railway systems and public transportation.

Crime: Quebec has quite the criminal history from mass shootings, such as the École Polytechnique Massacre or the Quebec City mosque shooting, to serial killers, including The Monster of Pont-Rouge (Léopold Dion), The Vampire Rapist (Wayne Boden), The Killer Handyman (William Fyfe) and The Mad Bumper (Yves Trudeau). There was also the Quebec Biker War, which lasted from 1994 to 2002, resulting in the deaths of 162 bikers and civilians.

Sports Team: There’s the beloved Montreal Canadiens… and then there’s everything else. Following the Canadiens is like a religion in the province to most of their fans. Other teams include the Montreal Alouettes (CFL) and Montreal Impact FC (MLS), while the Quebec Nordiques (NHL) and Montreal Expos (MLB) both been relocated to American cities. Big sports events hosted by Quebec include the Canadian Grand Prix and Rogers Cup (aka Canadian Open) tennis championship.

Athlete: So many great hockey players come from Quebec, including legends such as Maurice Richard, Jean Béliveau, Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, and many more. Outside the rink, the province has been represented by Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve in car racing, Myriam Bédard in biathalon, Arturo Gatti in boxing and Georges St-Pierre in mixed martial arts.

Montreal Canadiens

Famous Home: Habitat 67, built for Expo 1967, is a housing complex in Montreal, known for its unique design of having the 146 apartments form three open air pyramids. The design was formulated by architecture student Moshe Safdie, as part of his thesis project. The structure appeared on a 2017 Canada Post stamp, recognizing the 50th anniversary of Expo 1967 and may become a Lego famous buildings release.

Urban Legend: The Château Frontenac hotel, opened in December 1893, is a National Historic Site. With attractions that old, typically come tales of hauntings and the Château Frontenac is no different, said to be visited by at least two ghosts. The first, is Louis de Baude de Frontenac, who is said to inhabit the hotel’s second floor. The second, is a woman dressed in a white nightgown, who has been reported to get into bed with guests.

Museum: The Canadian Railway Museum, also known as Exporail, can be found in  Saint-Constant, near Montreal. Established in 1961, the museum houses a number of locomotives, highlighted by the train which pulled King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their 1939 trek across Canada. Visitors can also hop aboard the heritage streetcar or heritage railway, which operate on the site.

Firsts: The first organized ice hockey game to ever be played took place in Montreal, at the Victoria Skating Rink, on March 3, 1875. It pitted two teams of nine players on each side against each other. The players used a wooden disc, rather than a puck, and goals were scored by putting the block between two flags spaced eight feet apart, rather than a net. A whopping 40 people attended this important moment in the history of the sport.

Habitat 67

Company: While I really want to put Pornhub here, I’ll have to give the category to Cirque du Soleil, given the worldwide, all-ages popularity of the performance company. Founded by Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix in 1984, Cirque du Soleil now has multiple touring productions, as well as permanent shows across the world. In Las Vegas alone, visitors have their pick of six different shows produced by the company.

Events: Quebec has waged a long battle for sovereignty, including two failed referendums (in 1980 and 1995) seeking separation from the rest of Canada. One of the most notable incidents of the separation movement was the October Crisis, when members of the Front de libération du Québec kidnapped and murdered Labour Minister Pierre Laporte. The event caused Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to invoke the War Measures Act for the first time ever in Canada during peacetime.

Miscellaneous: Quebec hosts a myriad of interesting festivals, including the Just for Laughs Festival, Quebec Winter Carnival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Festival d’été de Québec, Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. The province also celebrates a number of unique holidays and traditions, such as St-Jean-Baptiste Day, National Patriots’ Day, Moving Day, Construction Holiday, Réveillon, Temps des Sucres and Noël des Campeurs.

Quebec: Caribou

Caribou

  • 3 oz Red Wine
  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • Splash of Maple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Cinnamon Stick

This drink has a long history. It was once said to be made by mixing caribou blood and whiskey, with the plasma later replaced by red wine. The concoction can be enjoyed hot or cold and is popular at various events around the province. Today, the beverage comes pre-mixed and bottled for consumers.

Prince Edward Island – The Eddy

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we travel to Prince Edward Island (PEI), where we will discuss ALL things Anne of Green Gables… and some other neat stuff:

Motto: “The small protected by the great” – So, who has who’s back?

Food: PEI, nicknamed Spud Island, is famous for their potatoes. One dish that takes advantage of the crop is FWTW (Fries with the Works). The poutine-like meal is comprised of fries with gravy, ground beef and canned peas. To “top up” your FWTW, means to add an item such as cheese curds, mushrooms or pulled pork. The dish is believed to have originated at Pat’s Take Out in Unionvale.

Drink: Anne of Green Gables Raspberry Cordial is a real-life drink based off beverages fictional character Anne Shirley preferred. It is exclusive to PEI, but can be shipped to other parts of Canada. Unfortunately, for those outside the country’s borders, the raspberry-flavoured soda is unavailable. PEI is also known for Wild Blueberry Vodka and the PEI Brewing Co. deserves mention for their slogan “Work hard. Dream big. Have a Beer.”

Potatoes

Site to See: The PEI National Park, established in 1937, includes Cavendish Beach, the Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site estate and Green Gables Heritage Place farm, among other notable sites. PEI is the only Canadian province or territory to have a single national park and it has been designated a Canadian Important Bird Area, home to the endangered piping plover.

Street: Confederation Bridge, completed in 1997 at a cost of $1.3 billion, connects PEI to New Brunswick. The 12.9 km curved toll bridge takes 12 minutes to cross, if going the 80 km/h speed limit. It costs $50.25 for regular vehicles to cross the bridge, which is charged only when leaving PEI. The bridge is awaiting federal government approval to be renamed Epekwitk Crossing.

TV Show: The Anne of Green Gables stories have spawned numerous TV series, including Anne of Green Gables (1972 miniseries), Road to Avonlea (1990-1996 series), Emily of New Moon (1998-2000 series), Anne with an E (2017-2019 series). There’s even been two animated TV series based off the source material, one aired in North America and the other developed in Japan, where the character is now very popular.

Movie: As with TV series, there has also been a number of films based off the Anne of Green Gables works. The earliest was a silent film released in 1919. Versions in 1934 and 1956 followed. The most recognized releases were TV miniseries from 1985 and 1987, while two follow-ups, titled The Continuing Story and A New Beginning, were released in 2000 and 2008, respectively.

Confederation Bridge

Book/Author: Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables franchise, was born in Clifton. Over her life, she published a total of 20 novels, 530 short stories, 500 poems and 30 essays. Anne of Green Gables has been translated into 36 languages, resulting in 50 millions copies being sold around the world. This makes the book one of the best-selling of all-time.

Fictional Character: Anne Shirley is an 11-year-old orphaned girl, who is brought to Green Gables by siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The Cuthbert’s had originally wanted to adopt a boy, in order to have him help with their farm, but a mix-up resulted in Anne getting to start a new life with her new family. The many sequels in the Anne franchise allows fans to follow her from childhood to being a mother and later grandmother.

Fictional City: Avonlea is the setting of the Anne of Green Gables story and its many spinoffs. The place was inspired by Lucy Maud Montgomery’s childhood experiences in places such as Cavendish, New Glasgow, New London, Hunter River, and Park Corner. Other fictional communities which neighbour Avonlea include Carmody, White Sands, Grafton, Bright River, Newbridge, and Spencervale.

Actor/Actress: Martha MacIsaac was born in Charlottetown, making her perfect for the role of Emily Byrd Starr in Emily of New Moon. This was her acting debut, before appearing in a number of movies, including Superbad, The Last House on the Left, Dead Before Dawn and Battle of the Sexes. She also starred in the TV series 1600 Penn, as the U.S. president’s oldest daughter, Becca Gilchrist.

Anne of Green Gables

Song: Among folk musician Dick Nolan’s more than 300 recorded songs was the tune Prince Edward Island Is Heaven to Me. Although from Newfoundland, Nolan states his love of the province and wanting to visit. Another popular ode to the island is Bud the Spud by Stompin’ Tom Connors, who was raised on PEI. The track is about a truck driver and his load of PEI potatoes. The song was turned into a children’s book in 1994.

Band/Musician: Tara MacLean was born in Charlottetown. Her most recognized songs include Evidence and If I Fall, which was included on the soundtrack for the 1999 black comedy movie Teaching Mrs. Tingle, starring Helen Mirren and Katie Holmes. Aside from her solo work, MacLean was also a member of the all-female band Shaye, which released two albums, before the group split up.

People: Jonathan Torrens, born in Charlottetown, has enjoyed a lengthy career as a TV personality. He has hosted shows aimed at teenagers such as Street Cents and Jonovision, along with playing the character of J-Roc in Trailer Park Boys. Currently, Torrens has a recurring role in the Letterkenny spinoff series Shoresy, while also co-hosting the Taggart and Torrens Podcast with Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart.

Animal: The Red Fox is the unofficial provincial animal of PEI. The population of these creatures has grown so large, it’s not uncommon to have encounters with them, even in highly-populated areas. Fox farming and fur selling was big business on PEI, dating back to 1890 and up to 2006. While the Red Fox has been embraced in PEI, the same cannot be said for Australia, where the animal has made the World’s 100 Most Invasive Species list.

Red Fox

Invention: A genius creation coming from PEI is the Forktula, a clip-on accessory that allows eaters to turn their fork into a makeshift spatula. This helps diners scoop up every last bit of a meal, rather than lick their plate clean. Inventors Josh Lindsay and Oliver Sauve began selling the product in 2017 for $1 each. The duo appeared on the reality show Dragon’s Den in 2019, increasingly demand for the device.

Crime: Shirley Duguay was 32 when she went missing in October 1994, her vehicle found abandoned on Highway 169. The mother of five’s body was later found in a shallow grave. Her estranged partner, Douglas Beamish, was arrested for the crime and convicted of second-degree murder, based on white cat hairs, which matched his pet named Snowball. This was the first time non-human DNA was used in a trial in the world.

Sports Team: The Charlottetown Islanders are the biggest game in town, playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The team has played in Charlottetown since 2003, originally named the Rocket, before becoming the Islanders in 2013. The highest level of hockey to be played on the island was when the PEI Senators were the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. The Senators operated from 1993 to 1996.

Athlete: Brad Richards is the highest scoring NHL player from PEI, recording 932 points over his career (2000-2016). Richards won the Stanley Cup twice, making sure to bring it back to his hometown of Murray Harbour each time for his day with the trophy. Richards also hosts the annual Brad Richards PEI Celebrity Golf Classic, raising money for the Children’s Wish Foundation (PEI Chapter) and Autism Society of PEI.

Forktula

Famous Home: Green Gables Heritage Place is a 19th century farm, used as inspiration for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series. The site was originally presented as a historic home, but with the growing success of the Anne franchise, it was converted to resemble how it was described in Montgomery’s works. Today, visitors can tour Anne’s Room and the nearby Lovers’ Lane trail.

Urban Legend: Dating all the way back to 1786, folks have seen a ghost ship in the Northumberland Strait, with its masts on fire. One particular tale from 1900 says a group of sailors in Charlottetown Harbour went to rescue the crew on board the ship, only for it to disappear as they approached. The phantom ship has been immortalized on a Canada Post stamp, released in 2014 as part of a Canadian ghost stories series.

Museum: The Canadian Potato Museum can be found in O’Leary. The museum claims to have the world’s largest collection of potato exhibits and also features a Potato Hall of Fame. Other artifacts include farming equipment used in the potato industry. A restaurant, the PEI Potato Country Kitchen, is also on site, serving up a variety of baked potatoes, poutine/fries dishes and desserts.

Firsts: The group known as the PEI Famous Five earned this moniker in 1993 for being the first time in Canada that the top five most powerful legislative positions were all held by women. The quintet was comprised of Premier Catherine Callbeck, Lieutenant Governor Marion Reid, Leader of the Official Opposition Pat Mella, Speaker Nancy Guptill, and Deputy Speaker Elizabeth Hubley.

Phantom Ships

Company: Cows Ice Cream is headquartered in Charlottetown. It was founded in Cavendish in 1983 and now has 15 locations across Canada, serving up 38 varieties of ice cream, including Gooey Mooey and Wowie Cowie. Cows has been named “Canada’s best ice cream” by a Reader’s Digest poll and ranked first on tour company Tauck World Discovery’s ‘World’s Top Ten Places for Ice Cream’ list.

Events: The Charlottetown Conference in 1864 eventually led to Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867. This unified the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada (which was split into what is today known as Ontario and Quebec). Despite PEI not taking part in Confederation until 1873, the province likes using nicknames such as ‘Birthplace of Canada’, ‘Birthplace of Confederation’ and ‘Cradle of Confederation’.

Miscellaneous: Canada’s smallest library – and one of the tiniest in the world – can be found in Cardigan. The book lender, run by John MacDonald and his daughter, Alexandra, measures 3.5 by 3.5 meters and is stocked with 1,800 books. A lifetime membership will set you back a whopping $5 and returns are based on the honour system. MacDonald has even tried to get the library recognized by Guinness World Records.

Prince Edward Island: The Eddy

The Eddy

  • 1.5 oz Vodka or Gin
  • 0.5 oz Grand Marnier
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Slice

Mrs. Sip and I had a fun, albeit brief visit to PEI for a friend’s wedding in 2016. We also popped over to the island for lunch with Ma and Pa Sip in 2009, as part of hitting four provinces in one day. Hopefully we can get back there with the Sipplings in the future.

Ontario – Raymond Massey

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we journey to Ontario, which likes to think of itself as the center of the universe. Does that theory hold up? Let’s find out:

Motto: “Loyal she began, loyal she remains” – This has some abusive vibes to it…

Food: While popular across the country – and even internationally – Tim Hortons is an institution in Ontario. It was founded in Hamilton in 1964 by hockey star Tim Horton. The company’s headquarters are now in Toronto. As of 2022, there were 1,713 Tim Hortons locations in Ontario, accounting for 48 per cent of all the chain’s locations in Canada. I can attest, Tim Hortons donut holes, called Timbits, are quite addictive.

Drink: The Labatt Brewing Company was founded by John Labatt in 1847 in London, back when the area was known as Canada West, rather than Ontario. The company is headquartered in Toronto, but is now owned by the Anheuser-Busch InBev conglomerate. Labatt is the largest brewery in Canada, with brands including Labatt Blue (lager) and Labatt 50 (ale).

Tim Hortons

Site to See: Niagara Falls, on the border of Ontario and New York State, is the top tourist attraction in the province. Most fascinating to me is the number of daredevils who have tried to survive going over the falls. Sadly, many did not live to tell the tale, including those who used the falls to commit suicide. An estimated 5,000 bodies have been found in the waters below the falls between 1850 and 2011.

Street: Yonge Street in Toronto was, for a time, called the longest street in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. Although this was a mistake, one title that has remained is ‘Main Street Ontario’. Notable sites along the route include the Eaton Centre shopping mall and Dundas Square, where a number of eating, entertainment and shopping options can be found.

TV Show: I’ve enjoyed a number of series set in Ontario, chief among them Letterkenny. The show highlights the lives of those living in the country community, based on star Jared Keeso’s hometown of Listowel. The townsfolk are broken up between being hicks, jocks, skids and natives. The quick dialogue has created many popular catchphrases and added numerous idioms to the lexicon.

Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, starring Michael Cera, is about a young man pursuing the girl of his dreams, only to find out he has to defeat her seven evil exes to be with her. The film, based on the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series, uses many video game references. It’s set in Toronto, featuring landmarks such as Casa Loma, St. Michael’s College School and a Toronto Public Library location.

Niagara Falls

Book/Author: Margaret Atwood, born in Ottawa, is a Canadian literary icon. Atwood has published numerous works, including 18 novels, 18 books of poetry, eight children’s books and two graphic novels. Perhaps her most notable work is The Handmaid’s Tale, which was adapted into a 2017 TV series. Among her many accolades, Atwood received the Order of Canada in 1981 and Order of Ontario in 1990.

Fictional Character: A few other characters/shows deserving of mention include Mr. Kim (Kim’s Convenience), William Murdoch (Murdoch Mysteries), Red Green (The Red Green Show), Hobo the Dog (The Littlest Hobo), and Bob and Doug McKenzie (SCTV). Combined, the characters/shows give a good representation of Ontario from the late 19th century – the setting of Murdoch Mysteries – to present day.

Fictional City: Since Letterkenny was already mentioned above, I’ll use this category to feature Schitt’s Creek, both the show and the invented locale. When video store mogul Johnny Rose loses his entire fortune, he and his peculiar family are forced to move to the one property they still own, the rural town of Schitt’s Creek. Here, they interact with the eclectic citizens, while trying to rebuild their lives.

Actor/Actress: There are too many folks that fit this category, so I’ll just list them: Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Ryan Gosling, Jay Baruchel, Rachel McAdams, Keanu Reeves, Michael Cera, Will Arnett, Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman, Matthew Perry, John Candy, Neve Campbell, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara, Sandra Oh, Martin Short… did I miss anyone?

Margaret Atwood

Song: A Place to Stand, A Place to Grow is the unofficial anthem of Ontario. It was written by Dolores Claman, best known for writing The Hockey Theme, which is viewed as a secondary national anthem in Canada. The song was used at the Ontario pavilion at the Expo 67 World’s Fair in Montreal, Quebec. It was also featured in the short film A Place to Stand, which won a 1967 Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.

Band/Musician: Once again, there are many options for this category. If I had to narrow it down to one, I think I’d select Justin Bieber. Just kidding, I’d probably go with Rush, but others deserving of mention include Alanis Morissette, The Tragically Hip, Drake, Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Neil Young, The Weeknd, Shania Twain, Paul Anka, Blue Rodeo, Alessia Cara, deadmau5, Gordon Lightfoot, Our Lady Peace, Sum 41, etc.

People: Another tough category to narrow down, so I’ll split it between two long-time media personalities, one universally beloved and the other incredibly controversial. First, Alex Trebek, born in Sudbury, hosted TV game show Jeopardy! for 37 years before his death in 2020. On the other end of the spectrum, hockey pundit Don Cherry was a fixture of Hockey Night in Canada for 33 years before being unceremoniously fired in 2019.

Animal: A few giant pandas have had notable stays at the Toronto Zoo. First, Qing Qing and Quan Quan appeared at the zoo in 1985, shattering all attendance records over the zoo’s history. Decades later, Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Toronto and in 2015, Er Shun gave birth to twin cubs, the first birth of giant pandas to occur in Canada. The cubs were named Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy).

Alex Trebek

Invention: Insulin, co-discovered by Sir Frederick Banting (born in Alliston) has to take this spot, thanks to the hormone’s ability to save the lives of those with diabetes or at least allow them to enjoy a safer, more comfortable existence. For his discovery, Banting was awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Medicine, at the age of 32, making him the youngest winner in that field to this day.

Crime: In the early 1990s, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, known as the Ken and Barbie Killers, raped and murdered three teenagers, including Homolka’s own sister. On his own, Bernardo was a prolific serial rapist, given the nicknames Scarborough Rapist and Schoolgirl Killer. The pair were convicted of their crimes, but while Bernardo was sentenced to life imprisonment, Homolka cut a controversial plea deal and only served 12 years.

Sports Team: Ontario is home to the most sports franchises in the country. Toronto has the Maple Leafs (NHL), Raptors (NBA), Blue Jays (MLB) and Argos (CFL), while Ottawa offers the Senators (NHL) and Redblacks (CFL). There’s also the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats. The province also has the Ontario Hockey League, with 17 of the circuit’s 20 junior teams located within Ontario.

Athlete: Among other options, this category has to go to Wayne Gretzky. Born in Brantford, ‘The Great One’ owns countless NHL records and is generally regarded as the greatest hockey player the game has ever seen. Gretzky won four Stanley Cups, to go along with many individual awards, over his 20-year career. When Gretzky retired, he was immediately enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame and his #99 jersey was retired league-wide.

Wayne Gretzky

Famous Home: While the Canadian Prime Minister’s residence seems like an obvious choice, I’ll go in a different direction, highlighting McCrae House in Guelph. It is the childhood home of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, who wrote the poem In Flanders Field during World War I. Sadly, McCrae died of pneumonia before the war concluded. The home was named a National Historic Site in 1966.

Urban Legend: The Baldoon Mystery is a curious tale. Taking place in the community of Wallaceburg, the story states the family farm of John T. McDonald experienced many paranormal encounters, said to result from a witch’s curse. McDonald was advised to shoot a black-headed goose with a silver bullet, which would wound the witch as well. Upon shooting a goose in its wing, McDonald came across an old woman with a broken arm and the hauntings ceased.

Museum: The Hockey Hall of Fame was established in Toronto in 1943. With the 2021 induction ceremony, a total of 417 players, builders and officials have been enshrined in the Hall. The museum also allows visitors to get close to the Stanley Cup, which reminds me of the joke that the Hall of Fame was placed in Toronto, as that’s the closest folks living there would ever get to the championship!

Firsts: For a league that has only one Canadian team, it’s amazing the first-ever National Basketball Association game was played on November 1, 1946, in Toronto. The contest, played at Maple Leaf Gardens, was between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers, with the Knicks winning 68-66. The Huskies only lasted one season before folding and Toronto would be without a team until the Raptors were founded in 1995.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Company: As department stores go the way of the dodo, they were once major shopping institutions. All of the biggest Canadian department stores were headquartered in Ontario, including The Bay, Eaton’s and Sears. Of these, only The Bay, in existence in various forms since 1670, still exists, but they have struggled in recent years, due to discount stores and online shopping.

Events: The War of 1812, fought between the United States and the United Kingdom, featured a number of battles in Upper Canada (what is now Ontario). The war is credited for helping to create a sense of national identity in Canada. For Canadians, the war is perhaps best remembered for the burning of Washington, which included setting the White House, then known as the Presidential Mansion, and Capitol building ablaze.

Miscellaneous: The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in the world, highlighted by the premieres of star-studded movies and creating buzz for films leading up to the award season. The festival was founded in 1976 and today lasts 11 days in mid-September. Some notable movies to debut at TIFF, include American Beauty, Ray, Slumdog Millionaire, Precious, and The King’s Speech.

Ontario: Raymond Massey

  • 2 oz Canadian Whiskey
  • Dash of Ginger Syrup
  • Top with Bubbly
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

This cocktail is named after actor Raymond Massey, who was born in Toronto, where the drink enjoys its popularity. It is a variation of the classic French 75 beverage, subbing in the Canadian Whiskey and Ginger Syrup, in favour of Gin and Lemon Juice.

British Columbia – Vancouver Cocktail

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also featuring a drink the area is known for. Today, we are in British Columbia, where the Sip Advisor resides. Although we lack large egos (in this humble writer’s opinion), the province once called itself “The Best Place on Earth”. Let’s see what life is like on the Left Coast:

Nicknames: ‘Beautiful British Columbia’ is the slogan that appears on licence plates in the province after being adopted as an official motto in 1964. Another common catchphrase used here, particularly by the local tourism industry, is ‘Super, Natural, British Columbia’. No matter what moniker folks want to tag onto the place, I prefer to simply call it home.

Motto: “Splendor without diminishment” – Ooh la la, tres fancy!

Food: The Nanaimo Bar – a sweet treat consisting of layers of a crumb base, icing middle and chocolate top – was invented in Nanaimo in the 1950’s. The bar’s popularity grew when it was featured at Expo 86 and efforts have been made to see the Nanaimo Bar named ‘Canada’s Favourite Confection’. The dessert even got the stamp treatment in 2019, but I’d rather lick the real thing.

Drink: British Columbia has amazing craft beer, wine and distillery industries, making the Sip Advisor a very happy man. A nostalgic entry here is Clearly Canadian, which was founded in B.C. in 1987. The flavoured sparkling waters grew wildly popular quickly, being featured in movies and TV shows such as Jerry Maguire, Seinfeld, Friends, and Sex and the City.

Nanaimo Bar

Site to See: Having travelled a fair bit of the province, there’s really not many bad choices to explore. If I had to pick a favourite place, it would probably be Whistler, which provides an amazing escape in both winter and summer. Situated in the mountains, Whistler offers picturesque landscapes, while the has village a number of great dining and entertainment options.

Street: The Downtown Vancouver portion of Granville Street is lined with much of the city’s entertainment district and can be a very interesting place to traverse at night. The street was once illuminated with numerous neon light signs, reminiscent to Las Vegas, but many have been removed. Granville Street is the second most expensive property in Canadian Monopoly.

TV Show: While B.C. is sometimes referred to as Hollywood North, thanks to the film and TV industries that do so much shooting here, not many project are actually set in the province. The most enduring series was The Beachcombers, running for 19 seasons and 387 episodes. The Sip Family recently stayed in Gibsons, where the show was set, seeing the boat (Persephone) and café (Molly’s Reach) used in the show.

Movie: No movie takes place entirely in B.C., but a couple films have the majority of their plots occur in the province. Of these, I really enjoyed The Hunted, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro. del Toro plays a former armed forces operative, while Jones, his former mentor, is tasked with tracking his student down. The movie mostly uses hand-to-hand combat fight scenes.

Granville Street

Book/Author: Environmental activist David Suzuki was born in Vancouver in 1936. He has authored 52 books, including 19 for children, mostly on scientific topics. Suzuki is also known for his long-running TV series The Nature of Things and the David Suzuki Foundation, which is dedicated “to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that does sustain us”.

Fictional Character: Robin Scherbatsky from How I Met Your Mother, is played by Vancouverite Cobie Smulders. She is a true Canadian girl, best shown through her love of hockey and the Vancouver Canucks. Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed How I Met Your Mother even more with the touch of Canadiana and our hometown being involved. I’ll even forgive Scherbatsky for her time as teen pop idol Robin Sparkles.

Fictional City: Edgemont, a made up suburb of Vancouver, was the setting for a teen drama series of the same name. The show ran for five seasons and 70 episodes, centered on the young love and break ups of students at McKinley High School. A couple cast members went on to more recognized projects, such as Kristin Kreuk (Lana Lang on Smallville) and Grace Park (Kono Kalakaua on Hawaii Five-0).

Actor/Actress: This is a tough category. First, there’s universally-beloved movie star Ryan Reynolds. Then, there’s stoner comedy icon Seth Rogen. And, who could forget the legendary Michael J. Fox. A sentimental nod also has to go to Raymond Burr for his iconic role as lawyer Perry Mason. All are from Vancouver or its surrounding suburbs and have represented the province quite well.

Ryan Reynolds

Song: British Columbia is certainly not the easiest name to turn into lyrics, but on New Year’s Eve 1965, Jewel of the West (Beautiful B.C.) was made the official theme song of the province. It was composed by musician Machelle Shapira. Another song worthy of mention is Home for a Rest by Spirit of the West. That home the North Vancouver-based band is longing for is B.C.

Band/Musician: Bryan Adams is one of the most successful musicians of all-time, selling close to 100 million records and singles worldwide. He is best known for songs such as (Everything I Do) I Do It for You, Summer of ’69 and Heaven. Also deserving of mention is crooner Michael Bublé, who has had a number of chart-topping songs and albums, to go along with four Grammy Awards.

People: Terry Fox is a national hero. With one leg amputated due to cancer, Fox was only 21 when he embarked on a cross-country trek to raise awareness about the disease. Sadly, Fox didn’t achieve his goal of going coast-to-coast, as his deteriorating health forced him off the road. His legacy exists to this day thanks to all he inspired with his courage. Terry Fox Runs are done annually around the world, raising an estimated $800 million for cancer research.

Animal: The Great Bear Rainforest is home to the rare Kermode Bear (aka Spirit Bear), which is recognized as B.C.’s Provincial Animal. The bear was named after Frank Kermode, who helped discover the animal. Spotting a Spirit Bear is said to bring good luck. One bear, nicknamed Clover, is believed to be the first in captivity, after the cub was abandoned and not suitable for release into the wild.

Spirit Bear

Invention: In 1911, the modern Egg Carton was invented by Joseph Coyle, a newspaper editor and publisher in Smithers. Coyle developed the device to help settle a disagreement between a farmer and hotel owner over deliveries often resulting in numerous broken eggs. Eggs were previously transported in baskets. Coyle turned the creation into a successful business venture.

Crime: B.C. has a sordid history, with criminals such as Robert Pickton and Clifford Olsen part of our unfortunate past. Pickton confessed to 49 murders, following the discovery of various remains on his family pig farm in 2002. Olsen, known as the Beast of British Columbia, killed 11 kids and teens in the early 1980’s. There’s also the Highway of Tears in Northern B.C., where at least 80 women have gone missing or been murdered from.

Sports Team: The Vancouver sports scene features three teams, the Vancouver Canucks (NHL), B.C. Lions (CFL) and Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS). From 1995 to 2001, there used to also be the Vancouver Grizzlies (NBA), but after six dreadful seasons, the franchise relocated to Memphis. Despite their short existence, the Grizzlies still have a cult following in the province and outside it.

Athlete: Two Burnaby-born icons fill this category. Hockey star Joe Sakic (commonly referred to as ‘Burnaby Joe’) and Christine Sinclair, perhaps the greatest female soccer player of all-time, both come from the Vancouver suburb. In Burnaby, a street has been named after Sakic, while Sinclair’s name is attached to a community centre located near Joe Sakic Way.

Grizzlies

Famous Home: Because so much filming is done in B.C., many recognizable homes from TV and movies can be found. This includes Archie’s house from Riverdale, the home Happy Gilmore is trying to save for his grandma, and Jacob’s property from the Twilight franchise. For something a little more historical, there’s Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1992.

Urban Legend: B.C. is home to some legendary mythical creatures, including the Sasquatch – was even used as one of the 2010 Olympics mascots, named Quatchi – and Ogopogo, a water monster said to inhabit Okanagan Lake. There have also been various sightings of mermaids, sometimes made along B.C. Ferry routes. It’s almost as if they want to be seen.

Museum: The Revelstoke Railway Museum is home to the Last Spike at Craigellachie, which completed the Canadian Pacific Railway’s cross-country expansion in 1885. This construction made the line the first transcontinental railway in Canada. The spike was driven into the ground by financier Donald Smith, then removed and turned into a souvenir for some of the wives of Craigellachie.

Firsts: Kim Campbell, born in Port Alberni, became the first female Prime Minister of Canada in 1993. Although her term only lasted 132 days (the third shortest in the country’s history), it was still a gender barrier-breaking moment. Canadian women’s magazine Chatelaine named Campbell its Woman of the Year for 1993. To date, she is the only Prime Minister to come from B.C.

Mermaids

Company: A family-favourite dining spot for the Sip Family is White Spot, famous for their comfort food. The company, founded almost 100 years ago in 1928, has branched out to offering their wares in fast food settings, with those locations known as Triple-O’s (named after the restaurant’s popular burger sauce). Mrs. Sip and I had part of our first-ever date at a White Spot, so I will always be fond of the chain.

Events: Two events put the province on the world stage: Expo 86 and the 2010 Olympics. Expo 86 marked only the second time a Canadian city hosted a World’s Fair, with the theme being “Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch”. At the 2010 Olympics, Canada set a new record for gold medals at an Olympics, capped by winning the hockey tournament on Sidney Crosby’s ‘Golden Goal’.

Miscellaneous: Ladysmith’s own Pamela Anderson, recognized for her role on TV show Baywatch and appearances in Playboy Magazine, was actually famous from the day she was born. Born on July 1, 1967, the 100th anniversary of Canada’s official founding, Anderson was Canada’s Centennial Baby… at least from British Columbia. It’s like she was destined to be a star.

Vancouver Cocktail

Vancouver Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.25 oz Benedictine
  • Dashes of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with a Cucumber Slice

This drink was created in 1954 at the renowned Sylvia Hotel. Apparently, the recipe was lost until it was rediscovered by bartender and cocktail historian Steve Da Cruz in 2006. The beverage can now be found at various locations around Vancouver. I subbed my Jagermeister Spice for Benedictine, as I can’t justify buying a new bottle of something for a 0.25 oz serving.

Beer of the Week #21 – Lighthouse 150 Heritage Ale

In the lead up to Canada’s 150th birthday bash, a number of companies have released products to coincide with the celebration. Add Lighthouse Brewing to that group with this special release.

Their 150 Heritage Ale recently hit store shelves. The 6.3% ABV, 14 IBUs beverage is highlighted by flavours of maple, smoke and rye malt. These elements represent Canada, oil lamps and colour, respectively.

Lighthouse 150 Heritage Ale

Part of the brewery’s Explorer Series, the Heritage Ale can be found in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores, as well as private retailers. The limited edition brew won’t be around long, though.

The product is also meant to salute all those, past and present, who have watched Canada’s shores in lighthouses. As the country’s “keepers”, the brewery tips their caps to these fine folks.

For more Beer of the Week articles, please visit our main page…

January 1 – Newfoundland Flower

Home for a Rest

While many don’t know the song “Home for a Rest” by Spirit of the West, it’s a Canadian classic. And after a year away from Canada, travelling the virtual world, I have FINALLY returned home. The journey has me feeling a little weary, as like the song states: “I’ve been gone for a month (a year in the Sip Advisor’s case), I’ve been drunk since I left!”

I’m far from complaining however, as it’s been a wonderful year abroad. In the last 12 months, we’ve visited 52 countries, featuring seven rums, six vodkas, five whiskeys, two beers, six wines, nine liqueurs, and a whopping 15 spirits. Hell, we even tried two different types of gin! Along the way, we’ve learned about historical figures, sports and athletes, artists and the arts, products and inventions, tourist attractions, foods, and events. Milestones have been passed, including our 100,000th site view and 500th cocktail and 100th shot recipes!

“These so-called vacations will soon be my death,” but the fun can’t stop yet. We have so much more to discover together. Here’s what to expect over the course of the next year:

Monday – Flavour Revolution

The big project of 2015 will highlight 52 different flavours, never once repeating a taste as the main ingredient in a cocktail. For example, when I use my Evan Williams Elegant Crisp Gin (apple flavoured), I can’t later use apple rums, vodkas, liqueurs, mixers, or anything else as a featured element. By the end, the Sip Advisor will be like the Baskin Robins of booze… Viva la revolution!!!

Thursday – Out and About/This Week in Liquor

Each week, we’ll delve into the latest news from the booze world. Just in time for your weekend trip to the liquor store! In these articles, we will include a feature titled: Out and About with the Sip Advisor. Here, I will be able to detail what I’ve personally experienced in the week that was. That may include visiting new craft breweries, tasting new spirits, attending cocktail events, etc.

Saturday – Super Saturday Shot Day

The triple-S-D will enter its third year of existence and will continue to feature the best in Top 5 lists on whatever subject I feel like covering. Suggestions are always welcomed, but otherwise, expect a lot of coverage on the fictional world… where we all prefer to reside!

It wouldn’t be a true New Year’s celebration without some drinks. Since I’m back in my own backyard, I figured we could enjoy some Newfoundland Screech Rum and conquer a rite of passage for my friends from the east!

Canada: Newfoundland Flower

Newfoundland Flower Cocktail

Thank you one and all for your support over the last two years. Please continue to follow the Sip Advisor adventures and enjoy all we have to offer you in 2015. Happy New Year!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
A friend was hosting a party where we were all invited to sample Screech, an Eastern Canadian rum and get “Screeched In,” so I figured, what better way to wrap up the Around the World tour than to finish right where it started! The Screech was nice, paired with the very tasty Elderflower Liqueur. I certainly liked the drink and it seemed everyone at the party who I made it for enjoyed it, as well.

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.

Canada – Black Tooth Grin

Stick and Puck

Today, we begin our 52-week tour around the world. Our first stop is the Sip Advisor’s homeland of Canada. The country’s greatest export (other than myself and Crown Royal) is the sport of hockey. It is our national pastime and just simply what we do best. With that in mind, here are some of the wackiest tales from the ice!

Brotherly Love

Fighting in hockey is completely accepted… in fact, it’s expected. But even this battle of fisticuffs surprised most fans. On Apr. 7, 1997, with the regular season winding down, the Hartford Whalers faced the Buffalo Sabres. As a scrum ensued in front of Hartford goalie Sean Burke, teammate Keith Primeau grabbed the primary culprit and ended up dropping the gloves with his own brother Wayne. Afterwards, legend has it that both siblings called their mother to apologize for the melee!

Fan Fest

One of the craziest moments in hockey history occurred on Dec. 23, 1979 during a Boston Bruins-New York Rangers tilt in the Big Apple. During a player scrum at the end of the game, a fan managed to cut Bruins player Stan Jonathan’s face with a rolled up program, as well as take his stick. This caused Jonathan’s teammates Terry O’Reilly and Peter McNab to venture over the Plexiglas and into the stands to apprehend the fan. The brawl’s highlight featured future NHL coach, general manager, and broadcaster, Mike Milbury, beating the guilty fan with his own shoe. O’Reilly, McNab, and Milbury were all suspended and fined, while the fan was sentenced to six months in jail.

Wishing for a Mulligan

When a player is streaking in on an empty net, most fans would conclude that the goal is a gimme. But there are two notable exceptions to the rule. One saw Nashville Predators rookie Craig Smith flying into the opponent’s zone all alone, only to fire the puck over the net and out of play, even while others assumed he had scored. The more infamous incident occurred when former first overall draft choice Patrik Stefan lost control of the puck while hot dogging and was forced to watch in horror as the Edmonton Oilers went the other way to tie the game with seconds left.

Karma’s Coming

During a Jan. 26, 2001 contest between the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche, forward Steve Sullivan was struck with a high stick and injured, requiring stitches. He was promptly heckled by a fan, but as the old saying goes: “Karma is a bitch!” Later on in the evening, the puck ended up leaving the playing surface and hitting the same fan who had jeered Sullivan earlier. Sullivan took this opportunity to chirp the fan back… oh, and he also scored two short-handed goals after re-emerging from the trainer’s room.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

The referees never get the call right. This is universally accepted. On one trip to the penalty box, however, a frustrated Doug Gilmour took his anger out on the poor door, slamming and destroying it. With shards of glass everywhere, Gilmour looked a little sheepish still sitting in the box and was perhaps a little surprised at his own strength. If you ever wondered why they nicknamed Gilmour “Killer”, you might have your answer here!

Bat-Man

Had this game been played around Halloween, things would have been all the more spookier. Throughout most of the contest, a bat was spotted flying around the arena, even coming down to the ice surface and buzzing by players heads. Finally, Buffalo’s Jim Lorentz knocked it out of the air with his stick, before it was carried off the ice. Moments later, fog encompassed the ice surface making it difficult for play to resume. I guess Dracula was pissed and trying to extract his revenge on the guilty parties.

The Most Dangerous Job

Mascots are a very polarizing topic. Some people love them, while others loathe them. I get their appeal to young kids, but I’m personally not a fan… and neither is Terry O’Reilly, it would seem. Yes, this is the same Terry O’Reilly who went into the New York stands in the brawl listed above. On this fateful night, California Golden Seals mascot Krazy George was working his mojo and taunting the Boston Bruins by beating away at a drum. This apparently was enough to set off the man known as “Bloody O’Reilly” and the “Tasmanian Devil”, as he proceeded to jab George with his stick and chase him away from the penalty box.

Canada: Black Tooth Grin

Black Tooth Grin Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Crown Royal Whiskey
  • 1 oz Wiser’s Spiced Whiskey
  • Splash of Cola
  • Garnish with Gum and Strawberry Syrup

So much fighting in hockey… brother vs. brother, players vs. fans, players vs. mascots… that’s why we love the game so much! Do you have a wacky hockey moment you expected to see on this list? Drop the gloves with the Sip Advisor and leave a message!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
What can I say about Crown Royal Whiskey that hasn’t already been said… it’s a freakin’ Canadian institution and one of my favourite spirits of all time. This drink was actually created by late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, but I thought it also fit the bill for an article about hockey players, given their many unfortunate examples of dental damage! It was a good cocktail, with which I subbed in Wiser’s Spiced Whiskey (another Canadian product) for Seagram’s 7 Whiskey. Then I used pieces of Gum and drips of Strawberry Syrup to portray some of that aforementioned dental damage!

November 17 – Southern Hospitali-tea

Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch, Rye

Today marks the beginning of Whiskey Week at the Sip Advisor and while we will look quite closely at the Tennessee favourite, we will also examine all of the liquor’s familial members: Bourbon, Scotch, and Rye.

Drink #321: Southern Hospitali-tea

Southern Hospitali-tea Drink Recipe

So, how was school today? Not settle yourself on the couch for cookies and milk and afternoon cartoons… ah, those were the days!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
With a pretty simple recipe, you know full well what you’re getting into and in this case, that’s a good drink. The JD Honey Whiskey was a nice touch and worked well with the Iced Tea. I made sure to toss a fair bit of Lemon Wedges in the cocktail for added flavour. A nice addition would have been some Lemonade.

September 3 – Unicorn

Animal Crackers

Recently, a big deal in social media was made over Scotland’s national animal (to be revealed very shortly). That got me thinking about the rest of the world and which creatures have had the honour of proudly and respectfully representing a country. No nation will be off limits, as I am definitely going to skewer my home country. Here are some of the best selections:

Unicorn – Scotland

For some reason, a mythological animal for Scotland actually makes sense given they’re a mythological country! I’m just messin’ with ya Scots. Don’t forget, we here in Canada still have strong ties to the U.K. despite our distance from the motherland. The unicorn was actually a symbol of the Scottish royal family. The more you know *rainbow swipe*!

unicorn

Beaver – Canada

Speaking of my part of the world, we chose an animal which just begs for other citizens to make double entendres about how much we love it! Bring on the jokes, we can take them! The beaver is a very industrious animal, building their dams for shelter. They are also good recyclers, using trees that nobody needs anymore. Stupid oxygen-enabling trees!

Lion – Belgium/Bulgaria/Luxembourg/Netherlands/U.K.

Are there even lions in most of these countries (that aren’t caged in a zoo)? Did they just choose a bad ass animal to look cool among the international community, not realizing how many other countries also claimed the feline? A place like Ethiopia or Kenya having the lion as their national animal makes sense…since, you know, lions actually live there.

King Cobra – India

This is an intimidating choice, warning us all that the Indian population can be subdued with hypnotic music, but at the same time are deadly predators that can strike in an instant and cause accelerated death. If that’s really the case though, why does it take me so long to get a live person when I call for customer service?

Cobra and girl

See, cobras can be cute and cuddly!

Gallic Rooster – France

It kind of makes sense that France would relate themselves to a bunch of cocks, am I right!? I’m sure most French people are actually quite nice, but Parisians take the cake on being dicks. We once had a cab driver who refused to acknowledge our request to go to the Eiffel Tower until we flipped it and said “Tour Eiffel”… Va te faire foutre!!

Persian Cat – Iran

While most would view the Iranians with some fear and hostility, how can you do that when they picked a freakin’ fluffy cat as one of their national animals! Ma and Pa Sip have a Persian-ish cat at home and she’s a darling…unless you try to move her off the bed. Not very friendly to her fellow felines either now that I come to think about…

Dolphin – Greece

Of course the Greeks would pick the most sexual of creatures when selecting their national animal. They did, after all, invent a great deal of the carnal moves and positions in existence, rivaling the Indians and their Karma Sutra. Apparently, dolphins also play a role in Greek mythology, as helpers of mankind. Aquaman must be jealous!

funny-dolphin

Dodo – Mauritius

Good job Mauritius (wherever the hell you are) for picking an animal that has long been extinct. Perhaps your fate will be much the same. Seems like you’re asking for a rough future with your choice in animal worship.

Bull – Spain

Nothing like killing your national animal for the entertainment of screaming, blood-thirsty fans! What’s that, you also show it respect by tying up its testicles before you taunt, tease, assault, and slaughter the beast? Hmmm, you Spanish have a funny way of showing affection. At least the bull sometimes gets revenge with a thunderous gore!

Bulldog – U.K.

Scotland’s pick of the unicorn doesn’t look so bad anymore. At least it’s a majestic creature. Meanwhile, England picked one of the foulest mutts in the dog world. With a face only an owner could love and enough drool to flood an apartment, the bulldog seems an unlikely choice for people who a nation of prim and proper tea drinkers.

Drink #246: Unicorn

Unicorn Drink

  • 1 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Brandy
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • Splash of Cointreau
  • Dash of Melon Liqueur
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with a Pink Marshmallow

What do you think of some of these national animals? Is there a country you wish I had targeted with my adept lampooning? I can take the heat, just as much as I can give it out! By the way, here’s a quiz on the subject of national animals (I hope you were taking notes)… enjoy!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really enjoyed the Melon Liqueur finish. It went really well with the rest of the recipe, highlighted by the Irish Crème. Garnishing the cocktail with a Pink Marshmallow seemed like the perfect addition for a Unicorn-themed drink.