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.

March 6 – Skinny Miami (The Drink)

A-MUSE Me

Inspiration can come in many forms. After all, Walt Disney conceived the idea for Disneyland while watching his daughters play at a Southern California playground and realizing that there weren’t many places that offered entertainment both kids and adults could enjoy together.

Disneyland & Walt

For a pseudo-bartender (I only play one on TV), original drink ideas can come from a wide array of avenues.

While perusing Facebook recently, a friend’s status recollected her enjoying a “Skinny Miami” while eating waffles on a hot summer day on her balcony (yes, it actually gets warm in Canada… we’re not all igloos and polar bears). Instinctively, I concluded that this must be some sort of cocktail I hadn’t heard of. After all, the comment thread was started by her kindly promoting this site (which everyone out there should be doing daily!). Being the Sip Advisor that I am, I inquired about the recipe and showcased my enthusiasm to try this new treat, hoping to share it with all of Sip Nation.

The response I received wasn’t exactly what I expected. As other mutual friends made jokes about my comment (as they were in the know) and even Mrs. Sip took a shot at me, saying we’d talk when she got home, the friend in question private messaged me, explaining that her version of a Skinny Miami, was in fact code for the thin guy from Miami she had dated last summer (okay, maybe what they were doing wasn’t exactly dating per se).

Let me tell you, my little sippers, there isn’t much that embarrasses this old dog anymore, but here I was, basically inquiring about drinking… a dude. Boy was my face red… well, more of an auburn-magenta combo.

Embarrassed

I guess, in the end, I wasn’t far off in my assumption that a Skinny Miami was a COCKtail. And the two can have similar effects: loss of inhibition, flushed appearance, short attention span, increased self-confidence, decreased anxiety, blurred vision and all that other good stuff.

On the plus side, this gaffe of mine provided the impetus to come up with a pretty cool drink recipe that was recently tried out and results have so far come back in the positive side of the ledger.

So, if you’re anything like me, don’t be afraid to make silly mistakes. Hell, most great inventions are stumbled upon accidentally. You never know when you’ll come up with your next great idea!

Drink #65: Skinny Miami – The Drink (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Skinny Miami Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Sugar
  • 1 oz Malibu Rum
  • Top with Champagne
  • Dash of Grenadine 
  • Add Coconut Shavings (optional)

As you can see, this drink is served in a long skinny glass (at least six inches tall is preferable or so I’m told), and has a nice warm peachy colour (or flesh-like tone). And as for the white sugar around the rim… a reference to cocaine, clearly. After all, it’s Miami and I’m a huge Don Johnson fan!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This drink actually came together pretty well. I liked how the Grenadine sank to the bottom and gave the cocktail a distinct split mixture look. The Sugar rim was also a nice visual touch, as were the Coconut Shavings at the top of the liquid.