England – Reichenbach Fall

Cultured Characters

England is a land of professed culture, what with all its museums, historical figures, and landmarks. Perhaps it can be noticed most in the country’s long history of fine literature. They call it English Lit for a reason! Always one for a good read (kidding, I’m the world’s most prolific non-reading writer), here are the greatest literary characters who call England home:

Sherlock Holmes

Along with his faithful sidekick Dr. Watson, this formidable duo have solved some of greatest mysteries to occur in and around London. Add in arch nemesis Dr. Moriarty, as well as other secondary characters like Mycroft Holmes, Irene Adler, and Inspector Lestrade and you have the makings of some great fiction. It was suggested that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle didn’t like the character he is most famous for, as evidenced by Holmes being killed off so the author could pursue other projects. Public outrage brought Holmes back to life years later and the character has enjoyed a long history of different treatments.

sherlock-early-years

James Bond

Agent 007 is the quintessential secret service member. Created by writer Ian Fleming, Bond is just as popular for his prowess in the field as he is for his conquests beneath the sheets. While Bond has been played by Irish and Scottish actors on the big screen (and that is probably where he’s most famous and recognized), his origins are purely English. There is virtually no way to put down the famous MI6 operative, so he’ll probably be around for a very long time.

Harry Potter

For inspiring an entire generation of kids to pick up a book and read (or go to the theatre and watch!), Harry Potter and his pals are a must for this list. So famous is the franchise, that theme parks have set up lands to include Hogwarts Castle and the village of Hogsmeade. Quidich has also become a playable game, although it looks more ridiculous than polo and cricket combined. Wee little sippers want to grow up to become wizards and parents have J.K. Rowling to thank for the next wave of geeks!

Mr. Toad

Written by Scottish author Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows features the friendly and jovial, but selfish and reckless Mr. Toad, as well as his pals Mole, Ratty, and Badger. The stories were based on Grahame’s love of river life along the Thames. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was my favourite Disneyland attraction as a wee little sipper and I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Mr. Toad and careless ways.

Mr. Toad's Ride

Paddington Bear

From “Darkest Peru” (whatever that means… my theory is Paddington was sent to London by his Peruvian owner, who had awoken from a pisco haze and mistakenly shipped the bear away), Paddington Bear arrives in England and is promptly taken in by the Brown family. A Paddington film will be released in 2014, mixing live action and CGI animation. The bear will be voiced by Colin Firth, who ate endless marmalade sandwiches, while donning a duffle coat to get into character.

Robin Hood

Stealing from the rich, to give to the poor, Robin Hood may not have begun life as a literary figure and was more of a folk hero told about in ballads (aren’t those as good or even better than books?), but his legend has inspired countless appearances in media, especially the written word. My favourite adaptation of the vigilante is the 1973 Disney film with Robin Hood portrayed as a fox and opposing a cowardly lion in Prince John.

linkedin-robin-hood

Ebenezer Scrooge

Teaching civilization a lesson about how it behaves while using Christmas as a backdrop, Charles Dickens character Ebenezer Scrooge is one of the finest examples of turnaround redemption. He goes from a literal scrooge to becoming a man of love, friendship, heart, and caring. One of the greatest scenes ever is ol’ Ebenezer racing through the streets of London like a raving madman after discovering he still has time to change his ways.

Willy Wonka

Roald Dahl’s famous chocolatier and candy producer is about as eccentric as a person can possibly come. That aids him in all the wacky creations he’s able to dream up and put into research and development, but at the same time, makes him guarded and suspicious, staying reclusive in his precious factory. We still don’t know where the hell Oompa Loompas come from, but they aren’t among the world’s greatest literary characters, so it doesn’t really matter.

England: Reichenbach Fall

Reichenbach Fall Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Tanqueray Rangpur Gin
  • 2 oz Sherry
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

An honourable mention should go to English authors like William Shakespeare, Jane Austen (although I hate her so very much), J.R.R. Tolkien, and the many others that I just didn’t feel like shoehorning into this list. Their contributions to the literary world, although I’ve only heard of such through movies, TV, and other more visual media, should not go unnoticed!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This recipe comes from my old friends at The Drunken Moogle, who nailed this cocktail inspired by the current Sherlock BBC Series, which is of course inspired by the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories about the sleuth. I used regular Orange Bitters, rather than the Blood Orange variety the drink calls for because I had it on hand. I really enjoyed the flavours and blend provided by this cocktail and was pleasantly surprised by the use of Sherry.

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November 16 – Scooby Snack

Treat Time

Today, we take a look at fictional snacks in TV and movies… but not just any fictional snacks… no, fictional snacks that have since gone on to become real, buyable products. The world is truly a wonderful place!

Scooby Snacks – Scooby Doo

How someone turned a fictional puppy edible into fruit snacks and cookies geared towards kids is an act of pure genius. There are also dog treats that go by the same name, so be careful when buying the product for your young’uns. I have to say that I really hate the Scooby Snack song, as it plays in my head every time I think about Scooby Doo (which is far too often for a 30-year-old) and once again, the tune is stuck in my brain… must move on.

Scooby Snacks

Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans – Harry Potter

When this company says they have “every” flavour, they mean it. The line includes tastes of earwax, rotten egg, vomit, dirt, and sausage mixed in with your normal fare: watermelon, cherry, blueberry, banana, and green apple. This listing kind of sounds like a Survivor Series wrestling match, with the five dastardly baddies taking on the good and pure for taste supremacy. I think you’d have to be a Harry Potter super fan to pick up a pack of these jelly beans.

Stay Puft Marshmallows – Ghostbusters

Most people think fondly of the iconic scene in Ghostbusters where the team of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore battle the mammoth Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Their reward for protoning the literal tub of goo was to be covered with the white sticky substance (don’t get any ideas) he was made of. It’s too bad they didn’t next face a chocolate-based monster and finally a graham-cracker encrusted foe to complete the smores trio!

Cheesy Poofs – South Park

Eric Cartman’s favourite snack treat is an actual product, released to tie-in with the series’ 15th anniversary. While I’m not a fan of eating cheese, I have on occasion enjoyed cheese-powdered snacks like Doritos and Cheetos. The product, which is thought to have originated in Canada (according to the show) is so beloved by Cartman that he even auditioned to be the face of the advertising campaign, but had his song largely cut from commercials.

Willy Wonka Products – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

This fine collection of Wonka products includes Gobstoppers, Nerds, Laffy Taffy, Pixy Stix, Fun Dip, Runts, Sweet Tarts, Shockers, and so much more. I keep hoping the company will eventually open a factory, complete with Oompa-Loompas, a chocolate river, and the chance to be taught a valuable lesson on how to behave! So long as they don’t include that trippy, psychedelic boat-trip tunnel scene that include some pretty haunting imagery.

Krusty-O’s – The Simpson

While this item could be considered part of a balanced breakfast, let’s be honest, it’s more frosted snack than healthy meal. Yes, the same cereal that gave away a jagged metal Krusty-O, which nearly killed Bart Simpson, was released to the public as part of a tie-in with The Simpsons Movie in 2007. 7-11 stores that were temporarily branded as Kwik-E-Marts to go along with the promotion were largely where the cereal could be located.

Drink #320: Scooby Snack

Scooby Snack Shooter

  • 0.3 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.3 oz Crème de Banane
  • 0.3 oz Midori
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with Whip Cream

Which fictional product would you love to be able to consume? For myself, I’d have to pick Sweetums NutriYums (Parks and Recreation), Smurfberries (The Smurfs), and Cornballs (Arrested Development). Put them together and you’ll have yourself one hell of a feast!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
Wow… that’s all I can really say about this shot. It is the first shooter to receive a 5-Sip rating and it’s hard to really describe how good it is. First, you’re hit with the Whip Cream, before the Crème de Banane, Melon Liqueur, Coconut Rum, and Pineapple Juice come in the finish the flavour party. It all goes down so smooth and tastes so delicious. There are four variations of the Scooby Snack, but each follows a general pattern. I’ve provided the recipe for the original. Now I understand why Scooby was so willing to put himself in danger after a little treat!