September 26 – Capital Punishment

Special Scribes

As we continue to celebrate the gloriousness that is the Sip Advisor (with my recent birthday and all), today we will look at the greatest writers out there in the land of fiction. Write-on my brothers and sisters!

#5: Jack Torrance – The Shining

It seemed like a good idea for writer Jack Torrance to take a job as a caretaker, looking after the massive Overlook Hotel estate in the Colorado mountains over the winter off-season… especially when he could use the solitude to get down to work. Only problem is the silence and seclusion turned an already damaged man into a complete psychopath, set on hunting down his own wife and son. Remember, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”

jack torrance

#4: Brian Griffin – Family Guy

This often pretentious dog considers himself a future legendary scribe, except for the fact that for the longest time, he only talked about writing the great American novel, never sitting down to actually pen it. When he finally does, Faster Than the Speed of Love, is shredded by critics. His follow-up self-help title Wish It, Want It, Do It becomes a best seller, but the fame and fortune for Brian is fleeting, as he lets it all go to his head and alienates those that love him.

#3: Paul Sheldon – Misery

I would never expect my work to get me into trouble (unless I give a liquor company a bad review and they boycott serving me!), but that’s exactly what happens to Paul Sheldon, after he decides to end his popular series of romance novels. He just so happens to also be in the custody of his ‘number one fan’ Annie Wilkes, when this conclusion is published and that leads to a whirlwind of pain, instead of being nursed back to health by the former medical professional.

misery hammer

#2: Jessica Fletcher – Murder, She Wrote

It’s pretty easy to get ideas for your best-selling mystery novels when real-life murders seem to follow you around like you’re death personified. Jessica Fletcher may reside in the sleepy, rural town of Cabot Cove (where there’s an out-of-proportion murder rate), but thanks to her success as an author, she often travels the world and… you guessed it, comes across even more brutality. At least she’s always able to solve the crime, outwitting bumbling police officers everywhere.

#1: Dr. Watson – Sherlock Holmes

Along with being a sidekick and companion, Dr. John Watson also took it upon himself to record the extensive case files of Sherlock Holmes. As a fan of a good mystery, I wonder where we would be without the writings of Dr. Watson (who was originally to be named ‘Ormond Sacker’). Dr. Watson becomes a biographer of sorts for Holmes, largely because he can’t stand others taking and receiving credit for the solving of high-profile crimes.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Capital Punishment

  • Rim glass with Crushed Nuts
  • 0.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto

Some honourable mentions go to poets Mikey Blumberg (Recess) and Diane Chambers (Cheers), journalists Paul Hennessy (8 Simple Rules) and Ray Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond), crime novelist Richard Castle (Castle), columnist Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City), and TV writer Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke Show). May the words flow freely from your minds!

January 10 – Bad Apple

In the Shadows

A number of TV shows have utilized characters that are never seen by the audience. Some even become integral parts of storylines, despite never being visible. Here are the Top 5 most intriguing characters that are largely left to your own imagination:

#5: Dr. Claw – Inspector Gadget

While having a voice that is instantly recognizable, when it comes to making an appearance, we get to see more of Dr. Claw’s kitty, than we do of the M.A.D. leader, himself. For decades, I’ve pondered what Dr. Claw might have actually looked like. I was remarking to Mrs. Sip the other day about how much I wanted to see Dr. Claw finally win a round with the hapless detective… then, perhaps, we’d finally get the big reveal and find out that Dr. Claw is actually Chief Quimby, who’s sick and tired of being blown up by Inspector Gadget every time he delivers a new self-destruct mission.

Dr. Claw

#4: Robin Masters – Magnum P.I.

How kind is author Robin Masters to let both Thomas Magnum and Jonathan Higgins stay at his sprawling mansion (Robin’s Nest), despite the fact that he never resides there himself?  Due to all the trouble that results from Magnum and Higgins living at the estate. Masters “sort of” appeared in a few episodes as a narrator, voiced by Orson Welles. At one point, it was even speculated upon that Higgins was in fact Masters. However, although Masters confessed as much to Magnum during the series finale, he retracted his statement later.

#3: Maris – Frasier

A fair amount of humour in early seasons of the series was derived from comments about Maris’ appearance and behaviour, always adding to the character’s mystique. Despite all her quirks, she is said to be wealthy and that might be reason enough for Niles to stay with her… at least for a little while. For a character that was never seen, Maris factored into a number of storylines, one including her committing murder in self-defense and having to flee the country to avoid prosecution.

Maris Crane

#2: Mrs. Wolowitz – Big Bang Theory

We may never get to see her, but we certainly hear from her often enough. Mrs. Wolowitz’s shrill voice can often be heard yelling at Howard and treating him like a child. This often causes Howard, frustrated with his treatment, to shout in return, and ultimately end up sounding like a child. Although, for a time, Mrs. Sip and I thought that Bernadette (Howard’s wife, played by actress Melissa Rauch), also voiced Mrs. Wolowitz, the noise was actually supplied by Carol Ann Susi, who sadly passed away in November 2014.

#1: Mrs. Columbo – Columbo

Although mentioned in numerous episodes, often to advance Lt. Columbo’s relationship with the villain, we never get to meet the true Mrs. Columbo. Sure, there was a spinoff TV series titled Mrs. Columbo, but it starred a young actress that was better suited to playing Columbo’s daughter than wife. Some have speculated that in actuality, there is no Mrs. Columbo at all and she is only used by the lieutenant as an investigation technique. That would have made for quite a series twist ending.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Bad Apple

Bad Apple Shot

  • 0.75 oz Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz Sour Apple Mix

Honourable mentions go to Vera (Cheers), The Mother (How I Met Your Mother), Sheridan and Violet (Keeping Up Appearances), Bill (Kill Bill Vol. 1), and Charlie (Charlie’s Angels). Hell, the Sip Advisor could have also made this list. Will all you little sippers ever get to see the man behind the liquor magic? Only time will tell!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I figured this would be a good shot for the article, as Dr. Claw and even some of the others on this list at, in fact, bad apples. I used my split shot glass and the results looked really neat. The taste was pretty good, with the Sour Apple Mix hitting first, before the stronger Whiskey overtook the whole experience.

November 22 – Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Reunification

Earlier this year, the online world became abuzz, when a poster was released, teasing a Friends reunion for this Thanksgiving. It turned out to all be a hoax, but that got me thinking of shows where I’d love to see a reunion episode or some other gathering of the cast/characters, injecting new life into the stories many of us grew up on. Here is the cream of the crop of those I’d love to see one more time!

#5: Recess

Perhaps in a similar vein to All Grown Up, the Rugrats re-launch, it would be great to find out whatever happened to the Recess kids – T.J. Detweiler, Vince LaSalle, Ashley Spinelli, Gretchen Grundler, Mikey Blumberg, and Gus Griswald – and where they lives led after their fourth grade adventures at Third Street Elementary School. Did any of the kids ever hook-up (my bet’s on Mikey and Gus!)? The new story could be set in any time period, whether it be high school, college, adulthood, old age, etc. If a more adult network took the reins of the show, instead of Disney, we might get some very interesting and scandalous (thank you The Ashley’s) stories!

Recess Grown Up

#4: That 70’s Show

When we last left Point Place, Wisconsin, the 1970’s rolled over into a new decade. Therefore, the most pressing question to be answered, is how did the gang find life in the 80’s? Hell, for that matter, how did their 90’s and 2000’s go? I guess you can’t go too far ahead or you might lose the participation of the parents, Red, Kitty, and Bob, which would be too bad. I’d love to find out if Eric and Donna finally managed to stay together. What about Hyde, Kelso, Fez, and Jackie? What became of Kelso’s child? Was he as dumb as dear ol’ dad!? These are the kinds of questions that keep the Sip Advisor up at night… it’s tough being me!

#3: Full House

The Tanner clan was sent off into the television abyss with the show’s typical nice, neat wrap up. Since then, a lot has changed for the cast and would make for some crazy storylines, should there ever be a reunion episode. Would they incorporate Jodie Sweeten’s real-life meth addiction into the storyline ala the classic “On a very special episode…” trope. How would they handle Bob Saget’s departure from the squeaky clean image that made him neat freak single father Danny Tanner, as well as host of America’s Funniest Home Videos. And you just know there’s some juicy yarns out there, should the Olsen twins elect to participate.

Full House Reunion

#2: Cheers

There was the odd mini-reunion on the Cheers spinoff, Frasier (which would also be a decent series for a reunion), but I’d love to see everyone all together again at the classic bar set, enjoying a mug of fine brew and reconnecting. With Cheers being such an ensemble cast, many of which have gone on to thriving careers, it may be hard to get them all back onto the same page, but at least you know Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin would be present, as their butts have been stapled to those bar stools since the series finale in 1993. You’d have to imagine that at least one of the bar regulars would now be suffering from cirrhosis, but it should make for good viewing!

#1: Saved by the Bell

As a child of the 80’s and early 90’s, you could never say that you didn’t have at least some fondness for this show. While we got a decent finale with the wedding in Vegas movie, a whole generation thirsts for more. Did Zack and Kelly survive to rigors of getting married young? How about the kids that surely came along (I mean, who wouldn’t want to tap the former Miss Kapowski!?). If they did relaunch this series, they could do something similar to what Boy Meets World did, where they brought back Cory and Topanga as parents to a teenage girl. Jimmy Fallon (among others) tried to get the whole crew back together, but all efforts have failed thus far.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Sadly, the TV reunion just isn’t done as much anymore, compared to the past where shows like Gilligan’s Island, The Andy Griffith Show, and even Growing Pains all got together again to update viewers on the status of their favourite characters. And that’s all too bad, as there are so many series I’d love to see a follow-up from. Honourable mentions go to basically any TGIF show and let’s throw Beavis and Butt-head in there, as well, just to irritate Mrs. Sip!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I chose this shot to go with this article because it (the cake) seemed like the kind of thing that might be served at an actual family reunion. As you can see by the measurements, there’s very little booze in this shooter, so you’re basically just getting Pineapple Juice and Grenadine. My suggestion is to up the alcohol and have some real fun!

October 10 – Simpson & Son Revitalizing Tonic

Cocktail Creations

There are some pretty interesting fictional cocktails out their in media land. I vow to try each and every one of them eventually. Here’s what made it to the top of the wishlist!

Flaming Homer/Moe – The Simpsons

When Homer Simpson is stuck at home with his terrible step-sisters and not a drop of beer to be found, he panics and puts together a cocktail made of all the booze he has left, accidentally adding some children’s cough medicine to the mix. Ash from one of his step-sister’s cigarettes lights the concoction on fire and makes it taste amazing. When Homer shares the recipe with bartender Moe Szyslak, Moe steals the drink and markets it as a Flaming Moe, gaining fame and fortune until Homer reveals the secret ingredient as revenge.

Flaming-Moe

The Flaming Moe is actually served at Universal Studios: Florida… another reason to go back to that amazing park!

Screaming Viking – Cheers

When Cheers has one bartender too many, the regulars want to keep Woody Boyd on the job over newcomer Wayne. When Wayne bets his job against being able to make any drink ordered, the Cheers gang makes up this cocktail on the fly in order to throw Wayne off. Of course, it’s pretty hard to replicate a recipe that doesn’t exist. The drink has since been produced by a couple of bars with varying recipes. Unless it’s served while you’re saddled up between Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin, it just wouldn’t feel right.

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Invented by Zaphod Beeblebrox, the drink is described as “the alcoholic equivalent of a mugging – expensive and bad for the head” and it “is like having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick”. The drink has been created in reality for stage productions of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and at bars around the world. Suggested recipes I was able to find largely just throw a ton of different boozes into the mix.

Green Russian – Archer

Absinthe and milk… a winning combination? Just think about it, you get your daily calcium nourishment, as well as an elixir meant to make you trip balls. This potent cocktail is the invention of Pam Poovey, director of human resources at the ISIS spy agency. Pam can often be seen walking around bars with her own personal booze chilling units, so it’s no surprise she is a liquor hound. She will even pour absinthe directly into a carton of milk! There are other Green Russian recipes available online, but I think Pam was on the right track with her rendition.

green-russians

Kidney Killer – American Dad

Francine Smith was once a hard-partying girl along with her partner in crime Kelly Wilk. When Kelly comes back into Francine’s life, the two try to recreate their wild times, with Haley Smith insisting she can keep up with the women. Haley drinks the fabled Kidney Killer and winds up in need of a kidney that Francine can’t offer, herself a victim of the booze. There is a Kidney Killer recipe on the internet. It combines tequila and Southern Comfort into a shot glass. The jury’s out as to how many you need to drink to actually kill your kidney!

Thankstini – How I Met Your Mother

This martini of vodka, cranberry juice and a bouillion cube is perfect for celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s like having a home-cooked family meal in a cocktail glass. Inventor Barney Stinson has provided me with the perfect libation for upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations. All that’s missing is the turkey, potatoes and stuffing, but I’m working on it. Stinson also has drink suggestions for Christmas, Arbor Day, Independence Day, and Ramadan!

Drink #283: Simpson & Son Revitalizing Tonic

Simpson & Son Revitalizing Tonic Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Smirnoff Blueberry)
  • 1 oz Southern Comfort
  • Top with half Orange Juice and half Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Berries

Look forward to future posts about fictional companies, restaurants, sports teams, sodas, and just about anything else this old, battered mind can think up!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Sadly, the tonic didn’t send Mrs. Sip and myself into the throes of passion (as it worked in the cartoon… let down by TV once again!). Despite that small discrepancy, this drink was pretty good. All the citrus and berry notes were very enjoyable and the liquors did their jobs, as well.

March 18 – Lush

Drunk-a-lunks 

A couple months ago, we shared a few laughs looking at some alcohol lightweights. Today, we look at their opposites, the folks who can really throw the drink back and give a new meaning to the term booze hound. Ah, my idols!

Roger Smith – American Dad

There are very few scenes of American Dad where Roger isn’t drunk, drinking or talking about getting soused. He’s been known to spend a majority of the Christmas season out of his gourd on eggnog and has even gone into the moonshine business, showing his passion for sweet lady liqour and all that she can provide mankind.

Intoxi-quoted: “Pardon me, sir. I’m what you might call an advanced drinker, and I’ve been having a Dickens of a time concocting an eggnog that provides the certain… heady tingle that I require.”

Roger Drunk

Homer Simpson & Barney Gumble – The Simpsons

While both men have struggled with their alcohol needs over the series’ many years, Barney seems to have finally strapped himself onto the sober wagon but I don’t think Homer ever will… he’s just too funny when he’s blitzed. Ironically, Homer is the one who gave Barney his first beer… the night before Barney’s SAT exam that he was set to ace.

Intoxi-quoted: Homer: “Wow, Barney. You brought a whole beer keg.” Barney: “Yeah… where do I fill it up?”

Cheers Gang – Cheers

While you don’t often see the guys from Cheers getting drunk per se, given the number of hours they spend at the bar each day, you’d have to assume that they’re often going home substantially liquored up. Heck, it’s the only way Norm Peterson will go home to his never-seen wife, Vera.

Intoxi-quoted: Woody Boyd: “Hey Mr. Peterson. Jack Frost nipping at your nose?” Norm Peterson: “Yeah. Now let’s get Joe Beer nipping at my liver.”

Willie – Bad Santa

Willie is a stinking drunk and he knows it. He has no interest in turning his life around and wants nothing more than his next big score (usually from robbing whichever department store he’s worked at during the Christmas season) before moving onto the next target. If I was ever a mall Santa, you can bet I’d show up to work looking as disheveled as this naughty Claus.

Intoxi-quoted: Sue: “I’ve always had a thing for Santa Claus. In case you didn’t notice. It’s like some deep-seeded childhood thing.” Willie: “So is my thing for tits.”

Bad Santa Drunk

Bender Rodriguez – Futurama

Bender is not really an alcoholic, but he needs to drink alcohol to keep his mechanics running… so, he drinks a LOT! He even fermented his own brew inside of himself, treating the mix as if it were his own unborn child. Now that’s true love and devotion.

Intoxi-quoted: “I’m gonna drink ’til I reboot!”

Lucille Bluth – Arrested Development

The matriarch of the Bluth clan, Lucille lives a life of luxury (despite the fact she can no longer afford it) and what better to do than get drunk off your ass on a daily basis. Her kids have grown up – although Buster, in his late 30’s, has yet to leave home – and she doesn’t have to (or want to) work, so the only way to pass the time is with a delicious cocktail.

Intoxi-quoted: Lucille Bluth: “Get me a vodka rocks.” Michael: “Mom, it’s breakfast.” Lucille: “And a piece of toast.”

Peter Griffin – Family Guy

When Peter and the guys hit the Drunken Clam, someone, if not all of them, are bound to go home plastered. Peter’s drinking has got him into a lot of trouble over time, including multiple arrests, issues with his wife, near-death experiences and the killing of nearly every brain cell he ever had… and he didn’t start off with many to begin with.

Intoxi-quoted: “C’mon, let’s go drink ’til we can’t feel feelings anymore.”

Drink #77: Lush

Lush Cocktail

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • Top with Apple-Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge and Apple Wedge

Mrs. Sip often calls me a drunk-a-lunk when I’m hitting the bottle with awesome passion and force. So, here are some departing words from yours truly: “When you wake up after a hard night of drinking and you’re worried about your liquor supply, just remember that even potatoes can be turned into vodka!”

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I thoroughly enjoyed this cocktail. From the usually solid Melon Liqueur to the delicious Apple-Lime Juice, I was very happy that a recipe I thought would be awesome actually turned out that way. It also looked great, completing the package.

February 4 – Lounge Lizard #2

Bar Crawl

When I profiled the original Lounge Lizard cocktail, I discussed my favourite real-life bars. Today, I turn reality upside down and present to you, my little sippers, the best of fictional bars. Sometimes we all wish these places were real. Seriously, though, it seems like every single show in history has featured a watering hole as a recurring setting (thus making this list extremely difficult to narrow down):

Cheers – Cheers

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name… I bet everyone who read that last line, sang it in their head! How great would it be to hang out with a regular Joe like Norm Peterson. Or shoot the shit with bartenders like Sam Malone and Woody Boyd. You could even get your daily dose of factually inaccurate trivia from Cliff Claven or some psychiatric treatment from Frasier Crane. Everyone in the place had something to offer – except maybe Paul, but we’ll let it slide.

Cliff & Norm

Moe’s Tavern – The Simpsons

While Moe’s Tavern may not be the highlight of any visit to Springfield, it’s a decent joint that means a lot to its regulars. The bar has gone through a number of style changes with the times, usually to capitalize on some trend – gay bar, family restaurant, stylish martini bar (wouldn’t that be the same as the gay bar!?) – but it always returns to its former glory by episode’s end.

The Broken Stool – The Cleveland Show

After moving from Quahog, Rhode Island to Stoolbend, Virginia, Cleveland Brown promptly found himself a new group of friends – “there’s old friends, new friends and even a bear” – who regularly convene at The Broken Stool. There’s nothing like having a favourite haunt for you and your best buds and having a bear as a pal would absolutely rule. You could get him to catch fish for you and stuff.

Broken Stool

Merlotte’s & Fangtasia – True Blood

In the True Blood universe, you have the best of both worlds. First, there’s Merlotte’s, where normal people can go to enjoy a drink or some southern cooking and crazy shit often happens. At Fangtasia, vampires, humans and werewolves alike can enjoy an evening of debauchery and crazy shit ALYWAS happens. How either owner can keep their places running with the high death rate (including to staff) and constant turmoil at each location, is beyond my comprehension.

Roger’s Place – American Dad

I dream of my own man-cave bar set-up one day… not that I don’t have that already, but it’s not in a man-cave. Neither is Roger’s Place, alien Roger Smith’s bar in the attic of the Smith family home. Here, Roger waxes philosophical for his visitors – usually suggesting a solution to their problem that gets them into even more trouble. Next time I’m bartending for the Sip Advisor friends and family, I’m going to give out bad advice… whether people want to hear it or not.

Roger's Place

The Warsaw – The Drew Carey Show

One of the best features of this bar, was you could live above it, as Lewis and Oswald did, complete with their own fire pole into the place. Can you imagine how happy I, the Sip Advisor, would be if I could roll out of bed in the morning and ride a pole down to my favourite bar? Oh wait, I practically do that already, minus the pole and if you add a little more crawling to the trek.

Drink #35: Lounge Lizard #2

Lounge Lizard #2 Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • 1 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Top with lemon-lime soda
  • Garnish with lemon and lime wheels

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
The Lounge Lizard family of cocktails may be one of my favourite. Here, you have Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao and Melon Liqueur all getting together to party as lemon-Lime Soda plays DJ and lays down some dope tracks. Not sure of what exactly I just wrote… let’s just say that the drink is spectacular.