Flavour Revolution – Apricot

Cautious Cuisine

Despite the deliciousness, popularity, and versatility of apricots, it should be noted that the fruit’s pits (or kernels) are actually poisonous and can produce a form of cyanide. Here are some other foods that are alarmingly poisonous and potentially dangerous to your health:

Mushrooms

This one is too easy… I mean, come on, it’s defined as a fungus. That said, mushrooms can be many things, from delicious to deadly, healing to hallucinogenic. With regards to poisonous mushrooms, flat caps are a huge giveaway and toxic shrooms come with names such as death caps, destroying angels and dapperlings. Scarily, it is feared that many European mushrooms may be contaminated thanks to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

chances-with-mushroom

Nuts – Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts

Sure, many folks out there have severe allergies to nuts, particularly peanuts, but other types, when eaten raw, can be dangerous. Raw almonds, also known as bitter almonds, contain cyanide and can be fatal when consumed in large doses. Regardless, they are still sold in some stores, with risk being handed over to the customer to decide how cautious they want to be. Other countries have outright banned the nuts from being available.

Fruit – Apples, Cherries, Tomatoes

The seeds in apples and pits in cherry, contain cyanide. Cherries have resulted in other deaths non-edible deaths. Lucullus, a Roman general, committed suicide in 56BC, upon learning that he was running out of cherries, a crop he had introduced to Europe years before. Tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous by Europeans who didn’t trust the delicious fruit. It took some time for those fears to dissipate and now there’s only the odd salmonella outbreak.

Tuna

The issue with tuna, other than the facts that it smells horrible and doesn’t taste that great either (yes, this is solely according to the Sip Advisor), is that levels of mercury absorbed by the fish before it is caught and killed can be passed on to the consumer. This has given me pause for thought about how much the Sip Family kitties love getting served tuna water. Man, they love that stuff and go nuts whenever the can opener is used!

just-add-tuna

Potatoes

Potatoes are such an integral part of people’s diets that it’s a little scary how dangerous, albeit rare, their consumption can be. My first thought was that someone from the popcorn lobby made this accusation up to spoil the potato chip industry, but I have since learned the charges are true. Basically, what you have to watch out for is when a potato turns green, which if eaten, can result in weakness, coma, and even death.

Blowfish

Consuming blowfish (fugu) can be like playing a round of Russian roulette.  Unless prepared to perfection, it can be very poisonous. As a result, the emperor of Japan is barred from eating the fish, despite it being a cultural delicacy. One famous incident involved kabuki actor Bandō Mitsugorō VIII, who believed he could tolerate the poison… he was wrong. There is also an episode of The Simpsons where Homer eats Fugu and is told he only has 24 hours to live.

Flavour Revolution: Virgin’s Kiss

  • 1.25 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.5 oz Apricot Brandy
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with an Apricot Slice

This list could also include rhubarb, elderberry, raw meat and eggs, and even underprepared honey. I’ll stick to my artery-clogging potato chips , thank you very much, which will only get me in the long run!

Hungary – My Cherry Baby

Cube Compulsion

The Sip Advisor gets easily frustrated by toys like the Rubik’s Cube. I suppose there are some things my massive intellect just can’t solve… and I’m at peace with that fact. Let’s take a closer look at this popular toy, invented by Hungarian Erno Rubik:

The Rubik’s Cube (originally called the Magic Cube, before it was released worldwide in 1980) was created in 1974, as a way for Rubik to help explain three-dimensional geometry. At the time, Rubik was only 29 years old, but was already a sculptor and architecture professor. When Rubik’s had created his cube, it took him a month to solve for the first time. Later, Rubik could solve his own puzzle in under a minute, which he showed off at trade shows.

Rubiks Cube Solved

More than 350 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold around the world and thanks to these sales, it is the best-selling toy of all-time. After its international release, it won Toy of the Year honours in 1980 and again in 1981. The popularity of the toy bred the first annual International Rubik’s Championships in 1982, which was won by Minh Thai of the U.S. with a time of 22.95 seconds. A World Cube Association was created in 2004 to govern international competitions and chart world records.

The Rubik’s Cube can be solved in 20 moves or less, regardless of how it’s mixed up. This has created an entire sub-genre of speed cubers. These folks can solve the Rubik’s puzzle in under six seconds. All this, despite the fact that the toy has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 (into the quintillions) possible patterns. A guide to solving the Rubik’s Cube was created by a 12-year-old, Patrick Bossert of England, in 1981 and went on to become a best-seller, with 1.5 million copies sold.

The world record for fastest completion to the Rubik’s Cube is held by Mats Valk of the Netherlands. He solved the puzzle in 5.55 seconds, beating the previous best time of 5.66 seconds. A smartphone-powered Lego robot, known by the name CubeStormer 3, solved a Rubik’s Cube in 3.253 seconds, blowing away all the competition. These are the robots who will one day take over the world, pissed that they were made to endlessly solve puzzles.

Rubiks Cube Hard

Within the world of speed cubing, there are those not happy to simply solve the puzzle quickly. Some competitors take things to whole new levels of insanity, like one guy who did one-handed push-ups, while only taking 25 seconds to complete the challenge. Another fella solved the Rubik’s Cube in 23.80 seconds… while blindfolded! Perhaps most intimidating is the three-year-old Chinese toddler who was done with the toy in under two minutes.

You just knew a toy like this would have entries in the smallest, largest, and most expensive categories. The smallest is 1omm wide and was designed by Evgeniy Grigoriev of Russia. The largest can be found in Knoxville, Tennessee and measures three metres tall, weighing in at over 500kg. As for most expensive, it was created by Diamond Cutters International in 1995. Dubbed the ‘Masterpiece Cube,’ it features amethyst, rubies, and emeralds, all set in gold and valued at $1.5 million.

If you simply can’t put the device down, you may be a Cubaholic (and that doesn’t mean you like taking frequent trips to Cuba or chain-smoking fine cigars). A documentary, titled Cubers, was released in 2008 and followed the lives of some of those afflicted with the compulsion as well as those competing for the title of World Rubik’s Cube Champion.

Rubiks Cube Bra

The Rubik’s Cube has been featured in numerous areas of popular culture, including: movies, TV shows, comics, music videos, songs, art, and museum exhibits. Seeking to take advantage of the toy’s popularity, a Saturday morning cartoon debuted in 1983, called ‘Rubik, The Amazing Cube’ and featured a sentient Rubik’s Cube, who could come to the aid of a Hispanic family. It only lasted one season and 18 episodes and starred Ron Palillo (aka Arnold Horshack) as the titular toy.

On the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, earlier this year, the toy was featured as part of the daily Google Doodle, as a playable interactive puzzle. It’s only fitting to end this piece with some words from the inventor himself: “If you are curious, you’ll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them.”

Hungary: My Cherry Baby

My Cherry Baby Cocktail

  • Muddle Cherries
  • 0.75 oz Palinka (Cherry)
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Top with Champagne
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Thanks to working on this article, I’m adding “Solve a Rubik’s Cube” to my lifetime bucket list and it may eventually be what does me in (despite the current odds favourite in Vegas being alcohol-induced bungee accident), but I will achieve this feat!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was just too sweet… and not in the New World Order wrestling way. The flavours were nice, but some changes need to be made to the recipe to make it a little more likable and evened out.

September 1 – Kir Royale

Your Majesty

There have been many fictional monarchs over the course of history. Some rulers are worthy of mention, while others have had subpar reigns. Here are some of the most liked and most hated to take the throne:

Joffrey Baratheon

As I’ve written before, I can’t wait to see this little brat get his comeuppance. It will happen and the only question is who will deliver that sweet blow? Will it be Tyrion Lannister, who has struggled to rein in Joffrey’s psychopathic behavior? Will it be Daenerys Targaryen, who is building an army to reclaim her family’s rightful place of power? My money is on Arya Stark, who only has sweet revenge on her mind. It will probably be someone we never expected, however. And if you are one of those self righteous people who has some inside knowledge because you’ve “read the book” (cough, cough, Mrs. Sip), don’t tell me a damn thing!

Joffrey

Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler

Jerry Lawler earned his crown in the Memphis wrestling territory and went on to hold that region’s championship countless times… it probably helped that he was usually an owner of the promotion. World Wrestling Entertainment used to also host an annual King of the Ring tournament, which was won by such dignitaries as Randy Savage (with Queen Sherri Martel), Steve Austin, and Brock Lesnar.

Queen of Hearts

Off with their heads! Poor Alice, stuck in Wonderland and having the most bizarre time ever… she goes from a quiet game of croquet to running for her life, while some mad queen wants her head served up by the executioner. And they call croquet a gentleman’s game (I don’t know that for fact, if you haven’t already noticed by now I just make stuff up as I go along). Luckily, Alice escape with her skull still attached to her body, but will she ever be the same?

Kingdom of Eternia

Most people are probably asking: what the hell is this. Well friends, this kingdom would consist of King Randor, Queen Marlena, Prince Adam, and Princess Adora. The last two are otherwise known as He-Man and She-Ra. Together, they were part of one of the greatest marketing concepts ever: combining action figures with cartoons and comics. I only wish I had come up with this billion-dollar idea.

He-Man & She-Ra

Evil Queen

There are few queens that are as wicked as the Evil Queen. She actually enlisted a huntsman to track down Snow White, the fairest of them all, kill her and bring back her heart as proof of the assassination. Her maliciousness has only been heightened on Once Upon a Time where she continues her battles with Snow White, Prince Charming, and all the other characters of Disney fantasy.

Burger King

I wish that I was king of burgers… I’m sure this would come with an endless supply of the meals from all parts of the world. You could probably summon a burger whenever you wanted one. Then, all you’d have to do is become buddies with the Fry King and Milkshake King and you’d have the full meal deal! As long as I didn’t have to look as creepy as the Burger King mascot, I’d be fine with the challenges and responsibilities of such a title.

Simba

Of course I had to have a kitty entry into this category. King of the Pride Lands, Simba has a rough go of things when he is led to believe that his actions caused his father Mufasa’s death. Thankfully, he meets Timon and Pumbaa, who restore his confidence. He also bangs his childhood sweetie, Nala, and then returns home to battle his uncle Scar over his right to the throne. Upon victory, he literally becomes the Lion King, although I have a feeling other kitties would challenge his claims.

Drink #244: Kir Royale

Kir Royal Drink Recipe

I think I’d be a good king, similar to how I preside over all you little sippers. I would make sure that my constituents are provided for in all realms of the booze world, including liquor, mixers, garnishes, and even drunken snackies like chips and pulled pork. If we really want to make this happen, let’s start a revolution tomorrow. Are you in!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Mrs. Sip really liked this mix and she seemed to stumble upon the perfect fix for wines and champagnes that are a little too sweet. As for myself, I enjoyed the cocktail. The Blackcurrant Liqueur is a unique spirit and the Cherry garnish looked awesome!