Cocktail Corner – Quick Decision

Great Debates

Since the dawn of time, there have been certain arguments that have divided families, torn apart lovers, and broken up friendships. Yes, my little sippers, we’re talking about issues as important as peanut butter: crunchy or smooth and toilet paper: over or under. Here are some of society’s most crucial concerns:

#5: Marvel vs. DC

I prefer the Marvel Universe, in general, but there are some DC characters I love, such as Batman (does any superhero have a better rogues gallery?). This argument is no longer isolated to the world of comic books. It has spread to movies, TV shows, video games, and pop culture in general. Despite being competitors, the companies have co-existed for some crossover projects, including a number of comic book battles and alliances. After all, the scent of money can make for strange bedfellows.

Marvel & DC

#4: Boxers vs. Briefs

There are boxer briefs, but I don’t want to take the easy, harmonious route out of this conundrum. I’m a steadfast boxers man and have been since a young age. I suppose I like to have breathing room for my buddies. Us boxers guys have been buoyed by evidence that sperm count is enhanced when packages aren’t all bunched up. There is, of course, a third option in going commando, but I’m always weary of zippers when practicing complete freedom.

#3: Android vs. iPhone / PC vs. Mac

Personally, I’m not a fan of Apple products and refuse to use them whenever possible. Of course, when they have the market cornered with something like the iPod, my decision is practically made for me. While I haven’t ever used an iPhone or iPad, save for taking the odd photo for someone while travelling, I do have ample experience with Mac computers and much rather be sitting in front of a PC, regardless of potential capabilities.

Android vs. iPhone

#2: Coke vs. Pepsi

Many don’t like soft drinks at all, but for those who do, this rivalry has existed for eons, reaching its peak in the 1980’s. The companies (Coca-Cola and PepsiCo) also wage war with their other products: Sprite vs. 7-Up, Barq’s vs. Mug, Minute Maid vs. Tropicana, Nestea vs. Lipton Brisk, Powerade vs. Gatorade, Dasani vs. Aquafina, and so on. The two entities even compete to be major event sponsors and get their lines into various restaurants. Coke has McDonald’s, Subway, and Dominos; while Pepsi has KFC, Quiznos, and Pizza Hut. Personally, I side with Pepsi, but I’m actually more of a Dr. Pepper-Snapple Group man.

#1: Cats vs. Dogs

I’ve never been all that comfortable around dogs. I don’t know from where exactly this unease stems, but perhaps it has something to do with all that crotch sniffing. Plus, while it’s rare for a dog to pose a danger to people and fellow animals, you’ve never heard of a cat killing anything other than vermin (they can barely stay awake long enough to feed themselves!). No, my little sippers, I’ll take a cuddly kitty any day of the week over big, drooling, can’t clean themselves dogs.

Cocktail Corner: Quick Decision

Quick Decision

  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 0.75 oz Bailey’s Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.5 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • Garnish with Whip Cream

Honourable mentions include East Coast vs. West Coast, Cities vs. Suburbs, Burgers vs. Hot Dogs (the great barbecue dilemma), Coffee vs. Tea, Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Glasses vs. Contacts, Ovens vs. Microwaves, Disneyland vs. Disneyworld, and T vs. A! What great arguments have you witnessed?

Love & Hate: Holidays/Observances

There are some days that mark the calendar that we greatly look forward to. Others, we’d rather not come to pass and perhaps even disappear entirely. The Sip Advisor is going to look at these occasions, some of which I’m a fan of and others I loathe. Let’s start with days to love:

Christmas

Christmas reminds me of the sentiment about pizza: even bad pizza is still pizza. For example, our COVID Christmases have somehow turned out to be good, despite restrictions and a general lack of holiday cheer. As a kid, Christmas is everything. Once Boxing Day hits, preparation for the next Christmas – and the presents that come with it – move into full gear. As an adult, there is still a lot of fun to be had with a series of days off and when you become a parent, you get to live the season through the kids’ experience. It can be a hectic and stressful time, but worth it all.

Halloween

Great as a kid, perhaps even better as an adult. When you’re young, with candy on the line, you would walk for miles to get your hands on the sweet stuff. To quote Garfield: Candy! Candy! CANDY!!! Adult Halloween parties are fantastic or at least an excuse to continue the Halloween extracurriculars when you can no longer justify trick-or-treating. Now, as a parent, I’ve come to greatly enjoy the night out with the Sipplings, although that is probably bolstered by my love of drinking outside and having a stroller to hold my wares.

halloween

Easter

Four days off for the rebirth of Jesus? Um, yes please. We’ve used the break to go to Vegas, Seattle, Disneyland, Portland (for back-to-back Beer and Wine Festivals) and other getaways. Plus, who can turn down all the chocolate eggs, jelly beans and other sweets that come with the holiday? Even that fake grass that’s used to fill out Easter baskets has become an item of fondness for many. My only complaint about Easter would be there’s not a lot of obvious viewing choices connected with the holiday, which is different than Christmas and Halloween.

So, those are the holidays the Sip Advisor particularly loves. Not let’s see the other side of the ledger and the days I hate:

New Year’s Eve

Every year, there’s this pressing need to have an epic plan for the occasion and it never goes off accordingly. Events get cancelled, people get lame and bail, etc. Among our NYE duds was when Mrs. Sip and I got engaged at Christmas and planned to announce it to a group of friends on New Year’s. Thanks to it being a mid week December 31st and there being a light snowfall, our guest list dwindled down to three people. We still gave our good news, but it felt anticlimactic. I will say, we’ve had some good New Year’s Eves, but they often consist of taking things easier, staying at home or going for a meal.

New Year's Eve

Valentine’s Day

Mrs. Sip and I actually prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day before or after the actual date. Why pay double for things like flowers and chocolates? I prefer to get the same items for their regular price, or in the case of chocolate, at a discounted price, as stores try to move the items after February 14th. And hell, you really shouldn’t need a specific day to show that special person in your life just how important they are to you. That’s a year-round commitment. Lastly, there’s the folks who find Valentine’s Day to be a real downer because of relationship issues. All-in-all, V-Day is meh.

Daylight Saving Time

It’s absolutely ridiculous that we still go through this changing of clocks twice each year. Many professionals have debunked the whole reasoning behind its beginnings and point to how unnecessary the whole ordeal is. It’s even worse as parents of young kids, when you have no clue how the change will affect them and for how long. Will they wake up an hour earlier than usual, which means you’ll lose sleep as well? The stress of what will happen just isn’t worth it. Let’s just agree to finally kibosh the whole thing.

Before wrapping this post up, here are some quick thoughts of mine on other holidays and observances (in chronological order):

Lunar New Year: I will never turn down a good Chinese meal.

Groundhog Day: What a ridiculous thing to highlight on any calendar.

Family Day: This was an awesome addition to the calendar when we were childless. Now it just means I have to spend time with the fam!

Family Day

St. Patrick’s Day: Green beers and banishing snakes… what’s there to complain about?

Cinqo de Mayo: Tacos and margaritas… what’s there to complain about?

Mother’s Day/Father’s Day: After fours years as one, parents deserve all the praise they can get.

Labour Day: I’m split here. It signifies the end of summer, but also inspires you to have one last big bash before the season is out.

Thanksgiving: A perfect excuse to eat and drink to excess.

Love & Hate: Bah Humbug!

Bah Humbug

  • 1 oz White Rum
  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 1 oz Orange Liqueur
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

Agree or disagree with my holiday assessments? Think I’m just a bitter man, who needs to take a chill pill? Let me know in the comments below. Just remember, I’m always right and that’s a position I’m not willing to budge from!

Love & Hate #1: Airports

The Sip Advisor is full of a lot of hate… but with that, also comes love. This new feature to the website will look at a certain subject and dissect three items I love and three items I hate within the topic. Up first, airports from around the world. Here are the ones the Sip Advisor doesn’t mind spending time in:

London, United Kingdom

The amount of times I’ve been day drunk in London-Heathrow Airport is quite impressive. On one trip in particular, Mrs. Sip and I were served – for free – full Gimlet and Vesper cocktails, as Duty Free locations were showing off gin and vodka products. There are also usually a few Whiskeys or Scotches available to sample and you can attain quite a buzz between flights. Heathrow is also a great place to get souvenirs, such as British chocolate bars.

Vancouver, Canada

At times, I have had an odd love-hate relationship with my hometown airport. I didn’t like going because it often meant sending Mrs. Sip off on her next great adventure. In the same breath, the site was nothing but joy when she would return from her journeys. It has also been the location of my own trips abroad… but every time you return, the airport is home to the celebration. Vancouver International is also a beautiful facility with transportation directly to Downtown Vancouver.

Airport Bars.png

Las Vegas, USA

Slot machines inside an airport… what isn’t there to love about this place! With all the times I have been through Las Vegas’ McCarran International, I have never had a bad experience. There’s an energy in this airport that simply can’t be recreated elsewhere. Not to mention, the commute from airport to Las Vegas Strip is incredibly short and keeps the good vibes rolling and party potential optimized.

Narrowly missing my love list were Edmonton (great place to do an airport pub crawl), Amsterdam (seriously, the place has not one but two McDonalds), and Taipei (where hours can be spent checking out each of their themed boarding areas). Now let’s move onto the worst of the worst:

Toronto, Canada

First, it’s not easily connected to Toronto’s downtown core. Second, it has one of the most confusing layouts I have ever encountered, with poor signage and even worse service from those who are supposed to be guiding you. It seems every time I land in Toronto for a connecting flight, I’m left with little time to get through customs, collect my luggage, go through security all over again, and make it to my gate. And if you’re final destination is Toronto, then things are even worse!

Airport Logic

Los Angeles, USA

While I love landing at LAX because it means Mickey Mouse and all his pals are only about an hour drive away, leaving from the same airport is often a disheartening task. The place is in need of some serious updating, which is slowly happening in some parts. Often, we would be on our way home, which is already disappointing enough, and then we’d be in a terminal that had zero to offer as far as food or beverage went. With a couple hours to kill, there really wasn’t anything to do but be cranky and miserable.

Casablanca, Morocco

This disgusting hellhole still gives me nightmares. Most notably, we have photos of no smoking signs throughout their food court, while every single person is lighting up and filling the place with disgusting smoke. Also, they only accept cash at stores and eateries, but when you’re (thankfully) leaving a country, you’ve often done everything you can to rid yourself of that country’s currency, leaving you completely out of luck.

Love & Hate #1: The Aviation

The Aviation.JPG

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with Lemon Zest

Which airports out there do you either love or hate? Disagree with my assessments? Let me know in the comments!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
I can’t believe it took me so long to make this classic cocktail. It is a boozy one, but the flavours are so nice and work well together to provide the beverage balance. I recommend this to sippers of all walks. You will not be disappointed!

Mixer Mania #45 – Use and Abuse

‘Tis the time of year that we bundle up indoors with a cup of hot chocolate and rewatch our favourite Christmas movies and TV specials. With that comes advertisements, where Santa has been used to sell everything from soda to snacks. Sure, we have Coca-Cola to thank for the modern image of jolly ol’ St. Nick, but other companies have done more to tarnish the legacy of Santa than build it up. Here are some of the most shameless uses of the yuletide icon:

Painkillers

Mrs. Sip and I just saw this Aleve ad the other day and while it seems harmless, the underlying message is concerning. To see Santa requiring medication to perform his annual duties should frighten every young tot in the world. It also takes away some of the big guy’s magic, thinking he suffers to bring joy to children all over the world. And what if Aleve is a gateway drug to more serious painkillers, causing Santa to have an opioid addiction and eventually need rehab to get his life and career back together.

Santa Aleve

Cigarettes

A number of companies have used Santa to market their smokes. I particularly like the one which shows Santa taking a break from his Christmas Eve activities to enjoy some smooth nicotine. This includes lighting up inside a family’s home, as he kicks back on a cozy chair, filling the dwelling with smoke. And here I thought he was more into milk and cookies… better leave a carton out for the gift-giver this year, ensuring years of good fortune and gifts.

Santa Smokes.jpg

Booze

Brands such as Crown Royal, Dewar’s, Martini, and Budweiser have all used Kris Kringle as a marketing figure to hawk their wares. The Byrrh company even released an ad in 1934 showing an very inebriated Santa – so drunk he can’t continue his epic yearly journey – taking five atop a home’s roof and drinking the wine-based aperitif. St. Nick is so blitzed that he even hallucinates an angel to share the liquor with, but she doesn’t look very impressed with Father Christmas. Maybe he’s sexually harassing her.

Santa Wine

Guns

With all the gun violence around the world, particularly in the U.S., why shouldn’t Santa also protect himself? That’s what one Californian gun range figured, when a billboard popped up in the state in 2014, featuring Santa (accessorized with dark sunglasses, of course) with a menacing glare and proudly holding an assault rifle. The owner of the range stated: “I got guns from Santa Claus when I was growing up. Some people get toys and some people get firearms. It’s kind of just where you’re from.” Indeed…

Santa Guns.png

Mixer Mania #45: All Warm And Fuzzy

All Warm And Fuzzy

  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Baileys Irish Cream
  • 0.5 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 0.25 oz Cointreau
  • 0.25 oz Cognac
  • Top with Hot Chocolate
  • Garnish with a Marshmallow

What other examples of Santa Claus exploitation exist out there? Part of me wants to know and the other part would rather those examples stay hidden.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This drink is very tasty. It is certainly boozy and that was with me halving each liquor measurement. The recipe originally called for Grand Marnier, which I had to substitute with Cointreau and Cognac. There’s a lot of flavours going on, but the end result is warmth and a little decadence!

Mixer Mania #44 – Power and Glory

One way for the world’s strongest folks to show off their power is to crush a watermelon, typically between their thighs. That sounds like an onerous way to extract watermelon juice, today’s feature mixer, but it did get the Sip Advisor thinking about other feats of strength. Let’s take a look at a few of those:

Ripping Phonebooks

Perhaps the only reason phonebooks still exist is for muscle-gifted to tear them to shreds. Want to give it a shot, yourself? There are even instructions and tips online to help those who may want to take a crack at ripping a phonebook in half.

Dogs Phonebook

Pulling Vehicles

Even the thought of pulling or pushing a vehicle on my own is incomprehensible. Therefore, I’m very impressed when strongmen are able to move cars, trucks, buses, boats, planes and more with sheer strength. They should work for transit authorities across the globe.

Lifting Vehicles

If not pulling a vehicle, a strongman can often be found lifting a vehicle off the ground to prove their mettle. The last vehicle I lifted was a Tonka Truck and I struggled mightily with that. Things are not looking good for Baby Sip’s playtime aspirations.

Lifting Vehicle.jpg

Bending Metal Bars

I can barely bend plastic cutlery, let alone thick metal bars. Once again, we can take to the world wide web for strategies on completing the feat, but I’d rather spend my time and effort finding videos of kitties and people falling and such.

Keg Toss (And Other Items Thrown)

While I’d rather be drinking from them, some strongmen throw kegs around to test their power. Hopefully these ale vessels are emptied, as I’m not sure I’d want to drink the shaken and damaged suds inside, after they’ve been thrown. Who am I kidding, I’d still give anything for a drink.

Mixer Mania #44: The Firecracker

The Firecracker.JPG

  • Rim glass with Salt/Sugar Mix
  • 2 oz Cucumber Vodka
  • Top with Watermelon Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

Of course, if you’re looking to test your own power, you can always celebrate Festivus, including the feats of strength portion. Events include wrestling the head of the household, with the holiday only ending once they are pinned.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink is very nice, as I totally expected. The Salt/Sugar rim is interesting and add a nice complexity to the Watermelon Juice. You really can’t go wrong with this collection of ingredients.

Mixer Mania #43 – Stereotypes and Sodas

The love of watermelon, fried chicken and grape soda. These are all things stereotypically associated with African Americans… but I love those things, too. Well, maybe not the grape soda, but it is today’s feature mixer. Let’s take a look at some other odd stereotypes and try not to offend anyone:

Canadians Live in Igloos

Not only do I not live in an igloo, but I don’t know anyone that does. Heck, most folks I know – all typical Canadians – don’t even like being outside much during the winter months. It’s also pretty hard to build an igloo in my neck of the woods, where rain is much more common and we may only get a light snowfall once or twice a year.

Canada Sorry.jpg

Russians Drink Vodka Like Water

This Sip Advisor has been known to do this too, but I don’t have an drop of Russian blood running through my gorgeous body. While Russia does rank as one of the world’s highest consumers of alcohol, I have it on good authority that they drink all liquors like water and don’t confine themselves to simply vodka.

Japanese are Ninjas

Throughout our 2016 trip to Japan, where Mrs. Sip and I travelled extensively around the country, I did not come face-to-face with any ninjas. That makes sense though, as ninjas are supposed to lurk quietly in the shadows. I bet they were everywhere.

Blondes are Dumb, Have More Fun

If being dumb means having more fun, then sign me up! Hold up, given my dirty blonde locks, lack of intelligence and hard drinking ways, I may already be one of the posterchildren for this concept.

Blondes Dumb.jpg

French are Rude

While this might not apply to every French citizen, from my own experiences, I have witnessed a few examples to prove the theory true. Perhaps it needs to read: Parisians Are Rude. This is best exemplified by a cab driver who refused to understand our destination of “Eiffel Tower,” until we changed it to “Tour Eiffel.”

British Have Bad Teeth

In one episode of The Simpsons, Lisa needs braces for her teeth and is shown what will happen if she does not get them with the Big Book of British Smiles, depicting a bevy of unsavoury grins. Perhaps this is caused by another prevalent British stereotype of their cuisine being relatively awful.

Mixer Mania #43: Purple Haze

Purple Haze

  • Rim glass with Sugar
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • 1 oz Root Beer Schnapps
  • Top with Grape Soda
  • Splash of Milk

What other stereotypes leave you scratching your head as to where the idea was ever conceived? I think I survived the article without causing too many international incidents!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I picked this drink to profile because of the interesting recipe. The result was a pretty decent drink that Mrs. Sip described as a girlie drink… I beg to differ!

Mixer Mania #42 – Advent Amazement

Mrs. Sip has long been a tea drinker. The last couple years, she received tea advent calendars, which previously I didn’t know existed. With Christmas right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to look at other advent calendars that differ from your typical chocolate ones:

Make-Up/Beauty

There are numerous cosmetic advent calendars on the market. Every company you can think of seems to have put a collection together, with varying prices. Some focus on nails, others on the face. Beauty has never really been a concern for the Sip Advisor, as you can’t improve on perfection.

Cheese

The world’s first cheese advent calendar hit store shelves this year, after a blogger created her own in 2016 and the concept went viral. For only 8-pounds, fromage-aholics can find this product at ASDA stores across the UK. Not sure if similar products can be found in other countries.

Cheese Emergency

Jewellery/Charm Bracelet

Ma Sip loves her charm bracelets. So, when I came across an advent calendar version, which gave you the bracelet and then 24 holiday-themed charms over the Christmas season, I was thrilled… and Ma Sip was even more so.

Fly Fishing

A tackle box already kind of looks like an advent calendar, so why not release one for the Christmas season, with a lure for each day. One issue here, is that you’re not likely to head out each day of the calendar for a fishing expedition and to try your new treat.

Cookbook

While I like the concept of this advent calendar, you’re basically saying to the person you give this to: “Hey, why don’t you make me something different every day, through on of the busiest times of the year?” I don’t see that flying at the Sip Advisor headquarters.

Toys

For kids and kidults alike, come advent calendars from Play-Doh, Lego and Playmobil. Parents will just have to be vigilant that the toys aren’t consumed like traditional chocolates.

Eating Play-Doh

Craft Beer

While craft beer advent calendars can be found in most liquor stores, I’ll never forget Mrs. Sip personally making me one, comprised of 24 bomber bottles. Pulling it all together at the last minute – as she’s prone to do – the poor girl had to carry heavy boxes all around Vancouver. Her efforts paid off nicely, though!

Wine/Liquors

Similar to craft beer, there are wine, bubbly a liquor sets out there, typically featuring 24 mini bottles of the preferred subject matter. One particular Scotch advent calendar features rare whiskeys from around the world, setting buyers back 10,000-pounds.

Potato Chips

God bless Pringles. The potato chip company has released their own advent calendar, containing 12 tubes of various flavours. Apparently, the calendar is quite popular and has already sold out, with the products popping up on eBay for double the original retail price.

For Pets

Don’t have any kids or spouses you can spoil with an advent calendar? If you have pets, you can still get into the Christmas spirit with sets that provide toys and treats to your fur baby. The gift of giving is one of the best!

Mixer Mania #42: Irish Tea Party

Irish Tea Party.JPG

  • Absinthe Rinse
  • 1.5 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • Top with Green Tea
  • Garnish with Lime Wheel

The lead up to Christmas is my favourite part of the season, so sometimes I think advent calendars should just replace Christmas gifts… but they’re probably in a good place as a holiday enhancer, rather than as a main event player.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (1 Sip out of 5):
I was totally disappointed by this drink. The ingredients intrigued me, but the end result was a watery, flavourless cocktail. Mrs. Sip wants me to try it again with a different Green Tea – and I will – but it must be pointed out that round one of the beverage was a dud.

Mixer Mania #41 – Food Heroes

Both Blueberries and Pomegranates are considered superfoods, so combining the two into one juice seems like a super-duper food. Here’s a look at some of the most popular superfoods and where they rank with the Sip Advisor:

Spinach: The original superfood and performance enhancing drug of Popeye. I love Ma Sip’s patented spinach dip, but I think the ingredients that turn it into a dip likely take away some of its superfood shine.

Kale: I hate Kale. Hate, hate, hate it. There is nothing worse than reading a restaurant’s menu and seeing a Caesar Salad that sounds scrumptious, only to realize it’s kale and not lettuce-based.

Kale - Ale.jpg

Beans: Bean, beans the musical fruit… you know the rest. I like beans on a massive burrito, thus negating all the positive effects they are supposed to provide eaters with.

Sweet Potatoes: I’m not much of a yam fries guy, but this is the only way I’d choose to consume sweet potatoes.

Salmon: As a wee little sipper, the Sip Advisor wasn’t much of a salmon fan, which is practically criminal when you live in the Pacific Northwest. Over time, I’ve come to enjoy some salmon dishes, such as the cedar plank barbecued variety.

Wheatgrass: I wonder if wheatgrass can be used in hefeweizen beers?

Green Tea: Skip. I mean, it’s not even a food.

Dark Chocolate: Only milk chocolate for this hombre.

Broccoli: I like broccoli. I know that might shock some of you who have read the rest of this list. Here’s the catch, though: that little green tree had better be smothered in ranch dressing or fried in tempura if you going to put it on my plate.

Cauliflower: See broccoli… but to a lesser extent.

Cauliflower Trash

Garlic: I guess garlic fries kind of defeats the purpose of it being a superfood!

Beets: Interestingly, Pa Sip – a selective eater – loves beets. Unfortunately, that preference was not hereditary.

Avocados: Best known as the primary ingredient in guacamole, which I find to be hit and miss, depending on the creator. I find it safest to just avoid the green guck.

Greek Yogurt: While I like Greek food – souvlaki, calimari, etc. – their yogurt, and all yogurts in fact, are an enemy of the Sip Advisor state.

Quinoa: The thought of quinoa is enough to make the Sip Advisor cry.

Strawberries: Alright, this I can get behind. I love strawberries, especially the dipped in milk chocolate type. A very sensual superfood.

Watermelon: As much as I love strawberries, I worship watermelon. Watermelon isn’t nearly as sensual, however.

Oatmeal: Do cookies count!?

Oatmeal Win

Pistachios: While a fan of many nuts (that doesn’t sound right!), I have never really got behind pistachios. I do hear it’s a popular ice cream flavour, though.

Eggs: Mrs. Sip is big on egg dishes, but the Sip Advisor only partakes on occasion. Give me the other main elements of a balanced breakfast instead.

Almonds: My affinity for trail mix has been well-documented and a main ingredient of any good trail mix is the almond. You can also double up with the chocolate-covered variety, if you so choose.

Ginger: Does it count if it’s in liquid form and mixed with rum or whiskey?

Pumpkin: I appreciate their use as Halloween decorations, but don’t want anything to do with pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, or anything pumpkin-spiced.

Apples: I’m cool with apples… so long as they’re of the Granny Smith family… and perhaps smothered in caramel and other goodies.

Cranberries: I have a respect for cranberry juice and all the amazing cocktail that it provides. Speaking of cocktails, let’s get to today’s drink!

Mixer Mania #41: Shanah Tovah! (Happy New Year!)

Shanah Tovah.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • Top with Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Blueberries

Why can’t things like bacon and potato chips be considered superfoods? All we need is for one nutritionist to lose their mind and declare them as such. Kind of makes a guy want to go back to school, earn yet another degree and make this dream happen!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was good, but tasted too much like juice. The alcohol was virtually hidden, so should be consumed with caution. Then again, if you have no interest in alcohol flavours, this might be the beverage for you.

Mixer Mania #39 – The Immortals

Aloe Vera Juice is a curious beverage. Prior to this project, I’d never tried the concoction and of course, I would only ever drink it as part of a cocktail… I may have to reconsider that, though. In Ancient Egypt, Aloe Vera was known as the “Plant of Immortality” and was even used by Cleopatra, as part of her beauty regimen. With that in mind, here’s the Sip Advisor’s guide to becoming immortal:

Have a Genetic Mutation

We have seen countless examples from the world of comics that all it takes to be immortal is a slight alteration to your genetic makeup. From Apocalypse to Wolverine, good or bad, many of the major players of the genre have existed for hundreds or thousands of years and cannot be destroyed.

Mutation

Be Bitten by a Vampire

Sure you’re still at risk of dying from sunlight, holy water, stakes, etc., but if you can avoid these potential dangers, you will live forever. You may tire of this world, however, so keeping a garlic-soaked stake nearby is a good idea.

Remove Death from the Picture

Both The Simpsons and Family Guy have spoofed what would happen if Death didn’t exist or was otherwise preoccupied. It’s an interesting concept, but the results seem to always be the same: Death is needed for there to be order in this crazy world.

Be a Horror Movie Bad Guy

Seriously, it seems like nothing can stop these guys – your Freddy Kruegers, Michael Myers’ and Jason Voorhees’ of the world – and even when you think you’ve vanquished the baddy and all is well with the universe, it’s likely only a matter of time before a sequel is released and we’re back to square one.

Straight Outta

Be a God or Goddess

This seems pretty unobtainable to us regular folk, but you never know. Some have thought of themselves as a higher power, only to learn the harsh reality of those claims eventually. The Sip Advisor is a proven deity, however, so beware of my omnipotence.

Take a Dip in the Fountain of Youth

Numerous forms of media have examined the existence of a Fountain of Youth. If it existed, would you dive in? What if you couldn’t be joined by all your loved ones and had to start anew. This is getting a little too deep for this site… let’s get to the drink!

Mixer Mania #39: Paradiso

Paradiso

  • Muddle Cucumber and Mint Leaves
  • 2 oz Tequila
  • Top with Aloe Vera Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Agave Nectar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Garnish with a Mint Sprig and Cucumber Slice

Aside from the Ancient Egyptians, Native Americans were also enamoured with the Aloe Vera plant, referring to it as “The Wand of Heaven”. The more you know!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Sadly, finding cocktail recipes for Aloe Vera Juice was not as easy as I’d hoped. This drink is decent, but too sweet. I would suggest not adding the Agave Nectar for a better balance.

Mixer Mania #35 – Blood and Guts

It has become common practice in North America to turn Bloody Mary (or Caesar) drinks into entire meals. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most epic orders out there:

Home Cooking

Located a short jaunt from the Sip Advisor headquarters in Vancouver is Score on Davie, which boasts a Caesar Madness menu with garnished Caesars ranging from $12-$20. Their crowning achievement, however, is the Checkmate, including “roasted chicken, Score burger, pulled pork sriracha glazed slider, onion rings, chicken wings, a pulled pork mac & cheese hotdog and a brownie for dessert”. If you and a few others want to shell out $60, you have a complete feast here.

For Your Comedic Pleasure

While not available at a restaurant (yet!), comedian Randy Liedtke set out to construct the most insane Bloody Mary in existence and mission complete. The monstrosity includes a personal pizza, onion rings, fried chicken, a sub sandwich, French fries, cheeseburgers, garlic bread and traditional garnishes. There’s even a second Bloody Mary hidden in the concoction, which becomes a Where’s Waldo-like exercise. Liedtke then attempted to consume his creation, which I can only guess ended not-so-favourably.

Crazy Bloody Mary.jpg

Wild & Crazy

Imagine being so skilled at creating massive Bloody Mary beverages that you’re able to start your own company doing so. That is the reality for Sarah Jayne Pickart of Wisconsin, whose viral creations led to her establishing the catering company, Wild & Crazy Gourmet Bloody Marys. Among her most popular concepts is the Surf & Turf Supreme, including bacon-wrapped lobster, various sliders, pork loin lollipops, stuffed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, bacon, mussels, crab legs, calamari rings, shrimp, coleslaw, tuna salad, cheesecake, cheese curds, cheese whips, and veggies… something had to be healthy.

Beastly Dining

Staying in Wisconsin (where else would such gluttonous concoctions be dreamt up!?), we visit Sobelman’s Pub & Grill, which has five location throughout the state. The chain offers an entire Bloody Mary menu, highlighted by The Beast ($45), which contains Brussels sprouts, fruit and vegetables, shrimp, sausage, cheese, sliders, and the coup de grâce, bacon-wrapped cheese balls. Should that not be enough, you can get The Bloody Beast, complete with a whole fried chicken for only $5 more.

The Most Important Meal

At the Train Wreck Bar & Grill in Burlington, Washington, this is one Bloody Mary meal that the Sip Advisor (along with Ma Sip) has actually endured. Served atop of the Breakfast Bloody Mary is breakfast sandwiches, meatballs, bacon-wrapped potatoes, and typical trimmings, such as meats and vegetables. The restaurant is a favourite stop for Ma and Pa Sip whenever they are in the area and while I’ve only been this one time, it was a fantastic way to start the day.

Mixer Mania #35: Red Death

Red Death.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Scotch
  • Top with Tomato Juice
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • Dash of Salsa
  • Garnish with a Meat Spear

Writing this article now has me very hungry. I hope I haven’t caused the same pangs for all you little sippers out there!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
How can you do an entire article on Bloody Mary drinks and not feature one as your own cocktail, you ask? Well, I’ve already profiled the Bloody Mary long ago and I really don’t like the drink. I’m a Caesar man through and through. That said, this beverage does contain many elements of the Bloody Mary and was good. My garnish wasn’t as wacky as the beverages above, but still looked neat.