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.

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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.

Mixer Mania #34 – Wondrous Watermelon

Up until recently, I didn’t realize Watermelon Soda was part of the Crush pop line or even existed. Given I love watermelon, this was a very happy discovery and I instantly grabbed a bottle. Much like this watermelon-based soft drink seemed mythical, let’s take a look at some legends meant to explain the existence of watermelons:

Making Papa Proud

Our first origin story comes from Vietnam, where a young prince angered his father, the king, and was banished to a deserted island. There, he found a fruit that he feared was poisonous and only consumed when all other options were gone. The fruit was tasty and extinguished his thirst. The prince then cultivated the fruit, which spread across the island. He also sent some of the fruit drifting into the sea, with his name and the island’s name carved into them. This brought others to the island, in search of the fruit. The king learned of his son’s achievements and invited him home, crowning him the next king.

Cat Watermelon

Slithering Save

Moving on to Armenia, this tale begins with a king’s servants cutting a snake’s horns off, in order to save it. As a thank you, the snake left a seed at the palace. From the seed, grew a new fruit, which was offered to an ailing old man, saving his life. The king tried the fruit next and felt invigorated. Thus, Armenians called watermelon “Not-Die”, once upon a time. I’m conflicted on this legend. On one hand, I don’t think I would ever be inclined to save a snake, but would rather chop its head off. On the other hand, the servants heroic efforts resulted in the creation of watermelon, so can I really fault them?

Passion of the Priest

We’ll wrap things up with a journey to the Philippines, where a Spanish priest was working hard to convert folks to Catholicism. One particular area was resistant to the priest’s teachings about Christ and his sacrifices. The ruler of this region eventually detained the priest and punished him according to his lessons, crucifying him on a cross. The priest succumbed to this treatment and his blood flowed into the ground below. When the ruler later returned to the cross, the priest had disappeared and in his place, a fruit had grown, its innards resembling the blood of the priest. And that’s how people get converted!

Mixer Mania #34: Nice Melons

Nice Melons.JPG

  • 2 oz Rum
  • Top with Watermelon Soda
  • Splash of Peach Juice
  • Dash of Lime/Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

There is also a legend of vampire watermelons (and pumpkins), but I’ll let you look into that yourselves…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
For this recipe, I’ve subbed Watermelon Soda and Peach Juice in place of Watermelon and Peach Pieces, respectively. I also used the last of my Bear Hug Mango Rum to up the melon content and the result was very, very good. It may be a little sweet, but that can be evened out by Club Soda. The Watermelon Soda is nice on its own, reminding me of a 7-11 Slurpee.