Mixer Mania #30 – Blowing Bubbles

One of the things that pops into my mind when working with Bubble Gum Soda is the character of Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys. That got me thinking of other characters with similar monikers… and there’s more than you would think. Here are some of the more infamous ones:

Trailer Park Boys

The trio of Julian, Ricky and Bubbles is always on the prowl for a get-rich-quick scheme, with Julian the brain, Ricky the muscle and Bubbles the heart of any operation. Bubbles real name has never been divulged, while his nickname certainly stems from his large glasses. The kitty-loving resident of Sunnyvale Trailer Park splits his time between fixing shopping carts, wrestling as the Green Bastard and playing a mean guitar.

Bubbles Kitties

Bubble Bobble

One of my favourite video games as a youngster was Bubble Bobble, featuring the characters of Bub and Bob, two bubble dragons. This classic Taito platformer sees the twins attempt to rescue their girlfriends from the Cave of Monsters. Given the creatures are good at blowing bubbles, I wonder how Bub and Bob were rewarded for their heroic efforts!?

Bubbles the Chimpanzee

Michael Jackson bought this chimp from a Texas research facility in the 1980s and turned him into an international celebrity, with exploits including drinking tea with the mayor of Osaka, Japan. Hopefully this wasn’t an attempt by Jackson to seem more normal! Bubbles is actually still alive, aged 34, and has lived at a Florida-based sanctuary since 2005.

Little Britain

Bubbles DeVere is the worst nightmare of every health spa. She has racked up massive debts at the Hill Grange Health Spa, often roams the facility in the buff, acts like a member of the social elite, and worst of all, she refuses to ever leave the place. As you can imagine, this leads to numerous hilarious situations, which oddly make Ms. DeVere endearing.

Bubbles Little Britain

Lilo & Stitch

Former CIA agent Cobra Bubbles is the social worker overseeing Lilo and her being in the custody of her older sister Nani. Despite some initial problems, by the end of the film, Cobra is a friend to the family, knowing full well that Stitch is not the family dog, but is in fact an alien species. This is thanks to his CIA experience… the truth is out there.

Legend of Zelda

The names of enemies in video games are often quite interesting. Did you know that if you encounter a flying skull (sometimes on fire) in the Legend of Zelda franchise, that these are known as Bubble. When hero Link is hit by a Bubble, he will react in different ways, depending on the type of Bubble. Through the series, players have met Fire, Ice and Cursed Bubbles, thus far.

Detroit Lions

For whatever reason, the NFL’s Detroit Lions logo, featured predominantly on the team’s helmets and various merchandise, is nicknamed Bubbles. This is apparently more of a fan nickname and not an official one, started by radio personality Art Regner, who once opined that the lion looked like he was “batting at bubbles”. Some would argue the Detroit franchise often plays that way, too.

Mixer Mania #30: Blue Bong

Blue Bong.JPG

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Gin
  • Top with Bubble Gum Soda
  • Splash of Blue Raspberry Mixer
  • Dash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Lollipop

While not a character, the importance of bubble wrap as a packing tool and an entertainment device cannot be underestimated… just wanted to get that out there!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 out of 5 Sips):
I did halve each of the alcohol ingredients to make the cocktail more palatable and it really worked. This beverage is quite tasty, with just the right amount of sweet and sour. I was forced to garnish to cocktail with a Lollipop, as Mrs. Sip recently got rid of all the candy garnishes – including bubble gum pieces – I had lying around. Such is married life!

Mixer Mania #29 – Shell Game

Over the years, the Sip Advisor has drank beverages from a wide array of chalices. As we feature Coconut Water this week, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the devices used to serve me a drink:

Coconut

There’s nothing like drinking basically straight rum out of a coconut, as we did in Belize. We later saw the same vendor hurriedly approaching us with a large knife. Had we not paid the fair rate? Was he after more of our tourist dollars? Nah, he just wanted to cut the coconut up for us to eat the meat inside… crisis averted!

Beer Bong

While chugging a beer is not my favourite thing to do, in some party settings, it is the right thing to do! A friend of ours used to have a skeleton beer bong, nicknamed Skeletor, which always made things festive fast. All you need was someone tall enough to hold the pouring end.

Beer Bong Kid

Marshmallow

During the first year of this website’s existence, I was tasked with creating a different cocktail or shot, every day for the entire year. Getting created, I decided to serve one shooter from a hollowed marshmallow. The shot did have to be consumed quickly, though, as the marshmallow was quick to leak.

Strawberry

Another Sip Advisor project had me using a strawberry as a side shooter to the cocktail I had made. You had to be very careful to cut the piece of fruit just right, but it did hold its liquor better than the fibrous marshmallow.

Glass Boot

Swakopmund, Namibia is an area of Southwest Africa that was a former German colony and therefore has many features of a Bavarian town. Here, I ordered a boot of beer, which held more than two pints worth of ale. I didn’t think much of it, being the brew hound that I am, but the rest of the tour group all wanted photos holding the massive serving.

Boot of Beer

Plastic Football

Las Vegas is home to some of the most unusual souvenir glasses I’ve ever seen, from guitars to the Statue of Liberty. On one trip to Sin City, I picked up a plastic football sipper, which we were later able to use for a drunken pick-up game.

Fishbowl

Sticking with Las Vegas, when we were there to celebrate Broski Sip’s 21st birthday a decade ago, Mrs. Sip, Cousin Sip and I joined him in drinking a massive cocktail blend served in a large bowl. This took place at Kahunaville inside Treasure Island, which unfortunately doesn’t exist any longer.

Fishbowl Drinking

Watermelon

On a camping trip a few years ago, our group made holes in a watermelon and inserted bottles of vodka into those openings. The result was a heavily-boozed up melon. The fruit was so liquefied, in fact, that it was like eating a drinking a mushy soup.

Team Pitcher

During my days living in Toronto, our school crew would frequent the Fox & Fiddle Pub near campus, often on their karaoke nights. There, we would sit down to what they called Team Pitchers, which were the equivalent to at least two normal pitchers and even came with a contraption to keep the suds cool.

Mixer Mania #29: Blue on Blue

Blue on Blue.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Coconut Water
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with Blueberries

If I had to add anything to my drinking bucket list, it would be to enjoy a beverage from the Stanley Cup. Now all I have to do is find a way to get my hands on the hardest trophy to win in sports!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This recipe comes courtesy of the Absolut Vodka website, which has always maintained an eclectic cocktail collection. I’ve never been much of a fan of Coconut Water, but this drink is actually decent. I’ll give credit to the Cranberry Juice, of course!

Mixer Mania #28 – Lively Legends

When the Sip Advisor was just a wee little sipper, rumours began circling (no doubt spread by the nefarious lemon-lime soda lobbyists) that drinking Mountain Dew caused a decrease in a man’s sperm count/shrunken testicles. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some other soda-related urban legends:

Mixing Pop Rocks and Soda

While many myths involve anonymous people, this legend went a step further and even named a notable victim, Little Mikey from Life cereal commercials in the 1970s. To counter the rapidly spreading rumour, the FDA created a hotline to quell parent’s fears. Not only was actor John Gilchrist alive and well, but he reprised the character for a series of ads in the 1980s, this time as a college student. Interestingly, combining Mentos and soda, does in fact result in explosive reactions.

Coca-Cola Made with Cocaine

Originally, it was… heck, it’s right there in the name, which references two of the drink’s original ingredients: coca leaf extract and kola nuts. Of course, the drug wasn’t illegal when the Coca-Cola first hit the market in the late 1800s, but Coke wasn’t completely cocaine-free until 1929. If anyone has any classic bottles lying around, you may truly get a buzz from the concoction.

One More Line

Dr. Pepper Made with Prune Juice

One of the Sip Advisor’s favourite all-time mixers, the beverage is made using 23 different ingredients; however, prune juice is not one of them. Dr. Pepper even goes so far as to rebut the query in the frequently asked questions portion of their website and at one time also published a brochure to the same effect. Amazingly, this rumour has persisted since the 1930s. Hey, at least the beverage would help folks stay regular, if you catch my drift.

Club Soda Kills Fire Ant Colonies

Unfortunately, the solution isn’t so easy. First, the queens of the colony need to be eradicated with poison, before Club Soda may help with the rest of the little buggers. While it won’t rid you of an infestation without the use of alternative methods, it can help in an equally annoying issue by being able to remove red wine stains.

Coca-Cola as Spermicide

I’m not even sure what one would do to use or test this method and I don’t feel like delving too deep into the issue. Suffice to say, it doesn’t work, so don’t go running out to your local convenience store to grab a six-pack or two-liter bottle just because you have a hot date on the horizon. Coke’s use as a lice remedy is still unproven, however, so perhaps you should have some on hand just in case.

Mixer Mania #28: Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid

  • 1 oz Watermelon Schnapps
  • 1 oz Rum
  • Top with Mountain Dew (Code Red)
  • Garnish with a Mint Sprig

There are a few other completely ridiculous mixer urban legends out there, such as energy drinks containing bull semen and Fanta being invented by Nazis. Ah, isn’t the internet fun!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.75 Sips out of 5):
Rather than regular Rum, I decided to use my Bacardi Arctic Grape variety, which resulted in a fruity, but refreshing cocktail. The Code Red Mountain Dew was good and it’s no wonder it won the DEWmand flavour competition a couple years back.

Mixer Mania #27 – The Right Mix

Just like how Sweet & Sour Mix works so well in many a cocktail, opposites attract and that can certainly be said for these couples. While one of the duo is a kinder, gentler soul, the other has no qualms about unleashing their fury:

Edith & Archie Bunker – All in the Family

How the sweet and naïve Edith ever ended up with gruff and narrow-minded Archie is one of life’s great mysteries. They made it work, though, as it took someone with Edith’s demeanor to love and balance the often insufferable Archie.

Lois & Hal – Malcolm in the Middle

Dealing with the stress of four (with a fifth coming later) challenging sons, would take its toll on any mother. When your husband also acts like a child, you just can’t get ahead. Or perhaps that husband is the glue that keeps the family working. I’ll credit Bryan Cranston with anything and everything.

Hal & Lois

Doug & Carrie Heffernan – King of Queens

Some of the things Carrie does to her family and friends is downright deplorable. Meanwhile, Doug is a happy-go-lucky type counterbalancing his wife. Maybe Carrie was just pissed she ended up with such an oaf… guess I better watch out for similar signs from Mrs. Sip.

April & Andy – Parks and Recreation

Super goof Andy Dwyer and snarky April Ludgate somehow combine to make an endearing couple. Once again, this is a balance thing; however, it helps that April isn’t all that mean behind her not-so-friendly outward façade.

Stan & Francine Smith – American Dad

You figure combinations like ultra conservative Stan Smith and fairly liberal wife Francine would be a recipe for disaster, but you’d be wrong. While Francine appears to be laid back, there’s a fierceness that only Stan can truly bring out of her and then lookout…

Stan & Francine

Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy – The Muppets

For Kermit the Frog, it ain’t easy being green… and that isn’t helped by his on-again, off-again girlfriend Miss Piggy, who’s a diva if there ever was one. While Kermit can often find himself in the crosshairs of Miss Piggy’s ire, she still loves her ‘Kermy’ with all her heart.

Shrek & Princess Fiona – Shrek

When one member of a couple is a feared and reviled ogre, you’re already starting off on unequal footing. Enter Princess Fiona to soften Shrek’s anger and reintroduce him to civilization, following years of reclusiveness. Being a fellow ogre helps, too.

Cersei Lannister & Robert Baratheon – Game of Thrones

I just had to include uber bitch Cersei Lannister somewhere on this list. While Robert Baratheon may have his own demons, his jovial personality is a stark contrast to the scheming and cutthroat behaviour of his queen. A queen who eventually has him killed.

Mixer Mania #27: Black Widow

Black Widow.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz Southern Comfort
  • Top with Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Of course, Disney seems to be all over the theory of sweet and sour opposites attracting, with other more recent examples including Belle and The Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Flynn Ryder and Rapunzel (Tangled), Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde (Zootopia), Fix-It Felix and Calhoun (Wreck-It Ralph) and even WALL-E and EVE (Wall-E).

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I doubled each of the ingredients for this cocktail, as I live by the motto: “Drink big or don’t drink at all!” The martini was pretty good, if a little on the sweet side (where was the sour?). Of particular note was the Captain Morgan’s Black Spiced Rum, which had a root beer flavour to it.

Mixer Mania #26 – Cocktail Leaders

The Caesar – featuring Clamato Juice – is a very popular drink in Canada and that got me thinking about beverages named after historical rulers. Here are some of those concoctions and the men (and one woman) who inspired them:

Winston Churchill

The Churchill combines Scotch, lime juice, sweet vermouth, and Cointreau, and was created for the man himself, by bartender Joe Gilmore of the American Bar in London’s Savoy Hotel. Apparently, Churchill preferred Johnnie Walker in his servings. There are other drinks named after and inspired by the British Bulldog (highlighted by this slide show article), but this is the definitive entry.

Richard Nixon

Another creation to come from Joe Gilmore and the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, the Nixon was actually compiled at the bar and then sent over to Claridge’s Hotel, where president Nixon was staying during a 1969 visit to the UK. Made using bourbon, sloe gin and peach bitters, this is a cocktail I have yet to try, but sounds pretty good.

Nixon Not a Crook

Queen Mary I

While the Bloody Mary beverage has been attributed to a few different people, the general consensus is that it belongs to this queen, who earned her ominous nickname through countless executions of Protestants during a five-year reign over England and Ireland. I’ve never much cared for the tomato juice-based Bloody Mary, greatly preferring a Caesar, instead.

Abraham Lincoln

Although the tragic American president was assassinated in 1865, it wasn’t until 1900 that the man was immortalized in cocktail form with the President Lincoln. The recipe, which first appeared in San Francisco’s Pacific Wine and Spirit Review, mixes bourbon, simple syrup, orange curacao, orange bitters, absinthe and club soda.

Abraham Lincoln Quote.jpg

Napoleon Bonaparte

When you have a liquor created in your honour, as the French Emperor did with Mandarin Cognac, why not have a cocktail bear your name as well. Ironically, the Napoleon doesn’t contain cognac and is instead built with gin, orange liqueur and vermouth. I wonder if that would add to the little man’s complex!?

Theodore Roosevelt

The rugged adventurer, who would come to have stuffed bears everywhere named after him, can also lay claim to having his very own cocktail. Returning to New York after a 15-month hunting trip in East Africa, Roosevelt was greeted with a drink. While the original ingredients are forgotten, a beverage of dark rum, dry vermouth, orange juice and simple syrup has taken its place.

Mixer Mania #26: A Curious Feeling

A Curious Feeling.JPG

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Clamato Juice
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Pinch Brown Sugar
  • Garnish with a Cucumber Slice

Apparently, the fast track to having a cocktail named after you is to become president of the United States… seems easy enough!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Given the cocktail’s name and ingredients, I was a little leery of what to expect. It ended up being pretty good, with the Clamato Juice (a Bacon-flavoured variety I recently discovered) playing a MVP role.

Mixer Mania #25 – Tonic Treatment

Tonic water is a polarizing mixer, but I have come to appreciate it in some drinks, specifically the Gin & Tonic. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best fictional tonics to ever be imagined:

Simpson & Son’s Revitalizing Tonic – The Simpsons

Created by Grampa Simpson, this potion will turn a loser into a lothario with one quick swig. After successfully using it, Homer decides that he and his dad should go into business together and sell the aphrodisiac to other men desperate for a quick pick-me-up.

The Simpsons has also featured other fantastical solutions, such as Brain & Nerve Tonic, which caused baseball star Ken Griffey Jr. to become addicted and overdose on the substance, causing gigantism. Lastly, there’s Dimoxinil, a hair regrowth remedy, which Homer used to improve his looks and life, only for Bart to knock over the bottle and spill the remaining cure.

Simpson & Son_s Revitalizing Tonic

Vitameatavegamin – I Love Lucy

Containing vitamins, meat, vegetables, and minerals, this health product was meant to provide users with their daily doses of each element in a single serving. The invention also contained alcohol, causing Lucy to start feeling the effects as the takes for the commercial she was filming began to pile up, with typically hilarious results.

Dr. Terminus – Pete’s Dragon

Snake oil salesman Dr. Terminus plays a key role in the original Pete’s Dragon movie. While the potions he’s selling are fakes and he’s been chased out of every town he’s tried to sell his wares, the “doctor” actually believes in his creations. As he sings: “Bites and burns and blue abrasions, got a pill for all occasions!”

Dr. Flimflam’s Miracle Cream – Futurama

Purchased by Dr. Zoidberg for an exorbitant price, the cream does provide Leela and Fry with superpowers, a listed side effect for humans. They form the New Justice Team with robot Bender and provide heroics to the city of New New York… at least until the cream runs out.

Mixer Mania #25: Desperation

Desperation.JPG

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz Midori
  • Top with Tonic Water
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

There is also a long list of fictional erectile-dysfunction remedies, usual coming from sketch comedy shows, such as Saturday Night Live and Mad TV, parodying the industry.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
There are some interesting Tonic Water cocktails out there and I look forward to experimenting more with the mixer in the future. As for this drink, it was pretty good with the bitter tonic followed closely by the sweet flavours of orange and melon, resulting in a balanced beverage.

Mixer Mania #24 – Cut of Pork

As today’s featured mixer is the Lester’s Fixins Bacon Soda, I just can’t get the pork product out of my mind. That got me thinking about all the great fictional pigs out there. Here are some of those swine:

Porky Pig – Looney Tunes

Porky Pig has been stuttering his way into our hearts since 1935. Although Porky can sometimes be pushed to the limits of sanity (by the likes of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck), he’s generally a jovial fellow. We’ll always remember him for his trademark catchphrase: “That’s all folks!”

Miss Piggy – The Muppets

If Porky Pig is the king of the sty, then Miss Piggy would be his queen. I’d actually like to see a crossover project of that nature, although you’d have to imagine Miss Piggy would only be using Porky to make long-time beau Kermit the Frog jealous.

Overly Attached Girlfriend

Babe – Babe

This little porker was so talented, it was considered for a Best Actor Oscar… only the character was played by countless animals, so it was hard to nominate one sole “actor”. Still, folks fell in love with Babe, leading to a sequel that earned high praise from both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

Hamton J. Pig – Tiny Toon Adventures

Following in the footsteps of Porky Pig is a daunting task, but at least at Acme Looniversity, Hamton has the opportunity to learn from the master, himself. Much like Porky, Hamton is often at the mercy of his partners, such as Plucky Duck.

ManBearPig – South Park

A figment from the imagination of former US vice-president Al Gore, ManBearPig was something to be feared. Of course, during the Imaginationland saga, ManBearPig comes to life and is every bit as terrible as Mr. Gore always claimed it would be.

manbearpig

Piglet – Winnie the Pooh

While Piglet is among my least favourite Winnie the Pooh characters, the loyal friendship he provides to the loveable honey-obsessed bear is truly touching. Piglet even got his own feature film, which featured Pooh and pals searching for the little alarmist.

Pumbaa – The Lion King

Warthog Pumbaa, along with meerkat Timon, seemingly help young lion Simba mature from cat to king of the jungle through the course of one song. These sidekicks to the future ruler of the Pridelands proved so popular that they received their own cartoon series and film.

Ganon – The Legend of Zelda

Before he was changed to a human, the evil sorcerer Ganon was originally a pig-like being and a thorn in the side of Hyrulians everywhere. His tireless pursuit of the Triforce – for the purpose of malicious intent and Hyrule domination – has led to many adventures for our hero Link.

Ganondorf

Bebop – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Sticking with pig-like baddies, this mutant warthog is a constant pain for the TMNT crew to deal with. Although, along with fellow thug Rocksteady, he’s mostly a bumbling temporary distraction, Bebop has been known to do some degree of damage, along the way.

Bad Piggies – Angry Birds

The antagonists of the Angry Birds franchise have proven so popular that they even got their own game: Bad Piggies. Sure, they are evil and have stolen bird eggs for consumption – plus the pigs surly snicker when you fail a level is infuriating – but there’s something endearing about these villains.

Mixer Mania #24: Bacon & Eggs

Bacon & Eggs.JPG

  • Rim glass with Bacon Bits
  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • Top with Bacon Soda
  • Dash of Egg Whites

Pigs may perhaps be the best tasting animal out there, but you wouldn’t want to eat those previous little piggies.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Much like with my efforts to find a cocktail recipe for the Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda, this was not an easy task. I went with this idea and altered it as needed. The drink was highlighted by the Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey and the Bacon Bit Rim. That said, the Bacon Soda was a decent contributor, as well.