July 19 – Tennessee Honeycomb

And the Winner Is…

Today we celebrate drink #200. People often ask me what I hope to get out of this site and I simply tell them that as long as I’m enjoying the ride (and all you little sippers out there are, as well), then that’s all I really need. But it would be nice to be bought out for a lifetime supply of booze and some stock options! On with the awards…

Biggest Surprise

Sometimes I go into making a drink with very little hope I’ll actually enjoy the recipe. Other times, I think a cocktail is going to be wicked awesome and it fails to deliver. This edition’s nominees include a Caesar recipe I made seconds of; the McNuggetini with its delicious blend of milkshake and barbecue sauce; and the sadly disappointing Chocolate Milk Mojito.

Nominees: CaesarMcNuggetiniChocolate Milk Mojito

Winner: McNuggetini – I had faith in this concoction, but was still stunned at how well a Chocolate Milkshake and Barbecue Sauce could meld together!

McNuggetini Martini

Best Site Searches

There have been some really funny searches that have brought visitors to this site. While I wouldn’t classify these people as members of Sip Nation or as little sippers in any way possible, they have stumbled upon my little slice of the internet through explorations that range from bizarre to downright hilarious.

Nominees: ninjas hate crunchy leaves; guys crotch lederhosen; how to use trollop in a sentence; morning sex cardio; cat litter cocaine; wedding planning sucks

Winner: how to use trollop in a sentence – I knew my legacy in life was to be a teacher and I hope readers everywhere have learned a number of lessons from my warped mind.

Most Difficult Drink

I’ve learned throughout life that nothing comes easy… even when making cocktails. These nominees include the Whiskey Sick Day, where whip cream made a mess of everything; the Seven Deadly Sins shot, which required me to layer six different ingredients; and the Bend Me Over Slammer, which did not want to cooperate in the fizz department.

Nominees: Whiskey Sick DaySeven Deadly SinsBend Me Over Slammer

Winner: Seven Deadly Sins – I had to be uber careful with this shooter because any false step and the ingredients would blend together, forcing me to start from scratch.

Seven Deadly Sins Shot

Best Garnish

I’m a huge fan of the garnishing game and I work hard to make my drinks unique. Sometimes the best thing for a drink is a simple lemon, lime, or orange wheel or wedge, but anytime I can break outside of the box, I’ll be sure to do that. While this is a tough category to trim down, it must be done for the sake of awesomeness.

Nominees: Gummy Snakes, Caesar Eco-System, PB&J Rim, Decapitated Strawberry, Barbecue Sauce Rim and Chicken McNugget

Winner: Gummy Snakes (used on Mojave Green Rattlesnake) – I delayed this drink by two months, searching for gummy snakes and the wait was well worth it when you see the final product.

Best Photo

This is another very tough category to pare down and pick a winner for. As previously stated, I work very hard on the presentation of cocktails for this miraculous site. That, combined with Mrs. Sip’s editing abilities and we try to offer a visually wonderful cocktail, regardless of taste and all that other junk!

Nominees: Mojave Green Rattlesnake, Snickertini, Guillotine

Winner: Mojave Green Rattlesnake – I love how this picture turned out, with the gummy snakes cooperating amongst the martini.

Mojave Green Rattler Cocktail

Top Shot

A favourite feature of mine on this site is our Super Saturday Shot Day page. Have a visit sometime and see all the hard work we’ve put into getting blitzed on shooters! Here are the best (in my personal opinion, which is all that has ever mattered!) we’ve made over the last 100 drinks.

Nominees: Carpet Licker, B-52, Seven Deadly Sins

Winner: Carpet Licker – While the name may be a turnoff to some (and remember, I don’t come up with these monikers), the shot was delicious and looked fantastic!

Best Drink

And here we are at the big award of the night. You wouldn’t believe what happened for our last winner, the PAMA-Jama. It became the talk of the town, earning seven-figure endorsement deals and TV pilots before substance abuse problems and a falling out with its management team led to one of the quickest rise and falls in stardom history. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself!

Nominees: Raspberry Mojito, Mojave Green Rattlesnake, Coco Bongo, Root Beer Fizz, Tennessee Honeycomb (today’s cocktail!)

Winner: Raspberry Mojito – Each of these cocktails earned a 5-Sip rating, but the Raspberry Mojito takes home the statue thanks to it earning me the reputation of King of Mojitos!

Drink #200: Tennessee Honeycomb

July 19

Time to return the tuxedo again until drink #300… damn, just realized there’s a little whiskey stain on the breast pocket… I knew I shouldn’t have slammed back so many drinks!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
I “borrowed” this recipe from a local restaurant, Steamworks, were I thoroughly enjoyed this cocktail on a recent guy’s night out. Honey Whiskey has to be one of my favourite spirits out there and this drink lets it shine. Orange Bitters are the icing on the cake for this treat, while I’ve already written of my affinity for Ginger Ale as a mixer.

April 11 – Coco Bongo

Mind = Blown

As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of clubs. Give me a bar or a lounge any day over these glorified, noisy, cesspools.

That is, until I visited Coco Bongo. Before going to Mexico in 2012, someone (I really can’t remember who… perhaps we blame the concussions… perhaps the years of hard liquoring… perhaps I’m just not that intelligent) told me that at Coco Bongo’s a little person sometimes pours shots in people’s mouths. Well, my little sippers, this is something I had to experience for myself.

The day finally came. It was our last day in Cancun and we were dead set on hitting the Hotel Zone that night for some hardcore parkour… followed by some clubbing. Our group had been aiming to do this the entire trip, but various things – swimming in cenotes, climbing Mayan ruins, drinking beers on the beach, celebrating New Years in Playa, and other such annoyances – had stopped that from happening.

Prior to leaving for the evening, we had some pre-party tequila shots from our hosts’ fine bar selection. After all, what else are you supposed to do in Mexico? This is where Mrs. Sip and I fell in love with 1800 Añejo. After pounding back a few, we felt ready to get our freak on.

We were dropped off in the Hotel Zone and scouted out the details for getting into Coco Bongo’s (price, time, etc.). Some guy on the street who worked for the club hooked us up with our arm bands, which were both our ticket in and our open bar pass (Note: do the open bar thing, forget bottle service. You do NOT want to be stuck at a table in this venue!). Then we made our way to a bar across the street to keep our buzz going before we would tear shit down in the club. I don’t like to dance, but this white boy has some moves and a trick or two up his sleeve!

Vanilla Ice

Yeah, that looks about right!

The bar we hit was okay, but I think we were all anticipating the main event on the card. Soon we were lining-up for Coco Bongo’s, which although previously empty outside, now showed a long line of patrons waiting to get into the show.

I am prone to refusing to pay cover charges, especially if I have to wait in line to get into a place that is going to rip me off. I believe our bands were $40 so I had high expectations. I  joined a line that would surely take some time to disappear, but was rewarded as servers began passing out tequila shots to those waiting. This wasn’t wonderful añejo quality, but by this point, who cared!?

Our line moved much quicker than expected and soon we were inside the building, but not in da club. This still did not faze me, as tequila shots and some unidentifiable pink stuff were continually being served like they were going out of style… and I kept drinking them.

Finally we were ushered into the main staging area and this place was crazy! There was a massive stage with ample lighting and decorations. Seating set up all around the building, with people filling the rafters. The floor area was packed, but it was easy to move around and drinks came by frequently.

Top 40, this was not, thank god (… who may have also made an appearance at one point). The show element started up and it was one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen as gorgeous ladies came out dancing to Chicago’s “All that Jazz”, followed by appearances of Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Captain America. The lights went out and when they came back on, Spider-Man had dropped down from the ceiling to party with us and fight off the Green Goblin. The Mask was doing his thing as confetti was streaming down all around, which is such an awesome effect – even if my shoes were stained pink by the tickertapes.

Coco Bongo Confetti

I was totally grooving, so much so that as Mrs. Sip and another girl in our group danced on the bar (they were the hot ones picked out of the crowd… I wonder why I wasn’t chosen!?) I decided to reach behind the bar and grab a massive beer for myself. Sure I only got a couple sips in before it was taken back, but it was a wonderful, hazy memory.

That’s when I saw it, Beetlejuice, in miniature, with a bottle of tequila. While the little bastard never got to me, Mrs. Sip was the recipient of the experience of a lifetime, as she got a shot of this dude’s potion (don’t get any wise ideas, my little sippers).

We celebrated her achievement with more passion than any of our graduations. When the rest of the group wanted to leave around 4am I was the one who wasn’t ready to call it a night (yes, I, the one who hates clubs).

It was a wonderful night, finished with a slice of cold pizza (what every great night should be capped with). I hereby dedicate this drink to that awesome place. As Arnold Schwazenegger once said, “It is not a tumour”… wait, that’s not it… ah, here it is, “I’ll be back!”

Drink #101: Coco Bongo

Coco Bongo Drink recipe

  • Rim glass with Coconut Shavings
  • 1.5 oz Malibu Rum
  • Top with half Coconut Water and half Pineapple Juice

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
This drink should be on every alcohol fan’s short list menu. The Pineapple Juice was fantastic – not sure I’ve ever been able to say that before – and the Coconut Shavings always add a special something to any cocktail. A great way to start the 100-series beverages.

January 18 – Lounge Lizard

Bar Hopping

While being privileged to travel the world, I’ve made numerous stops in bars and lounges, some good, some bad. Here are my favourites:

JT Schmids

JT Schmid’s  Anaheim, CA

There is nothing like seeing the sea of Vancouver Canucks fans invade this bar in Anaheim (conveniently across the street from the Honda Centre) after a Canucks-Ducks NHL game. Enjoying a hefeweizen beer in the outside patio with its fire pits and heaters: $10; a mass of Canucks fans booing the hometown Anaheim fans looking to enjoy a pint: priceless!

Jimmy’s Taphouse – Vancouver, B.C.

Jimmy’s is my hometown favourite to grab a pint. Reasonably priced drinks, excellent food and the best part is that the place is just a block walk away from my apartment and has a cool view of our city’s Colosseum-style library. It is also one of the few places downtown where I can find Red Truck Lager. They also have the occasional customer appreciation night where you, the valued customer, can score some free pints and food! Jimmy (whoever he is) is my man!

Hyde-Lounge

Hyde Lounge – Las Vegas, NV

This is one of my favourite, surprisingly hidden, attractions in Sin City. Here, you can sip a wide array of martinis and other cocktails and although the drinks are a little pricey, it is well worth it for the front row view of the Bellagio’s water fountain show. I’d stay here all day if it wasn’t for the previously mentioned prices and after about 9pm, they start pumping club music into the place, rather than the music that goes so perfectly with the fountains. Therefore, after a few warm-up drinks at Hyde, and looking to stretch our money a little more, we’re off into the night, eventually ending up at…

The Pub – Las Vegas, NV

It may not have the cleverest title, but two words: dueling pianos… the greatest bar invention since the keg. This bar, located inside the Monte Carlo, is amazing. You can get a pint of beer or shot of Jameson Whiskey for $2… I am prone to doubling down and getting both. Mixing beer and liqour… it’s really the only gambling I do in Vegas. The dueling pianists – once again, that’s pianists – take requests from the audience all night long and because of the ample seating in the bar, we’ve never had an issue getting in. The food here is also decent and while there are other dueling piano locations on the strip, this is far and above, my favourite.

Willie T's

Willie T’s – Key West, FL

My wife and I did a self-guided pub crawl when our Western Caribbean cruise stopped in Key West, Florida. Pay $40 each for the cruise-sponsored excursion, only to be taken around and still have to pay for drinks on top of that??? Fuck that noise! They hit a trio of places, while we squeezed at least eight places into our crawl – best described as more of a stagger. I say at least eight because although we were trying to take a picture outside each place, well counting wasn’t our forte that day. Our preferred stop along the crawl route was Willie T’s, which is very recognizable thanks to the dollar bills stapled all around the joint. To top the story off, we paid a combined total of $50 on drinks and food!

The Fox & Fiddle – Toronto, ON

I spent a lot of good nights at The Fox & Fiddle during my year living in Toronto. Notable for its incredibly huge team pitchers (approx. two pitchers in one), it was here that I spent April Fool’s Day, Canada Day and my birthday that year, as well as my karaoke debut (probably due to the aforementioned team pitchers). Sadly, it was also the setting for my goodbye round of drinks with all the friends I made over my stay.

coco-bongo

Coco Bongo – Cancun, Mexico

I hate clubs. I mean absolutely downright hate them… except this little gem. A Mexican specialty  your cover charge is all-inclusive. They serve you tequila shots as you wait to enter the place, then once you’re inside, guess what, more tequila shots! The music is rocking, drinks are flowing freely, and just when you think it can’t get any better, the show element begins, as dancers, actors and stuntmen do takes on movies like Chicago, Spiderman and others. All of a sudden confetti and balloons are being shot around and it all gets pretty epic. What could be the cherry of this awesome sundae? Oh, I don’t know, how about a midget dressed as Beetlejuice pouring a shot into your mouth!

Drink #18: Lounge Lizard

Lounge Lizard Drink

  • 1.5 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz Disaronno
  • Top with Cola
  • Garnish with lemon wedge stand for umbrella (umbrella sold separately!)

It should be noted that I’ve found another variant to this drink, same name, but different ingredients, which completely change the look of the cocktail. The second Lounge Lizard combines melon liquer, blue Curacao, coconut rum and lemon-lime soda and you can bet your sweet bippy that I’ll be making it sometime in the future. So, continue checking back at the ol’ Sip Advisor and keep on keeping on!

Part 2 of my favourite bars will be posted in the future, along with another wonderful cocktail. Have a great weekend, all!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really enjoyed this drink. It’s simple yet delicious. It makes me wonder if there’s anything Disaronno (Amaretto) can’t mix well with, as I’ve yet to find a concoction where it doesn’t hit the spot.