South Africa – African Lullaby

His Excellency

Our voyage across the Atlantic Ocean ends with our arrival in South Africa. It’s pretty easy to pick out the country’s most notable citizen. Competing against the likes of wrestler Col. DeBeers (actually played by American Ed Wiskoski) and disgraced Olympian Oscar Pistorius, it’s a no-brainer that Nelson Mandela stands above the rest of the nation’s celebrities. Here are some facts about the man, the myth, the legend, that might not be very well known:

Mandela Quote

Mandela’s birth name “Rolihlahla” means troublemaker (or pulling the branch of a tree, but troublemaker is so much cooler, especially given the changes Mandela was responsible for). He was given the name Nelson by a teacher on his first day of school, as African children were given English names so colonial masters could pronounce them easier.

The man known as Madiba (a term of endearment and respect) was on the U.S. terror watch list until 2008 due to his militant fight against apartheid with members of the African National Congress. He was 89 years old when finally removed from the record.

Mandela was a boxing fan and found similarities in the sport to his struggle, according to his biography Long Walk to Freedom: “I did not like the violence of boxing. I was more interested in the science of it – how you move your body to protect yourself, how you use a plan to attack and retreat, and how you pace yourself through a fight.”

Outside the sports arena, Mandela was a big fan of the late 90’s pop group, the Spice Girls. He claimed upon meeting them in 1997, “These are my heroes.” Perhaps the leader should have parlayed some of his power into a ménage a cinq!

Original Spice Girls

Mandela opened the first black law firm in South Africa and provided free counsel to many blacks.

The prison cell Mandela occupied for 18 years on Robben Island is now a World Heritage Site. The cell measures 8-feet by 7-feet and contained a straw mat to sleep on. While incarcerated, Mandela was forced to work in a quarry and denied the use of sunglasses. The intense glare coming off the limestone permanently damaged his sight.

Towns, streets, squares, parks, buildings, schools, monuments, flowers (Madiba and Mandela’s Gold), a nuclear particle (Mandela particle), and even a woodpecker (australopicus nelsonmandelai) have been named after the former South African president.

Mandela was a noted ladies’ man in his youthful days, as documented in the book Young Mandela. It’s said he carried on numerous affairs at any given time proving just exactly how awesome he was.

Mandela Stud

Ladies man, indeed!

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Mandela’s second wife, was convicted of kidnapping, involving the abduction and murder of a 14-year-old suspected police informant. Mandela later divorced Madikizela after 38 years of marriage, including all of Mandela’s time while incarcerated. Other accusations made against Madikizela include ordering murders, violent interrogations, and supporting the use of “necklaces” (a death sentence of putting a burning tire around the head of an enemy).

Mandela’s film credits include Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, in which he plays a teacher reciting the activist’s famous speech. Mandela would not say the line “By any means necessary,” due to his pacifist beliefs, so the movie ends with footage of Malcolm X delivering the axiom.

Morgan Freeman played Mandela in the movie Invictus, about South Africa’s underdog victory at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, an event which has been credited for uniting the citizens of the country, regardless of colour or creed. The title of the movie is also the name of the William Ernest Henley poem Mandela drew strength from during his long imprisonment.

Other actors who have portrayed Mandela include: Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Danny Glover (Mandela), Terrence Howard (Winnie Mandela), and Dennis Haysbert (Goodbye Bafana).

South Africa: African Lullaby

African Lullaby Cocktail

  • 2 oz Amarula
  • Top with Milk
  • Splash of Coconut Milk/Rum
  • 2 Dashes of Nutmeg
  • Garnish with Coconut Shavings and Cinnamon

Lastly, it should be noted the Mandela deplored the vuvuzela horn… okay, I don’t know this for fact, but I have to assume that a dude as cool as Mandela would grow tired of the annoying horn eventually!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I’ve always been curious about Amarula cream liqueur (amarula is an African fruit) and finally decided to grab a bottle for this Around the World project. It’s a very nice spirit on its own and made this cocktail unique and delicious. The recipe suggests to use Coconut Milk, but I went with Coconut Rum to change things up. After all, regular Milk is already part of the drink.

February 26 – Life’s A Peach

Rough Starts

Sure it’s February and the weather may not be at its best in your neck of the woods. Maybe you’ve caught a winter flu or cold bug (like Mrs. Sip passed along to your friendly neighbourhood liquor slinger). But hey, things could be worse. You could be one of these people, having a not-so-peachy start to 2013:

Lance Armstrong

Lancelot finally revealed what made him so “Livestrong” en route to winning seven Tour de France titles. With his image tarnished, all the good he ever did for cancer research and being an inspiration to cancer victims and their families has been tossed out the window along with his legacy in cycling. At least he hooked up with Cheryl Crow… that you can never take away from the man.

Nike Slogan

Oscar Pistorius

The ‘Blade Runner’ went from hero to zero in South Africa (and around the world) when he killed his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times, claiming he mistook her for a robber. Guess when you hear someone burgling your precious toiletries it’s better to shoot four times through the locked bathroom door first and let the jury ponder questions of self-defence later. The only person involved in the case with perhaps an even less peachy time of it than Pistorius is the chief investigating officer, Hilton Botha, who managed to botch most of the initial investigation. But hey, it’s really hard to get your investigation details right when your mind is probably on your own upcoming charge of attempted murder, right Mr. Botha?

National Rifle Association

Speaking of gun violence, with all the recent incidents in the United States, the NRA is really under fire. How the NRA continues to push their pro-weapon message, in spite of all the school shootings, mall massacres, and other tragedies is beyond this simple Canadian boy. It’s sad that it seems there needs to be even more unnecessary killings in order to finally get the message across. Then again, if the past is any indication, the NRA isn’t listening to any messages that don’t call for principals, babysitteres, and girl scouts to start carrying guns. Whoa, a completely serious Sip Advisor. I must apologize for that, readers. It won’t happen again.

Subway

The hoagie haven has been busted for serving 11-inch sandwiches instead of the advertised 12-inches. How many more 12-inch sandwiches could have been made with the inch that was missing from every sandwich Subway has sold over the years? That’s an extra bite or two of glorious sandwich goodness and I for one am outraged!!! Apparently, I’m not alone, as there are several pending lawsuits against the chain. It’s hard to believe people would actually file suit over this. Can they claim extreme mental anguish because of the missing inch? Does an extra inch really make the difference (Mrs. Sip says it does). I personally think all the litigants should get paid out in coupons for one-inch subs. There, problem solved!

Subway Sandwich

Victims of Russian Meteorite

Videos of this event have been astonishing viewers for weeks now. The crappiest part, aside from the more than 1,000 injuries, was the sonic boom that shattered so many windows in the area. Daytime temperatures in this part of Russia were only as high as -12-degrees Celsius, so you can assume that a lot of Russkies were freezing their asses off waiting for their insolation from the harsh climate to be restored. At least they have vodka and while it’s been proven to not actually heat a body, it’ll get ya drunk and make it easy for you to fall asleep, regardless of temperature. (Warning: passing out in extreme temperatures may cause frost bite, death, or your buddy to draw fallic symbols on your face).

Woman with Deadly Vagina

An unidentified Brazilian (the place, not the wax job) has been caught trying to kill her husband by putting a poisonous substance on her hoo-ha and demanding her husband pleasure her orally. Given she had recently asked for a divorce, that should have been his first clue to get the fuck outta Dodge. Lucky for our lethario, he has some bloodhound in him and smelled something fishy… and then he smelled something poisonous (*rimshot*).

To top it all off, the woman is being sued by her estranged husband… that’s right, sued… not criminally prosecuted, although sources say that is still a possibility. And we all thought Brazilian fart porn would be the country’s worst export in the sex department. Now we could see a rash of poison vagina murder copycat plots…

Poison Woman

Pope Benedict XVI

Shouldn’t the pope be saying that prayer and faith will heal him and help him continue to lead the church? His stepping down due to age and illness (the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415) shows that his election was totally the wrong choice (although he was given 7-1 odds to take the job… do people gamble on the papacy nowadays?). Personally I think the Catholic Church should just select someone young and sexy in its next conclave. Is Justin Bieber available?

2012 Doomsdayers

The fact that we’re all (well, most of us are) still here in 2013 is enough to drive an apocalypse theorist nuts (if they’re not already there). It won’t be long before another theory emerges and these crackpots get back to building their bomb shelters and stocking supplies for the “end of days.” I happen to think that I’d thrive in a post-apocalyptic world. Liquor would be in high demand and if you search my home, that seems to be all I’ve hoarded for emergency purposes!

Drink #57: Life’s A Peach

Life's a Peach Drink

  • 1 oz Vodka (I used Pinnacle Strawberry-Kiwi)
  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with a real Peach Wedge and a Fuzzy Peach candy

Yes, 2013 has been rough so far for the folks listed above. And to think, we’re only two months deep into the calendar. People still have another 10 months to completely mess up their year and everyone else’s. Never fear, though, my little sippers, I’ll always be here to make things better!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I wasn’t entirely impressed with this cocktail. The Strawberry-Kiwi Vodka disappointed and didn’t blend well with the Peach Schnapps. With the drink done, I went to eat the Peach Wedge and realized, I don’t care much for peaches!