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!

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Mixer Mania #5 – Simply Cran-tastic

When making a drink that involves cranberry juice, the Irish rock band The Cranberries often pop into my head. With that in mind, here are some of Ireland’s greatest musical acts:

U2

One of the most successful bands on the planet, U2 has been releasing hit after hit since 1983. Although the unit formed in 1976, it took some time before they achieved commercial success, with the album War, which featured the track Sunday Bloody Sunday. The rest is history.

probono-u2

Van Morrison

Morrison’s song Brown Eyed Girl always makes me think of Mrs. Sip and the artist is also known for hits such as Moondance and Into the Mystic. In 2016, Morrison was knighted for his musical career, as well as tourism and philanthropic achievements in his native Northern Ireland.

Enya

The new age singer is Ireland’s best-selling singles artist, despite never going out on a concert tour. Along with four Grammy Awards, Enya was also nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for her song May It Be, which was featured in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Sinead O’Connor

Most famous for her guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, where she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II – and in effect ruined her career – O’Connor is credited with hits such as Nothing Compares 2 U, which is still in steady rotation on soft rock radio stations around the world.

sinead-oconnor-bright-future

Thin Lizzy

Known primarily for their The Boys Are Back in Town hit, the rockers came together in 1969. Sadly, founding member and band leader Phil Lynott passed away in 1986 after years of drug and alcohol abuse. Some members of the group now perform as the Black Star Riders.

The Cranberries

We wrap up where we began. With songs such as Zombie and Linger to their credit, the group is still making music together, with the release of an acoustic album due out in April. The band’s members did take a six-year hiatus during the mid to late 2000’s to recharge the batteries.

Mixer Mania #5: Cape Codder

Cape Codder.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

Some other acts that deserve mentioning are folk bands The Dubliners, The Chieftains and The Irish Rovers, whose ‘trad’ music can be found in nearly every tourist attraction gift shop on the Emerald Isle.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I was looking for some spice with this cocktail, so I used my UV Sriracha Vodka, which made for a solid drink. On the downside, I like using Cranberry-Lemonade as a mixer, but had to settle for plain old Cranberry Cocktail. Them’s the breaks.

Cocktail Corner – Fashionably Late

Here’s Looking At You

For my birthday in September, I took a look at the best of 1983. To celebrate Mrs. Sip’s anniversary today, I decided we should delve into her birth year of 1984. Yes, on top of being more successful and better looking, Mrs. Sip is younger than yours truly. So, what do I bring to the table… sweet posts like this! I’ll be looking at the year in regards to what impacted Mrs. Sip the most, rather than myself. So, while 1984 was amazing for TV show debuts (The Cosby Show, Transformers, Murder She Wrote, Night Court), those series matter more to me, than her. On with the list and again, happy birthday, honey!:

#5: MAC Make-Up Launches

While Mrs. Sip is a natural beauty, the minimal make-up she uses is often from MAC and when she really wants to get gussied up for a special event, she lets the artists at the company do their thing. I am no cosmetics expert, but I can only assume they make fine products if Mrs. Sip and others have committed their time and financial resources to them. Not that she needs the help, but Mrs. Sip certainly looks stunning after applying MAC wares.

makeup lipsticks

#4: Legal Taping Using Betamax

Growing up, Mrs. Sip had a regular routine that consisted of coming home from school, napping, doing her homework, and then staying up late watching TV shows she had taped from earlier, before repeating the process. Well, that would have never been possible had the Betamax not won a 1984 legal battle versus Universal City Studios, which allowed home videotaping to be legalized. Given Mrs. Sip’s profession as a lawyer, a landmark legal decision seems perfect for this article.

#3: Movie Releases

1984 was an amazing year for feature films, with hits like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Revenge of the Nerds, Beverly Hills Cop, Police Academy, and many more all hitting the big screen. Many of these movies are beloved by Mrs. Sip, particularly Indiana Jones and Gremlins. All that’s missing is a Star Wars movie and you might have been able to call this the most important year in 80’s cinema.

Indiana Jones Temple Run

#2: Craft Breweries Open in B.C.

With the opening of both Granville Island Brewing and Vancouver Island Brewing (clearly, the islands knew something long before the rest of the province) craft beer arrived in British Columbia and while Mrs. Sip and I weren’t drinking back then, their hard work established a growing movement which we would finally be able to enjoy much later. While wine is still Mrs. Sip’s beverage of choice, she has become a craft beer junkie just like the Sip Advisor.

#1: Cirque du Soleil is Founded

Mrs. Sip is a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil productions, having seen a number of the Las Vegas-based shows, as well as big top performances here at home. Before hitting the international stage, Cirque du Soleil grew from a small touring operation in Quebec, Canada. Today, their combination of circus, theatrics, costumes, atmosphere, and music is loved the world over. Among Mrs. Sip’s favourite Cirque shows are O, Ka, and Love, proving it doesn’t take a long title to make a great experience.

Cocktail Corner: Fashionably Late

Jan 19

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Port
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

Mrs. Sip shares her birth year with such dignitaries as Scarlett Johansson and LeBron James. Some honourable mentions for 1984, include Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, Michael Jordan being drafted into the NBA, the creation of Tetris, and the birth of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in comic form. At least the actual 1984 didn’t turn out like the classic George Orwell novel, which showed the world in a state of dystopia. That said, 1984 brought the birth of crack cocaine, as well as the discovery of the AIDS virus, so maybe the novel wasn’t that far off.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This drink is, of course, in honour of the habitually late Mrs. Sip. I used Vanilla Spiced Whiskey in favour of Bourbon and that added a whole bonus flavour to the cocktail. My Port choice came from Backyard Vineyards, where Mrs. Sip is a member. Everything came together quite nicely for a refreshing, interesting martini.

Flavour Revolution – Gingerbread

‘Tis the Season

Mrs. Sip and I picked up a bottle of Southern Comfort: Gingerbread last year in Hawaii and should play around with it more than we have to this point. Here are some other spirits perfect for the winter and holiday season:

Bailey’s Irish Crème

Bailey’s is a holiday staple, perfect for morning coffee (not for the Sip Advisor, though) or straight up as a night cap. Last Christmas, Sis-in-Law Sip gave me a bottle of Chocolate Cherry, which I only haven’t opened because I was going through another crème liqueur and don’t like having too many on the go. Other flavours perfect for the season (and year round), include Orange Truffle, Vanilla Cinnamon, Biscotti, Hazelnut, Salted Caramel, Mint Chocolate, and Crème Caramel.

Bailey's Straight

Kahlua

With flavours such as Hazelnut, Cinnamon Spice, Peppermint Mocha, and French Vanilla, Kahlua ranks right up there with Bailey’s as a textbook winter treat. New to their product line is a Salted Caramel version, which has the Sip Advisor quite intrigued. Kahlua – and other liqueurs – are basically the only way I will intake coffee and despite my complete disregard of the hot beverage, I do have a soft spot for it in booze form.

Peppermint Schnapps

I love putting a couple dashes of Peppermint Schnapps in my hot chocolate. The Sip Advisor is currently using Yukon Jack Permafrost as his go to winter warmer. This product is unique in that it combines the flavours of peppermint and cinnamon all in one bottle. There are also a few peppermint-flavoured vodkas on the market, including Smirnoff Peppermint Twist Vodka and Burnett’s Candy Cane Vodka. Earlier this month, I used the Candy Cane Vodka for another Flavour Revolution article.

 

Eggnog Liqueur

You can’t go through the Christmas season without eggnog. Even people who aren’t crazy about the beverage (such as myself), end up indulging in the nog at least once… for tradition’s sake. A number of companies have jumped on the eggnog bandwagon, releasing pre-mixed bottles of the festive drink. An interesting Peppermint Chocolate variation comes from the Evan Williams distillery, which turns the dial up on Christmas!

christmas cat_eggnog

Spicebox Gingerbread Whiskey

In a similar vein to the SoCo Gingerbread we’re working with today, comes Spicebox Gingerbread Whiskey. I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, but this is another spirit that I have had great interest in, but have yet to purchase and sample. Along with the cookies it is inspired by, gingerbread is perfect at this time of year, soothing eaters and drinkers with a spice and warmth that is unlike any other treat available.

Jack Daniels Winter Jack

Having been a Jack Daniels fan since before I even began drinking, I’ve always been curious of this winter release, which combines the famous Tennessee whiskey with apple cider to produce a ready-to-drink cocktail. Sis-in-Law Sip gifted me a bottle of this for Christmas this year, but as of press time, I’m still showing it off underneath our tree. It sounds like the perfect liqueur to bring in the New Year with, so perhaps I’ll have to report back to all you little sippers.

Flavour Revolution: Late Night Affair

  • Rim glass with Gingerbread Crumbs
  • 1.5 oz Southern Comfort Gingerbread
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Dash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

There’s also a multitude of winter beers on the market, many of which I have covered in my recent Sip Trips articles, looking at the craft beer advent calendar Mrs. Sip compiled for me. Is there anything else out there I’ve neglected and should add to my shopping list?

December 5 – Santa’s Coming

The Gift of Giving

All this month, for Super Saturday Shot Day, we’ll be looking at the best Christmas gifts exchanged in movies and on TV. To get everyone into the Christmas spirit, let’s start with the greatest gifts in movies:

#5: Red Ryder BB Gun – A Christmas Story

While I’m far from a gun guy and little Ralphie did end up injuring himself shooting the Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle (just as everyone told him he would), this gift makes the best list because every one of us, growing up, had that one dream item that we wanted more than anything else in the world. And when it showed up under the tree on Christmas morning, you truly believed in the spirit of the season.

A-Christmas-Story-bb gun

#4: Pool – Christmas Vacation

Having grown up with a pool, I can totally appreciate how awesome it would be to be told your dad was installing one. Of course, with Clark Griswold’s Christmas bonus waiting in the wings, he’s not even sure he’ll be able to deliver on his promise of scorching hot days spent poolside, refreshed and relaxed. Just as Clark makes his big announcement, he discover his bonus isn’t what he thought it would be, but I’ll  have more on that next week.

#3: Gizmo – Gremlins

Mogwai’s seem pretty cool. That is, until they get fed after midnight, come into contact with water, or are exposed to sunlight. At least Gizmo stays cute and cuddly throughout, despite the fact it is the reason for all the mayhem that ensues. When a mogwai goes bad, it turns into a gremlin and then you really have to be careful, as these deranged creatures have been known to kill. In the end, the town is saved and Gizmo can return to normal… until its next late night feeding.

gremlins nicki minaj

#2: Lady – Lady and the Tramp

Is there a better gift to have lying under your tree than a cute little puppy. I’d say a kitten, but I’ll give them a pass here! Lady comes into her family’s life as an energetic pup; a Christmas gift given from Jim Dear to his wife Darling. After growing up, getting into mishaps and adventures, and finding love, the story sticks with the Christmas theme to show that Tramp has joined the family fray as has a litter of pups, the next generation of the household.

#1: Invisibility Cloak – Harry Potter

Everyone out there has fantasized at some point or another about being invisible. Well, Harry Potter is the one who actually gets the chance and really, the poor guy deserves it after all the years he’s spent as a slave to his extended family and guardians. If the Sip Advisor had an invisibility cloak, I would get up to all kinds of mischief… some of which I probably shouldn’t even share. To give you a hint, there would be a lot of pranking on Mrs. Sip!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Santa’s Coming

  • 0.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.5 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 0.5 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with a Cranberry

I also have to include the bell from The Polar Express here, as the tiny trinket (gifted by Santa, himself) provided years of joy for a young boy and his little sister, allowing them to enjoy the spirit of Christmas throughout the years, so long as they truly believed.

Flavour Revolution – Chocolate

Running on Empty

Not to send anyone into a panic, but there are those out there (you know, scientific folks) who say that we are running short on chocolate. This is because of the costs involved and the commitment (up to five years) to grow cocoa beans. This may lead the treat to become quite costly in the future, which is why the Sip Advisor is downing chocolate bars like there’s no tomorrow… because there might not be. Here are some other commodities that are rapidly disappearing and may eventually cease to exist:

Wine

While there seems to be new wineries opening every day, across the globe, and demand for wine has increased greatly, production of the drink has fallen by 5%. Many smaller outlets just won’t be able to keep making whites and reds and people’s thirst for wine just won’t be satisfied. There are some that think the issue is more of an “Old World” wine problem and that “New World” countries such as the U.S., Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and New Zealand will close that gap.

wine-is-like-ductape

Tequila

Sticking with alcohols, fans of margaritas and general shot craziness should be concerned. Blue agave, the plant that is used to create tequila takes 12 years to reach maturity and worse, in 2007, disease struck Mexico’s agave crops, causing 20% to be destroyed. While there is a current stockpile of tequila, prices will certainly rise and with many farmers switching over to growing corn instead, who knows what the future holds for the taco and burrito accompaniment.

Coffee

While I’m not a coffee fan (in fact, I’m a member of the anti-coffee lobby), I can only imagine the horrors of a world where those that drink copious amounts of coffee each day just to function, don’t have access to their fix. We’re talking zombie apocalypse here, people! The issue stems from droughts, high temperatures, and diseases which have affected coffee bean crops. Much, if not all of Arabica beans could disappear by 2080, if these trends continue as predicted.

coffee-crack

Bacon

I may not care about coffee, but I certainly have a crispy spot in my heart for bacon. The salty pork product is a splendid addition to everything from sandwiches to salads and even works as a vodka flavour. Sadly, this king of all meats is seeing decreased production thanks to farmer’s cutting costs, a 2012 drought across the Midwest United States, and a little something called the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. A worldwide shortage looms on the horizon and that is a world I don’t want to live in!

Water

When not drinking beer, wine, or a cocktail, the Sip Advisor can routinely be found with a glass of water nearby. I love the clear stuff and I think we can all agree that it’s pretty important to the survival of the world. As for the problem, I’ll put it this way: we don’t have enough water to turn it into wine and take care of that other item that is diminishing. The scary stat of the day is that by 2025, it’s estimated that two-thirds of the world may be forced to live with little to no water.

Flavour Revolution: Revolve

We have also exhausted the world’s gold supply, but that really only concerns Scrooge McDuck and his money bin swims. Over the years, the Sip Advisor has written a lot about chocolate, so finding the right subject for the Flavour Revolution project was a tough decision. I hope you enjoyed the article and didn’t scare you too much about the future.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):
For those curious, I found some good Chocolate Whiskey recipes at the Bird Dog Whiskey website

Flavour Revolution – Cotton Candy

Daunting Debuts

Cotton Candy was first introduced to the mass public at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, There, it sold 68,655 units at 25-cents per box (which in today’s money would be approximately $6 each). To say it was a success, would be an understatement. That got me thinking about other famous items that were first unveiled at World’s Fairs or similar events. Here are some of the notable products we may never have known had it not been for masses of people gathering in the name of advancement:

Disneyland Attraction Technology (1964)

Walt Disney played a massive role at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, presenting a number of the technologies that would later become fixtures at his theme parks, namely Audio Animatronics. The Disney company created two awe-inspiring experiences for visitors to the event, with the It’s a Small World ride, and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show. As a Disneyland fan for close to my entire life, I must heap great praise on this turning point in the park’s history.

Hangin with Tinkerbell

Broadcast TV (1939)

Any casual observer of this site knows of the Sip Advisor’s love of television. Well, it all began here, with RCA President David Sarnoff, choosing to put a TV on display for the start of the fair, including broadcasting President Frankiln Roosevelt’s opening address. As if people’s minds weren’t already blown, colour photography, air conditioning and even Smell-O-Vision were introduced to the public, although I think they’re still working out the kinks to that Smell-O-Vision concept.

Telephone (1876)

My love-hate relationship with phones (I love MY phone, I just hate everyone else’s!) wouldn’t be possible without its unveiling at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia. Who could have imagined then, that phones would become portable, let alone be able to accomplish so much with, while out and about. Other items to be featured at the event, included the typewriter, the steam engine, Heinz Ketchup and Hires Root Beer.

Electrical Outlet (1904)

With developments in electricity rapidly coming down the pipeline, all folks needed was a place to plug in all their future appliances and gadgets. Thanks to the 1904 World’s Fair civilization was introduced to a whole new way of harnessing power, which still exists today. Now, if only companies would stop making unnecessarily large plugs, which take up so much space that you can’t get another cable into the same outlet… and don’t get me started on European adapters!

Going Places Outlet

X-Ray Machine (1901)

This device can be credited with saving an untold number of lives and advancing medical technology in a number of avenues. Interestingly, the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo was infamous for the assassination of President William McKinley. After being shot by gunman Leon Czolgosz, doctors were afraid to use the X-Ray Machine on McKinley to locate the bullet, due to fear of adverse side effects… instead, he died from his wounds eight days later.

Touchscreens (1982)

While touchscreens are all the rage today, they were actually first introduced more than 30 years ago, at the World’s Fair in Knoxville. You’d have to imagine that this advancement blew a lot of people’s minds, given they were still fiddling around with rotary phones and such. Why it took so long for the technology to be developed before most of us had it in our hands is likely due to costs. For example, Sega had planned to follow the Game Gear with a touchscreen device, but had to scrap it.

Chuck Norris Touchscreen

Ice Cream Cones (1904)

1904 was a big year for revelations in the snacking industry. Along with cotton candy, ice cream cones also made their debut. While I’m not the biggest ice cream buff, preferring my iced treats to be in bowl or cookie form, I can’t say that I’ve never enjoyed a cone (preferably waffle) covered with all the necessary goodies. I wonder how the original cones held up given even nowadays, you often end up with ice cream all over your hands. Perhaps they used materials back then that are illegal now.

IMAX (1970)

For everyone that’s ever suffered motion sickness from these monster movie screens, you have the 1970 EXPO to thank. It figures that Japan would be the debut site of this technological wonder, but it should be noted that the film (Tiger Child) was produced by a Canadian company. I have never felt so proud of my country than right now! The IMAX might have been rivaled by the large moon rock on display at the American pavilion, recently returned from the second trip to the moon.

Flavour Revolution: Funhouse Cocktail

Some other more “minor” debuts of note at World’s Fairs include Cracker Jack (1893), Dr. Pepper (1904), the Twinkie (1940), and Cherry Coke (1982). It should also be noted that one of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Eiffel Tower, was built for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, while other notable attractions were also erected for a city’s turn to host the world, such as the Space Needle in Seattle and Science World (aka that golf ball looking building) in Vancouver.