Mixer Mania #13 – Made in Canada

Apparently, some of the credit for the development of Cream Soda as we know it today goes to Canadian James William Black. That got me thinking about all the other amazing things our great country has played a role in creating. Here are some of those items:

Insulin: So, while I can blame Canada for inventing delicacies such as Poutine and Nanaimo Bars, I can also thank it for creating the insulin many of us will need when diabetes strikes. We also brought the Pacemaker into existence, for what I can only assume were similar reasons.

Telephone: Canada has made great strides in the communications industry, also developing Walkie-Talkies, the BlackBerry (remember when these were must-have phone devices) and phone communication in the first place.

Cat on Phone

Light Bulb: If you’re afraid of the dark, you have Canada to thank for keeping things illuminated.

Zipper: This is one I’m not proud of, as zippers – particularly those I’m often asked to help Mrs. Sip with on dresses – are an enemy of the state for the Sip Advisor.

Standard Time: Do you feel the seconds of your life ticking away? Um, you’re welcome, I guess.

Pager: Providing the drug dealer and call girl industries with vital technological tools.

Pagers and Pay Phones.jpg

Prosthetic Hand: Thus making Darth Vader’s life, in a galaxy far far away, that much easier.

Snowblower/Snowmobile: Given Canadian winters, these were inevitable discoveries, whether you prefer to clean the white stuff up, or play in it.

Jockstrap: Men everywhere owe the protection of their junk to us Canadians, who saw a need and satisfied it.

Trivial Pursuit: While not as notorious for breaking up relationships and friendships as games like Monopoly and to a lesser extent Uno, Trivial Pursuit can certainly cause rifts between friends, families and couples.

Trivial Pursuit

Instant Replay: It figures Canadians would be to blame for this. We just love our hockey so much that we like to watch it over and over again, analyzing every minute detail.

Garbage Bag: I’m amazed in took until 1950 for some schmuck to place a bag in a bin. What did they do before this landmark discovery?

Caesar Cocktail: Trumping the Bloody Mary by leaps and bounds, the delicious drink is a staple of the Sip Advisor’s summer enjoyment.

Wonderbra: Everybody loves boobies, but it took a Canadian to enhance their presentation.

Mixer Mania #13: Ghost

Ghost.JPG

  • 2 oz Vanilla Rum
  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • Top with Cream Soda
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Honourable mentions go to our vast list of sports creations, including Ice Hockey, Basketball, Lacrosse, Five-Pin Bowling and even Chuckwagon Racing, proving Canadians are more than a little crazy.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.25 Sips out of 5):
Given the name of the drink, I guess I was supposed to use clear Cream Soda, but whateves. I also subbed Cachaca in for the Rum and went with Vanilla Whiskey to add that element. Each sip of the cocktail reminded me of medicine at the beginning, before fading into a decent tasting experience, thus its lower score.

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Flavour Revolution – Root Beer

Safe Suds

The Sip Advisor began his wicked ways, many moons ago, with the enjoyment of root beer. It could be described as the gateway libation that led to this endeavor and made me the booze jockey I am today. Let’s dig a little deeper and take a look at some of the companies that brought this beautiful drink to our lips:

Hires

Created in 1876 by Charles Hires, a pharmacist from Philadelphia, Hires Root Beer has the longest history of all American soft drinks. That includes Coca-Cola! Hires’ root beer business began with selling 25-cent packets of powder that would produce five gallons of the drink. I wish that deal was still available to the Sip Advisor! Hires ran into some issues early on thanks to calling his soda “beer” (in order to entice blue collar folks). The Temperance Movement looked to eliminate the pop, but Hires proved there was little to no alcohol content and even went so far as to mock the movement, calling his root beer “The Temperance Drink”.

I`m a Dr. Pepper fan, but I would certainly never argue with the Caped Crusader!

I`m a Dr. Pepper fan, but I would certainly never argue with the Caped Crusader!

A&W

When Roy Allen joined forces with Frank Wright to open the A&W restaurant chain (one of the first dining chains in the U.S.) in 1922, they had no clue how successful their endeavour would prove to be. A feature of the fast food outlet was their root beer, which originally sold for 5-cents per serving. Allen had previously operated roadside root beer stands in parts of California. The Great Root Bear has been the company’s mascot since 1974 and was first used in Canada. Nicknamed Rooty, the bear has largely been replaced by the A&W Burger Family, but he still pops up from time to time, usually with a fresh mug of root beer close by.

Barq’s

Officially known as Barq’s Famous Olde Tyme Root Beer, up until 2012, Barq’s has existed since 1898. I remember the brand becoming quite famous in the 1990’s upon the release of their “Barq’s has bite!” ad campaign (featuring comedian Nick Swardson). Anything was better than the company’s original slogan of “Drink Barq’s. It’s Good.” The soda was created by the Barq’s brothers, Edward and Gaston, who began experimenting with beverages in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Barq’s is rare in the root beer world, in that it contains caffeine, while most similar products don’t. That means that it certainly does pack a bite.

Hold My Root Beer

Mug

Beginning as Belfast Root Beer, brewed out of San Francisco in the 1940s, the company eventually changed the product’s name to Mug Old Fashioned Root Beer. As is common with most root beer ventures, a Cream Soda variation was also released, but is less common to find. Mug was acquired by PepsiCo in 1986, joining their long lineup of beverage options. Mug’s mascot is a bulldog named Dog (how very creative!), whose adventures are featured in an online comic on the brand’s website. I don’t know about all you little sippers, but I don’t mind sharing my drinking experiences with a cute pooch!

Dad’s

The Dad’s brand name is derived in honour of all the fathers out there that used to brew their own root beer for their families, back in the day. Dad’s was an innovative line, being the first beverage to take advantage of the six pack format and half-gallon bottle options. Like A&W burgers, Dad’s Root Beer also follows a family-style orientation with ‘Papa’, ‘Mama’, and ‘Junior’ products. A popular marketing tactic used by the company in the 1940’s was to sell the quart-sized Mama for only 1-cent, with the purchase of a half-gallon Papa. Dad’s ads appeared in the 1946 movie The Stranger, directed by and starring Orson Welles.

Flavour Revolution: Root Canal

Jan 26

  • 2 oz Root Beer Schnapps
  • 0.25 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • Top with Dr. Pepper
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

If I had to pick a favourite root beer, amongst the fine choices above, I think I’d have to go with A&W. They get the nod because I can easily combine their soda with delicious burgers and scrumptious fries. Plus, you can never take anything away from a frosted mug, which the restaurant is happy to fill for you!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I knew from the moment I found this recipe, that it would be a good one. Sure, Peppermint Schnapps is an odd addition to the mix of Root Beer Schnapps and Dr. Pepper, but it all came out okay in the wash. There was a brief hint of peppermint flavour, but it’s very light and doesn’t ruin the other soda tastes.

December 16 – Christmas Blizzard

We Wish You a Meme-y Christmas

Today marks the 350th drink the Sip Advisor has presented on this site and as it has been with every 50-mark, I present to you some of the funny memes I’ve found on the internet. Given it’s Christmas, it will have a decidedly yuletide theme!

Cat Christmas Party

Office Christmas parties are a weird beast. For most, it’s the one time of the year when you see your co-workers a little lit up and acting in ways they wouldn’t around the office. It seems this little kitty got a little cray cray and wound up passing out on the floor. I’ve been there! Thankfully, I’ve never been “that guy” or “that girl” who takes things to the extreme and ends up with a lampshade on their head… or even worse.

White Christmas

I’m pretty sure most female members of the Sip Family follow this line of thinking. I enjoy snow at Christmas, although given I live in a part of the world where we don’t see much of the white stuff, our beautiful city completes shuts down with even a light dusting. Plus, most of the population is not prepared for snow and can’t drive very well in the best of conditions. I think I’d rather stick to the wines than the snow.

Santa Judges

Now that’s a job everyone would be envious of. I work 365 days a year and my only solace is that I also get to judge all of you! I’m an equal opportunity kind of guy, however, and I appreciate any judgments that come my way. Ol’ Santy Claus here doesn’t like us taking pot shots at him… like calling him fat… or lazy… or a bad employer. He’s watching me right now (who wouldn’t!?), so I guess I’m not getting anything but a lump of coal for Christmas.

Cat Song

I’m surprised the kitty isn’t interested in the 8 Maids Milking so it has some drink to wash down all those birdies! I wish I could get a costume like this on one of Ma and Pa Sip’s cats. Problem is I’d shed more blood than a Dexter kill room sees and the outfit still wouldn’t be on the animal. I do agree with the fluff ball above that no one really needs pears (aka the forgotten for a reason fruit).

some-batteries

Now what could she be using those batteries for? Wait, I know! Her TV controller must be out. The obvious answer is always sitting there right in front of you. You know, in these times, when I’m not very hopeful for the generations that are coming after mine, I find it refreshing that this youngster, regardless of his motives, is thinking of his mother’s enjoyment and passing that along to Santa, who will surely fill her stocking with goodies!

Drink #350: Christmas Blizzard

Christmas Blizzard Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Malibu Rum
  • Top with Cream Soda
  • Garnish with Coconut Shavings

Feel free to send any funny Christmas memes my way. It’s a busy time of the year, but that’s makes it especially important to take a step back and enjoy all the little things out there!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail is a little plain in taste. The Malibu Rum isn’t very noticeable. It’s still an above average drink, though, with Cream Soda being a pretty enjoyable mixer.

October 13 – Red Rum

Screen Spooks

Normally this time of the year, Mrs. Sip and I are getting into the Halloween spirit by watching scary movies and TV show episodes that highlight the pinnacle of October. With Mrs. Sip away in Europe, experiencing real-life haunts such as Dracula’s Castle, I’ve been left on my own to spook myself. Here are some of my favourite horror viewings:

Dead Snow (2009)

This movie is spectacular, focusing on the uprising of a horde of Nazi zombies. It begins with your usual group of young people heading out into the wilderness for a wild weekend at a remote lodge. Along the way, they awaken the Nazi zombies and the gruesome killings begin. Will anyone survive? Dead Snow is a Norwegian movie, so you have to be okay with subtitles, but I totally recommend sitting through the fun.

Dead Snow

April Fool’s Day (1986)

Mrs. Sip and other members of the Sip Alliance are fans of murder mystery parties. As for myself, I enjoy the eating and especially the drinking, but the whole dressing up and getting into character I find to be a struggle. This film takes the classic murder mystery weekend that turns real route. I haven’t yet seen the 2008 remake, preferring the cheesiness of the 80’s flick, although the remake was direct to DVD, so it’s probably got its fair share of fromage, too!

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

I’ve always thought that Freddy Krueger is one of the best horror movie baddies. He can be so vile and repulsive… yet charming, as he was made in later installments, dropping classic catchphrases and killing his victims in a more cartoonish style. The original Nightmare is a great film, perhaps best remembered lately for Johnny Depp’s role. The Freddy character has gone on to star in numerous movies, returning to the cold-blooded killer he was meant to be in recent adaptations.

The Shining (1980)

Watching Jack Torrance’s (Jack Nicholson) descent into madness is a great feat of acting. If I was stuck in that massive resort all by myself for the winter, I’d probably go a little nuts, as well. Nearly as good as the movie, is The Simpsons spoof of The Shining, which features Homer losing his composure when he discovers that there will be no TV and no beer during the duration of their stay looking after Mr. Burns mountain home.

the-shining

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

I’m particularly fond of the remake of this film, which is largely set in a shopping mall and depicts a group of strangers having to band together to remain safe in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Of course, some are able to do what’s best for the unit, while others are only capable of looking out for themselves. The resulting chaos is a thrilling ride as you hope that the good ones can make it out alive.

Saw (2004)

While I still haven’t completed my watching of the entire franchise, I give full marks to the first Saw movie, which has so many twists and turns and violent endings that you’ll be glued to your screen as you try to figure out, just as the victims do, why they’ve been chosen by Jigsaw to ‘play a game’. The film is not for the squeamish, as Jigsaw’s traps are quite horrifying and deadly, but the psychology behind Saw is what really makes the series work.

Drink #286: Red Rum

Red Rum Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Spiced Rum (I used Sailor Jerry’s)
  • 1.5 oz Irish Crème
  • Top with Cream Soda
  • Garnish with Chocolate Cookie Stick

Do you have any suggestions for a lonely and easily frightened Sip Advisor? Feel free to pass them along my way!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
It looks like Pepto Bismal… and that’s not necessarily a good thing. The drink doesn’t taste that bad, perhaps helped along a fair bit by the Sailor Jerry’s and even Cream Soda, but the Irish Creme causes some curdling, which takes a little while to get used to. This is one cocktail you’ll definitely want to ingest with caution.

May 23 – Orange Tundra

Vodka Not-To-Playlist

I was looking forward to doing my monthly playlist based on the alcohol of the week, but that enthusiasm was quickly dashed when I could only dig up a few vodka-related songs. Worse yet, I have an inkling that all these tunes will suck harder than a black hole. Shall we have a listen together, for the first ever, in the long history of music, Not-To-Playlist?

VODKA by Korpilklaani

This Euro metal band also has songs about tequila and beer. I can’t understand a word they’re saying and I think that’s only partly because they’re not speaking English.  Well, I do understand one word and that would be “vodka”, which they repeat often. The tune isn’t too bad, all things considered and the accordion addition is an interesting touch. Clearly these guy like to drink and I’m down with that.

The Vodka Song by Seamus Moore

I guess you’d call this a folk song!? I have no clue. Again, the song is okay, but I almost long for the days of songs in languages I couldn’t understand… like the one above. Also, why is an Irish dude singing about vodka. Shouldn’t he be concentrating on the Irish traditions of whiskey and stout beer?

Black Vodka by Ja Rule

Oh good, this is the “album version“… I guess that means that it’s better??? If this is a better version of the song, I hope they destroyed all the copies of any other takes of the track. Wow, this tune goes on for five whole minutes. That’s five whole minutes I’ll never get back. Eh, I probably would have wasted the time anyway watching infomercials or opening junk mail.

Drink #143: Orange Tundra

May 23

  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Bols)
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • Top with half Cream Soda and half Orange Juice
  • Garnish with Orange Wedge

A key note for this cocktail is to not stir any of the ingredients, which results in the awesome look you see above. If anyone out there in Sip Nation can find a GOOD vodka song I wasn’t able to, please pass it along so that future generations will have something to jam to while getting their vodka blitz on!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was a pleasure to the taste buds and eyes. The Orange Tundra features the coming together of a bunch of different flavours – Kahlua, Cream Soda, Orange Juice – that tastes good and looks great. There was a party in my mouth and everyone was invited!

March 26 – The Crush

Sir Mix-A-Lot

I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity mixer and that is why I love playing with ingredients that don’t often get placed into cocktail recipes. Here are some of my favourites to work with and some I have yet to try, but am itching to crack open!:

Root Beer

My first favourite pop when I was a wee lad, I still enjoy root beer and now I can take that love to a whole ‘nutha level with my cocktail mixing. Root beer adds a different flavour to recipes, compared to other dark pops. The hint of vanilla can be a very nice touch and add a twist to any number of drinks. Barq’s, A&W, Mug… it don’t matter which one you’re using. They’re all good around these parts; just make sure to practice safe mixing.

Root Beer

Apple-Lime Juice

This has got to be one of my favourite grocery store finds in recent years. Every single drink I make with this juice turns out amazing. This all coming from a guy who used to be completely friends-off with apple juice after medicine I was once given to knock me out looked like apple juice, smelled like apple juice, but brother, it wasn’t apple juice. That reminds me, I need to grab another carton of this elixir!

Cream Soda

Imagine my surprise when I bought a can of Fanta cream soda recently and it came out clear. Thinking that my vision had finally quit on me after years of television and computer screens (plus the aforementioned drinking problem), I checked with Mrs. Sip to see if this was actually the case. I had expected the usual pink colour that accompanies cream soda, but this new clear look can be a good thing. It means that there is an option if you want the flavour, but not the colour. So, be careful if you want to make a pink-coloured drink to get cream soda that is actually dyed this hue.

My boys Ernie and Bert enjoy a cream soda... this could have been a telling sign, if you catch my drift...

My boys Ernie and Bert enjoy a cream soda… this could have been a telling sign, if you catch my drift…

Orange Crush

I’m shocked that orange-flavoured sodas don’t get used in more drinks. By comparison, one bartending website has 86 recipes for orange soda (and very few that actually interested this Sip Advisor), while there are a whopping 2,360 concoctions featuring orange juice. Today’s drink is an original recipe, which I hope you’ll all enjoy… I know I did.

Watermelon Juice

I have a can of Arizona watermelon juice that I’m just dying to experiment with. I love watermelon and cry on a daily basis when it’s out of season as I go through watermelon withdrawal. Sure you can still get your hands on the juicy fruit (not the gum), but you’ll probably pay an arm and a leg for it and good luck making drinks hopping around the bar with one hand to hold the shaker. What will I make with this juice… stay tuned to find out!

Drink #85: The Crush (An Original Sip Advisor Recipe)

Crush Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Wiser’s Spiced Whiskey
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • Top with Orange Crush (or other Orange Soda)
  • Garnish with Orange Slice

Perhaps we should hold a reader vote to find out which rare mixer I use next… I welcome your comments, although I’ll likely just go ahead and pick a winner on my own volition!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Using Orange Crush for cocktails has rekindled my love for this type of soda. Here, it tasted well with the Peach Schnapps and Spiced Whiskey and I’m glad I thought of combining the three ingredients. Definitely one for fans of the hue.