Flavour Revolution – Toffee

Sticky Fingers

Toffee can be quite delicious, but also very sticky, getting caught in your teeth and causing a nuisance as you try to pry it out. Here are some of the world’s other sticky and sometimes annoying items:

Spider Webs

It causes great panic when you walk through a spider web. As you struggle to remove the arachnid goo from your face, you also have to worry that there’s a spider on your person. This doesn’t cause too much panic for the Sip Advisor, but for Mrs. Sip, a vocal anti-spider legislator, this is reason enough to launch into a fit of flailing limbs and verbal expletives.

spider webs sticky

Sauces

Finger food such as ribs, chicken wings, burgers, etc. can get pretty messy, often necessitating numerous napkins and sanitary wipes. Sometimes it’s fun to see just how much of a mess you can make when eating these items, so long as you’re not the one who has to wash the dishes used or clean the meal setting. That job is better left for the professionals.

Tar

While tarring and feathering someone has gone the way of the dodo, the act of public humiliation would really come in handy for unruly celebrities, such as Justin Bieber (just one example that immediately came to mind!). Instead, the only humiliation The Biebs had to go through was being roasted by comedians and other stars on an edition of Comedy Central Roast.

Velcro

Velcro was designed by Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral, who used the words “velours” (“velvet”) and “crochet” (“hook”) to create the portmanteau Velcro…  and the product sticks together just as successfully. While its best use is as an alternative to shoe laces, I think my favourite Velcro deployment is on those pads that people launch themselves into and try to stick to.

velcroshoes

Peanut Butter & Jam

The Sip Advisor is a huge PB&J fan, but I will admit that both ingredients can be a sore spot for those that don’t like getting their hands dirty while eating. I suppose that’s one good thing that could come out of having a peanut allergy: never having to wash off after making or eating a peanut butter-based sandwich. I’ll take the adhesive spread any day, though.

Super Glue

I remember one summer day way back when, when a panicked Pa Sip called out for help. Worried that he’d injured himself while working around the house, I rushed to his aid, only to discover that he’d accidentally super glued his fingers together. Once we both realized the emergency wasn’t so serious, we burst out laughing.

super-glue

Sap

While I loved climbing trees as a wee little sipper, I always hated how sticky the sap would make my hands. The scene in National Lampoons: Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold is in bed reading a magazine and can’t turn a page without ripping it from the publication, thanks to unveiling the family Christmas tree, is a priceless example of this.

Gum

It really sucks when you get gum stuck to anything, be it on your shoes, in your hair, or on your face. Recently, I challenged Mrs. Sip to a bubble blowing contest (yes, we are actually adults!), but had to be very careful, given the facial hair I’ve been sporting for the last half year. While I emerged victorious, I wasn’t my usual self, worried about any errant bubble pop.

Flavour Revolution: Mark Twain

Being sticky isn’t all that bad. After all, a quick shower together cleans the slate for the next go round!

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Norway – Kitten Cuddler

Raid and Pillage

The Vikings have a badass reputation and frankly, it’s well deserved. Many of these figures, hailing from Scandinavia and particularly Norway, have rap sheets that would make a writer for Game of Thrones light up, as it opens new doors to wrath and associated violence. Let’s take a look at the exploits of some of the greatest Vikings:

Erik the Red

Erik the Red’s early life was built around repeatedly being exiled after committing murder. Therefore, he created his own Viking colony on what is now Greenland, which he also discovered. There, Erik the Red was free to do whatever he wanted. Although bloodshed is largely associated with Erik, his nickname ‘The Red’ more likely referred to his hair and beard. He was father to other Viking notables, explorer Leif Eriksson and warrior princess (not Xena) Freydis Eriksdottir.

Vikings-Give Up

Ragnar Lodbrok

In order to prove he was a badass to a princess, Lodbrok demolished a horde of invading poisonous snakes. Karma caught up to him eventually, though, as he was executed by being thrown into a pit of serpents. Although Lodbrok’s actual existence has been questioned, he was said to be father to other legendary Vikings, including Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, and Ivar Ragnarsson.

Ivar Ragnarsson

Speaking of the devil, Ivar was a ruthless warrior who used captured kings as playthings, expending them for target practice and other horrific executions. Ivar’s nickname, ‘The Boneless,’ was thought to refer to anything from an ailment causing his bones to break easily, to being impotent, to being incredibly flexible. Regardless, Ivar ruled parts of what is now Denmark and Sweden, as well as Dublin.

Leif Eriksson

Eriksson is most notable for discovering North America (500 years before Christopher Columbus), although the finding was likely accidental. He had meant to return to Norway, but his ship was blown off course towards modern day Canada. Eriksson was more of an explorer and not a Viking in the classic raid and pillage sense. He was said to be quite intelligent, while also possessing the strong frame of a typical Viking. The U.S. even celebrates Leif Eriksson Day every October 9th!

Vikings Pillaged

Eric Haraldsson

Eric had a thirst for blood and power, even killing his own brothers to become King of Norway. This earned him the moniker, Eric Bloodaxe. His reign over the Norwegian kingdom was short-lived, however, as one remaining broski returned and overthrew Eric, who had angered many of the nobility with his ruling tactics. Eric turned his attention to Northumbria and became king there, before dying in battle.

Sweyn Forkbeard

Forkbeard first came to prominence by going to war with his own father and emerging as the King of Denmark, upon being victorious. Following that, it seemed he held a major grudge against England, attacking them repeatedly over the rest of his life and even ruling the realm for a time. His anger towards England was thought to be based on his sister dying during the kingdom’s massacre of Danish citizens. Forkbeard also invaded Norway and divided up the country with his allies.

Vikings Fight

Harald Hardrada

While exiled from Norway, Hardrada became leader of the Byzantine emperor’s Varangian Guard. When he returned to Norway, he fought to become king. Hardrada means “Hard Ruler,” a name he received for his constant wars and harsh reign. Hardrada believed he had a claim to the throne of England, upon the death of that king, and died in battle, after being shot in the throat with an arrow, trying to make good on his perceived right.

Egil Skallagrimsson

Skallagrimsson was both a warrior and a poet, covering every aspect that makes a lady swoon (not to mention the namesake of an Icelandic brewery!). He is said to have written his first works at the young age of three, but also killed for the first time at seven years old. When the Norwegian king grew tired of Skallagrimsson’s exploits, he was exiled and began his years of terror, amassing a fortune and high kill count. He even murdered the slave who helped him bury his treasure.

Norway: Kitten Cuddler

Kitten Cuddler Cocktail

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Crème de Bananes
  • 0.5 oz Cloudberry Liqueur
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Splash of Apple Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

I wonder what my Viking nickname would have been. I’m thinking Word Whisperer sounds alright, but I’d hope my contemporaries would incorporate my legendary boozing into the moniker and call me something like Liquor Leviathan!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
Cloudberry Liqueur is made from berries found in Norway. This is quite the complex recipe, but it is totally worth the intricate construction. I think the cocktail name is quite funny in contrast to the article it’s combined with… kitten cuddlers and raiding and pillaging Vikings don’t really go hand-in-hand. I topped this cocktail with my Bols Banana Liqueur foam and it was a perfect touch to the drink.

Spain – Banana Nutbread

Surreal Skill

One of Spain’s most famous figures is artist Salvador Dali. Everything from his collection of work to his personal look was certainly bizarre, but that’s what attracted so many to him. Dali separated himself from the crowd in so many ways. Here are some of the unique aspects of his zany life:

Dali Reincarnate

Dali was the second Salvador Dali to be born into his family. Nine months before he came along, his brother (with the same name) died at the age of 22 months. When he was five, Dali was taken to his brother’s burial plot and told by his parents that he was the reincarnation of his deceased sibling. And we wonder why he turned out to be such a wacky nut! The brothers did resemble one another, with Dali later saying: “[We] resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections.”

Shit Just Got Surreal

Getting Prepped

In order to do his work, Dali used a few unique tactics to get in the right mood, including sleeping in a chair with a spoon standing on top of a plate on his head. When the spoon fell and hit the plate, he would awaken and quickly take notes on what he saw in his dreams. Dali would also stand on his head (a favourite position of the Sip Advisor) for long periods of time, allowing his brain to function differently than normal.

Famous Pieces

Dali’s most celebrated work is The Persistence of Memory, which features the melting clocks he is probably best known for. Dali’s talent and vision extended to many different kinds of art, including jewelry. He is famous for a number of wearable pieces, most notably The Royal Heart, comprised of pure gold adorned with 46 rubies, 42 diamonds and two emeralds.

For Love of Money

Dubbed “Avida Dollars” (an anagram for Salvador Dali) by some, Dali was known to do almost anything for money. He appeared in commercials for Lanvin chocolates, which featured the artist exclaiming his love for the treat before biting into it, which caused his eyes to cross and his mustache to curl. He also designed the Chupa Chups lollipop logo, which is subtle, colourful, and meaningful all at the same time.

avida dollars

Scam Artist

One of the best stories I’ve ever heard about Dali is how he scammed Yoko Ono (one of the most vile creatures in the known world) to the tune of $10,000. Ono, for her own inexplicable reason, wanted a strand of Dali’s mustache hair. Dali asked for $10,000 and when he was paid, sent her a dried blade of grass instead. As the fable goes, apparently Dali was worried the hair would be sued for witchcraft… proving I’m not the only one who thinks Ono is a witch!

Hail Hitler

Along with a fascination for eclectic animals (the man had an ocelot!), Dali was fixated on Adolf Hitler. He once said: “I often dreamed about Hitler as other men dreamed about women.” I mean, who am I to say what people should be dreaming about, but this one takes the cake. A later painting of Dali’s is called Hitler Masturbating and it isn’t a figurative title. Thankfully, the dictator’s (should I use that word here?) true Nazi salute is obstructed.

Demented Disney

In 1946, Dali and Walt Disney actually joined forces for an animated short, titled Destino. Based on the song by the same name, by Armando Dominguez, Dali blended his artistic style with Disney’s character work. The piece wasn’t finished until 48 years later, when Baker Bloodworth and Roy E. Disney returned to the project, which features strange figures and dreamlike images. Mrs. Sip and I were able to view this work (with free champagne) aboard one of our cruises and it was a trip, to say the least.

Paying Bills

If you ever have trouble paying for a large and expensive meal, you could try this trick, but it probably only works for someone of Dali’s stature. When the bill came to Dali’s table, no matter how many people had enjoyed the outing or how expensive it was, he was quick to pick up the tab. This wasn’t done out of generosity, however, as Dali had a trick up his sleeves (if he even work sleeves!). He would quickly do a little drawing on the cheque and because of his fame, the restaurant wouldn’t dare cash an original Dali piece of art and therefore, his meal (and his guest’s) was basically comped.

Quoted Quotables

A number of interesting quotes came from the mind of Dali. These include: “The only difference between me and the surrealists is that I am a surrealist.”; “I myself am surrealism.”; “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.”; and “Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dalí.” That about sums the man up… let’s have a drink in his honour!

Spain: Banana Nutbread

Apr 14

  • 1 oz Frangelico
  • 1 oz Crème de Bananes
  • 0.5 oz Sherry
  • Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Garnish with Peanuts

I enjoy dreams as much as the next person, but I can’t say that I’ve ever envisioned any of the imagery that Dali did. Love him or hate him, he was certainly a fascinating character who saw and experienced the world in a very different way than any other person. Plus, he was even turned into a Muppet on Sesame Street (Salvador Dada), a long-term goal of my own!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
While this sounds like a recipe for a delicious and nutritious dessert, it’s also the perfect cocktail for an eclectic artist like Salvador Dali. The beverage is quite tasty and it’s not overly sweet. Even Mrs. Sip liked it and trust me, if it’s too sweet, I’ll hear that… to no end!

February 21 – Rainbow Orgy

Open Bar

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot… concerned? You should be. As a result of this blog, I always have to be thinking about things to write about on a daily basis. Well today my brain wants a bit of a vacation and I’ve just let my thoughts drift and mingle (becoming an orgy of thoughts, if you will… see how I tied that all into today’s drink!). My thoughts are very skewed – random even – and tangents are easy to go off on. So, as Dr. Dre once rapped, “Journey with me into the mind of a maniac”…

1) All the best vices are often portrayed as women (hmmm, what does that say?). Alcohol is no exception and in fact many liquors have stripper/porn star names (it’s true, I did very in-depth and personal research to come to this conclusion): Tangueray, Bombay Sapphire (ooohhhh, exotic), Kahlua, Tia Maria, Amaretto, Cherry Liqueur (think about this one!), Peach Schnapps, Margarita… and the list goes on and on… the result of mixing a few of these ladies together in a shot glass is usually something really dirty (Porn Star, Slippery Nipple, Silk Panties with Lace, and Cum Shot, to name a few).

Pole Dancing

2) Why are women so opposed to deep fried food, but absolutely love fondue?

3) I wonder if any astronauts have ever got down with their bad self in space? Talk about a thousand mile-high club.

4) Is there anything sadder than a closed liquor store? Anything!?!? I think not.

Closed Liquor Store

5) How come every time a new black character is introduced in The Walking Dead, another one has to (spoiler alert) die? Is it that they are tagging out or is there some secret AMC contract about how many African American’s are allowed to appear in any one show at a time? You would think Mad Men would then balance everything out since apparently according to the show only white scotch drinkers existed in the 1950’s.

6) Why are “World Energy Conservation Days” and “World No Gadget Days” promoted so heavily on social media sites… and usually by the people who are online the most? Maybe if they scaled back their post and tweet output, the need for these days would lessen.

7) I really want to order the new 40-piece Chicken McNugget meal McDonalds’ restaurants in the U.S. are advertising lately. Then I want to see how many sauce packs it takes to get through the whole lot. Just one of my very deep thoughts that I wanted to pass along.

Alrighty, I’ve taken up enough of your time. Here’s what you all came here for: today’s delicious drink!

Drink #52: Rainbow Orgy

Rainbow Orgy Cocktail

  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 1 oz Crème de Bananes
  • Top with half Orange Juice, half Brisk Strawberry-Melon
  • Garnish with Melon Liqueur-filled Strawberry

Like an amalgamation of my thoughts, this drink comes together quite nicely. The Crème de Bananes and Melon Liqueur mix very well with all the other ingredients and a drink you’d expect to be super sweet isn’t at all. I personally garnished the drink with a hollowed out strawberry that contained another shot of Melon Liqueur, but results may vary.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The colouring of the drink is pretty wicked and the taste wasn’t bad. This is another cocktail that could have benefitted from some fizz and perhaps a splash of Lemon-Lime Soda would have done the trick. I don’t know if I’d do a liquor-filled strawberry again, as it got a little sticky and messy.

February 15 – Banana Split Martini

Sip Harmony

Valentine’s Day 2013 has come and gone, which means you have 365 days to find a partner (or new partner, if you weren’t happy with your V-Day gift) for the 2014 edition. If you follow The Sip Advisor’s date night advice (yeah, I’m good at that, too) you’ll do just fine… only fine, not great (our legal counsel insisted I throw that line in to cover our asses).

Dinner Out

I like to take Mrs. Sip to the finest McDonalds, which in our neck of the woods, means homeless people outside, bathrooms you have to be buzzed into, watered down pop stations and receiving you order wrong two-out-of-every-three times. Remember to always keep your options open. If your date is being fussy and wants to try something new on this special occasion, make sure there’s a Burger King nearby as a back-up.

Dinner Date

Movie Time

The first obstacle with this option is agreeing on a movie. Unfortunately, as they don’t show pornography in megaplex cinemas, my second choice is usually a comedy. Problem is your date will likely want to see one of the romantic variety and now you’re really suffering. She better be worth it, friend. Sneaking in your own snacks is a must, or else you’ll be stuck putting a mortgage on your home to get a freakin’ drink (in a size that will burst your bladder and make you miss the climax of the film) and bag of popcorn.

Drinks on the Town

I’ve never been one to advocate drinking on a date…said the Sip Advisor never. I’ve had dates with drinks! The Cosmo and I once had a beautiful night out together, enjoying each other’s elixir. When it came time to seal the deal, though, I found out Cosmo saw me as more of a friend. We’re still close, but I’ll never forget how close I came to spending a night with sweet lady Cosmo.

Drinks Out

Do Something Crazy!

As fun as bowling, mini-golf and ice skating (for us Canadians) can be, there’s nothing like giving your heart to each other while it’s jumping out of your chest. Great advancements have been made in tandem daredevil activities and even if you only go on one date together, he or she will never forget you or their near-death experience (I personally recommend Zorbing… what says love more than be stuck in a giant plastic ball and being pushed down a hill with that special someone?). Then again, the way I bowl, that may be as near-death as most people are willing to go.

Staying In

Lock the door, throw away the key and stay home. Better clear it with your date first, or else she’ll think you’ve taken her prisoner… although some ladies and gents might like that. Whether it’s to relax and watch Hockey Night in Canada (or, fine, a movie) together; have a romantic, candlelit dinner; or push the twin beds together for a night of wild passion; sometimes staying in is the best course of action.

The most important thing to plan for when staying home, is every night in together should start with a couple of these!

Drink #46: Banana Split Martini

Banana Split Martini

  • 1.5 oz Chocolate Whipped Vodka
  • 1 oz Crème de Bananes (I used Bols)
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Whip Cream
  • Garnish with chocolate sprinkles, banana slice and raspberry

If any of these tricks of the trade work for you, you can pay homage to me by giving your future child the middle name “Sip Advisor”… kind of has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This might have been my favourite of the Chocolate Week cocktails. It tasted very similar to the dessert of the same name and was just as fun to drink as it is to eat.