Czech Republic – Magic Eye

Castlevania

There are more castles per capita in the Czech Republic than any other place in the world. More than 2,000 structures exist in the country, which is fair given the Czechs are surrounded by a number of countries and have been invaded, conquered, divided, and annexed numerous times over their existence. Let’s take a look at some of these fortresses:

Prague Castle

The largest castle in the world is located in the Czech Republic capital of Prague, where the best view of the city can be found atop the main tower of the stronghold. A highlight of Prague Castle grounds is the St. Vitus Cathedral, which features beautiful stained-glass windows, as well as the burial plots of Czech saints and emperors. The whole site combines many different aspects of Czech architecture and design from across the centuries and is a feast for the eyes. A hidden room within the castle walls hides the Bohemian Crown Jewels and even Adolf Hitler spent a night in the structure, after the Nazis invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia.

Cat Castle

Karlštejn Castle

Thought of by many as the second most popular tourist attraction in the Czech Republic, Karlštejn Castle is a Gothic-style castle located 30km southwest of Prague. Built by King Charles IV, the fortress was needed to guard the crown jewels, holy relics, and other treasures belonging to the royal family. Unfortunately, many rooms at the landmark are hidden from tourists due to earlier robberies. Apparently, you can even drink water from a hand-powered well, although the Sip Advisor will take his bottled options (water, beer, etc.) over the natural stuff. If castles aren’t your thing, a golf course is located nearby and shares the same name.

Cesky Krumlov Castle

Not only does this landmark house an impressive main castle, but there are also a number of mini castles, making the town seem almost maze-like. In the castle moat, visitors can see a family of brown bears, the protectors of the site. Special to the Cesky Krumlov grounds is the Baroque Theatre, which is one of the world’s most preserved theatres, including stage, orchestra pit, machinery, costumes, stage curtains, and much more. The area was made a national monument in 1989 and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992.

Cesky Sternberk Castle

This stronghold is still owned by the same family that built it in the mid-13th century, after it was returned to the Sternberg’s in 1992, following the fall of communism and Velvet Revolution. The name of the castle, Sternberk, translates to Star Mountain, which kind of sounds like a world in a video game, such as Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda. The complex is one of the best preserved medieval castles and tours are highlighted by a visit to the Knight’s Hall, which holds a number of historic items. There are also 545 copper engravings on display, which detail the entirety of the Thirty Years’ War.

Darth Vader Castle

Cervena Lhota

This picturesque bright red castle was built in the middle of a lake, atop an island and connected to the mainland by a stone bridge. The castle’s gardens are a major attraction and the site is visited by over 120,000 tourists each year. Nearby, is a park that offers attractions such as the Renaissance Chapel of the Holy Trinity and a fish pond where boats can be rented for a trek across its waters. The castle’s name, meaning “Red Lhota” comes from the red tiles that make up its roof.

Zleby Castle

Originally built around 1289, the Zleby Caslte has changed its look many times over the centuries. Beginning as a Gothic style structure, it was rebuilt in Renaissance style, following the Hussite Wars in the 15th century. Later, it was changed again to a Baroque style and it has remained this way since. Tours at the castle take visitors in one of two directions: either to the kitchens or to the high tower and its dungeons. Travelers could ask for a nice meal before being ushered to the dungeon to meet their maker! Also in the area is a population of white deer, as well as various birds and other animals.

Hluboka Castle

One of the first Gothic style castle in the world, Hluboka was built in the mid-13th century and contains many expensive furniture pieces, particularly in the “Morning Guest Room,” which includes woven tapestries from Brussels, hand-painted Chinese vases, and other objects of art. The fortress was even featured in a scene from the Owen Wilson-Jackie Chan film, Shanghai Knights. The castle is close to the city of Budějovice (where the real Budweiser was created and is still made today – the next Czech article du jour), so tourists can always get smashed before or after their castle visit.

Czech Republic: Magic Eye

Magic Eye Beer Cocktail

Some people have it on their bucket list to stay overnight at a castle, but not the Sip Advisor. On my bucket list is “Own a Castle!” Can you imagine the parties I could throw if I had my own palace? The booze would be flowing like blood did during the Middle Ages and we would pour one out for all the homies that perished with the walls!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Originally, I was going to pick up a bottle of Absinthe for our jaunt through the Czech Republic, but then I learned of the country’s long history with beer and decided to go that route, instead. While I can’t call this my favourite beer cocktail, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it could be. To get the whole drink effect to look its best, I put the shot glass already into the empty goblet and used a pourer to get the beer around the shooter, so as to mix it up as little as possible. It all led to a rare success in the Sip Advisor’s Creation Kitchen!

Advertisements

October 4 – Girl Scout Cookie

Free Falling

While I think we’d all agree that the fall season lacks some of the flair and fun of summer, it’s not so bad. Here are the Top 5 things to look forward to now that the leaves are coming down and the temperatures are dropping:

#5: Fall Beers

It’s around this time of year that we see a lot of pumpkin-spiced and Oktoberfest offerings released. This also signifies the sad end to another wonderful summer of wheat beers, which breaks my heart annually. I’m not the biggest fan of pumpkin flavoured anything, but I still appreciate this change in the beverage calendar and trying some new brews. Also, on the alcohol front, I have new fall-themed spirit to play with in Maple Liqueur. Should be fun!

beer disaster

#4: Closed Windows

Mrs. Sip and I live in Vancouver’s downtown core and it’s a noisy, busy place. If it’s not drunk people loudly passing by in the wee hours of a new day, we are consistently woken up every morning by the sounds of slamming dumpster lids, garbage trucks, street cleaners, and just about every other horrific sound you can imagine that isn’t your alarm. With cooler temperatures, the windows can be shut, locking out a fair portion of the racket.

#3: Cookies

Along with the traditional Girl Scout/Guide releases that come out this time of year, it is also more likely that home-baked treats will be focused on, as folks abandon the outdoors and spend more time bulking up for winter hibernation. After all, now that the sun is going to hide itself away on the other side of the world, we don’t have to worry so much about our bodies not being 100% beach ready.

girlscoutcookies

#2: Hockey Season

I hate summer sports, when all you get crammed down your throat are endless baseball games. The fall signifies the startup of all the other major leagues (NFL, NHL, and NBA) and some diversity to sports highlight packages. Being Canadian, the Sip Advisor particularly looks forward to the puck drop of another NHL season and a fresh start for your favourite team. On a more intimate level, it’s time to return to the rink for beer league hockey and work off that summer rust!

#1: Vacation Time

Given we don’t have kids, Mrs. Sip and I often save most of our travelling for outside the summer months, when off-season rates can be had and places aren’t so crazy busy. Sure, we do a lot of trips around the calendar, but in the summer, it’s mostly kept to weekend away. The fall usually brings bigger vacations, such as this year’s jaunt to California (aboard a Princess Cruise) to celebrate the Sip Advisor’s birthday in grand style. Disneyland, here we come!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Girl Scout Cookie

Girl Scout Cookie Shot

  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Creme de Menthe
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • Garnish with a Cookie (or two!)

I also enjoyed playing in the leaves as a youngster and when I have my own little sippers, I’m sure they will enjoy an afternoon of raking foliage, only to mess up the entire pile with a few perfectly-timed jumps and splashes!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
While I prefer the classic chocolate and vanilla icing Girl Scout/Guide cookies, this shooter is meant to emulate the gal’s peppermint thins. On a side note, it pisses me off that the Girl Scouts of America have so many more cookie options than the Girl Guides of Canada. Back to the shot, this recipe gave me a great chance to use our new Mason Jar glasses for the first time, which is perfect given jarring preservatives for the winter is another fall favourite for some. The shooter should be layered as ordered in the recipe and you can expect a little bleeding together.

Poland – Zubrowkatini

Lest We Forget

While we prefer to take a light-hearted look at virtually everything we cover here at The Sip Advisor, it would be criminal to not touch on the Auschwitz Concentration and Extermination Camp in Poland, as we make our way through the country. So, let’s trudge through this major blemish on human existence and I promise we’ll have a drink together when it’s all over:

There were actually three Auschwitz camps built during the Nazi occupation of Poland. The first camp held Polish political prisoners with the first exterminations taking place in September 1941. Auschwitz II–Birkenau is where most of the execution of Jewish prisoners took place, as the Nazi’s enacted their ‘Final Solution’ plans. Finally, Auschwitz III–Monowitz was a labour industrial camp which served the Nazi war effort.

Auschwitz_Birkenau

A minimum of 1.1 million prisoners were killed at Auschwitz with approximately 90% of them being Jewish. Other victims included the Polish, Romans, and Soviets, although the Nazi’s weren’t exactly picky. The gas chambers were host to mass executions, using the pesticide Zyklon B. Others died as a result of the deplorable conditions, which led to starvation, diseases, and medical experiments.

When entering Auschwitz, prisoners were told that if they worked hard, they would be freed. There was even a banner overhead, en route to the camp that said: “Work Makes One Free” or “Work Brings Freedom,” depending on which translation you find. The sign was stolen in 2009, but found two days later in northern Poland, cut into three pieces, with the believed intention that the sign was to be sold to a Nazi memorabilia collector.

Ironically, 300 Jewish workers were brought in by the Germans to lay the foundation for what became the Auschwitz camp. Sounding like a professional wrestling gimmick match, the camp was surrounded by two rings of electrified barbed wire fences, as well as watchtowers. Auschwitz was the only Nazi camp to tattoo numbers on the left forearm of their prisoners.

Auschwitz Sign

Only 15% of the up to 7,000 Nazi SS members who worked at the camp were later convicted of committing war crimes. Camp Commandant Rudolf Höss and others were executed for their roles in the atrocities. Höss was even executed at Auschwitz, which is like being forced to return to the scene of the crime. In all, the Auschwitz Trials led to 23 death sentences, seven life sentences, and nine other sentences of varying lengths. Only one acquittal occurred, with SS doctor Hans Münch being released when a number of survivors testified on his behalf. Others involved in the operation of Auschwitz were tried in later hearings.

Infamous German doctor Josef Mengele (aka the ‘Angel of Death’… shouldn’t he be known as the ‘Devil of Death’!?) was based out of Auschwitz, where he performed a number of appalling tests on men, women, and children and had a fascination with twins, using them in many of his experiments. He would go so far as to infect one twin with a disease and then kill the other when the sick twin died to perform autopsies on both. He also preferred using dwarfs in his research.

Of an estimated 802 attempted escapes, 144 prisoners successfully fled Auschwitz during its reign of terror. There was also an unsuccessful uprising on October 7, 1944, led by prisoners (known as Sonderkommandos) working at the gas chambers, using explosives smuggled into the camp by women working outside its walls to destroy one of the crematoriums and the gas chamber connected to it. Unfortunately, the revolt was dealt with quickly by the Nazi SS, who only lost three men in the fighting.

Auschwitz Workshops

One famed successful escape involved four prisoners stealing SS uniforms, weapons, and a vehicle, and driving straight through the camp’s main gate without issue. Another couple tried a similar plot two years later, but were captured, tortured, and executed.

The Allies failure to bomb the Auschwitz camp or the train lines leading so many to their deaths has always been a controversial topic. While some argue the Americans and British should have and could have done more, others experts point out that an accurate and precise attack on the site wasn’t possible without great losses.

The Auschwitz camps were finally liberated on January 27, 1945, a day which has since become International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In 1979, on his first tour of his home country, Pope John Paul II performed mass on the train tracks leading to Auschwitz.

Pope at Auschwitz

Anne Frank is perhaps Auschwitz’s most famous prisoner, thanks to the release of her diary years later. Sadly, she actually survived the camp, but died in March 1945 from typhus at the Bergen-Belsen camp. Her father lived until 1980, as he too was left behind when the German’s abandoned Auschwitz. Other well-known survivors include writers Primo Levi, Viktor Frankl, Elie Wiesel (who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work condemning ethnic violence), and Simone Veil, who became President of the European Parliament from 1979-82. The oldest known Auschwitz survivor, Antoni Dobrowolski, died in October 2012, at the age of 108.

Today, Auschwitz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a museum, with exhibits that include prisoner pictures, their belongings, canisters of the Zyklon B pesticide pellets, and more. The location is visited by more than a million people each year.

Poland: Zubrowkatini

Zubrowkatini Cocktail

Mrs. Sip has been to Auschwitz with her sister, while the two of us visited the Mauthausen Camp in Germany in 2007. It was an eye-opening and humbling experience. To finish our travels through Poland on an upswing, here’s a link to a collection of Polish jokes.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
It seems nearly every recipe involving Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka incorporates Apple Juice into the ingredients… until I found this drink. Every time I see Crème de Menthe or Peppermint Schnapps in cocktail recipes, I’m skeptical about how well it will work out. This rendition wasn’t that bad at all. It gives me hope for future experimentation!

December 21 – Santa Shot

Sweet Season

More candy goes through the Sip Advisor offices this time of the year than any other. It doesn’t help that I give Mrs. Sip an advent calendar treat every day leading up to Christmas and Ma and Pa Sip are quite generous with care packages and the like. While there may be too much to go around, it’s all appreciated and here are some of my favourites!

M&Ms

Whether the plain or peanut variety, it doesn’t take long for these Christmas candies to disappear from any bowl they’re poured into. What’s best about the M&Ms company is that they’re always experimenting with different adaptations of their popular product. This year, we’ve really enjoyed their Gingerbread limited release and they have also brought out Mint Chocolate and White Chocolate Peppermint varieties.

Peanut M&Ms

Yeah, fasting around Christmas is whack, yo!

Turtles

Mmmm, I love Turtles. While not being a fan of pecans on their own, there’s just something about these clustered treats that are so good. I blame the wonderfulness of caramel, which is such a delicious ingredient in any recipe it is featured. I’ve noticed this year that there are a couple new options in the Turtles line, including Pecan Praline and Pecan Fudge Brownie. Me thinks I should arrange a taste test with my fellow Turtles lovers!

Mini Eggs

While originally an Easter-only treat, Mini Eggs have migrated to the Christmas holiday, as well. Instead of coming in colours like yellow, blue, and pink, the palette has been changed to red and green, with both packs including white eggs. It’s extremely difficult to only pop one or two of these treats into your mouth. In the end, you’re more likely to have shoveled dozens of the eggs down your gullet like a slithering snake. At least us civilized folk don’t have to regurgitate the shells!

Candy Canes

How could one forget Candy Canes at this time of year? You don’t even have to settle for the mint-flavoured ones anymore, as the treats are available in nearly every flavour. I’m still waiting for Mrs. Sip to open the genital-shaped candy cane I bought her a couple Christmases ago as a gag gift (literally!?), although it has slowly disappeared in one of our cupboards, perhaps to never see the light of day ever again!

candycane

Chocolate Santa

For the homicidal maniac and cannibal in all of us, sometimes grabbing a massive chocolate Santa and taking his head off in one quick bite can be quite rewarding. I can’t decide if I prefer hollowed out Santa’s or the thicker full chocolate Santa’s which you can gnaw on for hours. The same principles apply to everything from chocolate snowmen to reindeer to trees and every other symbol of the holiday season.

Toblerone

A favourite of Pa Sip (and the Sip Advisor), I can still remember travelling through Switzerland and picking up Toblerone bars en masse whenever we had a chance over our two-day tour stop. Chocolate is something that actually helps you adjust to high altitudes, se we had a good excuse to indulge in the Swiss treat. I’ve always been curious about the massive Toblerone bars they sell at Christmas and how long it would take to vanquish it from existence!

Toblerone

Reese Products

The massive peanut butter cups that have been released the last couple years are crazy enormous. I like how the Reese company has partnered with the NHL to make their peanut butter cups resemble hockey pucks. If you’re looking for smaller doses of peanutty goodness, there are also peanut butter trees, bells, and even snowmen. With all those options, you’ll probably be sick of peanut butter by the end of the holidays!

Peppermint Bark

Mrs. Sip loves her Peppermint Bark. Myself, not as much as other options, but I do appreciate the stuff as a snacking option. Chocolate and mint make a pretty wicked pair and they seem to bring their collective A-game to the Christmas holidays. This is one of the few things on this list that you could actually make yourself, but why waste your time when there are so many quality products already out there and you don’t need to deal with all the fuss of doing it yourself.

Drink #355: Santa Shot

Santa Shot Shooter

  • Rim glass with Crushed Candy Canes
  • 0.5 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Menthe
  • 0.5 oz Grenadine

What’s your favourite Christmas time candy? Make sure to send some my way, so we can experience all the joys of the holidays together… and then we can hit the gym in the New Year and work off all this treat goodness!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shot can be found under other names (Candy Cane Shooter, etc.), but the recipe doesn’t change. It tells you to layer the ingredients in the following order: Grenadine, Crème de Menthe, Peppermint Schnapps for the desired layering effect. I found that the clear Peppermint Schnapps at the top of the shooter was too hard to really see, so I decided to blend the two mint ingredients for a better visual effect. The shot tastes pretty good, despite a fair dose of Grenadine.

December 18 – Holiday Hopper

Christmas Vacation

I prefer to spend Christmas at home with family and friends, but that’s not for everyone. Some like to get out and see the world, leaving the comforts of familiarity far behind. If that sounds like you, here are some of the best places to travel to for Christmas joy!

Leavenworth, Washington

This quaint little Bavarian-themed town is great to visit at all times of the year, but it particularly comes alive at Christmas, beginning with its annual lighting festival. The Family Sip spent a few Christmases in Leavenworth when the Sip Advisor was a wee little sipper. We enjoyed many hours playing in the snow, going cross country skiing, and causing a general ruckus in the hotel halls. It’s hard to not be in the full Christmas spirit when you’re so surrounded by it.

leavenworth-lighting

New York, New York

One would probably start by visiting Rockefeller Center for outdoor ice skating and ogling the giant Christmas tree placed in the center of the plaza, but I for one would try to relive Kevin McCallister’s adventures from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York… especially if I can convince a couple cons to provide me with willing Wet Bandits impersonators! For Pa Sip, there’s also the Holiday Train Show, featuring numerous model trains rumbling through an intricate New York landscape.

Lapland, Finland

Home to Santa Claus Village and Santa Park and located near the Arctic Circle, this area has long been considered Santa Claus’ base of operations, where reindeer and polar bears (of the Coca-Cola swilling variety) can be found inhabiting the region. It’s here that you can get a photo with one of the most legit looking Santa’s I’ve ever seen… perhaps he is the real thing. Whoa, mind blown, I’m off to Lapland!

Disney Theme Parks

You never need a specific reason to go to a Disney park, but seeing the resorts at Christmas is a must at some point in every person’s life. I love how rides like the Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World are updated for the holiday season and the park’s Christmas Parade and Christmas Fireworks Extravaganza are spectacles that should be witnessed. Add to that all the Christmas treats, merchandise, lights, costumes, and everything else and it’s a holiday overload… in a good way!

Christmas-at-Disney

Bethlehem, Israel

Birthplace of Jesus Christ and home to the nativity scene, thousands make pilgrimages to Bethlehem each year to celebrate the holiday where its roots stem from. The Church of the Nativity sits upon the spot where Jesus is said to have been born (a silver star within the church marks the exact location of Jesus’ birth) and empties out into Manger Square. Numerous religious events take place around the Christmas holiday and regardless of your denomination, you can celebrate at some point in the area.

Reykjavik, Iceland

With its proximity to the North Pole, this may be the closest you ever come to Santa’s workshop. In fact, just outside the Icelandic capital is The Christmas Village, which offers everything from live musical performances to shopping opportunities to the Yuletide Lads (not one or two, but 13 Santa’s). Apparently their ‘mother’ can also be found nearby, but can you imagine the hardships she’s gone through raising 13 boys who are all unemployed and want to hand around children all day?

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Dubbed ‘The Christmas City‘ this place has taken celebrating the holiday season to new heights. They even have a live advent calendar, where each day, a different shopkeeper comes out the Goundie House door with treats for those attending. Christkindlmarkt is molded after the traditional European winter market and offers visitors the chance to buy arts and crafts and food. It doesn’t say anything about booze, but you hope that’s there too. I mean, you really, really, really hope they have that, as well!

Drink #352: Holiday Hopper

Holiday Hopper Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Menthe
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with Mint Leaf and Chocolate

After researching for this list, it’s clear that there aren’t many places that would be bad to spend Christmas. Perhaps war-torn areas and such should be avoided, but so many cities have something to offer for those looking to get away for the holidays.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This is one of those drinks that really surprises you. Given my aversion to Crème de Menthe, I can never really trust it, especially when it’s expected to play nice with other more normal ingredients like Melon Liqueur. Here, they all come together for a wonderful and enjoyable taste, perfect for a dessert beverage.

November 24 – Grasshopper

Big Crunch

While a crunching noise isn’t always a good thing (broken bone, car accident, etc.) for the most part, it is one of the most satisfying sounds in nature. Here are some of the many instances where you may crave that sweet auditory result!

Stepping on a Bug

I’m not one to commit frequent acts of insecticide, but there’s the odd time where even an accidental murder can sound pretty damn satisfying! It’s especially gratifying if the crime is committed on a vile pest: your spiders, silverfish, and roaches of the world. Just when a bug thinks they’ve outsmarted you and avoided your giant crushing abilities, SPLAT… and another one bites the dust!

cat_controls_bugs

Wad of Potato Chips

Picture yourself grapping a fat stack of potato chips, pinching them together and stuffing them into your mouth, ready to deliver an earthquake-like crunch that will completely satisfy all your desires and disturb every other person in your general vicinity. Now picture yourself doing that repeatedly until before you know it the bag of snack food is nothing more than crumbs. Now you’re getting a sad, yet wonderful glimpse of my life.

Head-Splitting Chair Shots

While the wrestling chair shot has been relegated to only being used against an opponent’s back (in trying to avoid concussions and all that jazz) we can still look fondly back to some of the greatest steel to skull bashings from the history of sports entertainment. If I had to pick a favourite from years of watching grapplers, I would have to select the time ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin cracked The Rock in the cranium, allowing Mankind to win his first ever WWE World Championship!

Glass-Shattering Body Checks

I perfectly-timed and –executed body check in hockey can bring the fans to their feet and pump up your own squad. But on thaty rare occasion when one player slams another right through a pane of Plexiglas meant to keep the action out of the stands… well, that’s a truly special moment. One of my favourite Vancouver Canucks of all-time, Trevor Linden, did exactly this, driving Jeff Norton into the unsuspecting crowd. Ever the gentleman, at the end of the video, you can see Linden going to check on Norton.

Fried Foods

There’s nothing like taking a massive bite into something deep fried and getting that sweet and satisfying crunching sound to go along with everything your palate is enjoying. Eating, when done properly, should stimulate all five senses: your smelling, seeing, feeling, and tasting the food are all quite obvious, but hearing plays a factor, as well. I’ve found I prefer most anything fried to a crisp. From sushi to chicken to fish and chips, and everything in between!

Playing in Leaves

Stomping around in dry, crunchy fallen leaves shouldn’t just be left to the kiddies. A highlight of each autumn was a spectacularly-choreographed wrestling match between Broski Sip and myself, after we’d huddled together a massive pile of leafs to serve as our mat. It’s the only time we ever really helped Pa Sip with housework around the yard. By the time we were done mucking about, we had to rake everything up again, but it was so totally worth it!

Drink #328: Grasshopper

Grasshopper Cocktail

  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • 0.75 oz Crème de Menthe
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with Chocolate Sprinkles

The most satisfying crunch may be the exercise version (not that I’m advocating physical activity… ever!). What’s your favourite crunch-inducing action?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail smelled fantastic and tasted pretty good too. The Crème de Menthe might be a little too similar to a mouthwash and I might sub in Peppermint Schnapps in the future, but then the colour would be changed and I thought it looked neat, especially with the Chocolate Sprinkles as garnish. When making the martini, lean towards adding a little more Crème de Cacao over Crème de Menthe, despite it asking for equal portions.

May 16 – Greenback

Drinking Bad

We recently faced a conundrum here at the Sip Advisor headquarters: do we feature a bad drink? I work diligently to select drinks that I hope at least one sect of my fan base will enjoy and I think to this point, I’ve done a good job of making decent cocktails for all you little sippers. Heck, we made it to May before we had to address this issue.

I’m not perfect, but I’m pretty close. Every drink I’ve made thus far has received a passing grade (although the Flatliner was close to having to attend summer school).

That is, until I tried making the Greenback. At first glance of the name, I figured I could write about money and how I don’t understand so much financial mumbo jumbo. After one sip of this vile substance, I learned two things: bad cocktails are my kryptonite and I’d be crafting a post about when recipes go bad.

Bacon is my kryptonite too... just in a good way!

Bacon is my kryptonite too… just in a good way!

I had never tried Crème de Menthe, but I’ve seen it featured in a ton of recipes, especially ones to do with Gin, so I figured this was a tried, tested and proven drink. If it is tried and tested, those brave souls are surely dumb, deaf, and blind from the experience.

This concoction is gross. I’m not sure I’ve had anything quite so disgusting and we’re talking about a guy who would make some Fear Factor winners blush with the list of things I’m willing to try.

Unfortunately, not every drink that has a published recipe means that it is good (or at the very least drinkable). A lot of human error went into this mix and I’d love to meet whoever first invented it so that I could shake his hand… [Wait, remember Sip Advisor, you hated this drink]… Let’s try that again, using comedian Christopher Titus’ proposed Control-Z machine, which takes us back exactly 12 seconds into the past: so that I could stomp on his foot, forever sullying his pristine white shoelaces and while he’s looking down stunned, I would deliver the world’s greatest flying knee lift, ala Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake.

Control Z

Would I be arrested on the spot, of course, but it would all be worth it to exact a small degree of revenge against this perpetrator. Plus, once I explained myself to the judge, she would surely let me off with a slap on the wrist and a “boys will be boys” chuckle. Plus, what she doesn’t know, is that I kind of enjoy a little light wrist slapping.

This cocktail made me question whether I deserved the title of Sip Advisor. In a moment of total anxiety I burned all the merchandise concepts we eventually plan on rolling out through the site. I took my entire bar collection and threw it off our balcony. I even took my precious muddler and tried to flush it down the toilet.

In the fetal position and with a flooding bathroom, Mrs. Sip tried to calm me down and restore my usual swagger. She reasoned that this is exactly what a Sip Advisor does. Tries the good and bad and lets the world know which is which (she may have even pointed out that the tagline of this site is in fact “The Good, The Bad, and The Bubbly”). She was right, I do look good naked (my mind always drifts off eventually).

So, I know with this cocktail, you readers no longer view me as a hero. I will settle for being a nearly flawless individual who is responsible for so much good on this earth that it’s hard to fathom I’m merely mortal.

Drink #136: Greenback

May 16 Greenback

I don’t even know why I’ve included the recipe. It should be scorched from the earth. If you do decide to take your life into your own hands and attempt making and consuming this drink, the risk is all on you. The Sip Advisor cautions that this beverage contains scenes of violence and coarse language (usually known as the good stuff, but not in this case). Viewer’s digestion is advised. On second thought, don’t worry about the coarse language because this drink is worse than having soap in your mouth!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (1 Sips out of 5):
And that score is generous. This awful mess is basically a mouthwash – you spit and don’t swallow. And it does, in fact, taste exactly as if you are drinking mouthwash (I went and had some Listerine after to compare). I feel I’m being too generous with giving it any score at all. Yuck!