December 27 – Ruby Slipper

Dizzying Drops

While most of the world knows of the big ball dropping in New York’s Times Square, every New Year’s Eve, other places have their own tradition… and some of them are quite wacky. Let’s take a look at the oddest items that are used to help ring in the New Year!

#5: Show Low, Arizona – 2 of Clubs

According to legend, the city of Show Low earned its name when two men who hated each other decided to draw cards to see who had to leave the town (not the most riveting loser leaves matches ever devised) with one stating “If you show low, you win!” The winner drew a 2 of Clubs, thus spawning a city’s moniker, as well as the object they drop December 31st at midnight.

marriage-cards

#4: Plymouth, Wisconsin – Cheese Wedge

It’s no surprise that the people of Wisconsin are big into cheese. Hell, they wear wedges on their heads to football games and take no offense in someone calling them “cheeseheads”. On New Year’s Eve, the fine folks of Plymouth take things to a whole new level (literally!) as they drop an 80-pound decorated cheese wedge from 100-feet in a salute to the dairy industry. Mrs. Sip will be there one year, with crackers and carving knife in hand!

#3: Lebanon, Pennsylvania – Bologna

Pennsylvania is home to the most item drops across the United States and this is the oddest item among them, a 12-foot long, 150-pound slab of bologna. It’s all for a good cause, however, as the bologna is given to local food banks and animal shelters, following the event. If you could somehow combine the cheese in Wisconsin with the bologna is Pennsylvania, you’d have a nice charcuterie plate in the making.

Balogna Cat

#2: Brasstown, North Carolina – Live Possum

This one doesn’t sound so crazy until you realize that they use a live possum, put inside a Plexiglas pyramid. Held at the Clay’s Corner convenience store, the possum is carefully lowered before being fed and released. The event has drawn the ire of PETA and other animal rights activists, but locals love it and the store owners get all the proper permits. A similar event takes place in Tallapoosa, Georgia, although using a stuffed possum. Or, perhaps, the possum has just been playing dead all along!

#1: Key West, Florida – Ruby Slipper

I know what you’re probably thinking: What’s so odd about a ruby slipper being dropped? Did I mention that there’s a drag queen named Sushi (played by Gary Marion) in that stiletto? This event takes place at the 801 Bourbon Street Pub, while other Key West bars have their own drops, including a conch shell and a pirate wench, which sounds a little more up the Sip Advisor’s alley!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Ruby Slipper

Ruby Slipper Shot

In addition to the weirder items, all sorts of fruits are dropped across the U.S., including oranges, apples, peaches, watermelon balls, cherries, strawberries, huckleberries, pears, and grapes. What will they think of next!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Given our subject is about things dropping and it’s Super Saturday Shot Day, why not do a drop shot… and no, I’m not talking about the tennis variety! Coincidentally, there’s a drop shot called Ruby Slipper, going perfectly with this article’s chart topper. I’m okay with drop shots, but find them a little messy. This one tastes pretty good and the colours are neat, so it gets my recommendation.

October 18 – Ghostbuster

Specter Spooks

With the haunting season just getting underway (although Halloween candy was already on sale during the summer), the Sip Advisor figured it was as good a time as any to delve into the paranormal world. There are so many great ghosts out there that I decided to split the list between animated and humanoid (aka live action) ghouls. This week, we go cartoon ghost hunting. I hope you join me because I’m already a little scared!

#5: The Boo Brothers – Scooby Doo Meets the Boo Brothers

I love these three broskis, who are like the departed spirits of the Three Stooges. Instead of Larry, Curly, and Moe, you have Meako, Shreako, and Freako, a trio of ghost hunters, who just happen to be spirits themselves. The only thing bringing their rank down a little is the fact they only appear in one Scooby Doo movie, but it is my favourite of all Scooby adventures. This tale sees Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy Doo travel to the estate of Colonel Beauregard, Shaggy’s deceased uncle, who has left everything to his nephew. While there, the gang has to search for the family jewels while solving the mystery of who is haunting the home.

The Boo Brothers

#4: Boo – Super Mario Bros.

I always liked the creativity that went into the Super Mario Bros. ghost house levels. Avoiding the creepy little apparitions that only follow you when your back is turned added a whole new element of gameplay. There is also the massive King Boo, leader of all Boos, who you have to contend with from time to time. Boo became such a popular character that he joined the gang for their go-karting and board game adventures. His laugh when selected or after doing something naughty to another player is one of the best elements to choosing the spirited one.

#3: Slimer – Ghostbusters

This gelatinous blob is pretty disgusting when he makes his very first appearance in the halls of the Sedgewick Hotel, devouring a guest’s leftover room service, before sliming Ray Stantz and covering him with green goop (otherwise known as ectoplasm). Slimer really came into his own during the Ghostbusters cartoon, assisting the team in their escapades. Some quick trivia: Slimer was actually voiced by Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman in the movies, and Dan Aykroyd referred to Slimer as the ghost of his good friend John Belushi, who was slated to star in the film before his death. Slimer was so popular, he even had his own toothpaste product released.

Slimer

#2: Grimm Grinning Ghosts – Haunted Mansion

Delighting and spooking guests since 1969, the Grimm Grinning Ghosts of the Disney theme parks Haunted Mansion attractions are among numerous characters featured on the revolutionary ride. There is rumoured to be 999 happy haunts in each Haunted Mansion and they’re always looking for one more soul to join their party. Sometimes, a hitchhiking ghost may even hop into your doom buggy right before exiting the ride, so beware! Each park’s Haunted Mansion is themed differently and has its own unique storyline, with most characters seeming to have their own backstory. Guests are known to each have their own favourite.

#1: Casper – Casper the Friendly Ghost

He may be the ‘Friendly Ghost,’ but methinks there’s a dark side to the little guy. No one is “that” friendly without wanting something in return… just ask Mrs. Sip about my behaviour. Anyhoo, I love the parallel The Simpsons made comparing Casper to Richie Rich and wondering if the two were the same. That’s the kind of stuff that blows your mind and keeps you awake at night. Casper is sometimes tormented by his three uncles, the Ghostly Trio of Stretch, Stinky, and Fatso (although their names have varied over time), but Casper seems to have a good handle on things… until his much-rumoured inner darkness in unleashed!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Ghostbuster

Ghostbuster Shot

  • 0.5 oz Amarula Cream
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • Dropped into glass of:
  • 1 oz Crown Royal Whiskey
  • Top with Cola

I have to say that I also love the use of ghosts in South Park, including Eric Cartman (thinking he had died from eating KFC and was stuck in limbo), Biggie Smalls, Edgar Allan Poe, and the host of recently deceased (at the time) personalities to appear in the episode Dead Celebrities. South Park… making death fun!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
It’s been a while since I did a drop shot drink and this one sounded pretty interesting. I envisioned an almost root beer float type effect occurring as everything mixed together, but that didn’t necessarily happen. The taste was decent, though and it looked cool watching everything meld.

Canada – Unsuspecting Victim

Legend of Poutine

As we continue our trek across Canada’s often frozen tundra, we discover another of the country’s greatest products: poutine. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, it basically means fries with gravy and cheese curds, but it can also be so much more. Let’s take a look at Canada’s cultural cuisine.

Poutine Heart Attacks

As with most things that earn a cult status and become famous, there are many that claim to have created the dish. A number of French Canadian cities also assert that they are the home of poutine’s invention. Drummondville, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Victoriaville, and Warwick each have ponies in this race.

It is commonly believed that poutine earned its name (which is French slang for “a mess”) when a trucker asked cook Fernand Lachance to add cheese curds to his fries in the 1950’s.

You can really make anything with the poutine base of fries and curds. Butter chicken, ribs, ground beef, pulled pork, and most other meats can be used in recipes. There are also Greek and Italian poutines which include Greek salad and gyro meat and Bolognese sauce and Italian sausage, respectively.

Chef Chuck Hughes even won an episode of Iron Chef America with an offering of lobster poutine, which sounds so amazingly fantastic. Not so fantastic (to the Sip Advisor, at least) are recipes which include foie gras, caviar, and truffles. I’d still give them a shot, though and probably end up eating crow.

Despite its wonderful taste, one major downside of poutine is its high-caloric value. Servings can range from 750-1,500 calories depending on how many ingredients are thrown on top of the base.

calories-poutine

A number of fast food joints have also jumped aboard the literal gravy train. New York Fries, KFC, Burger King, Dairy Queen, A&W, Wendy’s, and even McDonald’s, known for their world famous skinny fries, have got in on the poutine act. A number of poutine specific restaurants have also began popping up across Canada. In a small area of downtown Vancouver, you can find La Belle Patate, Smoke’s Poutinerie, Mean Poutine, and others.

My favourite rendition of the meal is available at my local watering hole, Jimmy’s Taphouse. It’s not an elaborate serving of the delicacy, but what pushes it over the edge is the chipotle drizzle they put over the fries, giving it a bit of spice. The menu item is also on the bar’s half price happy hour menu, which makes it all the more amazing.

Jones Soda released a poutine-flavoured beverage for a limited time in 2013, which was met with mostly harsh reviews. Still, I wish I could track it down and use it in a drink recipe. If you have a bottle lying around, donations to The Sip Advisor are always accepted and like a church offering plate are strongly encouraged!

Some close family members of poutine include Disco Fries (using mozza cheese and served in New Jersey and New York since the 1970’s), Chili Cheese Fries, and In-N-Out Burger’s Animal Fries (with cheese, onions, and secret sauce).

All this talk of poutine has worked up quite an appetite for me, so we’ll close with a note on perhaps the most famous moment for the popular dish. For Rick Mercer’s satirical ‘Talking to Americans’ segment on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, during the 2000 U.S. election, Mercer told George W. Bush that Prime Minister Jean Poutine had endorsed him. The actual Canadian PM at the time was Jean Chretien, but not a single interviewee picked up on the discrepancy. When President Bush made his first trip to Canada, he joked that he wanted to thank Mr. Poutine for the endorsement, finally clued in to the gag.

Canada: Unsuspecting Victim

Unsuspecting Victim Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 oz Crown Royal Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz Chambord
  • 0.75 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Pineapple Juice and Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Wheels

This is one of the few things we can thank the French for… that and an endless number of liquor options. Please share your favourite poutine recipe, fact, or story. Then go get yourself some of Canada’s finest gastronomic delight!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Well, my little sippers, it happened again. I ended up with some Pineapple Juice that had gone bad and came out as clumpy as some poutine gravies. Luckily, I had some Pineapple Soda still lying around and it added a very nice touch to the drink. The always reliable (aren’t all Canadian items!) Crown Royal Whiskey tasted really good combined with the Chambord and Amaretto and everything mixed together made for an excellent cocktail.

Canada – Black Tooth Grin

Stick and Puck

Today, we begin our 52-week tour around the world. Our first stop is the Sip Advisor’s homeland of Canada. The country’s greatest export (other than myself and Crown Royal) is the sport of hockey. It is our national pastime and just simply what we do best. With that in mind, here are some of the wackiest tales from the ice!

Brotherly Love

Fighting in hockey is completely accepted… in fact, it’s expected. But even this battle of fisticuffs surprised most fans. On Apr. 7, 1997, with the regular season winding down, the Hartford Whalers faced the Buffalo Sabres. As a scrum ensued in front of Hartford goalie Sean Burke, teammate Keith Primeau grabbed the primary culprit and ended up dropping the gloves with his own brother Wayne. Afterwards, legend has it that both siblings called their mother to apologize for the melee!

Fan Fest

One of the craziest moments in hockey history occurred on Dec. 23, 1979 during a Boston Bruins-New York Rangers tilt in the Big Apple. During a player scrum at the end of the game, a fan managed to cut Bruins player Stan Jonathan’s face with a rolled up program, as well as take his stick. This caused Jonathan’s teammates Terry O’Reilly and Peter McNab to venture over the Plexiglas and into the stands to apprehend the fan. The brawl’s highlight featured future NHL coach, general manager, and broadcaster, Mike Milbury, beating the guilty fan with his own shoe. O’Reilly, McNab, and Milbury were all suspended and fined, while the fan was sentenced to six months in jail.

Wishing for a Mulligan

When a player is streaking in on an empty net, most fans would conclude that the goal is a gimme. But there are two notable exceptions to the rule. One saw Nashville Predators rookie Craig Smith flying into the opponent’s zone all alone, only to fire the puck over the net and out of play, even while others assumed he had scored. The more infamous incident occurred when former first overall draft choice Patrik Stefan lost control of the puck while hot dogging and was forced to watch in horror as the Edmonton Oilers went the other way to tie the game with seconds left.

Karma’s Coming

During a Jan. 26, 2001 contest between the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche, forward Steve Sullivan was struck with a high stick and injured, requiring stitches. He was promptly heckled by a fan, but as the old saying goes: “Karma is a bitch!” Later on in the evening, the puck ended up leaving the playing surface and hitting the same fan who had jeered Sullivan earlier. Sullivan took this opportunity to chirp the fan back… oh, and he also scored two short-handed goals after re-emerging from the trainer’s room.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

The referees never get the call right. This is universally accepted. On one trip to the penalty box, however, a frustrated Doug Gilmour took his anger out on the poor door, slamming and destroying it. With shards of glass everywhere, Gilmour looked a little sheepish still sitting in the box and was perhaps a little surprised at his own strength. If you ever wondered why they nicknamed Gilmour “Killer”, you might have your answer here!

Bat-Man

Had this game been played around Halloween, things would have been all the more spookier. Throughout most of the contest, a bat was spotted flying around the arena, even coming down to the ice surface and buzzing by players heads. Finally, Buffalo’s Jim Lorentz knocked it out of the air with his stick, before it was carried off the ice. Moments later, fog encompassed the ice surface making it difficult for play to resume. I guess Dracula was pissed and trying to extract his revenge on the guilty parties.

The Most Dangerous Job

Mascots are a very polarizing topic. Some people love them, while others loathe them. I get their appeal to young kids, but I’m personally not a fan… and neither is Terry O’Reilly, it would seem. Yes, this is the same Terry O’Reilly who went into the New York stands in the brawl listed above. On this fateful night, California Golden Seals mascot Krazy George was working his mojo and taunting the Boston Bruins by beating away at a drum. This apparently was enough to set off the man known as “Bloody O’Reilly” and the “Tasmanian Devil”, as he proceeded to jab George with his stick and chase him away from the penalty box.

Canada: Black Tooth Grin

Black Tooth Grin Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Crown Royal Whiskey
  • 1 oz Wiser’s Spiced Whiskey
  • Splash of Cola
  • Garnish with Gum and Strawberry Syrup

So much fighting in hockey… brother vs. brother, players vs. fans, players vs. mascots… that’s why we love the game so much! Do you have a wacky hockey moment you expected to see on this list? Drop the gloves with the Sip Advisor and leave a message!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
What can I say about Crown Royal Whiskey that hasn’t already been said… it’s a freakin’ Canadian institution and one of my favourite spirits of all time. This drink was actually created by late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, but I thought it also fit the bill for an article about hockey players, given their many unfortunate examples of dental damage! It was a good cocktail, with which I subbed in Wiser’s Spiced Whiskey (another Canadian product) for Seagram’s 7 Whiskey. Then I used pieces of Gum and drips of Strawberry Syrup to portray some of that aforementioned dental damage!

November 20 – Full Moon Lemonade

The Next Whiskey Bar

As with most things in life, a clever slogan can be the difference between a hit product and a discontinued failure. It’s no different in the whiskey and bourbon business, as companies look to gain slight advantages over competitors with cunning taglines. Here are some of the Sip Advisor’s favourites:

Wiser’s Whiskey – Welcome to the Society of Uncompromising Men. Welcome to the Wiserhood.

I really enjoy this series of ads, which features the Society of Uncompromising Men (I am a full ranking member) and their slow clap of new recruits. Our meetings consist of gathering around, discussing how to best be men amongst the feminist uprising and drinking. It’s kind of like Al Bundy’s No Ma’am group… no, it’s exactly like that!

Jameson Irish Whiskey – Not a Drop is Sold Till it’s Seven Years Old…

I feel like they should have adapted this slogan more and made it a complete Irish limerick. You know, one of those “There once was a man from Nantucket…” dealies. That said, the fine folks at Jameson make a good point here that rushing out a whiskey product isn’t always the best idea. Let it sit and acquire flavours… then flood the market!

Wild Turkey Bourbon – Too Good to Keep Cooped Up

I like this slogan a lot. It gives me this image of bourbon drinking turkeys running amuck, similar to a zombie apocalypse, as they peck at everything in sight. Then, the Sip Advisor comes in with impressive artillery, takes out all the disgusting fowl, then sits down to a meal that puts all Thanksgivings to shame and steals all the turkey bourbon. Pretty cool imagination, eh!?

Crown Royal Whiskey – For Every King, a Crown

We should all treat ourselves as if we’re royalty. You know, be good to ourselves and indulge in things like fine liquor (Crown Royal is a perfect example), delicious food, yummy treats, fun-filled vacations, and lavish accommodations. You never know when your time will run out, so enjoy everything while you can!

crown-royal-for-every-king-a-crown

Fireball Whiskey – Taste Like Heaven, Burns Like Hell

I couldn’t agree more, although I’ve never really found Fireball to burn that much. Then again, it seems I’m able to handle heat a little better than some of my counterparts. I love watching people’s reactions when they take a shot. I don’t even flinch when downing booze, but others put on quite a little show, especially if you give them something strong.

Canadian Club Whiskey – Canadian Club. Be a Part of It.

This is one organization I wouldn’t mind paying membership dues to! Wait, am I naturally a member of this group by the simple fact that I am, in fact, Canadian. Is it part of my birth rights, similar to citizenship? I hope I don’t have to get my lawyers involved, although Mrs. Sip in business attire sends me into frenzied fits!

Jack Daniel’s Whiskey – Whiskey Made as Our Fathers Made It

Jack Daniel’s is very big on their legacy and traditions and why shouldn’t they be? Just because Jack Daniel himself died from an infection caused by kicking his own safe after forgetting the combination to unlock it doesn’t mean their history shouldn’t be cherished. In fact, we could all learn a lesson from this: inanimate objects can kill.

Drink #324: Full Moon Lemonade

Full Moon Lemonade Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Moonshine (I used Apple Pie)
  • 1 oz Limoncello
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Lemonade
  • Garnish with Lemon Slices

If you had your own whiskey brand, what would you call it and what would your slogan be? Interesting questions to ponder, am I right? My product would be aptly titled Sip Advisor Spirit, with the jingle: “One day you’ll be an advisor, too!”

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
The recipe calls for using a pinch of Sugar, but I’m not a huge fan of adding the white stuff to cocktail and instead opted for a splash of Lemonade to sweeten the mix and also heighten the lemon flavour. Using the Apple Moonshine with the Limoncello was a great partnership for this all around delicious drink.

November 19 – John Collins

Whiskey Business

That has to be one of the more clever headlines I’ve ever come up with (thanks, Tom Cruise)! Today, we explore advertising in the whiskey world and we don’t even have to be like the tools on Mad Men. Well, on with the show!

Knob Creek

Whiskey is definitely not a “training wheel” liquor. It’s for the stallions of this world and I’m thrilled to be among their leaders. The child in me always has a brief giggle over the company name Knob Creek. I’m sorry, but it’s just funny.

jim-beam-ad-1jim-beam-ad-2
jim-beam-ad-3jim-beam-ad-4

This series of Jim Beam ads further exemplifies that bourbon products are not for the tame of heart. I had to post all four of these ads, as they’re all pretty smart. I must point out that I appreciate each of the drinks that have been slammed in these photos, particularly the Mojito, which I love. That said, they must take their place in line in the pecking order.

No Other Whiskey

Clever use of word play by our friends at Jack Daniel’s. I’m on the fence about regular JD, but I love their honey whiskey varietal. I think Jack Daniel’s has a wonderful legacy in the liquor world and it’s well-earned. Jack Daniel is one dude I would have loved to share a drink with and we’d have some great laughs over his impending ironic death, which could have been prevented by his own product!

fireball_whiskey_ad

All you little sippers know of my affinity for Fireball Whiskey. I bring that shizzle everywhere and made it an inaugural class member of The Sip Advisor Hall of Fame. It’s hard to explain where my fire comes from. As far as I know, it’s always been there. It’s an inherent part of my awesomeness and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

Shoot Blanks

There’s nothing like firing a shot at your competitors, straight across the bow, while also highlighting your offering to the world! And what better company to do so than Bulleit Bourbon. While I can’t say that I’ve ever owned a bottle of this brand, I have enjoyed the alcohol in a number of cocktails while travelling throughout the United States.

Crown Wishes

I’m a huge Crown Royal supporter, also nominating this liquor to The Sip Advisor Hall of Fame. If I was presented with the opportunity to make three wishes, one would certainly be to have unlimited liquor, while the other two would probably be a bottomless bag of potato chips and a forever un-clothable Mrs. Sip!

Drink #323: John Collins

John Collins Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey (I used Crown Royal)
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Wedges

What’s your favourite whiskey ad? If it’s one I haven’t presented here, you’ll gain bonus points on your Sip Advisor rewards card!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I like drinks from the Collins family. They’re easy to make and fun to drink. This entry was no different. While the Tom Collins(gin-based) is the patriarch of this brood, I’d place the John Collins in the uncle spot on the family tree. It’s earned a decent ranking and some respect from all us sippers!

November 11 – Dirty Martini

Hall of Fame

Recently, I got the idea of building my own shrine to immortal alcohols. These spirits have meant a great deal to me and have made me the Sip Advisor I am today. So, without further ado, here is the inaugural Sip Advisor Liquor Hall of Fame Class!

Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum

I’ve always enjoyed spiced rums, but none more so than Sailor Jerry’s. A definite highlight in my relationship with the spirit was a booth along Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience, where free pour drinks that were upwards of 60% Sailor Jerry’s were enjoyed in copious amounts. Sadly, on my last visit, that booth was nowhere to be found… but they can’t take my memories!

sailor-jerry's collection

Crown Royal Whiskey

A true Canadian classic, akin to actor Leslie Nielsen, musician Neil Young, and the Tim Horton’s donut franchise! Crown Royal is a wonderful whiskey that has played a large role in the Sip Advisor’s life and career as a liquor jockey. When a recipe calls for whiskey, it’s hard for me to not instinctively go for the Crown Royal, sitting high and mighty in its top shelf perch.

Bacardi Light Rum

Bacardi Light Rum was training wheels for me, as I entered the booze world in my teenage years. Ma and Pa Sip were regular rum and coke drinkers and like parents like son, I took up the family business. I can’t remember how many times I filled up a flask of Bacardi before heading out to a party. A tradition I will one day pass down to my own little sippers!

Fireball Whiskey

This is my go-to flask filler, perfect for weddings, camping, and nights out on the town. If you’re ever in the need for a little nip of something to get the party started or warm up in inclement weather, Fireball is the perfect tonic to get your motor running. I’ve even converted little sippers to the joys of the whiskey thanks to my great reputation as a sharer.

Frieball Whiskey Heaven & Hell

1800 Añejo Tequila

Mrs. Sip and I were first introduced to 1800 on a group trip to Mexico for New Year’s 2012. In the land of tequila, one fine product emerged for us, combining a wonderful taste with a very reasonable price point. We have since returned to Mexico and tracked down the 1800 Añejo again and it won’t be long before we have to repeat the process a third time.

Granville Island Brewery

The beer wing’s first entrant has to be the offerings of the Granville Island Brewery. From their Raspberry and Wheat Ales to their Lager and Honey Lager entries, not much comes out of the GIB kitchen that doesn’t pass the Sip Advisor’s stringent testing methods. I look forward to many more years of brewing goodness from this micro-brewery.

Cola

We finish the evening with our first hall of fame inductee among the mixer category. It’s a pretty obvious choice. My first drinks all included cola (of the Pepsi variety, of course). Whether it was a straight up rum and coke or the adventurous Long Island Iced Tea, cola has always been there for me and I’ll never forget its friendship, love, and support.

Drink #315: Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini Drink Recipe

  • 2 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire East)
  • 0.25 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Splash of Olive Juice
  • Garnish with Olives

As with most hall of fames, a stringent voting process was needed to decide which drinking elements earned their way into these hallowed halls. Thankfully, an entire panel of top journalists and other prominent alcohol figures all reside in my head. Congrats to all the honourees.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
A star-studded event like saluting the 2013 hall of fame class needs a classy drink and so I went for the Dirty Martini. You can make this cocktail with either Gin or Vodka. I decided to go with the Gin variant, as that is the traditional method. One recipe noted to fill your martini glass with an ice cube and some water before placing in the fridge for a few minutes to let the chalice chill. This cocktail is certainly not for everyone. However, I like Olive Juice and I love Gin. Put the two together and the results are actually quite pleasant. I can see why this is such a popular martini to many people.

July 8 – Bend Me Over Slammer

Drinking Class

Over my years of experience, I’ve noticed that there are many different classes of drinkers. Like a Lord of the Rings quest, you have your wizards, elves, dwarves, and hobbits and together, you all make up a party of sorts. Let’s take a look at who might be travelling with your troupe:

Sippers

The Sipper slowly consume their drinks. They may only have a couple at a gathering, taking their time to work their way through a drink… a drink that is largely ice-diluted by the time they finish. I’m not saying Mama Sip belongs in this category, but Broski Sip and I once humourously watched her gingerly sip at a drink for nearly an hour when we were at a family function in Germany and wanted to get back to our hotel (it was 3am and we had been outside all night with people who mostly only spoke the native language, as fabulous as they all were… we assume). The heartbreaking moment came at the point where she went in for a sip, got distracted by a relative and pulled the drink away from her mouth.

casual sip

Slammers

The Slammer arrives at a party and goes to work like liquor is a commodity on the brink of extinction. They down a few drinks in quick succession, taking little time to actually enjoy the concoction, be it beer, wine, well drink or anything else. Before you know it, the Slammer is drunk off their ass and looking for a place to nap (in best case scenarios). Don’t get me wrong, the Slammer is fun for those few hours they’re able to join the party, but when they come crashing down, it’s best to send them on their way, find them a bed or at the very least, make sure they know where the vomitorium is.

Guzzlers

The Guzzler seems to always have a drink in his hand. Once one is finished, another is being poured. This is likely the category where your friendly neighbourhood Sip Advisor falls into. It is the alcohol version of a chain smoker… minus the emphysema and cancer.

Complainers

I’m often working hard in The Sip Advisor lab making creations for our friends. Most people enjoy getting to try unique drinks for free that anywhere around where we live would cost $8-$10 minimum. But you get the odd guest who doesn’t necessarily complain about the taste of the drink, but the alcohol content. You make them a single and they say they can’t taste the alcohol. Well, in a perfectly made cocktail, you shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the alcohol. So, I do what any spurned bartender would: double up the alcohol in their next drink. Of course, now they’re complaining that it’s too strong. What do I care, it’s not like I get tipped anyway!

complaint_department

Shooter

A Shooter enjoys their drinks in a similar fashion to the Slammer, but has greater longevity. They drink quickly and often, having a high survival rate. These are the people you want in charge of a function because they can keep their stuff together no matter how many libations they have imbibed in.

Unfinishers

This is the group I like the least. A cardinal rule in the Sip Advisor offices is that no drop of liquor goes wasted. The Unfinisher routinely leaves drinks half consumed… a total waste of precious alcohol and mixer. In my opinion, this should be a punishable offence. And that punishment shall be death by intoxication. Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. How about they have to go around and finish every single half-downed drink at the party?

The Jekyll & Hyde

This one is quite obvious; it’s the drinker whose personality drastically changes with only a couple drinks: The quiet people who become loud and obnoxious. The tame people who become bold and daring. The people whose language of choice seems to change with each libation. You’ll notice that drinking never really has an opposite effect on Type-A personalities, only Type-B. If a person is already an asshole, drinking will only enhance their assholeness.

Jekyll-And-Hyde

Like looking in a mirror!

The Yo-Yo

One drink, one water… slow and steady wins the race. These are the folks who fear hangovers so much that they spend a great deal of time prepping against one. Hey, whatever works for ya. Thankfully, I’m impervious to being hung. Not that I’m opposed to water… I love that shizzle!

One More Drink People

Another section that you could lump the Sip Advisor into. I’m always down with the concept of one for the road. The problem is, myself and my kin never really know when “one for the road” should ever really stop. Does it really matter, though? We’re pretty awesome people… just enjoy our company while it lasts!

Drink #189: Bend Me Over Slammer

Bend Me Over Slammer Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Crown Royal Whiskey
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • Dash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

Slam that sucker on the table and down it with vim and vigor. So, what kind of drinker are you? No complainers please!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This is the first “slammer” we’ve featured at The Sip Advisor and it’s a fun little drink, despite the mess… and there was quite a bit of mess from the shaking and slamming in an attempt to get some bubbles going. I think the slammer concept is better performed in shot glasses, but I did as the recipe suggested. As far as taste goes, it was nice, but nothing amazing.

May 31 – A Brisk Walk through the Red Light District

The Tales We’ll Tell

This drink has, by far, the longest name I’ve ever seen in my years of cocktail experiences. That makes it all the more intriguing to try. It also harkens back to memories of the Red Light Districts this Sip Advisor has traversed. Some of those remembrances are foggier than others, so let’s tip-toe our way together through the seedy underbelly of some of the world’s most famous cities!

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Okay, so this visit was a little messed up… and that’s probably putting it lightly. Amsterdam is home to many pot cafes and such and whether you’re a regular user of the drug or not, it’s all part of the experience. Our night started out innocently enough at one of the district’s classic sex shows, where we received a grab bag of little treats and watched performers do much more than bump and grind. The weirdest part, aside from the “smoking scene” was all the Asian business dudes sitting quietly in the back and taking the show quite seriously.

Next, we were off to the Sex Museum, free entry with our sex show ticket stub, with a quick stop to sample some of the city’s famous delicacies. Mrs. Sip and I agreed to split a “special” brownie and wait a little while before trying anything else (as suggested on a health advisory slip that came with the product we chose). After only waiting about 20 minutes, we threw caution to the wind and try something else because “we didn’t feel anything”. Famous last words…

HashBrownies

The brownie finally kicked in at the top floor of the Sex Museum, where you could sit on a giant toadstool (at least I hope they were toadstools) and watch an animated Snow White parody porno. Did I mention that there was a giant 7 foot phallus in the room, too… oh, and some creepy dude who seemed to be in there all by his lonesome watching the Snow White cartoon a tad to seriously.

Somehow, we made it back to our hostel that night, a little worse for wear. We returned to the district on our own the next night, still feeling a little foggy from the activities of the evening before, and hoping to experience the area in a different mood.

New Orleans, U.S.A.

Ah, sweet Bourbon Street. Home to Mardi Gras and by extension, beads and boobies. When I was just a little sipper, the Sip Family stopped in N’Orleans along our cross country train trip. Although myself and Broski Sip weren’t of legal age yet, we were allowed to walk the famous boulevard and get a glimpse of its partying ways. With jazz music bellowing out of many establishments and posters advertising strip shows at nearly every corner, I thought I’d found heaven. I have pledged to return to the area and do it properly, although Mrs. Sip might have to think twice about wearing those low-cut tops!

red-light-district-chicks

Paris, France

Home to the infamous Moulin Rouge cabaret, Mrs. Sip and I wandered the district briefly and waited for our tour bus to pick us up. Sadly, it never came and we had to figure out our own way back to our campsite far outside of town… stupid budget tours! We weren’t there for too long, but one of the highlights of being in the area was just watching all the different people and traffic, as it filled the streets. What an eclectic gathering of humanity!

Hamburg, Germany

While visiting family, we were treated to a tour of the world famous Reeperbahn (which sounds like the site of a serial killer’s stalking ground… and it probably was at some point). The area is full of history and not just of a sexual nature. Did you know The Beatles first gained fame outside of Liverpool there? It’s also where they met Ringo Starr, who would eventually replace Pete Best as the band’s drummer.

queen reeperbahn

Even the Queen goes to the Reeperbahn to get blitzed!

You might think it a little awkward to be exploring streets lined with sex shops, legal prostitution and other sinful recreational activities with your family, but it’s more funny than anything else. Pa Sip joined myself and Broski Sip for a walk down the alley where ladies try to sell their wares… and if you give them a tough time, legend has it you could be on the receiving end of a bucket of water… or, at least you hope it’s water.

During the evening, we stopped in this tiny little pizza joint for a quick bite. The place had the most disgusting bathrooms I’ve ever seen, but some of the most delicious pizza I’ve ever tried. The mathematical formula I’ve come up with is pizza > bathroom + drunk = who the hell cares!

Drink #151: A Brisk Walk through the Red Light District

May 31

  • Rim glass with Lemon Sugar
  • 1.5 oz Whiskey (I used Crown Royal)
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Top with Iced Tea
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

It’s funny how much these notorious Red Light Districts are now must-hit tourist attractions for all ages. If a city you’re travelling to has one, I’d say you have to visit it and take in all it has to offer (well, maybe not everything), for better or worse!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I didn’t really like the way this cocktail came together. The Sweet Vermouth, despite only being a splash dominated the drink when I wanted to taste the Iced Tea. Oh well…

May 13 – Lazy Afternoon

Late Adopters

I like to think that I’m pretty with it when it comes to good TV shows and I usually find series’ before the mass audience tunes in. Broski Sip and I watched Arrested Development from day one, years before most people realized it was the cleverest show on television. I was with Family Guy all the way through its cancellation and resurrection. Here are a few shows that slipped through the cracks of my amazing radar, but have since been picked up by Mrs. Sip and myself.

Archer

On a night staying over at Ma and Pa Sip’s place (they have more channels than I do), Mrs. Sip and I saw Archer for the first time and were immediately hooked. In only a few weeks we’ve gone through the first four seasons of the animated comedy and have loved every minute of it. The wacky ISIS spy agency and their adventures are full of so many goodies and I hope this show continues on for many years to come.

Archer Blimps

Firefly

Unfortunately, Mrs. Sip and I learned of this wonderful show well after it had already been cancelled. A western-space crossover initially just didn’t appeal in the slightest. We did get on board with it shortly after though, and well before its feature film Serenity was released. Ultimately, there’s just something about the sci-fi-western mix that works, the writing is fun, story lines witty, and all of the characters are likeable in their own special ways.

Community

We started watching Community when it had already finished its second season. I had seen brief commercials for the comedy, but for some reason never really felt the need to give it a chance. Finally, after hearing some buzz about it, Mrs. Sip and I checked it out and were far from disappointed. Sadly, the show seems to be coming to an end, as not enough viewers like me caught on to how original and creative it actually was until it was too late.

Parks and Recreation

I actually watched the premiere episode of this series and didn’t really enjoy it the first time around. Years later, I gave it another chance and after working through a decent first season, absolutely fell in love with the characters in its second campaign. You know you have a good show in front of you when you try to pick your favourite character and you keep wanting to change your selection

Parks and Rec Pissed

Rome

Rome was one of the first HBO series that Mrs. Sip and I ever watched and it hooked us to the channel and its programming for life. The show had already rushed its two season run to cram in as much Roman history as possible, but the epic was still masterfully done, with wonderful settings, and complex characters you could really appreciate.

Flight of the Conchords

Mrs. Sip and I started watching Flight of the Conchords after the show had already finished production and we quickly fell in love with the quirky New Zealanders. The songs the guys perform are actually pretty catchy – “Business Time” and “Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor” being among my favourites – and while the humour is a little dry, it’s an acquired taste worth acquiring.

Oz

The jail house drama is quite the crazy series to undertake. I had watched the odd episode here and there many years before we finally started the show from the beginning. It’s funny to root for some real despicable characters, but you find yourself doing just that. I won’t spoil any plot points, but for the last couple years, Mrs. Sip and I have only had four episodes left to watch but can’t bring ourselves to finish the series, afraid of what might happen to one character in particular.

Drink #133: Lazy Afternoon

Lazy Afternoon Cocktail

  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  •  Garnish with Cherry Blaster Candies

Finding these gems of shows is like coming across found money in a seldom worn jacket. You usually end up with an already built library of great episodes to now go through and enjoy and you don’t have to wait each week for the next adventure.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I changed the Cherry Brandy part of this recipe to Cherry Liqueur. The drink was decent, but not a grand slam hit. For such a great cocktail name, I was hoping for better results.