China – China Blue

Great Walls of Fire

The Great Wall of China was erected (that word always makes me giggle) over a number of eras and decades and is one of the most impressive engineering feats in history. Since its construction, it has become a world famous monument and used for countless other achievements. Here are some of its notable uses and appearances:

Big Air

There have been a number of attempts by bikers, skateboarders, and the like to jump the Great Wall. Extreme athlete Travis Pistrana even tackled the challenge on a toy bike. Sadly, not every attempt has been successful. Two Chinese BMX riders were looking to fly over the wall to celebrate a national holiday. One landed safely in the area set up to catch the falling stuntmen, but the other flew right over it to his death. So much for home field advantage!

Great-wall-I-can-hold-it

Go Your Own Way

While jumping the Great Wall is a dream for some, that vision wasn’t held by cyclist Kevin Foster. Instead, Foster wanted to travel a fair chunk of the world heritage site. In 50 days, Foster trekked 1,174.8 miles of the wall, through sandstorms, hail, monsoons, high temperatures, and even a crash that sent him through a portion of the structure and caused three broken ribs. The journey was called “the last, greatest, cycling adventure on the face of the earth.”

Running with the Wall

Most little sippers, like the Sip Advisor, probably don’t follow the sport of free running. It’s basically akin to parkour, but involves more theatrics… wait, there can be even more acrobatics thrown in? World renowned free runner (you can be renowned in this field?), Ryan Doyle put the Great Wall in its place as part of his Red Bull World Wonders Tour. Remember, Red Bull: It gives you wings… and hopefully not because you’re dead and on your way to the afterlife.

Super Repairs

In perhaps one of the cheesiest special effects of all-time, Superman used laser vision to repair the Great Wall after it had been damaged by the equally cheesy villain, Nuclear Man (before The Simpsons Radioactive Man). This all came about in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, which effectively killed the movie franchise. I’ve never been a Superman fan, but I have to give him credit for fixing a landmark I have yet to see.

Building the Wall

In 2005, a number of acts gathered for a concert using the Great Wall setting as a backdrop. Headlined by Boyz II Men, other performers included Cyndi Lauper and Alicia Keys. The show was recorded for a DVD release, The Great Wall Concert (I’m blown away they couldn’t come up with a more glitzy name than that), and also included interviews with historians, visits to other Chinese landmarks, and comedy performances on the streets of Beijing.

Abracadabra

There has been some amazing feats performed in the world of magic and David Copperfield’s act of walking through the Great Wall has to be among them. What else would you expect from the same man who has levitated above the Grand Canyon, made the Statue of Liberty disappear, and wed Claudia Schiffer!? For this illusion, Copperfield used a sheet and his faithful assistant to appear to go through the legendary wall… his secret is safe with me!

Maid in China

Rope Tricks

Chinese acrobat Adili Wuxor (dubbed the ‘Prince of Tightrope Walking’) and his apprentice Yakup Jang performed a tightrope walk of 1,100 feet from one point of the Great Wall to another in 2013. It’s estimated that the duo was 328-feet above the ground at the highest point. If that wasn’t enough, the stuntmen performed some theatrics during the 40-minute crossing, including sitting on the rope, balancing on one foot, dancing, and even going blindfolded.

The Wall is Not Enough

While it has yet to happen in a Bond film, it has long been rumoured and researched to film a motorcycle chase scene at the Great Wall for the long running franchise. First dreamt up for the 1989 License to Kill, negotiations with the Chinese government hit a snag when the politicians asked for power over the script. The most recent 007 saga, Skyfall, was to include the fabled act, but plans changed and although Bond travels to China, the Great Wall was not used.

China: China Blue

Mar 31

  • 2 oz Chu Yeh Ching Chiew
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Lychee Juice and Grapefruit Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Wheels

I’m proud of all you little sippers for traversing the Great Wall with me and not needing to be carried by bodyguards like that twerp (nee douche bag) Justin Bieber. Now that was an amazing feat… of stupidity!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Some say Chu Yeh Ching Chiew is similar to wine, others to gin, and some classify it as closer to vodka. One site calls it Chinese Bamboo Leaf Vodka and that’s good enough for me! What really matters is that it’s believed to cure hangovers… well, at least for you hangover prone little sippers out there. As for this cocktail, it’s not bad. The flavour is indescribable thanks to the mix of Chu Yeh Ching Chiew and Lychee Juice; two flavours I don’t know very well. It could use some fizz, however.

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April 12 – Black Magic

Magically Delicious

Love them or hate them, illusionists exist… unless their existence is, in fact, an illusion itself. Whoa… mind blown… better get on with the post before they make what’s left of my mind disappear, too! So tip your glass to some of the best real and fictional tricksters!

Harry Houdini

Any list about magicians realistically starts and ends with Harry Houdini. I remember as a kid being fascinated by Houdini, who I read about in a library book. For those that know the ol’ Sip Advisor well, the fact I was reading at all is a modern day miracle. Greatest illusion: The Milk Can Escape – where Houdini would be handcuffed and sealed inside a milk can filled with water. Failure, surely meant death.

houdinimilkcan

His assistants look uber evil!

David Copperfield

The Las Vegas legend is one of the most famous and successful illusionists of all time. His greatest illusion should really be his engagement to Claudia Schiffer (lucky bastard), but I digress! Greatest illusion: Vanishing Statue of Liberty – Thankfully, Copperfield wasn’t considered a terrorist for making this national landmark disappear.

Burt Wonderstone & Anton Marvelton

After years of going through the motions of their act, Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton reunite in a bid to outdo endurance artist and street magician Steve Gray. With the help of the legendary Rance Holloway, they show that Gray’s style of pain “magic” will never overtake their efforts in the classical trickery department. Greatest illusion: Disappearing Audience – in unusual Sip Advisor form, I won’t spoil the details of this illusion.

Penn & Teller

Turning to a real life amazing duo, Penn and Teller’s mix of magic, mayhem and comedy is perfect for all fans of the art. After seeing them live in Las Vegas, where Mrs. Sip became a part of the act, I can totally vouch for them as top rate performers. They’re always changing up and perfecting their show, so you never know what you might see. Greatest illusion: Bullet Catch – I wonder if Teller ever gets to shoot at Penn!?

G.O.B. Bluth

The hapless magician from Arrested Development is searching for his father’s love and respect… and thinks a career as an illusionist will help him accomplish it. G.O.B.’s act (or lack thereof, since he was kicked out of the Magician’s Alliance for divulging the secret to one of his tricks… oh sorry “illusion”) is a lot of smoke and mirrors, but he can be credited with bringing back the Europe hit “Final Countdown”! Greatest Illusion: Disappearing Yacht – okay, so he actually just blew the thing up for insurance money, but the crowd still roared its approval!

gob-bluth

David Blaine

An illusionist of the street magician and endurance stunt variety, I’ve always found David Blaine creepy. He just seems too “power of zen” for my liking. Still, the guy has done some crazy stuff. Greatest illusion: Vertigo – the guy stood atop a massive pillar in high winds and cold temperatures for 35 hours straight… I couldn’t even be lazy that long and Mrs. Sip would tell you I’m pretty good at that.

Criss Angel

Ever been mind freaked!? I can’t say that it’s a position I’ve ever tried, but apparently it made this dude popular. Greatest illusion: Walking on Water – for a guy who often purports to be Jesus-like, he might as well give this a shot. Quite frankly I would be more impressed if he could turn that water into wine!

Drink #102: Black Magic

Black Magic Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Absolut Raspberry)
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Twist

This drink is a member of the Black Russian family and was quite enjoyable. Its greatest illusion was giving me a sense of inebriation… that, and super powers.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I love the Lemon Twist garnish I used for this cocktail. This drink reminded me of the Brave Bull recipe I did earlier this year and both tasted good. The Raspberry Vodka added a nice twist to the concoction and worked well with the Kahlua.