Mixer Mania #11 – Like a Fine Wine

Often, when I think of grape mixers, I think of controversial hockey commentator Don Cherry, whose nickname is ‘Grapes’ (thought to be a reference to sour grapes). As the pundit turned 83 last month, let’s take a look at others who are getting older, but still rocking it:

Betty White

White has been a fixture of the entertainment industry since the late 1930s. At 95 years old, she has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts the last few years, even hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live, thanks to a Facebook fan movement. Best remembered for her role as Rose on The Golden Girls, this lady is the grandma everyone wishes they had.

betty-white

Stan Lee

Even those who don’t know much about Lee’s massive contributions to the comic book industry have come to appreciate the icon thanks to his cameo appearances in Marvel movies. The 94-year-old refuses to slow down and will make two more cameos this year, although rumours often persist that each appearance will be his last.

Clint Eastwood

The venerable tough guy is still an imposing figure – and still directing films – despite his advanced age of 86. My favourite Eastwood story involves George Clooney wanting a basketball court put in on the Warner Brothers Studio lot and imploring Eastwood to help with the effort. When asked if he even liked the game, Eastwood, in his understated growl, responded: “I guess I do.”

Adam West

While most of the 88-year-old West’s recent roles have come in the form of voiceover work, he’s still knocking it out of the park and gaining a whole new generation of fans while doing so. I absolutely love West’s lampooning of himself as the Mayor of Quahog on Family Guy, where his appearances are some of the best parts of the long-running series.

adam-west-real-batman

Hugh Hefner

At the age of 90, the Hef is married to a former Playboy Playmate of the Month that is 60 years his junior. Enough said! You also have to remember that into his late 80’s, Hefner was in an open relationship with three young models that each could have been his own granddaughter.

Rolling Stones

The band’s current lineup consists of Mick Jagger (73), Keith Richards (73), Charlie Watts (75), and Ronnie Wood (69), who are still rocking around the clock. Despite numerous retirement tours, the quartet continue to come back year after year with new music and worldwide tours.

Paul McCartney

Sticking with the British Invasion, Paul McCartney of The Beatles is still a prominent figure in the music world, even at 74 years old. Ironically, the artist once wrote and sang about still being needed “When I’m Sixty-Four”. Apparently, he never had anything to fear and he’s still adored around the globe, by fans young and old.

paul-mccartney

William Shatner

The soon-to-be 86-year-old Shatner has put together a fine career over numerous decades. Most recently, the former Captain Kirk was joined by fellow old timers Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman for the reality TV mini-series Better Late Than Never, which saw the foursome travel to parts of Asia together.

Queen Elizabeth II

Regardless of what you think about the monarchy, the fact her majesty is still such a prominent figure as she celebrates her Sapphire Jubilee is impressive. The Queen will turn 91 in April and although she has kin in place to take over her responsibilities, she has no plans to abdicate the thrown.

Mixer Mania #11: Wrath of Grapes

Wrath of Grapes.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Dark Rum
  • Top with Grape Juice
  • Splash of Sweet and Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Some honourable mentions include James Earl Jones (86) and Bob Newhart (87), who have guest starred on The Big Bang Theory in recent years. Dick Van Dyke (91) and Angela Lansbury (91) also deserve credit, as although their work schedules have decreased greatly in recent years, they are both set to make appearances in Mary Poppins Returns, due out in December 2018.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I really haven’t done much with Grape Juice before and I figured I had better like it, given the size of the container I had to buy. This drink is pretty good and I can see myself making it again, perhaps adding some Club Soda for a fizzier cocktail.

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Flavour Revolution – Maple

Canadian Chauvinism

Maple is a cultural icon of Canada, whether you’re talking about trees, syrup or anything else. We put it on everything, including in booze. Hell, the maple leaf is even featured on our country’s flag, giving us one of the most unique banners in the world. With national pride in mind, here are some of Canada’s greatest patriots and icons:

Don Cherry

Cherry has about as many detractors as he does fans, but one thing everyone agrees on is that ‘Grapes’ is a staunch supporter of Canada, its hockey players, its military troops, and its national sport. He may go about this the wrong way sometimes, such as questioning the heart of European players, for example, but his heart is usually in the right place. The guy practically bleeds red and white maple leafs, which is sometimes hard to detect given the distracting nature of his wardrobe!

don-cherry-back

Bret Hart

Wrestling is full of patriotic characters, but you don’t see too many Canadians waving the ol’ red and white maple leaf too wildly. Bret Hart, however, along with his Hart Foundation stable, ventured on a unique storyline in 1997, where he criticized the United States and the fans that called the country home. This made him wildly popular in Canada and vehemently hated south of the border. For the rest of his career, Hart always wore Canadian pride on his sleeve and cemented his legendary status.

Wayne Gretzky

Among many great athletes, ‘The Great One’ is Canada’s most iconic and not just because he played the country’s national sport. Gretzky’s influence spread throughout the world and he can be credited with the rise of hockey’s popularity as a sport, not only across the southern United States, but also in many other countries across the globe. Gretzky represented Canada on many occasions, perhaps most notably as part of the management team that brought Olympic hockey gold back to the country after 50 years.

The Beaver

Ah, the majestic beaver… and let’s be clear, the Sip Advisor is actually talking about the noble dam-building animal. The North American beaver has found its way to being featured on the nation’s five-cent piece, the country’s very first postage stamp, and beaver sculptures can also be found adorning the Canadian Parliament Building. Canada also has a number of other creatures that are culturally appreciated, including Canadian geese, loons, and Canadian horses.

gratuitous beaver shot

Molson Canadian Beer

The country’s national beer might not be much to brag about, in comparison to craft beer options across the nation, but it’s still something to be more proud of than Budweiser, Coors, and many of the other beverage options our continental neighbours seem to be so satisfied with. Molson Canadian has a brewing tradition that dates back to 1959 and for many young Canucks, is the first beer they ever enjoy. The Sip Advisor is one of these people and I am forever grateful for my earliest suds.

Tim Hortons

Nothing is more Canadian than donuts! Others would insist that the company’s coffee be included as part of the national identity combo, but not the Sip Advisor. Tim Hortons has grown across the country and even into other parts of the world. With products ranging from donuts to Timbits (donut holes), as well as sandwiches, soups, muffins, cookies, and everything else in between, Tim Hortons is one international contribution that can be enjoyed across the globe.

Poutine

Canada can’t be given much credit for creating items that have taken over the culinary scene, but poutine is one thing we devised and have shared – to great success – with the world over. You can’t go into a pub nowadays without the place having at least one poutine dish on their menu. Even most fast food chains, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, have made the creation available for eaters on the run. Add some bacon (preferably Canadian) onto the meal and you’re ready to gorge!

Flavour Revolution: Poor Sap

Poor Sap Martini

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Maple Liqueur
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Dash of Bitters
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

As a whole, Canada isn’t necessarily known for staunch patriotism… unless we’re talking about hockey and then it’s time to knuckle up. Many of our homegrown stars leave the country and never look back, trying to remove every hint of their Canadian ancestry. You will often hear debates over whether a celebrity is Canadian or not or the statement “I didn’t know he was from Canada.” The same can’t be said for the above entries.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
With three ounces of liquor, this is a strong martini, but the taste is pretty solid. Of course, I used a Canadian Whiskey (Crown Royal) for the cocktail. I might have slightly overdone it with the Bitters, but it all depends on your taste preferences. All in all, a good drink.