Mixer Mania #40 – Endorsement Errors

Cherry Cola has been a Sip Advisor favourite since I was wee little sipper. Whether Coke, Pepsi or a no-name version, I just love that little something extra to my cola. In China, billionaire businessman Warren Buffett has been featured on bottles of Cherry Coke. A fan of the drink and shareholder in Coca-Cola, Buffett’s success is very much respected in China, so why not use the man’s likeness to sell soda. Here are some other interesting celebrity endorsement relationships:

Hulk Hogan – Pastamania

If there’s money to be made, you’ll probably find Hulk Hogan sniffing around. Borrowing from his ‘Hulkamania’ aura, the Pastamania restaurant opened in The Mall of America in 1995, closing down in under a year. Some kids meals – for Little Pastamaniacs – did include Hulkaroni & Cheese and Hulkios, which is pretty awesome.

Ozzy Osbourne – I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

The infamous rocker, best known for his excessive lifestyle of drug and alcohol abuse, was for some reason pegged as the face of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter for a time. I only wonder if he ever tried the spread on a live bat?

The Olsen Twins – AquaFresh Toothpaste

I suppose the American Dental Association was looking to get kids interested in brushing their teeth, so they pushed for companies to find younger spokespeople. Enter the Olsen Twins and their BubbleCool toothpaste. At least it’s not another video game, movie, or musical release.

Brad Pitt – Chanel No. 5

Keep in mind, this is a women’s fragrance… actually, that makes some sense. What better way to draw the attention of a prospective female customer, than entice them with the two-time People Magazine Sexiest Man Alive. Or, you know, you could try marketing the product with an empowered female figure.

Bob Dylan – Victoria’s Secret

After seeing the music legend perform this past summer and be completely unintelligible, it’s clear Dylan is in it for the money. Such was the case when he appeared in a 2004 Victoria’s Secret commercial. Apparently Dylan once said he would only ever ‘sellout’ to advertise “ladies garments”, so I guess he can be forgiven.

Donald Trump – Anything He Can Hawk

The US president has endorsed everything under the sun, from vodka to steaks, fragrances to teas, bottled water to vitamins, and the list goes on. If only he stuck to making endorsements, rather than running for office himself.

Penelope Cruz – Nintendo DS

Appearing with her sister, the actress loses a video game bet and has to suffer the consequences of dressing like Nintendo’s main mascot. Nothing is sexier than a beautiful woman outfitted as Super Mario, complete with thick mustache.

Mikhail Gorbachev – Pizza Hut

Personally, I think pizza sells itself. Certainly, it shouldn’t take a former Russian politician to get you onboard with the food. Appearing with his own granddaughter, and putting a final nail into the Soviet Union communism coffin, at least Gorbachev put his appearance fee towards his charity.

Mixer Mania #40: Scorpion Queen

Scorpion Queen.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 1.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • Top with Cherry Cola
  • Garnish with Maraschino Cherries

Another interesting fact about Cherry Coke is that it was first tested at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, before being introduced in February 1985. Check out the Sip Advisor’s past article about things we have World’s Fairs to thank for their existence.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This drink is pretty good, as one would expect. I didn’t have any Vanilla Vodka in my bar (bad Sip Advisor), so I went with regular Vodka and a splash of Galliano to achieve the right flavour.

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Cocktail Corner – Midnight Martini

Let the Good Times Roll

Last week, we looked at the Top 5 people and groups who had the worst 2015. This week, we look at those who enjoyed the year so much, they probably wish the calendar never turned over. Let’s get the party started!

#5: Donald Trump

Despite being a complete ass, Donald Trump is looking like the next Republican candidate for President of the United States. Some have joked that this is a blessing to Hilary Clinton or whoever holds the Democrat nomination, but the fact Trump has gained any hold over the race can be deemed a success for his camp (and all the fellow bigots who swallow his crap). As he leads the polls, I can’t help but hear the thundering hooves of the four horsemen of the apocalypse approach…

Donald Trump Bankrupt

#4: Justin Trudeau

After being elected Prime Minister of Canada, Trudeau became a media darling not only within his own country, but in many other parts of the world. He’s been viewed as the most attractive political leader in the universe and many have urged him to strike while the iron is hot. Having ousted former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who many viewed as a tyrant and bringer of doom, helped in his ascent and much is anticipated from the new head of state in 2016.

#3: Chinese Parents

I can’t imagine being limited to a set number of kids, should I choose to have any at all, but for 35 years, couples living in China were limited to having just one child. This had the adverse effect of dwindling the female population in the country, as parent’s preferred to sire a male heir to continue their bloodlines. That will all be no more, as the republic declared that the law would be repealed and that partners would now be able to have up to two children.

One Child Policy

#2: Disney and Star Wars

Notwithstanding a lackluster reception for episodes 1-3, faith was renewed in the Star Wars saga thanks to Episode 7: The Force Awakens. Hype for the film was palpable and as someone who is not a fan of the franchise, even I must admit that the new movie was quite good and I’m looking forward to its sequels. Disney, having bought the rights to the space opera, is now building Star Wars themed lands at many of its resorts and I’ll be the judge of whether that’s a good thing, in the future.

#1: Caitlyn Jenner

While there are mixed opinions on Caitlyn Jenner, one thing that can’t be denied is that she brought the issue of transgendered people to a height of public debate that it had never experienced before. Jenner’s choice to live her life as a female, while existing in the public eye, has led to numerous accolades, including being the recipient of the ESPY’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award and being named Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Person of 2015 and Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year.

Cocktail Corner: Midnight Martini

Jan 13

Honourable mentions include teams that brought home championships in their respective leagues, the LGBT community, potheads everywhere, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, and the Toronto Blue Jays, who after two decades of futility, finally gave their fans something to cheer about.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I haven’t had the chance to use my Patron XO Café Tequila very often, but looked forward to applying it to this recipe. To accentuate the martini, I used Stoli Salted Karamel Vodka and the two mixed well together. Start with a drizzle of Caramel Sauce around the glass and you have the makings of a great cocktail!

Portugal – Maria McClaire

Fatal Attraction

The Portuguese are big into fatalism and it has even spawned the country’s national music genre, called Fado. They are quick to use the word “oxalá”, which translated means “if only” or “hopefully”. Let’s check out some of the most popular quotes on fate and see if we can join the Portuguese and get our heads wrapped around this cosmic concept:

“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.” ― Lemony Snicket

I think this quote has to be my favourite of the bunch because it greatly describes how so many different people (“the waiters”) can play varying roles in your life and can push and pull you in different directions, some of which you’ll want to travel and others you’d avoid like the plague.

Fate Cat

“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…” ― John Lennon

Leave it to John Lennon to confuse and interest you all at the same time. This great lyric comes from The Beatles classic, All You Need is Love, and while it’s been proven time and time again that you, in fact, need a little more than simply love, it’s certainly a wonderful start and can be the impetus for your greatest adventures!

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote would seem to say that we have more power than we think in our own lives. That the universe will follow suit and fix itself accordingly to our wishes and desires. I hope that this is accurate. I’d like to think that I drive fate and not the other way around. I’m probably wrong, but I refuse to stop believing.

“Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been fate. People are always a little confused about this, as they are in the case of miracles. When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that’s a miracle. But of course if someone is killed by a freak chain of events — the oil spilled just there, the safety fence broken just there — that must also be a miracle. Just because it’s not nice doesn’t mean it’s not miraculous.” ― Terry Pratchett

Mrs. Sip and her sister are huge fans of Terry Pratchett and even I must admit that I dig this quote. It’s so true that the word fate gets tossed around mostly for moments of tragedy. I tend to use it much more in the positive light, such as the fate of love, friendship, and great occurrences during one’s life.

Tempting Fate

“Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him.” ― Groucho Marx

I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Mrs. Sip does most of our planning and that has resulted in the Sip Advisor living a charmed life, with folks regularly saying they want what I have or being interested in my activities because I lead a fun-filled, fascinating lifestyle. Keep up the good work, Mrs. Sip!

“What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.” ― Donald Trump

So, if we are to believe The Donald, I guess he didn’t react too well to fate in the following situations where he turned out to be a mega loser: the death of the United States Football League; his multiple failed marriages; and worst yet, the bungling of Trump Vodka. Gotta give the guy props for always trying, though.

Tempting Fate Kitty

“I believe in luck and fate and I believe in karma, that the energy you put out in the world comes back to meet you.” ― Chris Pine

I’m a huge believer in karma. It guides most of what I do and when things take a downturn, I’m quick to examine what I may have done to cause my own misfortune. Finding a perfect balance in your own life is something I think all folks chase and if they don’t, they end up suffering and being miserable.

“Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.” ― Les Brown

This reminds me of the old adage: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. You have to roll with what you are given and turn bad into good. If you’re lucky enough to largely get good right off the bat, then you have to embrace that and turn it into as much positivity as possible, staving off the bad as long as you can.

Portugal: Maria McClaire

Maria McClaire Martini

  • 1.5 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Port
  • 0.5 oz Campari
  • Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Garnish with Peach Slice

What are your thoughts on fate? Did these quotes inspire anyone out there in the Land of Sip? Did I inspire any of you to be better people? Probably not, so let’s just enjoy a quick drink together and go our separate ways!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
If you’d like to check out more Port recipes, check out this great site. When I originally made this cocktail, I had a bit of a mind lapse and used Irish Creme instead of Irish Whiskey… let’s just say things turned out much better when I realized my transgression and corrected the recipe.

May 31 – False Start

Legendary Leagues

Most leagues fail within their first year of operation. If they survive long enough to hand out their inaugural championship, then they usually face other elements of strife, such as low attendance, trouble landing a TV broadcasting deal, and teams folding or relocating. The waters are rough, but if a leagues treads long enough, it just may endure. Here are the top 5 defunct sports leagues and their intriguing stories:

#5: X Football League

Because the NFL just wasn’t fun enough, along came the XFL from World Wrestling Entertainment mogul Vince McMahon. Ironically, while most believe the ‘X’ stood for eXtreme, this is not actually the case and the ‘X’ was never defined. In partnership with NBC, the league only lasted one season. With a few rule changes that were meant to spice up pro football, the eight-team league was dogged by the stigma attached to professional wrestling and what many thought was an inferior quality of play. Ratings were initially strong, but dropped in half from week one to week two and continued to decline over the course of the year. The XFL fizzled out following the season-ending Million Dollar Game and closed up shop on May 10, 2001. Both McMahon and NBC reportedly lost $35 million each in the joint venture.

XFL

#4: SlamBall

A sport with trampolines and full body contact… sounds like a recipe for success to the Sip Advisor and the one time in my life I was mildly interested in the sport of basketball. When TNN (now Spike TV) was making strides to change its image from a country music station to a network geared towards male viewers, one of their early experiments was SlamBall. Unfortunately, the league only ran seasons in 2002, 2003 and 2008, but did hold an international tournament in 2012, in China. Created by Mason Gordon, SlamBall grew from six to eight teams for the 2003 season, but a disagreement between Gordon and Warner Bros. ended with the league being dissolved. The 2008 season returned to a six-team format and the winning coach was Samuel L. Jackson… er, I mean Coach (Ken) Carter.

#3: Roller Hockey International

The early 90’s were a wonderful time and part of that amazing period was the advent and popularity of rollerblades. So, along comes the RHI, hoping to capitalize on that fad. Games were even broadcast on ESPN2 during the early years, showing the potential popularity the sport could have harnessed. The high-scoring (RHI averaged 16.7 goals per game, compared to the NHL’s seven at the time) league played from 1993-97 and also in 1999. Played 4-on-4, a number of NHL alum also strapped on the blades, including Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier. Unfortunately, a planned Super Nintendo video game never materialized, although that fact probably saved me hours in front of the TV and instead, I was outside playing roller hockey! RHI folded operations for good in 2001, despite some of the best team names ever seen in sport.

RHI SNES

Sadly, it never came to be!

#2: United States Football League

Looking to compete with the NFL and offer fans an alternative to fill their growing football needs, the USFL may not have succeeded, but many of the innovations they brought to the game, as well as markets they used for franchises, would eventually be adopted by the NFL juggernaut. Backed by Donald Trump and others with deep pockets, the league produced a number of stars who also enjoyed success in the NFL, as well as two future wrestling World Champions in Lex Luger and Ron Simmons. The crushing blow to the USFL came when they filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, claiming it had established a monopoly. Despite expecting a substantial windfall, the USFL was awarded $1 (that’s not a typo). Heavily in debt, the league ceased operations. The ESPN’s 30-for-30 documentary Who Killed the USFL? examines the league’s brief existence.

#1: World Hockey Association

Launching in 1972 with 12 teams, the WHA made an immediate big splash with the signing of NHL star Bobby Hull to a 10-year, $2.7 million contract. In all, 67 players jumped ship from the NHL to the WHA for the inaugural season. Sadly, the league was plagued with difficulties, including financial struggles, arena issues, teams relocating, and franchises folding. Four WHA franchises still exist in today’s NHL: the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets (moved to Phoenix), Quebec Nordiques (moved to Colorado), and Hartford Whalers (moved to Carolina). The league’s legacy also lives on via European stars coming to North America, higher salaries, and a lower draft age. For an in-depth look at the WHA’s seven tumultuous seasons, check out Ed Willes book, The Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association.

Super Saturday Shot Day: False Start

False Start Shot

  • 0.4 oz Cider
  • 0.4 oz Bourbon
  • 0.4 oz Brandy
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with an Apple Slice

Honourable mentions include the American Basketball Association, which was loosely spoofed in the Will Ferrell film Semi-Pro, and the Arena Football League, which cancelled their 2009 season, but has since been resurrected under new ownership. Which defunct sports league do you miss?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shooter went down very easy and was fun thanks to the bubbles of the Cider. The Bourbon and Brandy flavours do play a role, but not too aggressively. That makes for a couple good Cider recipes for me in the last little while and I might be experiencing a change of heart as far as the beverage goes!

August 17 – Jell-O Shot

Celebrity Endorsement

Much like Bill Cosby has been the face of Jell-O in the past, many celebrities have lent their name and likeness to liquor products. Even 90’s boy band Hanson has been linked to a beer called MmmHop… while that seems totally ridonkulous, here are some legit spirit-celebrity relationships:

Ron Jeremy – Ron de Jeremy Rum

That’s right, the well-hung porn legend has released his own brand of Rum. Sadly, this elixir was temporarily banned from Manitoba, Canada liquor store shelves, despite no objectionable writing or images on the label, just solely based on Jeremy’s former career. I expect better of my country!

Ron de Jeremy Rum

Dan Aykroyd – Crystal Head Vodka

You’d expect the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to support this Vodka, but instead you get funnyman Dan Aykroyd being responsible. My buddy got a bottle of this spirit for his 30th birthday and we have yet to crack it open… shame on us!

Marilyn Manson – Mansinthe

It’s a very interesting choice for a celebrity to lend their talents to an Absinthe creation, but nothing Marilyn Manson does in the world of business and entertainment could be considered normal. This Absinthe blend does in fact contain the hallucinogenic wormwood, which has me very intrigued.

Donald Trump – Trump Vodka

Unfortunately, The Donald’s alcohol endeavor is no more, as “the company failed to meet the threshold requirements”… whatever that means. When the liquor was released, Trump was so sure of its success that he gloated the Trump and Tonic and Trump Martini would be the next big things to hit the mixology world.

Trump Vodka

Danny DeVito – Danny DeVito Limoncello

Why Limoncello? Why not!? It goes along with DeVito’s Italian heritage, I suppose. I kind of wish DeVito had resurrected his Louie De Palma character from Taxi and released some filthy sewer water concoction, just looking to make a quick buck in this scheme.

George Clooney – Casamigos Tequila

As if George Clooney needs another thing that makes him look cool, suave, and sophisticated! This Tequila has a ton of hype built up around it, largely because of Clooney’s association with the brand. It has quickly shot up my list as a must-try. Warning: It will not make you the world’s sexiest man alive!

Justin Timberlake – 901 Tequila

As JT explains, the 901 stands for 9:01pm, when the evening ends and the night begins! The 901 moniker also doubles as the area code for the artist’s hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Either way, it’s a clever marketing tool.

901 Tequila

Willie Nelson – Old Whiskey River Bourbon

I’m surprised Willie Nelson’s endorsement power hasn’t been completely spent in the marijuana field (or even the tax evasion field), but here we are with a Bourbon product that bears the title of one of Willie’s classic cover tunes, ‘Whiskey River’… a song about getting blitzed on the booze.

Sammy Hagar – Cabo Wabo Tequila & Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum

The Van Halen rocker seriously likes his booze. Enough so that he started the Cabo Wabo bar chain and Tequila, later adding Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. The Cabo Wabo Tequila is one of the few products on this list that I’ve actually tried (and enjoyed!) in Cabo San Lucas, no less!

Cee Lo Green – Ty Ku Sake

Here’s an interesting pairing. You have singer and songwriter Cee Lo Green dabbling in the Japanese traditional spirit of Sake. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. A few other celebs also have stake in this company, including gossip blogger Perez Hilton. Good company to keep…

TY-KU-Sake

Billy Gibbons – Pura Vida Tequila

The ZZ Top front man joins a long list of musicians who have entered the liquor game. This Premium Tequila (don’t they all advertise themselves to be that!) is surely consumed by sharply dressed men with great legs, on their way to La Grange. I wonder if Gibbons’ famous beard ever gets matted and tangled by the Pura Vida Tequila

Bill Murray and Mikhail Baryshnikov – Slovenia Vodka

Can you imagine the board of director meetings that happen within this Vodka company, led by the odd couple of actor Bill Murray and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov? Between the jokes and choreography, I’m willing to bet that barely any work gets done at all at these offices.

Drink #229: Jell-O Shot

Jell-o Shooter

  • 1/2 Cup of Vodka/Spiced Rum/Tequila
  • Mix Liquors with 1/2 Cup Water and Cool in Fridge
  • 1 Cup Water, Boiled
  • 1 Pack of Jell-O (Watermelon, Berry Blue, Lime)

If I could have a celebrity endorsement for this site, I’d pick some of the finest alcoholics known to fame: I’m talking the Mel Gibson’s or David Hasselhoff’s of the world. As for myself, in the not-too-distant future, I will be a dot.com celeb and will have to be careful when choosing products to attach my name to. Look out for a future article regarding my selective process!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I figured Jell-O Shots had to be done at some point in this project and why not combine them with Frozen Cocktail Week, since there’s really no point in making a frozen shooter (you might as well just go ahead and entitle it Brain Freeze… light bulb!). Making Jell-O shots made me feel like a kid again… except this time I was getting ripped throughout the entire process. I want to thank Ma Sip and Cousin Sip for their help throughout the project. I decided to do three different versions of the shooters (lime with tequila, berry blue with spiced rum, and watermelon with raspberry vodka) with my favourite being the vodka-watermelon combo. I never really liked Jell-O Shots until I made them myself!