March 15 – Shamrocked

Kiss Me, I’m Irish

Around this time of year, we all want to be a little bit Irish… at least for the kisses! Therefore, I’ve taken it upon myself to name the top five greatest Irish citizens, invoking the 1/8th Irish within me. This is a hard list to breakdown, so I decided to take one member from each of the following worlds: literary, music, sports, business, and acting. I could have probably done an entire article about the greatest Irish drinkers, but that seems an even more difficult topic to tackle. Let’s get started, shall we!?:

#5: Bram Stoker

For turning Vlad the Impaler into the blood-sucking, eternal living, ghoul that has come to be the inspiration for countless movies, TV shows, plays, comics, and so much more media, Bram Stoker may be Ireland’s most famed writer, among a sea of other talented scribes. Including fictionalized diary entries, letters, and newspaper clippings, Stoker added an aura of realism to the story of Dracula, as the bloodthirsty count battled Professor Abraham Van Helsing and others. Sadly, Stoker could also be blamed for such vampire awfulness as Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Bram-Stoker

#4: Padraig Harrington

One of golf’s most successful players, Harrington has won two British Opens, as well as one PGA Championship. His 2008 season was exemplary, as the Dubliner won both of the aforementioned tournaments that season and was named European Tour and PGA Tour Player of the Year. Of the two golf majors he hasn’t won, his best performances were in the top five. Harrington is also heavily involved in charity work and is a global ambassador for the Special Olympics, hosting clinics for both players and coaches. Golfer John Daly may better exemplify the true Irish spirit with his personal trials, but we’ll take Harrington here.

#3: Bono

While I’d rather write about Enya and her moody, spiritual tracks, or Van Morrison and his classic rock, even I’d have to admit that Bono is a larger than life superstar. U2 (including fellow Irishman and buddy The Edge) are one of the most successful music acts of all-time. Their discography is full of hits, including Sunday Bloody Sunday, Vertigo, and With or Without You. The front man has received mixed reviews for his various causes with many critiquing him for being too preachy. If Bono doesn’t stop, I’ll reveal to the world that his real name is Paul Hewson… oops, too late! What’s so great about the name Bono anyway?

bono-looking

#2: Daniel Day-Lewis

This fine actor has wowed audiences with his portrayal of characters like Bill the Butcher (Gangs of New York), Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood), and even Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln). Day-Lewis is extremely devoted to his craft, researching his roles vigorously. For The Last of the Mohicans, he learned to live off the forest land, much like his character did. Later, for the period piece The Age of Innocence, he wore 1870’s aristocratic clothing (cane, cape, and top hat) out and about New York for two months. For Gangs of New York, he even apprenticed as a butcher. And here I refuse to even learn how to be a proper writer!

#1: Arthur Guinness

Ever notice that if you rearrange the letters in Guinness and tell a couple of them to screw off Irish style, you can spell genius!? Well, that’s what Arthur Guinness was. Sure, a Guinness stout is like a full meal and isn’t the easiest of beers to enjoy, but those who truly love a good pint will tell you until their blue in the face that Guinness should be held on its own pedestal. As far as Irish entrepreneurs go, I also have to toss some credit to Tony Ryan, the creator of Ryanair, which has helped Mrs. Sip and I cheaply traverse parts of Europe. Here’s a Guinness in honour of both gentlemen!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Shamrocked

Shamrocked Shooter

  • 0.5 Irish Whiskey
  • 0.5 Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Midori
  • Garnish with a Shamrock

For more Ireland coverage, check back later this week, as the Emerald Isle is out next stop for Around the World. It just so happens to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, which I hope all my little sippers out there are able to celebrate safely and happily!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty decent with the ingredients mixing together pretty well and creating a creamy melon taste. Luckily, I had bought Mrs. Sip a Shamrock necklace when I was in Ireland all those years ago and it was the perfect accent to the shooter.

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October 31 – Rigor Mortis

Costume Craziness

Halloween can be a fun time of year. It’s the one day where you can be something you’re not. Good girls can go bad and the living can pretend they’re dead. Even animals can get in on the act! Here are the various costumes I’ve worn over the years:

halloween-costumes-boys-girls

Little Bear

While I don’t recollect this Halloween experience at age 3, I’ve consulted Ma Sip for details of my first Trick or Treat outing. Dressed as a bear (a nice little image for you furry fans out there), the Sip Advisor cried at the first house he was taken to. Then, upon realizing that a simple knock on the door resulted in candy to be giveth, Ma and Pa Sip couldn’t stop this cuddly, maniac bear from hitting every house in the neighbourhood!

Transformer

When I was a wee little sipper, I was a massive fan of the original Transformers cartoon. Pa Sip created a costume for me, so I could be Optimus Prime. Using a large cardboard box painted red and blue, I looked like the leader of the Autobots. One problem: as I showed off my awesome look at pre-school, the box was too big to allow me to sit down and I had to stand most of the day. Even worse, when I first went to hop out of our old 1984 Suburban, I ended up falling, resulting in a turtle-like stranded situation!

Optimus PINT... it could have been so easy for Pa Sip. Hindsight is 20/20!

Optimus PINT… it could have been so easy for Pa Sip. Hindsight is 20/20!

Batman

Cue the Christian Bale voice… “I’m Batman!” Along with Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and soon-to-be Ben Affleck, I too played the role of Batman. But my Batman was more of the awesome Adam West variety. Broski Sip was my sidekick as Robin and together, we saved Gotham City from injustice, were rewarded with candy, and broke the hearts of those handing out treats at every door.

Dracula/Frankenstein

In following years, I experimented with the classic monster costumes. It was fun being all painted up to look undead. I’m not sure I ever looked very intimidating… probably more cute than anything else (no surprise there!). I think these are perfect costumes for kids, as it lets them dip their toe into the world of scary looks, without getting too spooky. I suppose nowadays zombies would be a huge hit for little ones and that just continues the legacy.

Zombie-Costume

Road Dogg

When professional wrestling was one of the biggest phenomena’s in the late 90’s, most of my friends went as one of the grapplers. I went as ‘Road Dogg’ Jesse James, with Grandma Sip even knitting me a hair piece, attached to a D-Generation X hat, to capture Road Dogg’s dreadlock look. It was a pretty simple costume because other than that, all I needed was to wear track pants and my D-X t-shirt. Some didn’t get it, but those who did absolutely loved the effort.

Clark Kent/Superman

After a number of years off from Halloween, I was dragged back into the costume hunting experience by Mrs. Sip. We were thinking of doing something related to one another and when Mrs. Sip decided upon going as Supergirl, I had no other choice, but to go as Superman, despite my abhorrence of the character. Trying to steer slightly away from being ‘The Man of Steel’ I grabbed a costume that was more Clark Kent, but you could pull open the shirt and jacket to reveal the iconic Superman logo.

couple-costumes

Couple’s costumes… what a bunch of boobs!

Dr. Howie Feltersnatch

Now going to adult Halloween parties, I was on the prowl for the perfect costume to stir up a little controversy. I settled on a gynecologist outfit and became Dr. Howie Feltersnatch. Go ahead; take a moment to appreciate the finely crafted moniker. With Sookie Stackhouse (aka Mrs. Sip) by my side – with vicious vampire bite and bottle of True Blood – we made a grand entrance… just like the focus of my medical career!

Lady Febreeze

My most recent Halloween misadventure was at Cousin Sip’s party, where guests were challenged to create their own superhero. Mrs. Sip and I came up with the characters The Boozelar (like the Hamburglar, but taking people’s drinks) and Lady Febreeze. Originally, we planned to take our normal gender roles, but decided to swap for effect. Therefore, I showed up wearing a blonde wig, glittered mask, pink bra, hula skirt, glow sticks, and chased people around all night (especially the sneaky Boozelar), squirting them with a water-filled atomizer!

Drink #304: Rigor Mortis

Rigor Mortis Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Cherry Vodka (I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir)
  • 0.75 oz Amaretto
  • Top with half Orange Juice and half Pineapple Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Maraschino Cherry

What are some of your memorable costumes? Happy Halloween everyone and stay safe out there!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was good, but not as great as I hoped it would be. I didn’t get a taste of the Grey Goose Cherry Noir like I usually do in other cocktails, as it was unfortunately buried under all the other ingredients. Still, it was a relatively tasty mix.