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.

July 15 – Lay Back and Relax

Panic Attack

We’ve all been there… these incidents come up in our lives and although they are relatively routine, our anxiety level rises, we begin to perspire, and all the crazy worst-case scenarios we can ponder rush through our mind. Then, when it’s all over we let out a light chuckle and wonder why we got so worried in the first place…

Gas Light Comes On

You’ve been watching your gas meter for most of the drive, noticing it incrementally drop as you make your trek. You get your first moment of panic as it drops under the 1/8th notch and continues to fall sharply. Then, the little orange light flashes on and you’re a mess, thinking your car will break down right then and there. Until you find a gas station, especially if you’re in unfamiliar territory, you’re a nervous wreck. When you find a station you race into it, nearly hitting a pedestrian or two (don’t worry, they don’t matter) and you fill your car up like breathing oxygen into a breathless human. All’s well that ends well!

caroutofgas

Meeting a Celebrity

Not that I’ve met many in my life, but the few I have (in a non-working, journalistic capacity) have caused me to get super shy and tongue-tied. Broski Sip and I once went to a nearby Walmart to meet wrestler Bret Hart and have him sign his autobiography, which was to be my Christmas gift that year from Broski. As we approached his table, all I could utter was a quick thank you, before we shuffled off. A few months later, I conducted a 15-minute interview over the phone with the grappling legend, without a single star-struck moment.

Splitting the Bill/Calculating Tips

You’re out with friends for dinner or drinks and the bill comes. How should it be split? Who ordered what? How’s everyone paying? I think it’s just all the questions that come up after a bill has been presented that can raise anxiety. I don’t know why tipping gets me a little nervous. I’m a good tipper and many places now give you suggested percentages to tip. If you’re paying electronically, you can let science do all the calculations. We all just need to relax a little.

lastsupperbillsplit

Getting ID’d

I’ve been legal age in Canada for more than a decade and even in the U.S., for quite some time. I don’t get as apprehensive about it anymore, but when I was in my mid-20’s I got worried every time I was ID’d. Would they accuse me of having fake identification? Not likely. I still get worried sometimes across the border, because they don’t necessarily know what our IDs look like and we have had some incidents where they insist on a passport over our normally adequate driver’s licenses.

Parallel Parking

I absolutely hate parallel parking to the point where I refuse to do it. This can be an issue sometimes, given I live in a downtown core and am often forced to run errands for Mrs. Sip (hmmm, maybe my problem is Mrs. Sip!?) I’m actually a decent parallel parker if I have to do it, but I’ve rarely been forced into the situation, so why risk it when you can usually find a better and more accessible spot with a little patience?

parallel-parking

Border Crossing

This one is very similar to getting ID’d. I think it’s just because you don’t know what to expect from a border guard. Will they be friendly, or a total jerk? What questions will they ask you? Even if you haven’t done anything wrong in your entire life, you feel like a border patrol agent will somehow sniff out your one minor transgression. Then, all they ask you is where you’re going and wave you through without incident!

Getting a Haircut

Every time I get a haircut, there’s always a few moments at the start of the job, when you look in the mirror and look so totally ridiculous that thoughts start running through your head about how your luck has finally run out and this will be an awful haircut. I always think, if all else fails I could shave my head (a little ace in the hole for the male sex). Of course, the haircut always turns out well in the end, but for those few moments when you can’t see that the end result will be fine, you’re sweating bullets.

Drink #196: Lay Back and Relax

Lay Back and Relax Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Chambord
  • Splash of Grand Marnier
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with Strawberry and Palm Tree Stir Stick

I know I’m not the only one that has a small panic during these moments. Join me in exercising your demons and perhaps you won’t feel so bad about these tasks in the future. Have I missed anything that really makes you anxious? Like Frasier Crane, I’m listening!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I figured this drink would be good and I wasn’t disappointed. It might be a little sweet for some, but that can be solved by dropping the increments of some of the spirits and upping the milk content. A perfect cocktail for dessert.

May 14 – Time for a Change?

Politically Declined

To sum up quickly, I hate elections, politicians and basically everything having to do with the political process.

I feel that government doesn’t do very much, what it does accomplish takes way too long to get done, and when it finally gets done, then we go and repeal it anyway. I would never trust a politician further than I could throw them… unless it was hilariously off a cliff Wile E. Coyote style!

swanson-govt

Elections are the worst time of the year. Our news is inundated with one group of politicians going on about stupid things other politicians have done such as riding transit without a ticket or running a red light while taking their son to an early morning hockey practice, all presumably in an attempt to sway voters who won’t bother to actually look up the various parties’ platforms. With a multitude of rainbow signs going up everywhere you look and TV commercials interrupting my programming, I just want to take a three-month nap and avoid the whole scenario. And don’t even get me started on the annoying phone calls and pamphlets.

Perhaps if elections were solved with cage fights, I might be a little more interested. Think about it, you could have a stacked card of death matches and charge people to come and see who “wins” the battle. And all the proceeds would go to fund the “elected” government’s initiatives and programs.

If you look through the history of the world, every important issue has been settled at WrestleMania, so why not continue down this path in the political forum?

Sadly, this is not to be, but it’s something for future generations to keep in mind. Maybe when the polar ice caps eventually melt and we go into a state of martial law, we can revisit my proposal.

politicians

I took a political science course once and I couldn’t stand it. Every class, when the teacher looked like he was wrapping things up and was going to let us free a little earlier, there would always be one jackass who would keep asking questions – queries of a political nature, but having nothing to do with our current lesson – until before you knew it, we had actually run over the class time and would now be fighting each other to exit, Battle Royal style, in order to get to the parking lot.

All that said, today I have to go stand in line to execute my “right” as a free democratic being who enjoys the benefits of not living in a dictatorship, I guess.

dictator

Although, this guy looks like he knows how to party!

Mrs. Sip insists that I vote, even threatening to withhold potato chips and cookies from me. What she doesn’t know is that as soon as I enter the private voting booth, I promptly check off the candidate she dislikes the most, file my ballot, and call it a day!

Drink #134: Time for a Change?

Time For a Change Cocktail

  • Rim glass with Sugar
  • 1.5 oz Black Cherry Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Wildberry Juice
  • Dash of Orange Bitters

Is it really time for a change? I say, who cares. It’s usually not too long before we hate the dude or dudette we all elected. People say if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about what happens. And really, that’s the only reason the Sip Advisor goes to the polls every year!

elections-candidate

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is quite the cocktail to undertake. Sadly, I had to leave the lavender portion of the recipe out, but it wasn’t missed too much. I really enjoy any drink that contains Black Cherry Bourbon and this was no exception. I found it really hard to pick an election-themed cocktail, as most were American-related and well, that’s not where I live. I still love the drink name Obama Slammer, though.

April 27 – London Fog

Ice Ice Baby

Perfect for Halloween and all other non-denominational holidays, a recent fad in the mixology world has been to use dry ice or liquid nitrogen in cocktails, giving the presentation a special effect as a smoky fog rolls off of the drink.

Molecular Mixology

But there are dangers to the process, as well. An 18-year-old girl in the United Kingdom, celebrating her birthday, had her stomach removed after drinking a liquid nitrogen-Jagermeister recipe. That would be awful. You finally become legal and you’re out on the town for a wild night, but you can’t even get past your first drink… talk about a lightweight!

Also, you’d figure this chick’s stomach lining would be stronger given the diet of bangers and mash she certainly grew up eating. Jagermeister strikes again! So many years after the World Wars and Germany still wants revenge against the British.

Back to the issue at hand, these substances can cause cold burns to the mouth, throat and stomach, if ingested. Once it hits the stomach, it can warm rapidly, releasing air and other gases that can cause the stomach to burst… now that would be one epic fart.

Epic cat fart

This poor girl had to have a total gastrectomy (their words, not mine), which will certainly become all the rage for women, when it’s revealed that this process forcibly causes people to eat less, never feel hungry, and without a stomach, they won’t get big bellies.

If you are ever to order one of these “frozen” cocktails, you are advised to make sure the dry ice or liquid nitrogen has completely dissipated before taking a sip. That’s the issue here. This young girl was so fired up to get some booze into her system (aren’t we all!) that she couldn’t wait. Remember this little ditty I wrote to stay safe: If there’s steam, you’ll scream… if it’s clean, time to get smashed (I just didn’t feel like making it all rhyme… it’s more memorable that way!).

I have now tried a nitrogen cocktail, with Mrs. Sip at Hyde Lounge in Las Vegas. While they made the drink right in front of you with a travelling mixing bowl, it wasn’t served until the nitrogen had completely evaporated. The result was a frozen, blended recipe that tasted great as it slowly melted into a drinkable consistency.

I will discuss Molecular Mixology more in future blog posts. For the time being, like our stomachless friend from the UK, I simply can’t wait to get my drink on…

Drink #117: London Fog

London Fog Shot

  • 0.75 oz Absinthe (I used Mata Hari)
  • 0.75 oz Gin
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

While some dry ice would have been really cool for this shot, I don’t feel like dabbling in the dark arts. I wonder if they ever investigated whether Voldemort was involved in some of these liquid nitrogen incidents? I’m on to you, thou who shall not be named…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Holy hell this shot tastes like poison. I’m sure that was always the intention, as some shots are merely meant as punishment, but still, I had hoped something would come along and save this blend. Shots are harder to rate than cocktails because of this reputation. You can’t merely score the drink on taste and presentation. People do shots to get drunk… this will certainly get the job done!

April 19 – Mad Fuzzy Melonade

The Pursuit of Pucker

Like Bilbo Baggins running out of his hut and through the shire, I yell, “I’m going on an adventure!”

The difference is, while Bilbo traversed much of Middle Earth and had to contend with orcs, dwarves, elves and other wacky creatures (not to mention singing), all I had to do was walk out dejectedly from a handful of American Walmart stores (although the front door greeters can often resemble Gollem) and set off to the next possible home of the magical elixir I was questing.

women of walmart

These are certainly not the greeters I’m accustomed to…

As much as I like drinks featuring the blue raspberry flavour, my absolute favourite taste is watermelon. I’m a fiend for the fruit, almost eating the rind to get every last morsel of watermelon goodness.

When I first heard of the existence of Watermelon Pucker, I knew that I would one day have to own the nectar, and have since always made a point of checking liquor and other grocery stores hoping to stumble upon my sought after treasure.

Repeatedly, it was not meant to be. The closest I could find in my home province of B.C. was Bols Melon Liqueur. Recently, I’ve also tracked down Midori, but neither of these is really meant to highlight the essence of watermelon.

watermelon-love

Imagine my surprise when Mrs. Sip and I stopped into a store at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas last month and I found the beautiful concoction. As I always do, I headed straight for the liquor display (knocking down fellow customers in my wake) and started checking out the bottles available. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I caught the word “Pucker” on one of the mickeys.

It was only an offering of the cherry-flavoured Pucker, but I felt as if Las Vegas’ lady luck was smiling upon me that day. Behind the cherry bottle were two other Pucker varieties. I threw them off the display, causing the poor store attendant to summon security. And there it was… the last of the three options was my Watermelon Pucker.

Sweet baby Jesus, my long wait and hard effort had paid off. I never lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel and for that, I was rewarded.

cat-saw-light

As we paid, I kept the bottle tightly pressed to my chest, stroking its smoothness and muttering “my precious.” It finally dawned on me that we were in an erotica store, complete with books on beginner BDSM and other naughty mementos.

Today, I share with you the sweet potion I rescued from an eternity without me. Just don’t let it go to your head!

Drink #109: Mad Fuzzy Melonade

Mad Fuzzy Melonade Cocktail Recipe

Sip Adivsor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
A sweet and sour drink, I enjoyed it despite the fact that it was not a very boozy drink (the Watermelon Pucker is only 15%). The drink tasted similar to a watermelon Jolly Rancher candy, so can’t complain!

March 30 – Vegas Blowjob

Entertain Me

Well, today we celebrate The Sip Legacy’s (that would be Mrs. Sip and I as a conglomerate) 11-year dating anniversary and it is purely coincidence that this shot was chosen for this momentous occasion. You think she’ll get the hint, fellas? *wink, wink*

This is the second year in a row that we’ve celebrated with a trip to Las Vegas. We love Sin City and we’re not even gamblers. I actually can’t remember the last time I put any money on the line during a stay here. Sure, it’s happened and I had one moderately successful night with video poker, but our main intention when coming to the city is to eat, drink, and be merry. To fulfill the merry portion of that mantra, we love going to shows along the strip. Here are some of our favourites:

Penn & Teller – Rio

These guys do it all, combining magic, comedy, drama, the whole shebang. When we attended this show, Mrs. Sip was wearing a low cut halter top and when the guys were looking for a volunteer for their knife act, I knew they’d pick her (despite her laughable efforts to look anywhere but at the guys). Sure enough they did and because of her participation we were able to get a front-of-the-line chance to meet with Penn and Teller after the show. Teller even spoke, which blew my mind, thanking Mrs. Sip and saying she did a great job!

Penn & Teller

Cirque du Soleil: Ka – MGM Grand

We are huge fans of the Cirque du Soleil shows in Vegas, as well as the ones that tour around the world. This martial arts-themed extravaganza, with its giant, rotating and moving stage, was completely mesmerizing particularly the climax of the show, where performers were running on giant spinning wheels and pulling off different tricks.

Cirque du Soleil: Love – Mirage

Keeping with the Cirque theme, what do you get when you take the amazing circus acts the troupe is known for and set the entire spectacle to the remarkable Beatles music catalogue? You have a surefire hit, that’s what. The soundtrack to this show is amazing, as are most Cirque soundtracks, but the reworking, mash-ups and brilliant original work of the group is particularly memorable.

Cirque Love

Cirque du Soleil: O – Belagio

Let’s discuss one more Cirque show while we’re at it. I’m a born swimmer and I love seeing high dives and crazy feats performed in water. The Cirque folk put a lot of work into their stage design and it pays off for this performance, as the stage can turn into a pool in no time, allowing for the performers to go from dancers to divers seamlessly.

Carrot Top – Luxor

I love Carrot Top’s energy and his frantic style. At the show we attended, he even passed out shots of Crown Royal to some lucky audience members, which made me respect the guy even more. Unfortunately he couldn’t hear a drunk Sip Advisor yelling, “I’m from Canada… I love Crown!” He even made a good impression on Mrs. Sip, who was hesitant at first to make this our show for the trip.

Carrot Top

There are other shows I would recommend, including Lion King (Mandalay Bay), and Jersey Boys (Planet Hollywood, although we saw it on tour in Vancouver). If they still were being performed on the strip, I’d also endorse Cirque du Soleil: Viva Elvis (Aria) and comedian Frank Caliendo (Monte Carlo).

After numerous trips to the city together, there’s still so much more we would like to see: Cirque du Soleil: Zumanity at New York, New York, Louie Anderson at The Excalibur, The Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo, and the list continues to grow with each visit.

Drink #89: Vegas Blowjob

Vegas Blowjob Shooter

  • 0.3 oz Banana Liqueur
  • 0.3 oz Spiced Rum
  • 0.3 oz Jagermeister
  • 0.3 oz Orange Juice
  • 0.3 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with a Condom

Here at Sip Adivsor Headquarters, we endorse safe sex. Just make sure you don’t accidentally ingest the rubber!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Where to begin with this shot! We added the condom garnish for a little humour, but I think it really completed the drink’s appearance. Plus, it was banana-flavoured, so it actually added a little essence to the shooter.

March 24 – Red Alert

Border Jumpers

About 75% of the Canadian population lives along the Canada-U.S. border. This is a tease for these Canadians, as the United States gets products that just can’t be found up here and what you CAN find in both countries usually comes in at a much lower price point south of the border.

For example, Cherry Dr. Pepper, used in today’s bevvy, has been available in the U.S. for a couple years now. In Canada, it is still advertised as a new product, having just hit store shelves in 2012. Cherry Coke, despite existing for decades has never popped across the border to say hi and same goes for Vanilla Coke (previously available in Canada), Mello Yellow, and unique spin-off flavours of Fanta, Mountain Dew, Snapple, etc.

If Gene Simmons is okay with it, why did Canada take so long?

If Gene Simmons is okay with Cherry Dr. Pepper, why did Canada take so long?

Pop (or soda as the Yanks prefer to call it) isn’t the only thing us Canadians have to chase down on trips to the States. There are a number of chocolate bars that can’t be picked up at the local Canadian convenient store. Pay Days (a Sip Advisor favourite), Coconut M&Ms, Butterfingers, and Heath Bars, form the bulk of this list. Although we do try to make up for Butterfingers by substituting Crispy Crunch and Heath by having Skor. And apparently, up north, we do have the market cornered on Coffee Crisp, Smarties, and Aero (all Nestle products)… even Kinder Surprise (eff the chocolate, I love getting little toys!). And I’ll never figure out why it’s two Reese Peanut Butter Cups in each American package and three in Canada… but I’m not complaining.

Recently I compiled a couple blogs about cereals and their slogans. For example, don’t bother looking for Trix in Canada… although perhaps the Trix Rabbit should take refuge in this country to avoid all the loser kids rubbing it in his face that the breakfast is not meant for him. I’m surprised the poor guy hasn’t gone on a breakfast-stealing rampage through an elementary school. Similarly, Apple Jacks cereal was once sold in Canada, but no longer share store shelf space. Cookie Crisp was apparently banned in Canada, which really pisses me off. How can a country ban Cookie Crisp, when its most famous culinary dish is the curd- and gravy-heavy poutine?

Poutine

Books, dairy (particularly cheese), meat, fruits and vegetables, cigarettes, gas, tires, and most junk food top the list of items that are way cheaper in the U.S. than Canada. Here are some other cross border notes:

  • Seagram’s Gin, despite once being a Canadian-owned company, is no longer sold in Canada
  • Canadian Netflix sucks compared to the U.S. version, causing many subscribers to manipulate their systems allowing access to the American subscription
  • Hulu and other TV and movie streaming services will not work in Canada, where we are told they are not available in our region… despite us sharing the same region as the U.S.
  • Stores you can’t find in Canada: Barnes & Nobles, Trader Joes, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, and Nordstrom’s (although rumour has it that at least one Nordstrom’s is crossing the border to downtown Vancouver and apparently the International terminal of Vancouver airport now hosts a Vicky’s)
  • Restaurants exclusively serving the U.S.: White Castle, Cheesecake Factory, In-N-Out Burgers, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box
victorias-secret-fashion-show

Yowza, we really need Victoria Secret in Canada!

Perhaps some of these items will finally be available in Canada with Target stores coming to the Great White North, but if not, I have no issues taking a trip down to the States to load up on Pay Days, Cookie Crisp, Victoria’s Secret lingerie (for Mrs. Sip, of course) and a meal or two at Jack in the Box.

At least we have Tim Horton’s, White Spot (in Western Canada), Ketchup Chips, Kraft Dinner, Swiss Chalet, and Hickory Sticks. I don’t really see Americans coming to our fair country for any of these items (although they should, especially for the White Spot Legendary Burger, Mmmmmm). Americans will probably just order most of these items online and have them shipped for free, while us suckers in Canada always have to pay extreme taxes and fees for the same service.

Drink #83: Red Alert

Red Alert Drink

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey (I used Crown Royal)
  • Top with half Orange Juice and half Cherry Dr. Pepper

To my Canadian brethren, I ask, what do you like to grab on trips to the States? To my friends from the south, is there anything you like in Canada that you can’t get from home? Do you even travel to our little country? Hit me back!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m a big fan of the Cherry Dr. Pepper pop and it probably saved this cocktail It was neat to see the Orange Juice and Dr. Pepper mix together and luckily we were able to snap some good quick photos of the effect.