Flavour Revolution – Apple

Forbidden Follies

While not specifically identified as the forbidden fruit that causes Adam and Eve to be kicked out of the Garden of Eden, it has long been believed that the apple denied all of us utopia. As a result, the apple is viewed as a symbol for a whole slew of things, including knowledge, sexuality, immortality, temptation, and sin. The Adam’s apple in men’s throats is named to reflect the forbidden fruit that is stuck in Adam’s esophagus. Here are some oddly forbidden items from around the world:

Time Travel Depictions – China

So, I guess media like Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, Back to the Future, Hot Tub Time Machine, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and even the third Ninja Turtles movie are all rare commodities on China’s black market movie and TV aisle. Reincarnation (without government permission) is also outlawed in China, as the government tries to take a shot at the Dalai Lama.


Original Baby Names – Denmark

I’m kind of cool with this law, as there are a lot of really stupid names out there. It’s not like Danish folks are that restricted, as there is an approved list of 24,000 names. If you really want a specialty name, you have the opportunity to make your case and get permission. I wonder who is the judge and jury of that court?

McDonald’s – Bolivia

Well, I guess the Sip Advisor will never go to Bolivia. McDonald’s wasn’t necessarily banned in the country, but citizens outright refused to eat at the fast food joint and profits became non-existent. After a 14-year attempt to gain ground in Bolivia, McDonald’s finally elected to waive the white flag of surrender and pack up shop.

St. Valentine’s Day – Saudi Arabia

With the pressure this “holiday” puts on some folks, I think this ban could be welcomed worldwide. No longer would guys have to pay double the price for flowers, chocolates, meals out, etc. on this one day of the year. And why should we need a specific day to show our loved ones what they mean to us. Let the revolution begin!

valentines benefits

Western Haircuts – Iran

This includes Mohawks, mullets, spikes, and ponytails. Thankfully for the 1980’s, the mullet ban didn’t cross over to other parts of the world. That would have cost us some great hair, where business was handled in the front, while partying was left for the back!

Yellow Clothing – Malaysia

When I was just a little sipper, my favourite colour was yellow (or as I called it, “lellow”). Had I been Malaysian-born, I may have never fallen in love with the hue. The ban started to counter an activist group that wore the shade. All this, despite the fact yellow is considered the royal colour in the country.

Small Breast Porn – Australia

Women with A-cup breasts, wanting to embark on a career in the adult industry, will have to take their talents outside of Australia. The country has banned films featuring women with small breasts, for fears that they will encourage pedophilia. I’m no lawyer, but there has to be some sort of human rights violation here.


Women Driving – Saudi Arabia

Since Mrs. Sip is a proud non-driver, yet forces me to vote every time an election rolls around, arguing that I should exercise my right to vote, do you think should I inform her, that she should exercise her right to drive!?

Scrabble – Romania

Any chance I can get them to also ban Taboo… man, I hate that game. As for Scrabble, I’m more of a Boggle man, when it comes to word games. Mrs. Sip is light years ahead of me in the realm of intelligence, but she can’t hold a candle to my Boggle skills!

Flavour Revolution: Herfordtini

Herfordtini Martini

Mark Twain once said: “The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.” There’s some serious truth to that statement and it goes hand in hand with the theory that any publicity can be good for a company or product. Hell, Twain’s work has been banned from time to time, so the man knew what he was talking about!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink provided a nice blend of the Elegant Crisp Gin and Elderflower Liqueur, which provided a bit of a sweet and sour mix. I wanted to garnish the cocktail with a thinner apple fan, but I think these slices worked out okay.

Morocco – Night in Casablanca

Lights, Camera, Action

If we’re being honest, for some people, the only exposure they have to Morocco is through the classic film Casablanca. Ironically, not a single scene of the movie was filmed on location in the city for which it’s named. Morocco, however, has become a popular destination for some of the world’s greatest directors and stars. These popular productions share Morocco as a location, despite rarely being set in the African country:

Game of Thrones

The immensely popular HBO TV series has filmed scenes around the world and that includes Morocco (Ait Benhaddou and Essaouira), which has provided the setting for the cities of Yunkai, Astapor, and Essos. This is where Daenerys Targaryen travels in season three to build her army. Morocco was also used in the pilot episode of the series and can perhaps take a little credit in the massive success of the show… but probably not the copious amount of sex, nudity, murder, and other misdeeds.


Lawrence of Arabia

This cinematic gem was originally pegged to be filmed entirely in Jordan, but added other locales during production. Ouarzazate, Morocco doubled for the Syrian town of Tafas (site of the Tafas massacre), with Moroccan armed forces subbing in for the Turkish army. Apparently filming was problematic because of the unaccommodating soldiers. In the end, all Arab countries (except for Egypt) banned the movie due to its portrayal of Arabian culture.

The Mummy & The Mummy Returns

While four days was about all the Sip Advisor needed in Marrakesh, the first Mummy production stayed for 17 weeks. Kidnapping insurance was taken out on each of the movie’s stars, who weren’t told of this until shooting had wrapped. The sequel only used the Erg Chebbi Dunes as its “Egyptian” desert. For some reason, Morocco wasn’t used for The Scorpion King prequel to the franchise, nor the third film in the trilogy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, although that story was based out of China.


The Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio thriller featured a couple scenes filmed in Morocco, most notably the exciting chase scene set in the narrow alleys of the Tangier, Morocco medina. It also served as the place where Dominick Cobb adds con artist Eames and chemist Yusef to his team, prior to the dash. Finally, it is the setting for the riot images, as Cobb infiltrates Japanese businessman Saito’s mind at the start of the film.


The Man Who Knew Too Much

Another Alfred Hitchcock-Jimmy Stewart collaboration which sees an innocent family become embroiled in an international assassination plot, with their son even being kidnapped. The opening scenes of the film, including the murder of a French intelligence operative, are all filmed in Marrakesh, where Stewart and family are vacationing. This movie (murder, kidnapping, and assassination plots, oh my) provided the basis of what I expected from Morocco!


While this Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe epic is set in the Roman Empire, a large chunk of the movie was actually filmed in Ouarzazate, Morocco (which Mrs. Sip and I visited). This Berber city provided the location for Maximus’ gladiator training, early slave life, and scenes traversing the desert. A mud brick stadium for the battle sequences was built using local techniques. I guess that’s all fair enough, given the Roman Empire did extend into Africa.



One of the first foreign productions to capitalize on Morocco as a filming destination, this Orson Welles adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy ran into a number of logistical issues, resulting in using some unique filming techniques. This included a battle sequence was first filmed in Morocco, but finished while on location in Rome a few months later. When the film won the Palme d’or at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival, it was recognized as a Moroccan creation.

Prince of Persia

While perhaps not on the same level as the other films listed in this article, I have to mention this one, because Mrs. Sip and I were inside one of the Berber homes used during a battle scene of the movie. In fact, the production spent eight weeks in Morocco, which isn’t a huge surprise given the movie largely takes place in the desert. Hell, the movie’s subtitle is The Sands of Time… Morocco was an obvious choice for filming.

Morocco: Night in Casablanca

Night in Casablanca Cocktail

  • 2 oz Mahia
  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 0.25 oz Bourbon
  • Dash of Peychauds Bitters
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wheel

Of course, not every movie made in Morocco is a classic… after all, Sex and the City 2 filmed there. Given it was hard for our crew to find cocktails around the country, I wonder how easily the girls were able to locate their favoured Cosmopolitans!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail was pretty strong, but the ingredients come together well. The Sugar Cube really helps even out the drink. Mahia is an interesting spirit and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet. I’ll have to give it another shot and see how it works out with different bed fellows…

November 11 – Dirty Martini

Hall of Fame

Recently, I got the idea of building my own shrine to immortal alcohols. These spirits have meant a great deal to me and have made me the Sip Advisor I am today. So, without further ado, here is the inaugural Sip Advisor Liquor Hall of Fame Class!

Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum

I’ve always enjoyed spiced rums, but none more so than Sailor Jerry’s. A definite highlight in my relationship with the spirit was a booth along Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience, where free pour drinks that were upwards of 60% Sailor Jerry’s were enjoyed in copious amounts. Sadly, on my last visit, that booth was nowhere to be found… but they can’t take my memories!

sailor-jerry's collection

Crown Royal Whiskey

A true Canadian classic, akin to actor Leslie Nielsen, musician Neil Young, and the Tim Horton’s donut franchise! Crown Royal is a wonderful whiskey that has played a large role in the Sip Advisor’s life and career as a liquor jockey. When a recipe calls for whiskey, it’s hard for me to not instinctively go for the Crown Royal, sitting high and mighty in its top shelf perch.

Bacardi Light Rum

Bacardi Light Rum was training wheels for me, as I entered the booze world in my teenage years. Ma and Pa Sip were regular rum and coke drinkers and like parents like son, I took up the family business. I can’t remember how many times I filled up a flask of Bacardi before heading out to a party. A tradition I will one day pass down to my own little sippers!

Fireball Whiskey

This is my go-to flask filler, perfect for weddings, camping, and nights out on the town. If you’re ever in the need for a little nip of something to get the party started or warm up in inclement weather, Fireball is the perfect tonic to get your motor running. I’ve even converted little sippers to the joys of the whiskey thanks to my great reputation as a sharer.

Frieball Whiskey Heaven & Hell

1800 Añejo Tequila

Mrs. Sip and I were first introduced to 1800 on a group trip to Mexico for New Year’s 2012. In the land of tequila, one fine product emerged for us, combining a wonderful taste with a very reasonable price point. We have since returned to Mexico and tracked down the 1800 Añejo again and it won’t be long before we have to repeat the process a third time.

Granville Island Brewery

The beer wing’s first entrant has to be the offerings of the Granville Island Brewery. From their Raspberry and Wheat Ales to their Lager and Honey Lager entries, not much comes out of the GIB kitchen that doesn’t pass the Sip Advisor’s stringent testing methods. I look forward to many more years of brewing goodness from this micro-brewery.


We finish the evening with our first hall of fame inductee among the mixer category. It’s a pretty obvious choice. My first drinks all included cola (of the Pepsi variety, of course). Whether it was a straight up rum and coke or the adventurous Long Island Iced Tea, cola has always been there for me and I’ll never forget its friendship, love, and support.

Drink #315: Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini Drink Recipe

  • 2 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire East)
  • 0.25 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Splash of Olive Juice
  • Garnish with Olives

As with most hall of fames, a stringent voting process was needed to decide which drinking elements earned their way into these hallowed halls. Thankfully, an entire panel of top journalists and other prominent alcohol figures all reside in my head. Congrats to all the honourees.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
A star-studded event like saluting the 2013 hall of fame class needs a classy drink and so I went for the Dirty Martini. You can make this cocktail with either Gin or Vodka. I decided to go with the Gin variant, as that is the traditional method. One recipe noted to fill your martini glass with an ice cube and some water before placing in the fridge for a few minutes to let the chalice chill. This cocktail is certainly not for everyone. However, I like Olive Juice and I love Gin. Put the two together and the results are actually quite pleasant. I can see why this is such a popular martini to many people.

July 31 – Bronx

Bronx Bombers

Alright, no time for chit-chat. We have a busy couple days as we tour New York City. So, throw on your iPod, kick start your Jay-Z playlist, and let’s run this town tonight!

Go to the Empire State Building

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this landmark, with most complaining that the multiple line-ups you have to stand in to get to the top are poorly planned, frustrating, and not worth it. Still, you may only be there once, so you might as well do all the tourist traps. Make sure to toss a penny from the top. It’s good luck, as long as you’re not down below!


Even King Kong loves the Empire State Building!

Watch a Yankees Game

While the team has moved into a new facility and I’ve missed a chance to see old Yankee Stadium, it would be a top priority to catch one of North America’s most storied franchises play. Of course, if you go as a Red Sox fan, you can also cross off your list “being yelled at by a New Yorker” and possibly “being beaten up by a New Yorker”!

See a Broadway Musical

Trivia: Which production revived New York’s Broadway scene in the 1990’s? Answer: The Lion King. Broadway is a street of dreams, where careers can be born, resurrected, and crushed. While I’m not sure which show I’d check out, it would be a must-do attraction, especially given Mrs. Sip’s penchant for the performing arts.

Get Stuck in Traffic

A movie set in New York always features a chaotic traffic scene, showing lines of cars backed-up for miles. We’ve all been in traffic jams in our hometowns, but New York is surely a different animal. If you don’t want to get into a cab, at least try crossing a multi-lane street, weaving through idle cars, with horns blaring and driver’s swearing.


Enjoy Rockefeller Center

If you visit in the winter, you have to take in the skating rink and perhaps giant Christmas tree (if it’s up). Within the area, the Rainbow Room is said to provide one of the best views of the city and even better, you get to drink while taking it all in… take that, Empire State Building!

Eat Street Meat

I’m not sure if New York gave birth to the food cart movement, but it definitely embraced the ideals of getting your meal on the go. It seems you can get nearly every food known to man around the city, but I’d stick to traditional fare, such as pizza and hot dogs. If you have a sensitive stomach, just be cautious while doing so!

Visit the NHL Head Office

As a long-time hockey fan (since I was a wee little sipper with my sippy cup), it would be great to go to the NHL offices… and yell at commissioner Gary Bettman, if only on behalf of Pa Sip! Perhaps they’d offer me a job or at least let me suspend a player or two. As long as I’m not presiding over another lockout, all will be well.


Reflect at the World Trade Center Site

I’ve been told that the memorial built on the site of the World Trade Center is quite remarkable, with its reflecting pools, waterfalls, and landscaping. While I have no personal ties to the tragedy, a visit would still provide a chance to think of the humanity shown through all the people that risked their lives to save others and how people can truly come together in the face of grief for a common good.

Throw Some Money Down on Wall Street

I don’t take many risks in life – unless they involve jumping off of high surfaces – but it would be neat to buy and sell some stock… that is, until you realized that your miniscule life savings were gone. Perhaps I’ll just go there when I’m taking this juggernaut of a site public. Buy in now and reap the rewards that are surely to come when we all cash out!

Drink #212: Bronx

Bronx Martini

  • 1.5 oz Gin (I used Tanqueray)
  • 0.75 Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 Dry Vermouth
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Garnish with Orange Wheel

Join us tomorrow for more New York City sights, sounds and attractions. Perhaps, by then, we’ll be out of this traffic jam and onto our next destination!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
While I’m not much of a fan of cocktails with Orange Juice, this one wasn’t that bad. Gin and the Vermouths team up in their usual complimentary style and with the OJ, it’s a decent drink all around.


July 2 – Journalist Cocktail

Journalistically Yours

Did you know that the Sip Advisor is actually a trained journalist, specializing in the field of sports writing? Well, today just happens to be World Sports Journalists Day. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best fictional anchors, correspondents, and news teams!

Ron Burgundy & Channel 4 News Team – Anchorman

Ron Burgundy and the gang are a ratings sensation, which doesn’t please their rivals at Channel 2, especially fellow anchor Wes Mantooth. Aside from competition, Burgundy and company also have trouble in the form of women entering the news game and wanting their fair share of screen time and top stories. I can’t wait for the Anchorman sequel to come out and for so many new catchphrases to become part of the pop culture lexicon.


Will McAvoy & News Night Staff – The Newsroom

Mrs. Sip and I have just started watching this series and while I find all the yelling at each other and “I love my job so much I’m going to cry” looks very tiring, it’s a great program with amazing writing and characters you can actually root for (unlike another show that shall not be named because I refuse to have it linked in any way to these awesome “journalists”). The second season begins in just a couple weeks and we find ourselves learning more about the world through fiction than we do through, well…the actual news!

Channel 5 News Team – Family Guy

Led by anchor Tom Tucker and his wonderful mustache, the newscast also featured co-anchor Diane Simmons (until she snapped and tried to kill half the town’s residents), angry weatherman Ollie Williams, and token Asian reporter Tricia Takanawa. Tucker is the heart and soul of this team, though, and it’s always fun seeing him report on the absurd news that occurs in Quahog.

Stephen Colbert – The Colbert Report

Yes, Stephen Colbert is a real person, but his persona while delivering the news is completely fabricated… or at least we all hope it is! The super conservative’s take on world events highlights how insane some people’s view of the world can actually be. While I don’t watch The Colbert Report or Daily Show much anymore, I respect both Colbert and Jon Stewart for their work in becoming more trusted than actual newsmen.


FYI Team – Murphy Brown

Featuring hard-hitting reporter Murphy Brown, the FYI program, based in Washington, D.C., does a top job on covering the American capital. Brown is joined by anchor Jim Dial, investigative journalist Frank Fontana, media darling Corky Sherwood, and executive produced Miles Silverberg. The show was known for taking many of their storylines straight from the real headlines. When not on the set, the FYI crew could often be found at their local watering hole, Phil’s, and that I can get down with!

Kent Brockman & Channel 6 News Team – The Simpsons

Springfield’s resident journalist, Kent Brockman, is a trusted source within the community, even if he does have a spotty news record. His feud with traffic reporter Arnie Pye has led to on-air arguments between the two, which is about as professional as you’d expect a person from Springfield to be. Brockman also hosts other programs, such as Eye on Springfield, Smartline, and even game show Springfield Squares. His segment ‘My Two Cents’ is a highlight of most broadcasts.


The Lone Gunmen – X-Files

This troupe of nerd conspiracy theorists and magazine publishers has investigated some of the world’s greatest mysteries. Because of the nature of their examinations, they choose to remain underground and out of the public eye. Sadly, their spinoff show lasted only 13 episodes. While I never really watched the X-Files, I was interested in The Lone Gunmen because conspiracy theories are interesting to consider, while aliens bore me. Stunningly, the show’s pilot episode featured an attack on the World Trade Centre by hijacked planes six months before the actual 9/11 tragedy.

Weekend Update – Saturday Night Live

Whether you think of the original host, Chevy Chase, or the current presenter, Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live has had a long run of comedians riffing on the news in what is often the show’s best segment. It’s hard to pick my favourite anchor or team among all the candidates, but I enjoyed Jane Curtain’s pairing with Dan Aykroyd, as well as the all-female duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Drink #183: Journalist Cocktail

Journalist Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Gin (I used Hendrick’s)
  • 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Splash of Triple Sec
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with Lemon Wheel and Pen

This was a hard list to narrow down, as it seems every show has a news element to help forward storyline and such. I even had to cut Sesame Street’s resident journalist, Kermit the Frog!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I like this cocktail, despite my sometimes negative feelings about Vermouths. All the ingredients went well together and none were overwhelming in the recipe. The Hendick’s Gin was a nice touch.

April 30 – Income Tax Cocktail

We Hate Your Job

It’s tax season, which always brings to mind how much we hate the government getting its grubby hands into our pockets and taking what is rightfully ours for useless things such as healthcare and schools. Pssh, who needs those, right? Well, I for one, hope that everyone gets a decent tax return which they can invest in liquor libations! Here are some other professions we can hate all year round:

Tax Agents

Whether it’s the IRS in the United States, CRS in Canada, or whatever it is in your neck of the woods, everyone hates the taxman. The Beatles summed-up this venomous attitude very well in their 1966 hit Taxman, singing “Should five per cent appear too small, Be thankful I don’t take it all.” How much do we hate paying our taxes? World Wrestling Entertainment even featured an evil tax agent as a character from 1991 to 1995. His name: Irwin R. Schyster… get it? IRS! Oh, those creative writers!


If you don’t pay your taxes, you’re gonna get an ass whooping!


The thing that pisses me off the most about telemarketers and door-to-door salesmen and the like, is that they have this innate ability to know when you will be most irritated with their interruption and that’s when they choose to contact you. This annoyance can also come in the form of unsolicited mail, which just wastes your time to open, process, and shred.


Liar, lawyer… what’s the difference? I have to tread carefully around this entry, as not only is Mrs. Sip a practicing family law lawyer, but by proxy, a lot of our friends are practitioners as well. One wrong word and I’ll receive a formal notice informing me that I’ll be sleeping on the couch for a week. Have it your way, baby!

(Used) Car Salesmen

No matter how nice they may seem, we must always be leery of the greedy, underhanded, (used) car salesman. So many things can go wrong in buying a new or used car from getting a lemon to being cheated on price and other details. The whole industry is a little dubious as far as I have seen and I will avoid it like a plague.

I want to buy a car off of this dude!

I want to buy a car off of this dude!


I personally dislike all politicians. I have no allegiance to any party or denomination and I fully intend on keeping it that way. I don’t even like talking politics and feel it should be banned from all dinner settings. That said, I believe I have a number of great ideas on how to change this place for the better and I hereby announce my candidacy in the upcoming election.

Parking Enforcers

We’ve all been there before. You’re two minutes late getting back to your car after your meter has run out and yet there’s already a ticket freshly placed on your windshield with no soul in sight to indicate who wrote it. They are like ghosts that vanish the moment they have ruined your day. That said, I’ve never had to pay a single parking ticket (not that I’m building a collection) and have been able to talk my way out of the couple violations left on my vehicle.

Tow Truck Operators

In a similar vein to parking enforcers, tow truck operators seem to prey on their next targets, just waiting for someone to slip up, even innocently, so they can get their next pick-up and meet their quota. A few TV shows have tried to show us that tow operators aren’t so bad, but the perception is a very tough one to improve.

Drink #120: Income Tax Cocktail

Income Tax Martini

  • 1.5 oz Gin (I used Beefeater)
  • 0.75 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

I’m just happy that bartender has to be one of the highest-ranked jobs on the list of jobs people adore. After all, we are responsible for helping you all get your buzz on and forget your troubles!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
There wasn’t much of a taste to this drink. I’m not sure if that’s because the Dry and Sweet Vermouth cancel each other out or because the other ingredients are so minimal that they don’t make much of a difference to the overall flavour. I’m a little flummoxed on this one, but at least it wasn’t bad.