Sip Trips #162: Seattle Story

For the Easter long weekend, the Sip Family travelled to Seattle for a few days of good eating and drinking, while also taking in some of the city’s top attractions. Here’s a look back at how we celebrated the break:

Leaving Friday morning, we stopped at Railroad Pub & Pizza in Burlington for lunch. There, Ma Sip and I shared the Reuben Pizza, while I enjoyed a pint of Triplehorn Folkvang Irish Red Ale. I’m really into red ales at the moment, as you’ll see again later and this was one very fine brew. I liked that the restaurant served beer samples in condiment cups, which was a unique twist to the concept.

personal pizza.jpeg

After our meal, Mrs. Sip and I briefly popped into Farmstrong Brewing, where we tried samples of a couple of their beers and purchased a bottle of their Steer You Right Imperial Stout for the road. We have yet to crack the drink open, but look forward to doing so soon.

Next up, was a visit to Walmart to stock up on Easter goodies and other supplies for the hotel. I found a bottle of Caliber Spiced Rum (only $6!!!), which when paired with a case of Dr. Pepper, meant I was drinking all weekend for about $10.

We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Tukwila and I can’t say enough good stuff about the staff at this hotel, particularly the weekend bartender, who immediately made a connection with us and memorized our favourite drinks. What we love most about the Embassy Suites chain is their amazing manager’s reception happy hour (it’s actually two hours), which allows guests to enjoy free drinks and snacks. The breakfast each morning is also very good and an impressive spread to say the least. Between the two, you don’t really need to eat a whole lot when out and about. During the happy hours, I didn’t want to look like a total lush (although I was capable of this), so I paced myself to four drinks each night, or one per half hour. After all, the Sip Advisor is a man of moderation.

moderation cat

As long time readers know, the Sip Advisor is a potato chip connoisseur and I brought along a few recent finds to be enjoyed on this vacation. Walmart in Canada has released a line of chips that are inspired by countries around the world, including India (Tandoori BBQ), Korea (Red Chili BBQ), Thailand (Red Curry) and Portugal (Charcoal Roasted Chicken). My favourites were definitely the Thai and Portuguese varieties, with the former having a butter chicken flavour and the latter just being straight up delicious.

One of the main reasons for the journey to Seattle was to check out the Woodland Park Zoo, which has some fun Easter events for kids and adults alike. Throughout the day, animals around the park are given Easter treats in the form of snacks they enjoy, while there are also egg hunts for various ages. Baby Sip loved running around and collecting the plastic eggs just about as much as she liked seeing all the animals.

Following the zoo, we grabbed a late lunch at Red Mill Burgers where I had the Red Mill Deluxe, while we shared orders of their fries and onion rings. Mrs. Sip also got a Chocolate-Peanut Butter Milkshake, which was thick and tasty.

cats-with-milkshake

On Sunday, we ventured to Pike Market and the Seattle Waterfront. One of our first stops was Cloudburst Brewing, which had some neat beers, but we weren’t able to stay long, as they don’t allow minors into the tasting room. This is something we have found to be unique to Washington, although it may be an issue in other parts we haven’t visited yet. We did partake in a quick 7oz serving each, with Mrs. Sip ordering the Grandma Take Me Home Coconut Imperial Oatmeal Brown, while I selected the Burst Ultra Pure Platinum Hoppy Session American Wheat. Both were quite good.

Along the Waterfront, we rode the Great Wheel, which we were told did three full revolutions, but we got five. The attraction gives you quite the view of the harbour and other landmarks and provided a safe pod for Baby Sip to roam around in.

For lunch, we visited the iconic Ivar’s Seafood Restaurant, sitting in their lounge, which allowed us Waterfront seating with happy hour prices. Here, we had a fantastic meal, with Mrs. Sip and I sharing the Two-Piece Fish & Chips, as well as the Chowder Sampler. We also ordered a serving of their Bruschetta, which is probably one of the best versions of this appetizer I’ve ever tried. To drink, I had a pint of Silver City Ridgetop Red Ale and it paired really well with the seafood meal.

seafood bad

Sadly, all great trips have to come to an end at some point. On our way home, we stopped at BevMo, which allowed me to pick up a couple treats. I grabbed bottles of Beefeater Pink Strawberry Gin – a product I’d searched for last year in London after seeing ads for it – and Crown Royal Texas Mesquite Whiskey. I love when I can only find Canadian goods in the U.S.

With Easter in the rear view mirror, we make our final push towards returning to Europe in early May. Mrs. Sip and I, along with Sis-in-Law Sip, will be attending a six-course beer pairing dinner tomorrow at El Santo in New Westminster. The brewers on hand will be Steel & Oak and Four Winds and we are greatly looking forward to the occasion.

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Sip Trips #161: Crashing and Banging

Last weekend was a busy one, as we had a number of items on the schedule. Without further ado, here’s what we got up to in another tightly-packed set of days:

First up, was the Iron Assassin’s Demolition Derby at the Abbotsford Centre. I have been a big fan of demolition derbies for some time, dating back to when they were a regular attraction at the annual Pacific National Exhibition. If they were doing four shows per day, I would try to catch all four. We enjoyed this event, bringing Baby Sip along, but found it to be a little disorganized. First, after arriving a few minutes late for the noon start time, we found them still setting up the arena. Next, the event simply ran too long. We left after three hours at the place and they still had a handful of events to go. I will always kick myself for missing the minivan derby, but there’s only so much vehicle exhaust and noise (in an indoor setting) I can take before I’m done. While there, we snacked on some very tasty Chicken Strips and Fries, paired with a Sleeman’s beer.

demolition derby

That evening, we attended a friend’s birthday party at the Billy Bishop Legion in Kitsilano. The place was offering karaoke, so Mrs. Sip and I delivered our thought-provoking version of “I Hate Everything About You” by Three Days Grace. We hadn’t performed the song in about 10 years and it showed! Quick note: if you choose to do karaoke, it’s probably best to pick a song where you know ALL the lyrics, and not just the chorus. At least the beer was well-priced and I enjoyed a few pints of Vancouver Island Piper’s Pale Ale over the course of the evening.

On Sunday, we gathered to watch the eagerly-anticipated Game of Thrones season premiere. For the occasion, I concocted a collection of themed cocktails, including: White Walker (Candy Cane Vodka, Hawaiian Punch Berry Blue Blast), King Slayer (PermaFrost Schnapps, Goldschlager, Tabasco), Red Priestess (Fireball Whiskey, Cranberry-Lemonade Juice, Lemon Juice), Mother of Dragons (Orient Apple Vodka, Lychee Liqueur, Club Soda). My favourite was the White Walker, which had this really interesting blend of mint and berry, exactly as I had envisioned it would.

game-of-thrones.jpg

While prepping for the Game of Thrones return, I visited a BC Liquor Store to pick up some beers for guests. My purchase was the Stanley Park Concession Stand Summer Mix Pack, featuring their SunSetter Peach Wheat Ale, Trail Hopper IPA, DayTrip West Coast Lager and small batch Summer Hefeweizen. I also spotted a couple interesting products in Crown Royal Peach and a 99-Can Pabst Blue Ribbon pack, which screams beer pong tournament or century club challenge.

Upcoming, the Sip Family is off to Seattle for the Easter extra-long weekend. There, we’ll explore a few of the breweries and get up to other shenanigans. We’re also hoping to stop in Bellingham at some point to enjoy their 2019 Beer Week. Should be a fantastic time!

April 4 – Easter Basket

Easter Eats

Every year, I put together an Easter candy hunt for Mrs. Sip. Yeah, I know, I’m the greatest husband in the world! This surprise holds two benefits: I score major points with the missus and I have a plethora of Easter treats to enjoy for myself. It’s like guilt free and all! Here are some of my favourite Easter goodies!

#5: Chocolate Eggs

Whether it be Snickers, Oh Henry, Butterfinger, Crunch, or some other option, these are some of the most satisfying Easter treats and you can’t stop at just demolishing one. Sure, it’s basically just the chocolate bar in a flat, egg shape (which you pay more for than a full-size treat), but there’s something to be said for small sizes and being able to eat more of a variety of things, than just one option. This is why Halloween is so awesome, too!

Easter-Chocolate

#4: Reese’s Products

While any Easter entry from Reese’s is delicious, the topper is the company’s eggs, which are incredibly similar to their traditional peanut butter cups. I’m also a fan of their mini-cups (wrapped of course in pastel colours) and smaller foil-wrapped eggs. They even have peanut butter stuffed chocolate bunnies, which should have the entire population of chocolate bunnies cowering in fear. I smell a massive chocolate rabbit cull on the horizon…

#3: Jelly Beans

Every once in a while, I get a massive craving for jelly beans, which I only sometimes act on. While most around the world have to settle for other jelly bean offerings (Jelly Belly, Starburst, Jolly Rancher, etc.), us folks in this part of the world (that would be British Columbia) can enjoy Purdy’s jelly beans, which are the softest, tastiest confections ever devised. I say “settle” for the other companies, but they all have their own positive attributes. Eat on, my little sippers!

jelly bean diet

#2: Cadbury Crème Eggs

For some reason, Mrs. Sip isn’t down with Crème Egg candies, but that doesn’t stop the Sip Advisor from picking up a pack or two for himself! There’s just something fun about cracking one of these open and dealing with the creamy goo in whatever way you choose fit. Capitalizing on the popularity of Cadbury Crème Eggs, other companies have released similar products, with mixed results. Some are decent to good, but nothing compares to the original.

#1: Mini Eggs

While some knockoffs have popped up on the market, nothing beats the true version of Mini Eggs from Cadbury Chocolates. Ma and Pa Sip seem to always have a bowl around at their place and it is incredibly difficult to behave yourself and stay away from said bowl. I try to only have one of each colour every time I visit the bowl, but there are certainly times when I can’t pry myself away from the treats, especially after a couple Easter drinks!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Easter Basket

Easter Basket Shot

  • Rim glass with Coconut Shavings
  • 0.75 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Triple Sec
  • Splash of Milk
  • Dash of Grenadine

I have to include a couple items in my honourable mentions that Mrs. Sip enjoys, while the Sip Advisor doesn’t at the same level. This would include Whopper’s Robin Eggs and Peeps. Malt balls and marshmallows don’t totally work this guy, but I appreciate how happy they make Mrs. Sip!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
You can either add green food colouring or sprinkles to the Coconut Shavings to get that Easter basket grass effect. I wish I had used some other Easter candies for my garnishing, but I didn’t have any on hand. You know, the whole healthy lifestyle thing. The shot was highlighted by the sour taste of the Cherry Liqueur, but I wasn’t overly thrilled with the entire recipe as a whole.

Russia – Estate Cocktail

Pricey Souvenir

Anyone travelling in Russia has to pick up a Fabergé Egg (or at least a suitable knockoff), but what do we really know about these expensive and fragile relics? Luckily, the Sip Advisor is here for all your antiquity needs!

The famous jewel-covered eggs were created by artist Peter Carl Fabergé, starting in 1885. They were originally given by Tsar Alexander III to his wife as an Easter morning treat and continued by Alexander’s son Nicholas II (to his wife and mother), leading up to the Russian Revolution. Of the approximately 50 ‘Imperial’ eggs the House of Fabergé created, 43 still exist. Not that I’m complaining, but all I ever got for Easter was chocolate and candy!

Group Faberge eggs.

Fabergé’s first creation was dubbed the ‘Hen Egg,’ which featured a seemingly ordinary egg, but inside was gold yolk that contained a golden hen (with ruby eyes, no less) on a nest of gold. And the gifts kept coming. Inside the hen was a miniature diamond version of the royal crown, as well as a ruby egg pendant that could be worn as a necklace. While the Hen Egg is among those that have survived, the gifts inside have been lost to time (a sad, but common theme among the eggs).

Other famous eggs include the Diamond Trellis, Rosebud, Bouquet of Lilies Clock, Trans-Siberian Railway, Basket of Wild Flowers, Moscow Kremlin, Rose Trellis, Standart Yacht, Colonnade, Napoleonic, Winter, and the unfinished Constellation. Constellation was never completed and presented thanks to the Russian Revolution taking place and the royal family being executed.

Eggs were made each year, except for 1904 and 1905, when Russia was at war with Japan. As the legend of the eggs grew, Fabergé picked up more clients, including industrialist Alexander Kelch, the Duchess of Marlborough, and the Rothschild and Yusupov families. Each egg contained hidden gifts, usually trinkets such as pendants and other jewelry that could be worn by the recipient.

Dos Equis Faberge

Some of the eggs ended up in private collections, while others are on display in museums around the world. Most of the eggs that are missing are thought to still be out there somewhere, while a few have certainly been destroyed, with little reference to them following the Russian Revolution. Next time Easter rolls around, you better be careful about what you discard and what you examine a little closer.

One of the ‘Imperial’ eggs was almost sold as scrap metal. Although the unidentified owner was looking to take home $500 from melting down the piece, the egg was actually worth $33 million US. Thankfully, the owner didn’t get the money he was hoping to score and kept the item. Thought to be the ‘Holy Grail’ of the antique world, it was last listed in an auction book in 1964 before it was located earlier this year.

Cracked Faberge

Fabergé Eggs were Russia’s featured showcase for the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris. This earned Fabergé, his two sons, and his head workmaster awards from the French government, as well as boosted the company’s profile and client list. The main Fabergé outlet still exists in St. Petersburg. Although it has been renamed, it is still known as the Fabergé store.

As for the artist, Fabergé was forced to flee Russia during the October Revolution of 1917. His company was seized by the new Bolshevik government and broken up. Fabergé died in 1920 at the age of 74, after taking refuge in Switzerland (following stops in Latvia, Germany, and Finland). The Fabergé brand has never disappeared, first being operated by Fabergé’s children before being purchased by larger corporations, which use the name for colognes and perfumes.

Russia: Estate Cocktail

Estate Cocktail

  • Muddle Mint Leaves
  • 1.5 oz Beluga Vodka
  • Top with Grapefruit Soda
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Mint Leaf

Another Russian treasure is the Matryoshka Dolls (or Nesting Dolls) which feature progressively smaller figures as you open each doll. There are sets for Russian presidents, various holidays, and other famous figures. While in Russia, I picked up a Christmas set for Ma Sip and a Beatles set for Pa Sip. Both were really neat and a perfect memento to bring back as souvenirs.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail comes from the Rum Howler, who has a great site reviewing a bunch of different spirits and including a recipe with each post. I used Squirt instead of Grapefruit Juice to add some fizz to the cocktail and it was a nice addition. It basically turned into a Vodka-based Mojito and with that beautiful Beluga Vodka, it was a knockout of a cocktail!

Brazil – Leite de Onça

Party People

Now, we could have delved into the history and statistics of the Brazilian Wax, while visiting the country, but instead we’ll delve into the intricacies of Carnival, an event which gathers folks from around the world for music, masks and revealing costumes! Trust the Sip Advisor, I pushed hard at the creative team meeting to do the wax article, but was shot down by the powers that be… oh well, it’s time to party on!

Carnival lasts four days, leading up to Ash Wednesday and is considered one of the world’s largest celebrations and parties. The national holiday also marks the beginning of Lent, which encompasses 40 days of sacrifice en route to Easter. The event is celebrated differently in various regions of Brazil, where everything from music to costumes can differ, but Rio de Janeiro is home to the most-populated Carnival experience and therefore the location we’ll focus on.

hot girl-carnival

I decided that every photo for this article will feature a beautiful woman… life is pretty great when you’re running the show!

The first Carnival took place all the way back in 1723. The term comes from carnelevare, which loosely translated means “to remove meat,” one of the items traditionally neglected during the period of Lent (and why I’ve never been a Lent-suffering person). Over time, Carnival evolved to include masquerade balls before the lively parades that the event is known for today.

The highlight of Carnival is the Samba Parade, which sees all of the different groups (200-plus) compete in the Sambrodromo, where they are judged based on their floats, costumes, dancing, and music. Some groups spend excessively on these requirements, sometimes into the millions of dollars. All this, despite the units being largely made up of Brazil’s poorest citizens. I hope they do more than car washes to raise the necessary funds.

Given the two million-plus people lining the streets each day of Carnival, many Brazilians will retreat to quieter, more relaxing places for the duration of the festivities. I can’t really blame them. As much as I’d love to party in Rio for the week, I don’t do well in crowds – at least ones that aren’t caused by being in a Disney theme park – and probably wouldn’t be able to completely enjoy myself.

A reveller of Mocidade samba

Your plumage is fierce, babe!

Another reason for the locals to get out of Dodge, is that cities around Brazil practically shut down for Carnival. Only industrial operations, malls, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses needed to stay open for the celebrations remain active. Despite the closures, 250,000 jobs are created thanks to Carnival, which generates hundreds of millions of dollars for the country’s economy. Carnival can cause Brazil to become a tourist trap, with the price of accommodations jumping sharply, sometimes four times what they would normally cost.

The 1959 film Black Orpheus introduced many foreigners to the Carnival revelries in Brazil. The movie was set in Rio and featured numerous local actors, as well as a soundtrack highlighted by legendary Brazilian performers. Black Orpheus caused outsiders to fall in love with the sights, sounds, and vibrancy of Brazil and later won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

In Rio, parades begin at 9:00pm and don’t end until 5:00am, with the city’s metro system open 24 hours on parade days. Performers must wear a costume, which can include masks, headdresses, feathers, and exposed skin! Carnival takes place during the hottest part of the year for Brazil, which means tons of sweaty, sunburned, dehydrated folks… you’ve now been warned!

Rio 5

Nothing wrong with pluralizing my earlier comment!

Although there is an overwhelming number of public toilets placed around the cities hosting Carnival events, ‘Pee Patrols’ have been set up to stop partygoers from relieving themselves in the streets. I wish we had these officials in my neck of the woods. Too many times, the Sip Advisor walks into his building’s back alley and is greeted by the pungent aroma of urine.

There is also Micareta, which occurs in the off-season and allows locals to celebrate without all the lame tourists invading the country. For us travelers, let’s get this party started!

Brazil: Leite de Onça

Leite de Onca Cocktail

  • 1 oz Cachaca
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with Chocolate Sprinkles

Now that you’re all partied out, it’s on to the next stop of our journey. While we leave Brazil with a new fondness for the country in our hearts, we soon realize that our wallets are no longer intact… a true Rio de Janeiro experience!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
The name of this drink, Leite de Onça, translates to Jaguar Milk and one can only hope the drink will give you the powers of the big cat. I have to say that I was quite impressed with the recipe. You can never go wrong with mixing Crème de Cacao and Milk (takes me back to Nestle Quik as a little sipper) and although I was apprehensive about adding Cachaca to that tried and tested combo, it really worked well. You kind of got a sugar cane rum burn at the end of each sip that wasn’t overwhelming and was actually quite pleasant. Now, I am one with the jaguars!

April 12 – Drunken Bunny

Bunny Style

It’s the season of the bunny… which means copious amounts of sex, right? Hmmm, apparently it just means lots of chocolate, jelly beans and other candy… I’ll take it! Here are the top five hippity hoppities (a colloquial term for rabbits):

#5: Br’er Rabbit – Song of the South

Ol’ Br’er Rabbit is always getting himself into trouble, which means the Sip Advisor has to bail him out and end up plummeting into the Splash Mountain briar patch, resulting in getting soaked. You know, sometimes I want to see Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox get their hands on the damn rabbit and tear him limb from limb. Together, we could celebrate with a jug of moonshine, some rabbit stew, and a barbecue cookout with all the trimmings. We could even watch Song of the South, providing we can find a copy of the banned film.

briarpatch

Why does Br’er Rabbit look happy to be thrown off a cliff into a briar patch!?

#4: Roger Rabbit – Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

You have to give a ton of respect to anyone (and I mean ANYONE) who can land the vivacious Jessica Rabbit. Sure, all Roger wants to do is play pattycake with her and that’s why I invented a sexual maneuver with the same moniker. Back to Double-R, I wonder if they’ll ever get around to doing the long-rumoured sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It’s taken more than two decades to sort things out, but producers don’t seem any closer to working on the prequel project that would apparently see Roger in his earlier days.

#3: Greg – Greg the Bunny

This adorable Fabricated-American isn’t just cute and cuddly… he’s naïve and innocent to boot. By chance, Greg joined the cast of Sweetknuckle Junction (inadvertently replacing his idol Rochester Rabbit), a children’s show akin to Sesame Street. The difference being that off-screen, his fellow puppets Warren the Ape, Count Blah, and others have a bad side that includes sex, drugs, and alcohol – sounds like fun, don’t it! Greg has to work hard to keep up with his cast mates, all while living the life of a second-class citizen among all the humanoids.

gregbunny

A meal with Gilbert Gottfried… Fabricated-Americans get all the lucky breaks!

#2: Babs and Buster Bunny – Tiny Toon Adventures

Babs and Buster, no relation, are a mischievous duo that head the crop of Acme Looniversity students and are looking to be the next generation of cartoon stars, following in the footsteps of the fabulous Looney Tunes gang. With school principal Bugs Bunny acting as their mentor, the two are the heir apparent to the Looney Tunes throne. Buster is Bugs’ intelligent, calculating side, while Babs represents Bugs’ manic, wild side. The couple comes together for a perfect mixture of mayhem. And I can’t be the only one who found Babs kind of attractive with her spunky attitude and sweetness. I mean, at least if you’re into animated femme fatales.

#1: Bugs Bunny – Looney Tunes

There’s no other way to say it: Bugs Bunny is an icon! His feuds with Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, and so many others are legendary. The great thing about Bugs is that he’s not impervious to his own battles and doesn’t always end up on the winning side. Surprisingly, the creators of the character didn’t think it would be the smash Bugs ended up being. Bugs has entertained his way to being a symbol for the entire Warner Bros. company (well, him and that damn singing frog!) and is still used in numerous media today.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Drunken Bunny

Drunken Bunny Shot

  • 0.5 oz Orange Rum
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Top with Whip Cream
  • Garnish with Mini Eggs Bits

I have to give out some kudos to some bunnies that are best associated with company logos and mascots. This would include the Playboy Bunny (logo or girls, they’re all good), the Cadbury Bunny (I love me some crème and mini eggs), and the Energizer Bunny (we all wish we had its stamina). Which rabbit would you have liked to see shoehorned into this list? Happy Easter y’all!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This is actually a cocktail recipe that I’ve adapted into a shooter, which I seem to have to do a lot around here! The liquid is delicious, although I had to combine White Rum and Grand Marnier to achieve the desired Orange Rum. The Mini Eggs Bits at the end of the drink were a very nice touch and were easy to crush up for the shooter.

February 15 – Heart Warmer

Holiday Hell

Valentine’s Day is a funny beast to deal with. Among heightened expectations, shops and services everywhere jack up their prices and take advantage of the love frenzy (also the name of a sexual position I invented a few years back, but have yet to unleash on Mrs. Sip). After all, a sucker is born every minute and Valentine’s Day makes a fool out of us all. One of the best “Valentine’s Days” Mrs. Sip and I spent together was a couple days after the actual day, as Mrs. Sip had to travel for work and we weren’t able to be together. Here are the top five reasons to not celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th!

#5: Use Your Coupons

It sucks that most coupons (from sites like GrouponSocial Shopper, etc.) can’t be redeemed during the Valentine’s Day block of dates, usually Feb. 13-16, depending on where the holiday falls. And this is because the institutions using the coupon service know they have you hooked already for those dates. So, let’s get a little revenge on these establishments by redeeming for a romantic dinner on February 12th or 17th. Then, really rub it in their face by exchanging gifts, flowers, and the whole shebang!

Saint-Valentine

#4: Discounted Treats

Walk into any store after Valentine’s Day and you will find massive discounts on chocolates and other goodies, as the retailer is quickly trying to change their seasonal shelves over to anything from St. Patrick’s Day to Easter to even Christmas already (the holiday comes out earlier and earlier every year!). You can score some pretty wicked deals during this rush for savings, but be weary of fellow shoppers who will stop at nothing to deny you of you half-price stuffed bear.

#3: Easy-to-Get Reservations

If you don’t plan ahead and get onto making reservations as soon as the calendar rolls over to a new year, you may miss out on your preferred dining choice. Next you know, you’re chowing on McDonald’s takeout – actually not so bad, as Mrs. Sip and I did this last year when she wasn’t feeling well enough to fulfill our expensive seafood reservation… I saved a ton of cash! – and are decked out in sweatpants or pajamas, laying out on your couch… sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it!?

I Tolerate You

#2: Cheaper Flowers

I’ll never understand how stores can get away with not only increasing their prices on flowers, but doubling them just because it’s Valentine’s Day. And yet they sell out every year and if you don’t grab a bouquet earlier in the day, you may be left with the scraps nobody else wants. Go any other day and your cost will be cut in half, you will have a ton of options to choose from and you risk getting into a skirmish with another dude over posies.

#1: What is So Important About February 14th?

Mrs. Sip and I make a point of having date nights on a frequent basis. Yes, it’s not always easy to accomplish with busy schedules that include work, social gatherings, sports, and other commitments, but if you only have time for each other on a capitalism-created holiday, then you have more issues to deal with than where to eat and what kind of flowers to buy. Treat each other like you actually love each other and the rest will fall into place easier than you ever thought!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Heart Warmer (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Heart Warmer Shooter

  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Cream Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Raspberry Cream Liqueur
  • Splash of Chile Chocolate Syrup
  • Garnish with Love Hearts

Valentine’s Day should be celebrated with the one you love, but perhaps not the way the restaurants and stores would have you spend it. Get together with your partner and have a quiet night in, snuggling up on the couch and watching zombie horror flicks… or whatever you two nutballs are into!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I was originally going to complete skip any Valentine’s coverage this year, but decided that February 15th was the perfect day to drop some love wisdom on all y’all (and yes, I realize how that line could be interpreted!). Therefore, I needed a recipe and decided to go with an original I had been working on for a little while. Combining the Chocolate and Raspberry Cream Liqueurs was a great start, but the crowning touch was the Chile Chocolate Syrup. It left a wonderful light burn on the lips, tongue and made the whole experience a little more unique than your usual shooter!