Cocktail Corner – Clean Slate

Good Riddance

As the Sip Advisor has done in years past, it’s time to look back at those that enjoyed the best and worst years in 2015. As for me, 2015 was a mixed bag of amazing experiences and personal lows. I’m happy to bid farewell to the year and start fresh with 2016. Let’s see who’s likely to join me:

#5: Jared Fogle and Subway

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Jared Fogle went from the face of Subway and role model to those looking to shed pounds, to public pariah overnight, after it was revealed he was being investigated for paying for sex with minors and receiving and distributing child pornography. The fall was even swifter than his rise to fame as spokesperson of the sandwich shop. As 2015 came to a close, Fogle was sentenced to a 15-year prison term. I wonder if he can get his precious sandwiches from behind bars?

Jared Subway

#4: Hulk Hogan

Once the greatest star the wrestling industry has ever seen, the full damage of Hulk Hogan’s leaked sex tape from 2007 was finally revealed in 2015. In the video, Hogan uses racial slurs in describing the thought of his daughter Brooke’s dating a black man and instantly, the ‘drink your milk, take your vitamins (ahem, steroids),’ all-American hero was gone. There will be no Hulking-up from this and if we ever see Hogan again in a WWE ring, it will be a complete and total shock.

#3: Sepp Blatter and FIFA

One of the most crooked sports organizations in the world was finally served a slice of humble pie, in the form of an FBI-lead investigation into corruption accusations against a number of FIFA officials and president Sepp Blatter. After originally forging ahead and even winning his bid for re-election as head of the football association, Blatter eventually chose to resign due to the scandal. Most recently, Blatter was banned from any FIFA involvement for eight years.

Sepp-Blatter-FIFA

#2: Bill Cosby

Despite a collection of friends, colleagues, and fans who are still willing to defend Bill Cosby, in light of countless drugging and sexual assault allegations, the comedy legend was finally backed into a corner and charged with sexual assault by Pennsylvania authorities, on December 30, 2015. To date, more than 50 women have come forward in recent years, claiming that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. Depending on where this heads in 2016, Cosby could top this list next year.

#1: Syrian Refugees

With images of bodies – young and old – washed ashore, as Syrian refugees attempted to flee their country for better lives, amidst civil war and unrest, this international incident finally came to the forefront in 2015. With many countries accepting the four million refugees into their borders, let’s hope that 2016 is a year in which the Syrian refugees are moved from the worst list, to the best, finding new and prosperous homes, around the world.

Cocktail Corner: Clean Slate

Jan 4

  • Rim glass with Sugar
  • 0.75 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Sour Apple Mixer
  • Top with Champagne

Some dishonourable mentions include fraudster Martin Shkreli, reality star rapist Josh Duggar, Volkswagen, Ashley Madison and their users, Ebola victims, and American police. Next week, we look at those who had a great 2015 and look to ride that momentum in the New Year.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I did some tinkering with this recipe, but the end result was a decent drink. There’s a bunch of different flavours all competing for your attention, with the Amaretto probably winning the battle. A fun drink for New Year’s celebrations.

Advertisements

Flavour Revolution – Coffee

Just Add Water

Let’s be straight: coffee is basically ground beans with the addition of water. Yup, that’s what you’re forking over good money to buy from places like Starbucks and their competitors. Admittedly, some things are just better with a splash of the wet stuff. Here are the best items where a little water goes a long way!

Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate

Of those three options, I’m more of a hot chocolate man, but I must admit that I don’t really like hot beverages much at all. I think one of the simplest pleasures in life is a cold drink… with lots of ice! It often blows my mind how expensive these drinks can be, given they’re usually comprised of something cheap (a tea bag or hot chocolate packet), simply joined by hot water.

hot drinks devil's temperature

Kool-Aid

I grew up on Kool-Aid, and the product really provided the first lessons in mixology that I ever learned. So much so, that I worked hard to perfect the right level of sugar to include in my pitchers of the juice. I had a few favourites over the years, including Blue Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Kiwi, and old-fashioned Lemon-Lime.

Ramen Noodles

Joining Kool-Aid, noodles were an essential part of my college diet. It’s amazing what one little flavour packet can do to improve your disposition in life! Okay, so the noodles probably aren’t that good for you, but they’re cheap and effective in quashing those hunger pains. Research has come along that says these noodles will lead to heart attacks and diabetes. It might be worth it!

Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s funny that a push was made through the new millennium to add more chicken, vegetables, and noodles to this classic soup, which works quite well as a cold and flu remedy. It has been my experience that people are mostly in it for the broth anyway, but if you prefer your soup to be loaded with other ingredients – let’s call them flavour enhancers – then that’s cool with the Sip Advisor.

chicken noodle soup

Pool/Hot Tub

Growing up with a backyard pool was amazing. I always wished I could have a hot tub, though, as that would be the best way to get Mrs. Sip in her bikini during the winter months! For other outdoor water fun, you could also throw together a classic Slip N’ Slide or load up a Super Soaker and get a little trigger happy!

Chia Pet

Cha-cha-cha Chia… with that innocent little jingle, the world was introduced to these potted plants. All you had to do was spread some seed (sounds dirty, eh) around the animal body, add water and before you knew it, you had a plant of your very own. Later, Chia Pets capitalized on popular characters, such as Scooby Doo and Garfield. There’s even a Barack Obama variation.

Theme Park Ride

Is there anything better than an amusement park ride that splashes down into a range of water… unless it’s the middle of winter and getting soaked is the last thing on your mind? During hot, humid days, though, these attractions can be a godsend. Some of my favourite water rides are Disney’s Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Rapids, Universal’s Jurassic Park, and Knott’s Perilous Plunge.

Flavour Revolution: Fall at Dusk

  • 1 oz Patron XO Café Liqueur
  • 1 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Dash of Basil Syrup
  • Top with Soda Water
  • Garnish with a Pineapple Wedge

I have to disclose that I am in no way a fan of coffee, unless it comes in booze form. If you are, I forgive you for your sins. Testify, my little sippers!

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.

time-travel-drink

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.

turkey-breasts

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.

January 1 – Newfoundland Flower

Home for a Rest

While many don’t know the song “Home for a Rest” by Spirit of the West, it’s a Canadian classic. And after a year away from Canada, travelling the virtual world, I have FINALLY returned home. The journey has me feeling a little weary, as like the song states: “I’ve been gone for a month (a year in the Sip Advisor’s case), I’ve been drunk since I left!”

I’m far from complaining however, as it’s been a wonderful year abroad. In the last 12 months, we’ve visited 52 countries, featuring seven rums, six vodkas, five whiskeys, two beers, six wines, nine liqueurs, and a whopping 15 spirits. Hell, we even tried two different types of gin! Along the way, we’ve learned about historical figures, sports and athletes, artists and the arts, products and inventions, tourist attractions, foods, and events. Milestones have been passed, including our 100,000th site view and 500th cocktail and 100th shot recipes!

“These so-called vacations will soon be my death,” but the fun can’t stop yet. We have so much more to discover together. Here’s what to expect over the course of the next year:

Monday – Flavour Revolution

The big project of 2015 will highlight 52 different flavours, never once repeating a taste as the main ingredient in a cocktail. For example, when I use my Evan Williams Elegant Crisp Gin (apple flavoured), I can’t later use apple rums, vodkas, liqueurs, mixers, or anything else as a featured element. By the end, the Sip Advisor will be like the Baskin Robins of booze… Viva la revolution!!!

Thursday – Out and About/This Week in Liquor

Each week, we’ll delve into the latest news from the booze world. Just in time for your weekend trip to the liquor store! In these articles, we will include a feature titled: Out and About with the Sip Advisor. Here, I will be able to detail what I’ve personally experienced in the week that was. That may include visiting new craft breweries, tasting new spirits, attending cocktail events, etc.

Saturday – Super Saturday Shot Day

The triple-S-D will enter its third year of existence and will continue to feature the best in Top 5 lists on whatever subject I feel like covering. Suggestions are always welcomed, but otherwise, expect a lot of coverage on the fictional world… where we all prefer to reside!

It wouldn’t be a true New Year’s celebration without some drinks. Since I’m back in my own backyard, I figured we could enjoy some Newfoundland Screech Rum and conquer a rite of passage for my friends from the east!

Canada: Newfoundland Flower

Newfoundland Flower Cocktail

Thank you one and all for your support over the last two years. Please continue to follow the Sip Advisor adventures and enjoy all we have to offer you in 2015. Happy New Year!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
A friend was hosting a party where we were all invited to sample Screech, an Eastern Canadian rum and get “Screeched In,” so I figured, what better way to wrap up the Around the World tour than to finish right where it started! The Screech was nice, paired with the very tasty Elderflower Liqueur. I certainly liked the drink and it seemed everyone at the party who I made it for enjoyed it, as well.