Delaware – Orange Crush

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Delaware became the first state in the union, ratifying the constitution in 1787. Also known as the Diamond State, as Thomas Jefferson allegedly called Delaware a jewel for its location, let’s see if that endorsement rings true:

Motto: “Liberty and independence” – Someone was using their thesaurus.

Food: Scrapple, described by some as similar to SPAM, is comprised of pork scraps mixed with breading and spices, turning it into a loaf. It is then sliced and fried, prior to being served. The dish is so popular in Delaware, that the Apple Scrapple Festival has been held annually, in Bridgeville, since 1992.

Drink: Dogfish Head Brewery, based in Milton, has been in operation since 1995. Known for their experimental brews, the company’s wares can be found across much of the U.S. They also have two restaurants located in Rehoboth Beach, as well as alehouses in Maryland and Virginia.

Scrapple

Site to See: Delaware is best known for its beaches, most notably Rehoboth Beach, which has been called “The Nation’s Summer Capital”, thanks to so many visitors travelling to the area each year. Events at Rehoboth include the Independent Film Festival, Sea Witch Festival and Autumn Jazz Festival.

Street: Packet Alley, in New Castle, has been called Delaware’s most historic alley. This is thanks to the famous folks, such as President Andrew Jackson and frontiersman Davy Crockett, who have travelled the path, which connected stagecoaches dropping passengers off at one end, to load riverboats on the other end.

TV Show: Delaware is known for two TV shows, the animated Steven Universe (2013-2019) and action drama The Pretender (1996-2001), both set in fictional locales. Although I haven’t seen either series, they sound watchable by my easygoing tastes.

Movie: Goosebumps, starring Jack Black as author R.L. Stine, gets the nod here for letting the Sip Advisor relive some of his favourite books from childhood on the big screen. Set in the fictional town of Madison, the real-life Madison, Georgia was used for filming.

Goosebumps

Book/Author: John Dickinson, a Founding Father of the country, has been dubbed the Penman of the Revolution, for his works on the independence movement. These included the 1774 Petition to the King, 1775 Olive Branch Petition and 1775 Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms.

Fictional Character: Fight Club, at least the book by Chuck Palahniuk, is set in Delaware. That technically makes alter ego Tyler Durden a Delawarean. The leader behind Project Mayhem is a very memorable character… even if he is an imagined split personality.

Fictional City: Metropolis, where Clark Kent works as a reporter at the Daily Planet and saves the world as Superman, is located in, of all places, Delaware. This is based on a number of theories and Easter eggs, including license plates in the movie Superman Returns, being tagged with ‘The First State’ on them.

Actors/Actresses: Elisabeth Shue, born in Wilmington, has enjoyed a long and varied acting career. She starred in such 80’s classics as The Karate Kid, Adventures in Babysitting, Cocktail and Back to the Future II. Her most notable role was as a prostitute in Leaving Las Vegas, for which she was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress category.

Metropolis

Song: Delaware Slide by George Thorogood and The Destroyers is a close to eight-minute long track that is mostly instrumental. It’s a pretty rocking tune, though, so the length flies by.

Band/Musician: Speaking of Thorogood, the rocker was born in Wilmington. Thorogood has gone on to record hits like Bad to the Bone; I Drink Alone and One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (otherwise known as a Sip Advisor Trifecta). In 1981, Thorogood and The Destroyers completed a 50 shows in 50 states in 50 nights tour.

People: Thomas Garrett was a leader in the Underground Railroad. He nearly lost his fortune in the battle for Civil Rights for African-Americans, after being sued and fined for helping slaves escape their masters. Despite the perils, Garrett continued to help, freeing thousands who later called him their Moses.

Animal: Another nickname for Delaware is Blue Hen State. This traces back to the American Revolutionary War, when the bravery of Delaware soldiers was compared to Blue Hens that were used in cockfighting. The Blue Hen was adopted as the State Bird of Delaware in 1939.

George Thorogood

Invention: Delaware native Henry Heimlich invented the Heimlich Maneuver, helping to save countless lives around the world. His lesser known inventions, include the Heimlich Chest Drain Valve and Micro Trach Portable Oxygen System.

Crime: Delaware only has only had one known serial killer in its history. Steven Brian Pennell, aka the Route 40 Killer, was convicted of two murders and thought to be responsible for three others in the late 1980’s. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection and actually argued to have this sentence upheld. The execution took place on March 14, 1992.

Law: It is illegal in Delaware to pawn your wheelchair or any fake limb. Is it okay if it’s not your own?

Sports Team: No professional sports teams hail from Delaware, but the Dover International Speedway can be found there. Nicknamed the Monster Mile, it opened in 1969 and has hosted at least two NASCAR races every year since. The track has a maximum capacity of 135,000 spectators.

Heimlich Maneuver

Athlete: Elena Delle Donne, of the WNBA, was born in Wilmington. After playing college basketball for the University of Delaware Blue Hens, she was drafted second overall in the 2013 WNBA Draft. Delle Donne’s pro career has seen her win the WNBA Rookie of the Year award, two WNBA MVP titles and one WNBA Championship. She’s also the only female to join the exclusive 50-40-90 Club for successful shot percentages in a season, among eight NBA stars.

Famous Home: Nemours Mansion and Gardens, in Wilmington, was built by Alfred I. du Pont in the early 1900’s as a gift for his second wife. The French-style chateau features 105 rooms, filled with valuable furniture, antiques, art and tapestries. The grounds are patterned after France’s Gardens of Versailles and include a hedge maze, reflecting pool and “Temple of Love”, which has my interest piqued.

Urban Legend: Fort Delaware was a prison camp during the Civil War, holding more than 30,000 soldiers during that time. Approximately 10 per cent of those incarcerated, died from diseases such as dysentery and malaria. The spirits of the dead are said to haunt the site, which today offers 90-minute tours for entertainment purposes.

Museum: The Museum of Business History and Technology, in Wilmington, is loaded with antique typewriters, cash registers, telephones, clocks, and other office devices. I imagine it would give you a real appreciation for how much the working world has evolved, for better or worse.

Typewriter

Firsts: Called the “first American flag”, upholsterer Betsy Ross’ design of 13 alternating red and white stripes and 13 white stars on a blue background (both signifying the original 13 colonies to join the union), was first flown at the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, in Delaware, on September 3, 1777.

Company: DuPont, headquartered in Wilmington, is responsible for the creation of nylon, neoprene, Teflon, Mylar, Kevlar, Lycra, and other synthetic fibers. The company has been integral to Delaware’s existence in a symbiotic relationship, with the DuPont family being worth billions of dollars today.

Events: As the first colony to ratify the American constitution, independence – and the battle for it – played a great role in shaping Delaware. With the debate on separating from the British deadlocked, Delawarean Caesar Rodney rode 70 miles from Dover to Philadelphia to cast the deciding vote. The Declaration of Independence was signed soon after.

Miscellaneous: Delaware was the only state with no National Park System units (which includes national parks, historic sites, battlefields, memorials, monuments, etc.), until 2013, when President Barack Obama designated the First State National Monument (later the First State National Historical Park) as one.

Orange Crush

Orange Crush

  • 2 oz Orange Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with an Orange Slice

Although it was invented in Maryland, the Orange Crush is a popular cocktail on the beaches of Delaware. Recipes I saw insisted you use fresh-squeezed OJ, so who am I to challenge that kind of logic and reason? The drink was pretty good and I can understand its admiration.

March 5 – Caribbean Buck

Cocktail Party

Admittedly, prior to last night, I’ve never seen the 1988 Tom Cruise “classic”, Cocktail. However, as a harbinger of liquor knowledge, I pushed my way through this cinematic masterpiece, for you, my little sippers. A heads up from the start, this entire post will be a spoiler alert, so if you don’t want to know what happens, stop reading at the end of the post. Really!?!? Would you be that pissed at me if I detailed a movie released 25 years ago? It’s not like I spoiled the ending to Wreck-It Ralph for you by writing that King Candy is revealed to be rogue video game character Turbo… oops… now I’ve gone and done it.

Anyway, on with the review:

Things get off to a roaring start as the Touchstone Pictures logo scrolls across the screen, distributor of some of my favourite films (Ernest Goes to Camp top among them) followed by neon light-themed credits and a typically wicked 80’s soundtrack.

Ernest Goes to Camp

Wow, it was even a Super Nintendo game… scary stuff!

Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) is back from army service… lucky to still have his legs intact (see Cruise’s work in Born on the Fourth of July). Flanagan and what I can only assume is a group of fellow Scientologists steal a cop car and chase down a bus heading for New York City, in order to get Flanagan onboard. Nowadays, this would be viewed as a terrorist threat, but it’s the 80’s, so who cares. Most of the people on the bus were probably coked up anyway.

After meeting with his uncle and complaining about having to pay $1 for a beer (god damn entitled celebrities), Flanagan is on the job hunt and is getting turned down everywhere… very similar to what Cruise experienced later in his career after going off the deep end with his Scientology beliefs and couch jumping exploits.

Flanagan’s Uncle Pat makes a comment that “If you want fun, you go play at the beach!” Could this be a reference to the famous beach volleyball scene in Top Gun, released two years earlier?

Despite working at his uncle’s bar previously, Flanagan doesn’t know how to make a Cuba Libre or a Martini when he finally lands a gig at a New York pub. Seriously!?!? You can’t make a friggin’ Cuba Libre? So, the concept of mixing rum with coke is foreign to you… good luck surviving the bar scene.

I’m sure this movie is largely responsible for “flair bartending“, which makes me very angry. Oh, great, you can twirl a bottle and spill half of the contents nowhere near a glass. Remember, little sippers, no drops wasted. That is a cardinal sin among Sip Nation.

Flanagan’s boss/co-bartender Doug Coughlin (Bryan Brown) is full of great witticism, proving once again, that everything you ever need to know can be learned in a bar. He takes Flanagan under his wing and the two grow close over liquor and flairing and drunk poetry and such. Flanagan seems like a fun guy to be around when drunk… I wonder if Tom Cruise would be the same?… I wonder if Scientologists are allowed to drink? In one scene, Coughlin takes a tumble down some subway stairs, which will likely remain the highlight of the movie for me, long after it’s finished.

The buddies move on to work at another bar called Cell Block, which looks kind of neat and you pray that their top selling drink is toilet wine. It is here that Flanagan delivers a wonderful speech about liquor that should be recited before every epic night out (click here).

Flanagan meets some promiscuous woman and they do the sex thing. During their passion, Flanagan takes a break to down his beer, which has given me a George Costanza-esque challenge for the next time Mrs. Sip and I are getting amorous!

George Costanza

While Flanagan didn’t jump on a couch after nailing this chick, his celebration was pretty close… a haunting foreshadow of things to come said the ghost of Christmas future.

After a falling out with Coughlin, Flanagan takes off to Jamaica, providing audiences with scenes of Tom Cruise in tight white pants and fluffy shirts. One scene even has him running in this get-up and I nearly snotted all over the place.

Flanagan meets Jordan Mooney (Elisabeth Shue) after rescuing her friend who has passed out from drinking champagne… typical loser lightweight… no wonder Jordan ditches her for the rest of their vacation to hang out with Flanagan, who seems to have all the time-off in the world all of a sudden.

At this point, the movie becomes an advertisement for Jamaican travel, leading to Flanagan and Jordan having a tryst in a secluded watering hole, complete with waterfall. They get naked together and throw their suits away, which surely floated downstream, leaving the two with an embarrassing trip back to the resort. This scene has surely since caused many copycat incidents of indecent exposure beneath a waterfall. The two also have sex on the beach (not the cocktail… although they may have had that, too), which I’ve never understood. I don’t really like beaches because of all the sand and wouldn’t having sex on one result in sandblasting a lot of very intimate areas!?

Beach Sex

Anyway, as is usually the case in movies, Flanagan blows things with Jordan by sleeping with some rich woman to prove a point to Coughlin, who with his new rich wife, has somehow tracked down Flanagan in Jamaica, despite no communication between the two in years.

Everyone returns to New York where Flanagan is a kept man (living the dream!) by a jazzercising, relatively attractive, affluent lady, but he ruins this too. He tries to get back together with Jordan, who he learns actually comes from money (the total package, yo!) and is also pregnant with his baby. So, I guess the whole 80’s AIDS scare didn’t bug these kids enough to use protection when sleeping with a complete stranger in a foreign country (and a bar tender at that!). Perhaps they thought the sterile waters of Jamaica would wash away all those bodily fluids…

Flanagan and Coughlin make up, as Flanagan gives him a $500 bottle of cognac and finds out Coughlin isn’t doing well, having lost his lady’s fortune in the stock market. Coughlin later kills himself by slitting his throat with the bottle of cognac. A totally extreme way to go out, but I’m more saddened by the wasting of such high-end liquor. Despite drinking heavily and contemplating suicide, Coughlin still managed to write Flanagan a perfectly legible and coherent letter before offing himself. Nerves of steel, man.

The movie ends with Flanagan and Jordan getting back together, despite Jordan’s father’s disapproval. Flanagan then buys the bar he always dreamed of having and can now suddenly and somewhat inexplicably can afford, and is told that Jordan is pregnant with twins. Should a pregnant lady really be in a bar, anyway? Oh those 80s!

Drink #64: Caribbean Buck

Caribbean Buck Cocktail

  • Rim glass with Coconut Shavings
  • 1.5 oz Malibu Rum
  • Dash of Lime Juice
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with Coconut Shavings

I made sure to enjoy this drink (many times) while watching the movie. Let me tell you, it definitely helped. The end result is that Flanagan largely lived my dream in this movie. He even gets to trash a douchebag artist’s piece of work and smack him around. Myself and Mrs. Sip now have plans to move to Jamaica, where I’ll open up my own bar and under-the-table money laundering service, while she can parade around the island half naked!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
The Lime Juice and Ginger Ale added a really nice bite to this cocktail, to go with the subtle, but tasty Malibu Rum. Throw some Coconut Shavings on top and things are looking up for this drink!