Flavour Revolution – Gingerbread

‘Tis the Season

Mrs. Sip and I picked up a bottle of Southern Comfort: Gingerbread last year in Hawaii and should play around with it more than we have to this point. Here are some other spirits perfect for the winter and holiday season:

Bailey’s Irish Crème

Bailey’s is a holiday staple, perfect for morning coffee (not for the Sip Advisor, though) or straight up as a night cap. Last Christmas, Sis-in-Law Sip gave me a bottle of Chocolate Cherry, which I only haven’t opened because I was going through another crème liqueur and don’t like having too many on the go. Other flavours perfect for the season (and year round), include Orange Truffle, Vanilla Cinnamon, Biscotti, Hazelnut, Salted Caramel, Mint Chocolate, and Crème Caramel.

Bailey's Straight

Kahlua

With flavours such as Hazelnut, Cinnamon Spice, Peppermint Mocha, and French Vanilla, Kahlua ranks right up there with Bailey’s as a textbook winter treat. New to their product line is a Salted Caramel version, which has the Sip Advisor quite intrigued. Kahlua – and other liqueurs – are basically the only way I will intake coffee and despite my complete disregard of the hot beverage, I do have a soft spot for it in booze form.

Peppermint Schnapps

I love putting a couple dashes of Peppermint Schnapps in my hot chocolate. The Sip Advisor is currently using Yukon Jack Permafrost as his go to winter warmer. This product is unique in that it combines the flavours of peppermint and cinnamon all in one bottle. There are also a few peppermint-flavoured vodkas on the market, including Smirnoff Peppermint Twist Vodka and Burnett’s Candy Cane Vodka. Earlier this month, I used the Candy Cane Vodka for another Flavour Revolution article.

 

Eggnog Liqueur

You can’t go through the Christmas season without eggnog. Even people who aren’t crazy about the beverage (such as myself), end up indulging in the nog at least once… for tradition’s sake. A number of companies have jumped on the eggnog bandwagon, releasing pre-mixed bottles of the festive drink. An interesting Peppermint Chocolate variation comes from the Evan Williams distillery, which turns the dial up on Christmas!

christmas cat_eggnog

Spicebox Gingerbread Whiskey

In a similar vein to the SoCo Gingerbread we’re working with today, comes Spicebox Gingerbread Whiskey. I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, but this is another spirit that I have had great interest in, but have yet to purchase and sample. Along with the cookies it is inspired by, gingerbread is perfect at this time of year, soothing eaters and drinkers with a spice and warmth that is unlike any other treat available.

Jack Daniels Winter Jack

Having been a Jack Daniels fan since before I even began drinking, I’ve always been curious of this winter release, which combines the famous Tennessee whiskey with apple cider to produce a ready-to-drink cocktail. Sis-in-Law Sip gifted me a bottle of this for Christmas this year, but as of press time, I’m still showing it off underneath our tree. It sounds like the perfect liqueur to bring in the New Year with, so perhaps I’ll have to report back to all you little sippers.

Flavour Revolution: Late Night Affair

  • Rim glass with Gingerbread Crumbs
  • 1.5 oz Southern Comfort Gingerbread
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Dash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

There’s also a multitude of winter beers on the market, many of which I have covered in my recent Sip Trips articles, looking at the craft beer advent calendar Mrs. Sip compiled for me. Is there anything else out there I’ve neglected and should add to my shopping list?

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Flavour Revolution – Apricot

Cautious Cuisine

Despite the deliciousness, popularity, and versatility of apricots, it should be noted that the fruit’s pits (or kernels) are actually poisonous and can produce a form of cyanide. Here are some other foods that are alarmingly poisonous and potentially dangerous to your health:

Mushrooms

This one is too easy… I mean, come on, it’s defined as a fungus. That said, mushrooms can be many things, from delicious to deadly, healing to hallucinogenic. With regards to poisonous mushrooms, flat caps are a huge giveaway and toxic shrooms come with names such as death caps, destroying angels and dapperlings. Scarily, it is feared that many European mushrooms may be contaminated thanks to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

chances-with-mushroom

Nuts – Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts

Sure, many folks out there have severe allergies to nuts, particularly peanuts, but other types, when eaten raw, can be dangerous. Raw almonds, also known as bitter almonds, contain cyanide and can be fatal when consumed in large doses. Regardless, they are still sold in some stores, with risk being handed over to the customer to decide how cautious they want to be. Other countries have outright banned the nuts from being available.

Fruit – Apples, Cherries, Tomatoes

The seeds in apples and pits in cherry, contain cyanide. Cherries have resulted in other deaths non-edible deaths. Lucullus, a Roman general, committed suicide in 56BC, upon learning that he was running out of cherries, a crop he had introduced to Europe years before. Tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous by Europeans who didn’t trust the delicious fruit. It took some time for those fears to dissipate and now there’s only the odd salmonella outbreak.

Tuna

The issue with tuna, other than the facts that it smells horrible and doesn’t taste that great either (yes, this is solely according to the Sip Advisor), is that levels of mercury absorbed by the fish before it is caught and killed can be passed on to the consumer. This has given me pause for thought about how much the Sip Family kitties love getting served tuna water. Man, they love that stuff and go nuts whenever the can opener is used!

just-add-tuna

Potatoes

Potatoes are such an integral part of people’s diets that it’s a little scary how dangerous, albeit rare, their consumption can be. My first thought was that someone from the popcorn lobby made this accusation up to spoil the potato chip industry, but I have since learned the charges are true. Basically, what you have to watch out for is when a potato turns green, which if eaten, can result in weakness, coma, and even death.

Blowfish

Consuming blowfish (fugu) can be like playing a round of Russian roulette.  Unless prepared to perfection, it can be very poisonous. As a result, the emperor of Japan is barred from eating the fish, despite it being a cultural delicacy. One famous incident involved kabuki actor Bandō Mitsugorō VIII, who believed he could tolerate the poison… he was wrong. There is also an episode of The Simpsons where Homer eats Fugu and is told he only has 24 hours to live.

Flavour Revolution: Virgin’s Kiss

  • 1.25 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.5 oz Apricot Brandy
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with an Apricot Slice

This list could also include rhubarb, elderberry, raw meat and eggs, and even underprepared honey. I’ll stick to my artery-clogging potato chips , thank you very much, which will only get me in the long run!

Flavour Revolution – Papaya

Slang Bangers

Somehow, the papaya has become slang in Costa Rica for a statement lacking truth, as well as in Cuba for a woman’s downtown lady parts. Here is some other fruit-based slang that will change the way you look at melons, berries, and citrus:

Apples

In this category, you can become a bad apple, be the apple of one’s eye, be an apple that didn’t fall far from the tree, polish one’s apple with a flattering comment, be a Jackson 5 song and spoil the whole bunch, or be compared through the apples and oranges argument. So, how do you like them apples?

apple mcdonalds

Bananas

I’m not a big banana fan and I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a banana republic, which means crazy stuff is going down in an unstable country… and yet a clothing store took the name. On the other hand, I’ve often enjoyed the work of second bananas on TV and in movies. And in all honesty, Mrs. Sip would probably tell you I went bananas many years ago and somehow she still puts up with me… perhaps she drove me there!

Cherry

My life is pretty damn good. One might say that it’s a bowl of cherries. I work hard to maintain my relationships and keep everything in cherry condition. I’m very careful in making choices and tend to cherry-pick. Although, in sports such as hockey, I’ve never been one to cherry pick offensively and have always had a mind for the defensive end and a complete game.

Lemon

Perhaps best applied to cars – some U.S. states even have lemon laws to protect used car buyers – this term is used to describe items that are constantly in need of repair. In a completely different realm, adult-oriented Japanese comics, known as Hentai, are apparently called lemon in the western world.

large lemons

Melon

Running the complete gamut, the noble family of melons can be used to describe everything from someone’s head to a women’s ample bosoms. If you were trying to decide the best melon for either of those body parts, I’m sure the answers would be quite varied.

Grape

I think some of the worst people out in the world are those who have sour grapes because they are envious of what others have, not appreciating what they themselves have been blessed with. Also, if you go to the vine where grapes are grown, you might become a player in the spreading of a rumour and these folks might not be much better than those with sour grapes.

wine-grape-depression

Pear

When something takes the shape of a pear, you know trouble is coming. It means that plans have backfired and some serious improv is needed to get things back on track and save the mission. There are many theories on where the term originated, from human bodies as we age to World War I and II happenings and even ship construction.

Peach

As described above, most of my life can be described as being peachy. Mrs. Sip plays a large role in this, as she’s a peach. I suppose if you hated peaches or were allergic to them, you might be hesitant to use the term to define anything good.

Flavour Revolution: Compadre

It seems like so many of these fruit slangs can be turned sexual. Even the innocent apricot is used to describe a man’s cajonies, while the cherry can be referenced for a number of different adult-oriented ideas.

Flavour Revolution – Peppermint

Stripped and Striped

Candy canes are one of many infamously striped items we enjoy in our daily life. Here are some of the other striped wonders the world has brought us:

Referees

Love them or hate them – and really, only a mother could love them – referees are a necessary element to most sports (albeit completely useless in baseball where computers can better detect balls and strikes). I have a theory that refs dress like zebras so fans can easily identify exactly where to direct their venomous hatred, when they feel their team has been wronged.

ref screws team

Sports Jerseys

Many teams out there on the sports landscape feature some kind of striping in their choice of jersey colours. Perhaps the most famous squad to don stripes (or in this case, pinstripes), is the New York Yankees. An urban legend exists that the Yankees adopted the pinstripe look to make portly star Babe Ruth look slimmer, but in actuality, the style was already used well before Ruth joined the franchise.

Clothes

Of course, the clothing industry is an obvious choice for striped items and some of the most iconic characters in pop culture have been known to wear these materials. Ronald McDonald sports striped socks. Similarly, two sociopaths, Dennis the Menace and Freddy Krueger, traditionally rock striped shirts. Some people think stripes don’t look good on them, while others don the look regularly.

Animals

The animal kingdom is full of creatures with stripes, including zebras, bumble bees, Bengal tigers, fish, raccoons, and even skunks. Therefore, Pepe Le Pew, Nemo, and Rocket Raccoon are among some of the popular characters that have streaks. And don’t forget that poor little kitty that always manages to accidentally gain stripes and become a target for Pepe Le Pew’s unwanted advances.

skunks as cats

Candy Stripers

I had to be careful not to type candy “strippers”, which is far more appealing than a trip to the hospital! Candy Stripers are often hospital volunteers, decked out in red and white striped uniforms. The whole concept originated in East Orange, New Jersey, all the way back in 1944, when a high school civics class project designed the uniforms to be used at the East Orange General Hospital.

Watermelons

My favourite fruit has a distinct striped pattern on its outer shell, which can be a telltale sign as to whether the melon is ripe, so long as the area between the stripes is light green. As beautiful as a watermelon looks on the outside, what we really care about is the delicious fruit inside. Watermelons should be a symbol of harmony and acceptance, because it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Crosswalks

We use them every day – not that some drivers seem to really care or notice – to “safely” moved about the world. The most famous sidewalk in existence is likely the one The Beatles crossed on their Abbey Road album cover. Since its release, thousands of Beatle-files have tried to recreate the scene, including the Sip Family… and we looked pretty good doing it.

zebra-crosswalk

Billiards Balls

Solids versus stripes… like gang warfare, that’s what the game of billiards really comes down to. The first player to sink a ball (whether it be a solid 1-7 or a striped 9-15), then works the rest of the contest to eliminate the other balls that match the ball they originally pocketed. At times, I’ve been a decent pool player, but I’m no master of the parlor game. I’ll definitely never be a pool hall hustler!

Barber Poles

Back in the day, these red, white, and blue striped poles were essential in identifying locations where one could get their hair cut… that and the many customers emerging from the shops with fresh dos. Today, the barber pole is a thing of the past. I personally blame the Barber Shop movie franchise, but that might be reaching a little.

Jail Uniforms

Up until orange jumpsuits (Orange is the New Black, after all) became the norm, we associated black and white striped clothing with criminals. This is because the uniforms were a “badge of shame” and were only changed when rehabilitation of prisoners began to be favoured over punishment. That said, to this day, if you want to dress up as a jailbird for Halloween, a black and white striped costume will do.

inmate_apparel

Flags

Most national banners out there feature a striped pattern of sorts. Most notably perhaps, is the American flag, which is iconic for its 50 stars – each representing a state within the union – and also its red and white alternating stripes. Many other countries flags are comprised of stripes, such as the United Kingdom, Greece, Cuba, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and others.

Circus Tents

After American Horror Story: Freakshow, I can’t look at circus tents the same anymore, but striping is a traditional feature of the big top venues. When the Cirque du Soleil tour comes to the city each year, everyone knows its location thanks to the colourful tent that pops up in downtown Vancouver. It also helps that it’s located in the same spot annually, but the tent definitely draws attention.

Flavour Revolution: Crème de Candy Cane

  • 1.5 oz Burnett’s Candy Cane Vodka
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Milk
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Candy Cane

Really, a striped pattern could be featured on absolutely anything. As for entries with “stripe” in their name, there’s the rock band The White Stripes and the Jamaican lager Red Stripe. Lastly, the main baddie in Gremlins is also named Stripe, thanks to his tuft of white hair.

Flavour Revolution – Toffee

Sticky Fingers

Toffee can be quite delicious, but also very sticky, getting caught in your teeth and causing a nuisance as you try to pry it out. Here are some of the world’s other sticky and sometimes annoying items:

Spider Webs

It causes great panic when you walk through a spider web. As you struggle to remove the arachnid goo from your face, you also have to worry that there’s a spider on your person. This doesn’t cause too much panic for the Sip Advisor, but for Mrs. Sip, a vocal anti-spider legislator, this is reason enough to launch into a fit of flailing limbs and verbal expletives.

spider webs sticky

Sauces

Finger food such as ribs, chicken wings, burgers, etc. can get pretty messy, often necessitating numerous napkins and sanitary wipes. Sometimes it’s fun to see just how much of a mess you can make when eating these items, so long as you’re not the one who has to wash the dishes used or clean the meal setting. That job is better left for the professionals.

Tar

While tarring and feathering someone has gone the way of the dodo, the act of public humiliation would really come in handy for unruly celebrities, such as Justin Bieber (just one example that immediately came to mind!). Instead, the only humiliation The Biebs had to go through was being roasted by comedians and other stars on an edition of Comedy Central Roast.

Velcro

Velcro was designed by Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral, who used the words “velours” (“velvet”) and “crochet” (“hook”) to create the portmanteau Velcro…  and the product sticks together just as successfully. While its best use is as an alternative to shoe laces, I think my favourite Velcro deployment is on those pads that people launch themselves into and try to stick to.

velcroshoes

Peanut Butter & Jam

The Sip Advisor is a huge PB&J fan, but I will admit that both ingredients can be a sore spot for those that don’t like getting their hands dirty while eating. I suppose that’s one good thing that could come out of having a peanut allergy: never having to wash off after making or eating a peanut butter-based sandwich. I’ll take the adhesive spread any day, though.

Super Glue

I remember one summer day way back when, when a panicked Pa Sip called out for help. Worried that he’d injured himself while working around the house, I rushed to his aid, only to discover that he’d accidentally super glued his fingers together. Once we both realized the emergency wasn’t so serious, we burst out laughing.

super-glue

Sap

While I loved climbing trees as a wee little sipper, I always hated how sticky the sap would make my hands. The scene in National Lampoons: Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold is in bed reading a magazine and can’t turn a page without ripping it from the publication, thanks to unveiling the family Christmas tree, is a priceless example of this.

Gum

It really sucks when you get gum stuck to anything, be it on your shoes, in your hair, or on your face. Recently, I challenged Mrs. Sip to a bubble blowing contest (yes, we are actually adults!), but had to be very careful, given the facial hair I’ve been sporting for the last half year. While I emerged victorious, I wasn’t my usual self, worried about any errant bubble pop.

Flavour Revolution: Mark Twain

Being sticky isn’t all that bad. After all, a quick shower together cleans the slate for the next go round!

Flavour Revolution – Blueberry

Where is my Mind?

Blueberries are said to help greatly in maintaining cognitive functioning and fighting off memory loss – so long as you enjoy a serving of them once per week – as the berries clear toxins that gather in the brain. Clearly, the entertainment industry is unaware of these developments because it is rife with stories of amnesiacs. Here are some of the most notable memory loss cases:

Jason Bourne – The Bourne Franchise

If a case of amnesia resulted in the Sip Advisor being able to instinctively fight secret agent style and have a highly-functioning mind, I’d say it would all be worth it… I know Mrs. Sip would appreciate the change in brain activity! Jason Bourne awakens one day and can’t remember who he is, but he can certainly kick ass and that keeps him alive through three (soon to be four) films.

short term memory loss

Leonard – Memento

Although suffering from short-term memory loss, Leonard is still working to solve the murder of his wife. To remember the clues he’s put together, Leonard uses Polaroid photos and self-inflicted tattoos as reminders. I should do the same on binge nights! This psychological crime thriller is told in reverse order, which only adds to the building mystery.

Wolverine – X-Men Franchise

Following the procedure which gave him his trademark adamantium bone structure, Logan struggles to remember his past (in the origins movie, an adamantium bullet to the noggin also helps) and it takes the mind reading power of Professor X to make any headway into the mutant’s psyche. We all have events we’d like to block from our memory, but I’d rather have a mix of good and bad than none at all.

Lucy Whitmore – 50 First Dates

Can you imagine having to remind your partner each and every day about your shared past together? Thankfully, Mrs. Sip only has to do this for me after a hard drinking night. In this case, perhaps it was working with Adam Sandler again that drove Drew Barrymore to memory loss. Anyhoo, Lucy is helped along by Sandler’s Henry to break the pattern and live a happily ever after, each new day.

memory loss favourite movie

Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This one is a little different, in that main characters Joel and Clementine choose to wipe their minds clear of any memories to do with each other after their relationship goes awry. Regardless of this, they wind up together again, as if their love was always meant to be. Jim Carrey must be the king of playing amnesiacs, having also tackled the role in The Majestic and The Number 23.

Dory – Finding Nemo

Played for comedic effect, Dory is one of the many characters father Marlin comes across in his search for his son Nemo. Dory proved to be such a popular character that the pacific regal blue tang (thanks to Wikipedia for that!) will be getting her own movie, Finding Dory, due out in 2016. Ironically, the movie will be centered on Dory getting her memories back, leading to another adventure.

amnesia joke

The Wolfpack – The Hangover

The one thing worse than one person not being able to remember what happened before, is three friends blanking out on the previous night’s activities. Thanks to being slipped roofies, the Wolfpack can’t figure out what trouble they got up to and worst of all, their buddy Doug is missing and his wedding day is coming up quickly.

Douglas Quaid – Total Recall

Mrs. Sip and I love to travel, but I’m not sure we’d be into futuristic travel methods which include having images placed in your mind, while you sit in a chair. Of course, an innocent visual journey to the planet Mars, helps Quaid realize that he’s actually a secret agent operative, with crazy fighting skills. Quaid (aka Carl Hauser) now has to go to the real Mars, to figure out why his memory was wiped.

Flavour Revolution: Lucifer’s Tears

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Blueberry Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Galliano
  • 0.25 oz Sambuca
  • Garnish with Blueberries

Soap Operas are also a prime breeding ground for cases of amnesia, either occurring after a death, or leading to a murder most foul!

Flavour Revolution – Sloe Berries

Slowing Things Down

Today, we experiment with Sloe Gin – a first for the Sip Advisor. I know “sloe” in this case is not spelt like “slow”, but all I can think of is things moving at a lengthier pace. Therefore, I bring to you the greatest slow-motion scenes in cinema history:

The Untouchables – Union Station Gunfight

While I’m 100% anti-prohibition, I suppose I’m also anti-illegal activity. Things come to a head between these two forces when Elliot Ness and his Untouchables enter into a full-scale gunfight with mobster Al Capone and his cronies, inside Chicago’s Union Station. Members of both factions are blown away by various weapons and upping the tension factor is the fact that a mother and her young child (in stroller) are caught in the crossfire.

Inception – Dream Catchers

To bring the reverse heisters back to the real world, a serious jolt is needed… like the type you get when you feel you’re falling in a dream. To achieve this, the crew decides that their vehicle needs to fall from a bridge into the water below. Because time moves differently in the various levels of consciousness, this descent is painfully slow and also affects the members caught in the different dream levels, throwing them into the ceiling or other obstacles of the realm they are in.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High – Leisurely Swim

Let’s move on to a lighter scene. In this teen comedy, high school senior Brad Hamilton watches his sister’s friend swim in the family pool and fantasizes about her slowly emerging from the water and dropping her bikini top all for his pleasure. This causes Brad (played by Judge Reinhold) to need some “release”… thankfully not also done in slow-mo. As we’ll find with many of these scenes, music plays a large role in the full effect, this time with the Cars ‘Moving in Stereo’ providing the soundtrack.

X-Men: Days of Future Past – Quicksilver Antics

This scene instantly made the character of Quicksilver popular with fans who didn’t know he even existed and demand to have him included in future X-men installments was passionate. Watching the young mutant run around the vault as time crawled to a halt, messing with guards and repositioning bullets was very entertaining. Only slow time will tell what other adventures Quicksilver gets up to in the future… and past!

The Matrix – Fight Fury

While I’m not a fan of the Matrix franchise, I have to admit that there are many great slow-mo scenes throughout the trilogy. Bullet Time, for example, was a jaw-dropping and revolutionary filming technique and similar processes were used for other fight scenes, such as the lobby shootout in the first installment and Neo’s battle with an unlimited number of Mr. Smiths in the sequel. I still don’t understand the damn thing, though.

Zombieland – Amazing Opening

Perfectly combined with Metallica’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, this may be one of cinema’s greatest opening montages. In just a few brief scenes, the audiences is caught up to speed with the horrors of the apocalyptic zombie outbreak that has forced our hero from his cozy, shut-in life into a world of fear, mistrust, and always being vigilant. We even see a bride attack her new husband, which would have to make their nuptials the wedding of the year!

Anchorman 2 – RV Flip

With the Channel 4 news crew reunited and en route to new jobs for the launch of a 24-hour channel, all the guys have to do is survive a cross-country road trip aboard an RV driven by Ron Burgundy… who doesn’t really understand the concept of cruise control. This results in their RV swerving off the road and injuries to each journalist, including deep fryer oil to the face, a bowling ball to the skull, an even a scorpion attack. Why these items were ever aboard the RV remains an unsolved mystery.

Office Space – Printer Destruction

Almost all of us have been there: frustrated with a printer or other office device. These three disgruntled employees decide to take their venom out on the machine that has caused them the most angst, bringing it out into a desolate field and destroying it. With the song ‘Still’ by the Geto Boys fueling their destructive intentions, the trio makes the device unrecognizable, even going so far as to wield a baseball bat in their attack. Every office worker has dreamed of doing the same ever since!

Zoolander – Gas Fight

To cheer up their buddy Derek Zoolander, the male models go out for some Orange Mocha Frappuccinos. As they stop to fill up their Jeep with some gas, they decide to have a playful fight with the fuel and all is well until one of the models lights a cigarette, causing the station to explode into a ball of fire. Once again, the music selection is key here, as the Wham! Classic ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ deceives the audience of the tragedy that is about to unfold.

Flavour Revolution: Hopeless Case

The Chariots of Fire scene should really be included, given how many times it’s been parodied. There’s also an amazing scene in Ace Ventura where Jim Carrey performs a football play in both slow-mo and rewind. Courtenay Cox can barely keep a straight face throughout!