Sip Trips #132: Celebrations Galore

The Sip Family has been super busy the last couple weeks. So busy, that I’m just now getting a chance to document our recent adventures. Here’s what we’ve been up to since I was last able to write:

A couple weekends’ ago, we celebrated Father-in-Law Sip’s birthday, taking our revelry to Backyard Winery, followed by Township 7 Winery, in Langley. While at Backyard, where we enjoyed a couple bottles of Pinot Gris and charcuterie platters, Mrs. Sip rejoined their wine club now that she’s no longer pregnant and breastfeeding. At Township 7, our group did a wine tasting, while I toured the grounds with Baby Sip, who was visiting the fifth winery of her young life.

Later that week, we enjoyed a meal at EXP Restaurant + Bar. There has been some concern the place will be forced out of business, due to Vancouver’s ridiculous rent prices, so we wanted to visit before anything tragic occured. We ordered a round of Harry Potter-themed cocktails that were all pretty tasty. My favourite was the Gryffindor’s Liquid Courage, thanks to the Jack Daniels Whiskey base. To eat, I ordered the Triforce Burger, which is comprised of a crispy chicken breast, beef burger and bacon. It’s quite the meal, but oh so delicious.

Triforce

Heading into Easter weekend, I picked Mrs. Sip up from work and we enjoyed a drink at Steel & Oak Brewing. The brewery has recently completed renovations to allow for more patrons and the space is much-needed, as the place is often packed. We ordered the Encore collaboration with Yellow Dog Brewing and really enjoyed the beer. That’s really no surprise, as the two breweries are among my favourite in the province.

The next day, Mrs. Sip and I celebrated our 16th dating anniversary. We began the occasion by using the Groupon I had purchased for Big City Hunt, which offers scavenger hunts in a number of big cities. Even though we’re locals, we learned some neat things about downtown Vancouver, as we embarked on the two-hour tour, featuring trivia and photo challenges.

The main event of our anniversary was dining at the Top of Vancouver rotating restaurant. We split a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, along with a starter of Baked French Brie and mains of Duck Duo for me and Baked Whole Lobster for Mrs. Sip. The dinner was not cheap, but you’re partly paying for the view, which we enjoyed for over two hours and three full rotations of the restaurant.

Lobster Immortal.jpg

We wrapped our evening out by stopping at Nero Belgian Waffle Bar, where the alluring smell of fresh waffles forced us to investigate further. We split their set of seven Mini Liège Waffles, which provided the perfect dessert to our earlier feast.

The following day, we journeyed back to Langley to celebrate Mrs. Sip’s grandpa’s 93rd birthday at one of his favourite restaurants, Andreas. This place has an amazing menu and I can’t remember not liking any item that I have ordered. On this visit, I combined their French Onion Soup (which may have been the best serving I’ve ever had of the delicacy) with Chicken Fingers and Fries. The meal was decadent and the prices were all very reasonable.

On Easter Sunday, we met with friends at Big Ridge Brewing in Surrey. Having eaten recently, Mrs. Sip and I split an order of their Beer Battered Garlic Fries. These paired nicely with our beer selections of Viking Funeral Norwegian Ale for me and Vanilla Bean Porter for Mrs. Sip. Next time we’re out that way, I’d like to try something from their Asian Kitchen menu.

Chows Mane

Afterwards, we were off to Baby Sip’s first drive-in movie experience at Twilight Theatre in Aldergrove. Our films included Ready Player One and Game Night, both of which were enjoyable, despite some inclement weather, including a touch of hail during the shows.

Last, but not least, we also attended three Vancouver Canucks games in the last week, including the emotional final home game for the Sedin twins. This magical night will live long in my memory and Daniel and Henrik deserve every bit of praise they have received since announcing their impending retirements. Thank you to both of them for their 18 years of service, both on and off the ice.

The coming week remains loaded with commitments and activities, which you can read all about in next week’s Sip Trips!

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Mixer Mania #17 – Island Hopping

Mrs. Sip spent a lot of her youth in Hawaii and she has been able to share some of those experiences with me, since we’ve been together. With Hawaiian Punch being today’s feature mixer, let’s take a look at some of the things the islands have brought to our lives:

Traditions

One of the most fascinating parts of a vacation to Hawaii is taking in all the unique culture. From being greeted with leis to luau feasts to hula dancing and everything in between, the island experience is something that must be seen to be appreciated.

Hawaiian-Time-Hours.jpg

Drinks

Despite its name, Hawaiian Punch was actually developed in California in 1934. Originally an ice cream topping, it became a beverage when water was added. POG, however, can claim Hawaiian ties, as it was developed in 1971 for Haleakala Dairy on Maui. The islands are also famous for Kona coffee, which must be grown in that district. Hawaii is the only American state which grows coffee plants.

Food

Hawaiian food can be looked at, in this humble writer’s opinion, as the good, the bad, and the ugly. First, there’s the delicious Macadamia Nuts, which are a souvenir every traveller brings back with them. Next up, we have the polarizing pineapple, which I like on my pizza, but don’t like in my cocktails. Then, we enter dangerous territory, with items like poi and spam, which are certainly acquired tasted. We can’t forget one of Mrs. Sip’s favourites: McDonald’s Haupia Pie!

People

The most famous Hawaiian is probably former president Barack Obama, while the islands are also the birthplace of musicians such as Bruno Mars, Jack Johnson, Don Ho, and even Bette Midler. Let’s not forget Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, also calls Hawaii – and its waters – home.

Hawaiian Dad

Media

Some of my favourite TV shows and movies were filmed amongst the beautiful setting that is Hawaii. These projects include Magnum P.I., Hawaii 5-0 (I’m more a fan of the original), and one of Ma and Pa Sip’s favourites, Lost, on the TV side. As for films, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 50 First Dates, The Descendants, and Lilo & Stitch have used the island backdrop to their advantage.

Other

Hawaii can be credited with being the birthplace of many other notable things. Some of these include ABC Stores, which can be found all across the islands; the Shaka (aka Hang Loose); the POG game; and likely also played a role in the popularity of surfing, although that can be spread across much of the Polynesian islands.

Mixer Mania #17: Hawaiian Wipeout

Hawaiian Wipeout.JPG

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Goldschlager
  • Top with Hawaiian Punch
  • Garnish with Strawberry Slices

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Of course, this recipe is meant for the original Hawaiian Punch, but I’m going with the Berry Blue Blast version. The drink called for Everclear as a liquor, but Vodka is a quick and sufficient substitute. The taste is dominated by the cinnamon flavour in the Goldschlager, with some berry coming out, but being largely hidden.

January 24 – Pigskin Shot

Game within a Game

With the 2015 NFL Super Bowl just over a week away, I thought I’d help out all my little sippers out there, that might not be a fan of the sport, and perhaps find themselves invited to a big game party. Here’s some ways you can enjoy the game, while not exactly enjoying the game!

#5: Half-Time Show

The choice of entertainment for each year’s big game opens up great debate. Usually, in the end, whichever act has been invited to perform puts on a good show and everyone walks away happy. This year, viewers will be treated to the musical stylings of Katy Perry, who had a massive year in 2014 with hits like “Roar” and “Dark Horse”. Perry will be joined by Lenny Kravitz, which will at least add a rock element to the show. Let’s hope we get a repeat of 2004 and if you’re lucky, you might even get to see some boobies!

Barely Watch Super Bowl

#4: Betting

Whether you’ve got money on the line in Vegas, between friends, or in some kind of office pool, it seems that betting on the big game is as essential as which beer you’re going to bring to the affair. Prop bets have also become really big with each passing Super Bowl. These include wagers on everything surrounding the game, from the national anthem, to what coaches will wear, to what colour Gatorade will be dumped on the winning bench boss. If you play your cards right, you might bring home enough cash to cover your food and drink losses!

#3: Food

Speaking of edibles, the Super Bowl offers a myriad of snacking choices and it’s certainly a day you don’t want to be inhibited by any diets or cleanses. The dip options alone, are enough to make your head spin. And what goes best with most dips? Well, chips, naturally. We all know that the Sip Advisor is a chippy fiend and I’ll use any excuse to stock up on as many bags as I can fit into our cupboards. Hell, most years I don’t even watch the game, but make it a point to do a little shopping spree prior, and then I just let it ride until the stock has been depleted!

Super Bowl Food

#2: Drink

Food and drink go hand-in-hand, but the Sip Advisor has always leaned towards liquid nourishment. When hosting or attending a party, it’s tough choosing what to stock your or your buddy’s fridge with. While beer is a natural choice for watching sports, there are a number of other options available and the cocktail revolution has allowed for something to be available to everyone. As for brew options, treat yourself. Don’t settle for the easy choices, like Budweiser (or Canadian for us fans north of the border) and instead, grab a case of craft brew and be a true beer snob!

#1: Commercials

For some people, the only reason they tune into the game, is to watch the enormously expensive commercials that break the program up. Each year, there is a set of memorable ads that become an extension of the game. Did you know that the Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” campaign started with a Super Bowl spot? Then there’s also perennial top contender Budweiser. The company has used both the Clydesdales and Wassup guys for a number of outstanding adverts, regardless of how you feel about the actual product or company.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Pigskin Shot

Pigskin Shot

  • 0.5 oz Midori
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

What other tactics can we share together to help anti-football fans make it through the Super Bowl? If it’s any consolation, at least it only occurs once each year, not like all these stupid awards shows that often have invites flying the other (female to male) direction. A dude may have to deal with the Oscar’s, Grammy’s, Golden Globes, Emmy’s, and others. One football game seems fair in comparison!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I was originally going to do a shot called Blitz, which combined Irish Crème, Kahlua and Pineapple Juice. I was curious about how that would all go together, but the result was mass curdling, which looked disgusting. Therefore, I found this recipe instead, which was much nicer. I even used my recently acquired Grey Goose Le Melon in the vodka slot and it worked perfectly with the Midori!