Mixer Mania #25 – Tonic Treatment

Tonic water is a polarizing mixer, but I have come to appreciate it in some drinks, specifically the Gin & Tonic. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best fictional tonics to ever be imagined:

Simpson & Son’s Revitalizing Tonic – The Simpsons

Created by Grampa Simpson, this potion will turn a loser into a lothario with one quick swig. After successfully using it, Homer decides that he and his dad should go into business together and sell the aphrodisiac to other men desperate for a quick pick-me-up.

The Simpsons has also featured other fantastical solutions, such as Brain & Nerve Tonic, which caused baseball star Ken Griffey Jr. to become addicted and overdose on the substance, causing gigantism. Lastly, there’s Dimoxinil, a hair regrowth remedy, which Homer used to improve his looks and life, only for Bart to knock over the bottle and spill the remaining cure.

Simpson & Son_s Revitalizing Tonic

Vitameatavegamin – I Love Lucy

Containing vitamins, meat, vegetables, and minerals, this health product was meant to provide users with their daily doses of each element in a single serving. The invention also contained alcohol, causing Lucy to start feeling the effects as the takes for the commercial she was filming began to pile up, with typically hilarious results.

Dr. Terminus – Pete’s Dragon

Snake oil salesman Dr. Terminus plays a key role in the original Pete’s Dragon movie. While the potions he’s selling are fakes and he’s been chased out of every town he’s tried to sell his wares, the “doctor” actually believes in his creations. As he sings: “Bites and burns and blue abrasions, got a pill for all occasions!”

Dr. Flimflam’s Miracle Cream – Futurama

Purchased by Dr. Zoidberg for an exorbitant price, the cream does provide Leela and Fry with superpowers, a listed side effect for humans. They form the New Justice Team with robot Bender and provide heroics to the city of New New York… at least until the cream runs out.

Mixer Mania #25: Desperation

Desperation.JPG

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz Midori
  • Top with Tonic Water
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

There is also a long list of fictional erectile-dysfunction remedies, usual coming from sketch comedy shows, such as Saturday Night Live and Mad TV, parodying the industry.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
There are some interesting Tonic Water cocktails out there and I look forward to experimenting more with the mixer in the future. As for this drink, it was pretty good with the bitter tonic followed closely by the sweet flavours of orange and melon, resulting in a balanced beverage.

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Mixer Mania #20 – Measure of Success

Did you know that olives (the juice form being today’s feature mixer) were once used as a unit of measurement? A “k’zayit”, which translates to “like an olive” was used to estimate amounts of Jewish ceremonial foods, including challah, matzah and wine. Let’s take a look at some other odd units of measurement:

Wheaton

Based off of actor Wil Wheaton, this unit of measurement takes into account a person’s number of Twitter followers. A Wheaton is described as 500,000 followers, making a milliwheaton equivalent to 500 followers. Please take the time to follow the Sip Advisor on Twitter, so I can reach milliwheaton heights.

Sagan

As a tribute, scientist Carl Sagan’s catchphrase “billions and billions” was turned into a unit of measurement for quantity. A Sagan can now be used to describe a large quantity of anything. For example, the Sip Advisor has consumed a Sagan amount of potato chips in his lifetime.

carl-sagan

Warhol

Artist Andy Warhol once famously said (I’m paraphrasing here) that every person will famous for 15 minutes. As a result, his name has been associated with the measurement of fame. Some folks out there who have achieved kilowarhol and megawarhol status, still haven’t left the world with anything tangible… you know, your Kardashians, et al.

Waffle House Index

This measurement is used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to calculate the effect of a storm and its following recovery efforts. It’s based on the Waffle House restaurant chain’s reputation of staying open during the worst of weather, serving up breakfast, while others are afraid to step outside.

Hobo Power

Coined by radio personality Adam Carolla, this unit can be used to describe an offending odor. It is based on a scale of 1-100, with 50 hobopower leading a person to become physically ill, while 100 hobopower results in death. Of course, this is all theoretical.

homeless

MegaFonzie

We can thank Futurama for this unit, which measures one’s coolness. Developed by Professor Farnsworth, and using Happy Days character Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli as a reference point, I once took the test and came away disappointed with a rare negative rating. Ay!

Helen

Unfortunately, this is another measurement where the Sip Advisor doesn’t show well. Mrs. Sip on the other hand ranks highly when associated with Helen of Troy, who is said to have had “the face that launched a thousand ships”. Therefore, a millihelen can be used to describe the beauty it takes to launch a single ship, while any negative helen (Sip Advisor territory) causes ships to be beached.

Mixer Mania #20: Crotch Kicker

Crotch Kicker.JPG

  • Rim glass with Salt
  • 1 oz Tequila
  • Top with Sweet and Sour Mix
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Olive Juice
  • Garnish with Olives

There is also a Big Mac Index in existence, but it actually sounds kind of legitimate and recognized, so I’m not touching that one. My personal Big Mac Index is calculated as one sandwich per every second visit to the chain.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.25 Sips out of 5):
I haven’t done much experimenting with Olive Juice, aside from the Dirty Martini. I thought this cocktail was decent, with a fair mix of sweet and sour tastes. I didn’t notice the Olive Juice very much and that may have been all for the best.

August 15 – Time Bomb

Time Transport

I think it’s safe to say that we would all love to have access to a time machine. To be able to go back and fix our wrong turns or relive some of our finest moments would be an amazing ability. Now that we’ve decided we want to go back in time, all we have to choose is the vessel for our travels. Here are some of the greatest we’ve been introduced to:

#5: Phone Booth – Bill & Ted’s

When Bill and Ted desperately need to pass their history presentation (thus leading to the survival of the human race, of course!) a time machine is required to go back through the ages and learn from the legends themselves. The time machine was originally to be a 1969 Chevy van, rather than a phone booth, but that would be too close to Back to the Future. Today, none of this would be possible, given the phone booth is a thing of the past… plus, space would be kind of tight for multiple travellers.

Time Travel Hitler

#4: Toaster – The Simpsons

This is one of my favourite Treehouse of Horror segments, which finds Homer sent back into the time of the dinosaurs, trying not to alter anything from the past, knowing that it could have dire repercussions on his present and future. While he narrowly misses a perfect life, worrying that donuts don’t exist, he settles for an alternate reality that is close to the present he remembers, with the one difference being that the rest of his family eats with extending forked tongues, resembling a lizard.

#3: Hot Tub – Hot Tub Time Machine

I’ve always loved chilling out (or better put, warming up) in a hot tub, with a beer by my side. Had I ever experimented with the Russian energy drink Chernobly – and spilled it all over the hot tub controls – I may have ended up back in the past, reliving a portion of my younger life. At least Chevy Chase was on the case as the mysterious repairman, trying to help the gang get back to their present. I have yet to watch the sequel to this franchise, but it’s high on my ‘to do’ list for more histrionic learning.

time travel kitty

#2: Ocarina – Legend of Zelda

How can one little instrument produce so much beautiful music… and songs that really help our hero Link! The ocarina can change day into night and vice versa, summon a horse, and make it rain (the weather, not the cash at the strip club style… although it would be entertaining to watch Link throw rubies at Princess Zelda!). Perhaps the ocarina’s most important feature is that it helps Link jump throughout time, utilizing the Song of Time. We would all love to skip those awkward puberty years!

#1: DeLorean – Back to the Future

The DeLorean can take people back into the past, as well as years into the future – so long as you can get it up to 88 miles per hour… oh, and also have access to a flux capacitor! Early drafts of the film’s script called for a laser device to induce time travel, but a vehicle was eventually incorporated into later edits, with the DeLorean selected thanks to its unique appearance. Despite the popularity the car enjoyed, following the movie’s release, production of the vehicle had already halted two years prior.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Time Bomb

  • 1 oz Tequila
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with a Cranberry

Honourable mentions go to the TARDIS (Doctor Who), the WABAC Machine (Mr. Peabody and Sherman), Timmy’s Wheelchair (South Park), and Binary Code (Futurama). Even Superman was able to reverse time by simply flying really fast and spinning the earth in the opposite direction of what gravity dictated. If only it was that easy!

February 14 – Love Bite

Lover’s Quarrel

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at some of the classic “will they/won’t they” TV romances. Nearly every show has one, hoping to bring in the hopeless romantic as a regular viewer. My favourite story is from NewsRadio, where the network wanted this element for the show, much to the chagrin of producers. So, they had Dave and Lisa sleep together immediately, before then teasing their relationship from that point. Well, on with the list:

#5: Ben & Leslie – Parks and Recreation

The Parks and Rec crew are quite incestuous with numerous couplings coming out of the small department. Despite stiff competition (Andy and April, Chris and Ann, etc.), Ben and Leslie get the nod for best “will they/won’t they” storyline on the show, as it took the nerdy Ben to finally reel in the ambitious Leslie, who was more likely to be married to her job than a living person. Ben and Leslie’s wedding was especially touching, as the Parks and Rec crew had to stage the event on short notice.

Ben and Leslie

#4: Niles & Daphne – Frasier

Niles loved Daphne from the first moment he saw her… the problem was, he was in a loveless marriage with the never-seen Maris. By the time Niles got his side of things all sorted out, Daphne was due to be wed to Donny – ironically, Niles divorce attorney. Well, true love conquers all, and Niles and Daphne ended up together, marrying and having a baby boy. Poor Niles waited many years – and through many boyfriends – for his chance to be with Daphne, but fate works in mysterious ways.

#3: Leonard & Penny – Big Bang Theory

For those who believe that opposites don’t attract, take for example the relationship between blonde bombshell Penny and her kind, but geeky neighbour Leonard. Despite taking a while to date and an extended break-up, the two have been together for a fair portion of the show’s run and at this point are even engaged. Rivaling Leonard and Penny is Sheldon and Amy, who most fans just want to see finally get into bed with one another!

The Gorilla Dissolution

#2: Jim & Pam – The Office (US)

Based off of the similar storyline of Tim and Dawn from the UK version of The Office, Jim and Pam go from co-workers with a mutual crush to lovers, having to evade obstacles such as Pam’s pending marriage to Roy, Jim’s transfer to another Dunder Mifflin branch, and Pam going back to school in New York. Once Jim and Pam were all securely married, Dwight and Angela moved into the spot of “will they/won’t they,” but their relationship was always a little odd and unusual.

#1: Ross & Rachel – Friends

These two went back and forth so many times, that it makes one’s head spin. In the end, they of course wound up with each other, following the typical last-minute ditch effort to save the relationship, with Ross rushing to the airport to stop Rachel from leaving the country for a job opportunity in Paris. Through the series, the two even produced a child, all the while teasing a reunion, but never really getting back together from the first time they became a couple and broke up.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Love Bite

Love Bite Shot

  • 0.5 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Orange Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Milk
  • Garnish with Chocolate

Honourable mentions go to Kevin and Winnie (The Wonder Years), Zack and Kelly (Saved by the Bell), Eric and Donna (That 70’s Show), and Fry and Leela (Futurama); some of which ended happily and others, not so much. Thankfully, my will they/won’t they with Mrs. Sip worked out pretty well!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
The Cherry and Orange Liqueurs mixed together really well, but the Milk didn’t play nicely with the spirits, nearly curdling the alcohol. Luckily it didn’t get that far and the flavours could still be enjoyed. At least I always had the Chocolate garnish to enjoy afterwards!

December 20 – Jack Frost

Holiday Horrors

Christmas is supposed to be all about good tidings and joy, but some would have you think otherwise. The following entries are only interested in disrupting the holiday and even putting an end to Santa Claus and the whole spirit of Christmas. Let’s wade together into the darker side of the season!

#5: Xanta Klaus

Professional wrestling is the perfect breeding grounds for detestable anti-Christmas characters. Among those creations is Xanta Klaus, who arrived on the scene in 1995, under the guise of giving out gifts to children, only to turn on wrestler Savio Vega and beat him with his toy-filled sack. Unfortunately, Xanta Klaus was short-lived, with writers probably realizing he didn’t have a shelf life past December 25th. Even wrestling events in the month of December take on a not-so-friendly air, with names like Season’s Beatings, Massacre of 34th Street, Holiday Hell, and December to Dismember.

#4: Robot Santa

This mechanized version of Santa, as seen on Futurama, is hell bent on ruining every Christmas. He was originally created to decide whether a child was naughty or nice and then reward or punish the youngster accordingly. His programming goes all haywire, however, and he ends up believing everyone is bad, leading to the launch of aggressive assaults each Christmas Eve, with an array of seasonal weapons. If Robot Santa wasn’t bad enough on his own, he is occasionally joined by Kwanzaabot and the Chanukah Zombie, with the group being collectively known as The Trinity.

#3: Christmas Time in South Park

The brilliant minds behind South Park don’t mind turning the Christmas season into their own satirical playground, with heroic holiday characters that include Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo and even cult leader Charles Manson. If the bad guys are good, then the antagonists must be really evil. Episodes have seen Iraqi soldiers torture Santa Claus, only for Jesus to save the jolly fat man; Woodland Christmas critters giving birth to the antichrist; and heck, the animated short by Trey Parker and Matt Stone that largely led to South Park’s existence was titled Jesus vs. Santa, and included the two fighting, before coming to a truce over orange smoothies!

south_park_christmas

#2: Jack Frost

What happens when a serial killer en route to his execution dies in a horrific accident? Well, if his name is Jack Frost, he comes back as a deranged snowman, of course. Then, he terrorizes the lawman who apprehended him and the town of Snowmonton (yes, that was seriously the city’s name), including raping a woman in the shower with his carrot nose and murdering piles of people. Hell, Frost did call himself the “world’s most pissed off snow cone!” Ironically, only a year later, a family film with the same name was released and had a similar plot (man dies and turns into snowman), minus all the slaying and carrot-based sexual assault.

#1: Krampus

This European legend is the anti-Santa, used to encourage kids to be good, or else! In some countries, the creature has somehow gained his own celebration night, Krampusnacht, on December 5th, the eve before St. Nicholas Day, which rewards good children. This has involved people dressing up as the man-beast and beating others up. Krampus was depicted on American Dad as actually being a good guy, only trying to correct bad behaviour in kids, while Santa is the true villain. There is also the similar Belsnickel, who has the split personality of both Krampus and St. Nicholas and was famously portrayed by Dwight Schrute on The Office.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Jack Frost

Dec 20

  • Rim glass with Candy Cane Bits
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Bailey’s Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • Garnish with a Candy Cane

A couple honourable mentions that could have been included on this list, had they not had a change of heart and eventually embraced the season, include the Grinch and Jack Skellington. I hope all you little sippers have a wonderful Christmas and get lit up like the tree!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I can’t believe how many shot recipes start with Kahlua and Irish Crème… too many. To change thing up a little, I used Yukon Jack Perma Frost, instead of Peppermint Schnapps. The Perma Frost adds cinnamon notes to the usual mint flavour and kind of completed this shooter.

Trinidad & Tobago – The Cephalopuch

How Low Can You Go?

We’ve all taken a crack at shuffling under the limbo bar. In fact, the Sip Advisor is quite adept at the limbo, thanks to flexibility and willingness to do stupid things. Well, we have Trinidad and Tobago to thank for this dance style. Let’s take a closer look at the popular contest:

Limbo goes all the way back to the mid-1800’s. Before its days as a party contest, it was used at funerals and wakes under a more somber tone. To signify death turning into life, the bar was set at its lowest point, rising in progression. I don’t think this would work for the Sip Advisor, as I’m planning on having my entire celebration of life centered on TV show theme songs: The Price is Right, Family Feud, etc.

Invisible Limbo

The general rules of limbo has each competitor shuffle under the bar with their backs to the floor. If the bar is touched or the dancer falls backwards to the ground, they are eliminated. Once everyone has gone, the survivors move on to the next round, with the bar lowered a little for the next challenge. The process repeats until there is a lone winner.

Today, you can often see the limbo being contested at Caribbean and Hawaiian (although used to celebrate luaus, the limbo was not created in Hawaii as some people have falsely theorized) resorts and aboard cruise ships, with travelers taking turns to see who is the most limber vacationer. Some daredevil limbo lovers will even take their dance moves to the extreme, such as lighting the limbo bar on fire. Next up, the Sip Advisor’s razor and barbed wire challenges!

Julia Edwards (born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad) is known as the First Lady of Limbo. A celebrated limbo champion, her dance troupe helped spread the limbo across the globe, appearing in a number of films, as well as touring the world’s hotels, clubs, and restaurants, all for the expansion of the dance and its contests. After retiring from active dancing, Edwards stayed in the game as a choreographer. In 1991, she was awarded the Trinidad and Tobago Humming Bird Medal Gold for Culture.

Beware of Limbo Dancers

Limbo was actually popularized outside of the Caribbean by musician Chubby Checkers, thanks to his song, “Limbo Rock”, released in 1962. The track rose to #2 on the Billboard Top 100 chart and popularized the question: “How low can you go!?” Other popular songs made specifically for limbo, include “Limbo” by Lord Tickler and the Calypsonians, “Limbo Break” by Brigo, and “Limbo” by Denzil Laing and the Wrigglers. Even David Hasselhoff entered the fray with his “Do the Limbo Dance”.

The World Record for limbo is an astonishingly short six inches. That’s right, the average penis size can be limbo’d under! The man who achieved the feat was no spring chicken and was, in fact, 55 years old. The women’s record was set by Shemika Charles (aka Limbo Queen), who passed under a bar only 8.5 inches off the ground. There have also been records set for performing the limbo wearing roller skates, including rolling under as many as 39 vehicles.

In the sci-fi cartoon Futurama, in the year 2980, limbo has become an Olympic sport. Jamaican national Hermes Conrad is a limbo enthusiast and competes in the event, which resembles hurdles, but instead of going over the bar, athletes have to go under. Hermes also applies his skills in other areas, such as using the limbo to get under a door and other obstacles that only have clear space at the bottom.

Trinidad & Tobago: The Cephalopuch

Cephalopuch Cocktail

  • 1 oz Kraken Rum
  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Coconut Shavings

Some folks may debate which limbo is more painful… the one where you try to squeeze under a bar or the whole stuck between heaven and hell concept. To the Sip Advisor, this is a ‘pick your poison’ scenario and neither one is all that appealing!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This drink wasn’t so bad. The flavours are all right, with Rum, Coconut, and Pineapple coming together. I still love garnishing a drink with Coconut Shavings because they look neat and are so fun to chew during the cocktail consumption.

September 20 – Jager Barrel

Rush Week

With the upcoming DVD release of the movie Neighbors, I thought that this was as good a time as any to take a look at some of the best fraternities out there. Never a fan of the whole Greek system, I prefer my frats on the fictional side. Will the Delta Psi’s in Neighbors ever measure up? Time will only tell!

#5: Alpha Alpha – Undergrads

Rocko Gambiani is not very popular among his brothers, as they are more into the philanthropy and networking aspects of the fraternity, while Rocko wants to experience all the stuff these groups are typically associated with: hazing, partying, pranking, womanizing, etc. Rocko wasn’t even supposed to be a member of Alpha Alpha, but is begrudgingly accepted after passing the initiation tasks he places upon himself, upon learning the Alphas don’t do tests anymore.

Rocko Undergrads

#4: Lambda Lambda Lambda – Revenge of the Nerds

The Tri-Lambs were created when a bunch of outsiders needed a place to live and their subsequent feud with the guys of Alpha Beta and the girls of Pi Delta Pi, showed us all that nerds aren’t bad at all. The success of Revenge of the Nerds did nothing for nerd nation in the real world, but did spawn three sequels, a failed TV show, and cancelled remake. Perhaps the group’s greatest legacy was seen in a number of Tri-Lamb fraternities actually being created, with five currently existing in the U.S.

#3: Oozma Kappa – Monsters University

In a similar vein to Revenge of the Nerds, Oozma Kappa is made up of the outcasts who can’t get into the more popular groups. When Sully finds himself kicked out of Roar Omega Roar and Mike never gets in for not being scary enough, they join Oozma Kappa, hoping this unit of unpopular monsters will help them win the annual Scare Games and gain them re-entry into the renowned Scare Program. Once again, we learn that athletic ability isn’t the only trait needed to succeed.

Oozma Kappa

#2: Lambda Epsilon Omega – Old School

The best part about this fraternity, is that it’s open to anyone who wants to pledge. This includes folks who don’t even attend the nearby campus, and perhaps most notably, the geriatric Blue, who sadly passes away during his own birthday celebration, when two women flash the old timer. What a way to go! In typical fraternity challenge style, the boys need to complete a number of trials to keep their chapter open, while staying clear of the nefarious Dean of the school.

#1: Delta Tau Chi – Animal House

This film made being on double secret probation popular and also brought the toga party into the mainstream. John Belushi is an absolute stud in this film, stealing the show as the drunken troublemaker, John ‘Bluto’ Blutarsky, who we learn during the epilogue to the film, became a U.S. Senator, despite a GPA of 0.0. Animal House is actually one of the highest grossing films of all-time, thanks to its miniscule $2.8 million budget and worldwide success. Sadly, a TV spinoff only lasted 13 episodes.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Jager Barrel

Jager Barrel Shot

  • 1 oz Jagermeister
  • 0.5 oz Root Beer Schnapps
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

It’s funny how many stories are about a ragtag group coming together to make their own fraternity succeed against the established houses. Even on Futurama, Bender takes the fledgling Robot House (aka Epsilon Rho Rho) and wages war against the members of SNΘΘΤΥ House. There’s also a really clever frat name in an episode of Boy Meets World. The group is called Magnum Pi, which is a wonderful homage to my boy Magnum P.I.!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
When you’re honouring the world of fraternities, Jagermeister has to be used in your shooter. This recipe originally comes from a cocktail that is supposed to use Root Beer as a mixer, so I shrunk it down to shot form and added Root Beer Schnapps, instead. It tasted quite nice, as anything with Root Beer does, in this Sip Advisor’s opinion!