Flavour Revolution – Coconut

Hard as a Rock

The coconut has so much potential and can be used in so many ways. In Sanskrit, coconuts are called kalpa vriksha, which translates to “the tree which provides all the necessities of life” (that’s a lot of words for a short original term). Likewise, in Malay, it is known as pokok seribu guna, meaning “the tree of a thousand uses”. Finally, in the Philippines, the coconut is called the “tree of life”. Let’s take a look at some of the many uses the coconut can provide:

Welcome Weapon

In one of wrestling’s most infamous and controversial scenes, ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper invited ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka onto his Piper’s Pit talk show, only to insult the Fijian high-flyer, before walloping him across the head with a coconut. This launched a heated feud between the two superstars that lasted all the way to the inaugural WrestleMania event, with Snuka being in the corner of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T as they battled Piper and Paul Orndorff, with ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton as their cornerman.

Urban Legend

Death by Coconut” became a mainstream fear, following the publishing of a report on the subject, in the mid 1980’s. Some claims stated that 150 people die each year of blows to the head via falling coconuts and this was exacerbated when an expert on shark attacks stated these numbers to ease people’s fears of sharks (ie. “you’re more likely to die from coconut trauma than a shark attack”). While it was used for humour on Gilligan’s Island, there are some recorded incidents of death by coconut.

Island Ingenuity

Speaking of Gilligan’s Island, the Professor managed to somehow cobble together a radio and other devices, using coconuts and bamboo… and yet he couldn’t just repair their damn boat!? This radio sparked a number of adventures for the deserted castaways, as they were informed of events going on in the outside world and the occasional chance at rescue by groups or vessels that might be in the area.

Clothing, etc.

The coconut bra is more likely to be found worn by Polynesian women at Hawaiian luaus… that or girls attending Hawaiian-themed college parties. My only concern would be potential splinters, but I guess I’m not wearing them anyways, so why should I worry. Coconuts have also been used as armor, from using shells as helmets to weaving the fibers together to guard the body from stones and other sharp armaments.

Coconut Bras

Movie Magic

The half coconut shell, is routinely used in the sound effects world. Perhaps most famously, it was used in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail to make the clip-clop sounds of imaginary horses. The comedy troupe used the coconuts rather than real-life horses, not just for a few laughs, but also because the animals were expensive and the movie’s budget was getting stretched thin. They certainly turned a negative into a positive, though, and created one of history’s funniest gags.

Gas Masks

During World War I, the first war to see toxic gases used in battle, coconut char was used to develop masks that would “scrub” the air clean. At least soldiers didn’t have to strap a coconut across their face. How goofy would that have looked!? Coconut carbon is still used today to clean up mankind’s messes, including leaks at the Fukushima nuclear plant, caused by the massive earthquake that hit Japan in March 2011.

Drink Container

Mrs. Sip loves getting served a drink inside a coconut, likely because once she’s done, she often gets to enjoy the meat on the inside of the shell. One street server in Belize tracked us down after giving us a strongly-poured rum drink earlier, just so he could slash up the tough shell and open up the treat for us. Other times, the coconut is carved on the outside, typically to make it look like a monkey.

Flavour Revolution: The Heat

The Heat Cocktail

  • Rim glass with Coconut Shavings
  • 1.5 oz 1800 Coconut Tequila
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Of course, we also have the various coconut-flavoured alcohols out there, including rums, vodka, liqueurs, and today’s unique tequila libation. Let’s also not forget about all the food that the coconut provides, including a favourite of Mrs. Sip, coconut shrimp!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This is the only recipe 1800 offers on their website for the Coconut Tequila. I really wish they would add more, as finding drink ideas for this particular style of liquor is difficult. Shake the cocktail with a few Jalapeno Slices, but don’t go too crazy or you’ll burn your taste buds right off your tongue. Whenever I’m working with jalapeno, I go very light on any muddling or shaking, as all I want is a light burn at the end of each sip. This recipe is really good, tasting exquisite and looking fantastic… thanks to a few artistic additions, courtesy the Sip Advisor!

November 22 – Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Reunification

Earlier this year, the online world became abuzz, when a poster was released, teasing a Friends reunion for this Thanksgiving. It turned out to all be a hoax, but that got me thinking of shows where I’d love to see a reunion episode or some other gathering of the cast/characters, injecting new life into the stories many of us grew up on. Here is the cream of the crop of those I’d love to see one more time!

#5: Recess

Perhaps in a similar vein to All Grown Up, the Rugrats re-launch, it would be great to find out whatever happened to the Recess kids – T.J. Detweiler, Vince LaSalle, Ashley Spinelli, Gretchen Grundler, Mikey Blumberg, and Gus Griswald – and where they lives led after their fourth grade adventures at Third Street Elementary School. Did any of the kids ever hook-up (my bet’s on Mikey and Gus!)? The new story could be set in any time period, whether it be high school, college, adulthood, old age, etc. If a more adult network took the reins of the show, instead of Disney, we might get some very interesting and scandalous (thank you The Ashley’s) stories!

Recess Grown Up

#4: That 70’s Show

When we last left Point Place, Wisconsin, the 1970’s rolled over into a new decade. Therefore, the most pressing question to be answered, is how did the gang find life in the 80’s? Hell, for that matter, how did their 90’s and 2000’s go? I guess you can’t go too far ahead or you might lose the participation of the parents, Red, Kitty, and Bob, which would be too bad. I’d love to find out if Eric and Donna finally managed to stay together. What about Hyde, Kelso, Fez, and Jackie? What became of Kelso’s child? Was he as dumb as dear ol’ dad!? These are the kinds of questions that keep the Sip Advisor up at night… it’s tough being me!

#3: Full House

The Tanner clan was sent off into the television abyss with the show’s typical nice, neat wrap up. Since then, a lot has changed for the cast and would make for some crazy storylines, should there ever be a reunion episode. Would they incorporate Jodie Sweeten’s real-life meth addiction into the storyline ala the classic “On a very special episode…” trope. How would they handle Bob Saget’s departure from the squeaky clean image that made him neat freak single father Danny Tanner, as well as host of America’s Funniest Home Videos. And you just know there’s some juicy yarns out there, should the Olsen twins elect to participate.

Full House Reunion

#2: Cheers

There was the odd mini-reunion on the Cheers spinoff, Frasier (which would also be a decent series for a reunion), but I’d love to see everyone all together again at the classic bar set, enjoying a mug of fine brew and reconnecting. With Cheers being such an ensemble cast, many of which have gone on to thriving careers, it may be hard to get them all back onto the same page, but at least you know Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin would be present, as their butts have been stapled to those bar stools since the series finale in 1993. You’d have to imagine that at least one of the bar regulars would now be suffering from cirrhosis, but it should make for good viewing!

#1: Saved by the Bell

As a child of the 80’s and early 90’s, you could never say that you didn’t have at least some fondness for this show. While we got a decent finale with the wedding in Vegas movie, a whole generation thirsts for more. Did Zack and Kelly survive to rigors of getting married young? How about the kids that surely came along (I mean, who wouldn’t want to tap the former Miss Kapowski!?). If they did relaunch this series, they could do something similar to what Boy Meets World did, where they brought back Cory and Topanga as parents to a teenage girl. Jimmy Fallon (among others) tried to get the whole crew back together, but all efforts have failed thus far.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Sadly, the TV reunion just isn’t done as much anymore, compared to the past where shows like Gilligan’s Island, The Andy Griffith Show, and even Growing Pains all got together again to update viewers on the status of their favourite characters. And that’s all too bad, as there are so many series I’d love to see a follow-up from. Honourable mentions go to basically any TGIF show and let’s throw Beavis and Butt-head in there, as well, just to irritate Mrs. Sip!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I chose this shot to go with this article because it (the cake) seemed like the kind of thing that might be served at an actual family reunion. As you can see by the measurements, there’s very little booze in this shooter, so you’re basically just getting Pineapple Juice and Grenadine. My suggestion is to up the alcohol and have some real fun!

March 11 – Death in the Afternoon

The Green Fairy

Legend has it that Death in the Afternoon was Ernest Hemingway’s preferred absinthe cocktail. So, I decided to give the recipe a try and sure enough, I was transported into a hazy world of absinthe-induced imagery. The infamous Green Fairy was my guide and like Dorothy Gale, I was no longer in Kansas.

It all started with the harsh ringing of an alarm. Was I in danger? My eyes slowly popped open and I realized for the first time that I was in bed… with Adam West (TV’s Batman) standing over me. He explained that the time had come for me to begin my hero life… that dark forces were gathering and that my help would soon be needed to save the world. My first instinct was to go back to bed, but West picked me up by the scruff of my neck (apparently I’m a puppy in this hallucination) and tossed me from the comfort of my blankies.

I could wake up to this, any day!

I could wake up to this, any day!

I followed him into a large boardroom where a buffet breakfast of all my favourites was being served. There was a make-your-own potato chip platter station, prime rib burgers on a nearby barbecue, and a full service bar. I ordered a Death in the Afternoon for some reason… as if I needed delusional Sip Advisor to go into a delirious state, thus enacting some form of inception.

In the boardroom were all my heroes from childhood: Cookie Monster, 1960’s Batman (Adam West had changed during the opening credits – yes, my fantasy had credits, all set to Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’, naturally) and Robin, Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden, Willy Wonka, Optimus Prime, the professor and Mary Ann, all here on Sip Advisor’s Isle.

Morgan Freeman narrated the entire meeting, where it was revealed that all the baddies in fictional history had pooled their resources in a last ditch attempt to take over the world. I was summoned to defend the planet Inebriatopia, as I had the most experience there.

Upon being teleported to the land, I was immediately attacked by Ben Stiller and his Globo-Gym thugs. As they hurled dodge balls at my precious face, I dodged, ducked, dipped, dived and dodged, but the onslaught kept coming. That is, until Dikembe Mutombo came to my rescue, smacking down every ball thrown our way.

Sure, Mutombo should have been ruled out, according to Rule 9(a) of the Dodgeball Handbook, but this was life or death and I was happy to have the giant on my side. When we were ready, Mutombo and I returned fire of all the balls, one by one eliminating Stiller and his goons. As we celebrated, Mutombo was hit in the face by a ball meant for me. He crumpled to the ground and I tearfully said goodbye to my new friend. The question remained: who had thrown the ball.

After an 18-month investigation headed up by Lt. Columbo, Perry Mason, Matlock and myself, we were informed that the good guys had won and our services were no longer needed. Before snapping out of my delirious state, Mutombo’s assassin was revealed to me by an informant. I bet you’re wondering who it was. Well, I’ll never tell. Or you could scroll down after today’s drink and find the answer…

Drink #70: Death in the Afternoon

Death in the Afternoon

  • 1 oz Absinthe
  • Top with Champagne
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge

The man who balled (sounds kind of dirty) my good friend Dikembe Mutombo was none other than (spoiler alert)… New World Order Hulk Hogan, complete with air guitar, leather weightlifting belt, and black spray paint. Damn you Hogan, damn you!

Hollywood Hogan

 

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Ernest Hemingway’s favourite drink was a decent treat. It’s a pretty simple recipe and my favourite element of it was probably the Lemon Juice, as it added a sweetness to the bitter Absinthe and Champagne.