December 21 – Santa Shot

Sweet Season

More candy goes through the Sip Advisor offices this time of the year than any other. It doesn’t help that I give Mrs. Sip an advent calendar treat every day leading up to Christmas and Ma and Pa Sip are quite generous with care packages and the like. While there may be too much to go around, it’s all appreciated and here are some of my favourites!

M&Ms

Whether the plain or peanut variety, it doesn’t take long for these Christmas candies to disappear from any bowl they’re poured into. What’s best about the M&Ms company is that they’re always experimenting with different adaptations of their popular product. This year, we’ve really enjoyed their Gingerbread limited release and they have also brought out Mint Chocolate and White Chocolate Peppermint varieties.

Peanut M&Ms

Yeah, fasting around Christmas is whack, yo!

Turtles

Mmmm, I love Turtles. While not being a fan of pecans on their own, there’s just something about these clustered treats that are so good. I blame the wonderfulness of caramel, which is such a delicious ingredient in any recipe it is featured. I’ve noticed this year that there are a couple new options in the Turtles line, including Pecan Praline and Pecan Fudge Brownie. Me thinks I should arrange a taste test with my fellow Turtles lovers!

Mini Eggs

While originally an Easter-only treat, Mini Eggs have migrated to the Christmas holiday, as well. Instead of coming in colours like yellow, blue, and pink, the palette has been changed to red and green, with both packs including white eggs. It’s extremely difficult to only pop one or two of these treats into your mouth. In the end, you’re more likely to have shoveled dozens of the eggs down your gullet like a slithering snake. At least us civilized folk don’t have to regurgitate the shells!

Candy Canes

How could one forget Candy Canes at this time of year? You don’t even have to settle for the mint-flavoured ones anymore, as the treats are available in nearly every flavour. I’m still waiting for Mrs. Sip to open the genital-shaped candy cane I bought her a couple Christmases ago as a gag gift (literally!?), although it has slowly disappeared in one of our cupboards, perhaps to never see the light of day ever again!

candycane

Chocolate Santa

For the homicidal maniac and cannibal in all of us, sometimes grabbing a massive chocolate Santa and taking his head off in one quick bite can be quite rewarding. I can’t decide if I prefer hollowed out Santa’s or the thicker full chocolate Santa’s which you can gnaw on for hours. The same principles apply to everything from chocolate snowmen to reindeer to trees and every other symbol of the holiday season.

Toblerone

A favourite of Pa Sip (and the Sip Advisor), I can still remember travelling through Switzerland and picking up Toblerone bars en masse whenever we had a chance over our two-day tour stop. Chocolate is something that actually helps you adjust to high altitudes, se we had a good excuse to indulge in the Swiss treat. I’ve always been curious about the massive Toblerone bars they sell at Christmas and how long it would take to vanquish it from existence!

Toblerone

Reese Products

The massive peanut butter cups that have been released the last couple years are crazy enormous. I like how the Reese company has partnered with the NHL to make their peanut butter cups resemble hockey pucks. If you’re looking for smaller doses of peanutty goodness, there are also peanut butter trees, bells, and even snowmen. With all those options, you’ll probably be sick of peanut butter by the end of the holidays!

Peppermint Bark

Mrs. Sip loves her Peppermint Bark. Myself, not as much as other options, but I do appreciate the stuff as a snacking option. Chocolate and mint make a pretty wicked pair and they seem to bring their collective A-game to the Christmas holidays. This is one of the few things on this list that you could actually make yourself, but why waste your time when there are so many quality products already out there and you don’t need to deal with all the fuss of doing it yourself.

Drink #355: Santa Shot

Santa Shot Shooter

  • Rim glass with Crushed Candy Canes
  • 0.5 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Menthe
  • 0.5 oz Grenadine

What’s your favourite Christmas time candy? Make sure to send some my way, so we can experience all the joys of the holidays together… and then we can hit the gym in the New Year and work off all this treat goodness!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shot can be found under other names (Candy Cane Shooter, etc.), but the recipe doesn’t change. It tells you to layer the ingredients in the following order: Grenadine, Crème de Menthe, Peppermint Schnapps for the desired layering effect. I found that the clear Peppermint Schnapps at the top of the shooter was too hard to really see, so I decided to blend the two mint ingredients for a better visual effect. The shot tastes pretty good, despite a fair dose of Grenadine.

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December 4 – Eggnog

Music to Your Ears

It seems that a lot of artist’s take the easy route and compile an album of Christmas covers at some point in their career. Here are some of the worst examples of that trend and offerings I suggest you avoid at all cost!

Bob Dylan – Christmas in the Heart

He may be one of the greatest song writers of all-time, but this Christmas offering was just weird. Pa Sip will often play it, but only for everyone to make fun of the legendary performer. This is one of those albums that seemed to simply fulfill a record deal. Dylan’s singing is unintelligible at some points, as if the dude had a mouth full of marbles when hitting the studio. At least all proceeds went to various charities, so credit is deserved there.

David Hasselhoff – The Night Before Christmas

While he’s an icon in Germany, domestically, he’s more a laughingstock. I’d much rather see Hasselhoff barreling down the beach or behind the wheel of a speaking car than stepping up to a microphone… and I don’t even like him as an actor… or any of the shows he’s been on. Perhaps Hasselhoff should stick to bathroom floor cheeseburgers and Rob Ford-esque drunken stupors.

Rosanne Barr – Sings the Christmas Classics

If her infamous rendition of the American national anthem tells us anything, it’s that Roseanne Barr can’t sing worth a lick. I refuse to even sample any of the songs from this album. Just looking at the selections featured on the cover have me nervous. ‘Santa Baby’ should only be sung my sex bomb and *gulp* her ‘12 Days of Christmas’ is a freakin’ “extended version”!

Kickin’ Kazoos – Kazoo Christmas

I don’t know why everyone has such harsh critiques for the kazoo. Wrestler’s Edge and Christian use to play a mean kazoo… for humourous effect, at least. Granted, they only played for brief periods of time and never thought of compiling a 30-minute album devoted to Christmas tunes… if you could even call them that. I think kazoos can only be appreciated by the same people that weren’t annoyed by vuvuzelas during the 2010 World Cup.

Brady Bunch – Christmas with the Brady Bunch

The entire Brady Bunch has the accumulative musical talent of absolutely zero! I bet Marsha gets all the good lines in this release. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! I hate all those kid sing-a-long albums. I even saw a commercial recently where youngsters were singing song like Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’… what happens when they get to the “this is fuckin’ awesome lyric”!? Such a sad state this world is in.

Various Artists – Yuletide Disco

Disco and Christmas should always have a minimum of 500 meters between them. Mrs. Sip should work on that court order for me!

William Hung – Hung for the Holidays

While the album title is totally wicked, having a guy who can barely speak English (let alone sing it) perform Christmas classics was probably a bad idea from the start. Add the fact that Hung thinks he’s a legitimate talent, while everyone else views him as a total joke and you have a recipe for disaster. The entire entry is only 18 minutes long and ends with Hung belting out Queen’s ‘We Are the Champions’!

RuPaul – Ho Ho Ho

From one train wreck to another… how RuPaul had a career of any sorts, simply by being a drag queen is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps, she (or is it he?) was the beginning of the non-talented celebrity? This chart topper contains such classics as ‘I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus’ and ‘RuPaul the Red-Nosed Drag Queen’. If I find this in my stocking I’ll cancel Christmas for good.

Various Artists – Christmas with Colonel Sanders

Sadly, we’re not just talking about feasting on the Colonel’s original recipe of 11 herbs and spices. Can you believe this is actually a sequel to the album Christmas Day with Colonel Sanders!? I’m not even sure why he gets top billing for both albums, as they seem to be made up of various artist tracks. I guess that’s just the pull the fried chicken magnate had!

Star Wars – Christmas in the Stars

And the songs are sung by the original movie cast? Shut the front door! Yeah, because I want to hear Harrison Ford’s monotone voice belt out the Christmas classics or have R2-D2 beep, bop, and boop his way through my cherished childhood memories. Do they even celebrate Christmas on Tatooine? I seriously doubt it, but don’t care enough about the series to know the answer.

Regis Philbin – The Regis Philbin Christmas Album

I don’t understand the thinking that goes into some of these albums: “Hey, I got a great idea. Let’s take a TV personality who has no musical talent and get them to record a Christmas album.” No matter how famous that person may be, that pile of trash won’t sell. Donald Trump even appears on the album for a rendition of ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ *shudder*.

Yoko Ono – An X-Mas Message from Yoko

I hate Yoko Ono with a passion… and I don’t even care that she’s blamed for breaking up The Beatles. I hate her for everything else she’s plagued upon the world. If I was ever sent a Christmas message from this ogre, I’d use it for its only practical application… as toilet paper. I mean, who the hell uses a pitch black background as cover art to market a Christmas album?

Drink #338: Eggnog

Eggnog Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Rum (I used Malibu Sundae)
  • Top with Eggnog
  • Sprinkle with Nutmeg
  • Garnish with Gingerbread M&Ms

Okay, we spewed some serious venom in this post, so now it’s time to sit back and relax with my Eggnog… given I’m not a huge advocate of the ‘Nog, we could be in for a bumpy ride!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’m not the type to make eggnog from scratch, so I mooched some of the pre-made stuff off Ma and Pa Sip and came up with this delicacy. It was pretty tasty, especially with Pa Sip’s idea of using Malibu Sundae for the Rum quotient of the recipe. The M&M’s added a nice sweet flavour to each sip, as they melted in the cocktail and not in my hands!