Sip Trips #26: Canadian Celebration

While Mrs. Sip is away, the Sip Advisor mouse will play and that was certainly the case this past weekend. With Canada Day occurring mid-week, the partying stretched on… although, that’s not a lot different than if Mrs. Sip had been around the whole time. She is definitely missed around the offices here!

Canada Day

On my way out to Ma and Pa Sip’s place in Delta on Saturday, I stopped by Four Winds Brewing to see what was new at my hometown brewery. They have expanded since I last visited a couple years back and had a number of interesting beers on tap. I decided to sit down to a set of tasters, including their Saison, Grisette, Passionfruit Berlinerweisse, and Nectarous. The Nectarous was the reason for my trip out there, as I was informed of the limited release by a friend, and decided I wanted to add a bottle to my burgeoning brew collection.

The rest of the day was spent in gluttonous splendor, as the Sip Advisor ate and drank to his heart’s content. Cousin Sip brought over Granville Island Brewery’s summer mixed pack, while I tapped into a collection of ales, highlighted by my Russell Smokey the Beer, which was smoky and delicious. To be honest, I probably should have saved it for a time when I was more appreciative of what was going into my system, but it was the right beer at the right time.

As the next day left me kind of lonely and with the weather changing for the worse, I decided to run a couple errands and that always includes a stop at the liquor store. Here, I grabbed a six-pack of the Steamworks Killer Cucumber Ale, as well as bombers of Lighthouse Jackline Rhubarb Grisette and Elysian Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale. I’ve gone through most of the Cucumber pack and think I prefer the brew on tap, but have yet to crack open either of the bombers.

errands to run

For dinner Monday night, Ma and Pa Sip accompanied me to the Yaletown Brewery, where I enjoyed their chicken schnitzel sandwich, along with a Shangri La Saison. The strong beer (6.8%) went well with my meal and was a good beverage choice, given the recent heatwave in B.C.

Back in April, I wrote about coming across the Viniq Shimmery Liqueur and how it was one of the most amazing spirit products I’ve ever seen. It’s so cool, that Mrs. Sip was once showing it off to a friend and he was so mesmerized that he forgot to stop pouring the beer he was emptying and it spilled all over the place. Well, the company has now added a Ruby version to their line-up and I noticed that they have a bunch of great recipes available for each variation. Now, we just have to stop admiring the bottle and open it up!

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Sip Trips #3 – Celebration Central

After a slow start to January – drinking wise – this last week was full of revelry, as we celebrated Mrs. Sip’s birthday and a couple other events.

We had social events on both Friday and Saturday that involved some serious drinking into the wee hours of the morning. On Sunday, we hit The Distillery for brunch. The Distillery is attached to the Yaletown Brewery site, where the company also produces their own vodka and gin. Inside the restaurant, you can get a $5 cucumber- or jalapeno-infused Caesar or bottomless Mimosas for only $10. These go great with the joint’s $10 breakfast menu options.

Day Drinking Brunch

For Mrs. Sip’s actual birthday, on Monday, we met at Joe Fortes, for some of the best seafood the city has to offer. After a couple happy hour cocktails and appies, we sat down for the restaurant’s cold seafood tier, which was loaded with lobster, crab, oysters, mussels, clams, tuna sashimi, and oyster ceviche. With dinner, I ordered the Whistler Brewing Unfiltered IPA, which I didn’t even know the company produced.

Following dinner, we decided to visit the UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar for night cap cocktails. Despite living just down the street from the lounge for close to five years – and Mrs. Sip often saying we should try the place – we finally walked through its doors and were immediately impressed by the place. The cocktails aren’t cheap, but they’re hand-crafted and perfected before they reach your lips. Sitting at the bar, I was impressed to see the mixologists discussing recipes and ingredients, looking to improve elements at their disposal.

In conjunction with Vancouver’s Hot Chocolate Festival, UVA currently has a couple chocolate-based cocktails on their menu, which is the main reason we finally pulled the trigger and tried the place out. Mrs. Sip enjoyed the Black Widow (El Jimador Reposado Tequila, Cacao and Coffee Red Bush Tea, Averna Amaro Cherry Liqueur, and Plum and Root Beer Bitters), while yours truly ordered the Chartreuse Milkshake, complete with Citadelle Gin, Green Chartreuse, Cacao, Lime and Orange Juices, Chocolate Bitters, and Egg Whites. It was the first chance I’ve ever had to try Chartreuse and I will certainly have it again. Green or Yellow, it doesn’t really matter!

Hot Chocolate

Other beers I enjoyed over the week that was, included Red Truck Amber Ale, Ninkasi Total Domination, Persephone Wee Heavy, Granville Island Swing Span, Four Winds Pale Ale, Lighthouse 3 Weeds, and Driftwood Fat Tug IPA. Variety is, after all, the spice of life!

It’s been a crazy busy week, but the celebrating has been a lot of fun and it’s always great to catch up with friends and family over awesome food and drinks!

January 29 – West Coast Paralyzer

The Best Coast

West Coast

West coast born, west coast bred… and when the time comes, west coast dead.

I love being from the west coast. We’re more laid back, have milder weather (in both summer and winter), and in my very unbiased opinion, are just generally more awesome. Here are some other things we do better than our eastern contemporaries:

The alcohol is better on our side of the continent, with awesome microbreweries (Granville Island, 21st Amendment) all along the coast and some undeniably fantastic wine regions (Napa Valley, Okanagan, Hood River).

The east may kick our ass when it comes to storms, but we definitely thump them in the natural disaster category with our epic earthquakes and just wait for the inevitable big one we’re always being warned about. The tsunami alone will blow your freakin’ mind (thank god that us Vancouverites will have Vancouver Island acting as a natural buffer during that one!).

west-coast-fault-lines

We also have grown-up Disneyland (aka Las Vegas) near enough to the West Coast (two-hour flight from Vancouver), which Trumps Atlantic City, beyond a shadow of a doubt. See what I did there… Donald Trump has largely developed Atlantic City… another thing west-coasters are better at: being clever… and not associating with Donald Trump.

Speaking of Disneyland, we have the better Disney theme park… Disneyland is much more manageable than Disneyworld and has less motorized scooters and 6-10 year olds in double-wide strollers (seriously, do NOT get me started on all the elementary school children in strollers I saw at Disneyworld, it’s like America officially said “Fuck it, we give up!”).

Disneyworld Scooters

We’re at the forefront of legalizing marijuana, with Washington State having already passed referendums to make it legal and places like B.C. having largely decriminalized the drug. It’s not my drug of choice (it’s pretty easy to guess what is), but I’m all for my little sippers having easier access to a little bit of Mary Jane.

People go west to become stars (porn or otherwise)… they go east to die.

Retired Squirrel

I have it on good authority, as my sources tell me, that we’re better at sex here on the left side of the map. I have statistical data on this fact… I’m just having trouble finding it at the moment.

We’re just made tougher on the west coast: Not that I’m condoning violence of any type, but it did take two attempts for 2Pac to be killed and only one for Notorious B.I.G. Just saying… (I hope I don’t resurrect the west vs. east rap wars with this post, as I do hold that much power).

And finally, my greatest pieces of evidence: Jersey Shore, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Real Housewives of New Jersey, among other television shows that I would rather stick a fork in my eye than watch, all come from the east. ‘Nuff said! Case closed!

Drink #29: West Coast Paralyzer

West Coast Paralyzer Drink

  • 1 oz Tequila
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • Top with Milk and Root Beer
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

This recipe differs from the normal Paralyzer in that vodka is removed and cola is replaced by root beer, completely changing the flavour of the drink… for the better, might I add. The cocktail tastes like a Root Beer Float, by and large and is very enjoyable, perhaps best served as an after dinner dessert.

Now that I’ve locked the east coast into my deadly finishing maneuver, all I have to wait for is the tap-out. There it is, ring the bell!

Sip Adviosr Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
While I could have tried the original version of this cocktail, the West Coast theme (ie. Removing Vodka and swapping Cola with Root Beer) appealed to me more. It’s virtually unnoticeable, but I sprinkled some vanilla powdering onto the drink to give it an added dimension.