Mixer Mania #42 – Advent Amazement

Mrs. Sip has long been a tea drinker. The last couple years, she received tea advent calendars, which previously I didn’t know existed. With Christmas right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to look at other advent calendars that differ from your typical chocolate ones:

Make-Up/Beauty

There are numerous cosmetic advent calendars on the market. Every company you can think of seems to have put a collection together, with varying prices. Some focus on nails, others on the face. Beauty has never really been a concern for the Sip Advisor, as you can’t improve on perfection.

Cheese

The world’s first cheese advent calendar hit store shelves this year, after a blogger created her own in 2016 and the concept went viral. For only 8-pounds, fromage-aholics can find this product at ASDA stores across the UK. Not sure if similar products can be found in other countries.

Cheese Emergency

Jewellery/Charm Bracelet

Ma Sip loves her charm bracelets. So, when I came across an advent calendar version, which gave you the bracelet and then 24 holiday-themed charms over the Christmas season, I was thrilled… and Ma Sip was even more so.

Fly Fishing

A tackle box already kind of looks like an advent calendar, so why not release one for the Christmas season, with a lure for each day. One issue here, is that you’re not likely to head out each day of the calendar for a fishing expedition and to try your new treat.

Cookbook

While I like the concept of this advent calendar, you’re basically saying to the person you give this to: “Hey, why don’t you make me something different every day, through on of the busiest times of the year?” I don’t see that flying at the Sip Advisor headquarters.

Toys

For kids and kidults alike, come advent calendars from Play-Doh, Lego and Playmobil. Parents will just have to be vigilant that the toys aren’t consumed like traditional chocolates.

Eating Play-Doh

Craft Beer

While craft beer advent calendars can be found in most liquor stores, I’ll never forget Mrs. Sip personally making me one, comprised of 24 bomber bottles. Pulling it all together at the last minute – as she’s prone to do – the poor girl had to carry heavy boxes all around Vancouver. Her efforts paid off nicely, though!

Wine/Liquors

Similar to craft beer, there are wine, bubbly a liquor sets out there, typically featuring 24 mini bottles of the preferred subject matter. One particular Scotch advent calendar features rare whiskeys from around the world, setting buyers back 10,000-pounds.

Potato Chips

God bless Pringles. The potato chip company has released their own advent calendar, containing 12 tubes of various flavours. Apparently, the calendar is quite popular and has already sold out, with the products popping up on eBay for double the original retail price.

For Pets

Don’t have any kids or spouses you can spoil with an advent calendar? If you have pets, you can still get into the Christmas spirit with sets that provide toys and treats to your fur baby. The gift of giving is one of the best!

Mixer Mania #42: Irish Tea Party

Irish Tea Party.JPG

  • Absinthe Rinse
  • 1.5 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • Top with Green Tea
  • Garnish with Lime Wheel

The lead up to Christmas is my favourite part of the season, so sometimes I think advent calendars should just replace Christmas gifts… but they’re probably in a good place as a holiday enhancer, rather than as a main event player.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (1 Sip out of 5):
I was totally disappointed by this drink. The ingredients intrigued me, but the end result was a watery, flavourless cocktail. Mrs. Sip wants me to try it again with a different Green Tea – and I will – but it must be pointed out that round one of the beverage was a dud.

Mixer Mania #41 – Food Heroes

Both Blueberries and Pomegranates are considered superfoods, so combining the two into one juice seems like a super-duper food. Here’s a look at some of the most popular superfoods and where they rank with the Sip Advisor:

Spinach: The original superfood and performance enhancing drug of Popeye. I love Ma Sip’s patented spinach dip, but I think the ingredients that turn it into a dip likely take away some of its superfood shine.

Kale: I hate Kale. Hate, hate, hate it. There is nothing worse than reading a restaurant’s menu and seeing a Caesar Salad that sounds scrumptious, only to realize it’s kale and not lettuce-based.

Kale - Ale.jpg

Beans: Bean, beans the musical fruit… you know the rest. I like beans on a massive burrito, thus negating all the positive effects they are supposed to provide eaters with.

Sweet Potatoes: I’m not much of a yam fries guy, but this is the only way I’d choose to consume sweet potatoes.

Salmon: As a wee little sipper, the Sip Advisor wasn’t much of a salmon fan, which is practically criminal when you live in the Pacific Northwest. Over time, I’ve come to enjoy some salmon dishes, such as the cedar plank barbecued variety.

Wheatgrass: I wonder if wheatgrass can be used in hefeweizen beers?

Green Tea: Skip. I mean, it’s not even a food.

Dark Chocolate: Only milk chocolate for this hombre.

Broccoli: I like broccoli. I know that might shock some of you who have read the rest of this list. Here’s the catch, though: that little green tree had better be smothered in ranch dressing or fried in tempura if you going to put it on my plate.

Cauliflower: See broccoli… but to a lesser extent.

Cauliflower Trash

Garlic: I guess garlic fries kind of defeats the purpose of it being a superfood!

Beets: Interestingly, Pa Sip – a selective eater – loves beets. Unfortunately, that preference was not hereditary.

Avocados: Best known as the primary ingredient in guacamole, which I find to be hit and miss, depending on the creator. I find it safest to just avoid the green guck.

Greek Yogurt: While I like Greek food – souvlaki, calimari, etc. – their yogurt, and all yogurts in fact, are an enemy of the Sip Advisor state.

Quinoa: The thought of quinoa is enough to make the Sip Advisor cry.

Strawberries: Alright, this I can get behind. I love strawberries, especially the dipped in milk chocolate type. A very sensual superfood.

Watermelon: As much as I love strawberries, I worship watermelon. Watermelon isn’t nearly as sensual, however.

Oatmeal: Do cookies count!?

Oatmeal Win

Pistachios: While a fan of many nuts (that doesn’t sound right!), I have never really got behind pistachios. I do hear it’s a popular ice cream flavour, though.

Eggs: Mrs. Sip is big on egg dishes, but the Sip Advisor only partakes on occasion. Give me the other main elements of a balanced breakfast instead.

Almonds: My affinity for trail mix has been well-documented and a main ingredient of any good trail mix is the almond. You can also double up with the chocolate-covered variety, if you so choose.

Ginger: Does it count if it’s in liquid form and mixed with rum or whiskey?

Pumpkin: I appreciate their use as Halloween decorations, but don’t want anything to do with pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, or anything pumpkin-spiced.

Apples: I’m cool with apples… so long as they’re of the Granny Smith family… and perhaps smothered in caramel and other goodies.

Cranberries: I have a respect for cranberry juice and all the amazing cocktail that it provides. Speaking of cocktails, let’s get to today’s drink!

Mixer Mania #41: Shanah Tovah! (Happy New Year!)

Shanah Tovah.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • Top with Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Blueberries

Why can’t things like bacon and potato chips be considered superfoods? All we need is for one nutritionist to lose their mind and declare them as such. Kind of makes a guy want to go back to school, earn yet another degree and make this dream happen!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was good, but tasted too much like juice. The alcohol was virtually hidden, so should be consumed with caution. Then again, if you have no interest in alcohol flavours, this might be the beverage for you.

BC Beer Baron #197 – Moody Ales Intrepid Matcha Saison

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

On a recent trip to Craft Beer Market in Vancouver’s Olympic Village, I selected this Moody Ales brew off of the restaurant’s Rotating Taps menu.

While I’ve never been a green tea – or any tea, for that matter – connoisseur, I did enjoy the Intrepid Matcha Saison, even picking it over another option I had sampled prior to ordering. Brewed using organic lemon matcha tea, green tea characteristics come through on sight (an olive hue), smell, and taste, resulting in a smoky aroma and mildly spicy flavour. The Moody Ales website lists the beer at 6.9% ABV, but the bottles label says 7.5% ABV… my guess is the truth falls somewhere between the two figures and one thing is certain: it’s a strong beer. At 35 IBUs, it has a medium hoppiness, to boot.

 

Moody Ales Intrepid Matcha Saison

Homebrewer Steve Sheldon constructed the recipe and Moody Ales was more than happy to share it with the rest of the community, being proud of their own homebrewing beginnings. Outside of visiting the brewery and sampling the beer or filling a growler, the beverage can also be found in bomber-sized bottles. Suggested food pairings include light pasta, seafood, sushi, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

I’ve been meaning to get out to Port Moody and visit the cluster of three breweries (Moody Ales, Yellow Dog, and Twin Sails) in that region, but just haven’t had the time this year. While Mrs. Sip and I have popped (almost wrote pooped, which is kind of funny when you think about it) into Yellow Dog before, we have never completed the trifecta of operations on that block.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

May 23 – Mad Tea

Happiest Drinking on Earth

With Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration beginning this weekend, it’s certainly time to party. Now, if the Sip Advisor ends up on the receiving end of an invitation to the affair, I have to decide who I want to enjoy the evening with. Here are some great Disney characters to share a drink with!

#5: Belle

It’s always good to have a hot babe on your arm (or on the barstool next to you), as you enter any drinking hole. This is one of many reasons I keep Mrs. Sip as happy as possible and in my gainful employ. Sure, Belle is a little too into her books (so is Mrs. Sip) and that goes against the Sip Advisor’s grain, but behaviours can be changed. Being educated is a good base to have and I have to think that behind the whole prim and proper attitude, Belle’s a bit of a freak. After all, she did get together with a beast!

Belle Beasts

#4: Winnie the Pooh and Tigger

When going for wobbly pops in the 100 Acre Forest, I’d choose Winnie the Pooh and Tigger as my wingmen. Eeyore is forbidden from joining us, thanks to his gloomy view of the world, while Piglet is only invited so we have a designated driver on hand. Imagine the crazy things you could probably convince Tigger to do for your own entertainment? Plus, Pooh often gets gluttonous munchies similar to me, only his vice is a pot of honey, while the Sip Advisor is quick to reach for a bag of potato chips.

#3: Mr. Toad

If the parties thrown at Toad Hall are any evidence, the eccentric amphibian knows how to host a good shindig. We’re talking open bar, troublemaking weasels, people swinging from chandeliers… you know, all the good things in life! One issue might be Mr. Toad’s penchant for driving while under the influence – a definite no-no in the Sip Advisor’s books. Perhaps he needs me to keep him on the straight and narrow. His overbearing friends are also of concern, but we just won’t invite them.

mr-toads-ride

#2: Scrooge McDuck

Along with trading stories with the well-travelled mogul, Scrooge McDuck would be able to cover any tab the two of you racked up. We’re talking enjoying some of the world’s most expensive liquors in locales around the world, as you experience your latest DuckTale! I’m sure it wouldn’t take long for the Sip Advisor to earn a spot amongst McDuck’s nephews. Hell, I can’t be any more annoying than the accident prone Launchpad McQuack or the hapless Fenton Crackshell.

#1: Baloo

Baloo seems like a totally down-to-earth bear, needing only the bare necessities of life to get by. That’s what I look for most in a drinking companion. I prefer people who are easy going and don’t have a whole lot of drama surrounding them. There’s also the fact that Baloo has access to his own private plane and could fly the two of us to any remote location we want to visit. Hell, his buddy King Louie even has his own joint, Louie’s Place, where we can drink the place dry and probably for free!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Mad Tea

  • 0.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Green Tea
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with Mint Leaves

While narrowing this list was difficult, there are a number of Disney characters that you certainly wouldn’t want to sit down to drinks with. Cruella de Vil would certainly turn nasty and you’d have to think that Donald Duck would get quite mean after a few too many beverages. Then, there’s Jiminy Cricket… who the hell wants to have their conscience around when they’re slamming back the booze and getting up to stupid stuff!