February 3 – Bill Murray

On the Rocks

Groundhog

As a bit of a carryover from yesterday’s post, in the movie Groundhog Day, Phil Connors (Bill Murray) orders “sweet vermouth on the rocks, with a twist,” his producer Rita’s (Andie MacDowell) favourite drink, in a bid to get closer to her. He learns this on the first day of his Groundhog Day loop and tries to exploit it on subsequent repeated days. Apparently this is the actual favourite drink of director Harold Ramis’ wife. So, given that I’m doing this challenge and I’m always open to new recipes, I thought I’d give it a shot. First though, here are some other drinks that are enjoyed on the rocks:

Scotch

I’ve only got into Scotch over the last few years, but I really enjoy it. In that time, I’ve been lucky to sample some really good stuff (thanks to some very generous friends and family) and most recently I met the pinnacle of drinking when I was able to have a glass of Ron Swanson’s (Parks and Recreation) favourite libation Lagavulin 16 Year Old. Imagine me, a mild-mannered drink jockey getting to enjoy this fine substance… let the good times roll! (See January 8 – Scotch on the Rocks for further reading)

Disaronno (Amaretto)

This is one of my favourite end-of-night, unwinding drinks. A couple cubes and a splash of Disaronno is all I need before bedtime. Call it nappy time juice! It used to be that cookies and milk were all I needed but then I entered my 30’s! Okay, I’m not there yet, but cookies and milk have been pushed aside for liqueurs and whatever is lying around the house that resembles food. It doesn’t really matter, I’ll eat anything.

Southern Comfort

I first tried Southern Comfort on the rocks on my honeymoon cruise and enjoyed it enough to buy a bottle. I’m curious to try some of the other Southern Comfort flavours out there, such as Fiery Pepper, Bold Black Cherry, plus one mama Sip Advisor told me about (this drinking is a family thing, after all), Lime. So, I have the perfect evening planned: southern BBQ, washed down by SoCo!

Southern Comfort

Courvoisier (Cognac)

Now, I’ve only had this once before, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Perhaps it holds a place in my heart because it helped me fall asleep on a flight, which I’m rarely able to do. I also love how it was regularly featured in the Ladies Man skits on Saturday Night Live. Great choice, Leon!

Ladies Man

Bailey’s Irish Crème

This last one is geared a little more towards the ladies, I suppose. I personally like drinks that have a little bit more of an edge, but I know there are a lot of folks out there that love their Irish Crèmes and anything that’s easier to down. It’s a smooth ride for these alcohols and there’s also an array of intriguing flavours (mint chocolate, crème caramel, hazelnut, biscotti) coming out from the Bailey’s people and other similar companies.

Drink #34: Bill Murray

Sweet Vermouth with Twist Drink

  • 2 oz Sweet Vermouth (I used Martini brand)
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with lemon twist

In honour of the legendary Bill Murray, I’ve gone ahead and named this concoction after him. I mean, Andie MacDowell is okay, but Bill Murray is Dr. Peter Venkman… groundskeeper Carl Spackler… hell, he’s even Garfield! This was the first time I ever had sweet vermouth on the rocks, as I usually only use it when making Manhattans. This is the type of experimenting I enjoy best and I thought the drink was great, especially with the addition of lemon.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Shockingly, no one has ever given this drink a name before, which is a shame because I believe that we should salute Bill Murray whenever the opportunity arises. I thought Sweet Vermouth on the rocks was actually a tasty drink and something you might have when unwinding after dinner, as a dessert aperitif.

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February 2 – Groundhog’s Shadow

My Nightmare

Nightmare

In the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray is forced to repeat the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Here’s a version of that same premise starring everybody’s favourite superhero, The Sip Advisor.

I’m awoken abruptly, voices coming through the thin walls of our resort hotel (I know, a resort hotel isn’t the best setting for a nightmare, but just wait, all will be explained). The clock reads 7:30am and I can never understand why people feel the need to have loud conversations that early in the morning. Seriously, when my wife and I wake up that early on the very rare occasion that we have to, it’s like we communicate in sign language. I motion that I’d like a little morning action, she shoots me down swiftly with a wave of her hand and I’m off to the bathroom to get ready for the day!

Next part of the nightmare: We get to the 24-hour buffet and every food item is out and the staff has no plans to replace them. There are rumours of a revolt, guests storming the kitchens to take whatever they can find. One basket of tortilla chips is brought out and the server is ambushed. I try to get my hands on at least one chip, but my efforts are fruitless. I walk away with multiple chips cuts and the salt stings my wounds. I suffer a black eye as well, as Mrs. Sip Advisor takes the opportunity to get a shot in, probably for all the attempts at morning fun over the years. She doesn’t understand that I would have shared the chip I was fighting for with her.

A news brief comes on the TV informing us that all kittens in the world have been eliminated, thanks to a new worldwide law passed by the pro-dog lobby (actually made up of famous dogs, including Lassie, the ghost of Old Yeller and Eddie from Frasier). I shed a tear, but the worst is yet to come. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: there could be something worse than no more kitties!?!?

Kitty

So, no sleeping in, no food, and no kitties, but I’m still not panicking yet. I head over to the bar and, you guessed it, they are all out of liquor!!! There’s not a drop in the house. My pupils dilate, blood pressure rises and I go into fight or flight mode. I’m throwing bartenders into the nearby pool, smashing bottles over my  head and squirting lemon and lime juice into guest’s eyes. It’s complete chaos as I go on my rampage.

Finally, I am subdued, thanks to a clubbing blow to the back of the head. When I wake up, it’s 7:30am again and the neighbours are yelling… or are they just having a normal conversation. It’s so hard to tell when you can’t understand what they’re saying.

I am released from the Groundhog Day cycle when I learn to embrace a world with no liquor, early wake-ups, a lack of buffet food and a kitten-less existence. That’s the real nightmare!

Drink #33: Groundhog’s Shadow Shot (a Sip Advisor original creation)

Groundhog's Shadow Shooter

  • Pour a dollop of chocolate syrup at the bottom of the glass
  • Stick gummy bear (acting as gummy groundhog) in syrup
  • 1.5 oz Galliano to fill glass

I tried finding a Groundhog Day-themed drink that already existed, but when none satisfied me, I made my own. Sounds like a euphemism for most people’s sex lives. The chocolate syrup is the earth, the groundhog’s home and the Galliano is the sun greeting the little critter, encouraging him to rise to the surface. The gummy bear is the tiny fella sticking his nose above ground to meet the brand new day.

Did he see his shadow, causing him to retreat to his underground dwelling and making humans believe they will have to suffer through six more weeks of winter? Or did he stay above the surface, signaling an early spring to come. With this shot, we’ll never really find out, so that means eternal winter… kind of like Game of Thrones! Awesome, drinking with Tyrion Lannister!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
Where to begin with breaking down this drink? I tried a couple different mixes and ways to get that damn gummy bear to look decent and kept on getting tripped up by various issues. The Galliano make-up of the shooter might have completely saved it.