Germany – Widow Maker

Just Too Sweet

In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer learns that Germany is the ‘Land of Chocolate’ and that is entirely true. In fact, Germany is home to a number of wonderful treats, even venturing beyond the world of rich, creamy goodness. Here are some of the notable items Germany is able to bring to the international potluck!

Ritter Sport

Who couldn’t fall in love with these little chocolate bars, which are divided into 16 bite-size pieces, making it easy to eat as little or as much as you desire. Although the company was founded in 1912, the famous chocolate bars for which the brand is most associated didn’t debut until 1932. The Sip Advisor’s favourite Ritter Sport choices, include Knusperkeks (milk chocolate with biscuit) and Knusperflakes (milk chocolate with cornflakes), clearly showing that mixing chocolate with a crunch is a preference. The company even has a museum dedicated to squares and everything they entail.

Ritter-Sport Truck

Haribo

Based out of Bonn, Germany, Haribo is not only a great gummy candy company, but they are the originators of the concept, creating the world’s first gummy bear in 1922. They have since dramatically expanded their lineup to include cola bottles, jelly beans, wine gums, sour cherries, and so much more, including numerous products you just can’t find outside of Europe. While I’m not the biggest fan of gummy candies, I do enjoy them from time to time and in small doses. Their slogan rings true: “Haribo makes children happy – and adults as well!”

Kinder

Although Kinder products originated with Italian company Ferrero, the brand name is German (meaning children), the chocolate is huge across Germany, and Kinder Schokolade  is kind of its own entity in the country… all that adds up to being good enough for the Sip Advisor. Mrs. Sip and I still pick up Kinder Surprise eggs from time to time, depending on what the toy inside might be. We’ve grabbed eggs that contained Disney characters – I was hoping for a Scrooge McDuck – and other lines, just for the thrill of opening that little plastic egg. The chocolate is alright, too!

Trolli

While Haribo introduced gummy bears to the world, Trolli made their own mark, unleashing gummy worms into the hands of curious children on the 60th anniversary of the gummy bear. Today, the company pushes 150,000 tons of gummies out of their factories around the world, including four in Germany alone. Trolli has been involved in one controversy that I actually find quite funny. In 2004, they released a line of Road Kill gummies, featuring chickens, squirrels, and snakes with tire tracks embedded on them. Animal rights groups squashed the candy, which seems like overkill… get it!?

trolli-weirdly-awesome

Marzipan

While marzipan is enjoyed across the globe, it is in Germany (particularly the city of Lübeck, whose marzipan is geographically protected by the European Union) where you can find entire stores dedicated to the almond meal confection. Ma Sip figures I’m a good German boy because I enjoy marzipan. That said, I did overindulge one Christmas as a teenager and ate an entire bar of marzipan in short order. Now I limit myself to small servings, spread over a few days and really only around the holiday season. When the Sip Advisor was last in Germany, I also made sure to pick up a bottle of marzipan liqueur for future cocktails!

Black Forest Cake

What foray into Germany’s famous confectionary treats would be complete without a slice of Black Forest Cake. The Sip Advisor is a huge fan of this dessert… we’re talking cake mush all over my face, grinning ear-to-ear into Black Forest Cake! There’s just something about the mix of chocolate, whipped cream, and cherries that works so well and turns this Cookie Monster into a cake lover for brief periods of time. Enjoying a cut while actually travelling through Bavaria should be on every traveler’s bucket list… get on it, my little sippers!

Germany: Widow Maker

Widow Maker Martini

  • 1 oz Jagermeister
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Germany is also home a number of famous car companies, from Porsche to BMW to Volkswagen and everything in between. I could have talked about that, but soothing my sweet tooth is so much more pleasurable!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I garnished the drink with a Maraschino Cherry as an homage to the Black Forest Cake. I had a hell of a time finding Maraschino Cherries that had stems with them, as they look so much better in cocktails over stemless Maraschino Cherries. The most interesting part of this martini is how the Jagermeister and Kahlua go so well together. A very tasty cocktail that’s not too strong, at all.

October 11 – Gummy Bear

Bear Naked

The majestic bear is one of Pa Sip’s favourite animals and I can’t really say I blame him. Bears are pretty damn cool and despite their mostly cute and cuddly depiction in media, you wouldn’t want to mess with one of these beasts. Here are the Top 5 bears:

#5: Yogi Bear

The picnic (or “pic-a-nic,” as the always hungry bear calls it) basket-obsessed Yogi has made a living out of terrorizing Jellystone Park and in particular, Ranger Smith. Along with his little buddy Boo Boo, visitors of the site can expect to have their meals interrupted and more headaches for the disgruntled ranger. Yogi was actually the first star character of Hanna-Barbera and without him, we might not have later enjoyed The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Wacky Racers, and numerous other memorable animated legends. Yogi Bear’s First Christmas is a favourite of Mrs. Sip and myself during the holidays.

Yogi Bear Professional Thief

#4: Baloo – The Jungle Book/TaleSpin

While Baloo was first introduced in The Jungle Book, he is even more fondly remembered for his turn in TaleSpin, as a transport pilot always on the search for adventure. Many moons before ‘Hakuna Matata,’ Baloo taught us that all we need to be happy is the ‘Bare Necessities.’ I’ll also give a tip of the hat to Baloo’s little sidekick, Kit Cloudkicker, a young cub who has basically been adopted by Baloo. Despite his aloof behaviour and disheveled appearance, Baloo is actually a member of the aristocracy (if bear’s have that) and his full name is Baloo von Bruinwald XIII.

#3: Ted

The stuffed bear come to life, Ted and his best buddy John Bennett and practically inseparable. Trouble comes in the form of a woman (it always does!) who wants John to grow up and for Ted to finally go out on his own. As a “grown up,” Ted is a foul-mouthed, hard drinking, womanizer… all the personality traits the Sip Advisor likes to employ. Created by Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame, Ted was originally intended to be an animated TV show rather than a live action film. A sequel to the movie will be out in summer 2015 and I simply can’t wait to get some more naughty stuffed animal action.

Ted-hangover

#2: Winnie the Pooh

This honey-loving, sometimes forgetful, but always generous and loving bear (and his friends Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, etc.) were originally based on the stuffed animals of writer A.A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin. Simply, Pooh, as he’s affectionately known by the other residents of the 100 Acre Forest, the bear’s roots come from Canada, where Harry Colebourn, a Canadian Lieutenant, bought a real-life bear for $20 and named it Winnie after the city of Winnipeg. Winnie ended up at the London Zoo, where a young Christopher Robin spotted it and took the name for his toy.

#1: Fozzie Bear – The Muppets

The perpetual jokester, Fozzie is always looking to up his act and shine as one of the brightest stars among the Muppets roster. Kermit the Frog is a huge supporter of the bear, despite his corny routine of practical joke gags and word play. It’s a misconception that Fozzie got his name when his performer, Frank Oz’s names were combined. He’s actually named after Faz Fazakas, who designed the equipment that allowed Fozzie to wiggle his ears. The original Fozzie puppet resides in the Teddy Bear Museum in the United Kingdom.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Gummy Bear

Gummy Bear Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vodka (I used Grey Goose)
  • 0.5 oz Raspberry Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Gummy Bears

A special shout out to the Berenstain Bears, who established a moral code in the Sip Advisor that exists to this day. Without them, I would probably be a drug-addled thug instead of an underachieving liquor jockey. Sliding doors, my little sippers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
They didn’t make the list, but gummy bears are a pretty big deal, too… famous around the world, even! This shot tasted exactly like the candy and had a nice tang to it, thanks to the use of my Cranberry-Lemonade mix, a recently released product from Ocean Spray.