Flavour Revolution – Chipotle

Spice Spree

The Sip Advisor is a fan of spice in his beers and cocktails, so picking up a bottle of Rogue’s Chipotle Spirit was a no brainer. In honour of the liquor, I thought it would be good to look at the restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, of which I have visited on one occasion. Should I go back for more? Let’s weigh the evidence!

Today, Chipotle is worth an estimated value of over $22 billion, but its beginnings were much more humble. Founder Steve Ells launched the chain on July 13, 1993, with the first restaurant located in Denver, Colorado, financed thanks to an $80,000 loan from Ells’ father. The minimalist design that is common for Chipotle locations was based on Ells having to establish the original restaurant on a tight budget.

chipotle-burrito

Fast food giant McDonald’s was an early investor in the Chipotle business, joining the venture when it was still a budding brand with only 14 outlets located around Denver. By the time McDonald’s pulled out of Chipotle (wow, that sounds pretty bad… or delicious… I don’t know!?) in 2006, Chipotle had over 500 stores around the country. Sure, the deal netted McDonald’s $1.5 billion, but Chipotle is worth so much more now.

Some Chipotle joints in Chicago have partnered with craft brewery 5 Rabbit Brewing, to serve their specially made 5 Vulture, which is brewed with ancho chili, and 5 Rabbit Golden Ale. Other expansion the company has taken on includes a pizza chain, Pizzeria Locale, as well as ShopHouse, a collection of Southeast Asian eateries.

Sports stars Russell Wilson, Bryce Harper, Abby Wambach, and Tony Hawk (among others) have received “Free Burritos” cards from Chipotle, which allows them free meals for one year. The offer has also been extended to folks outside of athletics, including rocker Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and comedian Gabriel Iglesias.

chipotle salad

They may be rare, but free burrito coins for the franchise do exist. They boast: “In Burritos We Trust,” which is a message many of us can get behind. The coins sell for pretty decent money on eBay, but that seems counterproductive to the whole idea of a free meal.

Chipotle goes through a ton of avocados each day, 480,000 to be exact… or at least estimated. 60 avocados go into each batch of guacamole, which also included red onions, cilantro, jalapenos, lime juice, and salt. Musician Jason Mraz is one of the folks that owns an avocado farm which supplies Chipotle.

While not an officially recognized world record, Matt ‘Megatoad’ Stonie can destroy a Chipotle burrito in 35 seconds. He has also been recorded eating four burritos and downing a Diet Coke (gotta save calories somewhere!) in just three minutes.

Chipotle Server

Although first established in Denver, Colorado, Chipotle has become a sponsor of both the Boston Celtics (NBA) and Boston Bruins (NHL). It looks like teams in Colorado missed jumping aboard the burrito train and Boston fans can thank them for that.

Lastly, Chipotle delivery trucks warn that “Drivers Do Not Carry Burritos,” which puts my draft for a food truck heist movie on hold. It would have starred John Cho and Kal Penn and been the fourth installment in the Harold & Kumar franchise, seeing the two stoners in need of satisfying their munchies, with a cameo from Neil Patrick Harris as the truck driver. That actually sounds better than most of the drivel in theatres today!

Flavour Revolution: Berry Caliente

Berry Caliente Martini

  • 1.5 oz Chipotle Spirit
  • Top with Wildberry Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

Chipotle means smoked chili and is derived from the Náhuatl (Aztec) word “chilpoctli”. Rogue also now has a Chipotle Whiskey, which looks pretty darn good and will be added to the Sip Advisor’s ‘I Want to Taste That’ list!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really liked the smokiness of this drink, thanks to the Chipotle Spirit. The Wildberry Juice also played an important part, while the Lemon Juice gave it just enough zest to complete the cocktail.

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April 20 – Liquid Marijuana

Puff, Puff, Pass… Drink, Drink, Done

Mary Jane isn’t my relaxant of choice – hell, she’s not even my favoruite Spider-Man girlfriend – but I don’t frown upon those who love their weed. And since it’s 4/20, a holy day for reefer connoisseurs, I thought we should take a look at the most prolific stoners as boozers and smokers unite to enjoy this shot:

Cheech & Chong – Numerous movies and albums

These two famous overachieving potheads took their stand-up comedy routine and turned it into numerous movies and albums, working together off and on for over 30 years. They are responsible for a number of famous catchphrases, most notably “Dave’s not here, man.” Not only do these two play fictional stoners, but one of them also plays the role in real life. Tommy Chong was sent to prison in October 2003 for selling bongs and other paraphernalia over the internet. This incarceration occurred while he was a cast member of That 70’s Show, playing, you guessed it: a hippie burnout named Leo Chingwake.

Cheech & Chong Parked

Dale Denton & Saul Silver – Pineapple Express

First off, let me say that the pants James Franco wears for the duration of this film are, quite possibly, the greatest wardrobe choice in the history of film. If someone were to ever bequeath these to me, I would honour them with their own special holiday. Dale (Seth Rogen) and Saul (Franco) get stuck in a hilarious set of circumstances thanks to their enjoyment of Pineapple Express, an extremely potent brand of marijuana. Their dealer, Red, (Danny McBride) also joins in on the fun and the three have to triumph over a oppressive drug kingpin.

Jeff Spicoli – Fast Times at Ridgemont High

It’s so hard to believe that this character was played by Sean Penn, given all the serious roles Penn has since gone on to play. Spicoli, a laid back, pot smoking, surfer dude, became so popular that he’s featured on the cover of the movie, despite being a tertiary character. One of the subplots of the movie is teacher Mr. Hand trying to get the best he can out of Spicoli. When Mr. Hand thinks he’s achieved results, he releases Spicoli but eventually comes to the conclusion that everyone at the school is “on dope”. Spicoli meanwhile goes on to save a drowning Brooke Shields, but wastes the reward money hiring Van Halen to perform at his birthday party… sounds about right.

The Gang – That 70’s Show

One of the most enjoyable running gags on That 70’s Show was ‘The Circle’, where any number of the group’s members – Eric, Hyde, Kelso, Fez, Donna, Jackie and any number of their friends – would wax philosophically after enjoying some marijuana, as the camera rotated around the table. Some of the shows funniest lines came out of these scenes. One memorable segment included the kids’ parents sitting in the circle, high from “special” brownies and mimicking their children’s actions.

Harold & Kumar – Go to White Castle, Escape from Guantanamo Bay and A Very 3D Christmas

While not the biggest stoners per se, these two gentlemen enjoy their weed. Their zany adventures to White Castle, from Guantanamo Bay and attempting to save Christmas were often fuelled by the drug in some way. A highlight of all the movies is the performance of Neil Patrick Harris (playing himself), which practically revived his career. In the films, NPH is an even bigger drug user than Rolly and Kumar, who can definitely hold their own.

Norville “Shaggy” Rogers – Scooby-Doo

Although the show never quite comes out and says it, let’s look at the evidence: 1) Shaggy’s constantly searching for munchies 2) his attention span is minimal at best 3) his nerves are always shot and he appears strung out 4) he has conversations and hangs out with a dog… conclusion: Shaggy is your typical pothead. Still, Shaggy is one of the most beloved characters in the history of media, especially when paired with his pal Scooby. The two have teamed together for countless adventures, highlighted by my personal favourite, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers.

shaggy-stoned

Thurgood Jenkins et al – Half Baked

While Dave Chappelle himself was disappointed with how the movie turned out – he wrote the script and starred, but said the movie was dumbed down from being adult-oriented to more of a kids movie – there are still a number of funny moments in this film. Some favourites are when Thurgood describes the different types of pot users, particularly the Scavenger Smoker (Snoop Dogg), who comes into the scene at the first sniff of marijuana and proceeds to smoke the guy’s entire joint before moving on. The scene where Scarface quits his job at the fast food restaurant is also a highlight.

Jay & Silent Bob – Almost every movie by Kevin Smith

It’s hard not to notice that stoners in films often come in pairs or trios (whereas alcoholics are always portrayed as miserable loners, hmmm…). Jay and Silent Bob seem to always pop up in Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse, and why not? Silent Bob is played by Smith. The duo’s notorious appearances in movies they weren’t the star in led to their own title adventure where they’re on a mission to shut down a movie based on their personas. The pair offer a great lesson too: if you have one loud mouth who never shuts up, then his buddy better be silent to help restore the balance.

Drink #110: Liquid Marijuana

Liquid Marijuana Shot

  • 1/4 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1/4 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Malibu Rum
  • 1/4 oz Spiced Rum (I used Kraken)
  • Splash Pineapple Juice
  • Splash Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with Rolling Paper Stir Stick

As we down this shooter, I wish all my pothead brethren a very happy 4/20… enjoy your day!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was sweet, but not overly so. It goes down nice and easy, but isn’t very exciting. Despite all the ingredients it’s relatively effortless to make. It’s not like you have to do layering or anything. Give it a shot (literally!) and see what you think.