Flavour Revolution – Maple

Canadian Chauvinism

Maple is a cultural icon of Canada, whether you’re talking about trees, syrup or anything else. We put it on everything, including in booze. Hell, the maple leaf is even featured on our country’s flag, giving us one of the most unique banners in the world. With national pride in mind, here are some of Canada’s greatest patriots and icons:

Don Cherry

Cherry has about as many detractors as he does fans, but one thing everyone agrees on is that ‘Grapes’ is a staunch supporter of Canada, its hockey players, its military troops, and its national sport. He may go about this the wrong way sometimes, such as questioning the heart of European players, for example, but his heart is usually in the right place. The guy practically bleeds red and white maple leafs, which is sometimes hard to detect given the distracting nature of his wardrobe!

don-cherry-back

Bret Hart

Wrestling is full of patriotic characters, but you don’t see too many Canadians waving the ol’ red and white maple leaf too wildly. Bret Hart, however, along with his Hart Foundation stable, ventured on a unique storyline in 1997, where he criticized the United States and the fans that called the country home. This made him wildly popular in Canada and vehemently hated south of the border. For the rest of his career, Hart always wore Canadian pride on his sleeve and cemented his legendary status.

Wayne Gretzky

Among many great athletes, ‘The Great One’ is Canada’s most iconic and not just because he played the country’s national sport. Gretzky’s influence spread throughout the world and he can be credited with the rise of hockey’s popularity as a sport, not only across the southern United States, but also in many other countries across the globe. Gretzky represented Canada on many occasions, perhaps most notably as part of the management team that brought Olympic hockey gold back to the country after 50 years.

The Beaver

Ah, the majestic beaver… and let’s be clear, the Sip Advisor is actually talking about the noble dam-building animal. The North American beaver has found its way to being featured on the nation’s five-cent piece, the country’s very first postage stamp, and beaver sculptures can also be found adorning the Canadian Parliament Building. Canada also has a number of other creatures that are culturally appreciated, including Canadian geese, loons, and Canadian horses.

gratuitous beaver shot

Molson Canadian Beer

The country’s national beer might not be much to brag about, in comparison to craft beer options across the nation, but it’s still something to be more proud of than Budweiser, Coors, and many of the other beverage options our continental neighbours seem to be so satisfied with. Molson Canadian has a brewing tradition that dates back to 1959 and for many young Canucks, is the first beer they ever enjoy. The Sip Advisor is one of these people and I am forever grateful for my earliest suds.

Tim Hortons

Nothing is more Canadian than donuts! Others would insist that the company’s coffee be included as part of the national identity combo, but not the Sip Advisor. Tim Hortons has grown across the country and even into other parts of the world. With products ranging from donuts to Timbits (donut holes), as well as sandwiches, soups, muffins, cookies, and everything else in between, Tim Hortons is one international contribution that can be enjoyed across the globe.

Poutine

Canada can’t be given much credit for creating items that have taken over the culinary scene, but poutine is one thing we devised and have shared – to great success – with the world over. You can’t go into a pub nowadays without the place having at least one poutine dish on their menu. Even most fast food chains, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, have made the creation available for eaters on the run. Add some bacon (preferably Canadian) onto the meal and you’re ready to gorge!

Flavour Revolution: Poor Sap

Poor Sap Martini

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Maple Liqueur
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Dash of Bitters
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

As a whole, Canada isn’t necessarily known for staunch patriotism… unless we’re talking about hockey and then it’s time to knuckle up. Many of our homegrown stars leave the country and never look back, trying to remove every hint of their Canadian ancestry. You will often hear debates over whether a celebrity is Canadian or not or the statement “I didn’t know he was from Canada.” The same can’t be said for the above entries.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
With three ounces of liquor, this is a strong martini, but the taste is pretty solid. Of course, I used a Canadian Whiskey (Crown Royal) for the cocktail. I might have slightly overdone it with the Bitters, but it all depends on your taste preferences. All in all, a good drink.

May 26 – Rusty Nail

Scar Tissue

I think scars are kind of neat. They’re not always the most appealing feature to look at, but they are a landmark of sorts for life events and are almost always accompanied by a story – sometimes funny, sometimes tragic. I’ve often thought that compiling a book about scar stories would be an interesting idea for profiling human interest accounts. That said, here are the tales behind the scars that line my body and have dotted my journey.

scars shirt

Thigh

When I was just a little sipper, I was always trying to help around the house. That’s just how awesome I was. Whether it was licking cookie batter off spoons or providing my parents with a daily exercise regimen, chasing me around the park, I was always willing to lend a helping hand. At Christmas, when I was about three or four, I was trying to help Papa Sip gather some wood for a roaring fire (we didn’t have those fancy gas fireplaces in my young days).

Not being as careful as I am with things nowadays (Mrs. Sip would disagree after witnessing my balcony and bungee jumping ways) I picked up a slab of wood and when I went to boost it up with my leg going up our back porch stairs, a nail dug into my left thigh, slicing it open. It wasn’t a deep wound or anything, but it still left a wide scar. It is a constant reminder to be vigilant when helping others. The lazy guy in me just begging to get out (except that he’s so darn lazy) has told me before that this is what I get for assisting friends and family and that it’s just safer to not do so.

Middle Finger

Well, if this isn’t a slam dunk case of boys will be boys (or kids will be stupid), I don’t know what is. When I was 7 or 8, my parents were getting together with friends of theirs. They had a son about my age, so him, myself and Broski Sip were playing in their backyard. We decided we wanted to build a haunted house – stupid, I know… it was probably May, too – and were using tools like hammers, saws and yes, even an axe. I suppose I put myself in charge of keeping things clean, wiping the stump we were chopping away at every few minutes. The OCD in me must have flared up and as I went to swipe one more bit of stray sawdust out of the way, the axe came down on the middle finger of my right hand. I almost literally gave someone the finger.

middle-finger-cat

Thankfully, the weaponry was being swung by a fellow child, but the finger was sliced pretty deep. We were also in luck that one of my parent’s friends was a nurse and she was able to clean and bandage the wound sufficiently. The last bit of good news was it was a Saturday and Hockey Night in Canada was on, so once I calmed down from the shock of the whole incident, I was able to lay back and watch some stick and puck.

Kidney

When I was 11, Mama Sip got really sick while we were visiting Disneyland. As much as that sucked, when we returned from our holiday, she was told that she needed to have one of her kidneys removed. She was also told her condition might be hereditary. Sure enough, it was, as I was also in need of a kidney removal (or a right nephrectomy if we want to get all scientifical). Shortly after I turned 12, I had my operation. Lucky for me, the ailment was caught so early that it has not continued to affect me.

Losing my kidney came with positives and negatives. I got a month off from school, was pampered during that time, and had a wicked scar that the ladies were surprisingly into when I returned to classes. I also went through a growth spurt once the nonfunctioning organ was eliminated. On the flip side, I had to quit playing hockey as it was hard to get insured to play once body contact started. All in all, it largely made me who I am today and I think Sip Nation would agree, in the end, that’s a good thing.

Drink #146: Rusty Nail

May 26

  • 1.5 oz Drambuie
  • 1.5 oz Scotch
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

I consider myself lucky that I only have three scars and really only the kidney one is noticeable. Tell me your scar story or stories. Perhaps I’ll one day get around to publishing that work and we’ll all be famous!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The first sip of this drink didn’t go over as well as I had hoped. Once I let it sit for a moment, the Scotch diluted a little thanks to the ice, which allowed the Drambuie to come through better. This resulted in the cocktail’s score jumping from 3 to 3.5.

January 26 – Flatliner

Tequila Playlist

It’s Saturday night and it’s time to get your drink on! But what will you listen to? You could listen to the sweet stylings of Jim Hughson on Hockey Night in Canada, as most Canadians do while getting plastered each Saturday night. Or, because I do love me some Zeppelin, you could listen to When The Levee Breaks while drinking quadruple vodkas (hmmm…on the other hand, maybe that’s just insensitive). Fear not, my little sippers. I’ve put together an all-tequila playlist for your exploits tonight, as we wrap up Tequila Week, here at The Sip Advisor.

First Shot: Tequila by The Champs

The party is just getting started, so drink up and be merry. Maybe even dance a little. Don’t enjoy that sax solo too much… it’s going to be a long night (or short, if you’re a lightweight!).

Second Shot: Tequila by A.L.T. and the Lost Civilization

Keeping things upbeat with this jam that samples the original. You gotta check out this tune as they try to include as many drink references as possible. Actually quite clever. It’s fun to listen to the song and keep track of how many drinks they mention that you’ve tried.

Fourth Shot: Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off by Joe Nichols

Oh yeeeeaaaaah! Things are swinging and apparently the Kool-Aid Man and the spirit of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage dropped by at the same time. It looks like things are about to get turned up a notch or two (even though we’re already at 11 on the dial) and the ladies are starting to get funky… if only I wasn’t drinking alone! According to this song, apparently the best place to find loose women is at the Holiday Inn (just a note to all the fellas wasting their time with the whole online dating game).

Eighth Shot: Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett

You’re pretty smashed, but still feeling celebratory. It’s time to kick back and maybe even throw on a Hawaiian shirt. Groove to the tunes and enjoy your buzz, but be cautious… the liquor is planning a revolution.

Tenth Shot: On the Tequila by Alanis Morissette

How did an Alanis Morissette track slip by my mental censors… oh, that’s right, I drowned all those suckers a few drinks ago. It surely can’t get any better from this point on.

[I’ve lost count] Shot: Tequila Sunrise by The Eagles

Nice song to end the night, but things aren’t going so well internally. It might be time to put the bottle away? But it’s smiling at me and waving me over. Oh hell, what’s one more kiss?

Drink #26: Flatliner

Flatliner Shot

Because of the weights of the various alcohols, as well as the Tabasco Sauce, the two clear liquors should sit on top of each other, broken up by the red Tabasco flatline. It is important, of course, to use clear (blanco/silver) tequila for this to work. Special thanks to Mama and Papa Sip Advisor for lending me the tequila for today’s drink, as all I had available was gold, reposado and añejo varieties.

I should also advise that these bad boys burn on the way down. I made three, so we could photograph the Tabasco line at various levels and then had to down all of them when Mrs. Sip backed out of doing the one shot she had agreed to do. I refuse to let a single drop of liquor go to waste. Shame, Mrs. Sip… shame!

Sip Adviosr Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
The Flatliner is an exhibition in punishment. And I had to drink three of these in a row. It may taste disgusting, but it gets a passing grade because that’s exactly how it’s supposed to taste. Nobody is trying to fool you with this shot. It’s supposed to burn going down and it does. Just hope that it stays down.

January 7 – Whipped White Russian

Just Pucking Around

I hear ya, boys!

I hear ya, boys!

With the NHL lockout coming to an end early yesterday, hockey has been on my mind. Coincidentally, I had the Whipped White Russian on my schedule for today, although given Russia’s recent victory over Canada at the World Junior Hockey Tournament – stopping Canada’s streak of bringing home a medal at the competition at 14 years in a row – perhaps it should be called a Whipped White Canadian! Wouldn’t that be Howie Mandel, though?

I’m pumped to have hockey coming back, even if I didn’t necessarily miss it while it was gone. There have been many nights where the inclusion of a hockey game (be it Hockey Night in Canada or another broadcast) would have been a stellar addition to my drinking exploits. Best of all, this saves me from having to find another sport to really get into, although I had hopes that roller derby would return to TV. No, really, the best thing about the lockout ending is that all the pundits will have to talk about something else and we can all finally move on from terms like HRR, decertification, disclaimers of interest and Gary Bettman.

I’m just happy to hear it will be returning to a rink near me very soon and now it’s onto the celebration. Cue up Kool and the Gang!

Drink #7: Whipped White Russian

Whipped White Russian Drink

  • Rim glass with chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 oz Chocolate Whipped Vodka or other vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • Top with milk

So, to all my friends out there that have a passion for puck – I said puck… and it wasn’t a typo – enjoy the season ahead and make sure to get cozy on the couch with one of these bad boys! GO CANUCKS GO!!!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I like White Russians, but this is the first time I ever used Chocolate Whipped Vodka in one and that made the experience that much better. A Chocolate Sprinkle rim and this dessert drink just got that much better!