January 18 – Crouching Tiger

Counter Culture

I fell asleep during the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, despite the fact I thought I’d enjoy the fantastical martial arts film with a name that sounds like a wicked sex position. This is far from the first popular film (at least according to most of the world) that I have walked away from disliking. Here are the top five movies I refuse to watch, despite their large fan base:

#5: The Hunger Games

Okay, so I only saw the first entry of this series, but it will be hard for Mrs. Sip to get me to return for more. Sorry to drop a spoiler for those who haven’t seen the film, but I absolutely hated how they built up this entire competition for what seemed like forever, only to kill off half the competitors immediately. Then, the fact producers wanted the film to be PG-13 eliminated any chance of serious themes from the book being examined. And so, we slowly wound our way to the inevitable and predictable finish. The Japanese flick Battle Royal is a far better offering in the realm of kids being challenged to kill one another in the name of survival.

#4: Moulin Rouge

Good lord, Mrs. Sip loves her musicals. The Sip Advisor, however, despises any media that is largely based around singing. Tragically, I’ve been dragged to a number of films or forced to watch movies where even the simplest dialogue is crooned. I’m not talking about Disney or other animated offerings, but live action movies where song and dance drives the entire production. Back to Moulin Rouge, I’ve actually been outside of the cabaret club in Paris, France and even without entering, cold chills were running through my system and I suffered flu-like symptoms just being in its presence.

#3: Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit

Middle Earth is simply a place I don’t want to visit… and I definitely don’t want to get stuck there for six movies and 525 hours (running time is purely an estimate of Peter Jackson’s need to have super extended versions of his films). For most of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mrs. Sip and I watched the DVD’s and I made sure a clause was put in our contract that we’d halt the movie half way through to take a break playing pool or throwing darts or something else to get me through the second half of the film. The tactic was not very successful with regards to my overall enjoyment.

#2: The Matrix

I just don’t understand these films and the truth of the matter is, I don’t really want to. When I saw the first installment many moons ago, all I could think about was how hungry I was. Thankfully, my McDonald’s feast afterwards wasn’t as disappointing as my cinema choice. Sadly, Mrs. Sip loved that first movie, so when the sequels arrived and we were now dating, I was dragged to midnight openings like I was some nerd who enjoys standing in lines for his entertainment. I only do that at Disneyland, thank you very much!

#1: Star Wars

Mrs. Sip was absolutely shocked when we started dating and I told her I had never seen the original Star Wars trilogy. She had grown up on the films and in short order, made me watch all three of the original releases. I’ve never really been a huge fan of science fiction. I think some of the concepts are neat, but in general, the whole space setting isn’t my cup of tea and too much fantasy and made up stuff irritates me. I must say, this was one of the few new experiences we shared that summer that I didn’t enjoy!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Crouching Tiger

Crouching Tiger Shooter

  • 0.5 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • 0.5 oz Lychee Vodka/Liqueur
  • Splash of Lychee Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedge

Looking back at my list, not only are most of my selections popular movies, they’re god damn franchises, meaning I’m usually forced to sit through multiple movies I’d rather not see. Movies like Twilight and Titanic should have made the list, but I’ve actually been able to avoid watching any of these, so I’ll just leave them off and pretend they don’t exist!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty strong, thanks to the Tequila and my choice to go with Lychee Vodka rather than Lychee Liqueur. I added the splash of Lychee Juice to try and lighten the recipe and that helped in getting the flavour across. A decent shooter, but nothing to go out of your way for.

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October 8 – Mudslide

Ready-Made

Personally, I’m not a fan of ready-made booze products. But it’s a topic I feel should be discussed and what better time to do it than while we enjoy a fresh serving of one of the more popular bottled options, the Mudslide. Here are some other pre-mixed selections available on the market:

Mudslide – Packaged by the folks at Kahlua (among other companies), this is one concoction that I’ve actually tried and I remember (stop laughing… I do have some brain cells left) enjoying. Of course, this was years before I got into mixology and I don’t think I’d try this type of product nowadays.

Kahlua Mudslide

Caesar – There’s been quite the market the last few years for ready-made Caesars and while it’s nice to have such a complicated recipe simplified in bottle form, I think the Caesar truly shines when you put all those intricate ingredients together yourself.

Cola Mixes – This can be done with rum, whiskey, bourbon, etc. with companies such as Bacardi, Malibu, Bulleit, Jim Beam, and Jack Daniel’s flooding the market. Broski Sip and I did find ourselves enjoying Jack Daniel’s Hard Cola on one vacation, but that was many moons before I became the Sip Advisor you worship today… I’m a bit of a booze snob now. Most of these liquor companies also offer their spirit mixed with ginger ale for the anti-cola drinker.

Gin & Tonic – G&T’s are so easy to make, it amazes me that anyone would need it to be pre-mixed and bottled for them, but the world has become incredibly lazy. Gordon’s is one prominent company that has jumped aboard the ‘ready-to-drink’ train. Smirnoff also offers a vodka tonic mix.Gordon's G&T

Cosmopolitan – I guess you could still pour your Cosmo bottle into a martini glass, but I think all of the class and sophistication the drink is supposed to come with would be lost. The girls on Sex and the City would be so horrified!

Mojito – I strive to make a wicked Mojito and have received rave reviews. I just can’t fathom enjoying a pre-mixed version of the cocktail, so I’ll just move on.

Long Island Iced Tea – I am a fan of the pre-mixed Long Island Iced Tea spirit, combining vodka, gin, rum, and triple sec in one fell swoop, but I don’t think I’d like a pre-bottled version of the drink, eliminating the chance for me to play with different mixers.

Long Island Iced Tea Box

Long Island Iced Tea in a box!?!? Oh, shizzle, where do I sign up!

Dark N’ Stormy – Made by the Bundaberg Rum company, I only wonder if they got clearance from the Gosling’s folks to bottle this drink, since Gosling’s claims a copyright on the Dark N’ Stormy recipe and will fight bartenders who use it sans Gosling’s Rum.

Daiquiri/Margarita – I’ve seen these offerings in a wide array of flavours, from lime to strawberry to mango and everything in between. I’m a huge fan of the legitimate versions of these drinks and am curious to try the pre-mixed style, but also a little cautious, as well.

Pina Colada – We finish with the Pina Colada, which troubles me a little because I think the drink is best received in frozen form. I guess you could add it to shaved ice, much like a snow cone, but given we are mired in the onset of winter, I can’t even think about summer drinks at the moment.

Drink #281: Mudslide

Mudslide Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • Top with Chocolate Milk
  • Garnish with Peanut Butter Cup

It seems that all of your popular cocktails have been released in pre-mix form. That’s capitalism for you, I suppose. If this is how you prefer to get your swerve on, I don’t hate you… I just don’t like you very much!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
There are a variety of Mudslide recipes in existence. The ingredients I used are an amalgamation of those offerings. The Tequila stood out a little stronger than I would have liked, but otherwise, the cocktail was passable.

August 20 – Cactus Kicker

I’m With Stupid

Kicking a cactus would be a pretty stupid thing to do… but I’m no stranger to stupid! Here are some of the wicked awesome things I’ve done that most would construe as stupid:

Balcony Jumper, Extraordinaire

After a full day of poolside boozing, I stepped inside to order the Sip Alliance some pizzas (and Mrs. Sip some Indian food – she always has to be the difficult one). After re-emerging from the house I spotted a challenge I’d always wanted to tackle and never taken the chance. I quickly hopped up onto the ledge of the balcony that overlooks our pool, let out a manly growl, and cleared several feet of concrete leaping into the pool below.

Things went off without a hitch… until Cousin Sip posted a Facebook status about it, prompting Ma Sip to reply in a not-so-thrilled manner. Mrs. Sip, while impressed with the feat, wasn’t very happy with me either. She made me vow never to perform the death-defying jump again. When the two most important women in your life aren’t happy with you, you know you’ve done something wrong. I promised that evening that my balcony jumping days were a thing of the past… but no one ever said the roof was off limits!

balcony jump

You Win Some, You LUGE Some

The more you speed, the more you bleed! That was the local motto when Mrs. Sip and I took to the Commercial Street Luge track in Rotorua, New Zealand. We’re both speed demons, but Mrs. Sip wanted to ease herself into the luging, starting with the beginner track and working her way up through intermediate and expert. I jumped straight to intermediate and after one warm-up run, I was flying down the expert course with ease. This would make a spectacular video, I thought, as I finished up my second of three runs.

On our third run, we both hit the expert track, with Mrs. Sip leading the way. Since I was such an expert, or so I thought, I was in charge of filming the track. I started rolling tape, but steering and holding the camera at the same time was proving difficult. Rather than bail on my glorious plan, I tried to make it work. Then I got to the point in the track where there was a sharp turn and a steep drop where usually you gain a bit of air. Before I knew it, I was veering towards the concrete curb, launching myself out of my vehicle and onto the thankfully grassy embankment.

Sexy Nurse

Sadly, this is not how Mrs. Sip treated my numerous boo-boos…

My shirt was stained with dirt and grass, my arm sliced open and bleeding, and our camera worse for the wear, and my watch scuffed. Mrs. Sip was waiting at the bottom of the course wondering why I was taking so long to finish and thinking she had beaten me handily and was a born-speedster. As I finally finished my run, she could sense something was wrong. Luckily the sorest thing was my pride and it ended up making a decent story.

Double-O-Stupid

My 19th birthday was a mix of good and bad. On the plus side, I was now legal age to drink alcohol. Not a huge deal because I’d been drinking for a few years by that point, but it would make procuring liquor easier. On the downside, Mrs. Sip and my relationship was only six months old and she had recently left for the United Kingdom for a year-long exchange program.

I decided to celebrate quietly with a couple friends and in a moment of nostalgia, we made plans to play the classic James Bond video game Goldeneye (much like we had done together in our formative years). The one caveat: each time you were killed, you had to do a shot of whiskey.

Goldeneye

I have no clue why I ever agreed to this idea… I was never that great at the video game to begin with. It wasn’t long before I was running to the sink to lose my milk and cookies and my buddies weren’t far behind. Here’s where the Sip Advisor legend began to grow though… I went back to doing shots. Not many folks can get drunk twice in the same night!

Speed Trap Follies

I’ve only been pulled over for speeding once in my 14-year driving history. I think that’s a pretty damn good record. During the one time I wasn’t so lucky, I had just returned Mrs. Sip to her university residence and had a 30-45 minute drive in front of me to get back home. Given it was already 3am and I had school myself in the morning, I was looking to make short work of the trip. I had just hit about 30 kilometers above the speed limit, on a road I knew to be a trap for police, when I spotted a cop car ahead. I tried to slow down, but I was already busted.

speeding doughnuts

The officer took my license and registration and asked me a couple questions, which mortified, I answered. As a struggling student, I surely didn’t need to be paying off a hefty speeding ticket. When the patrolman returned, he handed me back my papers and license and revealed that he was going to let me off with a warning. His parting words: “By the way, happy birthday!”

Drink #232: Cactus Kicker

Cactus Kicker Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

What stupid things have you done, perhaps after a few too many beverages? Surely, I can’t be the only dumb person around here. Or maybe that’s what makes me a legend!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail is like a twist on the margarita. While I enjoyed most of the ingredients, I wasn’t very fond of the Pineapple Juice. When it became a little more diluted I enjoyed the drink more.