Flavour Revolution – Marula

Animal Crackers

Mrs. Sip and I recently returned from a month-long journey to southern Africa and were completely enamoured with the animals the continent is famous for. We also have a fondness for Amarula Cream, a liqueur from South Africa that takes Bailey’s and other Irish crème’s to task. Today, we enjoy Amarula Gold (the Cream’s golden cousin), while looking at the greatest pop culture examples of the creatures we enjoyed during our travels:

Lions:

One of the most famous lions is known simply for his iconic roar, seen at the start of MGM movies. Leo is still introducing viewers to films to this day. The lion has also been adopted as the logo for two different football teams, the Detroit Lions (NFL) and my hometown BC Lions (CFL). That’s interesting because while lions are fierce hunters, they’re also incredibly lazy. In the media world, there are notable lions in Simba, Mufasa, and Scar from The Lion King, as well as Aslan (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) and the Cowardly Lion (The Wizard of Oz).

lion lesson

Buffalos:

There aren’t really any fictional buffalos to choose from, but there is the city of Buffalo, New York, which is home to such teams as the Sabres (NHL), and Bills (NFL). There’s also the Order of the Water Buffalo, with such dignified members as Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. Lastly, one can also include Buffalo Bill, the deranged serial killer from Silence of the Lambs… on second thought, maybe he should be left off the list.

Rhinos:

The horned beasts seem to be the perfect animal for animated antagonists. This can be seen with one of Spiderman’s greatest foes, Rhino, as well as Rocksteady from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If we are to use the characters as examples of how rhinos are viewed by animators, then they’re certainly not the brightest individuals. Lastly, pro wrestler Terry Gerin, adopted the name Rhino (later changed to Rhyno, because actual rhinos love suing over intellectual property rights!), when he debuted with Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1999. Sadly, rhinos are rapidly decreasing in population, with poachers seeking their valuable horns, to be used for sexual potency.

Elephants:

Like lions, elephants have factored into a lot of media. One of Disney’s most cherished characters is that of Dumbo, the flying elephant. There’s also Babar; Dr. Seuss’s Horton (who heard a Who); Bart Simpson’s brief pet, Stampy; and Big Bird’s imaginary friend Snuffleupagus. Another fan favourite is Elephant Ears donuts, because there’s never a bad donut and these cinnamon-sugar sprinkled gems are no exception.

elephant-dancing-snufflin

Leopards:

Famous leopards are about as rare as spotting the cat in the wild. The leopard is the only major African animal that we didn’t see on our recent vacation and our guide told us in all his years of taking tourists through Africa, he’s only seen a handful, himself. The only notable leopard that came to mind was Bagheera from The Jungle Book. His protective ways ensured young Mowgli’s survival in the wild.

Giraffes:

Youngsters today may not know about Geoffrey, the Toys R’ Us mascot, but he played a huge role in my childhood. He made many of the children from my generation want to be a Toys R’ Us kid! Originally named Dr. G. Raffe, the spokesanimal has been with the company since 1957.

Hippos:

The board game Hungry Hungry Hippos painted a lighter image on these dangerous beasts, who are known to charge at the boats of tourists for no other reason than because they feel like it. Despite their antagonistic nature, there is still the classic Christmas song “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. Perhaps the little girl making the request just didn’t know any better.

hungry-hippos-game

Crocodiles:

Perhaps the most famous crocodile is Tick-Tock, the tormentor of Capt. James Hook and the beast that took the pirate’s hand. Crocodiles are often depicted as bad guys. This includes Killer Croc, a frequent nemesis of Batman; King K. Rool, the thorn in the side of Donkey Kong and his extended family; and the Fraternity of Crocodiles, from the comic Pearls Before Swine, who are often in pursuit of zebras (or zeebas as the frat calls them), despite their minimal intelligence.

Quick Hits:

Zebras: Fruit Stripe Zebra – Given the gum’s appearance, it was natural that Fruit Stripe would adopt a Zebra as its mascot

Cheetahs: I’ve enjoyed the recent Cheetos commercials starring Chester Cheetah, as he helps snackers get their share of the cheese-flavoured grub

Meerkats: In the real world, there was the popular Meerkat Manor nature series… in animation, we of course had Timon from The Lion King

Warthog: Speaking of Timon, you can’t forget his buddy Pumbaa… and just like the previously mentioned Rocksteady took after a rhino, his thug pal Bebop was mutated from a warthog

Hyenas: One last time we go back to The Lion King, with this pack of cackling baddies: Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed

Flavour Revolution: Golden Apple

  • 1.5 oz Amarula Gold
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Splash of Sour Apple Mixer
  • Garnish with an Apple Slice

Many of these animals comprise the Big 5 (lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos), placed in that group because of their difficulty in hunting. There are also a Small 5 (elephant shrew, buffalo weaver, leopard tortoise, ant lion, rhino beetle), based on miniature versions of the Big 5, as well as an Ugly 5 (warthog, hyena, marabou stork, vulture, and wildebeest), which is kind of self-explanatory.

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South Africa – Brown Elephant

Animal Crackers

Mrs. Sip and I hope to one day travel to South Africa and its neighbouring countries to enjoy a safari tour. I’ve always enjoyed the animatronic versions of the Jungle Cruise at the Disney Parks (even the corny jokes), so why not experience the real thing. I think my only issue with the entire trip would be encountering any snakes. The Black Mamba can kill 12 men within an hour it’s so venomous. While I hope to avoid the slithering folk as much as possible, here’s what I wouldn’t mind doing with some of the other inhabitants of the pride land!

Boxed Lunch

Nap with Lions

Lions sleep about 20 hours each day, which sounds pretty awesome. Think about it, the ‘King of the Jungle’ sits atop the animal food chain, usually has a harem of lady kitties to choose from, and doesn’t really have to do anything to earn that power… that’s a pretty sweet existence. The lions could even keep you warm with the fur and playful mauling… um, I mean cuddling!

Stretch Out with Giraffes

I thoroughly enjoy a good stretch every now and again. When you’re as lazy as I claim to be (and I’m damn proud of it) you’ll find that stretching can be extremely rewarding and may even be the most exercise you experience is a week’s time. My favourite body part to stretch is my tongue. Keeping that organ limber has helped me be able to tie a cherry stem into a knot… yes, Mrs. Sip is a lucky lady!

Don’t Give a Shit with Honey Badgers

I have so much respect for these weasels. They are so bad ass that they can be bitten by a deadly snake, turn around and thrash that same serpent before eating it.  They’re incredibly aggressive and persistent, often winning a fight by simply tiring their opposition. And then they walk around like they just don’t care. Teach me, oh wise honey badger.

Play Hungry Hungry Hippos with… well, Hippopotami!

Hippos are vegetarians, which means we better be competing for two different food supplies. I don’t want any damn vegetables on the game board unless they’re side dishes for a main course of some kind of animal. I guess veggies are still better than those little balls they’re trying to chomp in the classic board game. I don’t think plastic is easily digested by either human or hippo.

Hungry Hippo

Stampede with Elephants

I certainly couldn’t retain water like elephants or go without drinking for long periods of time, but we could go for a run together and cause a little mayhem. I feel I’m far too mild-mannered in my life and perhaps there is much to learn from the elephants. They seem pretty docile until riled up and then watch out tree, you’re coming down.

Watch Stand-up Comedy with Hyenas

If you’re up for a good chuckle, why not enjoy some humour with a pack of hyenas. My only worry is that they won’t really get the jokes and will only cackle to not appear out of place. Don’t you hate those people? The ones who clearly don’t get it, but then over exaggerate their reaction just to be part of the moment. Typical hyenas…

Chew the Fat with Crocodiles

Sterling Archer’s second greatest fear is okay by me. That’s not to say I want to go for an underwater roll with it… I like my fresh air, thank you very much (although I can drink a beer underwater, so maybe I am part amphibious!?). I wish I had a set of chompers like a croc. That would make devouring everything from meat to caramels that much easier.

Croc Cannibalism

Gore Things with Rhinos

I think I’d be great at smashing into things with my head. I have been known to be stubborn and hard-headed and also have eradicated much of my brain cells, thereby making any concussion issues non-existent. I often get Mrs. Sip’s attention by butting my head into her shoulder. She doesn’t appreciate this very much, but it is a sincere sign of love on my part.

Evolve with Gorillas

I think it’s pretty amazing that us humans come from primates. Perhaps, and keep in mind I only play a scientist on TV, it’s the other way around and gorillas evolved from humans. If the Planet of the Apes franchise has taught me anything, it’s that gorillas probably wouldn’t take too kindly to me infiltrating their ranks and would outwit me with their vast intelligence and moxie.

Blend in with Zebras

These masters of disguises sure know how to disappear within their environment. As an introvert personality type, I sure could learn a lot by mimicking their blending techniques. That way, I could go to an unlimited number of parties and never be bugged by people trying to engage in small talk. I think people have grown tired of my shifty eyes and one word answers. I’m really only there to drink, anyway!

South Africa: Brown Elephant

Brown Elephant Drink Recipe

  • 2 oz Amarula
  • Top with Milk and Cola
  • Garnish with a Chocolate Stick

What would you like to do with the animals of the safari? One thing you probably want to avoid is spreading diseases with mosquitos… like a drug, it can be a hard world to extricate yourself from and you’ll probably have to go through a rehabilitation regime to get yourself back to normal.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I decided to use Chocolate Milk with this recipe, harkening back to my early days as a wee little sipper when the first cocktail I ever created was called Zap and mixed Chocolate Milk with Cola. Add in that wonderful Amarula cream liqueur and you had one very happy Sip Advisor!

September 24 – Twister

Roll the Die

Yesterday I discussed my favourite board and card games and sticking with that topic, these are the games I’ve never played. If anyone wants to join me and do a couple rounds of Candy Land or something, just give me a shout. If you’re willing to foot my travel costs, we’ll get this done!

Twister

Never have I ever played Twister… hmmm, I should say that for my next game of Never Have I Ever! I’m not really sure I want to play either, unless it’s just Mrs. Sip and me and clothing is optional. That is one tangled mess I wouldn’t mind being part of. Otherwise, I’ve always appreciated my own personal space and that of others. It could make a fun drinking game through, with those who lose being punished with shots!

Twister

Mouse Trap

As a youngster, I owned Mouse Trap, but I’m certain I never actually played a full contest of the crazy contraption game. By the time you had all the traps set up, which could be a total pain to do, you just wanted to play with that and trap all the mousies. Worst of all, the contraption often didn’t work properly. Does anyone out there also remember Grape Escape? It was similar to Mouse Trap, but you were trying to crush Play-Doh grapes with different devices.

Balderdash

With such a wicked name, you think I would have tried my luck at the classic word definition game. As a writer, I feel I would get upset when I suggested a definition for one of the words and it wasn’t selected as the correct one. That’s when I throw all my cards up in the air, drop a couple dozen curse words, and storm out of the party!

Hungry Hungry Hippos

I know what you’re saying: “Surely, you, you stud of studs, must have played Hungry Hungry Hippos at some point in your life.” Sadly, while I remember having friends who had the game and I remember using the hippo to gobble up the little white ball, I’ve never played an actual competitive contest. Something new for the bucket list, I guess. How cool would it be to play a life-sized version of this game? Jumanji!

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Chess

I whole-heartedly believe that Chess is beyond my learning abilities. I tried going through a computer tutorial one time, but it didn’t help matters. Once the game started, I just sat there staring at the screen. Then I played an entire round via the computer “suggest a move” option. I still lost! That’s why I don’t believe I’ve ever played the game before.

Candy Land

The children’s classic Candy Land has never been played by the Sip Advisor, despite his love of candy and other confectionary treats. My version of Candy Land is a shopping trip to Walmart, followed by gorging myself on all the delicious treats I’ve just picked up. If we need a little action, I pretend Mrs. Sip is trying to chase me down to steal my goods and I have maneuver to avoid her attacks!

Candy Land

Dungeons & Dragons

In actuality, we are all geeks in our own special way. That said, I can fully certify that I have never played a role-playing game of this magnitude. I have thoroughly enjoyed the episodes of Big Bang Theory that have centered on the fellas playing the dungeon master’s quest. I have to admit, though, that I’m not really into games that you should remain sober for… too much thinking = bad.

Nightmare

This classic VCR-based board game (remember those!?) was meant to spook the crap out of you, but most people just found the video scenes, particularly the host ‘Gatekeeper’ character, to be comedic. Still, I’d love to turn the lights out one time, throw on this game and see if it is at all scary. I bet I end up having nightmares… who wants in on this action!

Drink #267: Twister

Sept 24

  • 2 oz Vodka (I used Pinnacle Strawberry-Kiwi)
  • Top with half Orange Juice and half Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Splash of Strawberry-Banana Juice
  • Dash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Orange Slices

I hope you enjoyed this nostalgic look back at board and card games as much as I did. Which games have you never played? Together we can end that injustice!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was an interesting mix of flavours thanks to all the different juices. The Strawberry-Kiwi Vodka was a nice touch and those notes came through the strongest.

March 2 – Key Lime Pie

Dessertification

Truth be told, I’m not much of a pie fan (dirty jokes aside). It’s not that I don’t like pie, but I’m more of a cookie and brownie man. I thought it might be best to list some of my favourite dessert treats, in case anyone out there is looking to butter me up like the living legend that I am.

Two-Bite Brownies

While they’re advertised as two-bite treats, it’s much more enjoyable to shove the entire brownie in your mouth and chomp on it noisily. If you’re looking for a fun evening in the future, try having a brownie bash. Each player brings a bag of two-bite brownies, which are emptied out into the centre of the playing surface. Then each competitor builds up a fortress for safe keeping of their treasures and you play Hungry Hungry Hippo’s style, running and retrieving one treat at a time until all the brownies have been claimed.

Sponge Bob Two Bite Brownie

Rainbow Chips Ahoy

Nothing beats ending a long hard day with a plate of cookies and a cold glass of milk… unless it’s a fat beefy burger and an ice cold cocktail. Hell, if your guy-et is going well, why not do both! Rainbow chips Ahoy (which are clearly superior to regular chocolate chips ahoy) are one of my favourite camping supplies and you truly haven’t experienced all the joys of life until you’ve made smores between of these two cookies. As a bonus, the rainbow chips take you back to fond childhood memories quicker than the sight of an ice cream truck.

Black Forest Cake

Mrs. Sip really stole a piece of my heart when we celebrated our first dating anniversary and she bought me an entire Black Forest Cake even though she isn’t besties with any cake other than Ice Cream Cake. Yes, that black forest beauty and I spent a bulk of the next week together, sharing tender glances, romantic embraces and nights of unbridled passion.

Chocolate Fondue

The fun part about fondue (maybe they should just call it FUNdue… great, now the lame police are after me… why do I always write the worst jokes?) is coming up with interesting things to dip in the chocolate. While pedestrian items like fruit, marshmallows and sponge cake are used by the masses, I am an extreme fondue-er, dunking sub sandwiches, turkey legs, and edible underwear into the melted goodness.

Chocolate Fondue

Minnie’s Bake Shop Cookies at Disney Parks

These cookies are amazing! Every time Mrs. Sip and I are in Disneyland or Disneyworld, a good portion of our snack budget (well, budget is a loose term, given it’s an infinite amount) is spent of these treats. We’ve come home with an entire suitcase filled with the delicacies before… and it’s not like we make them last for as long as possible. They are often demolished in a single serving, as we go into a trance-like orgy of cookie destruction. The next morning, we awake to smears of chocolate and peanut on our clothing (luckily we’re still in clothing); crumbs, like fallen snow, littering the floor; and splashes of milk dripping from the ceiling.

Black Magic Cupcakes

This is Mama Sip’s world famous recipe, which has caused her to be hounded over the years by family, friends, co-workers, even da freakin’ pope, to make them. Basically, they are a chocolate cupcake with chocolate chip cheesecake mixed in and are absolutely fabulous warmed up or even cold. Made from a secret family recipe that has been handed down for thousands of years, I may have said too much already. If you would like the recipe, please send $500 to Sip Advisor Enterprises and I’ll get back to you in due time.

Drink #61: Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie Shot

  • Rim glass with Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • 0.5 oz Fireball Whiskey
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Milk
  • Top with Whipped Cream

There are at least three variations of this shot and I kind of put pieces together from all three to make my version. Enjoy!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Full disclosure: I left out an ingredient when making this shooter. Originally, I forgot to include Galliano, so I had to make it again. It worked out pretty well when done properly. The Graham Cracker Crumb rim was a key part of the recipe.