Sip Trips #100: Easter Eggs (Part 2)

Part one of our Easter long weekend expedition to Las Vegas can be found here

Day three of our trip began with us finally buying some show tickets. With the task of having to redeem our seats – starting at Bally’s and then travelling all the way to the Luxor (Blue Man Group), before traversing nearly the entire strip and hitting Treasure Island (Cirque du Soleil: Mystère), then finally returning to The Linq… all while Mrs. Sip relaxed poolside – I knew I needed some good stiff drinks for the trek.

That was achieved by popping into the Fuel Bar, using one of their 2-for-1 drink coupons. For only $14, I was able to get two very strong Melon Mules, while enjoying the skilled flair bartenders. To say I set out on my expedition feeling good and fuzzy, would be an understatement!

Shut Up Liver

My arduous two-hour journey complete – to be fair, I actually like doing these missions… just don’t let Mrs. Sip know – I collected Mrs. Sip from the pool and we made our way to Hyde Lounge for drinks and the Bellagio fountains. I had wanted to order their Smore cocktail, but they were out of the Graham cracker rim. I settled for the Love Unit (Vodka, Vanilla Vodka, Thai Basil, Lime, Grapefruit, and Bell Pepper Juices), which was pretty good. I would also like to try their Mexican Hot Coffee in the future.

From there, it was off to see the Blue Man Group at the Luxor. This show was non-step energy and entertainment. I totally blue myself! Following the spectacle, we were given 2-for-1 drink coupons at the Centra bar, where we were able to mix and match some cocktails. I ended up with their Smoked Salt Margarita and Hrdara, which featured Jameson Whiskey.

Not content to end the night, we ventured to New York New York’s The Chocolate Bar, which had caught our eye a couple nights earlier. My beverage of choice was the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Martini (Castries Peanut Butter Rum, 360 Chocolate Vodka, Marie Brizard Chocolate Liqueur), which was every bit as decadent as it sounds.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

After a slow start to the next day, we took advantage of the Yard House’s weekday happy hour and grabbed a set of cheap appies: Buffalo Boneless Wings, California Roll, and Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds. To wash down all the delicious nibbles, I ordered a pint of the Ninkasi Tricerahops, which lived up to its awesome name.

Next up was our Cirque du Soleil: Mystère show, which combined a nice mix of acrobatics and comedy. Forgive me for going on a little rant, but I have to call out the loser who sat in front of us at the show. First, his family showed up after the opening act and then he proceeded to constantly turn his phone on and off throughout the show, even sending photos via messaging. The kicker was that he then left just minutes before the show was over, causing yet another disturbance. The phone constantly lighting up was so distracting and I wish Cirque would just outright ban the use of them at their presentations. Okay… breathe.

Not letting some asshole ruin our night, on our way back from the show, we passed The Piano Bar at Harrah’s. Noticing that their outside patio was open, we decided to watch some of the dueling pianos. I ended up ordering a bottle of Ballast Point IPA for a whopping $9, but at least I can justify the charge as part of being entertained.

Piano Lesson

Having always wanted to try eating at In-N-Out Burger and in need of a midnight snack, Mrs. Sip and I visited the location in the Linq’s Promenade area. We thought the burgers were decent and Mrs. Sip enjoyed a Chocolate Milkshake (seriously, she’s really into milkshakes and ice cream lately), but I found the name of the burger joint does give me some reservations.

On our last day, we decided to revisit our top choices from the trip. First, after enjoying the drinks and atmosphere so much, we returned to the Fuel Bar for a pair of Lynchburg Lemonades that made for a good day drunk buzz. For lunch, we revisited the PBR Rock Bar to repeat our usual menu selections, while also trying their House Made Chili, which was a very nice addition.

After a long walk along the strip, we popped into AmeriCAN for one last beverage. While I like their concept of offering largely canned craft beers, I think they will have to make some changes to survive in the uber competitive market. For example, there is no happy hour to speak of. Also, they don’t even offer guests water, instead trying to charge them $3 for a bottle. That is a cardinal sin in the Sip Advisor’s books. After being out of my first few choices, I selected the Joseph James Weize Guy Hefeweizen, which was quite refreshing, especially after our extensive walk in the Vegas sun.

That wrapped another amazing trip to Sin City. Given this is likely the last time Mrs. Sip and I will get to enjoy the adult Disneyland prior to kids arriving, I think we went out with a bang!

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Sip Trips #91: City of Sin (Part 2)

With so much crammed into our short getaway to Las Vegas, I split the happenings into two articles. Part one included a fair bit of action. Could we top our efforts on days three and four?

We began the second half of our Sin City experience by visiting the Yard House for their afternoon happy hour deals. We gorged ourselves on orders of their Fried Chicken Strips, California Roll, and Queso Dip, while I put back pints of Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA and Ballast Point Watermelon Dorado Double IPA.

Later, en route to the other end of the strip, we popped into the new Shake Shack, where I got a massive “Roadie” serving (32 oz. mug) of Big Dog Dirty Dog IPA. As we chatted with a server and told him we had never tried one of their burgers, he disappeared and returned with coupons to try a couple of their offerings, on the house.

shake-shack

We capped the evening with another favourite, enjoying the dueling pianos from outside the Bar at Times Square inside New York New York. Inside, the venue can usually get pretty packed, so we opt for seats outside, where we can still enjoy the tunes, high energy atmosphere, and best of all, drink our own beverages.

The next day, we journeyed to the Bellagio’s Hyde Lounge, where delicious, yet expensive cocktails can be enjoyed while watching the amazing fountain shows. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t rank this visit very high, as my Burning Mango cocktail completely lacked the advertised jalapeno flavour and the fountains weren’t running as regularly (every 15 minutes) as they should have been at that time of day. The one show we did get is Mrs. Sip’s least favourite, so the timing just wasn’t right.

Not to be deterred, and to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Mrs. Sip and I bought a ticket package that included a buffet dinner at The Wynn, as well as tickets to their Cirque du Soleil-inspired Le Reve show. The meal and entertainment were top notch, with copious crab legs and other dinner and dessert items enjoyed, followed by a spectacular performance of the water-based program.

le-reve

The evening was topped with a visit to another of the strip’s popular dueling pianos hotspots at Harrah’s The Piano Bar. By this point, we were kind of running on fumes, so decided to call the night somewhat short and finish the drinks we had remaining at our resort, enjoying the amazing view we had of the area.

And just to show that we’re well-rounded (not physically… yet) people and are capable of doing more than shuffle through life with a permanent buzz, Mrs. Sip and I also managed to visit both the Neon Museum and Mob Museum attractions. Using a combo ticket, with nice discount, we would highly recommend both to anyone visiting the city.

The Neon Museum’s boneyard is home to 200 signs, each playing their own role in Las Vegas history. The guided one-hour tour takes you through many of these tales, such as that of the Moulin Rouge placard, which belonged to the first non-segregated casino on the strip.

neon-museum

As for the Mob Museum, we visited on an interesting day, as Valentine’s Day not only marked the exhibition’s 5th anniversary (and so it was open to locals for free), but it’s also the anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, which is a featured attraction of the gallery. Our self-guided tour lasted three hours and we could have stayed even longer.

That wraps up a busy four days spent in Sin City. Did we enjoy ourselves? Well, we’re planning on returning over the Easter long weekend for even more debauchery!

April 29 – Sin City

Sin-sational

Over the Easter weekend, Mrs. Sip and I visited one of our favourite places in the world, Las Vegas. Along with many of our usual haunts (not one, but two trips to the Hyde Lounge!), here are a few new places we tried on our recent long weekend extravaganza, with wonderful cocktail options at almost every turn.

Max Brenner’s

This place specializes in chocolate, mixing it into every recipe on the menu (food, drink, dessert). Mrs. Sip and I went during its bar happy hour, sampling three of their dessert cocktails ($6 down from their normal $12), while also sharing some appies – waffle fries with chili-chocolate powder… um, yes please! Mrs. Sip enjoyed the classic chocolate martinii (garnished with a huge chocolate dipped strawberry) while my favourite drink was the wonderfully delicious Satisfaction Guaranteed, made with peanut and caramel liqueurs. When I think of a drink that is 5 sips out of 5, this is it!

max-brenner-satisfaction-guaranteed

Wynn Buffet

We like to get to at least one buffet on each trip to Las Vegas and over time, we’ve been able to try nearly every hotel’s offering on the strip. On this excursion, I gorged myself on a selection of Asian delicacies, from sushi to noodles and vegetables and followed that up with a plate of crab legs. Dessert was great too, with a make your own gelato sundae bar. Althoght a bit more pricey than your regular buffet ($38 for dinner), the Wynn Buffet is well worth the price and everything you would expect from the 5 star hotel and casino!

Parasol Down

While I can’t fully recommend the little shows that run every half an hour on the Lake of Dreams (two balls birthing a baby ball???) the place does provide a lovely setting for an evening cocktail, with it’s lake and forest atmosphere. Here, I tried the Sinatra Smash, made with Crème de Cassis, whiskey, sweet and sour mix, vanilla syrup, and blackberries.

Guns & Ammo Garage

It has long been on my bucket list to shoot a gun. Not at anything in particular (might I suggest the birds infesting my patio), but just to merely shoot a gun. When the opportunity arose to go to one of the many gun ranges in Las Vegas, I was happy to tag along. There, I shot a M9 and an Uzi (relatively well) and gained a whole new respect for the fine folks that have to carry a piece as part of their daily living.

guns-and-ammo-garage

Rock & Rita’s

A little off the main strip, but worth the trip, this restaurant features a southern barbecue menu, complete with massive drinks you can get in a souvenir toilet glass. I tried the 2000 Flushes recipe, while splitting an appie platter. This is a fun place for adults and kids alike, as while flair bartenders did their thing just outside the joint, one of the greatest balloon artists I’ve ever seen visited each table, making amazing creations for the little ones.

Go Pool Cabana

Mrs. Sip and I have done the hotel pool thing a few times before, but when Mama Sip (also in Vegas at the time) wanted to reserve one of the poolside cabanas for the day, it brought a whole new meaning to swim luxury. Myself and Papa Sip were able to watch a hockey game, while the ladies soaked in the sun. We also had around the clock service, which resulted in me ordering the Alligator Bite drink, made with a host of liquors and pineapple juice.

Flamingo-cabana

The ladies and me at the cabana!

Carlos & Charlie’s

This wild restaurant inside the Flamingo was just being built the last time we were in Vegas and we stopped here for lunch one day before hitting the pool. While splitting a scrumptious quesadilla stuffed with the works, I enjoyed a Lazarillo cocktail, made with tequila, cranberry juice, and lime. It was basically a Mexican Cosmo, but it really hit the spot as a good starter drink to another wild day.

New Cocktails

As previously mentioned, we enjoyed the Bellagio fountains at the Hyde Lounge twice on this trip and while there sampled a number of fantastic concoctions. Mrs. Sip finally gave the nitrogen drink, Bees Knees, a go, while I ordered a host of luxury cocktails, including the sweet and spicy Burning Mango, bell pepper-infused Love Unit, and subtle yet delicious Cucumber Watermelon Margarita.

Drink #119: Sin City

Sin City Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Absolut Raspberri)
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry and Cinnamon Stick

We will be back to Sin City again soon. It doesn’t take long before that itch returns and we’re booking our flights and hotel, salivating over the copious options available and prepping for a weekend filled with booze, sun, food, lack of sleep and hard partying!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail was your typical Vodka-Cran-Soda. I was hoping the addition of the Cinnamon Stick would change things up – even using it as a straw for a couple sips – but unfortunately, any difference was so subtle that the flavour wasn’t modified at all.

April 27 – London Fog

Ice Ice Baby

Perfect for Halloween and all other non-denominational holidays, a recent fad in the mixology world has been to use dry ice or liquid nitrogen in cocktails, giving the presentation a special effect as a smoky fog rolls off of the drink.

Molecular Mixology

But there are dangers to the process, as well. An 18-year-old girl in the United Kingdom, celebrating her birthday, had her stomach removed after drinking a liquid nitrogen-Jagermeister recipe. That would be awful. You finally become legal and you’re out on the town for a wild night, but you can’t even get past your first drink… talk about a lightweight!

Also, you’d figure this chick’s stomach lining would be stronger given the diet of bangers and mash she certainly grew up eating. Jagermeister strikes again! So many years after the World Wars and Germany still wants revenge against the British.

Back to the issue at hand, these substances can cause cold burns to the mouth, throat and stomach, if ingested. Once it hits the stomach, it can warm rapidly, releasing air and other gases that can cause the stomach to burst… now that would be one epic fart.

Epic cat fart

This poor girl had to have a total gastrectomy (their words, not mine), which will certainly become all the rage for women, when it’s revealed that this process forcibly causes people to eat less, never feel hungry, and without a stomach, they won’t get big bellies.

If you are ever to order one of these “frozen” cocktails, you are advised to make sure the dry ice or liquid nitrogen has completely dissipated before taking a sip. That’s the issue here. This young girl was so fired up to get some booze into her system (aren’t we all!) that she couldn’t wait. Remember this little ditty I wrote to stay safe: If there’s steam, you’ll scream… if it’s clean, time to get smashed (I just didn’t feel like making it all rhyme… it’s more memorable that way!).

I have now tried a nitrogen cocktail, with Mrs. Sip at Hyde Lounge in Las Vegas. While they made the drink right in front of you with a travelling mixing bowl, it wasn’t served until the nitrogen had completely evaporated. The result was a frozen, blended recipe that tasted great as it slowly melted into a drinkable consistency.

I will discuss Molecular Mixology more in future blog posts. For the time being, like our stomachless friend from the UK, I simply can’t wait to get my drink on…

Drink #117: London Fog

London Fog Shot

  • 0.75 oz Absinthe (I used Mata Hari)
  • 0.75 oz Gin
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

While some dry ice would have been really cool for this shot, I don’t feel like dabbling in the dark arts. I wonder if they ever investigated whether Voldemort was involved in some of these liquid nitrogen incidents? I’m on to you, thou who shall not be named…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Holy hell this shot tastes like poison. I’m sure that was always the intention, as some shots are merely meant as punishment, but still, I had hoped something would come along and save this blend. Shots are harder to rate than cocktails because of this reputation. You can’t merely score the drink on taste and presentation. People do shots to get drunk… this will certainly get the job done!

March 29 – Poker Face

A Day in the Life

I wouldn’t call myself a Sin City expert, but I know a number of good places that are must-hits when visiting. If you follow my layout for a day out and about along the Las Vegas strip, it will be very difficult for you to keep your poker face (P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face). I dare you to try and keep up with the ol’ Sip Advisor.

Pool Time

I have very little need for breakfast… unless it is of the liquid variety. After sleeping in, Mrs. Sip and I usually meander our way to the hotel pool, where the first order of business is to order a bucket of beers, before relaxing in the sun for a couple hours. No need to rush around yet, we have tons of time left on the clock.

I guess my invite got lost in the mail...

I guess my invite got lost in the mail…

PBR Rock Bar – Planet Hollywood/Miracle Mile

It’s time to show off that tan you’ve been working on all morning, as you hit the street in search of strippers and blow… or in our case, pulled pork and Dorito-crusted mac n’ cheese! The servings here are massive, so it might be beneficial to split a meal or a couple appies. That way you can pig out throughout the day and not gorge yourself on one entrée. The best part of this location is you can sit on the patio and you can even sit on their patio area where you can people watch the zoo known as Las Vegas Boulevard!

Hyde Lounge – The Bellagio

With your tummy nice and full we venture across the street for some libations. The beauty of this joint (aside from the servers’ skimpy outfits) is that you can watch the wondrous Bellagio fountains against the back-drop of the Paris, while sucking back your bevvy! Like much of the strip, drinks can be a little pricey here, but it’s worth the splurging for the total experience.

Mon Ami Gabi – The Paris

While there are practically hundreds of dinner possibilities on and off the strip, it’s okay every once in a while to treat yourself to something on the fancy end of the spectrum. Get dressed up, enjoy some wine and lobster, and appreciate good company at this fine establishment. It also has killer sea scallops gratinées dish I fully recommend trying. If you’re lucky (or wait long enough) this restaurant also has a great patio for another round of people watching with the Bellagion fountains in the background.

Entertainment of Your Choice – Anywhere

It’s showtime! There are way too many options to choose from in Las Vegas. Whether you’re looking for comedy, magic, singing and dancing, or awe inspiring circus acts, the city has all the bases covered. Regardless of your budget, you can find a show that fits. There’s even a ton of stuff you can see all around the place that is free to all visitors, such as the Mirage Volcano, Fall of Atlantis (Caesar’s Palace), Show in the Sky (Rio), The Sirens (Treasure Island), Fremont Street Experience, and the previously mentioned Bellagio Fountains.

mirage-volcano

The Pub – Monte Carlo

Dueling pianos, plus $2 beers and shots of Jameson… you had me at hello. You never greeted me? Don’t really care, I’ll have two beers and two shots and for the missus, a stirring round of ‘Summer of 69’ by Bryan Adams (I like to enlist sexually suggestive songs to help me in wooing Mrs. Sip!). This place is always jamming and finding seating is not very difficult.

Sugar Factory – The Paris

It’s 2am and you have liquor to blame for your chocolate craving. So, you head over to the Sugar Factory, where the art of dessert has never been so exquisite. Share a gourmet fondue or sweet pizza with your loved one. They have regular food, too, in case you’re looking to satisfy your “fourth-meal” requirement. And if you want to keep your buzz up, why not try one of their signature goblets, martinis or cocktails… that will do the trick.

Well, it might be time for bed now… if not, you’re welcome to hit any one of the 24-hour buffets, food courts or a late night lounge. But guess what! Providing that you’re not going home that day, you get to do the whole nine yards (literally, if you buy nine yard-long drinks) again tomorrow!

Drink #88: Poker Face

Poker Face Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • Top with half Pineapple Juice and half Cranberry Juice
  • 0.5 oz Grand Marnier floated on top
  • Garnish with a Pineapple Wedge

This is basically – with a tweak or two – the outline of my and Mrs. Sip’s 10-year dating anniversary in 2012. What adventure will we get up to this time around? Surely it will be the subject of a future blog post, so look out for that!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink turned an interesting colour when all the ingredients came together. I’m so dedicated to garnishing drinks nicely that I took an expired can of Pineapple Wedges, just to use one for the photo. The taste was good, especially with the Grand Marnier floated at the surface.

March 8 – Pepper Delicious

A Decent Proposal

Today, we play with fire, aka red pepper. “Red pepper? In a drink?” you say… you question whether the ol’ Sip Advisor has finally lost all his mental faculties. Have the weeks of drinking and running this blog already taken a toll on this brainially fragile person? Eff that, I’m more awesome than ever! This blog is about pushing the boundaries of drinkdom and so I must share with you the joys of cocktails made with ingredients you normally wouldn’t see in a shaker. Plus, I’ll throw in a little tale about how the red pepper recipe first entered my consciousness:

Mrs. Sip and I were in Las Vegas to celebrate our 10-year dating anniversary – a decade of destruction, if you will. My liver sure thinks so. It was an amazing trip, where everything just seemed to go right for us. Most of our vacations work out this way, so we weren’t really surprised.

Vacation Fun

We were sitting at the gorgeous Hyde Lounge inside the Bellagio Hotel. Unfortunately, it was a violently windy day and the fountains were shut off, depriving visitor’s to the city of its dancing water splendor. Well, when life gives you lemonade, you push it aside and ask for a martini.

So, there we sat, at the bar with cocktails in hand, reminiscing about another amazing weekend together. The place was pretty empty, so we had a good chance to talk to the bartenders and a nice couple beside us. When they had to run off to a show, they left us with the platter they ordered which included caviar, smoked salmon, and pate. It was one of those trips where everything was clicking!

We paid our tab and were finishing the final sips of our beverages, when we were interrupted by the booming voice of a man behind us.

“Can I get you guys some drinks?” the large African-American stranger asked.

I panicked a little, foreseeing this turning into one of those ‘Indecent Proposal’ type things. He liquors us up then offers me a substantial amount of money for one night with my fiancée. And I could really use that money!

Sure ya did, honey...

Sure ya did, honey…

Let’s make one thing clear: Mrs. Sip is hot. She’s what the Spanish would call muy caliente! I’m just lucky we met at the age of 18 and I locked that sweet honeybutt down pronto (well, eight years later, but who’s counting).

So back to our drink offer. We were hesitant. After all, we had only come for one last drink before we were to head to the airport. We told our new “friend” that and he argued that we weren’t “driving” the plane (sound logic), so we could stay for one more round.

Then it popped into my head that maybe this guy would want to take ME off Mrs. Sip’s hands. I’m sure she wouldn’t hesitate to take the deal, and get a few hours off to read her books in quiet serenity without this Sip Advisor constantly prodding her to edit his blog or get naked. I wonder what rate I would go for? A bag of jellybeans and a sticker book… she’d probably still sign off on the agreement.

Still mulling over the drink offer, the stranger made our decision for us, walking over to the bartenders and talking to them. He turned to us and bluntly asked, “Do you like sweet or savoury?” Before I could answer, Mrs. Sip piped in “savoury”, and he put in an order. We didn’t know what would come next… roofie-coladas?

Roofie

When the bartender was done, I was served what seemed to be a simple vodka soda, while Mrs. Sip was given a drink garnished with a red pepper ring, that we had watched be double-strained and all that jazz. Okay, so clearly this man wasn’t after my heart. We took our first sip, thanked the stranger and told him we liked the cocktails. He paid the bar and left without saying another word. I personally felt stood up!

When he left, we asked the bartender if she knew who he was. Her reply: “He’s the Stoli Vodka rep… he does this all the time.”

Well, cross another item off the bucket list… a complete stranger bought me a drink. I don’t need to say that he was just advertising for his brand… no, he just wanted to get on board with the awesomeness. And after finding out he was a vodka rep, I would have certainly gone anywhere with him!

Drink #67: Pepper Delicious

Pepper Delicious Martini

  • 2 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • 8 Mint Leaves
  • ½ Sliced Red Pepper
  • Garnish with red pepper ring and mint leaf

Muddle the lime juice, simple syrup, mint leaves and red pepper all together, then add ice and the gin to your mixer. Shake vigorously (as if there was any other setting to be at) and strain into a martini glass. Thanks to the muddled red pepper, this drink has a sweet and subtle, but enjoyable bite to it, which the mint cools down. All in all, a pretty awesome cocktail!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Our attempt to recreate the drink we were served in Las Vegas may not have been a complete match, but I think it was a good effort and tasted very unique. I’d like to find more recipes that feature Red Pepper.

January 18 – Lounge Lizard

Bar Hopping

While being privileged to travel the world, I’ve made numerous stops in bars and lounges, some good, some bad. Here are my favourites:

JT Schmids

JT Schmid’s  Anaheim, CA

There is nothing like seeing the sea of Vancouver Canucks fans invade this bar in Anaheim (conveniently across the street from the Honda Centre) after a Canucks-Ducks NHL game. Enjoying a hefeweizen beer in the outside patio with its fire pits and heaters: $10; a mass of Canucks fans booing the hometown Anaheim fans looking to enjoy a pint: priceless!

Jimmy’s Taphouse – Vancouver, B.C.

Jimmy’s is my hometown favourite to grab a pint. Reasonably priced drinks, excellent food and the best part is that the place is just a block walk away from my apartment and has a cool view of our city’s Colosseum-style library. It is also one of the few places downtown where I can find Red Truck Lager. They also have the occasional customer appreciation night where you, the valued customer, can score some free pints and food! Jimmy (whoever he is) is my man!

Hyde-Lounge

Hyde Lounge – Las Vegas, NV

This is one of my favourite, surprisingly hidden, attractions in Sin City. Here, you can sip a wide array of martinis and other cocktails and although the drinks are a little pricey, it is well worth it for the front row view of the Bellagio’s water fountain show. I’d stay here all day if it wasn’t for the previously mentioned prices and after about 9pm, they start pumping club music into the place, rather than the music that goes so perfectly with the fountains. Therefore, after a few warm-up drinks at Hyde, and looking to stretch our money a little more, we’re off into the night, eventually ending up at…

The Pub – Las Vegas, NV

It may not have the cleverest title, but two words: dueling pianos… the greatest bar invention since the keg. This bar, located inside the Monte Carlo, is amazing. You can get a pint of beer or shot of Jameson Whiskey for $2… I am prone to doubling down and getting both. Mixing beer and liqour… it’s really the only gambling I do in Vegas. The dueling pianists – once again, that’s pianists – take requests from the audience all night long and because of the ample seating in the bar, we’ve never had an issue getting in. The food here is also decent and while there are other dueling piano locations on the strip, this is far and above, my favourite.

Willie T's

Willie T’s – Key West, FL

My wife and I did a self-guided pub crawl when our Western Caribbean cruise stopped in Key West, Florida. Pay $40 each for the cruise-sponsored excursion, only to be taken around and still have to pay for drinks on top of that??? Fuck that noise! They hit a trio of places, while we squeezed at least eight places into our crawl – best described as more of a stagger. I say at least eight because although we were trying to take a picture outside each place, well counting wasn’t our forte that day. Our preferred stop along the crawl route was Willie T’s, which is very recognizable thanks to the dollar bills stapled all around the joint. To top the story off, we paid a combined total of $50 on drinks and food!

The Fox & Fiddle – Toronto, ON

I spent a lot of good nights at The Fox & Fiddle during my year living in Toronto. Notable for its incredibly huge team pitchers (approx. two pitchers in one), it was here that I spent April Fool’s Day, Canada Day and my birthday that year, as well as my karaoke debut (probably due to the aforementioned team pitchers). Sadly, it was also the setting for my goodbye round of drinks with all the friends I made over my stay.

coco-bongo

Coco Bongo – Cancun, Mexico

I hate clubs. I mean absolutely downright hate them… except this little gem. A Mexican specialty  your cover charge is all-inclusive. They serve you tequila shots as you wait to enter the place, then once you’re inside, guess what, more tequila shots! The music is rocking, drinks are flowing freely, and just when you think it can’t get any better, the show element begins, as dancers, actors and stuntmen do takes on movies like Chicago, Spiderman and others. All of a sudden confetti and balloons are being shot around and it all gets pretty epic. What could be the cherry of this awesome sundae? Oh, I don’t know, how about a midget dressed as Beetlejuice pouring a shot into your mouth!

Drink #18: Lounge Lizard

Lounge Lizard Drink

  • 1.5 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz Disaronno
  • Top with Cola
  • Garnish with lemon wedge stand for umbrella (umbrella sold separately!)

It should be noted that I’ve found another variant to this drink, same name, but different ingredients, which completely change the look of the cocktail. The second Lounge Lizard combines melon liquer, blue Curacao, coconut rum and lemon-lime soda and you can bet your sweet bippy that I’ll be making it sometime in the future. So, continue checking back at the ol’ Sip Advisor and keep on keeping on!

Part 2 of my favourite bars will be posted in the future, along with another wonderful cocktail. Have a great weekend, all!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really enjoyed this drink. It’s simple yet delicious. It makes me wonder if there’s anything Disaronno (Amaretto) can’t mix well with, as I’ve yet to find a concoction where it doesn’t hit the spot.