September 12 – Life Flight

Frenzied Flights

As Mrs. Sip and I prepare for a 36-hour flight itinerary from Vancouver, Canada to Livingstone, Zambia, I am reminded of the many plane rides from hell that have entertained us over the years. Hopefully the two of us won’t have to deal with any convicts, terrorists, or venomous snakes, among other obstacles, and the journey is nothing but smooth sailings. These folks weren’t so lucky!

#5: Airplane!

Food on flights is pretty awful a majority of the time and mass food poisoning is only one of the many mishaps the passengers of Flight #209 had to deal with. Even their pilot was stricken by the illness. Personally, I’m still hesitant to touch airline meals after getting sick following our flight from Morocco to London last year and it’s not like I ever craved the barely-passable-as-food substances anyway.

airplane-boop

#4: Snakes on a Plane

While I’m fascinated by snakes, I’m also terrified of the creatures. If I was aboard a flight where dozens of the poisonous reptiles were unleashed (and stimulated to attack), the Sip Advisor would be hysterical and yes, there would be just as much cursing coming from my mouth as Samuel L. Jackson’s. You know, just minus the heroic courage and quotable punchlines!

#3: Con Air

As if snakes weren’t bad enough, imagine a plane full of violent criminals. That’s certainly not pleasant, but on the upside, you’re the one wrongly-convicted dude amongst them and you’ve served your time and just want to get home to your woman and baby girl. Of course, things don’t go according to plan and not even the worst southern accent in the history of film will help you!

first-class-passengers

#2: Air Force One

The concept of terrorists aboard an airliner became all too real, thanks to the 9/11 attacks. Back in 1997, though, it was largely Hollywood action fodder. So, Indiana Jones… er, I mean President James Marshall (played by Harrison Ford), finds himself aboard the Commander-in-Chief’s private plane, except he’s not alone. He’s joined by members of a Russian terrorist group and they’re looking for a bargaining chip.

#1: Twilight Zone

One of the worst aspects of air travel is your fellow passengers. They can be rude, smelly, anxious, obnoxious, and inconsiderate. I’ve even been on a few flights where passengers have nearly come to blows. What would be even worse, would be a passenger complaining about a monster being on the wing of your plane… especially if you’re trying to grab a little shuteye. The crazy part is the guy was actually right – dun dun dun!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Life Flight

It should also be noted that Launchpad McQuack of DuckTales and Darkwing Duck fame has one of the worst pilot records in history. Sure, once he’s up in the air, he’s a deft pilot. Problem is, he’s never met a landing that he liked, making for a white-knuckle ride every time!

May 16 – Astro Pop

Diversity Dominance

This coming Thursday (May 21) marks World Day for Cultural Diversity and I figured what better occasion to look at some of the most diverse groups ever assembled. I decided not to include any superhero collections, as they are naturally made up of very diverse individuals, from all walks of life. On with the list:

#5: Ghostwriter

This mystery solving team was made up of kids from various walks of life and even a ghost. Together, they used their puzzle solving skills to put the kibosh on evildoers… until funding for the public broadcast series ran dry. The origin story for Ghostwriter, of being a murdered Civil War slave, will make you think differently about your childhood. It also blows my mind that Samuel L. Jackson was once a character on this children’s show, given his propensity for dropping copious amounts of F-bombs in his films.

samuel-l-jackson

#4: Recess

With the Recess crew, you have the everyman leader (T.J.), star athlete (Vince), science nerd (Gretchen), tough as nails tomboy (Spinelli), gentle giant (Mikey), and army brat (Gus). With such a multi-talented group, their success and survival through games of All the Balls and issues with the playground’s elite ruling class, is completely understandable. My crew during elementary school was nothing like this, consisting of a few good-for-nothing youngsters trying to figure the world out.

#3: Guardians of the Galaxy

Let’s see, we had one genetically-modified raccoon, a basically mute tree, a warrior beast, an alien assassin… and some white guy with an awesome mixed tape! Although their coming together was pretty rocky – most of them wanted to harm, steal from, or kill one of the others – they eventually gelled into a squad capable of saving the universe. Who knows where their next adventure will take them, but it will surely showcase the group’s diverse skillset, to a wonderful soundtrack.

Samsung Guardians Galaxy

#2: Power Rangers

All the colours of the rainbow – physically and racially – make up this team of world defenders. With the original line-up, you had teens decked out in red, blue, black, yellow, and pink suits (with green soon to come). The squad was made up of a jock, a nerd, a party guy, an environmentalist, and a cheerleader. Racially, you had a few Caucasians, an African-American, and an Asian. Put them all together, like when their Zords combined to make the powerful Megazord and you have one formidable team.

#1: Captain Planet

The Planeteers literally came for across the globe, united by their passion for eliminating pollution, quelling natural disasters, and capturing eco-criminals.The team was made up of Gi (from Asia), Kwame (from Africa), Linka (from Europe), Ma-Ti (from South America), and Wheeler (from North America). The rogues gallery for this series was just as diverse (including some awesome names), with villains such as Hoggish Greedly, Verminous Skumm, Duke Nukem, Looten Plunder, and Sly Sludge.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Astro Pop

  • 0.25 oz Midori
  • 0.25 oz Blue Curacao
  • 0.25 oz Goldschlager
  • 0.25 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
  • 0.25 oz Rumple Minze
  • 0.25 oz Jagermeister

Some honourable mentions include the crews of Star Trek, Undergrads, Big Hero 6, Community, Saved by the Bell, and The Breakfast Club. Let’s keep coming together as people and being good to one another… saving the universe, one day at a time!

March 21 – The Punisher

Power to the People

Vigilantes fascinate me to a degree. People who are willing to take justice into their own hands and set the wrongs of the legal system right, taking up a cause and fighting for the people who have no voice. This list will not include super heroes who have special powers, but just ordinary folks, trying to make a difference:

#5: Casey Jones

While the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are vigilantes in their own right, it’s Casey Jones who goes out night after night with no special powers to protect him and takes care of business with an array of sports-themed weapons, highlighted by his protective mask and hockey stick armament. Jones is best remembered for his appearance in the original TMNT movie, where Michelangelo calls his “Wayne Gretzky on steroids!” and he joins the team and helps take down Shredder and the Foot Clan.

Casey Jones

#4: Dexter

The serial killer of serial killers, Dexter is there to pick up the scraps whenever the justice system fails. Operating under a code passed down to him by his father, police officer Harry Morgan, Dexter stalks his prey and once he has confirmed that they are indeed guilty as charged, he puts them in his kill room and under the knife… quite literally. It’s funny how much you can like someone that would normally be so reviled. Does the end justify his means? After all, Dexter is still a murderer.

#3: Machete

The former Mexican Federale (played by real-life ex-inmate Danny Trejo) is one badass you don’t want to mess with. Still, some idiot – drug kingpin Rogelio Torrez – decided to murder Machete’s wife and daughter, which sends Machete over the edge and seeking revenge. Machete’s kill count soars to astronomical numbers and the bloodshed is immense while his vengeance is being sought. Amusingly, Trejo’s own mother has likened calling her son by his killer character’s name.

Machete

#2: Kick-Ass

Before becoming a “superhero,” Dave Lizewski had hoped to make a difference in his crime-ridden city. He gets beat up pretty bad on his first attempt, but this results in severe nerve damage and numerous metal plates being surgically implanted in his body, thus making him somewhat impervious to pain. Along with fellow do-gooders like Hit-Girl, Colonel Stars and Stripes, Night Bitch, and Battle Guy, Kick-Ass takes to the streets to dole out some vigilante justice and keep would-be criminals in check.

#1: The Punisher

After his family is killed by members of organized crime, Frank Castle has nothing left to lose and becomes The Punisher, a vigilante who is hell bent on extracting revenge for his fallen kin and ridding the world of evildoers. The Punisher has become more of an anti-hero thanks to his willingness to take on all contracts and for the ruthless nature in which he operates. The man gets the job done, though, unwilling to let anyone get in the way of his end goal: total villain annihilation.

Super Saturday Shot Day: The Punisher

The Punisher Shot

  • Rim glass with Chocolate Sprinkles
  • 0.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • Splash of Mudslide Mix

Honourable mentions go to the A-Team, the Boondock Saints, and Batman, who narrowly misses this list because of his immense wealth, unlike other less fortunate crime fighters. Now, I will surely have Batman haunting me and stalking the Sip Advisor like some easy-to-catch prey!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
There are other Punisher/Vigilante recipes out there that I considered, but I felt this one best represented the character. I was missing both Mudslide Mix and Whip Cream (which you’re supposed to garnish the drink with), but mixed my own Mudslide ingredients (Irish Creme, Kahlua, Vodka, Milk) and went with some Chocolate Sprinkles for presentation points. The best part of this shooter is that it couldn’t be further from a punishment and is actually quite delightful!

April 25 – Gravity Wave

Sit Down, Shut Up

Last week, we looked at the Sip Advisor’s pet peeves on the field of play, committed by athletes. This week, we examine the fouls perpetrated by the fans on the sidelines… your fellow enthusiasts. Heck, one may be sitting next to you as you read this. Let’s get on with the list:

#5: TV Appearance

You know the people that work too hard to get on TV, usually yapping into their cell phone to make sure they’re getting the exposure they want… yeah, these people should be immediately ejected from the stadium and banned for an indeterminate amount of time. For one, they’re not paying attention to the action on the field of play and are more concerned with a brief game cameo. Second, they’re usually obscuring the view of other fans in that seating area. Is that really worth the price of admission?  People holding large signs can be lumped in with this group.

Fans with Signs

#4: Beer Run

I love a beer with my sports (albeit I’m not fond of the price, but whateves), but I certainly refuse to spend more time in concession line-ups than I do watching the contest. Even worse are those people who are constantly getting up and down throughout the game and blocking your view of the action. There must be some sort of cosmic law out there in the universe that says those who will be up and down throughout a game will be seated in the center of an aisle, while those who will be mostly seated will have spots on the aisle, repeatedly disturbed.

#3: Bandwagon Jumpers

If you’re not going to bother following the squad when they need the support the most, then you’re not a true fan. Sure, anyone can get behind a franchise that is loaded with stars and expanding its trophy case, but the true die-hards will be there through thick and thin. You only hope that when someone jumps off the bandwagon, they hurt themselves so seriously that they never get back on. Sadly, the world of fandom doesn’t work this way and the long-time fan suffers most, as ticket prices rise, which can be covered by those who only offer part-time backing.

bandwagon fan

#2: Yelling “Get in the Hole” for Every Shot

The obnoxious fan who started this trend should be drawn and quartered, all the while being pelted by golf balls. All you ever see today is fans shouting “get in the hole” for every single shot of a golf round. It’s particularly absurd on long par-5 tee shots, that have absolutely no chance of being sunk. I guess having some passion on the part of khaki-wearing, sweater vest-adorned golf fans is welcome, but not this way. Unfortunately, Tiger Woods followed this annoying phrase a little too closely and wound up losing his wife, kids, picture perfect image, sponsorship deals, credibility, and so much more.

#1: Leaving a Game Early

This is something I simply refuse to do. I paid good money for my seats and until the final buzzer, my ass will be stuck in said seat. Mrs. Sip and I recently attended a hockey game in Anaheim and were flabbergasted when the arena began emptying out before the shootout was even conducted. While I would NEVER leave a game early, I could at least understand if it was a blowout score, but taking off when things are all knotted up… that’s insanity! Incredulously, fans left the stadium before the Seattle Seahawks miraculous comeback over the Green Bay Packers, to punch their ticket to a second consecutive Super Bowl. Some missed out on the greatest rally the team will ever have.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Gravity Wave

Gravity Wave Shot

  • Rim glass with Caramel Sauce
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • 0.5 oz Root Beer Schnapps

I’m also greatly opposed to the wave, which is why I selected the shooter above. What’s worse is when some jackass has a few too many bevvies and tries throughout the entire game to get this crap going. What fan behaviour earns your ire? I’m curious to hear!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I gave this shot to Mrs. Sip (who is a pickier drinker than myself) prior to going out one night and she enjoyed it. I also liked it, but then again, I’m an easier to please audience. My greatest concern in constructing the shooter was how to garnish it. None of the ingredients have an obvious garnish partner, so I went with a Caramel Sauce rim, which pulled the whole thing together!

December 6 – Oil Spill

What a Year!

With the arrival of December, it’s time to reflect on the year that was. While most stories only hit the mainstream when they’re of the negative variety, there are some groups and people that had amazing calendar years. Here are the folks that had the best 2014:

#5: Hockey Canada

The Canadian Men’s Olympic hockey team has the utmost pressure on them each and every Winter Games. While Russia, as event hosts, would have loved to walk away with the gold, hockey is Canada’s game and anything but a tournament victory would not have sat well with the entire country. Therefore, it was much more palatable to watch the gold medal game, starting at 4am Vancouver time, when the boys easily defeated Sweden 3-0. It should also be noted that the Canadian Women’s Olympic hockey team took home gold, as well, thanks to some last minute heroics.

Gold In Here

#4: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

It was the fad of the 2014 summer and it was about more than cooling off and finding relief from the heat. If you were nominated to participate, you typically had 24 hours to dump a bucket of water/ice on your melon, before challenging the next round of participants. Whether you completed the task or not, you were encouraged to donate to charity. While not everyone agreed with the movement – citing the lack of money that would actually go towards curing ALS, the waste of water, health issues the challenge could result in, etc. – the Ice Bucket Challenge certainly raised the profile of ALS around the world. Mission: Accomplished!

#3: Germany Football

Winners of the 2014 World Cup of Soccer (which I predicted from the start!), Germans will hold football bragging rights until at least the 2018 contest in Russia. Mario Götze, who scored the lone goal for Germany against Argentina, to clinch the title, will be a national icon for the country for the duration of his life, and likely, long after. Germany went undefeated through the World Cup, highlighted by a 7-1 drubbing of host county and competition favourites Brazil, in the semi-finals. At the same tournament, Costa Rica became underdog fan favourites with stunning defeats over Uruguay, Italy, and Greece, before bowing out to the Netherlands on penalty kicks.

meanwhile-in-germany

#2: John Oliver

Thanks to his HBO series, Last Week Tonight, John Oliver is quickly becoming the most trusted source in news. That’s pretty good standing, given he’s a comedian anchor and his show is largely centered on making fun of the news. Mrs. Sip and I have enjoyed Oliver’s segments on FIFA, Scottish independence, student debt, and Middle East translators, among others. Oliver’s HBO contract runs through 2015 with the option for more years. And to think, all of this largely came about because Oliver was the guest host of The Daily Show in the summer of 2013, leading to rave reviews and his own program.

#1: Chris Pratt

With two monster hit movies – The LEGO Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy (third and first, respectively, in highest grossing films of the year) – to go along with his role as goofy, loveable Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation, Chris Pratt is riding high in 2014 and the sky is the limits for this talented actor. Thanks to his success, Pratt was tapped to host the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, in September. 2015 could see his star continue to rise, as he will play the lead in Jurassic World, the next installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, as well as wrap up Parks and Recreation with a 13-episode seventh and final season.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Oil Spill

Oil Spill Shot

Of course, the Sip Advisor could have also topped this list after yet another rock n’ roll year, but I’ll let the others have the spotlight! Next week, we tackle those that had a horrendous time in 2014 and probably can’t wait to see the year come to an end.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Simply layer the Jagermeister on top of the Goldschalger and you have an oil find that would make Jed Clampett blush! I think this shooter turned out pretty well image wise… the taste wasn’t bad, to boot!

Germany – Widow Maker

Just Too Sweet

In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer learns that Germany is the ‘Land of Chocolate’ and that is entirely true. In fact, Germany is home to a number of wonderful treats, even venturing beyond the world of rich, creamy goodness. Here are some of the notable items Germany is able to bring to the international potluck!

Ritter Sport

Who couldn’t fall in love with these little chocolate bars, which are divided into 16 bite-size pieces, making it easy to eat as little or as much as you desire. Although the company was founded in 1912, the famous chocolate bars for which the brand is most associated didn’t debut until 1932. The Sip Advisor’s favourite Ritter Sport choices, include Knusperkeks (milk chocolate with biscuit) and Knusperflakes (milk chocolate with cornflakes), clearly showing that mixing chocolate with a crunch is a preference. The company even has a museum dedicated to squares and everything they entail.

Ritter-Sport Truck

Haribo

Based out of Bonn, Germany, Haribo is not only a great gummy candy company, but they are the originators of the concept, creating the world’s first gummy bear in 1922. They have since dramatically expanded their lineup to include cola bottles, jelly beans, wine gums, sour cherries, and so much more, including numerous products you just can’t find outside of Europe. While I’m not the biggest fan of gummy candies, I do enjoy them from time to time and in small doses. Their slogan rings true: “Haribo makes children happy – and adults as well!”

Kinder

Although Kinder products originated with Italian company Ferrero, the brand name is German (meaning children), the chocolate is huge across Germany, and Kinder Schokolade  is kind of its own entity in the country… all that adds up to being good enough for the Sip Advisor. Mrs. Sip and I still pick up Kinder Surprise eggs from time to time, depending on what the toy inside might be. We’ve grabbed eggs that contained Disney characters – I was hoping for a Scrooge McDuck – and other lines, just for the thrill of opening that little plastic egg. The chocolate is alright, too!

Trolli

While Haribo introduced gummy bears to the world, Trolli made their own mark, unleashing gummy worms into the hands of curious children on the 60th anniversary of the gummy bear. Today, the company pushes 150,000 tons of gummies out of their factories around the world, including four in Germany alone. Trolli has been involved in one controversy that I actually find quite funny. In 2004, they released a line of Road Kill gummies, featuring chickens, squirrels, and snakes with tire tracks embedded on them. Animal rights groups squashed the candy, which seems like overkill… get it!?

trolli-weirdly-awesome

Marzipan

While marzipan is enjoyed across the globe, it is in Germany (particularly the city of Lübeck, whose marzipan is geographically protected by the European Union) where you can find entire stores dedicated to the almond meal confection. Ma Sip figures I’m a good German boy because I enjoy marzipan. That said, I did overindulge one Christmas as a teenager and ate an entire bar of marzipan in short order. Now I limit myself to small servings, spread over a few days and really only around the holiday season. When the Sip Advisor was last in Germany, I also made sure to pick up a bottle of marzipan liqueur for future cocktails!

Black Forest Cake

What foray into Germany’s famous confectionary treats would be complete without a slice of Black Forest Cake. The Sip Advisor is a huge fan of this dessert… we’re talking cake mush all over my face, grinning ear-to-ear into Black Forest Cake! There’s just something about the mix of chocolate, whipped cream, and cherries that works so well and turns this Cookie Monster into a cake lover for brief periods of time. Enjoying a cut while actually travelling through Bavaria should be on every traveler’s bucket list… get on it, my little sippers!

Germany: Widow Maker

Widow Maker Martini

  • 1 oz Jagermeister
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Germany is also home a number of famous car companies, from Porsche to BMW to Volkswagen and everything in between. I could have talked about that, but soothing my sweet tooth is so much more pleasurable!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I garnished the drink with a Maraschino Cherry as an homage to the Black Forest Cake. I had a hell of a time finding Maraschino Cherries that had stems with them, as they look so much better in cocktails over stemless Maraschino Cherries. The most interesting part of this martini is how the Jagermeister and Kahlua go so well together. A very tasty cocktail that’s not too strong, at all.

Germany – Black Blood

Beer Bash

It is certainly on mine and Mrs. Sip’s boozy bucket list to one day attend the Oktoberfest event in Munich, Germany. After all, Germany is already a place where we absolutely love the beers, food, and snacks, so why not join some fellow revelers. For now, though, let’s take a journey together to Munich and get into the spirit of the festival. Don’t forget your lederhosen!

Although named Oktoberfest, the event begins on the third weekend of September – coincidentally right around the time of the Sip Advisor’s birthday! – and lasts until the first Sunday of October. The event is over 200 years old and was first celebrated in commemoration of the marriage between King Ludwig and Queen Therese in 1810. The grounds which have always housed the festival are called Theresienwiese and are known by locals as the Wiesn.

Oktoberfest

Only breweries operating within Munich are allowed to supply the festival with their suds and each has a tent on the fairgrounds that holds thousands of people. The beers available include: Hofbräuhaus München, Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu, Paulaner Bräu, Löwenbräu, Hacker-Pschorr Bräu, and Augustiner Bräu. There’s a couple in that list I know I’ve enjoyed in the past, so things are looking up for Mr. and Mrs. Sip!

In the beginning, the beer was brewed in March with a higher alcohol percentage, so it could last through the summer. It was then expended in the fall, so as to diminish the stock for the next brewing season… and the circle of life continues endlessly. It should be noted that there is also a wine tent during the modern day Oktoberfests, appeasing all walks of life.

The festivities aren’t allowed to begin until an official 12-gun salute, followed by the mayor announcing “O’ zapft is!,” meaning “It’s tapped!” The first mug of ale is then handed to the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria, and only then can us regular folks start boozing. Oktoberfest has a carnival feel to it, as the event began as a county fair, featuring horseracing, various contests, and freak shows. The activities have changed over time, but the freak show is now just a natural occurrence.

Oktoberfest Punishment

If accompanied by an adult, 14 year olds are allowed to partake in all the joys of Oktoberfest and 16 year olds can join the fun on their own accord. Young children are even allowed to attend the festival (without drinking), although I’m not sure I’d want to leave my kids at any daycare tent there. The child crowd has resulted in numerous cases of missing kids, as many as 100 reports in 2012, thanks to parents imbibing a little too much.

In fact, the Lost and Found department is quite busy during Oktoberfest, having approximately 4,000 misplaced items come to their attention each year. Other lost possessions have included cell phones, wallets, passports, glasses, keys, clothing items, dentures, crutches, wheelchairs, strollers, and even dogs. Perhaps the most bizarre item turned in was a Viking helmet… although, it does kind of fit the whole theme.

Although swigging from glass beer steins is a highlight of the party, they weren’t used until 1892. Before that, stone and metal steins were filled with wonderful German brews. The current glass is called a Maß (good luck with the pronunciation!), which holds 1 litre of beer and will cost around €12 each pour. These steins are great souvenirs, but rather than purchase one, many tourists will try to steal it (Mrs. Sip, I’m looking at you!). This can result in a charge of theft if caught by security guards.

Oktoberfest Lost Child

If you can’t handle the stronger beer mixed with hot temperatures, you may be labeled with the term Bierleichen, which translated means Beer Corpse. Water and pop are also available for purchase to quench your thirst, but cost nearly as much as the booze, so you might as well keep drinking beer. Food options include roasted chickens, sausages, giant pretzels, and other traditional German fare.

Some downsides: While tourists may have visions of oom-pah bands playing the day away, while getting their drink on, music above 85 decibels isn’t allowed to be played until after 6:00pm. Also, to use a toilet, you will likely be charged, but that’s no different to other parts of the country and continent. This concept has provided some funny stories for the Sip Advisor over the years and travels.

To get a spot in one of the packed tents, visitors may have to purchase food and drink vouchers beforehand, sort of a reservation, exhibiting that you will make full use of the tent and drop some good money inside. Similarly, hotels book up very quickly during this time and making arrangements one year in advance is common. The price for accommodation will also be at a premium, so beware!

Oktoberfest Sleep

In 2004, a counterfeit ticket ring was busted after waiters inside a couple of the tents contacted police when they were handed suspicious vouchers. Had the scheme worked, the beer companies would have lost about $500,000 thanks to the nearly 30,000 forgeries. Sticking with crime, stein fights are known to occur and serious injuries have happened. Prosecution can lead to sentences of between six months and life in prison, depending on severity of the injuries.

Sadly, Oktoberfest has been forced into cancellation 24 times, mostly as a result of war and cholera epidemics. There were also issues during the 1920’s depression, which caused the event to be missed. On the bright side, Paris Hilton was banned from future Oktoberfests after attending the festival in 2006 as a spokesperson for a local canned wine product. She was said to have cheapened the event… a serious no-no in Munich circles.

Amid all the celebrating, a terrorist attack occurred at the 1980 Oktoberfest, where a pipe bomb was detonated, killing 13 people and injuring more than 200. Officials concluded that it was the work of right-wing extremist Gundolf Köhler, who died while placing the explosive. There is some dispute over whether Köhler acted alone or was part of a larger conspiracy.

Oktoberfest 2013 - Opening Day

The festival has jumped into the digital age with a few apps that enhance the whole experience. The event’s official app lets users input their height, weight, and how much beer they’ve consumed to learn their blood-alcohol level and how long it will take to sober up. There’s also the ‘Wiesn Flirt and Find’ app, which allows visitors to meet on the grounds for romance, a quick hook-up, or whatever else they may fancy.

If you can’t get to Germany, Oktoberfest events around the world include: Cincinnati, Ohio (largest in the United States); Denver, Colorado; Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario (largest in Canada); Blumenau, Brazil; Lima, Peru; Hong Kong, China; Bangalore, India; Hoh-Chi-Minh City, Vietnam; and Taybeh, Palestinian, of all places. Taybeh is home to the only brewery in all of the West Bank region.

Germany: Black Blood

Black Blood Cocktail

  • 1 oz Jagermeister
  • 1 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Squirt
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

If anyone out there wants to sponsor the Sip Advisor’s trip to Oktoberfest, that would be awesome. In exchange, I’ll try to steal a stein for you, risking freedom and well-being for my generous benefactor. I think it would totally be worth it!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
As per usual, I went with Grapefruit Soda over Grapefruit Juice because I’ve learned over time that I just don’t like heavy juices (orange, pineapple, etc.) in my cocktails. These colours came together really interestingly, with the yellow Squirt turning some of the Blue Curacao and Jagermeister green. It certainly isn’t black, like the drink’s name would have you thinking.