Greece – The Odyssey

Mythologically Speaking

There are some great characters found in the annuls of Greek mythology. I love shows like Hercules (the Disney cartoon, of course) and Clash of the Titans, which give you a glimpse of the legends, but in a way where you don’t feel you’re actually learning something! Let’s take a look at the most rockin’ gods and goddesses:

Zeus

The god of gods and a man you would not want to piss off. Some of his punishments are extreme, to put it lightly. To be fair, along with being the god of the sky, weather, thunder, and lightning, Zeus does also cover law, order, and justice. You probably also wouldn’t want to be a woman around Zeus, as the deity had a penchant for banging everything with a pair of legs… although I doubt missing limbs would stop the insatiable one.

Zeus on the Loose

Hercules

Played by acting icons such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Ryan Gosling (Young Hercules) and to a much lesser extent, Kevin Sorbo, numerous performers have taken on the mythical character. Hell, this year alone, there will be two films released on the demi-god, starring The Rock and Kellan Lutz, respectively. An immortal strongman, as a youngster, Hercules even strangled a snake sent to kill him and for that, we thank him.

Hades

Lord of the underworld, Hades is also known as the god of regret and every time I don’t yell at someone who deserves a sound verbal thrashing, I am overcome with remorse. Thanks to the Disney version of Hercules, Hades will forever have James Wood’s voice attached to him in my head, telling me to do bad stuff and end up in the underworld, rather than living the sweet life in the heavens… it’s a tough voice to ignore!

Dionysus

Who can’t love this little scamp; the god of wine, parties and festivals, madness, chaos, drunkenness, drugs, and ecstasy. Personally, I think that sounds like a wicked weekend. Dionysus is so much cooler than Demeter, goddess of grain, agriculture, the harvest, growth, and nourishment (although grain is needed to make many alcohols and there’s nothing wrong with a good meal). Why build up your body when Dionysus is offering you all these fun ways to ruin it!

Dionysus AA Meeting

Ares

God of war, bloodshed, and violence, without ol’ Ares, we might not have all the awesome sports we enjoy today. Sure, the world would be a safer place, but someone would eventually ruin the peace, so chaos might as well reign. The one thing I can fault Ares with is that his sacred animals includes venomous snakes, which have been noted before as the Sip Advisor’s greatest fear. I am down with Ares moodiness and act first, ask questions later mentality.

Aphrodite

This firecracker is often depicted nude or en route to getting there. The goddess of love, beauty, desire, and pleasure, that sounds about as fun as Dionysus and perhaps a weekend under the spell of each of them would be the wildest thing you’d ever experienced. Aphrodite was said to have many lovers and if you were a god, you probably would as well. She can’t be faulted for wanting to get down with her bad self with anyone willing to tango with a goddess.

Aphrodite-Goddess

Hermes

As a writer, I have to give a shout out to Hermes, god of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, language, and writing. I find it odd that the “messenger of the gods” has a sacred animal like the tortoise. You’d think it would be something faster like a cheetah or something. That said, the tortoise did beat the hare, so perhaps it’s more about an accuracy issue. Hermes also guides souls into the afterlife, so he’s a pretty busy dude.

Poseidon

I’ve always been a water enthusiast and therefore I make yearly sacrifices of cannonballs and belly flops to Poseidon, god of sea, rivers, floods, and droughts. The broski of Zeus and Hades, Poseidon lords over all bodies of water. I wonder if this includes toilets, urinals, puddles, and all manner of liquid pooling devices. Can you imagine the all mighty Poseidon showing up in your bathroom stall and pronouncing: “I am king of the crapper and you must respect my authority!”

Greece: The Odyssey

Aug 28

  • Muddle Dill Sprig and Cucumber Slices
  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.25 oz Ouzo
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Dill Sprig and Cucumber Slice

While the examples above are my list of cool gods, the following deities are on the naughty list with reason attached: Hestia (goddess of chastity – no explanation needed), Artemis (goddess of childbirth and the plague – covering both ends of the spectrum), Apollo (god of manly beauty – men should be rugged and ugly), and Athena (goddess of wisdom – who needs it).

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This was my first opportunity to put Dill in a cocktail and it made for a very interesting drink. Throw in the rogue Ouzo and you never really know what you’ll get. For any Cucumber lovers out there (of which, I am one), this is a martini you have to try.

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November 3 – Dragon’s Breath

Mythological Mayhem

I’m not really one for mythological beings, but if forced to pick a few favourites (as I’m being charged to do so here) these are the creatures I would pick:

Dragon

I like some movies based around dragons. How to Train Your Dragon was really good and Pete’s Dragon was a childhood treat. In each of those films, the dragons (Toothless and Elliot, respectively) were of a friendlier, loveable personality. I’m also a fan of the Eddie Murphy-voiced Mushu, but not particularly in the movie Mulan, but for the little dragon’s appearance as co-host of the Disney Animation Building’s ‘How to Draw’ attraction.

dragons-playing

Pegasus

The winged horse that I best remember from Disney’s Hercules cartoon, where it helped our hero Herc battle the forces of James Woods (otherwise known as Hades and evil incarnate). Wrestler Chris Benoit was also known as the Pegasus Kid and Wild Pegasus early in his career, as he toured Japan, Mexico, and Europe. Back to the stallion, one myth states that Pegasus was born from the spurting blood of a decapitated Medusa. Those Greeks sure no how to spin a yarn!

Centaur/Minotaur

Sometimes I wish I was half-man and half-beast… well, even more so than when I’m on a raging bender! What’s the difference between a centaur and a minotaur? A centaur has the body of a beast and head of a man, while a minotaur is of the opposite persuasion. While some may think that it’s hard to pick from one of these designations, I’d choose centaur in a heartbeat. That way I could look as gorgeous as I do now and be able to be a high profile athlete thanks to my tremendous lower body strength.

Unicorn

The national animal of Scotland (which still cracks me up to this day), was purported to have magic qualities. It was thought that the unicorn’s horn could be ground up and used in potions to help cure the ill. During medieval and Renaissance times, the horn of the narwhal was often sold to those looking to harness the unicorn’s powers. Nowadays, the horns of rhinoceroses are sold to those looking to increase their sexual virility. To sum up: horn = good.

unicorns-are-real

Griffin

This creature mixes the head and wings of an eagle with the body of a lion. Geez, can you imagine if lions could fly. Good luck keeping them pent up in a zoo, even if they do sleep away most of the day. I like big cats like lions and such because I think they possess a surliness of sorts. Anyway, getting back on track, the griffin combines an animal I love with an animal I detest, so what does one do in cases like that? I guess you just focus on the positives… go Hufflepuff!

Gremlin

While I prefer gremlins when their still in their Mogwai state and they haven’t been fed after midnight, like the uber cute Gizmo, they do serve an entertaining and often hilarious role even when they’ve crossed over to the dark side. Gremlins are often portrayed negatively, which has upset supporters of their society. They’re usually seen tampering with in-flight airplanes and disrupting other machinery. They should not be trusted, should you ever come across one.

Kraken

I like Kraken Black Spice Rum and shouting “Release the Kraken!” when we’re swimming in Ma and Pa Sip’s pool is a favourite pastime of mine, so the Kraken is a must for the list. The Kraken is usually depicted as an enormous sea monster, similar to a giant squid or octopus. It is capable of bringing down an entire ship and has been blamed for numerous tragedies at sea. These false accusations have caused the Kraken to remain hidden, deep beneath the surface and we may never know of its actual existence.

release-the-kraken

Gargoyle

The Disney cartoon, Gargoyles, is one of those extremely underrated shows that had enjoyable elements for kids and adults alike. Along with the humour of gargoyles adapting to a 20th century New York City (after being awakened from thousands of years trapped in stone) many storylines were dark, complex, and featured adult themes such as betrayal and hatred. Being a self-effacing person, I’ve adopted Moe Szyslak’s line about being a gargoyle, although I’m told I have model cheekbones!

Phoenix

While the first thing I think about when I hear the word Phoenix (aside from the Arizona town, of course) is Jean Grey’s evil character in X-Men (making her so much more interesting that plain old, boring Jean Grey), the Pheonix is another mythological bird that must be vanquished from the world. The only problem is, the Phoenix will continually rise from the ashes of its predecessor and haunt me with loud noises, poop bombs, and dive-bomb attacks.

Werewolf

There’s a great episode (aren’t they all!) of American Dad where Steve thinks he’s been turned into a werewolf, while at the same time, Roger has taken in a wolf to overcome his distress after the death of his two sea monkeys. Don’t just take it from me, go watch the episode. I’ve never really been a huge fan of werewolves and the whole Twilight franchise did nothing to help with that matter. Team “Who Gives a Fuck” was a more accurate take on the series.

Drink #307: Dragon’s Breath

Dragon's Breath Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Caesar Spice
  • 1.5 oz Dragonberry Rum
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Hot Sauce
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

What are your favourite mythological animals? And please don’t send me any replies citing Pokemon or anything else having to do with Japanese culture like Godzilla and Mothra. Seriously, those people come up with the craziest stuff!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I added just the right amount of Hot Sauce to this cocktail. It wasn’t so much that the drink was hard to enjoy and it wasn’t too little that you didn’t get a slight burn at the finish of each sip. I added a Caesar Spice Rim to give each sip that extra kick of heat!