Barbados – Mango Crème Pie

Caribbean Queen

Well, this site has hit a new low (a near weekly occurrence, though!)… I never thought I’d write an article about pop star Rihanna, but here we find ourselves on the beautiful beaches of Barbados and she just happens to be one of the biggest things to ever come from the island country. Let’s take a look at her story:

Rihanna began singing at the age of seven and her career was launched when she signed with rapper Jay-Z’s Def Jam Records (to a six-record deal, no less). It wasn’t until her third album Good Girl Gone Bad, featuring the track ‘Umbrella’ that things really took off for the artist. Since then, Rihanna has worked with some of music’s biggest names, including Eminem, Kanye West, Coldplay, and, of course, Jay-Z. Her other hits include ‘Take a Bow,’ ‘Disturbia,’ ‘Only Girl (In the World),’ ‘We Found Love,’ ‘Diamonds,’ and ‘Stay.’

Rihanna Umbrella

Ironically, Rihanna had to ban people from bringing umbrellas to her concerts, afraid that fans would try to impersonate her dance moves with the rain deflectors and wind up injuring fellow concert-goers. It is for these same reasons that I banned people from bringing cocktail shakers into my performances. Nobody knows how to make love to a shaker like the Sip Advisor!

In an industry run amuck with nicknames, Rihanna is no different. Her monikers include RiRi, the Barbados Babe, Caribbean Queen, and even Rihanna… that’s because the singer’s real name is Robyn Fenty and her middle name has become her stage name. I wonder if the same goes for Madonna, Bono, Sting, and the list goes on and on. Speaking of Madonna, Rihanna has referenced the ‘Material Girl’ as her idol, going so far as to say that she wants to be the “Black Madonna”. Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, and the late Aaliyah, among others, have also influenced the Barbadian.

Rihanna has taken home seven Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, 22 Billboard Music Awards (these must be easier to get), and two BRIT Awards. Her worldwide sales total 30 million albums and 120 million singles. She has enjoyed 13 chart-topping songs and has seen her name on lists like Forbes’ Most Powerful Celebrities and TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

This year, Rihanna will receive a Fashion Icon lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The girl is only 26 and she’s already being handed lifetime achievements. Damn, the fashion world is so ridiculous. Chew’em up and spit’em out before they’re 30… that’s a lifetime in fashion.

rihanna no hugs

I won’t go into details about the elephant in the room; Rihanna’s assault at the hands of Chris Brown, as that loser doesn’t deserve any attention from this site. All I’ll write, is that this wasn’t the first time her life was tumultuous. Growing up, her father was addicted to cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol and her parents rocky relationship ended in divorce when she was 14. Rihanna was an army cadet growing up, with fellow performer Shontelle as her drill sergeant, but dropped out of school before graduating to pursue her musical career.

Not solely devoted to the music world, Rihanna has appeared in four movies, including Bring it On: All or Nothing; Battleship; This is the End; and Home (an animated film to be released later this year). For her role as Petty Officer Cora Raikes in Battleship, Rihanna was bestowed both a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress and a Teen Choice Award, proving that adolescents today are idiots.

The sex symbol has also appeared on the cover of a number of publications, most notably, Maxim, FHM, Rolling Stone, and GQ has been romantically linked to baseball player Matt Kemp, as well as rapper Drake. Despite the magazine appearances, she has turned down offers to pose for Playboy on several occasions.

Following in the footsteps of other bombshells, Rihanna has unleashed a few fragrances upon the world. Her scents include ‘Reb’l Fleur’ (2011), ‘Rebelle’ (2012), ‘Nude’ (2012), and ‘Rogue’ (2013). MAC Cosmetics also released a Rihanna line of makeup dubbed ‘RiRi hearts MAC’ (begging the question: who comes up with all these shitty names!?).

rihanna-sideshow-bob

And somehow she still became a fashion icon!

 

Rihanna’s Believe Foundation was created to help terminally ill children. The charity also provides medical supplies, school supplies, and toys to kids in need.

For the fans of inked girls out there, Rihanna offers a number of tattoo options. The list actually seems almost endless, but working our way from head to foot: Pisces sign behind right ear; star in left ear; a trail of stars down her neck, as well as a rebelle fleur; the date 4/11/1986 in roman numerals on her left shoulder; “Never a Failure, Always a Lesson” on her right shoulder; a cross on her collar bone; “Freedom in Messiah” and a handgun on her ribs; a Sanskrit prayer on her hip; a goddess Isis on her stomach; a henna-style dragon claw on her hand; “Love” on her left middle finger; “Shhh…” on her right index finger; “Thug Life” on her knuckles; a skull with a pink hair bow on the back of her foot; a gun-shaped Egyptian falcon on her right foot; and music note on her ankle. I think I covered them all, but now I’m out of breath!

Rihanna’s 777 Tour featured the artist performing seven shows, in seven countries, over seven days.

rihanna-xmas-card

After winning Gillette’s Venus Breeze ‘Celebrity Legs of a Goddess’ Award in 2007, Rihanna promptly insured her gams for $1 million. That same year, she was named the official face of Barbados tourism and holds the title of Ambassador for Culture and Youth. The home country accolades continued to roll in for Rihanna in 2008 when a national holiday was created in her honour. She responded with a free concert for her country folk.

In 2013, Rihanna joined some prestigious company when she had a UK Singles Chart number one for the seventh consecutive year. The others to achieve the feat were Elvis Presley and The Beatles. She is also tied for third most number one singles (13) on the Billboard Hot 100 with Michael Jackson.

Barbados: Mango Crème Pie

Mango Creme Pie Martini

  • 1.5 oz Mango Rum
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Splash of Whip Cream
  • Garnish with Whip Creamed Lime Wedge

This wraps up the TMZ edition of The Sip Advisor. Before this article, I could probably only name a couple songs by Rihanna or featuring Rihanna… and I’m thankful to say that fact remains true! Nothing against the pop princess, but it’s just not my type of music.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This was a tasty, light martini that provided a rare occasion to appreciate Pineapple Juice. It wasn’t too sweet, which I was worried about going into the drink. The Whip Cream dollop on top of the Lime Wedge was fun and unique. The recipe I read says you should float the Lime Wedge, but when I tried that, it just sank into the cocktail. Perhaps a thin lime wheel would have been more suitable.

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Dominican Republic – Hot Mama

Batter Up

While baseball may have been invented in the United States and is the country’s national pastime, our next stop, the Dominican Republic, is the reigning World Baseball Classic champions (sweeping the tournament) and home to some of the greatest players to ply their craft in the major leagues. Here are some facts about the baseball greats that come from the D.R.:

Ozzie Virgil, Sr.

Along with being the first Dominican player to ever suit up in Major League Baseball on September 23, 1956, Virgil was also the first non-white man to play for the Detroit Tigers. After a career as a utility player (being able to fill a variety of field positions) spanning 1956-69, Virgil entered the coaching game for 19 seasons. The Osvaldo Virgil National Airport was opened in 2006, serving Virgil’s hometown of Monte Cristi.

1985 Topps Virgil

Anyone else notice that father and son’s first names are spelled differently!?

Juan Marichal

Marichal is currently the only Dominican player to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is half of what is known as “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched,” as he compiled a 16-inning complete game shutout. Marichal is also remembered for an incident in which he beat catcher Johnny Roseboro over the head with his bat, causing a bench-clearing brawl. Marichal and Roseboro eventually became good friends, jointly autographing photos of the episode.

Robinson Cano

When the D.R. won the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Cano was named MVP of the tournament. His father also had a brief MLB career and he was named after Jackie Robinson, who broke the colour barrier in baseball in 1947. Known for his charity work, Cano has a pediatric rehabilitation ward named after him at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Cano is one of the athletes to enlist rapper Jay-Z as his agent and it paid off with a 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle.

Pedro Martinez

Martinez was twice denied perfect games (no hits or walks allowed) because of unusual circumstances. In 1995, he was 7⅓ innings deep when he threw a pitch that hit batter Reggie Sanders. The next season, Martinez took a perfect game into extra innings and was hit off in the bottom of the 10th, nullifying his perfect effort. All this, despite being undersized compared to his power pitcher contemporaries. At one time, Martinez signed the richest contract ever given to a pitcher at $75 million over six years.

Pedro Martinez

Can’t forget the time Martinez threw 72-year-old Yankee base coach Don Zimmer to the ground… ah, he had it coming!

Julian Javier

Javier earned the nickname ‘The Phantom’ for his ability to evade runners trying to steal second base. I once tried to steal second base on Mrs. Sip and the results were similar. Showing a hot temper that seems to run through a number of Dominican stars, Javier was once suspended indefinitely for striking an umpire. The penalty was later cut to three days and a fine of $50 (justice served). Given his suspension occurred while playing in the Dominican League and not MLB, this is not entirely surprising.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano is credited with one of baseball’s rarest feats: striking out four batters in one inning… a marvelous feat given a team need only record three outs to end their defensive half of the inning. How it happens, is that when a batter reaches his third strike, if the ball is not caught by the catcher, the batter can then become a runner and reach base, so long as there is no runner already at first and he is not tagged or forced out. Only 67 pitchers have managed the feat over the long history of MLB.

David Ortiz

Big Papi, as he’s affectionately known, is keen on looking after young kids in need. In 2008, he released a charity wine dubbed Vintage Papi, which raised $150,000 for his David Ortiz Children’s Fund. Playing a majority of his career as a designated hitter (ie. not being relied upon to do any fielding) Ortiz holds the all-time record for homers by a DH. His popularity in Boston is off the charts and in 2013, Ortiz finished third in Boston’s mayoral race with 560 write-in votes.

Big Papi - Esther Rolle

For the Good Times fans out there!

Manny Ramírez

Manny Being Manny” was a term used to describe the power hitter’s erratic behavior, including: missing games while suffering from pharyngitis (which just sounds phony), but being spotted in a bar; getting into altercations with his own teammates; disappearing from the field in the middle of a game for a bathroom break; and pushing a 64-year-old traveling secretary when he was unable to fulfill Ramirez’s request for tickets. On the flip side, Ramirez was a clutch slugger and holds the record for most home runs in the playoffs with 29.

Albert Pujols

Try saying his last name without laughing… go ahead, I dare you! Anyway, Pujols (pronounced Poo-Holes… I know, too easy) became an American citizen in 2007, following a perfect score on his citizenship test. Despite this, he has repeatedly tried to aid the people of the D.R. by bringing medical supplies, as well as doctors and dentists to the country to help its poor. His foundation’s annual golf tournament is played to raise money to send dentists to the Dominican.

Albert-Pujols

In case y’all needed proof!

Jose Bautista

The two-time home run champion holds the dubious distinction of being on five different MLB rosters in one season. In 2004, Bautista made his MLB debut with the Baltimore Orioles after being selected in the Rule 5 Draft from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was then claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and later purchased by the Kansas City Royals. The Royals traded Bautista to the New York Mets, who sent him back to Pittsburgh in another trade. I hope he never got too cozy.

Sammy Sosa

Sosa is best remembered for his 1998 duel with Mark McGwire, as both men attempted to break the home run record of 61 in a season. Sadly, both Sosa and McGwire have since been tainted by baseball’s steroid era and their achievements that memorable season have been tarnished. Coincidentally, Sosa hit his 600th homerun (one of only five players to do so) off Jason Marquis, who was wearing Sosa’s #21 jersey with the team he had the most success with, the Chicago Cubs.

Dominican Republic: Hot Mama

Hot Mama Drink Recipe

  • Muddle Lemon and Orange Wedges
  • 2 oz Mamajuana
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Chili Chocolate Syrup
  • Pinch of Brown Sugar
  • Garnish with an Orange Wedge

The Dominican Republic is second behind only the U.S. for having the most number of players in Major League Baseball. Perhaps one day, they’ll surpass the States in this regard and the Baseball Hall of Fame will have to be more to Santo Domingo or Punta Cana for easier tourist access.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
While this drink was good, the Orange Juice hid most of the ingredients. After the first taste, Mrs. Sip and I agreed to douse the cocktail with some more Mamajuana, as well as Chili Chocolate Syrup. The drink probably gets some bonus points thanks to how beautiful it looks with the orange-red blend of colouring.