November 18 – Three Wise Men

So Many Options

All you little sippers already know that I’m an ardent fan of the flavour revolution (it’s perhaps even greater than The Beatles ‘Revolution’, although Pa Sip may disagree) and its touch on whiskey is no different. Here are some of the wonderful whiskey options out there, some of which I’ve personally enjoyed and others I’m desperate to track down!

Honey Whiskey

Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey narrowly missed having itself called into The Sip Advisor Hall of Fame for this year’s inaugural class and it will likely find itself at the top of the ballot in 2014. I haven’t yet tried the Wild Turkey American Honey or Paddy Irish Whiskey Bee Sting (among others), but I’d assume they are also great liquors.

Honey Whiskeys

Ole Smoky Moonshine

Moonshine is a whiskey variant and this company has some great products available nationwide. These include Apple Pie (which I own and it tasted spectacular in my Old Fashioned recipe), Peach, and Blackberry. They also have (available only at their Gatlinburg Distillery and Store) Blueberry, Grape, Hunch Punch, Lemon Drop, Pink Lemonade, and Strawberry flavours.

Maple Whiskey

Whiskey with a maple finish… how truly Canadian! Crown Royal puts out this alcohol (just learned Jim Beam has a Maple Whiskey, too) and I’ve enjoyed it on a number of occasions, thanks to Ma and Pa Sip picking up a bottle. In particular, I used it in my cul de sac famous, original recipe martini, the Maple Donut. It was a hit with all in attendance and earned me Drink of the Year honours in my own head.

Apple Spiced Whiskey

The aforementioned Paddy Irish Whiskey has also released a product called Devil’s Apple, which sounds like a lot of fun. I like how whiskey is largely associated with the devil (Jim Beam also has their Devil’s Cut line) and that manufacturers have worked diligently to make it a badass product… even with flavoured entries.

Paddy Flavours

Pumpkin Spiced Whiskey

I’m not the biggest fan of pumpkin flavouring… that’s not to say I despise that taste, but I just prefer others ahead of it. That said, I wouldn’t mind giving this Spicebox product a shot (literally!). At the Liquor Store closest to Ma and Pa Sip, the Pumpkin Spiced offering is prominently displayed and is one of the first things I see every time I enter. Now that’s temptation!

Vanilla Spiced Whiskey – Wiser’s

The fine folks at Wiser’s have released a Vanilla Spiced flavour that is quite enjoyable. I picked up a bottle shortly after it was launched and it didn’t last very long, but I did manage to get it into a few recipes at the very start of this project, like the Spiced Sour.

Southern Comfort

While Southern Comfort is itself a whiskey variation (mixing fruit, spice and whiskey flavours), the brand has also released some intriguing options, including Cherry, Pepper and Lime. I have yet to try any of these adaptations, but I hope to do so in the near future, as I am a fan of the original Southern Comfort.

Southern Comfort Flavours

Black Velvet

This Canadian whiskey company has recently delved into the flavour game, releasing Toasted Caramel and Cinnamon Rush varietals. While I’d find it hard to substitute another product for my beloved Fireball Whiskey, I think the idea of Toasted Caramel sounds spectacular. You could even drizzle it on your ice cream for a drunken sundae!

Jim Beam Red Stag

The Jim Beam Red Stag series features products like Black Cherry Bourbon, Honey Tea Bourbon, Spiced Bourbon, and the brand new Hardcore Cider. While I’ve only tried the Black Cherry, among them, I am curious to try the other options. Black Cherry has quickly become a go-to spirit for me and tastes especially good in a Manhattan.

Jim Beam Red Stag

Cinnamon Whiskey

Speaking of Fireball, you better believe this was going to make the list. I have shared my love of this cinnamon whiskey time and again with you little sippers. I won’t bore you with the details of my passionate Fireball affair again… suffice to say I believe it to be the nectar of the gods!

Chicken Cock Whiskey

No, that doesn’t mean whiskey that tastes like chicken cock, but the Chicken Cock Whiskey company does have some very interesting flavours: Southern Spiced, Root Beer, and Cinnamon. I’m particularly interested in the Root Beer Whiskey, having been a fan of root beer soda since I was a little sipper, myself. In fact, it’s the first pop I ever loved.

Drink #322: Three Wise Men

Three Wise Men Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Johnnie Walker Scotch
  • 1 oz Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  • 1 oz Jim Beam Bourbon
  • Garnish with an Orange Wedge

Are there any whiskey flavours out there I neglected to mention? Please, pass them along to me. I’m always looking for my next liquor conquest!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Speaking of flavours, I used my Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey and Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon to make this cocktail truly interesting. While strong, the drink was quite enjoyable and not so overwhelming you just wanted to get through the glass. It has to be noted that this cocktail has a number of interesting variations, including the Christmas Wiseman (Jagermeister, Peppermint Schnapps and Cinnamon Schnapps) and the Three Men and a Baby, which adds milk to the original recipe.

Advertisements

November 15 – The Soprano

Turn Down Service

For some actors, taking a TV role when you’re considered a movie star is a step down. That just provides an opportunity for another talent to step in, knock the performance out of the park and end up doing better in the long run than the one who originally turned his nose up at the project. Here are some examples of folks who passed up on TV glory (for whatever reason):

Ray Liotta as Tony Soprano (The Sopranos)

Ray Liotta, star of movies like Goodfellas, turned down the landmark role because he wanted to focus on movies. In the time he could have been playing the mobster, Liotta made numerous films, but nothing particularly memorable. Of course James Gandolfini took the role and ran with it… straight to three Emmy’s, which launched his own chance to enter the movie world before his untimely death earlier this year.

liotta-soprano

Tom Selleck as Mitch Buchannon (Baywatch)

Tom Selleck turned down the head lifeguard role, as he didn’t want to be a sex symbol… to which I’ve always said, “too late, Mr. Magnum!” Selleck’s role refusal did give David Hasselhoff and his German minions another chance to rejoice and without it, Hasselhoff’s infamous downward spiral might have gone unnoticed. Seriously, though, who hasn’t tried to eat a floor cheeseburger in a drunken stupor!?

Michael Richards as Adrian Monk (Monk)

Fresh off his stint as crazy neighbor Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld, Michael Richards was offered the role of obsessive compulsive disorder suffering detective Adrian Monk, but he wasn’t interested in the role. ABC let the show slip away to the USA Network, which cast Tony Shalhoub , who played the intricately troubled ex-cop perfectly. Richards instead went on a racial slur-laced rant at a comedy club and would probably pay for work now.

Craig T. Nelson as Jay Pritchett (Modern Family)

Craig T. Nelson hasn’t evaded the question of why he turned down a role on the wildly popular Modern Family. He is quoted as saying the money just wasn’t good enough. The former Coach star did go on to snag up the next patriarchal role to come his way on Parenthood, leaving the living legend, Al Bundy himself, Ed O’Neill to step in a lead the 21st century family… as well as cuddle up to Sofia Vergara!

nelson-pritchett

Dana Delaney as Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City)

Ms. Delaney passed on the iconic role because she didn’t want to be in a show about sex… then why audition for a show called SEX and the City!? And really, what show doesn’t have some element of sex in it. Hell, even Sesame Street has toyed with the idea of Bert and Ernie being romantically involved! Sarah Jessica Parker took the part and became a cosmopolitan swigging female hero. Honestly, I don’t even know who Delaney is…

Thomas Jane as Don Draper (Mad Men)

I’ve already professed my hatred for Mad Men and apparently Thomas Jane, The Punisher, agrees with me! He didn’t think an intellectual show on a channel (AMC) known for movie reruns would work. You win some, you lose some. Jon Hamm stepped in and gets to drink tons of whiskey, while being lauded for an incredibly awful show. Some guys have all the luck.

Michael Keaton as Jack Shepard (Lost)

I’ve never watched Lost, but Ma and Pa Sip were die-hard fans. Apparently the character of Jack was supposed to not live past the pilot episode. When writers changed their plans, the former Batman backed out, thus avoiding the most confusing plot in television history and likely countless headaches from trying to get an understanding of what was going on!

Drink #319: The Soprano

The Soprano Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Bourbon
  • 1.5 oz Amaretto (I used Disaronno)
  • 0.5 oz Southern Comfort
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Orange Wheel

Well, that wraps up our look at those that have turned down TV roles. I myself have turned down a couple characters in my childhood acting days: Bud Bundy on Married with Children; Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell, and Alf on, well Alf. Think of the money I’ve missed out on…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Early this year, I made The Godfather cocktail. This is the Americanized version of said drink, with the use of Bourbon and Southern Comfort. I liked the recipe, but those who aren’t fans of strong, liquor-heavy beverages might want to avoid it. It wasn’t overly heavy, but it was pretty potent.

April 8 – Grumpy Old Man

Oldies, but Goodies

We’re supposed to honour and respect our elders, but the funniest ones are incoherent, maniacal, and out of touch with today’s world. That’s just the way we like them, though. From animation, to live action, to even puppets, here are the best angry octogenarians:

Grandpa Simpson – The Simpsons

Grandpa “Abe” Simpson is senile and irritable, but always lovable. In flashbacks, we learn that Abe was never really in touch with the world around him. In his senior years and angry that his family never wants to visit him, he has been known to write ranting letters to any business with an address and even yell at a cloud. I can’t really blame him though as I hate clouds with a passion, too.

Grandpa Simpson

Statler & Waldorf – The Muppet Show

These two curmudgeons spend all their time attending shows they intend to pan. When they attack, they rip into their prey with such veteran venom that it’s a modern science miracle that said victim can walk away after the lashing he or she has received. An antidote has yet to be formulated, but using the DNA of one Fozzy Bear, we hope to have a vaccine ready for distribution by 2015.

Frank Costanza/Arthur Spooner – Seinfeld/King of Queens

Jerry Stiller has proven over the years that his old man act is pure comedy gold. From the cantankerous Frank Costanza, to the petulant ever-scheming Arthur Spooner, Stiller has thrived as an old age performer. Perhaps his greatest moments came in the episode of Seinfeld “The Strike”, where Frank Costanza brings back the holiday of Festivus; including the feats of strength, airing of grievances, and let’s not forget those Festivus miracles!

Grumpy Old Men2

Mayor Adam West – Family Guy

Mayor West is the perfect candidate to lead Quahog. He erected a statue of cereal mascot Dig Em’, sent the town’s police force across the world to search for a fictional character, and legalized then quickly illegalized marijuana, as his many works in office. Sounds like your typical politician to me.

Pierce Hawthorne & Leonard Briggs – Community

Pierce Hawthorne is a sexist, racist, homophobic psychopath – all the ingredients for a wonderful character! He spends most of his time disrupting the activities of his study group, who often want him gone from the gang. Leonard Briggs is a reoccurring character on the show, who heads up a crew of other oldies-but-baddies called The Hipsters (because each member has had hip replacement surgery). Briggs also ran for student body president, changing his last name to Rodriguez to capitalize on the Latino voters.

Leonard Rodriguez

Ken Titus – Titus

Ken Titus is as nasty as they come, with his penchant for alcohol, tobacco, women, gambling and mean-spirited fun. He’s the furthest from having a heart of gold – in fact he’s had numerous heart attacks and other health issues, thus making his core as black as his soul – but that doesn’t make him any less funny. In reality, Papa Titus was just trying to raise his kids right and hoping they didn’t turn out to be ‘wussies’, as he often called them when they weren’t living up to his expectations.

Professor Farnsworth – Futurama

Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth is as dementia-ridden as they come. The owner and operator of Planet Express, he sends his crew off on missions that are doomed to fail, while inventing the most insane and useless items known to future-kind. And you can’t really blame him for losing all his marbles. At the age of 29, I feel like I’m slowly starting to lose mine and Farnsworth is somewhere between 150 and 170 years old.

Professor-Farnsworth-Thug-Life

John Gustafson & Max Goldman – Grumpy/Grumpier Old Men

Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau have appeared in numerous movies together, but nothing compares to their two entries as Grumpy Old Men. As they compete with one another and often prank each other, the laughs pile up. Along with Burgess Meredith (playing Grandpa Gustafson), the amount of old man comedy in these flicks is high and hilarious. The gag reel for these movies, shown at the end of the films are hysterical, particularly when Meredith tries a number of different lines to relay various sexual euphemisms.

Mr. Burns – The Simpsons

Monty Burns has done nearly every horrible act listed in the How to be Dastardly Handbook. He’s so evil, he even tried to block out the sun so the town would have to rely solely on his nuclear power. Nearly every person in Springfield has had a run-in with Mr. Burns, whose love of power and money come before any other feelings he may have. I still think there’s a softy buried underneath all that audacity though.

Drink #98: Grumpy Old Man

Grump Old Man Cocktail

The original recipe calls for plain Bourbon, but I used Black Cherry and must admit the result was quite fantastic (if I don’t say so myself). We must learn from those who have come before us. Unfortunately, these folks aren’t the best example of people you’d want to take notes on. Meh, we drink in their honour, anyway!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
A great drink that I wasn’t able to completely enjoy as I battled a bad flu. I ask the rhetorical question: Is there anything Black Cherry Bourbon can’t do? The combo of Ginger Ale and Sour Mix may quickly become a favourite of mine.

March 19 – PAMA-Jama

Thunder Shower

We ain’t talking about a weather system… when Mama and Papa Sip were getting hitched, their friends threw them a party where each guest brought a bottle of alcohol for the happy couple to set them up with a nice bar for the start of a new life together (marriage drives a person to alcoholism joke inserted here). Wanting to pass that tradition on, the Parents Sip planned the same party for Mrs. Sip and me, about a month prior to our wedding. This was our Thunder Shower!

Frankly, it was a wonderful break from the daily wedding planning and a chance to gauge where we were at with the guests who would soon be sharing our special day with us.

Wedding Planning

With the party being Mexican Fiesta-themed (the food included a make your own nachos, tacos and burritos bar – what can I say, Mama and Papa Sip know how to throw a good bash) we were given four bottles of tequila, as well as a couple bottles of margarita mix. Some favourites I’m known for knocking back like Fireball Whiskey, Bacardi Rum, and Smirnoff Vodka were also bequeathed to us.

There were also some new tastes to try, which I’m always happy to oblige. Cousin Sip contributed a bottle of cucumber-infused Hendricks Gin, which I have taken a particular liking to. One set of friends passed along a bottle of Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon, as well as a bottle of Cointreau. Mama and Papa Sip gifted us a bottle of Chocolate Whipped Vodka, which quickly became a favourite of Mrs. Sip, whose wine and champagne collection was topped up, too.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening with great food and drinks, good fun with friends and family, and the beginning of our wedding celebration summer.

Marriage

Why do I bring this event up? Well, for a number of reasons. My forum provides me with another chance to thank all of our guests for their generosity and truly show them how much we appreciated and enjoyed their gifts. Next, because I think every couple should get to enjoy a similar event and finally, because today’s drink features PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, a bottle we received at our Thunder Shower and although we only recently opened it, the results have been thoroughly enjoyable thus far.

Drink #78: PAMA-Jama

Pama-Jama Cocktail

  • 8 Muddled Mint Leaves
  • 1.5 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Dash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedge

This has to be one of my favourite drinks of the project to date. I wasn’t sure how much I’d like the liqueur, as I don’t have any recollection of having actually ever eaten a real pomegranate, but once again life proves that as long as alcohol is inside something, it will be enjoyed (or at least consumed). How much did I like the drink? Well, given I’m making at least 365 drinks over the next calendar year, I try not to double up too often. I ended up making three of these for myself and just had to share the recipe with Mrs. Sip. Track it down and give it a shot (literally!). You won’t be disappointed.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
A fantastic drink… I can’t say enough good things about this cocktail. It was the first time I busted out my PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur and what a wonderful mix I was treated with to begin my relationship with the spirit!