August 30 – Smokestack

Mains & Sides

Well, this is the last long weekend of the summer, which means it’s primetime for all the barbecue masters out there to whip up the delicacies we crave all winter long. While I’m pretty open to anything someone is kind enough to put on my plate, here are the Top 5 barbecue foods, according to the Sip Advisor:

#5: Kangaroo

Although Mrs. Sip and I only enjoyed this barbecued delicacy once, it’s a meal I will never forget… which is a little surprising because we were on a winery tour in the Barossa Valley of Australia and well on route to a drunken bender. The meat was prepared in red wine and was so tender and juicy that we went at the offering with a piranha-like frenzy. While I would usually never commit the faux pas of eating the last remaining piece, in this case, I even stabbed some poor dude with a fork to get it!

Kangaroo Meats

#4: Corn on the Cob/Cornbread

Corn is an essential ingredient for a good barbecue and thanks to these two serving options, can be enjoyed in different forms with equally pleasurable results. While the Sip Advisor hates getting food stuck in his teeth (the main reason he loathes popcorn), corn on the cob is one situation where that fear is thrown out the window. As for cornbread, you better lay your hands off my slice or it’s dueling time. Slap some butter on either of these side dishes and you’ll be in sweet-salty heaven.

#3: Potato Chips

My affinity for the potato chip has been discussed at length, but here we go again! I love my chippies and am practically addicted to the snack treat. Like a junkie, I start itching for that sweet release that comes with the first bite and the burst of flavour that will soon fill the void in my soul. Chips are an easy side for any meal, but work best when you have a big ol’ bowl of them on display for the Sip Advisor to steal, hide in some dark, dank corner and inject straight to the veins.

potato-chips-funny-quotes

#2: Pulled Pork

There’s nothing like smacking a glob of pulled pork down onto a fresh bun, topping it with some slaw and taking a mammoth bite out of the wicked sandwich. Preferably, you next move will be to wash down that food with an ice cold brewski, thus completing two-thirds of the holy trinity. All that’s left is to take a brief cat nap and repeat the process again. God bless the pig for all the awesomeness it provides.

#1: Hot Dogs

Is there anything that smells better in this world than a barbecue grilling up hot dogs? Other meats are all well and good, too, but for my money, nothing tops some smokies! Hot dogs are so amazing that they can become the icing on the cake or the cherry on the sundae, even when purchased on the street in the wee hours of the morning after getting blitzed all night long. Somebody better get the grill going because I’m ready for a feast fit for a Sip Advisor!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Smokestack (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Aug 30

  • Rim glass with Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 oz Absolut Texas Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Chipotle Spirit
  • Garnish with Cucumber Slices

I have to throw a massive shout out and honourable mention to potato and noodle salads. Without these two brothers in mayonnaise, I don’t know how I would have survived barbecues as a little sipper picky eater!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2 Sips out of 5):
This could be the world’s next great punishment shot, even though on their own, in various cocktails, the alcohols are quite nice. Speaking of the alcohol, Mrs. Sip and I recently stumbled upon this entry in the Absolut City Series, which combines Cucumber and Serrano Chili Peppers… a perfect summer blend. The Cucumber Slices were a nice touch visually, but were a choking hazard during the actual shooter.

May 22 – Greyhound

The Great Debate

Gin and vodka have long waged a war over liquor supremacy. For example, many arguments have taken place over whether a true martini should be made with gin or vodka. Years ago, vodka surpassed gin and when it did so, a number of cocktails that used to feature the juniper tasting alcohol began a metamorphosis, which included a new name. Today we look at gin names vs. vodka names and I play god and decide which one is better.

gin_vodka_bottles

The battle often wages within the same company…

Salty Dog (Gin) vs. Greyhound (Vodka) – Winner: Greyhound

For some reason I’m perturbed by the name Salty Dog. I have no clue where this aversion lies within me, but I just don’t like the name. It’s a drink I was planning to make for Gin Week last month, but when I discovered that there was a vodka version with a more palatable name (to me at least… and I’m calling the shots), I made some edits to my calendar. And that brings us to today!

Martini (Gin) vs. Kangaroo (Vodka) – Winner: Martini

I do love me some barbecued kangaroo, but I’m afraid that’s not enough to sway this judge. I gotta go with the original Martini in this case. Many alcohol lovers will tell you that if it’s not made of gin and vermouth, it’s just not a Martini, no matter what kind of glass you serve it in. While I don’t completely agree with this line of logic, I do respect their opinion. After all, I already have enough enemies as it is.

Gins

The Gin Army

Ruddy Mary (Gin) vs. Bloody Mary (Vodka) – Winner: Bloody Mary

This one isn’t even close, as you have a classic cocktail matched up against a relatively unknown drink. That said, I would like to try the gin version of the libation and see how it compares to the vodka option. I wonder how it might have changed my perception of the Bakon Bloody Mary I made last month, although we would have tragically lost the bacon essence with the removal of Bakon Vodka.

Negroni (Gin) vs. Negroski (Vodka) – Winner: Draw

This one was tough to judge. On one hand, you have the famous drink, Negroni, but on the other hand, when vodka is substituted, you have a pretty cool name in Negroski. In a rare Sip Advisor move, I decided to call it a draw. I know, having no outcome is like kissing your sister – or at least that’s how the sports pundits always put it. Tell ya what, I’ll flip a coin… if only I could find one.

Vodkas

The Vodka Troops

Tom Collins (Gin) vs. Vodka Collins (Vodka) – Winner: Tom Collins

Much like the Bloody vs. Ruddy Mary, this one took little time to make a decision. The Tom Collins is one of my favourite drinks and I can’t even fathom changing up the way I make them (see Cool Collins). Looking back, I guess I changed the name and recipe, too. Well, now my entire world is upside down. Thankfully, I’ve always been skilled at standing on my head. And we just keep on rolling.

Gin & Tonic (Gin) vs. Vodka Tonic (Vodka) – Winner: Neither

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I don’t much care for Tonic Water. Therefore, both competitors have been disqualified and given lifetime bans from the sport.

Gin & Juice (Gin) vs. Screwdriver (Vodka) – Winner: Gin & Juice

While I’ve always been a fan of good drink names and the Screwdriver is among my favourites, I feel if I didn’t pick Gin & Juice, that Snoop Dogg would put a hit out on your national hero, the Sip Advisor. While I maintain that I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts, I am deathly scared of gats and I therefore settle the case in favour of Mr. Dogg. His drink also comes with a sweet song, so there’s that little caveat.

Drink #142: Greyhound

May 22

  • Rim glass with Salt
  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Pinnacle Citrus)
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Wedges

It’s incredible that gin and vodka can be so interchangeable, despite their very different tastes. Perhaps we should all just call a truce between the two alcohols, drink a Vesper (which combines both gin and vodka) and declare this the best summer of love EVER! Then again, the Vesper features three parts gin to one part vodka… this feud will never be over…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I was looking forward to trying this drink, despite not being a fan of Grapefruit Juice. I’ve always liked salted rims, so that probably helped in my enjoyment of the cocktail and as I figured, all the ingredients came together to make a nice mix.