Flavour Revolution – Coffee

Just Add Water

Let’s be straight: coffee is basically ground beans with the addition of water. Yup, that’s what you’re forking over good money to buy from places like Starbucks and their competitors. Admittedly, some things are just better with a splash of the wet stuff. Here are the best items where a little water goes a long way!

Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate

Of those three options, I’m more of a hot chocolate man, but I must admit that I don’t really like hot beverages much at all. I think one of the simplest pleasures in life is a cold drink… with lots of ice! It often blows my mind how expensive these drinks can be, given they’re usually comprised of something cheap (a tea bag or hot chocolate packet), simply joined by hot water.

hot drinks devil's temperature

Kool-Aid

I grew up on Kool-Aid, and the product really provided the first lessons in mixology that I ever learned. So much so, that I worked hard to perfect the right level of sugar to include in my pitchers of the juice. I had a few favourites over the years, including Blue Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Kiwi, and old-fashioned Lemon-Lime.

Ramen Noodles

Joining Kool-Aid, noodles were an essential part of my college diet. It’s amazing what one little flavour packet can do to improve your disposition in life! Okay, so the noodles probably aren’t that good for you, but they’re cheap and effective in quashing those hunger pains. Research has come along that says these noodles will lead to heart attacks and diabetes. It might be worth it!

Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s funny that a push was made through the new millennium to add more chicken, vegetables, and noodles to this classic soup, which works quite well as a cold and flu remedy. It has been my experience that people are mostly in it for the broth anyway, but if you prefer your soup to be loaded with other ingredients – let’s call them flavour enhancers – then that’s cool with the Sip Advisor.

chicken noodle soup

Pool/Hot Tub

Growing up with a backyard pool was amazing. I always wished I could have a hot tub, though, as that would be the best way to get Mrs. Sip in her bikini during the winter months! For other outdoor water fun, you could also throw together a classic Slip N’ Slide or load up a Super Soaker and get a little trigger happy!

Chia Pet

Cha-cha-cha Chia… with that innocent little jingle, the world was introduced to these potted plants. All you had to do was spread some seed (sounds dirty, eh) around the animal body, add water and before you knew it, you had a plant of your very own. Later, Chia Pets capitalized on popular characters, such as Scooby Doo and Garfield. There’s even a Barack Obama variation.

Theme Park Ride

Is there anything better than an amusement park ride that splashes down into a range of water… unless it’s the middle of winter and getting soaked is the last thing on your mind? During hot, humid days, though, these attractions can be a godsend. Some of my favourite water rides are Disney’s Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Rapids, Universal’s Jurassic Park, and Knott’s Perilous Plunge.

Flavour Revolution: Fall at Dusk

  • 1 oz Patron XO Café Liqueur
  • 1 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Dash of Basil Syrup
  • Top with Soda Water
  • Garnish with a Pineapple Wedge

I have to disclose that I am in no way a fan of coffee, unless it comes in booze form. If you are, I forgive you for your sins. Testify, my little sippers!

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Guyana – Hart of Darkness

Cult Following

While we happily looked at the legendary city of El Dorado after arriving in Guyana on this worldwide tour, today we take a somber twist and discuss the Jonestown Massacre, an event which brought the most international attention to Guyana, following the mass suicide/murder of 909 Peoples Temple cult members:

First, let’s get some background on these folks. The Peoples Temple was founded in 1956 and led by reverend Jim Jones. First established in Indianapolis, Indiana, the church was moved to Redwood Valley, California in 1966. Seeking to build a communistic community, free from the U.S. government’s involvement, the Peoples Temple set up shop in Guyana after buying jungle land from that government in 1973.

jonestown_news

As an article about Jones was set to be printed, featuring quotes from ex-Peoples Temple members, the cult leader moved his operation to Guyana, dubbing the compound, Jonestown. Things got off to a rocky start in Jonestown, as there weren’t enough cabins, making those that existed overfilled. Followers were also split up according to gender, separating married couples and families.

The conditions were rough in the humid jungle, where members were required to work long days and rest wasn’t rewarded in the evening, as Jones broadcast his non-stop thoughts over a loudspeaker all through the night. Followers weren’t allowed to leave the armed-guarded compound and escape was futile, given the remote location deep in the bush.

On November 18, 1978, U.S. congressman Leo Ryan, who was visiting Jonestown (along with worried family members of Peoples Temple worshippers and various news crews, reporters, and photographers) after hearing stories about the situation, offered to bring anyone who wanted to leave the compound back with him to America. Only a few followers accepted the proposition, scared of Jones and his power.

Jonestown Airport

As the group was set to leave, a Peoples Temple member attempted to attack Ryan. This let the whole group know they were in danger and they made their way to the nearby airport, but tragically, the planes weren’t ready to take off yet. As the ensemble waited, cult followers opened fire on them, killing five, including Ryan. Ryan’s death made him the first congressman to perish during official government duty.

Jones gathered his worshippers, told them of the attack on Ryan and his group, and warned them of repercussions from the U.S. government. He advocated for a “revolutionary act” of mass suicide and quelled the one objection to the plan. Tubs of a grape-flavoured drink (I never was a fan of grape drink), mixed with cyanide, chloral hydrate, and Valium were brought out and distributed to members – women and children first – with armed guards enforcing everyone to drink the potion.

It only took approximately five minutes for the whole congregation to perish, 303 of which were kids. As for Jones, he died after being shot in the head, although it’s inconclusive if the bullet was self-inflicted or not. Only 33 people (some of them children) survived the whole ordeal, including members who hid within the compound, escaped into the jungle or were part of the group not killed at the airport.

Jonestown Tombstone

It was later discovered that Jones, referred to as ‘Dad’ by his followers, was addicted to various drugs, which didn’t bode well for his rampant paranoia. Jones had even been arrested in the men’s room of a Los Angeles movie theatre, five years before the tragedy, for soliciting sex from an undercover cop. Although sex was banned (LAME!) at Jonestown, Jones regularly participated in intimate acts with female and male worshippers, saying it was to bring them a closer connection to him.

While the massacre bred the term ‘Drink the Kool-Aid,’ Kool-Aid wasn’t even the refreshing beverage used at all, but a knockoff called Flavor-Aid. I hope the fine makers of Kool-Aid, represented legally by their mascot the Kool-Aid Man, took every person who used the line to court and if they didn’t change their ways, were the recipient of one of Kool-Aid Man’s classic wall crashing “Oh-Yeah’s.”

Today, what was once Jonestown has disappeared back into the jungle landscape, with the buildings destroyed and the plant life overgrowing and dominating the area again. The massacre was the greatest loss of U.S. civilian life (not including natural disasters) until the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Guyana: Hart of Darkness

Hart of Darkness Martini

  • 1.5 oz Lemon Hart Rum
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Dash of Passion Fruit Syrup
  • Dash of Honey
  • Garnish with a Peach Wedge

It’s crazy to think that anyone can be swayed so dramatically as to kill themselves and allow their families to suffer such a horrible fate. Tragically, cults have popped up from time to time across the globe, feasting on the minds of the weak and needy. At least in the Cult of Sip you get frequent doses of booze… join me, won’t you!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This was a very nice martini, but I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more had I subbed in Lemon-Lime Soda, rather than Club Soda to give it a little more flash and flair. The Lemon Hart Rum is quite nice and will make for many good cocktails in the future.

August 8 – Killer Kool-Aid

Beverage of State

Did you know that a number of American states have an official beverage? That’s right, on top of having state flowers and birds, more than half of the country’s states have gone to the trouble of selecting an official drink as well. While an overwhelming number of those states have taken the easy and politically correct route of naming milk as their bevvy of choice, here are the states that chose to shake things up and ruffle some feathers (of birds… hopefully roughly… stupid birds).

Nebraska – Kool-Aid

Nebraska lamed out a little by also choosing milk as their official beverage, but they did select Kool-Aid as their state soft drink. When I was a little sipper, I knew I was destined for a life of mixology thanks to the experiments I conducted with Kool-Aid. I mixed it with a number of ingredients, searching for the next great recipe. Pepsi and Kool-Aid, or as I called it, Kontaminated Kool-Aid, provided my most favourable results.

Kool-Aid

Alabama – Conecuh Ridge Whiskey

How awesome would it be to live in a place that’s official drink was freakin’ Whiskey?! I must admit, though, I’m a little surprised that Alabama didn’t go with Moonshine as their most famous liquid offering, but I guess they had to play a little nice with the process. Good on ya, Alabama!

Massachusetts – Cranberry Juice

I guess the fine folks of Massachusetts have some serious urinary issues if they’ve chosen Cranberry Juice as their official drink. Hey, whatever keeps them healthy and happy. Cranberry Juice does factor into a lot of cocktails, so perhaps they were onto something when choosing this mixer.

Florida – Orange Juice

This is a bit of a no-brainer as Florida is renowned for their Orange Juice. I wonder if O.J. Simpson was on hand for the ceremony making the juice the official beverage of the state. This would, of course, be years before his legal troubles, but being born in California he might be partial to that states orange juice history.

orange-juice

Rhode Island – Coffee Milk

Rhode Island wanted to follow suit with much of the country, but also tried to remain unique by picking Coffee Milk. I’m supposing this means much of the state runs around with a caffeine buzz leading to insomnia and a rash of Starbucks popping up to capitalize on the movement. My take on coffee and its subsidiaries can be found here.

Maine – Moxie

Moxie is Maine’s official soft drink and is made with the bitter tasting gentian root extract. While it is Maine’s state soft drink because creator Dr. Augustin Thompson was born in the state, the drink was actually produced in Massachusetts… I smell a blood feud!

Indiana – Water

How boring of a selection is this!? It’s like it didn’t even try! Don’t get me wrong, I love my H2O and whenever I’m not consuming alcohol, I’m downing the clear stuff to balance myself out, but come on… couldn’t they settle on something with even the slightest intrigue? Shame, Indiana… kind of sounds like a cool place to live.

diet water

New Hampshire – Apple Cider

An interesting selection, indeed… apparently this decision grew from a student campaign (their teacher wanted to get kids interested in government and show them they have a voice even at their useless age!) and even Facebook page to get the government to make it all official.

South Carolina – State-Grown Tea

I’m assuming this could be used in either hot or iced tea, but perhaps I’d cause an international incident for drinking one and not the other. South Carolina is another state that picked milk as its official beverage, but State-Grown Tea is their State Hospitality Beverage… yes, such a thing exists.

Ohio – Tomato Juice

This kind of reminds me of the Simpsons episode where the town of Shelbyville is forced to worship a turnip tree (once Springfield gets its precious lemon tree back) and the citizens can’t stand eating the vile vegetable. I’m curious as to how many people actually drink the official beverage of their state regularly. P.S.: Tomato Juice is gross!

Drink #220: Killer Kool-Aid

Aug 8

  • Rim glass with Kool-Aid Powder
  • 1 oz Vodka (I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir)
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

I’m surprised more states haven’t named an official beverage. California could choose wine, given its wonderful wine regions. Washington State could go with Apple Juice thanks to the production industry there. Finally, Michigan could choose motor oil as a nod to being the home of motor vehicle manufacturing.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I have to say that this drink tastes an awful lot like Kool-Aid… plus a little bit of the hard stuff! I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, which added a nice flavour with the top shelf spirit and all was well… oh yeah!