Mixer Mania #34 – Wondrous Watermelon

Up until recently, I didn’t realize Watermelon Soda was part of the Crush pop line or even existed. Given I love watermelon, this was a very happy discovery and I instantly grabbed a bottle. Much like this watermelon-based soft drink seemed mythical, let’s take a look at some legends meant to explain the existence of watermelons:

Making Papa Proud

Our first origin story comes from Vietnam, where a young prince angered his father, the king, and was banished to a deserted island. There, he found a fruit that he feared was poisonous and only consumed when all other options were gone. The fruit was tasty and extinguished his thirst. The prince then cultivated the fruit, which spread across the island. He also sent some of the fruit drifting into the sea, with his name and the island’s name carved into them. This brought others to the island, in search of the fruit. The king learned of his son’s achievements and invited him home, crowning him the next king.

Cat Watermelon

Slithering Save

Moving on to Armenia, this tale begins with a king’s servants cutting a snake’s horns off, in order to save it. As a thank you, the snake left a seed at the palace. From the seed, grew a new fruit, which was offered to an ailing old man, saving his life. The king tried the fruit next and felt invigorated. Thus, Armenians called watermelon “Not-Die”, once upon a time. I’m conflicted on this legend. On one hand, I don’t think I would ever be inclined to save a snake, but would rather chop its head off. On the other hand, the servants heroic efforts resulted in the creation of watermelon, so can I really fault them?

Passion of the Priest

We’ll wrap things up with a journey to the Philippines, where a Spanish priest was working hard to convert folks to Catholicism. One particular area was resistant to the priest’s teachings about Christ and his sacrifices. The ruler of this region eventually detained the priest and punished him according to his lessons, crucifying him on a cross. The priest succumbed to this treatment and his blood flowed into the ground below. When the ruler later returned to the cross, the priest had disappeared and in his place, a fruit had grown, its innards resembling the blood of the priest. And that’s how people get converted!

Mixer Mania #34: Nice Melons

Nice Melons.JPG

  • 2 oz Rum
  • Top with Watermelon Soda
  • Splash of Peach Juice
  • Dash of Lime/Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

There is also a legend of vampire watermelons (and pumpkins), but I’ll let you look into that yourselves…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
For this recipe, I’ve subbed Watermelon Soda and Peach Juice in place of Watermelon and Peach Pieces, respectively. I also used the last of my Bear Hug Mango Rum to up the melon content and the result was very, very good. It may be a little sweet, but that can be evened out by Club Soda. The Watermelon Soda is nice on its own, reminding me of a 7-11 Slurpee.

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Mixer Mania #30 – Blowing Bubbles

One of the things that pops into my mind when working with Bubble Gum Soda is the character of Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys. That got me thinking of other characters with similar monikers… and there’s more than you would think. Here are some of the more infamous ones:

Trailer Park Boys

The trio of Julian, Ricky and Bubbles is always on the prowl for a get-rich-quick scheme, with Julian the brain, Ricky the muscle and Bubbles the heart of any operation. Bubbles real name has never been divulged, while his nickname certainly stems from his large glasses. The kitty-loving resident of Sunnyvale Trailer Park splits his time between fixing shopping carts, wrestling as the Green Bastard and playing a mean guitar.

Bubbles Kitties

Bubble Bobble

One of my favourite video games as a youngster was Bubble Bobble, featuring the characters of Bub and Bob, two bubble dragons. This classic Taito platformer sees the twins attempt to rescue their girlfriends from the Cave of Monsters. Given the creatures are good at blowing bubbles, I wonder how Bub and Bob were rewarded for their heroic efforts!?

Bubbles the Chimpanzee

Michael Jackson bought this chimp from a Texas research facility in the 1980s and turned him into an international celebrity, with exploits including drinking tea with the mayor of Osaka, Japan. Hopefully this wasn’t an attempt by Jackson to seem more normal! Bubbles is actually still alive, aged 34, and has lived at a Florida-based sanctuary since 2005.

Little Britain

Bubbles DeVere is the worst nightmare of every health spa. She has racked up massive debts at the Hill Grange Health Spa, often roams the facility in the buff, acts like a member of the social elite, and worst of all, she refuses to ever leave the place. As you can imagine, this leads to numerous hilarious situations, which oddly make Ms. DeVere endearing.

Bubbles Little Britain

Lilo & Stitch

Former CIA agent Cobra Bubbles is the social worker overseeing Lilo and her being in the custody of her older sister Nani. Despite some initial problems, by the end of the film, Cobra is a friend to the family, knowing full well that Stitch is not the family dog, but is in fact an alien species. This is thanks to his CIA experience… the truth is out there.

Legend of Zelda

The names of enemies in video games are often quite interesting. Did you know that if you encounter a flying skull (sometimes on fire) in the Legend of Zelda franchise, that these are known as Bubble. When hero Link is hit by a Bubble, he will react in different ways, depending on the type of Bubble. Through the series, players have met Fire, Ice and Cursed Bubbles, thus far.

Detroit Lions

For whatever reason, the NFL’s Detroit Lions logo, featured predominantly on the team’s helmets and various merchandise, is nicknamed Bubbles. This is apparently more of a fan nickname and not an official one, started by radio personality Art Regner, who once opined that the lion looked like he was “batting at bubbles”. Some would argue the Detroit franchise often plays that way, too.

Mixer Mania #30: Blue Bong

Blue Bong.JPG

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Gin
  • Top with Bubble Gum Soda
  • Splash of Blue Raspberry Mixer
  • Dash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Lollipop

While not a character, the importance of bubble wrap as a packing tool and an entertainment device cannot be underestimated… just wanted to get that out there!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 out of 5 Sips):
I did halve each of the alcohol ingredients to make the cocktail more palatable and it really worked. This beverage is quite tasty, with just the right amount of sweet and sour. I was forced to garnish to cocktail with a Lollipop, as Mrs. Sip recently got rid of all the candy garnishes – including bubble gum pieces – I had lying around. Such is married life!

Mixer Mania #10 – Eye of the Beholder

In the TV series Seinfeld, there’s an infamous scene where George Costanza gets sprayed in the eye with juice from a grapefruit. This causes him to wink his eye at unfortunate times, resulting in typical episodic mayhem. Here are a few other items you wouldn’t want to get in your eyes:

Hot Sauce

Peppery flavour enhancers can burn the most hardened of mouths, so I can only imagine the excruciating pain a dollop to the eyes would cause. Somehow, this has become a viral dare for those brave stupid enough to try. It’s scary that millennials hold the future of our world in their hands and this is what they’re doing in their free time.

Spider Webs

Nothing causes some people to panic more than when they walk through a spider web. Typically formed inconveniently at face level, the victim begins flailing about and trying to get the sticky substance off their face. Then, those horrible thoughts creep in: Was it more than just a web? Could there be a spider on me? Commence full hysterical breakdown!

spider-web-dance

Shampoo

It amazes me that a substance that is used so close to the eyes has not been adapted to make it safer and painless. Sure, there Johnson & Johnson No Tears Shampoo for babies, but why hasn’t that secret ingredient been placed into the recipe of every other shampoo since!?

Finger

An errant finger to the eyes may have partly made the careers of the Three Stooges, but it’s not very fun if you’re on the receiving end of one of these attacks (accidental or not). The ol’ finger poke is still used by villainous professional wrestlers to this day and the tactic is as dastardly as ever.

Eyelash

While this is a natural occurrence, it’s one that drives the Sip Advisor absolutely insane. It is such a predicament that there are numerous step-by-step guides online with instructions on how to remove the troublemaker.

eyelashes

Tree Debris

When the Sip Advisor was still in his formative, chocolate milk days, he was once climbing tree and ended up with bristles directly in the eye. I was forced to wear an eyepatch for the next couple days, while my eye flushed the trespasser out. Still, I remember managing to still score a couple soccer goals at recess, despite the handicap.

Pepper Spray

I am loathe to put myself in any situation where one might be pepper sprayed, as the substance has been deadly or contributed to death in rare cases. Much like hot sauce, there are some idiots who view pepper spray as a challenge and I consider this a form of Darwinism.

chuck-norris-pepper-spray

Venom/Acid

The deadly spitting cobra, as well as some vipers, are known to first blind their prey by expelling venom into the victims eyes. There has also been documented stories of folks having acid thrown in their face, often by jilted lovers or competition for a companion.

Sand

It’s a widely known fact that the Sip Advisor hates sand and any place that is comprised of it: beaches, the desert, sandboxes! One of the reasons is I always seem to get some of the gritty stuff in my eye, thanks to a gust of wind. I’ll stick to my concrete jungle, thank you very much!

Mixer Mania #10: Panty Remover

Panty Remover

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Top with Grapefruit Soda
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Grapefruit Wedge

After doing research for this article, there are some insane things people have got splashed or caught in their eyes. Stay safe out there, my little sippers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
Okay, so I wasn’t a big fan of this cocktail, but my faith in Grapefruit Soda was restored when I used the remainder of my can of Squirt to make a Paloma with Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila!

Mixer Mania #5 – Simply Cran-tastic

When making a drink that involves cranberry juice, the Irish rock band The Cranberries often pop into my head. With that in mind, here are some of Ireland’s greatest musical acts:

U2

One of the most successful bands on the planet, U2 has been releasing hit after hit since 1983. Although the unit formed in 1976, it took some time before they achieved commercial success, with the album War, which featured the track Sunday Bloody Sunday. The rest is history.

probono-u2

Van Morrison

Morrison’s song Brown Eyed Girl always makes me think of Mrs. Sip and the artist is also known for hits such as Moondance and Into the Mystic. In 2016, Morrison was knighted for his musical career, as well as tourism and philanthropic achievements in his native Northern Ireland.

Enya

The new age singer is Ireland’s best-selling singles artist, despite never going out on a concert tour. Along with four Grammy Awards, Enya was also nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for her song May It Be, which was featured in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Sinead O’Connor

Most famous for her guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, where she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II – and in effect ruined her career – O’Connor is credited with hits such as Nothing Compares 2 U, which is still in steady rotation on soft rock radio stations around the world.

sinead-oconnor-bright-future

Thin Lizzy

Known primarily for their The Boys Are Back in Town hit, the rockers came together in 1969. Sadly, founding member and band leader Phil Lynott passed away in 1986 after years of drug and alcohol abuse. Some members of the group now perform as the Black Star Riders.

The Cranberries

We wrap up where we began. With songs such as Zombie and Linger to their credit, the group is still making music together, with the release of an acoustic album due out in April. The band’s members did take a six-year hiatus during the mid to late 2000’s to recharge the batteries.

Mixer Mania #5: Cape Codder

Cape Codder.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

Some other acts that deserve mentioning are folk bands The Dubliners, The Chieftains and The Irish Rovers, whose ‘trad’ music can be found in nearly every tourist attraction gift shop on the Emerald Isle.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I was looking for some spice with this cocktail, so I used my UV Sriracha Vodka, which made for a solid drink. On the downside, I like using Cranberry-Lemonade as a mixer, but had to settle for plain old Cranberry Cocktail. Them’s the breaks.

Cocktail Corner – Clean Slate

Good Riddance

As the Sip Advisor has done in years past, it’s time to look back at those that enjoyed the best and worst years in 2015. As for me, 2015 was a mixed bag of amazing experiences and personal lows. I’m happy to bid farewell to the year and start fresh with 2016. Let’s see who’s likely to join me:

#5: Jared Fogle and Subway

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Jared Fogle went from the face of Subway and role model to those looking to shed pounds, to public pariah overnight, after it was revealed he was being investigated for paying for sex with minors and receiving and distributing child pornography. The fall was even swifter than his rise to fame as spokesperson of the sandwich shop. As 2015 came to a close, Fogle was sentenced to a 15-year prison term. I wonder if he can get his precious sandwiches from behind bars?

Jared Subway

#4: Hulk Hogan

Once the greatest star the wrestling industry has ever seen, the full damage of Hulk Hogan’s leaked sex tape from 2007 was finally revealed in 2015. In the video, Hogan uses racial slurs in describing the thought of his daughter Brooke’s dating a black man and instantly, the ‘drink your milk, take your vitamins (ahem, steroids),’ all-American hero was gone. There will be no Hulking-up from this and if we ever see Hogan again in a WWE ring, it will be a complete and total shock.

#3: Sepp Blatter and FIFA

One of the most crooked sports organizations in the world was finally served a slice of humble pie, in the form of an FBI-lead investigation into corruption accusations against a number of FIFA officials and president Sepp Blatter. After originally forging ahead and even winning his bid for re-election as head of the football association, Blatter eventually chose to resign due to the scandal. Most recently, Blatter was banned from any FIFA involvement for eight years.

Sepp-Blatter-FIFA

#2: Bill Cosby

Despite a collection of friends, colleagues, and fans who are still willing to defend Bill Cosby, in light of countless drugging and sexual assault allegations, the comedy legend was finally backed into a corner and charged with sexual assault by Pennsylvania authorities, on December 30, 2015. To date, more than 50 women have come forward in recent years, claiming that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. Depending on where this heads in 2016, Cosby could top this list next year.

#1: Syrian Refugees

With images of bodies – young and old – washed ashore, as Syrian refugees attempted to flee their country for better lives, amidst civil war and unrest, this international incident finally came to the forefront in 2015. With many countries accepting the four million refugees into their borders, let’s hope that 2016 is a year in which the Syrian refugees are moved from the worst list, to the best, finding new and prosperous homes, around the world.

Cocktail Corner: Clean Slate

Jan 4

  • Rim glass with Sugar
  • 0.75 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Sour Apple Mixer
  • Top with Champagne

Some dishonourable mentions include fraudster Martin Shkreli, reality star rapist Josh Duggar, Volkswagen, Ashley Madison and their users, Ebola victims, and American police. Next week, we look at those who had a great 2015 and look to ride that momentum in the New Year.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I did some tinkering with this recipe, but the end result was a decent drink. There’s a bunch of different flavours all competing for your attention, with the Amaretto probably winning the battle. A fun drink for New Year’s celebrations.

Flavour Revolution – Violet

Pleasing Purple

I’ve always wanted to get my hands on a violet liqueur because you don’t see too many purple cocktails. With that in mind, the Sip Advisor started to think about the most notable things out there that are purple. Here is that list:

Purple Haze

Jimi Hendrix sure knew how to rock a guitar and this is one of his most recognizable songs. In fact, it was the opening track on the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s debut album, so it was technically the first time most listeners heard the band’s work. Many believe the song describes a psychedelic experience, but Hendrix called it a love song. Perhaps it was both! Also in the realm of purple-themed music is Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ and D-12’s ‘Purple Pills/Hills’.

purple hays

Purple Heart Award

Given to soldiers who are wounded or killed in action, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still handed out by the United States. The medal has been awarded since 1917 and was previously known as the Badge of Military Merit, dating all the way back to the time of George Washington. The estimates of how many times this medal has been awarded through the years is quite sobering. World War II alone accounts for 1,076,245, according to a 2009 National Geographic article.

Purple Nurple

These were the absolute worst growing up… perhaps the Indian burn was more painful in the short term, but purple nurples lasted longer in both throbbing ache and bruising. The bullying act has gone by other names, such as the titty twister and nipple cripple, but purple nurple is the name the Sip Advisor knew (and feared) it as. The purple nurple has been turned into a cocktail recipe, which sounds pretty good, combining Coconut Rum, Triple Sec, Blue Curacao, and Cranberry Juice.

purple nurple

The Color Purple

This book-turned-movie-turned-musical sees a poor, uneducated 14-year-old black girl, living in the southern U.S., deal with issues such as an abusive father, racial tension, sexism, women’s rights, and so much more. Written by Alice Walker, the book won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the National Book Award for Fiction. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg, starred a young Whoopi Goldberg and also featured the debut of Oprah Winfrey.

Purple People Eater

The tone of this song sounds like we should embrace the purple people eater, but I advocate avoiding it at all costs. The tune became a Billboard pop chart topper for about a month in 1958, which blows my mind, especially when compared to number one songs nowadays. The “one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater” made its way to also being a 1988 sci-fi-comedy family film, starring one Neil Patrick Harris. The movie’s plot is one whole sentence on Wikipedia!

Flavour Revolution: Blue Moon

There are also a few character who are memorable for their purple hue, clothing, or accessories. This list includes Ronald McDonald’s diabetic buddy Grimace; Barney the Dinosaur; Donatello of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; and the ‘Clown Prince of Crime,’ the Joker.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):
This recipe is a variation of the classic Aviation cocktail. There’s also a similar adaptation called Moonlight, which adds Cointreau and subs Lime Juice for Lemon Juice.
I upped the dose of Violette Liqueur from 0.5 oz to 1 oz, because I wanted it to be featured more

Flavour Revolution – Orange

Blood from an Orange

The blood orange is a natural mutation of a normal orange. Speaking of mutations, superheroes can’t all become invincible, receive the gift of flight, or adopt spider-like abilities. Take Captain Citrus, for example, created by Marvel for Florida Orange Juice, at a cost of $1 million. His powers include making good choices… oh and energy shields and such, by drinking orange juice each day. Here are some of the other worst mutations/special powers in comic book land:

Jubilee

Poor Jubilee… she has long been viewed as a weak link in the X-Men armor and it’s quite understandable. I mean, she’s often the youngest of the bunch and her power is shooting fireworks from her hands, which she can’t even control that well. That’s like attending a 4th of July party at your buddies place and half his stash of explosives are duds that just fizzle out. Then a big one goes off unexpectedly and everyone has to duck for cover.

discovered super power

Almighty Dollar

Real name Pennington Pennypacker (where do they come up with this stuff!), Almighty Dollar shoots pennies from his hands. While that might hurt, wouldn’t that also kind of reward your foes!? If I was a villain, I’d get Almighty Dollar’s crime fighting attention as much as possible and see how long would it took to amass a fortune. I guess he’s out of luck in countries where the penny has been rendered extinct.

Bouncing Boy

I often wonder how superheroes (and regular folk alike) discover their talents. For example, Bouncing Boy has the ability to turn into a bouncing ball. Did he one day run into a wall and bounced right off it? Bouncing Boy’s success as a mutant is best seen when battling foes with animals as sidekicks. All he has to do is start bouncing around and he will distract the creature. As for people, the odds may be stacked against him.

Cypher

A member of the X-Men, Cypher is basically a glorified translator, who should really be employed by the United Nations, rather than being an affiliate of the mutant superhero team. I mean, how many times is Cypher called upon to help the organization. Isn’t he more of a liability than any help. I have to give him kudos for a pretty cool name, but one would hope he’s capable of more than facilitating discussion.

toxic waste super powers

Dollman

Somehow we’ll have to avoid all the genital jokes, but Dollman’s special talent is being able to shrink himself to six inches… you know, the size of a doll. I suppose that being able to decrease your size has worked for some heroes in the past (Ant-Man for example), but it might be the name of this character that really irks most fans. Now if Dollman lived in the Toy Story universe, that may make more sense than the comic realm.

Arm Fall Off Boy

Have you ever wanted to be able to remove your own arm and use it as a club against your enemies? Yeah, me neither. I feel that any superhero that is named solely after their “special power” is one that is doomed to fail. Aren’t you also at a more-than-slight disadvantage when you’re using one arm to swing your other arm at foes? And couldn’t your opponent remove your arm and use it against you!?

awkward super powers

Matter Eating Lad/Maggott

These two characters are known for their ability to eat anything and everything. Why this qualified them to be comic characters and didn’t just put them on a path for competitive eating glory is beyond me. Let’s hope that Matter Eating Lad/Maggott never cross paths with Eye Scream, whose talent is that he can turn himself into ice cream. I wonder what flavour he can change into and whether we can find spoons quick enough?

Kylun

I’m not sure if being able to copy sounds is even a super power, as the dude from the Police Academy movies seemed to be quite adept at it and I wouldn’t classify him as a hero… just a funny guy. As Soundwave from Transformers showed, all you really need is a robotic recording device to do similar work. I suppose Kylun could come in handy in espionage situations, but what worth would he have in battle?

Flavour Revolution: Dracula’s Kiss

  • Muddle Orange Wedges
  • 1.5 oz. SKYY Blood Orange Vodka
  • Top with Blueberry Pomegranate Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Orange Wedge

There is one superhero with odd powers that may be closest to the Sip Advisor’s heart. Gin Genie’s special talent corresponds with the amount of booze in her system. Mrs. Sip can tell you that I operate in a similar fashion!