Mixer Mania #23 – Word Play

Have you ever wondered where some of our sayings for approval come from? Well, as we feature Peach Juice as this week’s mixer, let’s take a look at some of those sayings and delve into their origins:

Peachy Keen

Sometimes shortened to simply ‘peachy’, the term can often be used ironically, when things aren’t going as well as originally hoped. Radio DJ Jim Hawthorne is credited with making the term popular and it was even used by Rizzo in the movie Grease.

Cool

Saxophonist Lester Young is credited with first popularizing the word cool as slang. Nicknamed Prez, Young encapsulated the African-American jazz scene of the 1940’s and the culture it inspired. The musician can also be recognized for coining the term ‘bread’ to mean money.

Being Awesome Takes Practice

Groovy

Most often heard from the cast of Scooby Doo, groovy is also a jazz slang term from the 1920’s, referring to the grooves in a vinyl record. It returned with a vengeance in the 1960’s and became a big part of the hippie counter-culture of the time.

Sweet

While diabetics and those dieting try to avoid things that are sweet, for the exact same reasons, the word has become a slang term used by folks to describe something great. After all, we all love things that are sweet… some of us just can’t have those things.

Gnarly

After going through a couple incarnations, including being used by surfers in the 1970’s to describe a dangerous wave, it was picked up by teens in the 1980’s to describe something that was excellent. The same backstory explains the word ‘Tubular’, as well.

Gnarly Test Answer.jpg

Wicked

Much more than a Broadway play, wicked can now be used to describe everything from awful to amazing things. Apparently, the concept was born and bred in Boston, Massachusetts and now that I’ve pointed that out, you can totally hear a New Englander saying it.

Awesome

Literally meaning “something which inspires awe”, with the word becoming more used as slang, it has lost some of its original significance. That said, it has brought to the world such enhanced terms as awesome sauce, awesomeness and awesometastic.

Hip

Once again, we go to the African-American jazz scene and their vernacular for this one. Meaning “fashionably current”, Wikipedia reminds us that what is hip is continuously changing. As Grampa Simpson once said: “I used to be with it, but then they changed what ‘it’ was”.

Mixer Mania #23: Shanghai Sunset

Shanghai Sunset.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Orange Vodka
  • Top with Peach Juice
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Put most of the words together and this sounds like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles work. Of course, some honourable mentions go to terms like tight, sick and bad, which imply the opposite of their original meaning.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The Grenadine didn’t show up as well as I’m used, but perhaps that’s because I went very light with it, not wanting the cocktail to become too sweet. The little fireball in the sky, courtesy of the Maraschino Cherry garnish, was still present, though.

Mixer Mania #20 – Measure of Success

Did you know that olives (the juice form being today’s feature mixer) were once used as a unit of measurement? A “k’zayit”, which translates to “like an olive” was used to estimate amounts of Jewish ceremonial foods, including challah, matzah and wine. Let’s take a look at some other odd units of measurement:

Wheaton

Based off of actor Wil Wheaton, this unit of measurement takes into account a person’s number of Twitter followers. A Wheaton is described as 500,000 followers, making a milliwheaton equivalent to 500 followers. Please take the time to follow the Sip Advisor on Twitter, so I can reach milliwheaton heights.

Sagan

As a tribute, scientist Carl Sagan’s catchphrase “billions and billions” was turned into a unit of measurement for quantity. A Sagan can now be used to describe a large quantity of anything. For example, the Sip Advisor has consumed a Sagan amount of potato chips in his lifetime.

carl-sagan

Warhol

Artist Andy Warhol once famously said (I’m paraphrasing here) that every person will famous for 15 minutes. As a result, his name has been associated with the measurement of fame. Some folks out there who have achieved kilowarhol and megawarhol status, still haven’t left the world with anything tangible… you know, your Kardashians, et al.

Waffle House Index

This measurement is used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to calculate the effect of a storm and its following recovery efforts. It’s based on the Waffle House restaurant chain’s reputation of staying open during the worst of weather, serving up breakfast, while others are afraid to step outside.

Hobo Power

Coined by radio personality Adam Carolla, this unit can be used to describe an offending odor. It is based on a scale of 1-100, with 50 hobopower leading a person to become physically ill, while 100 hobopower results in death. Of course, this is all theoretical.

homeless

MegaFonzie

We can thank Futurama for this unit, which measures one’s coolness. Developed by Professor Farnsworth, and using Happy Days character Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli as a reference point, I once took the test and came away disappointed with a rare negative rating. Ay!

Helen

Unfortunately, this is another measurement where the Sip Advisor doesn’t show well. Mrs. Sip on the other hand ranks highly when associated with Helen of Troy, who is said to have had “the face that launched a thousand ships”. Therefore, a millihelen can be used to describe the beauty it takes to launch a single ship, while any negative helen (Sip Advisor territory) causes ships to be beached.

Mixer Mania #20: Crotch Kicker

Crotch Kicker.JPG

  • Rim glass with Salt
  • 1 oz Tequila
  • Top with Sweet and Sour Mix
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Olive Juice
  • Garnish with Olives

There is also a Big Mac Index in existence, but it actually sounds kind of legitimate and recognized, so I’m not touching that one. My personal Big Mac Index is calculated as one sandwich per every second visit to the chain.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.25 Sips out of 5):
I haven’t done much experimenting with Olive Juice, aside from the Dirty Martini. I thought this cocktail was decent, with a fair mix of sweet and sour tastes. I didn’t notice the Olive Juice very much and that may have been all for the best.

Mixer Mania #7 – Promotional Propensity

If the Sip Advisor had to put his money on which soda war had the best advertising campaigns, it would probably go to the great battle of lemon-lime beverages, fought primarily between 7-Up and Sprite forces. Here are the most memorable promotions from each combatant:

7-Up: “Make 7 Up Yours”

Featuring Orlando Jones of Mad TV fame, this series first showed the comedian walking the streets in a shirt that said “Make 7” on the front and “Up Yours” on the back. He would then tell passersby to “Make 7 Up Yours”, to which those he offended would respond by saying stuff like “Same to you!” Taking advantage of the popularity of the slogan, t-shirts were even released, of which the Sip Advisor proudly owned one. The other commercials were also very funny.

Sprite: “Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst.”

This campaign featured a series of ads that poked fun at other drink company promotional concepts. One in particular, featured legendary wrestler Sting showing up to wrestle an adolescent boy, who thought swigging some Sprite would give him the skills necessary to battle the grappler. Another sees cute orange drink mascot Sun Fizz come to life, only to terrorize an entire family, including their dog. Damn, the late 90’s to early 2000’s were fun.

Mixer Mania #7: Electric Jam

Electric Jam.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

Of the two campaigns presented above, I find it very hard to pick a winner. I think I have to give the slight edge to 7-Up, given I actually owned the t-shirt and have been a long-time Mad TV fan.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I feel I’ve seen recipes similar to this before, with different names. For the Blue Curacao content, I went with my trusty foam pump, which helped finish the cool colouring of the drink. I also used Skyy Blood Orange Vodka to complete the citrus experience. All in all, the cocktail was pretty good, if a little on the sweet side.

Flavour Revolution – Peppermint

Stripped and Striped

Candy canes are one of many infamously striped items we enjoy in our daily life. Here are some of the other striped wonders the world has brought us:

Referees

Love them or hate them – and really, only a mother could love them – referees are a necessary element to most sports (albeit completely useless in baseball where computers can better detect balls and strikes). I have a theory that refs dress like zebras so fans can easily identify exactly where to direct their venomous hatred, when they feel their team has been wronged.

ref screws team

Sports Jerseys

Many teams out there on the sports landscape feature some kind of striping in their choice of jersey colours. Perhaps the most famous squad to don stripes (or in this case, pinstripes), is the New York Yankees. An urban legend exists that the Yankees adopted the pinstripe look to make portly star Babe Ruth look slimmer, but in actuality, the style was already used well before Ruth joined the franchise.

Clothes

Of course, the clothing industry is an obvious choice for striped items and some of the most iconic characters in pop culture have been known to wear these materials. Ronald McDonald sports striped socks. Similarly, two sociopaths, Dennis the Menace and Freddy Krueger, traditionally rock striped shirts. Some people think stripes don’t look good on them, while others don the look regularly.

Animals

The animal kingdom is full of creatures with stripes, including zebras, bumble bees, Bengal tigers, fish, raccoons, and even skunks. Therefore, Pepe Le Pew, Nemo, and Rocket Raccoon are among some of the popular characters that have streaks. And don’t forget that poor little kitty that always manages to accidentally gain stripes and become a target for Pepe Le Pew’s unwanted advances.

skunks as cats

Candy Stripers

I had to be careful not to type candy “strippers”, which is far more appealing than a trip to the hospital! Candy Stripers are often hospital volunteers, decked out in red and white striped uniforms. The whole concept originated in East Orange, New Jersey, all the way back in 1944, when a high school civics class project designed the uniforms to be used at the East Orange General Hospital.

Watermelons

My favourite fruit has a distinct striped pattern on its outer shell, which can be a telltale sign as to whether the melon is ripe, so long as the area between the stripes is light green. As beautiful as a watermelon looks on the outside, what we really care about is the delicious fruit inside. Watermelons should be a symbol of harmony and acceptance, because it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Crosswalks

We use them every day – not that some drivers seem to really care or notice – to “safely” moved about the world. The most famous sidewalk in existence is likely the one The Beatles crossed on their Abbey Road album cover. Since its release, thousands of Beatle-files have tried to recreate the scene, including the Sip Family… and we looked pretty good doing it.

zebra-crosswalk

Billiards Balls

Solids versus stripes… like gang warfare, that’s what the game of billiards really comes down to. The first player to sink a ball (whether it be a solid 1-7 or a striped 9-15), then works the rest of the contest to eliminate the other balls that match the ball they originally pocketed. At times, I’ve been a decent pool player, but I’m no master of the parlor game. I’ll definitely never be a pool hall hustler!

Barber Poles

Back in the day, these red, white, and blue striped poles were essential in identifying locations where one could get their hair cut… that and the many customers emerging from the shops with fresh dos. Today, the barber pole is a thing of the past. I personally blame the Barber Shop movie franchise, but that might be reaching a little.

Jail Uniforms

Up until orange jumpsuits (Orange is the New Black, after all) became the norm, we associated black and white striped clothing with criminals. This is because the uniforms were a “badge of shame” and were only changed when rehabilitation of prisoners began to be favoured over punishment. That said, to this day, if you want to dress up as a jailbird for Halloween, a black and white striped costume will do.

inmate_apparel

Flags

Most national banners out there feature a striped pattern of sorts. Most notably perhaps, is the American flag, which is iconic for its 50 stars – each representing a state within the union – and also its red and white alternating stripes. Many other countries flags are comprised of stripes, such as the United Kingdom, Greece, Cuba, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and others.

Circus Tents

After American Horror Story: Freakshow, I can’t look at circus tents the same anymore, but striping is a traditional feature of the big top venues. When the Cirque du Soleil tour comes to the city each year, everyone knows its location thanks to the colourful tent that pops up in downtown Vancouver. It also helps that it’s located in the same spot annually, but the tent definitely draws attention.

Flavour Revolution: Crème de Candy Cane

  • 1.5 oz Burnett’s Candy Cane Vodka
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Milk
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Candy Cane

Really, a striped pattern could be featured on absolutely anything. As for entries with “stripe” in their name, there’s the rock band The White Stripes and the Jamaican lager Red Stripe. Lastly, the main baddie in Gremlins is also named Stripe, thanks to his tuft of white hair.

November 11 – Gibson

Hall of Fame 2015

In 2013, we launched The Sip Advisor Hall of Fame and since then, have filled its hallowed halls with 14 entrants worthy of enshrinement. This has included a Beer and Wine Wing, as well as one for Mixers. If you’re curious about past inductees, you can check out the 2013 and 2014 festivities. Tonight, however, is all about the class of 2015!

Captain Morgan Rum

Captain Morgan was the first spiced rum I ever enjoyed and it introduced me to a wonderful world of rum variants. Since then, I’ve also become a fan of the brand’s Lime Bite release, although it is impossible to find in Canada, despite having a large Canadian presence. I won’t be petty about that, though, and blacklist the company from the Hall of Fame. As far as new products go, I’m looking forward to trying the recently released Barrel Blast (cinnamon and citrus in a cannonball-themed bottle).

Captain Morgan Cannon Blast

Absolut Vodka

Over the years, I’ve been able to try some really unique vodka flavours from Absolut, including Texas (cucumber and serrano chili), and Karnival (passion fruit and orange blossom), but there are many more to try, such as Orient Apple (ginger and red apple). Absolut was even the Sip Advisor’s selection for the Sweden entry of my Around the World project. While Absolut may not be the finest vodka on the market, it plays an important role in cocktail development, thanks to incredibly diverse line-up.

Bols Melon Liqueur

The Sip Advisor has always been a fan of melon-flavoured items and this green gem is no different. Perfect for martinis, cocktails, and shots, it is a bottle that I’m quick to replace when it runs dry. There are so many great recipes I’ve used that incorporate Melon Liqueur that it’s hard to narrow down a top choice. The House of Bols released their liqueurs in foam dispensers a couple years back (we have Blue Curacao and Crème de Bananes) and I’d love to track down the Melon Liqueur one.

Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon

Like Absolut Vodka, Jim Beam Bourbon played a role in the Around the World project, representing the United States. My affinity for the alcohol goes back much further, though. The Sip Advisor was once a participant in a murder mystery game, given the character of Jimmy Bourbon. While my Cajun accent was atrocious, I did get to carry around and drink from a bottle of Jim Beam Bourbon all night, so all was well. Later, I levelled up and grabbed the company’s Black Cherry Bourbon and the rest is history!

jim beam black cherry bourbon

Ouzo/Sambuca

These cousins are perfect for an after meal shot, helping with digestion. When Mrs. Sip and I travelled to Athens and Santorini, Greece (you know, before the country went down the crapper), a highlight of our amazing dinners was sharing some Ouzo, sometimes with the staff who has served us. The restaurants outside of Greece that have adopted the tradition are tops in my books. While the licorice-flavoured liqueurs don’t factor into many cocktails, they are still very useful spirits.

Unibroue Beer

Mrs. Sip and I are big fans of this Quebec-based brewery (perhaps the best thing since poutine and smoked meat sandwiches to come from the Canadian province), which has a line of beers that are each interesting and delicious. Last year, we were lucky to attend a pairing dinner, featuring Unibroue selections and this year we’ll be repeating the feat later this month. Our favourites from the brewery include Blanche de Chambly, La Fin du Monde, Trois Pistoles, and La Resolution.

Lemon-Lime Soda

With Pepsi and Dr. Pepper already enjoying spots within the Hall of Fame’s Mixer Wing, it’s time for Lemon-Lime Soda to join the fray. I can’t really narrow down whether I like Sprite or 7-Up (or a non-name brand variation) better, so I’ll just enshrine the entire genre. Lemon-Lime Soda doesn’t stay on the Sip Advisor’s shelf for long, often used in Tom Collins experimentation, as I try different gins. As the King of Mojitos, I’m also quick to use Lemon-Lime Soda over Club Soda, for that added flavour kick.

Hall of Fame 2015: Gibson

  • 2.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Garnish with a Cocktail Onion

Thank you for joining us on this festive evening, as we salute the booze that has made The Sip Advisor possible. Where will 2016 take us, you ask? Only time will tell!

Flavour Revolution – Lime

The Great Debate

While both Limes and Lemons were used to fight scurvy, I’ve always been partial to the little green guys. Let’s debate the benefits and cultural impact of Limes vs. Lemons and see if the Sip Advisor is justified in his love!

Health Benefits

Limes have more than double the Vitamin A of a lemon, but lemons come in with close to double the Vitamin C of a lime. I guess that makes the whole thing a wash, but that’s okay, I don’t really like getting into the whole nutrient argument too much. Let’s just say that the two zesty fruits are actually both considered incredibly healthy. Winner: Draw

Vitamins

Pie

Frankly, I enjoy my pies in the form of fruits like cherry or blueberry, but we must debate the merits of Key Lime Pie vs. Lemon Meringue Pie, despite their many similarities. Key Lime Pie is the state pie (Seriously!? They have these!) of Florida and there was even legislation introduced in 1965 – although it did not pass – that would have seen a $100 fine levied against anyone that advertised Key Lime Pie, not made with Key limes. Lemon Meringue simply does not have the same backing. Winner: Limes

Non-Alcoholic Drink

This category is pretty easy to decide. While limeade/lime cordial goes good with some cocktails, I don’t think many people drink it on its own. The same can’t be said for lemonade which is universally enjoyed and is part of the way of life in places like the southern United States, where sitting on your back porch with glass of tall, ice cold lemonade on a hot summer’s day just seems so natural. Winner: Lemons

Cocktails

With an array of options that include the Margarita, Gin & Tonic, Gimlet, Rickey, and many others, Limes easily pull out to a quick lead. And you simply can’t drink a Corona without a lime wedge stuffed inside the bottle. Lemons do produce Limoncello, Lemon Drop Schnapps and a lemon wedge goes quite nicely with most wheat beers, but because an orange wedge always trumps that, I will instead deduct points. Winner: Limes

Songs & Groups

My favourite band of all-time, Led Zeppelin, has The Lemon Song and even the enigmatic Meatloaf had the track Life is a Lemon. There’s also a group called The Lemons, as well as Blind Lemon (a play on Blind Melon), which calls itself “the UK’s hardest hitting covers band”. All limes really bring to the table is, of all things, the Coconut song. You need to put the lime in the coconut or else you won’t feel better… what a silly woman! Winner: Lemons

Characters

This is another quick steal for lemons, who offer Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon, from 30 Rock, as well as Lemony Snicket and Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6. The limes counter with Harry Lime, a character played by Orson Welles, in the film noir The Third Man (which was the most popular movie at the British box office in 1949) and a Dragon Ball Z character simply known as Lime, whose Wikipedia entry even calls him a filler character. Winner: Lemons

Liz Lemon

Spirituality

In India, limes are used to remove evil spirits, as part of the Tantra ritual. They also play a role in repelling the dreaded evil eye and are often worn as charms. Lemons on the other hand, are offered to the goddesses of Hindu temples, to cool them down from their fierce fighting style, so that they may offer blessings. I feel that anything that protects you in India is a good thing, while lemons in this case, are simply a bribe. Winner: Limes

Other

Lime has its own stone, although I’m not sure that has even the slightest bit to do with the fruit and looking up something like that might make me sleepy. There’s also Lyme Disease, which probably has even less to do with the fruit, but just by association, it doesn’t sound very good. Lastly, Limey is a slang term for British folk, likely derived from navy sailors and the whole scurvy thing. The only questionable thing I can think of for lemons, is that ‘squeezing lemons’ is a term for peeing. With all these negative aspects, is there really a winner? Winner: Double Disqualification

Flavour Revolution: Bite My Beer

Bite My Beer Cocktail

I’m sticking with my original pick of limes, but lemons sure made the decision a tough one. One thing is certain, limes and lemons come together quite nicely in Sweet & Sour Mix and perhaps we should just leave it at that!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This drink wasn’t bad, but it turned more into a sweet beer, with a little bite. Given the rum’s name, I guess that’s exactly what they were going for. I wonder if I would have felt any different if the Lemon-Lime Soda wasn’t involved, as I’m not sure mixing pop and beer is ever a good thing.

Flavour Revolution – Bubble Gum

Chewy Commemorations

Bubble gum always gets me feeling a little nostalgic. I really don’t chew it anymore and even if I do, it’s of the adult-flavoured un-fun variety. Let’s look back at some of the best brands from back in the day:

Dubble Bubble

Do you remember how amazing it was to stick your head in the Dubble Bubble 500-piece bucket and inhale!? What the company never told people is that that experience probably gave youth their very first high! I remember one time when I was young and dumb (as opposed to my current status of older and still dumb) and we were eating so much of the gum that I actually got a chewing headache. We were making gum sandwiches – a piece of gum, wrapped by two other pieces of gum – and popping the stuff like it was the last of its kind. In our frenzy, we didn’t even bother reading those amazing comics attached to the candy… yes, that was sarcasm!

Dubble Bubble Basketball

Big League Chew

The gateway gum to chewing tobacco! In actuality, it was a baseball player (minor leaguer Rob Nelson) that came up with the product, hoping to provide teammates with an option to nasty and health-hazardous chaw. He may not have ever hit the pros, but Nelson should be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame for his invention. The flavour names for Big League Chew were pretty creative. You had stuff like Outta Here Original, Ground Ball Grape, Curveball Cotton Candy, Slammin’ Strawberry, Swingin’ Sour Apple, and Wild Pitch Watermelon, all to go along with the baseball theme.

Thrills

I have never been able to explain my affinity for this gum. I mean, who really wants to put something in their mouth that tastes like soap? That’s supposed to be a punishment for swearing! Yet, I will happily pick up a pack of Thrills when I can find one. And the company is proud of the flavour – described as floral rosewater – branding its packaging with the slogan: “It still tastes like soap!”

Bubble Tape/Bubble Jug

These two unique delivery devices changed the bubble gum game and shook the industry to its core… okay, that may be a little overdramatic, but the products definitely put a new spin on how kids enjoyed their chewing. Bubble Tape was like having a six-foot tape measure that you could eat. There was even a mega roll, measuring 10 feet of chewing pleasure. As for Bubble Jug, I never could figure out their formula (I’m no Walter White… and that’s probably a good thing!), but somehow this fine powder would turn into a wad of bubble gum. Sure, the container sent the odd (and perhaps dangerous) message that you could consume what was in a laundry detergent-looking bottle, but whateves.

Bubble Tape

Card Pack Gum

How cool was it to not only get a pack of cards (sports, TV shows, movies, bands, otherwise), but also receive a little bonus treat with your collectable memorabilia? Depending on how old the pack of cards was, you were in for a stiff chewing experience! I bet someone out there chipped a tooth on this stuff at some point. For those that still have unopened packs of Topps, O-Pee-Chee, Bowman, Fleer, etc. for collecting purposes, that gum has to be at least four decades old, likely made with materials that are now banned by food and drug administrations. Now, that sounds like a fun experiment in stupidty!

Hubba Bubba

You could blow some pretty massive bubbles with these soft-chew pieces… and thanks to being less sticky than other varieties, folks didn’t have to worry about getting the gum stuck all over their face, hair, or worse. What that “worse” could be is totally up to your imagination. Perhaps the best thing about Hubba Bubba products was their overwhelming flavours, which actually lasted quite long and smelled great, even while still wrapped up.

Flavour Revolution: Purple Chew

Purple Chew Martini

Some chewable mentions go to Chiclets, Gold Nuggets, Fruit Stripe, GatorGum (the gum for athletes), and Blow Pops. Thank god there’s now a bubble gum-flavoured vodka, allowing us all to go back to our childhoods and chewing memories. At least with this version, we’re able to swallow the gum and not worry about it staying in our stomachs for years!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This recipe calls for the Three Olives Purple Vodka (grape flavoured), but since I didn’t have it on hand and really wanted to take a crack at the cocktail, I went with Grape Soda instead. This is actually the first time I have ever used Grape Soda on this site! The drink came together pretty well with a nice mixture of bubble gum and grape… likely exactly what they were going for!