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.

Latvia – Kretchma

Triple Threat

Mikhail Baryshnikov is perhaps the most famous person to call Latvia home. The dancer-turned-choreographer, considered to be one of the greatest performers of his generation, if not all-time, was born in Latvia’s capital city of Riga in 1948. Let’s take a look at the man who has transcended his art and entered other realms of entertainment!

The son of an engineer and a dressmaker, Baryshnikov began his ballet studies at the age of 12. His talent was quickly recognized and in 1964, he was moved to the Vaganova School in what is now St. Petersburg. Early in his career, Baryshnikov was partnered with top Russian ballerina Irina Kolpakova, while they were members of the Kirov Ballet in the former Leningrad.

dance class plie

Baryshnikov defected to Canada in 1974, searching for artistic freedom, instead of being pigeon-holed as a ballet dancer. He quickly joined the American Ballet Theatre and later New York City Ballet, where he also took over the artistic direction of the troupe. Some of Baryshnikov’s best work came while partnered with Twyla Tharp. The two completed projects that include Push Comes to Shove, The Little Ballet, and Sinatra Suite.

The 1977 movie The Turning Point brought Baryshnikov’s talent to the mainstream and introduced a decade-long ballet craze to the United States. Playing Yuri Kopeikine, a Russian dancer and playboy, Baryshnikov was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. The film starred Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine and is about the drama of the dance world… a precursor to the Step Up series, perhaps!?

Baryshnikov’s other film credits include Giselle (also the work in which he made his stage debut in 1967) and White Nights, which is not about cocaine-fuelled parties. White Nights actually teamed Baryshnikov with legendary tap dancer Gregory Hines. The movie featured a number of memorable dance scenes, including one where Baryshnikov pirouettes 14 times while in cowboy boots.

perfect pirouette

On the smaller screen, Baryshnikov appeared in the final season of Sex and the City, as Aleksandr Petrovsky, a successful Russian artist. The character pursues main character Carrie Bradshaw, despite being much older and already having a grown child. Although he convinces Carrie to move to Paris with him, the relationship doesn’t work out and the series ends with Carrie and Mr. Big back together. I never thought I’d write an entire paragraph on a Sex and the City plot.

Baryshnikov’s nickname is Misha, a term which normally might only be used by the man’s close friends and family. After so many people struggled to pronounce his name correctly, he encouraged the use of Misha by friends, family, and fans alike. Baryshnikov used his nickname as the moniker for the perfume he released in 1989. I’ll still never really get why men are able to put out fragrances for women and vice versa, but who am I to question the way the world works.

baryshnikov-quote

Current American Horror Story star, Jessica Lange and Baryshnikov were in a relationship from 1976 to 1982 and have a child, Aleksandra (born 1981) together. The two apparently spoke French when they first met, as Baryshnikov had yet to learn English. A rare heterosexual in the dance world, he also had relationships with ballerinas Gelsey Kirkland and Lisa Rinehart, the latter of which, he has three kids (Peter, Anna, and Sofia) with.

With fellow choreographer Mark Morris, Baryshnikov operated his own modern dance company, The White Oak Dance Project, from 1990-2002. In 2005, he opened the Baryshnikov Arts Centre in New York. He was recently seen in an uncredited role, as Interior Minister Sorokin, in 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Baryshnikov has even been honoured with cocktails based on his life and career. The drinks include Dancer, Actor, and World Citizen… now that’s a triple threat!

Latvia: Kretchma

Kretchma Martini

  • 1 oz Stoli Vodka
  • 1 oz Creme de Cacao
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

The only real knock I have against Baryshnikov is that he asked for asylum in the city I hate the most in this beautiful country of Canada. That would be Toronto, the center of the universe according to anyone who lives there. Other than that, the guy’s okay in my books!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This is a very good cocktail, especially when you use Stoli’s Salted Karamel Vodka. The Grenadine gives it a terrific colour and I’m always surprised at how well Lemon Juice and Creme de Cacao work together.

Hungary – Breakfast at the Bar

Scourge of God

While Attila the Hun’s empire stretched across much of what is now Europe, he is greatly associated with the people of Hungary, thanks to the Hungarian Royal Court laying claim to him as their own ancestor. Let’s take a look at this brutal legend and sort the fact from the fiction:

Attila wasn’t a big dude (perhaps for his time he was), despite how he’s depicted in modern media as a hulking brute. His tale of the tape stated that Attila was only 5’6” and 145 lbs. When Rugila (king of the Huns) died, he left the Hunnic Empire to his nephews, Attila and Breda. Eventually, Attila tired of sharing the kingdom with his brother and had him killed. Attila ruled from 434 AD to 453 AD and was a terror to both the Eastern and Western Roman Empire.

Attila Inspired

Nobody knows exactly what Attila the Hun looked like, although he’s often depicted in his leather armor and with rough facial features and disheveled hair. Scholars debate over whether Attila would have had European features (like a Viking) or Asian characteristics (like a Mongolian). Although viewed and depicted as a cruel and ruthless leader, Attila was said to also possess great diplomatic skills.

Attila picked up a number of not-so-kind nicknames and credits during his lifetime and centuries later, as historians examined his reign of terror. He was known as the ‘Scourge of God,’ but that’s a title he actually gave himself. The History Channels ‘Ancients Behaving Badly’ named Attila ‘history’s first great terrorist’ and ranked him as history’s greatest psychopath. Count Dracula (in Bram Stoker’s Dracula) went so far to claim to be a descendant of the warrior, perhaps explaining his own bloodlust.

Despite his status as a legendary conqueror and barbarian, Attila died of a common nosebleed, choking on the blood. Researchers have thought that other factors contributed to his demise, such as alcoholism, which caused a rupture in his esophagus and death from internal bleeding. Attila’s death occurred on the same day as his marriage to the princess, Ildico, and therefore, poisoning has often been speculated as a cause of death.

Attila Death

Attila’s burial was shrouded in secrecy, with all those who witnessed the interment being executed. He may have been buried under part of the Tisza River (with the waters temporarily diverted) in a tomb of gold, silver, and iron. Although Attila was succeeded by his son, Ellac, his other children began fighting over Hun territory and the empire was divided, causing the Hun legacy to dissipate.

There have been TV mini-series and movies based off Attila and he has made appearances or been referenced in many other projects. In the Night at the Museum movies, he is portrayed as being simply misunderstood and in need of help. In an episode of Married with Children, he lines up on the devil’s football team to battle Al Bundy, with Bundy’s chance to return to earth up for grabs.

Attila has been used in many other forms of media, including as an occasional adversary to Hagar the Horrible in comics; as part of a planned, but never completed opera by Beethoven; as a hero and villain in various video games; and as a political euphemism, to describe an extreme conservative. McFarlane Toys even released an action figure of the iconic thug, as part of the series, ‘McFarlane’s Monsters III: 6 Faces of Madness.’

Attila Personal Trainer

On Spike TV’s ‘Deadliest Warrior,’ a show which takes historical figures and armies and matches them against each other to see who would win based on weaponry and battle tactics, Attila was matched up against Alexander the Great and defeated the legendary ruler. Attila’s weapons consisted of the Sword of Mars, the Lasso, the Hunnic Bow, and the Scythian Axe and his combat skills while riding horseback are thought to have largely secured the victory.

The oddest tribute came from Calypso musician Raymond Quevedo, who for whatever reason, chose to adopt the Attila the Hun moniker for his recording career. Instead of massacring tribes across Europe, Quevedo turned his artistry into entering the political realm in his home of Trinidad and Tobago. The real Attila the Hun and his exploits were even turned into a pinball machine, released in 1984… I love me some mass-murderer gaming action.

Hungary: Breakfast at the Bar

Breakfast at the Bar Martini

  • Muddle Marmalade
  • 1.25 oz Palinka (Apricot)
  • 0.75 oz Cointreau
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice and Orange Wedge

The Sip Advisor has yet to travel to Hungary, but in Budapest alone, there are 10 different streets named after Attila. This proves that all you need to do is be a total dick during your life and you’ll be remembered and honoured forever!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This was a very good cocktail, offering my first chance to use Marmalade in a drink. It added a unique tangy orange flavour that was very much welcomed. I used a Lemon Slice, as well as an Orange Wedge to add some extra flavour, as well as presentation to the recipe.

Iceland – Katla

Viking Power

I’ve always been fascinated by the World’s Strongest Man competitions. Iceland, is home to two of the sport’s greatest icons, Jón Páll Sigmarsson and Magnús Ver Magnússon, who combined won the event eight times (four each), ranking Iceland at the top of the powerlifting game. Let’s take a look at these two hulking men and their contributions to strongman lore:

Jón Páll Sigmarsson

Born in Hafnarfjörður (just don’t ask the Sip Advisor to try and pronounce the word), Sigmarsson was the first to win the World’s Strongest Man event four times, doing so in a seven year span. His lowest finish in the tournament was third place in 1989. From humble beginnings, Sigmarsson’s legend grew as he participated in events around the world, including Scotland’s Highland Games.

Sigmarsson was a showman and loved to put on a performance. His charisma came through the TV screen with roars, shouting, and celebrations. During one event of the 1985 World’s Strongest Man, an audience member made the mistake of calling Sigmarrson an Eskimo, to which the powerlifter replied, “I am not an Eskimo, I am a Viking!” before snatching and seemingly with ease, lifting a 495kg cart.

Sigmarsson

Sadly, Sigmarsson passed away at the young age of 32, from a heart attack. He died doing what he loved, lifting, in his own gym, Jakaból (which means Giant’s Nest). While steroid use played a role in his death, there was also a heart defect that others in his family had suffered from. Sigmarsson was survived by a son, Sigmar, and I wonder if he ever followed in the footsteps of his dear ol’ dad?

A fascinating documentary was made on the life of Sigmarsson, titled Larger than Life. The Sip Advisor actually watched it en route to Iceland and it gave me a different perspective going into the country. Sigmarsson was enshrined in the World’s Strongest Man Hall of Fame in 2012, one of only three competitors to be selected thus far into the hallowed halls.

PIPES_grande

Magnús Ver Magnússon

Hailing from Egilsstaðir (again, I don’t even know where to begin with the pronunciation of this place name) and already owning one of the greatest villainous names in entertainment history, Ver Magnússon seemed like the perfect fit to take the torch from Sigmarsson and become the next great Icelandic strongman. Like Sigmarsson, Ver Magnússon travelled the world in his early years of lifting, winning competitions across the globe.

Equaling Sigmarsson’s achievement of four World Strongest Man titles (between 1991 and 1996), it should be noted that Ver Magnússon also ranked as the event’s runner-up in 1992 and 1993. That’s domination if I’ve ever seen it. The two Icelandic warriors are only surpassed by Mariusz Pudzianowski of Poland, who has five wins to his name.

magnusson

Ver Magnússon reached mass American audiences, not only with his World’s Strongest Man accolades, but with an appearance in a Coors Light commercial, as well as an appearance on The Daily Show, in 2008, where he showed off his still formidable strongman skills. There are rumours that Ver Magnússon has been trying to raise funds to film a movie about his life, titled ‘My Way.’

In the meantime, Ver Magnússon has gone on to own the Jakaból gym, replacing Sigmarsson, and training the next generation of Icelandic Vikings. One of his protégés is Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, nicknamed ‘Thor.’ Bjornsson recently appeared on Game of Thrones as the fearful Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain. Ver Magnússon also judges strongman and powerlifting competitions internationally and remains a face of the sport.

Iceland: Katla

Katla Cocktail

  • 1 oz Brennivin
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

I can’t even imagine lifting some of the items these two behemoths tossed over their shoulder or hurled through the air. Simarsson even set a Guinness World Records by lifting the largest whiskey bottle… that’s a feat the Sip Advisor can truly appreciate!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Brennivin is also known as Black Death, which I don’t fully understand, given the spirit is clear and doesn’t taste bad at all. Icelanders might disagree with me on the taste experience, but I think I know my liquors. This cocktail is named after an active volcano in Iceland, but it will certainly not cause you to erupt and is actually quite nice.

Slovakia – Royal Tatrateani

Roll Call

Admittedly, I don’t know much about our next stop, Slovakia. I know a few hockey players from the European country: Marian Hossa, Zdeno Chara, and the late Pavol Demitra, among others. Aside from that, there’s not much space in me ol’ noggin’ dedicated to Slovakian culture. That said, there are a number of Slovaks who are known the world over for varying achievements. Here is a small sample of those fine folks:

The Stastny Brothers

When Peter Stastny defected from Slovakia to Canada in 1980, he became the first red curtain star player to do so and ushered in an exodus of players leaving Soviet Europe for a better life in North America. Peter and his brother Anton joined the Quebec Nordiques and were later united with eldest brother Marian, becoming only the third trio of brothers to play for the same squad. All three enjoyed successful career, particularly Peter who was a scoring phenom, notching 1239 points in 977 games. He retired in 1995 and was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998. The brother’s legacy continues with Peter’s sons Yan and Paul suiting up for the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche (ironically, the relocated Quebec franchise his father starred for), respectively. The Stastny’s are the first hockey family to represent four different countries – Czechoslovakia, Canada, Slovakia, USA – in international play.

Stastny Brothers

Juraj Jánošík

Slovakia has its own version of the legendary Robin Hood and that is this man. Jánošík is said to have stolen from the rich to give to the poor… sound familiar? Jánošík even had his own collection of “Merry Men,” although I’m sure they were called something more badass than that. The vigilante met his end after being sentenced to death. Scholars have debated how he was executed with most believing he was impaled on a hook and left to die, while others theorize he could have been hanged. As it often is with legends, stories persist that he went out in grand style, ever thumbing his nose at the authorities, by jumping onto the hook, rather than accept the grace offered to him in exchange for enlisting soldiers from his able ranks. Jánošík’s fable can be found in numerous films, books and even the odd song or two.

Adriana Karembeu (nee Sklenaríková)

This one is for all my little sippers out there who love gorgeous women! “Miss Wonderbra” as the beautiful and busty blonde has been dubbed has also appeared for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Peroni Beer. The gal is smart, too. Karembeu won her first modelling contest while she was studying medicine in Prague. If the “Miss Wonderbra” moniker isn’t enough to sway you or you’re more of a legs man, it should be noted that Karembeu once held the Guinness world record for longest legs among female models at close to 50 inches. I made sure to arrange my article so that squeezing in a picture of Karembeu didn’t seem out of place!

Adriana-Karembeu

I’m not sure which structure is more impressive!

Martina Hingis

The former world top-ranked women’s tennis player entered her first tournament at the age of four. Along with her mother, the two defected to Switzerland when she was just six years old and a decade later, Hingis became the youngest Grand Slam champion of all-time, winning the 1996 Wimbledon women’s doubles tournament with Helena Sukova. Following that victory, Hingis won Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon and the Australian and U.S. Opens. The only major championship missing from her resume is the French Open, although she did win in doubles at the tournament in 1998 and 2000. Hingis retired from tennis in 2003, at the young age of 22. She returned to the sport in 2005 and left in 2007, being handed a two-year ban after testing positive for a minimal amount of an element in cocaine. She returned again in 2010 and still plays in the occasional doubles tournament to this day.

Štefan Banič

After immigrating to the United States and witnessing a plane crash, Banič invented the first military parachute every deployed in action. The man had so much faith in his product (an umbrella like device attached to the jumpers body) that he tested it himself, first from the top of a 15-storey building and later from an actual airplane. Once successful (you know, meaning he didn’t plummet to the earth and burst into a million pieces), Banič then did something extraordinary… he donated his patent to the United States military. His invention saved the lives of countless soldiers during World War I, but the coal miner never received much money or fame for his creation.

Slovakia: Royal Tatrateani

Royal Tatrateani Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Tatratea Citrus
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Agave Nectar
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

So, now you know a heck of a lot more about Slovakia than you did before… and really, that’s my only mission in life: to educate while getting people so blitzed they forget half the shit they knew. Full circle, my little sippers, full circle!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Mrs. Sip was kind enough to pick these liqueurs up for me for Christmas, adding a country to my 52-week tour that I did not have on my radar. We have the Forest Fruit, Citrus, and Coconut flavours, but the company also sells Peach & White Tea, Original, Bohemian, and Outlaw varieties. This martini was really strong, but grew on me with each sip. To enhance the use of the Tatratea Citrus, I selected Tanqueray Rangpur as my Gin of choice.

Austria – Green Tear

Not Just a Band

When Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated on June 28, 1914, he had absolutely no clue what his murder would instigate. Despite being the major catalyst for the first World War, this Austrian ruler is a largely forgotten footnote in history. Thankfully, the Sip Advisor is here to teach and while sipping a glass of the country’s fine schnaps, here is a little information on ol’ ‘Double F’ and the tragedy that would change the world!

First World War Problems

Growing Up

Ferdinand and his family lived by the motto: “Good Habsburgs (his family lineage), Good Catholics, and Good Austrians”… that just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “A Lannister always pays their debts.”

At the age of 11, Ferdinand found himself one of the wealthiest men in Austria, after his cousin Duke Francis V died and named Franz his heir on the condition that he add the name Este to his own. Hell, to become one of the wealthiest men in Austria, I’d tattoo the name Este on my member! Rumour has it Ferdinand also had to spend one night in a haunted house, but many are skeptical of this account.

Ferdinand may have never found himself the heir to the Austria-Hungary throne had it not been for his cousin Prince Rudolf (aged 30) committing suicide with his 17-year-old mistress in 1889. Karl Ludwig, Ferdinand’s father, became second in line behind Franz Josef, but quickly renounced the position and passed the rights down to his son.

Throne of Games

As a youngster, Ferdinand spent very little time in Austria, often travelling the world searching for cures to his never-ending stream of illnesses.

Ferdinand’s relationship with the citizens of Austria was always strained due to his lack of time spent within the country’s borders and the feeling that he was an outsider. And not one of those cool greaser outsiders like Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, or Matt Dillon. He still managed to somehow stay gold, though.

An avid hunter, Ferdinand always made sure to schedule at least one hunting trip as part of any official travel for the Empire. He kept a running tab of his hunting exploits and stories state that he killed 2140 birds in one day. My belief is that he wanted to assemble an army of undead animals to do his bidding.

Ferdinand was passionate about landscaping outdoors and interior design inside and was constantly on the lookout for a property in need of fixing up. He could be considered one of the world’s first home flippers. Ferdinand’s eclectic tastes also helped him build a great antique collection, which included 3750 pieces of St. George and the Dragon. Clearly, he had a thing for slaying mythical beasts.

slain da dragon

Finding Love

Women always have a way of muddling things up and that was no different for Ferdinand. His wife Sophie was from a lower social class and even though Franz Josef stated he would not consent to Franz and Sophie’s marriage, the two wed on June 28, 1900. The catch was that Sophie could never receive an official royal title and their children could not succeed Ferdinand as ruler. As a result, Sophie rarely appeared in public beside her husband.

Franz and Sophie had three children: Sophie (I guess you’d call her junior), Maximilian (a name which I hope to bring back to present day popularity), and Ernst (a name which I have no joke to deploy upon).

Sophie was finally allowed to accompany Franz on official business for the empire for his trip to Bosnia in June 1914. The end of the visit would also mark their 14th wedding anniversary. The couple arrived in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, which is also St. Vitus Day, commemorating the Battle of Kosovo in 1389.

cat-battle

Surprise Attack

The Battle of Kosovo made a martyr out of Milos Obilic, who snuck into the Ottoman Sultan’s tent and killed him before receiving the same fate himself.

Serbians viewed the Austria-Hungary Empire as their new oppressors and there had been other attempted attacks on high-ranking Austria-Hungary members before Ferdinand’s death.

The Black Hand (must have caught a case of gangrene), which carried out the assassination of Franz and Sophie were also responsible for the murders of King Alexander and Queen Draga of Serbia. This act of treachery was committed while the two were together in bed… what a way to go!

Death Sting

First, a grenade was hurled at Ferdinand’s procession by Nedlejko Cabrinovic, but it detonated behind his vehicle and he was not harmed. While any normal person would halt their little parade there, Ferdinand was urged to continue by General Oskar Potiorek who asked, “What, do you think my city is full of assassins?”

Ferdinand insisted that if the trip continued, only major routes should be used and no side streets… unfortunately his own driver was never delivered this message. When the driver took the first schedule turn, there was assassin Gavrilo Princip, waiting for him. Princip had earlier tried to get a shot in at Ferdinand and when he couldn’t retreated to the side street in dejection.

Princip fired only two shots, one into Franz’s neck, the other into Sophie’s stomach. Both proved to be fatal. Ferdinand’s final words to his wife were “’Don’t die! Stay alive for our children!”

Assassination

The Aftermath

Princip and his fellow assassins were rounded up and put on trial. Because he was under the age of 20, Princip did not receive the death penalty and was instead sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Princip died in his jail cell on April 28, 1918 from tuberculosis. His illness was so bad that his right arm was amputated before his death.

Upon Franz’s assassination, the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, etc.) declared war on Serbia, drawing Serbia’s allies (the UK, Russia, France, etc.) into the fray and creating the first World War.

The 1911 Gräf & Stift Double Phaeton automobile, which carried Franz and Sophie during their fateful procession, is now displayed at the Museum of Military History in Vienna. It’s no Batmobile, but it has its own place in history. The pistol used by Princip, as well as the clothing Ferdinand died in are also displayed at the museum.

Future Museums

The bullet that killed Ferdinand, sometimes referred to as “the bullet that started World War I” is part of an exhibit at Konopiště Castle in the Czech Republic.

Franz and Sophie are buried at Arstetten Castle in Austria. In memoriam, Austria-Hungary released a commemorative stamp featuring the couple. One day there will be a Sip Advisor stamp tribute that will taste like schnaps with each lick!

Austria: Green Tear

Green Tear Cocktail

  • 1 oz Mata Hari Absinthe
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Tonic Water
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

Well, that wraps up our stay here in Austria. It should be noted that the country can also claim to be home to famous world citizens like Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. That would be an interesting table to sit at for a dinner party!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Well, as you can see, the drink is certainly not green. On the plus side, this was a really decent Absinthe cocktail. I think the combo of Cranberry Juice and Tonic Water is perfect to go along with the very bitter Absinthe. If you’re weary of the hallucinogenic spirit, give this recipe a try and your mind may be changed for the long run!

September 25 – Mojo

Aphrodisiastic

I’m the kind of guy that’s ready to go at all hours of the day. I don’t need any food, drink, or other item to ‘put me in the mood’. I’ve come to understand that not everyone is as awesome as the Sip Advisor and therefore, I’m here to help all you little sippers out there that need an extra boost to get your mojo fired up. Here is an examination of some of the many items purported to help with libido!:

Chocolate – Named an aphrodisiac by women just so they can stuff their faces with the stuff and have an excuse to do so. In the end, they just complain they’re too full and not in any mood for making whoopee.

chocolate-aphrodisiac

Oysters – Well, I suppose the whole ‘slimy substance travelling down your throat’ could be practice for fun times later?

Spicy Peppers – These are sure to simulate some part of the body!

Snake Blood – Why not drink the snake’s venom, as well!? I think the only reason snake’s blood is an aphrodisiac is because once you kill one, your heart is pumping so fast you’d be ready to bed a rhino.

Dried Tiger Penis – Oh sure, this will be an easy find. Tiger’s are cuddly and approachable right!? Just like stuffed animals!

No, not that Tiger!

Bull Genitals – Why do all these cultures think that consumption of animal junk will make them more virile?

Spanish Fly – The European Blister Beetle can apparently provide a long-lasting erection that will later require medical attention. Is it worth it?

Fetal Duck Egg – Thanks for this haunting image, Asia. Apparently the fetal duck is most potent after 17 days, begging the question: who tests this stuff?

Stewed Crocodile – Sure crocs are cold-blooded killers, but I really don’t see that translating into sexual prowess, unless you plan on holding your lover underwater until they’re unconscious first.

crocodile toy

Looks like kitty got the message!

Leaf-Cutter Ants – At least they’re supposed to taste like bacon when roasted.

Deep-Fried Tarantula – I’m pretty sure Mrs. Sip would kick me out of our place if I even suggested deep-fried tarantula for snack time. I bet it won’t be long before this delicacy is being served at fairs around the world, right next to those deep-fried Mars bars!

Ambergris – This solid, waxy substance is either regurgitated or defecated by sperm whales… you know what, you already lost me…

Pumpkin Pie – So I guess people are only going to get laid around Thanksgiving… at least they’ll have something to be thankful for!

Pineapple – I always told Mrs. Sip that she should get into Hawaiian pizza. It’s tough when you’re always right!

Drink #268: Mojo

Sept 25

  • 1 oz Rum
  • 1 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • Top with Beer
  • Splash of Cola
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with Tiger Penis (kidding!)

Why can’t things like hamburgers and hot dogs be aphrodisiacs? Why does it always have to be the weird stuff!? I’m going to go find me some ambergris and pester Mrs. Sip for a little roll in the hay!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Wow, this cocktail was good. I was weary of how it would turn out given how many ingredients it called for and which ingredients you were expected to be mixing together, but I really enjoyed the finished product. Cola and Beer mix together much better than I could have ever imagined!

September 21 – What’s My Name Again?

30 for 30

While the title of today’s post is shared by the popular ESPN sports documentary series, I’m using it to describe 30 great achievements of my 30 years on this planet. This is kind of my bucket list of crossed off items… mission accomplished!

Family and Friends

1: Got Engaged – I’m still surprised she said yes!

2: Got Married – Again, I’m still surprised she said yes… I gave her a year and a half to change her mind!

funny-marriage

3: Was a Best Man – Broski Sip got married in 2010 with me by his side.

4: Planned a Stag Party – Nothing says “I love you, man” than planning the perfect sendoff as your buddy enters married life.

Rites of Passage

5: Earned a Driver’s License – Been on the roads for 14 years now… Mrs. Sip still doesn’t have a full license!

6: Graduated High School – Some people didn’t see that coming!

High School Graduate

7: Earned 4 Diplomas/Degrees/Certificates – I have quite the resume… anyone looking to hire!?

8: No More Picky Eater – Chicken strips and fries are pretty awesome, but lobster and escargot are better.

9: Moved Out – It was hard to leave the amazing home of Ma and Pa Sip, but living with Mrs. Sip has its own benefits!

Travel

10: Travelled to 34 Countries – Mrs. Sip will hit 50 countries before she turns 30, but I think I still made a pretty damn good dent.

11: Stepped foot on 6 Continents – I’m only missing Antarctica, which we hope to get to one day.

12: Lived Abroad – Spent six months living in England and travelling Europe.

studying-abroad

13: Visited the Greatest Cities in the World – From London to St. Petersburg, Sydney to Los Angeles, the resume isn’t full yet, but I’ve been to so many cool places.

Academics

14: Made the Honour Roll – Got my shit together one year and made the honour roll twice… it never happened again.

15: Graduated with Honours – Always knew journalism and I were a match made in heaven!

Professional

16: Became Published – My first article ever (aside from online and school writing) was for B.C. Hockey Now.

17: Covered the Vancouver Canucks (NHL) and B.C. Lions (CFL) – The two biggest sports franchises in Vancouver and I got to watch both for free!

Journalism

18: Worked the 2010 Winter Olympics – NBC Universal Sports hired me for the Games, a goal of mine when I first entered journalism school.

19: Made Money Doing What I Love – Watching sports for a job just doesn’t get much better… perhaps getting paid to have sex!?

20: Started The Sip Advisor – I was thirsty (literally!) for a new project when Mrs. Sip suggested The Sip Advisor. Here we are and I’m pretty sure everyone is having a good time!

Adventure/Crazy

21: Tried a Number of Extreme Sports – Bungy jumping, ziplining, zorbing, luging, surfing, scuba diving… I’ve tried them all!

22: Saw my Favourite Comedians Perform – From Christopher Titus to Daniel Tosh, I’ve seen all of the living comedians I ever wanted to.

23: Won Money in Las Vegas – I’m too cautious to lose or win a lot of money, but I did come home up on one trip and that’s more than a lot of people can say.

Stays in Vegas

24: Won Money at the Races – My last trip to Fraser Downs resulted in six winning bets on nine races, including picking three winners straight up!

25: Hosted an Annual Event – My annual Beer Pong tournament is a highlight of the summer social calendar.

26: Invented a Word – Walk Blocking – like cock blocking, but everyone can do it!

27: Became an Internet Sensation – And the journey has only just begun!

28: Swam Across a Body of Water – I joined Mrs. Sip for a crossing of the water outside our lodge in Indian Arm, B.C. It took us 45 minutes round trip to make the journey.

29: Shot a Gun – Cousin Sip and I hit one of the many ranges in Las Vegas to help cross this off the list.

30: Sang Karaoke – Not well, but Mrs. Sip and I do perform a rocking version of ‘I Hate Everything About You’!

Drink #264: What’s My Name Again?

Sept 21

  • 0.3 oz Spiced Rum (I used Kraken)
  • 0.3 oz Southern Comfort
  • 0.3 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 0.3 oz Goldschlager
  • 0.3 oz Vodka
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

There are still so many things left to do (get a tattoo, touch a snake, go skydiving, drink motor oil!) that the next 30 years should be just as adventurous as the first 30. Any suggestions!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shot finishes Rum Week and the story goes that if you have enough of these, you’ll forget your own name! While it is a rather potent shooter, it’s also very tasty, helped along by the Peach Schnapps, Southern Comfort, and Goldschlager. I’ll have to try their little dare sometime and see how long it takes for the ol’ mind to go blank! Let’s drink to my successes and excesses!

August 21 – Village Idiot

Dumb and Dumber

Yesterday we had a look at some of the stupid things I’ve done over my many awesome years. Did you really think that was it, though? There are so many other wild tales of great idiocy in my archives. Here are a few more select stories!

One More for the Road

Well before I became the seasoned drinker you see before you today, I was still learning the ropes of the liquor game and picking up experience points where I could. At a party very early in my drinkdom, shortly after high school graduation, I was having a great time catching up with folks I hadn’t seen since our days of set school schedules and also meeting some newbies to the Sip Advisor’s world.

Before I knew it, I was 10 beers deep. With the party still in full swing, I was sad to discover that my stock had been completely depleted. I was now regretting giving out the couple brews I had gifted to others for past offerings bestowed upon me. For shame, Sip Advisor… but it gets worse. In my bag of goodies was one Mike’s Hard Lemonade – the popular drink of my graduation summer. Why I brought it with me, I don’t know. Perhaps the devil slipped it in my bag for its own amusement.

Mikes Lemonade

Without much thought, I cracked the can open, took a big swig, and immediately felt it not sitting very well. Being young and dumb as I was, I finished the beverage and decided to make my way home. What was usually only a ten minute walk home took me nearly double, as I was forced to stop frequently to get sick on some poor stranger’s lawn. I eventually made it home to get sick once more in my room, before passing out. Lesson learned, my little sippers: beer before liquor, never been sicker… liquor before beer, you’re in the clear!

Wax-on, Wax-off

For years following Mrs. Sip and I becoming an item, I had complained about not liking my chest hair and wanting to have it removed. Mrs. Sip must have finally hit her breaking point because one night, she showed up at my place with a waxing kit and said the time had finally come to put up or shut up. So, there we stood, in the bathroom, Mrs. Sip warming and dripping hot wax over my body, as Broski Sip snickered and filmed the incident for prosperity purposes (or at least that’s what they told me!).

Finally, it was time. RIP! Mrs. Sip pulled away the first patch and left in its place was a bald patch of skin. I was surprised that the whole process didn’t really hurt that much. So, we continued and in no time we were finished and I had a nice smooth chest. End of story, right!? Not so fast. Within minutes my chest was covered in all these tiny red little bumps that never really went away until the hair started growing back. A man just can’t catch a break!

chest waxing

Cruise Ship Quarantine

Back in early May, I wrote an article about how to enjoy an open bar. Let’s just say I wrote that post a little too well. You see, my aunt was getting married aboard a cruise ship and the wedding package featured a one-hour open bar with little appies and such. With only an hour to drink like kings, a game plan was needed and I captained that ship straight into the rocky cliffs.

Video and photo evidence from the event shows me with two drinks in hand for nearly every appearance. We also lined up at least 10 rounds of shots to go with the double fisting of doubled drinks. I can throw down pretty good in the game we call alcohol, but my biggest mistake that day was building all that booze on top of nothing. I hadn’t eaten that morning (not a huge surprise, as I’m not really a breakfast guy) and still hadn’t touched anything edible by the time the wedding ceremony was over around 2pm.

I guess it could have been worse!

I guess it could have been worse!

Largely on my advice (and coercion) three of us ended up getting quarantined, while a couple others were incapacitated for much of the trip. Worst of all, we were banished to our rooms because those of us who got sick did so in front of ship staff and we were forced to miss much of the post-wedding celebration. Let’s just sum up by saying that it was far from my finest moment, but I can still provide a lesson of sort to all you little sippers to keep yourself on track and only lose your cookies in the privacy of your stateroom!

Drink #233: Village Idiot

Village Idiot Martini

  • 1 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Dash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Slices

Again, I implore you to share your stories of stupidity. I’m starting to feel a little lonely here, sharing all my goof ups and not hearing any of yours. Let’s make this a give-take idiot relationship!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
If you make one of these, you’ll be far from a village idiot, you’ll be a genius. It’s so refreshing and tasty, crisp and clean. The recipe is pretty simple, so I spiced it up a bit with top shelf liquors Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka and Bombay Sapphire Gin. Everything worked well together and left me thirsting for more!

June 11 – Lolita

Banned Cinema

Movie history is littered with films that, for one reason or another, governments have banned its constituents from viewing or possessing. I’m a staunch supporter of anti-censorship. In my opinion, the discretion falls on the person themselves to decide what they do or don’t want to see, or, in the case of children, it is the responsibility of their parents to make these choices. That said, here are some notable movies that have been deemed forbidden:

Lolita

The name of today’s cocktail comes from the classic novel by Vladimir Nabokov (those crazy Russkies) that was later adapted into two movies. The story centers on an older man’s lust for a young girl, which brings about obvious concerns over subject matter. Lolita is one of the most controversial works of all time, but it’s also one of the most highly regarded, most likely due to the poetic language of its writing. I just hope the drink is decent!

Lolita

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Leatherface is one badass dude, hacking his way through any unfortunate victim(s) who stumble upon his messed up backwoods family. One of the creepiest parts of this film is right at the start when the viewer is informed that what you’re about to see is based on a true story. Of course, it isn’t, but that thought sticks with you throughout. I don’t understand why this film was banned while other similar entries in the genre flew under the radar. Perhaps, it was just ahead of its time.

Monty Python Films

The movies, Life of Brian and Meaning of Life, from the comedy troupe were banned in a few countries, such as Ireland, because they were considered blasphemous. Of course, the clever team used the bans to their advantage, creating ads that said “So funny it was banned in Norway!”.

Barney’s Great Adventure

Personally I wonder why the entire world couldn’t ban the giant purple dino! Good on Malaysia for realizing that a figment of children’s imagination that tells kids to love and hug each other is sending bad messages to youth. The government found that the film was unacceptable for children and never provided any further details… and why should they?

Barney

Cannibal Holocaust

Where to begin with this film? Most countries banned it due to violence committed on animals, but there were also rumours that actors had legitimately died in the filming and the movie was therefore of the “snuff” variety. While the human deaths were disproven, the animal cruelty was in fact real, which is not cool. The Colombian natives were also treated poorly by director Ruggero Deodato. Credit does have to be given to the makers of this movie for being one of the first “found footage” stories, however.

Last Tango in Paris

Seriously!? A country like Italy banned a movie for strong sexual content??? Didn’t they invent the language of love and all that other junk? Sure there’s a scene that involves the use of butter as lubrication, but come on, who hasn’t reached for the dairy in a pinch?! Italy, I am so disappointed in you.

A Clockwork Orange

Let’s see, why would this movie ever be banned? Could it be the gratuitous violence perpetrated by Alex and company? Could it be the home invasion, crippling and rape of an innocent couple? Not bad enough for you yet? What about the murder of another woman with a giant penis statue? Yeah, that one did it for me, too. Regardless, this cult favourite is actually a intriguing watch. This is yet another adapted screenplay from a novel and perhaps we should just ban all books, so movies don’t have to suffer.

A-Clockwork-Orange

2012

Well, this has got to be one of the craziest bans of a movie I’ve ever seen. Apparently, in North Korea, it was made illegal to show the fictional Apocalypse tale because 2012 marks the 100th birthday of former leader, Kim Il Sung, and North Korean’s had dubbed the year “the year for opening the grand gates to becoming a rising superpower”. Thus, according to the country, a film that says the year 2012 will bring about the “end of days” was too negative a message. Citizens caught with a pirated copy of the film or even viewing the movie are arrested and charged with “grave provocation against the development of the state”.

Saw VI

Saw VI was banned for scenes of gory violence and torture… yeah, because it differs so drastically from movies I through V! I like the Saw series of movies, particularly the first two entries. While I can see why some would hesitate to watch this franchise (and the many that have followed in a similar fashion since), that is their decision to make and not the government’s.

saw

Goldfinger

The James Bond film was banned in Israel after a short run when it was revealed that Gert Fröbe, who played villain Auric Goldfinger, was once a member of Germany’s Nazi Party. The ban was lifted a few months later when a man came forward saying that he and his mother had been hidden and saved from the Nazi Gestapo by Fröbe. This was the planned sequel to Schindler’s List.

Hostel Movies

These horror flicks were banned for depicting the people of Eastern European countries as buyers of human slaves… which is incredibly accurate, but something the Ukrainian government took great offense to. It’s like if Canada took offense to a movie about hockey goons, who love their poutine.

Drink #162: Lolita

Lolita Cocktail

Of all these banned movies, I’ve only seen a handful of them. I’m intrigued to check out the one’s I have yet to view, with Barney’s Great Adventure topping my list. Perhaps I’ll even review it for all my little sippers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The simple recipe largely recreates a Sangria taste and that is totally welcome in my little world! I particularly like how this drink is garnished, especially when you think of the Lolita story.