November 25 – Brandy Alexander

Night Moves

Nothing finishes off a good evening of boozing than a perfectly-timed night cap. But what to enjoy as your final drink of the evening is up for debate. Here are some ideas I’ve accumulated and, of course, would love to share with all you little sippers.

Evening Cocktail

Amaretto

A lot of night caps consist of straight alcohol, neat or on the rocks. Amaretto and its almond flavour can be a little sweet for some, but for the Sip Advisor, it’s pure heaven in a glass. I’m usually rounding out my buzz on Disaronno, while Mrs. Sip is rushing around prepping for a late night shower… and I’m pestering her the whole time!

Cognac

I haven’t really delved into the world of cognacs too much, but I do enjoy the Courvoisier offerings I’ve had to this point and Mrs. Sip picked up a bottle of Hennessy for me while she was recently in Europe. I find cognac to be comparable to scotch, but perhaps it doesn’t share the exact same level of manliness as scotch.

Spiked Coffee

This can be achieved with everything from Irish Crème to various liqueurs. Pa Sip likes to use Pinnacle Whipped Vodka in his late night coffee, while sitting around the fire pit and roasting marshmallows (or himself!). Now I know why that bottle is always depleted when I come home for visits!

Cat-spiked-his-coffee

Hot Toddy

The Hot Toddy can be made up of various recipes, depending on your locale. The traditional Scottish version mixes whiskey, hot water, sugar or honey, and lemon slices or cinnamon, depending on the desired flavour. In North America, you might be served a variation using ginger ale subbed in for the water.

Scotch on the Rocks

When Mrs. Sip and I were in Mexico last year, enjoying my first all-inclusive experience, I made sure to finish off every night with some scotch. It’s a wonderful sipping drink that calms the nerves and the powerful alcohol makes you rest peacefully when you decide to hit the hay.

Cat Scotch

Grand Marnier

With its sweet orange flavour, this liqueur is perfect for a little nip before bedtime. I remember when I was just a wee little sipper, enjoying the Grand Marnier liqueur chocolate bottles best, among options that included Kahlua, Irish Crème, and others. I had to get my Sip Advisor start somewhere!

Night Cap

Well, given its prominence in the drinking lexicon, you had to figure there would actually be a cocktail called Night Cap. The drink recipe consists of rum, warm milk, cinnamon, and sugar. It doesn’t sound like something I would particularly enjoy, as I don’t really like warm beverages, but it might be just right for others.

Drink #329: Brandy Alexander

Brandy Alexander Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Cognac (I used Hennessy)
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with Nutmeg

Now that you’re all cozy and tucked in for a long winter’s nap (wearing your warmest footy pajamas and all), remember to check out this wonderful site for your bedtime reading!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This was a pretty decent cocktail, but I feel like it’s too similar to other cocktails I’ve made over this project. Given this is a classic cocktail, it probably came well before the others I’ve sampled, but I could help but think of other recipes, like the International Incident when sipping this nightcap.

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October 2 – Raspberry Dew Drop

Seasonal Mythology

Greek mythology is pretty crazy. Somehow, some way, the myths can explain why everything exists today… including each of the four seasons. Here is the mythological explanation for all seasons:

Winter

The story goes like this: Hades, that underworld bad ass (he even has his own beer), kidnaps Persephone to be his wife (if only it were that easy!). Zeus, that omnipotent ruler, decrees that Persephone should be returned to her mother Demeter (also the goddess of earth). Hades tricks Persephone into eating the food of the dead, which I guess is a mix of bleu cheese and expired fruit, and that means she has to stay in the underworld. In one of the earliest examples of a child custody agreement, Zeus gives both Hades and Demeter half the year to have Persephone. Demeter gets all hormonal and moody when Persephone is with Hades and creates winter. So, if you’re not a fan of sweaters, indoor heating, and ice scrapers, you have Hades to blame for your own misery.

die-winter

Spring

Sticking with the whole Hades-Persephone-Demeter soap opera storyline, when Persephone returns to her mother Demeter, Demeter gets off her lazy ass and starts feeding mankind again, tending to the various harvests that must be maintained. I guess she had a serious case of empty nest syndrome. Moving on, the world become luscious again and people fatten themselves up, not knowing that summer is around the corner and they better start pulling out their Ab Rollers, Bowflexes, and ThighMasters, again. Next time Mrs. Sip complains of eating too much, I’ll just reference the gods and be done with it.

Summer

The happy times for Persephone and Demeter continue through the wonderful summer, where everyone on earth is happy and frolicking naked (by the way, all you little sippers should see the Sip Advisor frolic… it is a sight to behold… perhaps without the naked part) amongst the tall grass, hot temperatures and warm breezes. Hades is lurking in the shadows, however, and Persephone will soon be his again. For the time being everyone enjoys the bliss of sweet summer and forgets their troubles.

summer-is-ok

Fall

Persephone must be returned to the underworld and Hades (her father figure-wannabe husband-captor) couldn’t be happier with his prize. Demeter suffers from separation anxiety and doesn’t want to be alone in her misery, so she makes everyone else have to battle bouts of seasonal affective disorder (SAD… not to be confused with SADS – Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome). Just as people think things couldn’t get any worse, they are reminded of Demeter’s behaviour the previous year and folks begin to dread the newly dubbed ‘winter’ that is approaching. As they say on Game of Thrones and I like to bug Mrs. Sip by repeating at inappropriate times: “Winter is coming!

Drink #275: Raspberry Dew Drop

Raspberry Dew Drop Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Raspberry Vodka (I used Absolut)
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with Raspberries and Lemon Slices

Well, I hope you liked that eschewed view of seasonal changes… thanks for nothing Demeter!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I felt this drink nicely captured the changing of the seasons, although it works best when winter turns into spring. It certainly tasted fantastic and the look came together really well with all the garnishes!

September 26 – Lost Generation

My Generation

Every person thinks that their generation was the cat’s pajamas. I’m no different. But, in my role as your Sip Advisor, I have to play an impartial role. Therefore, today, I will be examining the highs and lows of my generation. We’re pretty flipping awesome, but we’re not perfect… and here’s why!

Why I’m glad I grew up now:

Technology

The fact that I have lived in different parts of the world (as has Mrs. Sip) and we’ve been able to communicate with each other, as well as friends and family, for absolutely nothing, alone makes me happy that I grew up in this age. Programs and sites like Skype, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, MSN (remember MSN?) and others have helped maintain communication with friends and family that normally may have disappeared from my life as a result of the distance separating us.

Technology Today

Flavour Revolution

What I like to think of as the Flavour Revolution has benefitted me in so many ways. Not only am I enjoying all the different liquor and mixer flavours that is part of this experimental boom, but everything from potato chips to condiments has vastly grown from what it was mere years ago. Everyone seems to be trying to come up with the next big thing so that playing around with tried and tested recipes is the norm today. We are not happy to simply rest on our laurels.

No Rush to Have Families

Oh, sweet heaven, thank you for this! My parents didn’t have children until they were about 27 and even for them, that was later than most folks of their generation. I’m just not ready to be unselfish and settle down with kids of my own. Despite Ma and Pa Sip looking forward to grandchildren, it’s just not in the cards right now. Mrs. Sip and I are just living too freely and enjoying our adult years too much to have little ones. It will happen eventually, but until then, party on!

Child of the 80’s

Being a “child of the 80’s” was wicked. Us dudes had Transformers, He-Man, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I guess they still have that now), and so many more treasures. Girls had their My Little Pony, Care Bears, Barbie, and all that other good stuff. We weren’t force-fed a steady diet of Japanimation. And that’s only looking at the TV side of things. Our food had yet to be attacked by zealous health nuts, our music yet to be diluted by voice-altering technology, and movies were allowed to be silly and geared towards kids. It was good, no–scratch that, GREAT times!

Child of the 80s

Why I hate having grown up now:

Reality Shows

When I was younger, the 6 O’Clock News was the only form of reality programming. Today, it’s all you find on TV. People think they can dance, or sing, or do all sorts of crazy things. They’re volunteering to be thrown into ridiculous situations which they are supposed to survive from, but nobody watching them really wants them to pull through and live to see another day. This all leads to the next thing I hate…

Celebrity Culture

Good lord I hate Celebrity Culture. Everyone wants to be a star and they’re willing to do anything it takes to achieve their 15 minutes of fame. Anytime I’m unfortunate enough to pass by a gossip magazine or television program, I’m blown away by how many names I don’t recognize. If I can identify 50% of the people listed, I consider that a good day… and good days are rare in these here parts. How so many people can be famous for doing so little is mind boggling.

Celebrity Culture

Missed out on Golden Ages of Rock

Because of my birthdate, I was never able to experience the brilliance of bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, etc. live. While other acts have experienced more longevity or reformed with some replacement players, I missed out on seeing them in their prime. It would have been great to live during the days of highly publicized record releases and the music culture of say the 70’s (minus the disco, of course), where bands were followed by diehard fans all around the world.

Death of the Sitcom

There really aren’t that many sitcoms (situational comedies) anymore. Fighting for space amongst dramatic and reality TV (more on this soon) programming, the sitcom has largely been buried and eulogized. There are a few holdouts on the air today, such as Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, and Community, but it’s a dying breed. Each year, a new set of sitcoms debut, with few lucky enough to survive a full season. And the numbers continue to dwindle.

Drink #269: Lost Generation

Sept 26

  • 2 oz Rum (I used Bacardi)
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Maraschino Cherry Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Slices and a Maraschino Cherry

So, what makes your generation the best or the worst? I’m sure with enough responses, I could put together an interesting cross section of why every feels they are the best and the worst, at the same time!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
While this drink wasn’t bad by any means, I find Grapefruit Juice to be quite the acquired taste. I was supposed to use Maraschino Cherry Liqueur, but since I had none on hand, I subbed in some Maraschino Cherry Juice for flavouring. Whether the two are remotely similar and can cover one another is a complete mystery!

May 30 – Root Beer Fizz

Thanks for the Meme-ories

Today marks post #150 of this blog, which has now surpassed Wikipedia as the most reliable source on the Internet. To celebrate, I present to you, my loyal and faithful little sippers, a smattering of memes to enjoy!

alcohol_kills_and_creates

I’m not too sure who this old dude is, but he looks pretty dapper and his message is bang on. On second glance, he looks a little shitfaced and maybe leaning on the bar to hold himself up. I think alcohol has a passing record when you add up the births minus the deaths and divide by awesomeness!

Beer Over Milk

I can only half agree with this message. Partly because I believe alcohol AND milk can solve problems. How many times have you been hanging out with your posse and decisions have been made or fences mended thanks to a little liquid libation? And how many times has a serving of cookies and milk helped you solve all of life’s little problems? Both substances are invaluable, in my honest opinion.

Baby Drunk

This little trooper is a Sip Advisor in training. Like a Jedi, he must go through tremendous sacrifice in order to harness the power of the force. It’s pretty funny that the beer is bigger than the kid and I love the thought of putting a young one through a sobriety test.

One Glass

That is one massive beer! And lucky for this young chap, it’s a Hoegaarden, one of the finest brews in the world. That guy doesn’t even look of legal age though. Not that I’m condemning him (I started my Sip Advisor conditioning at an unheard of age because I was a “chosen one”). Imagine if doctors could prescribe ginormous alcohol servings and then you’d go to your local pharmacy to get your prescription filled… only in a perfect world!

ipad-vodka

This chick seems a little scattered, but it’s probably because she’s out of that aforementioned vodka. It’s sad that future generations won’t even know what an etch-a-sketch was or many of the other amazing devices we grew up with. Nowadays a kid turns four and they get a tablet device or cell phone loaded with enough content to babysit them for years. So much for imagination, which will one day be the world’s most scarce commodity.

technically_alcohol_is_a_solution

A cat wearing a bow tie with glasses… how many scratches do you think that owner received in order to snap this awesome photo!? I bet they lost half their blood volume, but it was totally worth it. A scary thought just crossed my mind, however, what if this feline dressed himself and actually possess the intelligence to be a scientific wizard? If cats ever rise up against their human suppressors, I guess we’re still safe given that they sleep 20 hours a day and we can counter attack them while they’re napping.

Drink #136: Root Beer Fizz

Rootbeer Fizz Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Gin (I used Tanqueray)
  • Top with Root Beer
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Slices

Sip Advisor Bar Notes: (5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was delicious. I don’t know if that comes from its relatively simple recipe or the fact that Root Beer rules, but either way, I thoroughly enjoyed this cocktail. It gets my full, 100% recommendation.