Mixer Mania #9 – Two of a Kind

Today, we’ll be combining two different mixers, Lemonade and Iced Tea (known as an Arnold Palmer). The pair work together so well, it got me thinking about all the other duos out there that deserve recognition for their continued success as a tandem:

Batman & Robin

While Batman often works alone, his partnership with young ward Robin has also been beneficial to the citizens of Gotham City, who despite all they have experienced, still choose to call the dangerous metropolis home. While the two usually exhibit a mentor-pupil bond, Robin has been known to break out on his own, thanks to the tutelage of the Caped Crusader.

batman-and-robin-movie

Bert & Ernie

The long-time “roommates” may not have a perfect relationship, but their friendship has endured for close to 50 years, even after all of Bert’s frustration with Ernie. Can you blame him? Imagine you had a friend/partner who took up the bathroom for hours, playing with a rubber ducky. Neat fact, Bert & Ernie were the only two Muppets to appear in the Sesame Street pilot, launching the franchise.

Tom & Jerry

Where one appears, the other is surely to follow. Typically set against each other, I always enjoyed those rare moments when the two put aside their differences and teamed together. I may have been in the minority on that, though. The duo even inspired Itchy & Scratchy of The Simpsons fame, who managed to take cartoon violence up a whole lot of notches.

Scooby Doo & Shaggy

This duo’s love of insanely immense meals and mutual dislike of mysteries made them friends for life (as seen through the A Pup Named Scooby Doo series). They’re such a close pair that Shaggy can even understand Scooby, despite the latter being a completely different species. The one time I tried talking to my pets, I was given horrible looks. We did managed to solve a mystery, though.

scooby-doo-villains

Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson

Speaking of sleuth tandems, Sherlock Holmes is perhaps the greatest private investigator to ever live… and Dr. Watson has always been by his side, recording the cases. Watson chips in from time to time, but it’s Holmes brilliance that makes the team so successful. Watson does play a vital role in keeping Holmes in check and in some versions, providing some necessary muscle.

Pinky & The Brain

Whenever Mrs. Sip asks me what I want to do that night, I quickly respond: “Try to take over the world!” Yeah, I’m a real peach to live with. The line is all thanks to these lab mice, who continually try to leave their Acme Labs cage behind, in favour of world dominance. And, while you’d expect Pinky to cause the downfall of most of their schemes, it’s actually The Brain who is often to blame.

Mixer Mania #9: Tipsy Palmer

Tipsy Palmer.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • Top with Arnold Palmer Half & Half
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

Honourable mentions go to Lucy & Ethel (I Love Lucy), Wayne & Garth (Wayne’s World), Beavis & Butt-head, and Penn & Teller, to name a few. Of course, this list doesn’t even include pairs from the sports world, which would be a whole different article.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I was hoping to use a slightly more complex recipe, but surprisingly couldn’t find many options for the Arnold Palmer Half & Half. That said, this drink was very refreshing and my decision to use Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey certainly paid off.

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.

November 14 – False Alarm

Audial Dismay

Last week, we looked at the heavenly sounds that bring a smile to my face. This week, we’re not so lucky. This article might as well be called: “The Sounds that Keep the Sip Advisor Up at Night, Living in a Downtown Condo.” That’s simply too long, though, so here we go with the aptly titled “Bad Sounds”:

#5: Crying Babies/Kids

While this causes a natural instinct to kick in among mothers, it’s annoying as hell to everyone else in the general vicinity. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for the parents of a wailing youngster, as I know I will likely be in that position one day. That doesn’t stop the clamor from waking the Sip Advisor as he’s trying to catch a little shuteye on flights or enjoy the typically pleasant sounds of Disneyland. The worst is when a kid can turn it off and on, in an attempt to get attention.

cry boobs appear

#4: Trucks Backing Up

Beep, beep, BEEEEEEP… you get the point. Mrs. Sip and I live near a few businesses and I am often disturbed from my slumber by this increasingly annoying sound. I get the safety reason behind larger vehicles being able to warn people and other cars that they’re reversing, but why do these cautions have to be so loud, especially in the middle of the night in residential areas. Can’t you see a psychopathic driver setting his truck in reverse and then abandoning it, revelling in the misery of those within earshot!?

#3: Honking Horns

The Sip Advisor really hates people that are horn happy (almost called them horny, but I don’t discriminate there). The type of people that tap their horn whenever they are frustrated, regardless of if it’s justified or not. Yes, traffic might be backed up, but laying on your horn isn’t going to help matters. The worst is when I’m walking along, lost in thought and I’m startled by some idiot blaring his horn. Usually, when I looked around to see what the commotion is about, there’s no issue at all.

horn gun shots

#2: Alarm Clock

No matter how nice the file you choose on your phone or whether it’s your favourite song of all-time, when this noise wakes you up, you’re not very happy. It can actually make you turn sour on a song you used to enjoy, as I went through when Mrs. Sip used Californication by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for a couple years. Now she uses Coldplay’s Paradise, but I’m not sure I ever really liked that song in the first place. The only good alarm is waking up naturally, on your own schedule.

#1: Car Alarms

Worse than an alarm you’re expecting, is one you don’t, especially if it goes unclaimed, as it always does in the case of useless car alarms. With all the street parking downtown, Mrs. Sip and I are subjected to car alarms on a near regularly basis. Worst of all, is when the terrorizing sounds follow you while camping, of all places. You figure you’re getting away from all the disturbances of city life when you’re out in the wilderness, but that wasn’t the case recently for us. I exasperatedly looked at Mrs. Sip and said, “We just can’t get away from it!”

Super Saturday Shot Day: False Alarm

Some honourable mentions include dripping water, insects buzzing by your head, and emergency vehicle sirens, which narrowly misses making the list because of its necessity. Have I missed a sound that you find absolutely unnecessary and deplorable? Let me know!

Flavour Revolution – Chocolate

Running on Empty

Not to send anyone into a panic, but there are those out there (you know, scientific folks) who say that we are running short on chocolate. This is because of the costs involved and the commitment (up to five years) to grow cocoa beans. This may lead the treat to become quite costly in the future, which is why the Sip Advisor is downing chocolate bars like there’s no tomorrow… because there might not be. Here are some other commodities that are rapidly disappearing and may eventually cease to exist:

Wine

While there seems to be new wineries opening every day, across the globe, and demand for wine has increased greatly, production of the drink has fallen by 5%. Many smaller outlets just won’t be able to keep making whites and reds and people’s thirst for wine just won’t be satisfied. There are some that think the issue is more of an “Old World” wine problem and that “New World” countries such as the U.S., Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and New Zealand will close that gap.

wine-is-like-ductape

Tequila

Sticking with alcohols, fans of margaritas and general shot craziness should be concerned. Blue agave, the plant that is used to create tequila takes 12 years to reach maturity and worse, in 2007, disease struck Mexico’s agave crops, causing 20% to be destroyed. While there is a current stockpile of tequila, prices will certainly rise and with many farmers switching over to growing corn instead, who knows what the future holds for the taco and burrito accompaniment.

Coffee

While I’m not a coffee fan (in fact, I’m a member of the anti-coffee lobby), I can only imagine the horrors of a world where those that drink copious amounts of coffee each day just to function, don’t have access to their fix. We’re talking zombie apocalypse here, people! The issue stems from droughts, high temperatures, and diseases which have affected coffee bean crops. Much, if not all of Arabica beans could disappear by 2080, if these trends continue as predicted.

coffee-crack

Bacon

I may not care about coffee, but I certainly have a crispy spot in my heart for bacon. The salty pork product is a splendid addition to everything from sandwiches to salads and even works as a vodka flavour. Sadly, this king of all meats is seeing decreased production thanks to farmer’s cutting costs, a 2012 drought across the Midwest United States, and a little something called the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. A worldwide shortage looms on the horizon and that is a world I don’t want to live in!

Water

When not drinking beer, wine, or a cocktail, the Sip Advisor can routinely be found with a glass of water nearby. I love the clear stuff and I think we can all agree that it’s pretty important to the survival of the world. As for the problem, I’ll put it this way: we don’t have enough water to turn it into wine and take care of that other item that is diminishing. The scary stat of the day is that by 2025, it’s estimated that two-thirds of the world may be forced to live with little to no water.

Flavour Revolution: Revolve

We have also exhausted the world’s gold supply, but that really only concerns Scrooge McDuck and his money bin swims. Over the years, the Sip Advisor has written a lot about chocolate, so finding the right subject for the Flavour Revolution project was a tough decision. I hope you enjoyed the article and didn’t scare you too much about the future.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):
For those curious, I found some good Chocolate Whiskey recipes at the Bird Dog Whiskey website

September 19 – Birthday Cake

Best of 1983

As the Sip Advisor prepares to celebrate another birthday, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at the best of my birth year: 1983. It was a wonderful year… or so I’m told. Of course, the greatest moment of the year was the birth of yours truly, but I’m sure some other events could be defined as momentous. Let’s take a look back in history!

#5: Sony Camcorder

Just think of where amateur pornography would be without the advent of camcorders… scary thought, no? In all seriousness, this put the power to better record the greatest moments of our lives, in the hands of consumers. Despite this, the Sip Family didn’t finally jump on the video camera wagon until 2001. I’m not sure exactly why things happened like that, but that’s the story and we’re sticking to it.

Camcorder Tape

#4: Plinko on The Price is Right

As a lifelong Price is Right fan, I’m honoured to learn that one of my favourite games on the show, Plinko, was first unleashed on the world in 1983. This game of chance sees contestants drop a disc, from high above, down a board with pegs that cause the disc to bounce around. At the bottom, are a number of slots, with varying money amounts. When all the contestant’s discs have been used, they are awarded whatever the Plinko gods have blessed them with.

#3: Chicken McNugget

Mrs. Sip’s first favourite food as a youngster was all possible thanks to the product’s introduction in 1983. Folks, we’re through the looking glass here and talking about the McDonald’s Chicken McNugget. While I don’t order them as much as I did when I was younger, the Chicken McNugget is still placed before a hungry Sip Advisor from time to time. Of course, the McNuggetini wouldn’t be possible without these delicious chicken chunks!

10 McNuggets

#2: Video Games

What would eventually be released in North America in 1985 as the Nintendo Entertainment System, first hit shelves in Japan in 1983, as the Famicom, or Family Computer. Along with the home console, the game Mario Bros. debuted, including the first appearances of Luigi and the Koopa Troopers. While there was some good in the video game world in 1983, the year was also host to an industry crash, which took years to recover from.

#1: Technology

1983 brought forth one of the greatest inventions in the history of the world. In fact, every person reading this right now is using this creation. We’re talking about the freakin’ internet! Other technological advancements to hit the world in my birth year included the first cell phone call and the release of Microsoft Word, which has been a beacon of enjoyment and employment for the Sip Advisor.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Birthday Cake

  • 0.5 oz Citron Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Frangelico
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

Of course, there are some things 1983 brought us that we didn’t really need. Sweet Valley High books, for one… minivans would be another. Neither compares, though, to crack cocaine and the El Niño weather pattern!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):
xxxx

Flavour Revolution – Chipotle

Spice Spree

The Sip Advisor is a fan of spice in his beers and cocktails, so picking up a bottle of Rogue’s Chipotle Spirit was a no brainer. In honour of the liquor, I thought it would be good to look at the restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, of which I have visited on one occasion. Should I go back for more? Let’s weigh the evidence!

Today, Chipotle is worth an estimated value of over $22 billion, but its beginnings were much more humble. Founder Steve Ells launched the chain on July 13, 1993, with the first restaurant located in Denver, Colorado, financed thanks to an $80,000 loan from Ells’ father. The minimalist design that is common for Chipotle locations was based on Ells having to establish the original restaurant on a tight budget.

chipotle-burrito

Fast food giant McDonald’s was an early investor in the Chipotle business, joining the venture when it was still a budding brand with only 14 outlets located around Denver. By the time McDonald’s pulled out of Chipotle (wow, that sounds pretty bad… or delicious… I don’t know!?) in 2006, Chipotle had over 500 stores around the country. Sure, the deal netted McDonald’s $1.5 billion, but Chipotle is worth so much more now.

Some Chipotle joints in Chicago have partnered with craft brewery 5 Rabbit Brewing, to serve their specially made 5 Vulture, which is brewed with ancho chili, and 5 Rabbit Golden Ale. Other expansion the company has taken on includes a pizza chain, Pizzeria Locale, as well as ShopHouse, a collection of Southeast Asian eateries.

Sports stars Russell Wilson, Bryce Harper, Abby Wambach, and Tony Hawk (among others) have received “Free Burritos” cards from Chipotle, which allows them free meals for one year. The offer has also been extended to folks outside of athletics, including rocker Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and comedian Gabriel Iglesias.

chipotle salad

They may be rare, but free burrito coins for the franchise do exist. They boast: “In Burritos We Trust,” which is a message many of us can get behind. The coins sell for pretty decent money on eBay, but that seems counterproductive to the whole idea of a free meal.

Chipotle goes through a ton of avocados each day, 480,000 to be exact… or at least estimated. 60 avocados go into each batch of guacamole, which also included red onions, cilantro, jalapenos, lime juice, and salt. Musician Jason Mraz is one of the folks that owns an avocado farm which supplies Chipotle.

While not an officially recognized world record, Matt ‘Megatoad’ Stonie can destroy a Chipotle burrito in 35 seconds. He has also been recorded eating four burritos and downing a Diet Coke (gotta save calories somewhere!) in just three minutes.

Chipotle Server

Although first established in Denver, Colorado, Chipotle has become a sponsor of both the Boston Celtics (NBA) and Boston Bruins (NHL). It looks like teams in Colorado missed jumping aboard the burrito train and Boston fans can thank them for that.

Lastly, Chipotle delivery trucks warn that “Drivers Do Not Carry Burritos,” which puts my draft for a food truck heist movie on hold. It would have starred John Cho and Kal Penn and been the fourth installment in the Harold & Kumar franchise, seeing the two stoners in need of satisfying their munchies, with a cameo from Neil Patrick Harris as the truck driver. That actually sounds better than most of the drivel in theatres today!

Flavour Revolution: Berry Caliente

Berry Caliente Martini

  • 1.5 oz Chipotle Spirit
  • Top with Wildberry Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

Chipotle means smoked chili and is derived from the Náhuatl (Aztec) word “chilpoctli”. Rogue also now has a Chipotle Whiskey, which looks pretty darn good and will be added to the Sip Advisor’s ‘I Want to Taste That’ list!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really liked the smokiness of this drink, thanks to the Chipotle Spirit. The Wildberry Juice also played an important part, while the Lemon Juice gave it just enough zest to complete the cocktail.

Flavour Revolution – Lemon

When Life Gives You Lemons

I find stories of people turning their lives around to be quite fascinating and inspiring. Going through challenges makes for better people on the other end and some of the greatest things we know today were created by those who took risks, defied protocols, and pushed through adversity. Here are some fine examples of folks turning lemons into lemonade!

Walt Disney

Had Walt Disney been one to easily give up, we wouldn’t have an archive of wonderful characters, shows, movies, theme parks, and experiences. Countless times, it was speculated that Disney would destroy his own company with new ventures. This included the making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – dubbed Disney’s Folly by the media – and the construction of Disneyland, which many believed had no chance of success. Disney had so much trouble raising funds for the theme park that he made a deal with the ABC TV network, exchanging programming for help in financing his dream. Everything worked out in the end, thanks to Disney’s risks.

Walt Disney Legacy

Henry Ford

The man who eventually brought the world the automobile went through a number of struggles before finally reaching success. Ford came from a farming family and was expected to take over the homestead, although he hated the work and lifestyle. Ford wanted a better life for himself, but simply leaving the farm didn’t guarantee anything. In fact, Ford was forced to file for bankruptcy twice, but he learned from his mistakes and gained a net worth of $188 billion. Ford was also one to look after his employees, offering them an unheard of $5 per day wage, allowing them to buy the vehicles they were making.

JK Rowling

The Harry Potter author, now raking in cash from her books, movie deals, theme park lands, etc. was once living off welfare and trying to complete her novel by travelling to various coffee houses, while caring for her infant child. Even when interest began swelling for her manuscript, she was advised to seek a day job, as it was unlikely she would make enough money solely on writing children’s books. While speaking for a graduating Harvard class in 2008, Rowling said: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

Steve Jobs

Before he became the technological icon that we know him as today – creating devices such as the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone – Jobs went through many hardships. Among them, he was an adopted child, struggled in school, dropped out of college course he could barely afford in the first place, and struggled to find his niche in the working world. Even running his own company would not provide smooth sailing. In fact, at one time, he was forced out of Apple, the company he created and would later bring back to prominence. Even in declining health due to cancer, Jobs never gave up hope or his dreams and kept working hard through it all.

Jobs Taking Over

Terry Fox

Fox was only 18 years old when he was forced to have his leg amputated due to cancer. The young man didn’t let that stop him, though, as he not only won national wheelchair basketball championships, but also embarked on a trip across Canada, running to raise money for cancer research. Fox’s Marathon of Hope lasted 143 days and 5,373 km, garnering $1.7 million in donations. Sadly, the journey had to be halted in Thunder Bay, Ontario, when Fox was too sick to continue, cancer returning to the athlete’s body. In honour of his campaign, the Terry Fox Run is done annually around the world and has raised over $650 million.

Rick Hansen

Sticking with Canadian content, the wheelchair-bound Hansen gave the opening address at one of my college convocations and his message really hit home with Mrs. Sip and myself. The crux of it was: “Failure is not having the courage to try.” Hansen is best known for his Man in Motion World Tour, an attempt to raise funds for spinal cord injury research by circumventing the globe in his wheelchair. Hansen had been crippled in an auto wreck at the age of 15, but that didn’t stop the man from raising $26 million over his 26 month journey. The song St. Elmo’s Fire was written for Hansen and his courageous expedition.

Oprah Winfrey

With a media empire that includes its own magazine, television network, and devoted fan base, one could certainly say that Oprah Winfrey did well for herself. When you learn of the broadcasting mogul’s humble and difficult beginnings, her success is all the more impressive. She had a strained relationship with her teenage mother, who was in and out of her life and was the victim of sexual abuse from family members. After running away from home, Winfrey herself became pregnant at age 14, although the baby died after premature birth. Once Winfrey entered the media world, it was a slow rise to the heights she currently enjoys.

Flavour Revolution: Floradora

Floradora Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Gilbey’s Lemon Gin
  • 0.5 oz Chambord
  • Top with Ginger Ale/Beer
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

The phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” has been credited to two sources. First, Elbert Hubbard, a Christian anarchist writer, used it for the obituary of Marshall P. Wilder, a dwarf actor, who Hubbard wrote of: “He cashed in on his disabilities. He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.” Fellow writer Dale Carnegie has also been said to have invented the term, writing in his book ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living’: “If You Have a Lemon, Make a Lemonade.”

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is an interesting drink. I used my Dark Ginger Ale, but kind of wished I’d used some Ginger Beer, perhaps Crabbie’s orange or raspberry flavour. There’s a lot of different tastes going on here, but the end result works. And if it hadn’t, I would have made lemonade from the lemon experience!