North Dakota – Smith and Curran

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, North Dakota gets the Sip Advisor treatment. It has a number of nicknames, including Flickertail State and Roughrider State. Apparently, North Dakota is the least visited state in the country, so let’s try to change that.

Motto: “Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable” – I feel like this slogan could easily be shortened.

Food: Much of North Dakota’s cuisine is influenced by German and Norwegian dishes. This includes Knoephla (potato dumpling soup), Fleischkuekle (meat pie) and Lefse (flatbread). It should also be noted, most pasta in America is made from North Dakota’s durum wheat, so think of that the next time you’re carbo-loading.

Drink: There’s not a lot going on in the drink world for North Dakota. However, I did discover that the state was the last in the country to have a winery, when Pointe of View Winery began operating in Burlington, in 2002. Pointe of View uses many different fruits in their wines, including their award-winning Rhubarb Wine.

Wineries

Site to See: Theodore Roosevelt was greatly influential in the establishment of the U.S. National Park system. So, it should comes as no surprise that he is the only person to have a park named after him. Found in North Dakota’s badlands, where Roosevelt became the man who ended up leading the nation, the park is heavily visited, with scenic drives and hiking opportunities.

Street: The Enchanted Highway is a 32-mile route in Regent, featuring a number of scrap metal sculptures. Each installation along the way has an area allowing cars to stop. Artist Gary Greff created the sculptures and maintains them, including Geese in Flight, the world’s largest metal sculpture, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

TV Show: While the movie Fargo is named for North Dakota’s biggest city, it mostly takes place in Minnesota. The TV show adaptation spends far more time in North Dakota, with parts of the first two seasons taking place in the state. The fourth season of the series will air this fall, starring Chris Rock, and set in Kansas City, Missouri, in the 1950’s.

Movie: Leprechaun, best known for Jennifer Aniston’s film debut, sees a North Dakota man return home from a trip to Ireland, where he stole a leprechaun’s pot of gold. The leprechaun follows, looking for revenge, but is trapped in a four-leaf clover. When the Redding family moves to the farm 10 years later, hilarity and horror ensues, as the leprechaun is released.

Leprechaun

Book/Author: Western writer, Louis L’Amour, was born in Jamestown. Over his career, L’Amour wrote 89 novels, 14 collections of short stories and two non-fiction pieces, and was called “one of the world’s most popular writers”. Many of his works were adapted into film, with his most notable character being Hondo, played by the legendary John Wayne.

Fictional Character: Jay Gatsby, protagonist of The Great Gatsby novel and movie adaptations, is from North Dakota. The self-made millionaire is known for hosting lavish parties in New York City. Gatsby has been portrayed by actors such as Leonardo Di Caprio and Robert Redford in film, while Kirk Douglas played Gatsby in a radio adaptation broadcast.

Fictional City: Rock Springs is the setting of primetime soap opera Blood & Oil, which sees a young couple move to the North Dakota town following the largest discovery of oil in U.S. history. The series stars Don Johnson as an oil tycoon, but only lasted one season and 10 episodes (cut from an original order of 13 episodes).

Actor/Actress: Angie Dickinson, born in Kulm, enjoyed a six-decade long acting career, most notably as star of TV show Police Woman, for which she was nominated for three Emmys. Also, Josh Duhamel was born in Minot, remaining involved with his hometown, co-owning the restaurant 10 North Main. He has starred in four of the five films from the Transformers franchise.

Gatsby

Song: North Dakota by Tigirlilly, is an ode to the state that would make any citizen proud. Tigirlilly is comprised of sisters, Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh, from the small town of Hazen. The pair, who have been writing and performing since they were preteens, are now pursuing their country music careers in Nashville, Tennessee.

Band/Musician: Rapper Wiz Khalifa was born in Minot. He is best known for songs such as Black and Yellow and Young, Wild & Free (with Snoop Dogg). There’s also barefoot guitarist Jonny Lang, born in Fargo, who has toured with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Jeff Beck, and Sting. He won a 2007 Grammy for the album Turn Around.

People: From musician, to TV host, to business mogul, Lawrence Welk did it all. Born in Strasburg, Welk’s music career, as a big bang leader, led to him hosting The Lawrence Welk Show from 1951 to 1982. Using the TV show, Welk promoted his business properties, including Welk Resorts, with a handful of locations across North America.

Animal: The National Buffalo Museum, in Jamestown, was home to White Cloud (Mahpiya Ska in the Sioux language), a rare albino buffalo. White Cloud died in 2016, at the age of 19. Prior to passing, she had returned to her home herd. The White Cloud Days Festival is still celebrated, with her white calf Dakota Miracle taking over the role of feature attraction.

Lawrence Welk

Invention: The Cream of Wheat porridge mix was invented in Grand Forks, in 1893. It debuted at that year’s World’s Columbian Exposition. Cream of Wheat has been in the news recently, as products with black characters have come under fire. Rastus, a black chef, appears on Cream of Wheat packaging and in ads, although this is being reviewed by the company.

Crime: In 1920, Henry Layer nearly wiped out an entire family, using a shotgun and a hatchet, after an argument over a dog biting his cow. Seven members of the Wolf family (parents and five daughters), as well as a neighbour boy were all found dead. Only the Wolf’s youngest child, a nine-month-old daughter was spared. Layer was given a life sentence, dying in prison five years later.

Law: It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in public with your shoes on. I’m not sure if wearing sandals is an issue and I’m assuming going barefoot makes everything okay. I hope they apply this law to babies and young children!

Sports Team: With no professional teams, the sporting void is filled by the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks and North Dakota State University Bison programs. When the school’s football squads meet, they battle for the Nickel Trophy. The Fighting Hawks men’s hockey team is also notable, having won eight national championships and many alum becoming NHL pros.

Cream of Wheat

Athlete: North Dakota’s most notable athletes weren’t born in the state, but were raised there. This includes home run machine Roger Maris, who held the MLB single-season record for homers for 37 years, and women’s mixed martial arts pioneer Ronda Rousey. Rousey is now enjoying a post-fighting career that includes professional wrestling and acting roles.

Famous Home: The Custer House, located in Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, is a reconstructed home of General George Custer, he of Custer’s Last Stand. Reconstructed or not, it’s said the ghost of Custer haunts the home, with visitors experiencing taps on their shoulder and objects moving. Other spirits may include Custer’s wife, soldiers who died in Custer’s charge and the distraught wives of those soldiers.

Urban Legend: The Legend of White Lady Lane takes place in Walhalla. The story goes, a young woman was murdered by the man who wished to marry her, when the girl’s mother forbid the arrangement. The woman can be seen, dressed in a white nightgown, near Eddie’s Bridge, perhaps searching for the man who killed her.

Museum: The Paul Broste Rock Museum, in Parshall, is hard to miss, given the site is built out of rocks. Broste wanted to showcase his collection of rocks, so he built the museum with Greece’s Parthenon in mind. The museum also houses Broste’s art works, including paintings, sculptures, illustrations, poems, and other pieces.

Rocks

Firsts: The first mosque in the U.S. was located in the remote town of Ross, with a population of around 100 people. Built in 1929, the small structure was used by Muslims who settled in the farming community. In 1979, the mosque was torn down, but was rebuilt in 2005, by one of the remaining families in the area.

Company: Mr. Bubble is America’s most popular bath product brand. The bubble bath was invented and distributed by North Dakota’s Gold Seal Company, until it was sold to Airwick Industries in 1986. Mr. Bubble has popped up in many TV shows and movies and even has its own holiday, first celebrated on the 50th anniversary of its original release.

Events: Two booms in North Dakota history helped increase the population of the state. This includes farming settlers arriving between 1879 and 1886, which brought 100,000 people north, and when oil drilling came to North Dakota in the 1970’s, which is paying off today, as North Dakota is the fastest growing state in the country.

Miscellaneous: Nobody knows for certain whether North Dakota is the 39th or 40th state. When both North and South Dakota were given statehood, President Benjamin Harrison shuffled the signed admission papers around to leave things vague. North Dakota generally gets the nod as the 39th state, based on it being first alphabetically.

Smith and Curran

Smith and Curran

  • 2 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Cream
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Garnish with Chocolate Sprinkles

This dessert cocktail was created at the Blue Blazer Lounge in Bismarck. It was named for two oilmen who frequented the bar, Wendell Smith and James Curran. The drink is also known as a Smith and Kearns, with Curran’s last name being altered. A variation of the beverage uses Kahlua instead of Crème de Cacao.

Ireland – The Emerald

Pot of Gold

The leprechaun has long been associated with Ireland and is an important figure of Irish folklore. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will always be portrayed in the best of lights elsewhere. Here are some of the famous leprechauns we can learn from:

Lucky the Leprechaun – Lucky Charms

Also known as Sir Charms and L.C. Leprechaun (monikers he invented to avoid creditors who were after his Lucky Charms!), this imp was introduced in the 1960’s, shortly after the cereal hit store shelves. Originally, the breakfast option only contained four different marshmallow shapes, but over time that number grew to eight permanent charms. Lucky was briefly replaced by Waldo the Wizard in 1975, but it wasn’t long before the leprechaun was back with the brand. Some say he bought his way back into the picture with his pot o’ gold riches!

lucky-charms-marshmallows

O’Reilly – The Simpsons

This little hellraiser appears in a number of Simpsons episodes, most notably one of the Treehouse of Horror segments where Homer has drawn the ire of a gypsy and has been cursed. Looking to reverse his fortune, he traps a leprechaun (using Lucky Charms as bait), but O’Reilly just causes havoc in the Simpson home. When Homer takes the leprechaun to battle the gypsy, the two fall in love and are married in a ceremony performed by Yoda of Star Wars fame. O’Reilly is also an imaginary vision for Ralph Wiggum, telling the youngster to burn things.

Braun the Leprechaun – World Championship Wrestling

Leave it to professional wrestling to have a leprechaun running around the ring and causing havoc. Braun briefly appeared with the Dungeon of Doom stable, a group of dark and sometimes mythological characters, including The Yeti (although he was dressed like a mummy… no, seriously) and Loch Ness (a 600-plus pound monster of a man, billed from the Scottish Highlands). Portrayed by the grappler (real name DeWayne Bruce) that would eventually become perennial loser Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, he is most recognized for his work training future stars, particularly Bill Goldberg.

Hornswoggle – World Wrestling Entertainment

Sticking with professional wrestling, years after Braun, another shot was taken at the character, this time using a little person. Originally named Little Bastard, the character soon evolved into Hornswoggle (which means to cheat, swindle, hoodwink, or hoax), helping Irish bruiser Finlay score a number of underhanded victories. Hornswoggle has gone on to become a fan favourite, while enjoying high-profile roles such as joining D-Generation X as their mascot, being the illegitimate son of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, winning the Cruiserweight Title, and holding the position of anonymous General Manager of Monday Night Raw.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish/Boston Celtics Leprechauns

These famous logos and mascots have helped define both squads. For Notre Dame, the team had gone through a number of nicknames (Catholics, Hoosiers, Rockmen, Bulldogs) before settling on the Fighting Irish. This was done because a leprechaun joined the cheerleading squad and has remained on the team’s sideline ever since. As for the Celtics, their mascot Lucky was designed by the brother of legendary coach Red Auerbach. Complete with shillelagh and shamrock-adorned attire, it just doesn’t get much more Irish… although Lucky lacks the red locks we usually associate with leprechauns.

The Leprechaun – Leprechaun Movies

Played by little person Warwick Davis (of Willow and Harry Potter fame), The Leprechaun horror movie franchise has spawned six films and is due for a reboot with the aforementioned Hornswoggle (real name Dylan Postl) taking over the lead role. Falling in line with recent movie trends, the new film will be an origin story. Back to the original series, premises ranged from The Leprechaun tracking down his stolen gold, to searching for a bride, and even rampages through Las Vegas, space, and Compton, California (in the ghetto!). The first installment even featured a young and unknown Jennifer Aniston… she ended up doing pretty well for herself!

leprechaun-back2thahood

Seriously, they did not one, but two Leprechaun films set in “Tha Hood”!

Brian Connors – Darby O’Gill and the Little People

This Disney live action movie features a horde of leprechauns led by Brian Connors, the ‘King of the Leprechauns’. Connors and O’Gill are friendly adversaries, each trying to outsmart the other. O’Gill, an elderly groundskeeper is trying to capture Connors and be granted three wishes, hoping to set his daughter up for a happy life. Conners was played by Jimmy O’Dea, an Irish comedian and songwriter. Sean Connery is also in the film and he even sings! Legend has it that his role as Michael McBride, the daughter’s eventual love interest, led to him being cast as James Bond.

Shado – Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law

Known as Shado the Brain Thief because he possesses telepathic abilities, this leprechaun lawyer uses his powers to mess with opposing counsel and juries and manipulate them for his own gains. If Mrs. Sip (also a lawyer) was capable of telepathy, she’d be even more of a legend than she already is… which is due largely in part to her association with the Sip Advisor. Anyhoo, Shado is voiced by Toby Huss, who provided the dialogue for a number of characters on King of the Hill, including Cotton Hill, Kahn Souphanousinphone, Joe Jack, and M.F. Thatherton.

Ireland: The Emerald

Mar 20

  • 2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Dashes of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with Orange Zest

I hope everyone finds their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… that is, unless you have to battle a deranged leprechaun to get at your cash money. My advice is to wait until the little guys tucker themselves out before achieving your treasure. Kind of like I do with my desire to high-five monkeys!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This is basically a Manhattan variation and it was decent. Whenever I make a drink with Orange Bitters, I go a little crazy with the dashes and that’s not a bad thing. I thought the Orange Zest bits looked pretty darn good, if I don’t say so myself. Party on!