Mixer Mania #39 – The Immortals

Aloe Vera Juice is a curious beverage. Prior to this project, I’d never tried the concoction and of course, I would only ever drink it as part of a cocktail… I may have to reconsider that, though. In Ancient Egypt, Aloe Vera was known as the “Plant of Immortality” and was even used by Cleopatra, as part of her beauty regimen. With that in mind, here’s the Sip Advisor’s guide to becoming immortal:

Have a Genetic Mutation

We have seen countless examples from the world of comics that all it takes to be immortal is a slight alteration to your genetic makeup. From Apocalypse to Wolverine, good or bad, many of the major players of the genre have existed for hundreds or thousands of years and cannot be destroyed.

Mutation

Be Bitten by a Vampire

Sure you’re still at risk of dying from sunlight, holy water, stakes, etc., but if you can avoid these potential dangers, you will live forever. You may tire of this world, however, so keeping a garlic-soaked stake nearby is a good idea.

Remove Death from the Picture

Both The Simpsons and Family Guy have spoofed what would happen if Death didn’t exist or was otherwise preoccupied. It’s an interesting concept, but the results seem to always be the same: Death is needed for there to be order in this crazy world.

Be a Horror Movie Bad Guy

Seriously, it seems like nothing can stop these guys – your Freddy Kruegers, Michael Myers’ and Jason Voorhees’ of the world – and even when you think you’ve vanquished the baddy and all is well with the universe, it’s likely only a matter of time before a sequel is released and we’re back to square one.

Straight Outta

Be a God or Goddess

This seems pretty unobtainable to us regular folk, but you never know. Some have thought of themselves as a higher power, only to learn the harsh reality of those claims eventually. The Sip Advisor is a proven deity, however, so beware of my omnipotence.

Take a Dip in the Fountain of Youth

Numerous forms of media have examined the existence of a Fountain of Youth. If it existed, would you dive in? What if you couldn’t be joined by all your loved ones and had to start anew. This is getting a little too deep for this site… let’s get to the drink!

Mixer Mania #39: Paradiso

Paradiso

  • Muddle Cucumber and Mint Leaves
  • 2 oz Tequila
  • Top with Aloe Vera Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Agave Nectar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Garnish with a Mint Sprig and Cucumber Slice

Aside from the Ancient Egyptians, Native Americans were also enamoured with the Aloe Vera plant, referring to it as “The Wand of Heaven”. The more you know!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Sadly, finding cocktail recipes for Aloe Vera Juice was not as easy as I’d hoped. This drink is decent, but too sweet. I would suggest not adding the Agave Nectar for a better balance.

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Mixer Mania #38 – In the Face of Danger

Sometimes, grapefruits are used to describe a person’s bravery… as in that dude has some huge grapefruits on him. Today we look at some of the most courageous actions the Sip Advisor has taken in his life. While none were earth shattering, they helped form the person I am today:

Kidney Conundrum

Moving in a somewhat chronological order, when the Sip Advisor was 12, I had my right kidney removed, as it was not functioning properly. Major surgery when you’re that young can be hard, but it’s also a blessing to have the issue dealt with early on, before it does even more damage. I think I took the whole thing pretty well and the scar can provide an interesting talking point.

Kidney Operation.jpg

Asking Mrs. Sip Out

On mutual family trips to Disneyland, I mustered all the swagger I could and asked Mrs. Sip out on a date in front of Cinderella’s Castle during the nightly fireworks extravaganza. The moment was perfect and she couldn’t say no. Had she turned me down, not only would that have stung bad, but it would have probably ruined one of my favourite places in the world. Luckily, we’re still together 15 years later.

Moving Abroad

Leaving all the comforts you have always known can be a daunting task. On two different occasions, I packed up my belongings and ventured to other parts of the world for new adventures. I spent a semester in Preston, England as part of an exchange program, before later moving to Toronto, Canada for a year-long school course. Both journeys made me much more confident.

Traveller’s Choice

Along with Mrs. Sip, I have journeyed to 51 different countries across the globe, including some that aren’t as safe and settled as others. With each expedition, insight has been gained about how other parts of the world operate. There are many more places on my wish list, though, so this courageous enterprise will never be fully achieved.

Dangerous Travel

Daredevil Days

The Sip Advisor can have a bit of a reckless spirit, doing crazy things like leaping off of high platforms (sometimes tethered to a bungee cord) into watery depths below. Some highlights have included jumping off the Auckland Bridge in New Zealand, swimming in the Devil’s Pool on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and ziplining in multiple locales.

Conquering Anxiety

While it always remains in the background of my psyche, I can proudly say that I’ve conquered anxiety issues on three separate occasions in my life. For me, anxiety has largely been a fear of fear. It has been brought on by different circumstances and while each occurrence is tough, I have always worked through and made it out the other end stronger.

Daddy Daycare

Through my life, I haven’t really been around babies, meaning I’d never changed a diaper, fed a little one, and rarely even held a baby. So, taking the leap into fatherhood recently has certainly been an eye opener. It’s also been an awesome experience, despite the sleep deprivation, second guessing and unsolicited advice from all angles. I wouldn’t change a thing!

Mixer Mania #38: Hemingway Daquiri

Hemingway Daquiri.JPG

  • 2 oz White Rum
  • 0.25 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge and Maraschino Cherry

Perhaps one day I’ll be viewed in a similar vein to Sir Ranulph Fiennes, recognized as the bravest man in the world. If not, I’m still happy with my own accomplishments!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This drink is very good and has brought me around to the Grapefruit Juice bandwagon. I’m particularly impressed with the Maraschino Liqueur. Ernest Hemingway was onto something!

Mixer Mania #37 – Notably Negligent

Did you know that we have Ginger Beer to thank for the legal term of negligence. It all stems from the English 1932 case of Donoghue v. Stevenson, which resulted when Mrs. Donoghue drank a Ginger Beer that had been manufactured by Mr. Stevenson’s company. There happened to (allegedly) be a snail in the bottle, which caused Mrs. Donoghue to become sick. Mr. Stevenson was guilty due to negligence, which had previously not been used in legal matters. Here are some other infamous cases of legal negligence:

McDonald’s Coffee

Almost everyone out there knows of this lawsuit, which most point to as being ridiculous. After hearing the circumstances, though, many change their minds and can understand why the restaurant chain was punished as harshly as they were. When 80-year-old Stella Liebeck spilled a cup of java on her lap, causing third-degree burns, she asked for $800 to cover the treatments for her injuries. When McDonald’s balked, Liebeck sued and was awarded $2.7 million by a jury. Apparently, the franchise had received hundreds of complaints about the temperature of their coffee which was served much higher than other restaurants.

Coffee Caution Hot.jpg

Google Maps

In 2009, Lauren Rosenberg used Google Maps for a walking journey she needed to take and ended up getting hit by a car. The map service advised her to walk on a freeway void of sidewalks as part of her trip, resulting in the accident. Rosenberg sued Google (and the driver who hit her) for $100,000 to cover her medical bills. The case was eventually dismissed, as Google does have warnings about the reliability of their directions.

Los Angeles Dodgers

After a San Francisco Giants fan, Bryan Stow, was viciously beaten by two men, causing brain damage, Stow sued the Dodgers, alleging his attack was to be blamed on a lack of security presence at the opening day contest between the two teams. Stow was awarded $18 million, of which the Dodgers were found to be 25 per cent responsible, but still have to fork over $13.9 million to cover all of Stow’s medical bills and loss of earnings. Hostilities between Giants and Dodgers fans have existed for decades, even resulting in a couple murders.

Wendy’s Chili

In 2005, Anna Ayala of California sat down to a meal at a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose. While eating, she claimed to have discovered a severed fingertip in her bowl of chili. She sued Wendy’s, however, Ayala had a checkered history of lawsuits against companies and it didn’t take long for investigators to poke holes in her story. Ayala was later arrested and charged with attempted grand larceny for the incident, which she pled guilty to and was sentenced to nine years in prison, serving four years. The finger belonged to a co-worker of Ayala’s husband. Wendy’s estimated their loss of revenue from the incident to be $21 million.

Mixer Mania #37: Bermuda Black

Bermuda Black

  • 2 oz Rum
  • 1.75 oz Stout or Porter Beer
  • Top with Ginger Beer
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

What are some other famous negligence lawsuits that have been filed in this crazy world? Whether legit or not, the subject matter is often quite interesting and often divisive.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I was really looking forward to making this drink and it did not disappoint. If you try it and the Ginger Beer content is too high, you can even the drink out with more of the Stout/Porter Beer and the results will be absolutely delicious.

Mixer Mania #34 – Wondrous Watermelon

Up until recently, I didn’t realize Watermelon Soda was part of the Crush pop line or even existed. Given I love watermelon, this was a very happy discovery and I instantly grabbed a bottle. Much like this watermelon-based soft drink seemed mythical, let’s take a look at some legends meant to explain the existence of watermelons:

Making Papa Proud

Our first origin story comes from Vietnam, where a young prince angered his father, the king, and was banished to a deserted island. There, he found a fruit that he feared was poisonous and only consumed when all other options were gone. The fruit was tasty and extinguished his thirst. The prince then cultivated the fruit, which spread across the island. He also sent some of the fruit drifting into the sea, with his name and the island’s name carved into them. This brought others to the island, in search of the fruit. The king learned of his son’s achievements and invited him home, crowning him the next king.

Cat Watermelon

Slithering Save

Moving on to Armenia, this tale begins with a king’s servants cutting a snake’s horns off, in order to save it. As a thank you, the snake left a seed at the palace. From the seed, grew a new fruit, which was offered to an ailing old man, saving his life. The king tried the fruit next and felt invigorated. Thus, Armenians called watermelon “Not-Die”, once upon a time. I’m conflicted on this legend. On one hand, I don’t think I would ever be inclined to save a snake, but would rather chop its head off. On the other hand, the servants heroic efforts resulted in the creation of watermelon, so can I really fault them?

Passion of the Priest

We’ll wrap things up with a journey to the Philippines, where a Spanish priest was working hard to convert folks to Catholicism. One particular area was resistant to the priest’s teachings about Christ and his sacrifices. The ruler of this region eventually detained the priest and punished him according to his lessons, crucifying him on a cross. The priest succumbed to this treatment and his blood flowed into the ground below. When the ruler later returned to the cross, the priest had disappeared and in his place, a fruit had grown, its innards resembling the blood of the priest. And that’s how people get converted!

Mixer Mania #34: Nice Melons

Nice Melons.JPG

  • 2 oz Rum
  • Top with Watermelon Soda
  • Splash of Peach Juice
  • Dash of Lime/Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

There is also a legend of vampire watermelons (and pumpkins), but I’ll let you look into that yourselves…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
For this recipe, I’ve subbed Watermelon Soda and Peach Juice in place of Watermelon and Peach Pieces, respectively. I also used the last of my Bear Hug Mango Rum to up the melon content and the result was very, very good. It may be a little sweet, but that can be evened out by Club Soda. The Watermelon Soda is nice on its own, reminding me of a 7-11 Slurpee.

Mixer Mania #8 – Family First

Fruit Punch is like the United Nations of juices, bringing crops of all walks of life together and trying to co-exist in harmony. That also sounds like the description for a blended family… therefore, here are some of the best fictional merged units to ever come together:

The Brady Bunch

The original blended TV family saw a mother and her three daughters join a father and his three sons. Of course, there was also maid Alice to play peacekeeper between the factions, so long as she wasn’t out with boyfriend, Sam the butcher (an awesome wrestling name!). Cousin Oliver later came along, although he basically signaled the end of the series and his name is now used to describe when a show adds a young character to avoid cancellation.

Step Brothers

It’s one thing to find common ground with young children that are suddenly asked to act like kin, but when you’re trying to find peace between two middle-aged slackers still living at home, it can be a total nightmare. Such was the case for Brennan Huff and Dale Doback, as their mother and father, respectively, decide to marry and bring their families together. They do become close, in the end, but the early stages included attempted murder.

step-brothers

Step by Step

An updated 90’s version of The Brady Bunch saw TV darlings Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy combine their offspring to make one massive family. Add in cousin Cody – who lives in a van on the Lambert-Foster property, despite their massive house – and you have a pretty large household. This was TGIF programming at its finest, my little sippers, and they even tried to shoehorn a new baby into the show, prior to advance-aging her.

Blended

You’d figure after starring together previously in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates that Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore wouldn’t be strangers anymore, but here they were bringing their respective families together in Africa of all places. Sandler, a widower with three daughters is joined by Barrymore and her two sons from a previous marriage and hilarity ensues when they’re placed in a myriad of African mishaps, before falling in love.

X-Men

While not a typical blended family, the students of Charles Xavier’s School for the Gifted are like one big clan, with many of the mutants forced from their birth homes by parents who either can’t handle their child’s extraordinary powers or are too scared to. Sure, things get a little weird when you consider some of the romantic relationships sparked within the group and the jury is still out on whether Professor X is a good father or not.

wolverine-kid

Modern Family

When Jay Pritchett married Gloria Delgado, her son Manny was also part of the deal. Later on, Jay and Gloria have a child of their own to add to the mix. As the show’s name implies, the series includes a number of different family mixes, such as the Dunphy’s – your “typical” family of mom, dad, and three kids – and the Tucker-Pritchett clan, which is comprised of a gay couple and their adopted Vietnamese daughter.

The Cleveland Show

After reuniting with his high school crush, Cleveland Brown and son Cleveland Jr. end up shacking up with Donna Tubbs and her two children from her previous marriage, Roberta and Rallo. The move from Quahog, Rhode Island to Stoolbend, Virginia means a whole new set of family and friends for the Browns, who initially struggle to meld with the Tubbs unit. Eventually, they return to Quahog, as most blended families do when their spinoff is cancelled.

Once Upon A Time

A big theme in Disney animated movies (and the fairy tales that they’re based on) is that of the blended family. Therefore, it’s no surprise that these would be transferred over to the Once Upon A Time world, most notably with Evil Queen Regina becoming the stepmother of Snow White and later sharing mother duties of young Henry with Emma Swan, the boy’s biological mama. Regina also becomes a pseudo mother to Robin Hood’s son.

Mixer Mania #8: Alabama Riot

Alabama Riot.JPG

  • 2 oz Southern Comfort
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Top with Fruit Punch
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Strawberry Slices

I must ask, if the world drank more Fruit Punch, would we be more accepting of each other’s differences? Yeah, probably not, but it would be neat if the solution was that simple…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
With this recipe, I was most curious with how the Peppermint Schnapps would work with the other ingredients. While it actually made a decent partnership with the Fruit Punch, it still remained a little too noticeable. I happy I tried the drink, though.

Mixer Mania #4 – Jack of All Trades

Upon further research, it seems that Club Soda is a pretty versatile product. Yes, it can be used for more than getting drunk, while limiting calorie intake! Here are some other uses for the drink:

Stain Remover – Unfortunately, it can’t remove some of the human stains that exist out there (your Donald Trump’s and the like), but perhaps if those folks drank enough of the pop, it might make them disappear.

Fluff Food – Sorry, I was laughing too hard when I thought of food needing to be fluffed, in the same manner that the term is used in the adult film industry.

Remove Rust – I wonder if it would also work on the Sip Advisor’s joints after winter hibernation. Those first few trips back to the gym are not very fun.

Water Plants – Hmmm, water is free and soda costs money… I think I’ll stick to the water. Better yet, just get rid of all your plants and eliminate the dilemma entirely.

watering-plants

Soothe Your Belly – Given the pop in mixed drinks often leads to “gut rot” for some, I’m skeptical about this solution.

Restore Hair Color – This tactic is to be used after swimming, but won’t you damage your hair to a similar degree if you first have to wash it with Club Soda and then wash it again to wash out the Club Soda? I mean, those dyes are only good for so many washes.

Shuck Oysters – I would still think this process would eliminate some of the natural flavours oysters are supposed to provide… you know, the aphrodisiac qualities.

Preserve Newspaper Clippings – What lunatic still does this!?

Clean Surfaces – If you ever spill some Club Soda, you can simply tell your wife/girlfriend/mother, etc. that you were simply trying to clean the place, like they’ve been asking you to do for weeks.

spring-cleaning-tip

Windshield Cleaning – I bet there are some car guys out there that have always dreamed of having a drink with their vehicle.

Clean Gems – Then have sticky fingers for the rest of your life.

Rid Pots and Pans of Stuck-On Food – So much for leftovers.

Remove Bird Droppings – If only it could remove birds, as well.

Deodorize Pet Accident Areas – I wonder if it would also work to eliminate the odor of those who like to use alleys as toilets. If so, I think we’re going to need a lot more of it.

Mixer Mania #4: Gin Rickey

Gin Rickey.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

It seems Club Soda’s best attribute is being able to remove unsightly and gross things. And yet we’re throwing all caution to the wind and still drinking the stuff. Well, bottom’s up!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Yet another classic cocktail that the Sip Advisor has yet to profile. This is the ultimate scurvy remedy, but I would have loved a little more complexity to the recipe.

Flavour Revolution – Gingerbread

‘Tis the Season

Mrs. Sip and I picked up a bottle of Southern Comfort: Gingerbread last year in Hawaii and should play around with it more than we have to this point. Here are some other spirits perfect for the winter and holiday season:

Bailey’s Irish Crème

Bailey’s is a holiday staple, perfect for morning coffee (not for the Sip Advisor, though) or straight up as a night cap. Last Christmas, Sis-in-Law Sip gave me a bottle of Chocolate Cherry, which I only haven’t opened because I was going through another crème liqueur and don’t like having too many on the go. Other flavours perfect for the season (and year round), include Orange Truffle, Vanilla Cinnamon, Biscotti, Hazelnut, Salted Caramel, Mint Chocolate, and Crème Caramel.

Bailey's Straight

Kahlua

With flavours such as Hazelnut, Cinnamon Spice, Peppermint Mocha, and French Vanilla, Kahlua ranks right up there with Bailey’s as a textbook winter treat. New to their product line is a Salted Caramel version, which has the Sip Advisor quite intrigued. Kahlua – and other liqueurs – are basically the only way I will intake coffee and despite my complete disregard of the hot beverage, I do have a soft spot for it in booze form.

Peppermint Schnapps

I love putting a couple dashes of Peppermint Schnapps in my hot chocolate. The Sip Advisor is currently using Yukon Jack Permafrost as his go to winter warmer. This product is unique in that it combines the flavours of peppermint and cinnamon all in one bottle. There are also a few peppermint-flavoured vodkas on the market, including Smirnoff Peppermint Twist Vodka and Burnett’s Candy Cane Vodka. Earlier this month, I used the Candy Cane Vodka for another Flavour Revolution article.

 

Eggnog Liqueur

You can’t go through the Christmas season without eggnog. Even people who aren’t crazy about the beverage (such as myself), end up indulging in the nog at least once… for tradition’s sake. A number of companies have jumped on the eggnog bandwagon, releasing pre-mixed bottles of the festive drink. An interesting Peppermint Chocolate variation comes from the Evan Williams distillery, which turns the dial up on Christmas!

christmas cat_eggnog

Spicebox Gingerbread Whiskey

In a similar vein to the SoCo Gingerbread we’re working with today, comes Spicebox Gingerbread Whiskey. I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, but this is another spirit that I have had great interest in, but have yet to purchase and sample. Along with the cookies it is inspired by, gingerbread is perfect at this time of year, soothing eaters and drinkers with a spice and warmth that is unlike any other treat available.

Jack Daniels Winter Jack

Having been a Jack Daniels fan since before I even began drinking, I’ve always been curious of this winter release, which combines the famous Tennessee whiskey with apple cider to produce a ready-to-drink cocktail. Sis-in-Law Sip gifted me a bottle of this for Christmas this year, but as of press time, I’m still showing it off underneath our tree. It sounds like the perfect liqueur to bring in the New Year with, so perhaps I’ll have to report back to all you little sippers.

Flavour Revolution: Late Night Affair

  • Rim glass with Gingerbread Crumbs
  • 1.5 oz Southern Comfort Gingerbread
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Dash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

There’s also a multitude of winter beers on the market, many of which I have covered in my recent Sip Trips articles, looking at the craft beer advent calendar Mrs. Sip compiled for me. Is there anything else out there I’ve neglected and should add to my shopping list?