Morocco – Black, White & Fig

Fun with Fezzes

While it may not be the most stylish headpiece ever adorned, the fez hat is a symbol of Moroccan nationalism, worn to protest French occupation. Hell, even the royal court of Morocco wears the fez, the only Arab nation to do so. Despite all that, today, the fez is seen by some as politically incorrect and viewed with negative connotations. Let’s take a closer look at this polarizing piece of headgear:

Originally called a ‘tarboosh,’ which roughly translated means head cover, this hat dates back to the time of the Ottoman Empire. It is typically made using red felt with a tassel attached to the top of the cap. When a number of Arab monarchies were overthrown following World War I, the fez was made illegal by the new rulers and those who dared to wear them had their asses tossed in jail.

Fez Cat

The city of Fes, Morocco was actually quite important to the hat’s existence, as it produced the colouring agent, using crimson berries, to turn the hat red. It was the only place that had access to this hue before artificial dyes were later manufactured. Today, the city is known as the ‘Mecca of the West’ and the ‘Athens of Africa’ and not much is mentioned about the hats any longer.

The decline of the fez put it amongst other headdresses that may only be worn for events such as weddings, funerals, or invitations to the royal palace. Many of the male employees at restaurants and hotels in Morocco don the cap to give tourists a little thrill and a trip back through history. You may even get the chance to wear one and snap a few photos, but it will likely set you back a little in the realm of tip money.

If you’d like to have your very own fez, they can be found online. Most sell for under $20 and come in a variety of colour schemes, but ones involving higher quality materials or with some historical value will set you back a little more, in the $100-$150 range. They can also be imported directly from Morocco, adding some legitimacy to the accessory.

Fez Pot

Today, the fez is most commonly recognized as being worn by members of the Shriners men’s fraternity. Despite wearing the fez, the group is not associated with Arabic or Islamic culture and is more in line with Masonry. The group can often be seen participating in parades, while driving around in miniature cars, and also advocating for their Shriners Hospitals for Children, across North America. Members have included presidents and other high-profile politicians, star athletes, musicians, and other notable celebrities.

Others who have worn the hat include: Aladdin and Abu; Moroccan Mole, sidekick to Secret Squirrel in the 1960’s Hanna-Barbera cartoon; Sallah, from the Indiana Jones films; Magician Tommy Cooper; one of the many Doctor Who incarnations; and a number of Disney Theme Parks characters, particularly at the Tokyo and Hong Kong sites. Steely Dan even recorded a song titled Fez for their 1976 The Royal Scam album.

The term FES has also gone on to stand for Foreign Exchange Student, most famously portrayed by the character of that name on That 70’s Show. We never learn Fez’s real name, as the other characters state it’s too hard to pronounce. All we learn is that the first five K’s are silent and his name is made up solely of vowels (which seems to contradict those silent K’s). We also never learn where exactly the character is from and both that mystery and his real name are running gags throughout the series.

Morocco: Black, White & Fig

Black, White & Fig Martini

  • Rim glass with Pepper and Sugar
  • Muddle Apple Slices and Pepper
  • 1 oz Mahia
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Grapefruit Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Apple and Lime Slice

I personally believe that I would look quite fetching in a fez hat. While it would be similar to a smoking cap, I’d use it solely for getting blitzed and dancing around , preferably with a monkey assistant. I know that sounds like a hundred bad stereotypes, but that’s just how we roll at the Sip Advisor offices!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Mahia is an interesting spirit in that it’s Fig-based. It has a unique taste that I simply can’t place. Mrs. Sip and I both really enjoyed the Pepper & Sugar Rim and it added an different taste to the cocktail that didn’t overpower. For the citrus portion of the martini, you have the option of Lime Juice or Grapefruit Juice. I went with a splash of both because I like my sweet and sour.

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!