Mixer Mania #31 – Hard as they Come

Don’t get me wrong… I’ve been a root beer fan for many years, but I still can’t fully fathom why hard root beer has taken North America by storm. I mean, if I have the choice between a hard root beer and any craft beer, I’m reaching for the craft suds. With the fad in mind, let’s look at some of the hardest things out there, some real and some fictional:

Samoan Wrestler’s Heads

It’s long been a running joke in professional wrestling that a Samoan grappler’s head is virtually indestructible. For example, when an opponent would attempt a head butt, they would be the one to experience injury, while the Samoan would feel no effect, often laughing off the feeble attack.

Diamonds

That pretty little thing you’ve placed on your partner’s hand is actually one of the hardest substances known to man. Doesn’t seem so elegant anymore, does it!? Mrs. Sip has advised me that I should be shopping for another… better get on that.

Jawbreaker

Sometimes I don’t understand why this candy exists, given its unpleasant nature of causing dental damage for little to no enjoyment. A Gobstopper is okay because they breakdown easily enough, but those massive jawbreakers are simply a dentist’s dream.

Adamantium

Thought to be virtually indestructible, Adamantium is the element that has been fused to mutant Logan’s skeletal structure, turning him into a super weapon, code name: Wolverine. The painful procedure also caused Logan to become amnesic and forget his past.

Adamantium

Feminum

Sticking with indestructible super hero alloys, we have Feminum, used to forge Wonder Woman’s bracelets. This material can only be found on Paradise Island, home to Wonder Woman (aka Princess Diana) and her fellow Amazonians.

Anvil

Is there a better weapon in animated comedy than the anvil? Whether dropped by one of the Animaniacs or in a botched fashion by the lovable Wile E. Coyote, it can do some serious damage. You know, the type that causes chirping birdies or flashing stars to circle your noggin’.

Mixer Mania #31: Amber’s Revenge

Amber's Revenge.JPG

  • 1 oz Scotch
  • 0.5 oz Rum
  • 0.5 oz Tequila
  • Top with Root Beer
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

The whole hard root beer craze reminds me of a story my dad has told of a German relative trying root beer while visiting Canada and practically spitting out the soda upon discovering his beverage was far from the ales he was accustomed to back in Germany.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’m not sure who Amber is/was, but she must have been pretty pissed off, as I had to quarter each of the liquor ingredients to make the cocktail palatable. Not many drinks include Scotch, which is a slight shame because it works really well here and probably in other recipes.

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?

Flavour Revolution – Sloe Berries

Slowing Things Down

Today, we experiment with Sloe Gin – a first for the Sip Advisor. I know “sloe” in this case is not spelt like “slow”, but all I can think of is things moving at a lengthier pace. Therefore, I bring to you the greatest slow-motion scenes in cinema history:

The Untouchables – Union Station Gunfight

While I’m 100% anti-prohibition, I suppose I’m also anti-illegal activity. Things come to a head between these two forces when Elliot Ness and his Untouchables enter into a full-scale gunfight with mobster Al Capone and his cronies, inside Chicago’s Union Station. Members of both factions are blown away by various weapons and upping the tension factor is the fact that a mother and her young child (in stroller) are caught in the crossfire.

Inception – Dream Catchers

To bring the reverse heisters back to the real world, a serious jolt is needed… like the type you get when you feel you’re falling in a dream. To achieve this, the crew decides that their vehicle needs to fall from a bridge into the water below. Because time moves differently in the various levels of consciousness, this descent is painfully slow and also affects the members caught in the different dream levels, throwing them into the ceiling or other obstacles of the realm they are in.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High – Leisurely Swim

Let’s move on to a lighter scene. In this teen comedy, high school senior Brad Hamilton watches his sister’s friend swim in the family pool and fantasizes about her slowly emerging from the water and dropping her bikini top all for his pleasure. This causes Brad (played by Judge Reinhold) to need some “release”… thankfully not also done in slow-mo. As we’ll find with many of these scenes, music plays a large role in the full effect, this time with the Cars ‘Moving in Stereo’ providing the soundtrack.

X-Men: Days of Future Past – Quicksilver Antics

This scene instantly made the character of Quicksilver popular with fans who didn’t know he even existed and demand to have him included in future X-men installments was passionate. Watching the young mutant run around the vault as time crawled to a halt, messing with guards and repositioning bullets was very entertaining. Only slow time will tell what other adventures Quicksilver gets up to in the future… and past!

The Matrix – Fight Fury

While I’m not a fan of the Matrix franchise, I have to admit that there are many great slow-mo scenes throughout the trilogy. Bullet Time, for example, was a jaw-dropping and revolutionary filming technique and similar processes were used for other fight scenes, such as the lobby shootout in the first installment and Neo’s battle with an unlimited number of Mr. Smiths in the sequel. I still don’t understand the damn thing, though.

Zombieland – Amazing Opening

Perfectly combined with Metallica’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, this may be one of cinema’s greatest opening montages. In just a few brief scenes, the audiences is caught up to speed with the horrors of the apocalyptic zombie outbreak that has forced our hero from his cozy, shut-in life into a world of fear, mistrust, and always being vigilant. We even see a bride attack her new husband, which would have to make their nuptials the wedding of the year!

Anchorman 2 – RV Flip

With the Channel 4 news crew reunited and en route to new jobs for the launch of a 24-hour channel, all the guys have to do is survive a cross-country road trip aboard an RV driven by Ron Burgundy… who doesn’t really understand the concept of cruise control. This results in their RV swerving off the road and injuries to each journalist, including deep fryer oil to the face, a bowling ball to the skull, an even a scorpion attack. Why these items were ever aboard the RV remains an unsolved mystery.

Office Space – Printer Destruction

Almost all of us have been there: frustrated with a printer or other office device. These three disgruntled employees decide to take their venom out on the machine that has caused them the most angst, bringing it out into a desolate field and destroying it. With the song ‘Still’ by the Geto Boys fueling their destructive intentions, the trio makes the device unrecognizable, even going so far as to wield a baseball bat in their attack. Every office worker has dreamed of doing the same ever since!

Zoolander – Gas Fight

To cheer up their buddy Derek Zoolander, the male models go out for some Orange Mocha Frappuccinos. As they stop to fill up their Jeep with some gas, they decide to have a playful fight with the fuel and all is well until one of the models lights a cigarette, causing the station to explode into a ball of fire. Once again, the music selection is key here, as the Wham! Classic ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ deceives the audience of the tragedy that is about to unfold.

Flavour Revolution: Hopeless Case

The Chariots of Fire scene should really be included, given how many times it’s been parodied. There’s also an amazing scene in Ace Ventura where Jim Carrey performs a football play in both slow-mo and rewind. Courtenay Cox can barely keep a straight face throughout!

November 7 – Shot of Love

Audial Bliss

The Sip Advisor is a five-sense kind of guy and over the next two weeks, we’re going to look at the sounds that make me smile, as well as the noises that make me cringe. Let’s get started with the satisfying side of the ledger:

#5: Breaking Glass

Of course, I’m not talking about the criminal variety, nor the type that might inflict any pain on someone. I’m talking about those rare times when you get to witness something being destroyed with good intent. I once worked on a garbage truck with Cousin Sip and we took great delight in whipping light tubes into the compactor. Or how about when an old car gets crushed? There’s also Stone Cold Steve Austin’s entrance theme, which brings fans to their feet with a shattered glass opening!

#4: Sizzling Food

Before the scent of the food can fill our nostrils, we hear that delightful sizzle that seems to beckon you, saying “come on, eat me!” Whether it’s chicken fajitas, barbecue burgers, bacon, or some other wonderful creation, we are drawn to this beautiful culinary melody. I wonder if vegetarians get the same thrill with their meals. Do vegetables crackle in the same manner as all things carnivorous? This is a mystery I may never solve, as healthy things don’t often touch the Sip Advisor’s plate!

#3: Golf Tee Shot

Even for folks that can’t hit the ball very well, if you get just the right shot, your reward is a delicious ping, as the (preferably) driver strikes the ball and sends in flying into space, off of the tee. This is why the Sip Advisor prefers to do his golfing at the driving range, rather than on the course. First, your time commitment is minimized, meaning you can hit the bar quicker. Second, your chances of spanking a couple good shots is increased. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about all those course hazards.

golf tee shot

#2: Pop of Cork or Bottle Cap/Crack of Can

It’s amazing how universally awesome it is to open any alcoholic beverage vessel. Perhaps we’re so desperate to taste what is hidden within that item, that the jingle becomes part of the experience. My phone notification sound is a bottle cap being popped and it has been for some time. The tone brings such pleasure to me, that even if bad news if coming, such as Mrs. Sip not having left work yet, although she said she’d be home hours ago, I can still smile.

#1: Someone Saying: “I Love You!”

Is there a sweeter thing in the world than having someone say, “I love you!”? It doesn’t matter if it’s coming from your partner, parents, buddy, or adoring fans… so long as it’s coming. During time’s when Mrs. Sip and I have been separated due to schooling, travelling, or some other hurdle, you don’t get as many of those “I love yous” as you’re accustomed to and that can hurt. When one scrolls across your screen from an e-mail or message, it’s just not the same.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Shot of Love

  • 0.5 oz Crown Royal Whisky
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Some honourable mentions include skate blades cutting into ice, a purring cat, and the music of Justin Bieber. Okay, just kidding on that last one! Next week, we’ll look at the worst sounds known to man… or at least your faithful Sip Advisor.

Flavour Revolution – Grape

Grumpy Grapes

I try to be as optimistic and happy as I can in life. Sure, not everything has gone the way I’d want it to, but that’s no reason to become a bitter, miserable person… a person who can be defined as a ‘sour grapes’ type. Love them, or typically hate them, here are some of those folks:

Ebenezer Scrooge – A Christmas Carol

Before having his personality and therefore future changed for the better by three visiting Christmas spirits, Ebenezer Scrooge was one of the most miserly men you could ever come across. His cruelty knew no limit, driving even his closest family members away. Scrooge’s misery can be traced back to neglect from his own father, who left the young boy all alone at boarding school during the holiday season. With his trademark “Bah, humbug!”, Scrooge makes his gruff opinion quite clear to anyone around him.

Scrooge 1%

Gregory House – House

This incredibly talented doctor is a miserable prick with a bedside manner that leaves a lot to be desired… and that’s just the way he likes to be. Thanks to an aneurysm in his thigh, House loses the use of one of his legs and the operation that saved what is left of the limb, ruined his relationship with a long-time love. Add a drug addiction to deal with his chronic pain and you can kind of understand why the guy is so angry. Somehow, House has managed to maintain one friend, fellow doctor James Wilson, who manages to put up with the curmudgeonly diagnostic expert.

The Grinch – How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Much like Scrooge, the Grinch has no interest in his fellow man (or in this case, Whovillians). He’s content to live inside an isolated cave and never have any contact with the outside world. The extent of The Grinch’s bitterness leads him to want to ruin Christmas for the Whos down in Whoville and he sets upon a devious plan to steal the holiday. The Whos, however, aren’t phased by this, leading to the Grinch’s heart growing three sizes (really it was a massive coronary episode) and a complete change in character.

Grumpy Cat

The Sip Advisor is a big Grumpy Cat fan (and an admirer of all kitties in general). The memes created using Grumpy Cat – real name Tardar Sauce, although Grumpy Cat is much better – are some of the best on the internet. Many don’t know that Grumpy Cat actually looks the way she does because of an underbite and a form of feline dwarfism. I love how the owner of this feline turned a negative into a positive, creating joy for many, while also amassing a fortune that will help this kitty live comfortably for all of her nine lives!

grumpy-cat-disappoints

Mr. Potter – It’s a Wonderful Life

At every twist and turn, George Bailey’s life seems to always hit some sort of snag, but none of these are more crippling then when George’s uncle Billy absent-mindedly loses the money he meant to deposit for their Building & Loan business. Mr. Potter, an adversary and competitor to the Bailey’s happens to come across the money-filled envelope and takes it for his own gains. We learn, when George wishes he never existed, that without him, the town of Bedford Falls would be known as Pottersville and would be inhabited with all the grime a slumlord could ever dream of.

Grumpy – Snow White

Perhaps it’s the years of wear and tear on his body from working in the mines. Perhaps it’s having to live with seven dudes (total sausage fest!). Perhaps it’s simply the fact that he’s a dwarf. Regardless, Grumpy is not a happy person (that’s reserved for Happy!) and can’t even be cheered up by the musical stylings of Snow White and his fellow mining brethren. Despite not initially welcoming Snow White to the fold, Grumpy is the first to rush into battle with the Evil Queen, after she poisons the fair princess with that dastardly poison apple. Healthy food, my ass!

Inspector Javert – Les Miserables

As the title implies, every character in this musical is miserable (and each has their own good reason to be so), but Javert really takes the cake. He’s obsessed with ruining the life of Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who has escaped from parole and managed to elude capture. Even in the end, Javert just can’t let go of his fixation on Valjean and it ends up costing him his life. The dude commits suicide because he was shown mercy from the very man he has hunted for so many years. You’d think with all the wine the French have access to, they’d be a little more relaxed.

Flavour Revolution: Arctic Summer

Arctic Summer Cocktail

  • Muddle Raspberries
  • 1.5 oz Bacardi Arctic Grape Rum
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge and Raspberry

It’s amazing how many of these characters have a connection to Christmas media. It’s the best time of the year (or so the song implies) so why are miserable people an enhanced version of themselves around the holidays? Speaking of the holidays, if you’re ever in Spain for New Year’s Eve, tradition dictates that when the clock strikes midnight, you should eat 12 grapes, one to go with each chime of the New Year.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
This is kind of a mint-less, soda-less version of a Raspberry Mojito, but what it lacked it could have used. I’m looking forward to trying more cocktails with the Arctic Grape Rum, as that was the best part of the drink.

July 25 – Lipstick Lesbian

Coming Out

With Pride weekend upon us, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the greatest LGBT characters… and there are a lot of them, making this list very hard to narrow down. Somehow, the Sip Advisor was able to thin the herd, so let’s get to it!

#5: Daffyd Thomas – Little Britain

While he claims to be the only gay in the village, Daffyd takes exception when he’s not being recognized for his sexuality and while he feels he’s turning heads and making a statement, everyone else is totally cool with his lifestyle. In fact, many of the townspeople are also members of the LGBT community. Ironically, when others reveal their sexual orientation, Daffyd is prone to homophobic outbursts.

Daffyd Thomas - Little Britain

#4: Lafayette Reynolds – True Blood

The heavy make-up wearing, eyelash extension rocking short order cook makes the world of Bon Temps go round, in his own unique way.  Interestingly, Lafayette is killed off very early in The Southern Vampire Mysteries books, but the TV series took a different approach, as the character proved to be so popular with audiences. In a world full of horny, indiscriminate vampires, anything and everything can happen.

#3: Mr./Mrs. Garrison – South Park

Garrison has been everything from a straight male, to a gay male, to a transgendered straight female, to finally a transgendered lesbian female. Covering the entire gamut, Garrison is one of the show’s funniest characters and would make for a fascinating teacher. We have to remember that this is a universe where Satan also identifies as gay, having been in a relationship with Saddam Hussein of all people!

Mr. Garrison

#2: Waylon Smithers – The Simpsons

Poor Mr. Smithers… all he wants is to be loved and respected by his boss, Mr. Burns, who barely acknowledges his existence and hard work. The writers of The Simpsons joke that Mr. Smithers is “Burns-sexual,” although he is regularly seen as a fixed member of the Springfield LGBT community and social scene. Hopefully Mr. Smithers finds happiness, whether with or without Mr. Burns.

#1: Cam & Mitchell – Modern Family

Cam and Mitchell put the “modern” in Modern Family more so than any of the other characters. Over the course of the show, we’ve seen Cam and Mitchell’s relationship grow to include the adoption of a daughter and tying the knot. Throughout it all, the rest of the family has been incredibly supportive, even Mitchell’s old school father Jay, who while he doesn’t always show it, is very proud of his son.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Lipstick Lesbian

  • Wrap glass with Rainbow Candy
  • 0.5 oz Watermelon Pucker
  • 0.5 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Dash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Some honourable mentions go to Lt. Jim Dangle (Reno 911), Dean Craig Pelton (Community), Lloyd Lee (Entourage), Oscar Martinez (The Office), Mr. Humphries (Are You Being Served?), Ray Gillette (Archer), Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and – allegedly! – Bert and Ernie (Sesame Street). Have I missed anyone? Feel free to let me know below!