March 14 – Nutty Irishman

Party Places

To this day, the Sip Advisor is still proud to say that he not only celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, live from Dublin, Ireland… but that he also survived the trip! You don’t have to go all the way to the Emerald Island to get your green on, though. Here are the Top 5 most unique St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, from around the world:

#5: Prohibited Partying

The idea of a dry St. Patrick’s Day celebration seems absolutely ridiculous, but that’s exactly what the officials of Hoboken, New Jersey have tried to accomplish with their annual parade. Public intoxication has grown to such extremes for the event that a zero tolerance policy was enacted. To the Sip Advisor, it all just sounds like a challenge: to get as wasted as possible, while avoiding the establishment and their exorbitant ($2,000 minimum) fines. It would be like the alcoholic version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!

meanwhile-in-ireland

#4: Shamrock Shake

In the otherwise non-descript town of O’Neill, Nebraska, is the world’s largest shamrock. The massive clover was originally painted in the middle of the road, at the intersection of Route 281 and Highway 20. It has since been reinstalled as coloured concrete, ensuring its prosperity. Founded by Irish national, John O’Neill, the place celebrates in some unique ways, including a Children’s Literature Festival, the reading of Dr. Seuss’s ‘Green Eggs and Ham,’ and a massive fish fry.

#3: High Flying

This one may be hard for the average person to achieve, as I’m sure you need some serious credentials just to be launched into space. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield didn’t let floating high above the world, aboard the International Space Station in 2013, disrupt his celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Hadfield decked himself out in green, performed the song “Danny Boy,” and snapped some photos of Ireland from outside the earth’s atmosphere.

Green Meaning

#2: Fun in the Sun

The island of Montserrat – part of the West Indies – is known as the “Emerald Island of the Caribbean.” It is one of the few places in the world, outside of Ireland, where St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday (Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, being the others). How did this Caribbean nation become a hot bed of Irish activity and celebration? Well, it was established by Irish refugees, duh! If you visit, your passport will be stamped with a shamrock and you can celebrate a weeklong St. Patrick’s Day festival with a calypso flavour.

#1: Short and Sweet

While the St. Patrick’s Day parade I witnessed in Dublin wasn’t the most thrilling thing I’ve ever seen, it did provide a taste of Irish culture. The festivities in Dripsey, Cork, may have been more up my alley, though. Dripsey is home to the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world, stretching just 100 yards and starting from one of the town’s pubs, while finishing at the other. That means, you can grab a pint of Guinness at the start and be ready for another round at the finish!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Nutty Irishman

Nutty Irishman Shot

  • Rim glass with Nuts
  • 0.75 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.75 oz Frangelico
  • Garnish with Nuts

Where have you celebrated St. Patrick’s Day? If you’ve hit any of the preceding places, let the Sip Advsior know how it was. You never know where our next travel plans will take us!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I was hoping to rim the glass with Lucky Charms, but I couldn’t justify shelling out $7 for a box of cereal that I don’t really need. The shot was pretty good and any lover of nutty flavours will enjoy it. Best of all, I got to enjoy a ton of Honey Roasted Peanuts in the process of making the shooter!

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!

March 9 – Breakfast of Champions

Slogan-O’s

Cereal and advertising slogans go hand-in-hand. All of us remember them from our childhood, when breakfast mascots seemed to rule the world. Today, many of these jingles and mascots have gone the way of the dodo, so let’s give them one more chance in the sun. Thanks for the memories!

“The cereal shot from guns” – Quaker Puffed Rice

The officially-licensed breakfast of the NRA. Why not have a bowl, thus justifying the need for firearms in every home.

“Brings out the tiger in you, in you!” – Frosted Flakes

So does hockey, naked women, Texas hold’em poker (because I always lose the allowance Mrs. Sip provides me), go-kart racing, and afternoon naps! Tony the Tiger, I am not, however.

Frosted Flakes

“Stays crunchy, even in milk!” – Cap’n Crunch

This is the cereal equivalent to McDonald’s food not decomposing months after being served…

“Can’t get enough of that Sugar Crisp.” – Sugar Crisp

Yeah, actually I can. I never liked Sugar Crisp. It just tasted funny to me. Sugar Bear was pretty cool, though. He seemed like a total junkie, always needing his fix!

“A is for Apple. J is for Jacks.” – Apple Jacks

Thanks for teaching me how to spell Monsieur Apple Jacks (sounds like it could be a French name, although I guess it would be Apple Jacques)… especially when cereals like Quisp have a catchphrase like “Quisp for Quazy energy.” At least one company isn’t dropping the education ball.

“Snap! Crackle! Pop!” – Rice Krispies

It’s like the cereal is talking to me, man. Seriously, Rice Krispies must be responsible for a number of mental patient and drug-induced freakouts.

rice_krispies_crazy_cat

“Follow my nose. It always knows.” – Froot Loops

Unfortunately, Toucan Sam isn’t the same tracking bird he once was. A combination of old age and a terrible cocaine addiction have left the poor guy without the ability to sniff out Froot Loops. His nephews (Puey, Susey and Louis – what a rip-off of Huey, Dewey and Louie) have taken over in his absence, but as with most other things, this new generation of cereal hunters just don’t have the drive, passion or respect to live up to Sam’s legacy.

“I’m coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs!” – Cocoa Puffs

Sonny Cuckoo is a fiend for Cocoa Puffs. He is the high-strung opposite of Sugar Bear’s laidback stoner ways. The kind of bird that commits violent crimes to procure the money he needs for his habit.

“They’re Magically Delicious!” & “They’re Always After Me Lucky Charms!” – Lucky Charms

Pissing-off Irish and leprechaun-looking people for years, the fine folks at Lucky Charms are now being forced to pay reparations to the Emerald Isle; its angry, drunken citizens; and the United Union of Leprechauns. These are people you really don’t want to mess with.

“Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!” – Trix

You know the Trix Rabbit actually got to eat the cereal once. There was a write-in vote cast (one that I paid more attention to than any government election I’ve ever had to suffer through) that saw kids get to choose whether or not the “Silly Rabbit” would finally get his hands on the fruity breakfast. He won the vote, restoring my faith that all kids aren’t dicks and got to eat one bowl of Trix before going back to being a perennial loser.

“Gotta have my pops!” – Corn Pops

To a generation of obese kids today(most likely thanks to foods just like Corn Pops), this slogan just means they want another Diet Coke (worse for you than normal Coke, of course). I can’t help but notice Corn Pop’s grammar sucks, too… what do you expect when all kids can do nowadays is text short-form words and barely have the attention span to get through an episode of some Japanimation garbage on their tablet.

“The Breakfast of Champions” – Wheaties

This slogan will remain false until my picture is plastered on the box, as I am a reigning four-time liquor champion of the world. Our sport just isn’t given the respect it deserves.

“I vant to eat your cereal!” – Count Chocula

How in the world is Count Chocula still more of a badass than those losers from Twilight?

Vampires

“It tastes like a chocolate milkshake, only crunchy!” – Cocoa Krispies

What’s wrong with a crunchy chocolate shake, I ask? Are you saying that I don’t make good milkshakes just because they’re a little crunchy? Well, my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, so suck it! And how come Snap, Crackle and Pop weren’t African-American for these Cocoa Krispies ads?

“They’re A-B-C-Delicious.” – Alpha-Bits

It was Alpha-Bits that first stoked the fires for me to become a writer. A very young Sip Advisor used to take his bowl of cereal and write prize-winning blogs for Mama and Papa Sip. I was paid in chocolate chip cookies… that and stock options.

“We eat what we like.” – Apple Jacks

Oh man, this could get dirty. You know what, I’m going to take the high road and let sleeping dogs lie. The Sip Advisor is growing up!

“How do they cram in all that graham?” – Golden Grahams

It’s simple arithmetic: you calculate the square root of the graham, divided by the hypotenuse of the golden and then you know how much you can cram. Don’t need a Nobel Prize in Mathematics to figure that out.

Drink #68: Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions Shot

I finally got to try the Loopy (Froot Loops-flavoured) Vodka, thanks to Cousin Sip bringing it around to The Sip Advisor employee retreat. Next year’s team building event will be for everyone to stay home and spend the weekend in their pajamas. I’m the best boss in the world!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
My only regret with this shot is that the Froot Loops, when crushed, lose their wonderful colour and kind of become a normal brownish cereal colour. Still, the whole appearance looks great and the shooter is delicious.