February 27 – Cap’n Stormy

Boozemarked

While most experts maintain that you can’t put a trademark or copyright on a drink recipe, here are some examples where companies have tried to do so:

Lynchburg Lemonade

When the Jack Daniel’s Distillery launched a national campaign to promote the Lynchburg Lemonade drink, of course suggesting people use their whiskey for the concoction, Alabama lounge and restaurant owner Tony Mason sued them. He had created the drink in 1980 and alleged that a JD representative had learned the secret recipe and was now stealing it for the company’s use. I’m sure it took a crack investigative team to discover the drink was made of whiskey, triple sec, sour mix and lemon-lime soda. We’re not talking about 11 herbs and spices here.

Mason sought $13 million in compensation and although he won the case, he was awarded no money. Instead, the judge offered to pay him $1 of his own money for the case to go away. Wow, Alabama really is full of crazy people! Mason rejected the judge’s “generous” offer and appealed the decision. A new trial was ordered in 2006 and the results of the case were not known… until today when Judge Sip of the 18th District Court sided in favour of Jack Daniel’s Distillery after an under-the-table deal was reached in which Sip Advisor Enterprises (patent pending) will be sent a lifetime supply of Jack Daniel’s products.

JD Lynchburg Lemonade

I guess the fine folks at Jack Daniel’s didn’t get the message (or don’t care) that the recipe is not theirs…

Dark N’ Stormy

This is a cocktail that has been trademarked by Gosling’s Export Limited, makers of Black Seal Rum. It’s a basic recipe that takes the rum, mixes it with ginger beer and adds an optional lime for garnish. So, if I use lemon, instead of lime, does that mean I’m now exempt from the trademark? Gosling’s even market their own ginger beer for use in the drink.

Malcolm Gosling, Jr., of the Gosling’s Rum family (I hope one day that I’m the member of a rum family), says that fighting this trademark is exhaustive and costly, but that they will “defend that trademark vigorously.”

Painkiller

A  New York-based tiki bar (not sure how tiki-themed a place in New York can be… it’s not exactly a tropical paradise), aptly titled Painkiller, was sent cease and desist letters from the Pusser’s Rum company, after it opened in 2010. The company claimed a trademark on the Painkiller name and drink recipe – Pusser’s Rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and orange juice – which Pusser’s accused the bar of trying to capitalize on.

The bar decided to settle out of court, changing its name, giving up the internet domain (something you think the Pusser’s people would already have if they treasure their creation so highly) and removing the drink from its menu. This outraged the mixology community, causing drinkers and drink makers alike to take to social media and voice their displeasure with Pusser’s bullying tactics and many called for a boycott on the rum.

A Facebook page was created called Bartenders Against Trademarking of Cocktails and gained numerous members in a brief amount of time. One bartender even went as far as to change his bar menu and specifically challenge Pusser’s on the trademark issue (photo below). Conclusion from researching this article: rum companies are full of dicks.

Card

Flaming Homer/Moe

Finally, there is the contentious, Simpson v. Szyslak famous case to discuss, a true transcript summarizing the event is as follows:

Marge Simpson: So, Mr. Hutz, does my husband have a case?

Lionel Hutz: I’m sorry, Mrs. Simpson, but you can’t copyright a drink.

Homer Simpson: [whines] Oh!

Lionel Hutz: This all goes back to the Frank Wallbanger case of ’78. How about that! I looked something up! These books behind me don’t just make the office look good, they’re filled with useful legal tidbits just like that!

Drink #58: Cap’n Stormy (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Cap'n Stormy Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Dark Rum (I used Captain Morgan’s, take that Gosling’s and Pusser’s!)
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with lemon and lime wedges

I had originally intended to make a Dark N’ Stormy, but realized it is a recipe copyrighted by the Goslings folks… I also didn’t have any ginger beer (really the bigger issue as no rum runners are going to stop me from making any drink), so I made my own concoction and this was the delicious result. I call trademark!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I’d like to eventually make the Dark N’ Stormy (should the people at Gosling’s allow me). This was a decent replacement. I like how the Lemon and Lime Wedges looked together in the cocktail photo.

February 7 – Lynchburg Lemonade

TV Injustice

It’s amazing with all the trash that airs on TV nowadays that some spectacular shows were never given a fair run and cancelled before they had a chance to gain an audience. Tonight, one of Mr. and Mrs. Sip’s favourite shows returns, as Community comes back to the airwaves with an abbreviated, delayed and, in all likelihood, fourth and final season. It’s really too bad Community was never given a fair shake, as it has a loyal following, but just can’t seem to gain ground in the mainstream. Here are some other shows that were treated poorly and unjustifiably lynched.

Community Superheros

Boomtown

Running for only 24 amazing episodes, this drama was critically acclaimed, but the audience just didn’t pick it up. The series featured stories told through the point-of-view of the various characters (beat cops, detectives, paramedic, reporter, district attorney, etc.) and that’s where they went wrong. The viewing audience just couldn’t handle having to put together a story by themselves (why do you think jigsaw puzzles have seen a drastic drop in sales in recent times? Okay I don’t know that for a fact, but I assume so since we’re all become brain dead from watching too much Real Houswives of Minnesota or some such crap). Instead audiences rather be spoon-fed their CSI Miami, CSI Las Vegas, and CSI Neptune formula crime dramas. (Note: it’s too bad CSI doesn’t take place on Neptune, at least it would explain why they are always looking for clues in the dark)

Arrested Development

Its original run lasted only three seasons, with a rushed 13-episode final season, in order to wrap up as many storylines as the writers possibly could. Nearly seven years later, the series is returning to the screen with a run of 14 shows, to be followed by a feature-length movie. Arrested Development is the kind of show when each time you watch it, you notice new things and you have to really pay attention to catch all the jokes… that’s exactly why it didn’t work for most audience members who would rather watch a bunch of losers with no personality or apparently dating skills, chase an attractive, but equally uninteresting woman on reality shows like The Bachelorette. Mr. Sip was once a contestant, by the way… I’m still a little bitter after being kicked off on the first episode of my season!

Arrested Development

Firefly

I am not a big Sci-Fi fan, but even I have to admit that this show was wonderful and deserved much more than the 14 episodes it was originally allowed to air. The Fox network bungled this one pretty bad, placing the show on Friday nights and advertising it as a comedy. Sure, there’s a lot of humour in the show, but drama and action were also integral parts of the series. Fan demand (or in this case nerd demand… respect them, when they make rare appearances in public, they come out in large numbers… just look at any Comic-Con event!) was so high for the show – with many people discovering it long after it had been cancelled – that a feature film was made, 2005’s Serenity.

Titus

For those that have never watched this show, I urge you to search it out and enjoy every moment of it. Starring brilliant stand-up comedian Christopher Titus, the show takes a sharp look at the dysfunctional family, which as Titus proudly states has now become the majority in North America. What is so special about white picket fences, anyway? Titus was one of many gems Fox dropped in favour of its rotating door of failures. (See Arrested Development and Firefly above, as well as Family Guy, Married with Children, etc.) I guess they also need space in their schedule for more American Idol audition broadcasts.

Titus

Deadwood

The fact that what would turn out to be the conclusion of this series was so anti-climactic still bothers me to this day. Of course, the producers didn’t know they wouldn’t be renewed for a fourth season and thought they had time to finish the story. I hate it when networks don’t let a show close out its storylines. They might as well be flipping all of their viewers over for a probing. I get it, production costs on a period piece are astronomical, but shouldn’t you know that when you get into that business? I kind of wish Al Swearengen had the chance to let loose on one of his obscenity-laced tirades against the HBO team that killed this fine show. Awesomely, the F-word was used nearly 3,000 times during the shows run of 36 episodes.

Drink #38: Lynchburg Lemonade

Lynchburg Lemonade drink recipe

  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Triple Sec (I used Cointreau)
  • 1 oz Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Top with lemon-lime soda
  • Garnish with lemon wedge

I implore all my little sippers to enjoy the 13-episode offering of Community we will get this season. If you’ve never seen the show before, do whatever you can to get caught up. Illegally download it, steal the DVD’s from your local entertainment store… hell, hack into the NBC network if you have to …I mean er, go buy the DVD boxset as The Sip Advisor does not endorse or promote the illegal downloading or pirating of copyright material (PS: Do video stores even exist anymore?). Trust me though, (and I know you do), watch Community, it’s worth it!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
A great drink. I like sour and fizzy and this cocktail had that in spades. I don’t know if anyone playing at home noticed, but that’s a McDonald’s straw garnishing the drink with its yellow stripe. Thanks, Ronald!