Michigan – The Hummer

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Although nicknamed the Wolverine State, there are no longer wolverines in Michigan. However, there’s plenty else to see and do in the land that looks like a mitted palm, so let’s get right to it:

Motto: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you” – What constitutes a “pleasant” peninsula?

Food: Coney Dogs – hot dogs topped with chili/meat sauce, yellow mustard, white onions and sometimes cheese – are a Michigan fixture. Two neighbouring Detroit restaurants are said to be the best places to try the meal. Opened by feuding brothers, Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island are at the center of a long debate over which offers the better dog.

Drink: Created in 1866, Vernors Ginger Ale was one of the first sodas ever produced in the U.S. and is the oldest surviving. It was accidentally made by pharmacist James Vernor, as he attempted to create a medicinal tonic. The concoction was stored in an oak barrel for four years, while Vernor fought in the Civil War. When he returned, he had stumbled upon the drink.

Coney Dog

Site to See: Mackinac Island is among Michigan’s top tourist destinations, with the entire island being listed as a National Historic Landmark. Points of interest include Fort Mackinac, Mission Church and the Round Island Lighthouse. The adjacent Mackinac Bridge (aka Mighty Mac) is world’s longest suspension bridge, connecting Upper and Lower Michigan.

Street: Woodward Avenue (aka M-1) is known as Detroit’s Main Street. Built along what was the Saginaw Trail, it was the first paved road in the U.S. and also where the first three-colour traffic light was installed. The route is used for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise classic car event and America’s Thanksgiving Parade, as well as for sports championship celebrations, with each pro team’s stadium/arena located on or near the highway.

TV Show: Home Improvement was set in Detroit, running for eight season and 204 episodes. Centered around local DIY TV host Tim Taylor and his family, the series may be best known for launching the careers of star Tim Allen, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Pamela Anderson. I was also a fan of 8 Simple Rules, which sadly may be best remembered for John Ritter’s death.

Movie: The American Pie franchise of films (the main ones, not the direct-to-DVD spinoffs) were set in Michigan. The series has followed the group from high school graduation all the way to their 13th high school reunion. Along the way, there were lost virginities, breakups, weddings, and the birth of children. Perhaps later installments will take them right up to senior citizenship.

American Pie

Book/Author: While The Virgin Suicides by Michigander, Jeffrey Eugenides, is set in Grosse Point, I’ll go with some lighter fare in The Polar Express. This Christmas tale begins and ends in Grand Rapids (the hometown of writer and illustrator, Chris Van Allsburg). The book was adapted into the 2004 film of the same name, starring Tom Hanks as a whole host of characters.

Fictional Character: For his efforts in cleaning up the mean streets of Detroit, the nod here has to go to RoboCop. The cyborg police officer kicks ass and takes names, since they’re recorded in his computer system. I’ll admit, I’ve never watched any of the RoboCop films, but I’ve seen enough parodies of the character to get the gist of it.

Fictional City: Brookfield Heights was the setting of American Horror Story: Cult, the seventh season of the anthology horror series. The season’s storyline saw the suburb being terrorized by an upstart cult, which was taking advantage of the upheaval sparked by the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump.

Actor/Actress: Two of the greatest mustaches of all-time belonged to Michigan-born actors, Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck. Reynolds, born in Lansing, is best-known for starring in films such as Smokey and the Bandit and The Longest Yard. Selleck, born in Detroit, played the iconic character Thomas Magnum, for eight seasons on Magnum P.I. Both share associations with famous vehicles, thanks to their roles.

RoboCop

Song: Detroit Rock City by Kiss is an upbeat hard rock tune, which has become one of the band’s most notable tracks, despite originally performing poorly as a single, aside from in Detroit. The song title was later used for a 1999 teen comedy movie, which sees a group of four friends, who perform in a Kiss tribute band, try to see the band live in concert, during their prime.

Band/Musician: Michigan had the airwaves cornered in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, with Detroit artists such as Eminem and Kid Rock being two of the most popular performers of the era. Prior to that, legends of the industry, such as Motown musicians Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder, as well as rockers Bob Seger, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, and Iggy Pop, each enjoyed success. Lastly, the ‘Queen of Pop,’ Madonna, was born in Bay City.

People: Henry Ford was born in Greenfield Township and is synonymous with the auto industry, having revolutionized the production/assembly line for his Model T vehicles, so they could be completely built in 93 minutes. To keep his employees happy, Ford paid them double the minimum wage that was common at the time, resulting in more people being able to buy the vehicles he produced.

Animal: Despite there being no live wolverines in the state, the University of Michigan adopted the animal as the nickname for its sports teams. Therefore, at one point, its football program had live wolverines as mascots. Biff and Bennie first appeared for the dedication of Michigan Stadium, in 1927, and were with the team for at least a season. They were later relocated to the Detroit Zoo.

Henry Ford

Invention: One of Michigan’s greatest inventions is a part of countless folk’s daily morning routine. Flaked cereal was accidentally created by W.K. Kellogg and his brother, Dr. John Kellogg, in 1894. Kellogg’s still remains headquartered in Battle Creek, with their most recognizable brands being Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes and Raisin Bran.

Crime: There is so much intrigue surrounding the disappearance of former teamster union leader, Jimmy Hoffa, the case has remained in the public conscience for decades. Hoffa was last seen on July 30, 1975, in Bloomfield Township. It is generally accepted, Hoffa met his fate at the hands of the mafia, but theories on the whereabouts of his body and who exactly killed him range widely.

Law: It is illegal to buy or sell cars on Sundays. It’s not like people have anything better to do on Sunday, particularly with regards to watching the state’s pro football team (more on that below).

Sports Team: Detroit has one team apiece in each of the Big 4 sports leagues, including the Red Wings (NHL), Tigers (MLB), Pistons (NBA), and Lions (NFL). While the first three teams have won championships in this millennium, the Lions have been one of the most futile franchises in all of sports, having never appeared in a championship game during the 54 years of the NFL’s Super Bowl era, highlighted by a winless 0-16 campaign in 2008.

Jimmy Hoffa

Athlete: Serena Williams was born in Saginaw. She is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all-time, regardless of gender. Williams has enjoyed a dominant career, winning 23 singles grand slam events and 16 others in doubles competition. Williams also has four Olympic gold medals, three of which were won with her sister Venus as partner.

Famous Home: Hitsville U.S.A. (now the Motown Museum) was purchased by Motown record label founder Berry Gordy Jr., in 1959. He converted the home into the office and studio that would produce so many great songs. The estate was expanded to other neighbouring homes, before Gordy moved his operations to the Motown Mansion, in 1967.

Urban Legend: The Michigan Triangle, located in Lake Michigan, is said to be the site of many supernatural occurrences, beginning with the vanishing of the Le Griffon sailing ship, all the way back in 1679. Since then, other vessels have met mysterious fates, as well as the disappearance of Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501. The American Stonehenge can also be found in the area, but it is submerged by water.

Museum: The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, is a massive complex that houses so many pieces of Americana. Among them, are Thomas Edison’s lab, the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop, Abraham Lincoln’s Ford Theatre chair, John F. Kennedy’s presidential limousine, the bus Rosa Parks made her stand on, and others. Founded by Henry Ford, it is the largest indoor-outdoor museum in the country.

Motown

Firsts: Michigan was the first state to abolish the death penalty, except for treason, when they did so in 1846. Two executions swayed the state to go this route, including a Detroit man hanged for killing his wife in a non-premeditated manner and a Windsor, Ontario man executed for the rape and murder of a woman, although the crime had been committed by someone else.

Company: The ‘Big Three’ of U.S. automobile manufactures – Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler – are each headquartered in the Detroit area. At one time, the trio comprised the three largest vehicle builders in the world. While the industry, as a whole, has seen its fair share of ups and downs, each company remains a force within the country.

Events: During World War II, Detroit was called the ‘Arsenal of Democracy’ by President Franklin Roosevelt, thanks to the city’s production efforts, using facilities typically deployed to manufacture vehicles. This caused an influx of 350,000 people to come to Michigan for the available work.

Miscellaneous: Detroit has its own currency, called Detroit Community Scrip or Detroit Cheers. First issued in 2009, the currency is interchangeable with U.S. dollars and are available in $3 denominations. There is $4,500 worth of the currency in circulation, with an image of The Spirit of Detroit statue looking over the Detroit skyline on the bills.

The Hummer

The Hummer

  • 1.5 oz Rum
  • 1.5 oz Kahlua
  • 2 Scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

This is the quintessential Michigan cocktail, according to a number of sources. The drink was created by bartender, Jerome Adams, at the Bayview Yacht Club, in Detroit, in 1968. When asked the beverage’s name by a customer who was enjoying them, Adams said it had yet to be named. The customer said it makes you want to hum and the libation had a new moniker. Abroad, it is known as a Detroit Hummer, in the U.K., and as a Sir Jerome, in Germany.

Flavour Revolution – Raspberry

Blowing a Raspberry

The Razzie Awards are like the anti-Oscars. They were invented by John J.B. Wilson in 1980, with the first ceremony being held in Wilson’s own living room. The trophy’s, which feature a golden raspberry on top of an 8mm film roll, have grown in popularity ever since. Here are some of the most-nominated Razzie Award contenders in Hollywood history:

Sylvester Stallone

It seems like everything Sly Stallone has ever done earned him some Razzie consideration, including his most famous characters in Rocky Balboa and John Rambo. Stallone even had the title “Worst Actor of the Decade” and later “Worst Actor of the Century” bestowed upon him, resulting from 32 nominations and 10 wins. “Yo Adrian, I did it!”

chiropractor-Stallone

Kevin Costner

Mr. Costner has survived a rollercoaster career, rife with many peaks and valleys. This has been highlighted by his two Oscars, three Golden Globes, and one Emmy, while contrasted by his many Razzie nominations and wins. We are talking about an actor who didn’t even bother trying to fake an English accent for his turn as the mythical Robin Hood.

Madonna

The Queen of Pop has earned the dubious distinction of being the Razzie’s All-Time Worst Actress, with 15 nominations and nine victories to her credit, thus far. At the top of that list, was the foundation’s “Worst Actress of the Century” prize. It should be noted however, that Madge has also picked up a Golden Globe for Evita. Maybe, for safety purposes, she should stick to music.

Eddie Murphy

The latter stages of Eddie Murphy’s career has not been nearly as kind to him, as the early triumphs he enjoyed. Films such as The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Norbit, Meet Dave, and A Thousand Words, cut into Murphy’s once immense popularity. At least he has a new Beverly Hills Cop sequel on the horizon. Perhaps that can put him back into the “Money in the Bank” classification.

eddie-murphy-prince

Sharon Stone

Clearly, sex doesn’t sell when it comes to the Razzie’s. For showing her most naughty bits in Basic Instinct, Stone received a nomination for “Worst New Star.” Most men appreciated her efforts, though. Perhaps worst of all, Stone was nominated, once again, a decade later for the same “Worst New Star” prize she had already won for the film Diabolique, as she tried to present a new side of her acting skills.

Adam Sandler

In one year alone (2011), Sandler accumulated 11 Razzie nominations, thanks to his work on Jack and Jill, Just Go With It, and Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star. Jack and Jill became the first movie to ever sweep the Razzie’s, winning 10 awards. Thanks to his dual role in the film, Sandler even picked up both the Worst Actor and Worst Actress honours, at the same time.

Flavour Revolution: Rose Royale

Rose Royale Martini

Some actors have even accepted their Razzie Award in person, beginning with Bill Cosby, for 1987’s Leonard, Part 6. Joining the controversial comedian in accepting this dubious honour are Tom Selleck, Tom Green, Ben Affleck, Halle Berry, and Sandra Bullock, among others.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I’ve never been the biggest fan of cream-based drinks, but this one wasn’t too bad. The tartness of the Raspberry Cream Liqueur was kind of nice and I made sure to use a finer Tequila, so as not to ruin the martini.

Norway – Cloud Walker

Munch Mix

Norwegian artist Edvard Munch is famous for his masterpiece, The Scream. Let’s take a look at the man and what drove him to create such a haunting image, which is universally appreciated and an icon of Norway:

Munch was born on Decmber 12, 1863 in Löten, Norway, the second of five children. Tragedy seemed to follow the Munch family. When Edvard was very young, his mother died from tuberculosis, followed by one of his sisters. Another sister was troubled with mental illness issues and committed to an asylum in her teens and a brother died young after a bout of pneumonia. Munch, himself, suffered from mental health issues, which were exacerbated by alcoholism. The artist spent periods of time in a private sanitarium.

the-scream-grumpy-cat

After originally studying to be an engineer, Munch left school to pursue art, which he did at the Royal School of Art and Design, starting in 1881. From there, he rented a studio with six other artists, with the intention of creating an exhibition. Munch specialized in Expressionism and some historians believe he was the father of the movement, before it took off in the early 1900’s.

Munch’s first major work was called The Sick Child and illustrated the death of his sister. It was also based on times he visited ill patients with his father, who was a doctor. When it was first unveiled, the painting drew harsh criticism, with many detractors claiming the piece was unfinished. Munch made six copies of the painting, which reside in galleries around the world.

After moving to France in 1889, Munch got down to business, creating a number of pieces based on feelings for the 1902 Berlin Exhibition. These works included Despair, Melancholy, Anxiety, and Jealousy. Munch’s claim to fame, The Scream, was also created during this period. It is actually based on a real location in Ekeberg, Norway. With Oslo pictured faintly in the background, past the safety railing and down the hill was the sanitarium which housed Munch’s sister. There was also a slaughterhouse nearby and it’s claimed that screams could be heard emanating from both buildings.

The Scream Cat

There are four versions of the famous image. One hangs in the Norwegian National Gallery, one in the Munch Museum, and pastel and lithograph varieties also exist. The National Gallery’s version of The Scream was stolen in 1994 on the opening day of the Lillehammer Winter Olympics, with the two male burglars leaving behind a note that read: “Thanks for the poor security.” The National Gallery refused to pay a $1 million ransom for the piece and a police sting operation recovered the painting a few months later, as well as procuring convictions against four men that were later overturned.

The Scream was also one of two pieces stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway in 2004. Masked gunmen nabbed The Scream, as well as Munch’s ‘Madonna’. The work suffered some damage before it was recovered in 2006. The piece was put on display for a short time, with damage and all, before disappearing for restoration work. It finally returned to being on display again in 2008. In all, six men were arrested in connection with the theft.

In 2012, The Scream sold for $120 million U.S., breaking the record previously set by Pablo Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” which went for $106.5 million U.S. in 2010. The piece went up in value because the frame is also painted by Munch and includes a poem describing his motivation for creating it. Bidding began at a mere $40 million, with the auction lasting more than 12 minutes.

the-scream movie

The Scream has found its way into numerous avenues of popular culture. It was the inspiration for Ghostface’s mask for the Scream movie franchise, which is known the world over. Pop artist Andy Warhol recreated the piece as a silk print, which became quite famous. It was also chosen by the Norwegian Postal Service as one of four Munch works to be turned into stamps. Imaging getting a letter with that haunting face staring back at you. No wonder so many Scandinavians go crazy!

In 1938, The Nazi’s declared Munch’s catalogue of work “degenerate art” and removed his collections from German galleries, putting them up for auction. Norwegian art dealer Harald Holst Halvorsen (the original Triple H) nabbed as many of the pieces as he could to return them to their homeland. Halvorsen then distributed some of the pieces to other parts of the continent, based on discussions he had with Munch and Munch’s desire for recognition in other parts of Europe.

Munch moved to Ekely, Norway and chose to live mostly in isolation, where he died on January 23, 1944, aged 81. He enjoyed painting the landscape and farm life in his twilight years, but perhaps more importantly, he did a fair bit of work on nude paintings with a slew of female models, some of which he likely had relationships with. Now, that is the mark of a true master!

Norway: Cloud Walker

Cloud Walker Cocktail

  • 1 oz Cloudberry Liqueur
  • 0.75 oz Whiskey or Bourbon
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

I must admit, that as I did research for this article, I was able to appreciate The Scream and other works by Munch more. Sadly, when the Sip Syndicate visited Oslo and tried to visit the Munch Museum, the place was closed. We all screamed in agony and then went to drown our sorrows at a nearby bar!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
Lemonade goes so well with Whiskeys and Bourbons. Luckily I’ve been around recently when a couple friends have had doubts to that. The Cloudberry Liqueur is the icing on this classic southern recipe cake and this was a wonderful cocktail which I will serve again in the future!

July 12 – Three Strikes

Anything Can Happen

Oddly enough, summer is the time when I like to get into sports movies. Perhaps that makes sense, given it’s the off-season for most of the leagues out there. There were so many films I wanted to include on this list, that I’ve decided to split them over two articles, with one being family-friendly movies and the other to do with adult-themed releases. This week, we’ll check out the family options, while next week we’ll get a little raunchier and surpass the PG rating:

#5: Cool Runnings

How could you not get behind this ragtag group of Jamaicans as they try to compete in a sport they really have no business participating in and go on to earn the respect and admiration of their fellow athletes. While the film depicts the team being scoffed at in the beginning, in actuality, they were welcomed by their adversaries and were even lent a sled that helped them qualify. Creative liberties are okay, though. The casting of Doug E. Doug was a particularly brilliant choice, as the comedian-actor was popular at the time and broke up all the sports seriousness. Anything with John Candy is also worth a view.

Watched Cool Runnings

#4: Bad News Bears

This was your prototypical group of misfits coming together in the name of sports premise, before the genre ever existed. Some of the kids that make up the Bad News Bears are reason enough to never have children and the film should be used as a planned parenting advert. Walter Matthau as Morris Buttermaker was a great casting choice. He’s perfect for roles as a grouchy slob, who would rather drink a beer and catch a nap in a comfy recliner than do anything else in the world. That’s probably why he’s one of my favourite actors of all-time! Surprisingly, I’ve never seen either of the sequels to this classic and not the remake either.

#3: A League of Their Own

The story of women’s baseball and how it helped fill the sporting void left by men being shipped off to battle during World War II is so much better than it sounds on paper. Just kidding all you feminist sippers out there. Seriously, this is a fantastic movie, following a pair of sisters as the league tries to gain credibility during one of the roughest times in human history. With Tom Hanks playing the team’s oft-drunk manager and having to handle the issues of a girls’ team for the first time in his coaching career (there’s no crying in baseball… unless a modern male pitcher has a hangnail!), I can even forgive the casting of Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell.

league of their own

#2: The Sandlot

This is such a great movie, pushing folks to look back fondly on their days of neighbourhood sports. Every kid who ever played street hockey, or met at the nearest baseball diamond for a game of ball can relate to this film, which goes back in time to follow the adventures of the new kid in town as he gains friends and experiences the joys of childhood freedom. Roger Ebert compared the movie to a summertime version of A Christmas Story, which is high praise, as far as the Sip Advisor is concerned. The film has become a cult favourite and that’s exactly what it should be.

#1: Mighty Ducks

While the third installment might as well have been direct-to-video, the first two movies are childhood classics. As a young hockey player, it was inspiring to see a group of bad players be transformed into a skilled team… the downside was the mounting number of times we tried to execute the Flying-V play to little success. As if Emilio Estevez wasn’t a legend already, this series made his aura grow exponentially and no player out there didn’t want to have Gordon Bombay behind their bench. Disney even turned the success of the movie into its own NHL franchise, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (now just the Ducks), although they sold the team in 2005.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Three Strikes

Three Strikes Shot

  • 0.5 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • 0.5 oz Yukon Jack Perma Frost
  • Garnish with Big League Chew

I have to say that for some reason, I love baseball movies. I’m a steadfast non-supporter of the actual sport, but I love me a good baseball flick. Stay tuned next week for our look at the best adult sports movies and even more ball and bat goodness!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I’ve wanted to garnish a drink with Big League Chew for some time now and this was the perfect opportunity to finally do so, melding baseball and childhood all in one. Did I mention that the Big League Chew flavour was Ground Ball Grape! The actual name for this recipe is “Three Strikes, You’re Out,” but I chose to cut the title in half. The shot is quite strong with competing flavours of cinnamon, peppermint and other spices. It’s not bad, but it’s one that will sit in your gut for some time.

Barbados – Mango Crème Pie

Caribbean Queen

Well, this site has hit a new low (a near weekly occurrence, though!)… I never thought I’d write an article about pop star Rihanna, but here we find ourselves on the beautiful beaches of Barbados and she just happens to be one of the biggest things to ever come from the island country. Let’s take a look at her story:

Rihanna began singing at the age of seven and her career was launched when she signed with rapper Jay-Z’s Def Jam Records (to a six-record deal, no less). It wasn’t until her third album Good Girl Gone Bad, featuring the track ‘Umbrella’ that things really took off for the artist. Since then, Rihanna has worked with some of music’s biggest names, including Eminem, Kanye West, Coldplay, and, of course, Jay-Z. Her other hits include ‘Take a Bow,’ ‘Disturbia,’ ‘Only Girl (In the World),’ ‘We Found Love,’ ‘Diamonds,’ and ‘Stay.’

Rihanna Umbrella

Ironically, Rihanna had to ban people from bringing umbrellas to her concerts, afraid that fans would try to impersonate her dance moves with the rain deflectors and wind up injuring fellow concert-goers. It is for these same reasons that I banned people from bringing cocktail shakers into my performances. Nobody knows how to make love to a shaker like the Sip Advisor!

In an industry run amuck with nicknames, Rihanna is no different. Her monikers include RiRi, the Barbados Babe, Caribbean Queen, and even Rihanna… that’s because the singer’s real name is Robyn Fenty and her middle name has become her stage name. I wonder if the same goes for Madonna, Bono, Sting, and the list goes on and on. Speaking of Madonna, Rihanna has referenced the ‘Material Girl’ as her idol, going so far as to say that she wants to be the “Black Madonna”. Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, and the late Aaliyah, among others, have also influenced the Barbadian.

Rihanna has taken home seven Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, 22 Billboard Music Awards (these must be easier to get), and two BRIT Awards. Her worldwide sales total 30 million albums and 120 million singles. She has enjoyed 13 chart-topping songs and has seen her name on lists like Forbes’ Most Powerful Celebrities and TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

This year, Rihanna will receive a Fashion Icon lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The girl is only 26 and she’s already being handed lifetime achievements. Damn, the fashion world is so ridiculous. Chew’em up and spit’em out before they’re 30… that’s a lifetime in fashion.

rihanna no hugs

I won’t go into details about the elephant in the room; Rihanna’s assault at the hands of Chris Brown, as that loser doesn’t deserve any attention from this site. All I’ll write, is that this wasn’t the first time her life was tumultuous. Growing up, her father was addicted to cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol and her parents rocky relationship ended in divorce when she was 14. Rihanna was an army cadet growing up, with fellow performer Shontelle as her drill sergeant, but dropped out of school before graduating to pursue her musical career.

Not solely devoted to the music world, Rihanna has appeared in four movies, including Bring it On: All or Nothing; Battleship; This is the End; and Home (an animated film to be released later this year). For her role as Petty Officer Cora Raikes in Battleship, Rihanna was bestowed both a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress and a Teen Choice Award, proving that adolescents today are idiots.

The sex symbol has also appeared on the cover of a number of publications, most notably, Maxim, FHM, Rolling Stone, and GQ has been romantically linked to baseball player Matt Kemp, as well as rapper Drake. Despite the magazine appearances, she has turned down offers to pose for Playboy on several occasions.

Following in the footsteps of other bombshells, Rihanna has unleashed a few fragrances upon the world. Her scents include ‘Reb’l Fleur’ (2011), ‘Rebelle’ (2012), ‘Nude’ (2012), and ‘Rogue’ (2013). MAC Cosmetics also released a Rihanna line of makeup dubbed ‘RiRi hearts MAC’ (begging the question: who comes up with all these shitty names!?).

rihanna-sideshow-bob

And somehow she still became a fashion icon!

 

Rihanna’s Believe Foundation was created to help terminally ill children. The charity also provides medical supplies, school supplies, and toys to kids in need.

For the fans of inked girls out there, Rihanna offers a number of tattoo options. The list actually seems almost endless, but working our way from head to foot: Pisces sign behind right ear; star in left ear; a trail of stars down her neck, as well as a rebelle fleur; the date 4/11/1986 in roman numerals on her left shoulder; “Never a Failure, Always a Lesson” on her right shoulder; a cross on her collar bone; “Freedom in Messiah” and a handgun on her ribs; a Sanskrit prayer on her hip; a goddess Isis on her stomach; a henna-style dragon claw on her hand; “Love” on her left middle finger; “Shhh…” on her right index finger; “Thug Life” on her knuckles; a skull with a pink hair bow on the back of her foot; a gun-shaped Egyptian falcon on her right foot; and music note on her ankle. I think I covered them all, but now I’m out of breath!

Rihanna’s 777 Tour featured the artist performing seven shows, in seven countries, over seven days.

rihanna-xmas-card

After winning Gillette’s Venus Breeze ‘Celebrity Legs of a Goddess’ Award in 2007, Rihanna promptly insured her gams for $1 million. That same year, she was named the official face of Barbados tourism and holds the title of Ambassador for Culture and Youth. The home country accolades continued to roll in for Rihanna in 2008 when a national holiday was created in her honour. She responded with a free concert for her country folk.

In 2013, Rihanna joined some prestigious company when she had a UK Singles Chart number one for the seventh consecutive year. The others to achieve the feat were Elvis Presley and The Beatles. She is also tied for third most number one singles (13) on the Billboard Hot 100 with Michael Jackson.

Barbados: Mango Crème Pie

Mango Creme Pie Martini

  • 1.5 oz Mango Rum
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Splash of Whip Cream
  • Garnish with Whip Creamed Lime Wedge

This wraps up the TMZ edition of The Sip Advisor. Before this article, I could probably only name a couple songs by Rihanna or featuring Rihanna… and I’m thankful to say that fact remains true! Nothing against the pop princess, but it’s just not my type of music.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This was a tasty, light martini that provided a rare occasion to appreciate Pineapple Juice. It wasn’t too sweet, which I was worried about going into the drink. The Whip Cream dollop on top of the Lime Wedge was fun and unique. The recipe I read says you should float the Lime Wedge, but when I tried that, it just sank into the cocktail. Perhaps a thin lime wheel would have been more suitable.

September 11 – Euthanasia

Nicknamed

I bet you’re wondering how I got from euthanasia to nicknames. There is a method to my madness, or perhaps more aptly called alcoholness. Famous ‘right to die’ activist Dr. Jack Kevorkian earned the moniker of Dr. Death, having assisted in the suicide of numerous terminally ill patients. That’s a pretty wicked nickname, regardless of how he came to have it. Perhaps it worked better for wrestler Steve Williams, whose physical style and impressively dangerous move set earned him the same handle. Here are some other nicknames that rule:

Stu Grimson – The Grim Reaper

This one is almost too perfect to be true. What do you name a hockey enforcer with a last name that has “Grim” in it? Why, The Grim Reaper naturally! Grimson pounded his way to 2,113 penalty minutes in a career that spanned 729 games. Perhaps most impressive is that Grimson went on to earn a law degree and practices in Nashville, Tennessee where he presumably continues to bash his opponents in the courtroom.

Gordie Howe – Mr. Hockey

Doesn’t that say respect! Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, played an unbelievable 32 seasons of the game (split between the NHL and WHA) playing from the age of 18 until he finally retired at 52. When he left the game, the record books were largely dedicated to his successes and he is the epitome of a hockey player: tough, talented, humble, and awesome.

Madonna – Material Girl

I searched far and wide for a female to include in this article and sadly Madonna was the best I could come up with. Madge earned this moniker thanks to her 1984 hit ‘Material Girl’. Interestingly, Madonna has stated this is the song she regrets recording the most because of how the name stuck with her, despite the video being about her character rejecting diamonds and money.

Johnny Cash – The Man in Black

The legendary musician earned his nickname because of the dark clothing he usually wore for his performances (a contrast to other country stars of the time), explaining his dress in the song ‘Man in Black’: “We’re doing mighty fine I do suppose; In our streak of lightning cars and fancy clothes; But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back; Up front there ought to be a man in black.”

Johnny-Cash-Kitty

Wicked… Johnny Cash was a fan of kitties, just like the Sip Advisor!

Frank Sinatra – Chairman of the Board

Which board he was the Chairman of is up for debate, but one would have to assume it involved boozing, partying, entertaining, and having non-stop fun with your best pals. Sinatra could chair any board that I had a direct association with and I’d be more than happy to have him as a leader. Hopefully Dean and Sammy were members also and we’d get blitzed at every meeting!

Elvis Presley – The King

They didn’t even need to say what he was “The King” of, everybody just knew. Elvis was considered entertainment royalty, with thriving music and movie careers. He was the type of guy men wanted to be and women wanted to be with. Despite passing away in 1977, it could be argued that Elvis is even more popular now than he was as an active performer.

Drink #254: Euthanasia

Euthanasia Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey
  • 1 oz Southern Comfort
  • Top with Beer (I used Corona)
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

What have I missed? Who have I left out that you feel so incensed about; you want to leap through your computer screen and track me down? I am a simple comment away and you’ll never forget my nickname… Sip Advisor out!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I had high hopes for this beer cocktail recipe and was sadly let down. There just wasn’t much going on with the mix other than a lingering taste of the Honey Whiskey. The recipe calls for Southern Comfort Peach Liqueur, which I’ve unfortunately never seen before. To spice things up, however, I did use Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey instead of the regular stuff. The drink also calls for each ingredient to be used equally (4 oz per), but that just seems wasteful to me, so I dropped the increments. I used a lighter beer in Corona, so as to let the liquors come through stronger.

February 11 – Berried Treasure

Odd Couples

In today’s recipe, Crème de Cacao is combined with lemonade, which may seem like a strange pairing to some. It actually comes together deliciously like peanut butter and chocolate, wine and cheese, and Doritos and porn. The same can’t be said for these mismatched duos:

Flavor Flav & Brigitte Nielsen

What do you get when you throw two recovering addicts together, with the tease of their own reality show spinoff? True love, yo!!! And so we were treated to Strange Love, which chronicled the couple’s relationship, ending when Nielsen decided to return to her fiancé… wait, what!?! She was engaged during the entire charade.

Flav & Nielsen

Roger Ebert & Oprah Winfrey

Granted they only went on a couple of dates, before either one had become a household name, but their relationship just seems weird. Ebert did urge Oprah to take her local talk show into syndication, helping her become the high-power, influential brand she’s become since her early days with the movie critic. So now you know you have Ebert to thank for Oprah’s Book Club, among other things that at one time or another, have likely ruined every dude’s life.

Lance Armstrong & Ashley Olsen

One of them used performance enhancing drugs and the other likely should in order to beef up her gaunt, skeleton look. Fifteen-year age gap be damned. At least she’s not dating one of her former parental figures on Full House. Now that would be creepy.

Tom Green & Drew Barrymore

First, you have sweet, innocent Drew Barrymore (Playboy pictorial and history of addictions notwithstanding), member of the Barrymore Hollywood dynasty. Then, you have Canadian Tom Green, who somehow became a cult hit in the late 90’s/early 2000’s with his brand of off-the-wall prank humour. Somehow the crazy kids got together and it was even at a time in Barrymore’s life when she was sober.

Dennis Rodman & Madonna

Perhaps these two weren’t as mismatched as first thought. They’re both bizarre individuals with far-out personalities and they each like wearing coned bras and dresses while dyeing their hair a million different colours. They also have a knack for starring in movies, despite the fact they’re more famous for other professions (he of basketball and she of enormous sexual appetite).

Madonna & Rodman

Jesse James & Sandra Bullock

Why these two were ever together is an unexplainable mystery. The fact HE cheated on HER takes the absurdity level of the relationship to a whole ‘nutha level. When you look at the gremlin he cheated on her with, you’re left absolutely flummoxed (remember, I’m trying to bring this word back to the streets). What a scumbag! Plus, he’s not even related to legendary outlaw, Jesse James, as he’s always claimed.

Bert & Ernie

They’re just roommates… quit bugging them about the whole gay thing. Hell, Ernie’s closer to his rubber ducky than he is to Evil Bert.

Drink #42: Berried Treasure

Berried Treasure Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • 0.75 oz Crème de Cacao
  • 0.5 oz Chambord
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with lemon wedge

Some say that Mr. and Mrs. Sip are an odd couple. What with her beauty, success and joie de vive. To those people I say, you’re right… but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
One disappointment with the drink was that the Lemonade mixer wasn’t fizzy, as I had expected it to be. The flavour was still okay, but a little zip would have helped score the cocktail higher.