October 3 – Waikiki Wave

Aloha

As many of you little sippers know, I recently celebrated my 30th birthday in Hawaii! While there, I did what the Sip Advisor does best: got smashed all around the island, leaving a path of destruction not seen since the attack on Pearl Harbor… too soon!? Here is an account of my misadventures and some great spots to hit if you are ever in Honolulu:

Birthday Crawl and 30-Drink Challenge

Mrs. Sip and I arrived on the beautiful island shortly before the clock turned over to my birthday. At exactly midnight, I sipped my first drink and was promptly challenged to down 30 libations before the day was done. I had six down the hatch before going to bed and awoke to a shot around 8am. After picking up friends at the airport, the birthday pub crawl was off and running. Over the rest of the day, we hit Jimmy Buffett’s, LuLu’s, Tiki’s, Rum Fire, and The Yardhouse, where I destroyed a half-yard of brew for my 30-in-30!

30th Birthday

Happy Hours and Mai-Tais

Hawaii, perhaps more so than any other place in the world, is famous for their midday and late night happy hours. You can bet that we took advantage of as many as possible, despite the collection of bottles we had waiting for us in our apartment. A must-have drink while vacationing on any of the Hawaiian Islands is the Mai-Tai. The Mai-Tai is among Mrs. Sip’s all-time favourite offerings, while I enjoyed a couple at Chuck’s Steak House (which is owned by Duke’s, another not to be missed dinner spot with a phenomenal salad bar located at the Outrigger hotel). They even came in tiki-head shaped glasses!

Yardhouse Options

While we enjoyed many locations, our group’s favourite hangout was probably The Yardhouse, which we visited nearly every day. Thankfully, I’ve learned this chain exists near enough to me that I will get to visit again soon. The food was great and the drinks even better. They have countless offerings on tap (definitely something for everyone) and I made sure to try nearly every wheat or white beer they had in stock. Food was also pretty good with boneless chicken wings and half priced happy hour pizzas!

Dave and Busters

In a previous article, I outlined some restaurants that I wanted to visit. One of those was Dave and Busters, which I learned only days before our vacation had a location in Hawaii. When Mrs. Sip and I stumbled upon the outlet, we made sure to enjoy some food (delicious pretzel dogs), copious amounts of beer (a shuttle of 100 ounces) and their midway games! We had a wonderful time, highlighted by a four-way air hockey contest, yours truly defeating Mrs. Sip on a massive Connect 4 game, and also scoring the only 5/5 on the trivia challenge!

Dave and Busters

Top of Waikiki

This top-rated bar was a wonderful retreat from Waikiki’s bustling streets. As we rotated around the bar, it was fun to check out the restaurant’s liquor collection and indulge in a few delicious cocktails. Our bartender, Kory, was second only to your very own Sip Advisor and catered to our every whim. It was here (as well as at Rum Fire) that I learned how much I enjoy and appreciate drinks with a little heat, whether through hot sauces or being mixed with peppers.  My favourite recipe was the Naughty or Nice, which combined rum, strawberry puree, mint, soda, and Serrano peppers.

Beach Time

While I’m not a huge fan of going to the beach (the poor man’s pool, as I call it), we did spend a number of afternoon hours soaking up the sun and getting filthy in the ocean and sand. A highlight, was making our own midnight pizza and taking it out onto one of the beach piers (along with some liquid sunshine) and enjoying the waves crashing against our bare feet as we ate, drank and pondered.

Boozy Ending

Mrs. Sip and I spent our last night in paradise kicking back and relaxing (not to mention polishing off every last bit of alcohol in our place). The only thing I like about coming home from vacation is introducing the liquor we purchase (our babies) to their new abode. On this trip, Mrs. Sip and I picked up bottles of Macadamia Nut Liqueur, Rock Coconut Rum, Apple Pie Moonshine, Malibu Red, and some mini bottles of various flavours to be featured soon!

Drink #276: Waikiki Wave (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Waikiki Wave Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Spiced Rum (I used Bacardi Oakheart)
  • Top with POG (Passion-Orange-Guava) Juice
  • Splash of Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with Hawaii Cookie and Macadamia Nuts

I’d say the only area that Hawaii drinking needs improvement is that you can’t drink on the street and beach. If the island could remedy this and become a little more like Las Vegas in their public alcohol consumption laws, that would be amazing. Especially with all the ABC stores, I just wanted to grab a beer, crack it and walk a block to the next outlet!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This was an okay drink, but I think my Ginger Ale had gone a little flat and wasn’t the awesome ingredient it usually is. All the garnishes were certainly fun to eat after the drink was consumed and the munchies had truly kicked in!

September 18 – Mai-Tai

Rum Diary

There are some pretty good rum slogans out there, as companies try to capitalize on the liquor’s perception as a laid back spirit. Here are some of my favourites, as we sail through the Caribbean!:

Sailor Jerry’s – This is no girly rum.

One of my favourite libations of all time and a brand that could be the first inductee into my own personal liquor hall of fame (oh, that sounds like a good article idea!), I love Sailor Jerry’s. And yes, it is certainly not a girly rum… even though there’s a picture of a girl prominently on the bottle. I’ve probably gone through more bottles of Sailor Jerry’s than any other alcohol and that’s something to be proud of!

Sailor-Jerry's

Malibu – Malibu… seriously easy going.

With the company’s blend of light rum and fruit flavours, one could definitely conclude that Malibu is “seriously easy going”! Is there anything finer in life than relaxing on a sandy beach, the sun bronzing your skin, with a rum-based cocktail in your hand? The all-inclusive industry was based on this theory and now those companies thrive in having people get their R&R on, accompanied by the divine secrets of sweet lady liquor.

Appleton – Raise your rum!

And toast the liquor gods, while you’re at it. This slogan is two-fold. On one hand, they’re talking about raising the quality of the rum you drink when you choose Appleton. On the other hand, it can be viewed as a toast and celebration thanks to the fine folks at Appleton. I’m a big fan of Appleton, something I know I’m not alone on. So, raise your rum to the Sip Advisor and let’s get bombed!

Bacardi – Live like you mean it.

I grew up on Bacardi, as it was my parent’s rum of choice and as a result, I’ll always have a place in my heart for the spirit. I like to think I live most days to the fullest and Bacardi has often helped me with that quest. The Sip Advisor becomes a whole different being when the rum is flowing and good times are set to be had. Every day should be cherished in some way and Bacardi is always a good start!

Bacardi Rums

Captain Morgan – Got a little Captain in you?

I certainly have a little Captain in me… just not in that way… not that there’s anything wrong with that! I have a sense of adventure and of boozing my way through those glorious good times. Pirating is surely in my blood, somewhere along the family lines because I love rum, the water, being aboard ships, and causing mayhem. For those of you that don’t like those things, you can apply to my school of rehabilitation and we’ll get that all sorted out.

Parrot Bay – The Parrot is calling.

If the Parrot is calling, I’m certainly listening! And that’s even though I absolutely hate birds. At least the parrot is a colourful species, which helps you ignore all the other annoying bird elements for a short time. Then, once you get to the rum drinking, you completely put aside all of your hatred towards the aviary animals. We can all get along thanks to a little shared enjoyment of the finer things in life.

Drink #261: Mai-Tai

Mai-Tai Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 oz Dark Rum (I used Captain Morgan)
  • 0.75 oz Light Rum
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with half Orange Juice and half Pineapple Juice
  • Float Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry and Cocktail Umbrella

Which rum slogans are you particularly fond of? Has the Sip Advisor slipped up and left your favourite line off this list. Come on, give me hell!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
While I wasn’t able to pull of the traditional Mai-Tai recipe (not having access to Orgeat Syrup), Mrs. Sip and I found an adapted recipe that subs Amaretto in its place. The drink was good, surprising Mrs. Sip who has a dislike for Amaretto and a love for Mai-Tais. If it passes her taste test, it can’t be written off!

September 15 – Cuba Libre

Rum Runners

Today marks the start of Rum Week here at The Sip and by now, you surely know what that means… a small dose of rum education! So, put your thinking caps on (come on, I ask this of you so seldom), sharpen those pencils, and prepare to have your brains stuffed with useless knowledge. Only the best for my little sippers!

Caribbean: Putting The Punch In Rum

Drink #258: Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Gold Rum (I used Bacardi)
  • Top with Cola
  • Garnish with Lime Wedges

I love these infographics. They make my job so much easier. And don’t you think I deserve the odd day off, allowing me to kick back with a few Cuba Libres? You’re right, I’ve earned every bit of vacation time I have!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I used the original Cuba Libre recipe for today’s offering and, of course, it was delicious. I like to try all kinds of different Rums, looking for the right combo with Cola. I prefer Spiced Rums, but Gold Rum gets the job done in a pinch. Anytime you have a plain Rum and Coke, there must be an element of Lime added to the mix. Whether that be some fresh-squeezed Lime Juice, or at the very least, Lime Wedges as part of the recipe… that will combat the scurvy!