December 19 – Dirty Christmas Tree

Christmas Cringe

Christmas is right around the corner and these are some of the gifts you wouldn’t want to find under your tree. In most cases, the thought is there, but the results just don’t pan out. Let’s see what will be sent to donation in the very near future:

#5: Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge – The Simpsons

All Bart wanted for Christmas was the violent video game Bonestorm, going so far as to steal a copy from the local Try-N-Save department store. Of course, he gets caught, breaking his mom’s heart. After making amends for ruining the family holiday photo, Marge says that she has found the perfect gift for Bart. When it’s video game-shaped, he quickly unwraps the package to reveal… Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge. It’s not what he wanted, but having his mom’s love again is all he really needs.

Bonestorm Games

#4: Old Radio Tapes – NewsRadio

While the rest of the WNYX staff receive sports cars – after complaining about their original gifts of repurposed baseball hats from station owner and eccentric billionaire Jimmy James – Matthew is left out, receiving only a set of Fibber McGee and Molly tapes. Not only does he miss out on a car because Mr. James tried to get personal gifts for the staff after his first misfire (before resorting to the expensive cars), but Matthew’s favourite old time radio show is Jack Benny.

#3: A Pebble – A Muppet Family Christmas

Don’t get me wrong, this Christmas special is beloved by the Sip Advisor and the entire Sip Kingdom, but a pebble as a present is a horrible idea. You can tell it’s bad because after the Fraggles give the rock to Robin the Frog (complete with song trying to justify why such an awful offering has occured), he quickly flips it, re-gift style, to Grover. I never really got the whole Fraggle Rock crew and am glad they spent most of this momentous Christmas celebration underground.

Fear and Loathing Fraggle Rock

#2: Frame and Hook – Mr. Bean

As Mr. Bean and his girlfriend are shopping for Christmas gifts, they walk by a jewellery store, where she drops hints that she’d like a ring. Of course, Mr. Bean completely gets the wrong message and thinks she wants the photo frame that sits nearby the jewellery. So, a frame and hook for that frame is what she receives, causing her to flee his apartment in tears. Mr. Bean does treat his stuffed bear better, though, replacing the button eyes Teddy was in need of.

#1: Coal – Rugrats

Okay, the bratty Angelica ends up getting exactly what she wants for Christmas (a Deluxe Cynthia Beach House), even after she has been a total terror… but Santa might have left a little something to strike some fear in the girl’s black heart, when opening the house’s garage door reveals some coal residue. I guess she did try to remedy all of her bad behaviour upon warning from Grandpa Lou about what wicked kids can expect from Santa as far as gifts go.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Dirty Christmas Tree

  • 0.25 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.25 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 0.25 oz Sour Mix
  • Drop of Grenadine

Researching these TV articles was not an easy task and so if I’ve missed any of the worst gifts given in small screen history, please let me know. Merry Christmas, my little sippers!

October 31 – Hellraiser

Cursed Accounts

We wrap up our month of spooky goodness with another curious subject: curses. I mean, life can be tough enough without having a curse hanging over your head. Let’s take a look at some of the nastiest jinxes out there

#5: Men of Steel?

Who would have thought that portraying a super hero would be detrimental to your health and wellbeing? Catastrophe has followed a number of the actors who suited up as Superman over the years, from George Reeves’s suicide/murder to Christopher Reeve’s paralysation and eventual death. The story goes that the original creators of the character, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, placed the curse on Superman when they were denied the rights to the character and all the financial benefits that come with it. To be honest, I’ve never been much of a Superman fan… I’ll audition for the role of Batman, thank you very much!

Superman Collateral Damage

#4: Chairman of the Board

As Thomas Busby was en route to his execution, he swore that anyone who sat in his favourite chair would die. The chair’s legend began when Busby came home one day to find his father-in-law sitting in it and demanding his daughter back. Ever the negotiator, Busby killed his father-in-law with a hammer. Since Busby’s death march threat, many are said to have died after sitting in the chair, particularly two air force members, who dared each other to sit in the chair and died later that day in a car crash. The chair now sits in the Thirsk Museum, hanging on a wall so it can’t be sat in, despite numerous requests to do so from visitors looking to tempt fate.

#3: When Painting Kills

The Sip Advisor has never been much of an art connoisseur and this tale isn’t going to change my mind. Many homes that displayed the Crying Boy painting, ended up being the site of fires or explosions. Despite the damage to the dwelling, the painting always survived intact. The Madrid-based artist who created the work, should have known something was up when he asked the boy (who was orphaned after his parents perished in a house fire) to pose for him and his studio caught fire. Apparently, each home the youngster was taken into would eventually go up in flames. There are a few museums I kind of wish this piece would end up at!

painting-funny

#2: Diamonds Aren’t Forever

Diamonds are supposed to be a girl’s best friend, but perhaps not in this case. The infamous Hope Diamond has caused many of those who possessed it to meet an unfortunate end. Stolen from the head of an idol in a temple in India, the 112-carat gem can be traced back to King Louis XVI of France, as well as Princess de Lamballie and Marie Antoinette. All of which were beheaded during the French Revolution. Similarly, the Kohinoor Diamond is said to bring great fortune to the women who own it, but tragedy to the men who possess it. Thankfully, the Sip Advisor isn’t really a jewellery guy and prefers to see diamonds on Mrs. Sip.

#1: Presidential Pallor

When future president William Henry Harrison broke a treaty with Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee tribe in 1811, war broke out and many lives were lost. Tecumseh cursed Harrison as he was inaugurated in 1840 and from then on, the president elect every 20 years was doomed to die while in office: Harrison, Lincoln (1860), Garfield (1880), McKinley (1900), Harding (1920), Roosevelt (1940), and Kennedy (1960). Ronald Reagan beat the curse after his appointment in 1980 – although there was an assassination attempt on his life – as did George W. Bush in 2000. Who knows what 2020 will have in store, but that’s one year I would avoid if I were the political type.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Hellraiser

There are also a number of sports-related curses – perhaps to be examined in another article. I wish I could blame my Vancouver Canucks championship drought on a long-running curse, rather than poor drafting, trades, and play! Here’s to wishing all you little sippers a happy and safe Halloween!

November 8 – The Incredible Hulk

As Themselves

You know you’ve really made it big when you can appear in a major production as yourself. There have been some amazing performances where someone basically accentuates their real-life persona and pokes a little fun at themselves. This list, of course, does not include reality TV and I’ve also decided not to include bands who may show up in a film or TV show for performance purposes. With that said, on with the article!

#5: Bill Murray – Zombieland/Space Jam

Bill Murray has appeared a few movies playing himself, some more notable than others. First, in the Looney Tunes-Michael Jordan crossover Space Jam, Murray and Jordan are golfing buddies, causing the former Ghostbuster to get dragged into the intergalactic basketball battle between the Tune Squad and the Monstars. Years later, Murray made a surprise cameo in the horror-comedy Zombieland. Unfortunately, that appearance didn’t end too well for the comedic legend, as his living dead costume was a little too convincing for his newfound friends.

#4: Wil Wheaton – Big Bang Theory

The former Star Trek child star has appeared in a number of Big Bang Theory episodes, first as a nemesis to Sheldon Cooper and later, a friend. His early battles with Sheldon included a fantasy card game tournament (which Sheldon only entered to extract some revenge against Wheaton for no-showing a personal appearance years earlier), as well as a bowling challenge. Wheaton has also shared screen time with aspiring actress Penny (whose last name has never been divulged) on a low-budget production. For being able to poke fun at himself, Wheaton has found himself embraced by geeks everywhere, whether Star Trek fans or not.

#3: Stan Lee – Mallrats/The Simpsons/Big Bang Theory

The king of the cameo, Lee is known to appear briefly in the movies of all his comic creations, usually as a security guard, hot dog vendor, or other minor character. He has also shown up as himself in a number of TV shows and films. Most notably was his turn in the comedy Mallrats, where he provides main character Brodie with some sage advice about love and romance, prior to a book signing appearance. Similar to his appearance in Mallrats, he has guest-starred on episodes of The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory as appearing at the comic book stores featured on each show. He even officiated Comic Book Guy’s wedding!

#2: Neil Patrick Harris – Harold and Kumar Franchise

When the former Doogie Howser M.D., Neil Patrick Harris, appeared in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle as a drug-addled sex fiend, he virtually re-launched his career, leading to being cast as womanizer Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother. NPH’s random appearances in all three of the Harold and Kumar movies have always been loaded with laughs, as he plays an out-of-control former child star who always seems to meddle with the main journey. Funnily, he’s actually credited as Neil Patrick Harris in each Harold and Kumar film and not with the typical “As Himself” acknowledgment.

#1: Adam West – Family Guy

The former Caped Crusader has proven before that he doesn’t mind poking fun at himself. Hell, how else could he get through the campy 1960’s Batman TV series!? Still, as the Mayor of Quahog, Adam West is lampooned as an out-of-his-mind dignitary who is more likely to erect unnecessary statues, than properly run the town. West has even gone on to marry Peter Griffin’s sister-in-law (he also dated Peter’s daughter, Meg, briefly), thus making him a member of the family. The one-time Bruce Wayne has also parodied himself on other cartoons, including The Simpson and The Fairly OddParents.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Incredible Hulk

Incredible Hulk Shot

  • 0.5 oz Absinthe
  • 0.25 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Top with Mountain Dew
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

I also have to give honourable mentions to Dennis Rodman (3rd Rock from the Sun), Bob Barker (Happy Gilmore), Alice Cooper (Wayne’s World), Al Gore (Futurama), and Lou Ferrigno (King of Queens). One day, the Sip Advisor hopes to appear as himself in some form of media… other than Cops, that is!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I went with this shooter recipe because Stan Lee created the character and Lou Ferrigno, who I included in the honourable mentions, played the big guy. After downing the shot, I blacked out and went into a rage, destroying everything in my path. When I awoke, my clothes were tattered and there was green make-up everywhere. In all seriousness, this recipe is kind of neat, with Absinthe actually coming across nice, thanks to the Melon Liqueur and Mountain Dew.

October 25 – Green Ghoul

Spooky Specters

Last week, we kicked off the haunted month of October with a look at the best animated ghosts and this week we get a little eerier with some live-action apparitions. But just like the Ray Parker, Jr. song, “I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts!

#5: Sam Wheat – Ghost

Never has homemade pottery been so sexy… and never will it be again! Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore’s spin at molding clay has certainly resulted in numerous copycat attempts, with those people realizing how messy the whole process actually is. Back to the movie, though, Wheat is shot and killed during a botched robbery and has to save his love from a similar fate. He also has to unveil former friend Carl as a money launderer, all while a ghost who can’t be seen or heard. That’s where “medium” Whoopi Goldberg comes in, hoping to help Sam tie up the loose ends and move on to the next world.

Swayze Ghost

#4: Freddy Krueger – Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger is by far the Sip Advisor’s favourite horror movie ghoul. Just the thought of a being invading your dreams and snuffing out your life in such a violent manner gives me goose bumps (and not the of the R.L. Stein variety). Add in his look, with the scarred face and clawed glove and you won’t want to ever sleep again. The Nightmare on Elm Street concept has inspired some of the most creative kills in horror movie history. Robert Englund, despite being typecast as a nice guy, took the role of Freddy and rocked it for eight movies and 44 TV episodes, before Jackie Earle Haley took over for the 2010 reboot.

#3: Beetlejuice

Say his name three times and you’re in for a visit from the supernatural con artist and bio-exorcist… a visit you just might regret! Played perfectly by Michael Keaton and set in a world that only director Tim Burton could dream up, this dark, yet oddly colourful movie inspired a cartoon series that turned Beetlejuice into a protagonist and friend of Lydia Deetz (you know, the same teen he tried to force against her will and carry out a dark wedding with in the film). There is talk of Keaton and Burton reuniting for a long-awaited sequel to the original film, perhaps even called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, a follow-up in development since 1990.

Beetlejuice Origin

#2: Jacob Marley & Christmas Spirits – A Christmas Carol

Without the help of these specters, Ebenezer Scrooge may have never learned the true meaning of Christmas and how to be a better human being, in general. First, starting with his former partner Jacob Marley (who is cursed to suffer in the hereafter after a lifetime and greed and selfishness), Scrooge is warned that he will be visited by three spirits: the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. These ghouls guide Scrooge through his early days, showing him where the seeds of misery were first planted, how the people around him are currently suffering, and finally, the end result if he doesn’t change his ways immediately.

#1: Dr. Malcolm Crowe – The Sixth Sense

Spoiler alert! Bruce Willis – or at least his character – is actually dead in The Sixth Sense… he just doesn’t know it at first. The twist in this movie is executed so well that it made a career for M. Night Shayamalan. A career he has since faced challenges in, but a career nonetheless. Dr. Malcolm Crowe is trying to help a youngster, Cole Sear, through issues that include seeing and talking to people that have passed away and are having trouble getting through to the other side. In the process of Dr. Crowe helping Cole, Cole actually helps the good doctor and gives him release from being stuck in limbo.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Green Ghoul

Green Ghoul Shot

  • Rim glass with Green Sugar
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Midori

Who’s your favourite live-action or animated ghost? Which specters and spooks give you the heebie-jeebies? Never fear, cause next week, we’ll delve into the best ways to kill these baddies!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
The best part of this shot, other than the Midori melon liqueur, was the salty rim, created by spreading Lime Juice around the glass, allowing the Green Sugar to stick. It’s not that the shot was bad, but it was strong thanks to the Vodka. Thankfully, I used a really nice Vodka, Tito’s to be exact, and that helped with the overall enjoyment.

August 9 – Secret of the Ooze

Reptile Rebellion

I’m a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan and have been since the cool dudes with attitudes hit the airwaves in 1987. With the movie reboot that came out last night, it’s time to dedicate some space to turtle power and discuss the greatest reptiles ever. Let the debate begin!

#5: The Fraternity of Crocodiles – Pearls Before Swine

Some of the funniest Pearls Before Swine comics involve the Fraternity of Crocodiles (under their official name of Da Brudderhood of Zeeba Zeeba Eata) trying to get their chompers wrapped around the animals of Albany, California. These crocs really aren’t very bright, but they’re enthusiasm for eating zebras is unrivaled. Their failed attempts at procuring dinner is akin to Wile E. Coyote’s efforts and you find yourself routing for the bad guy to pick up a win.

zeeba_zeeba_eata

#4: Geico Gecko

I love this little mascot, who despite his gentle nature, seems to have a bite to him, as well. He is, after all, the smartest man in the room at high-level Geico meetings and that might be saying something about the insurance industry in general. The Geico Gecko was born out of the 1999 Screen Actors Guild strike, which resulted in the company not being able to use live actors. Kelsey Grammar originally voiced the character, but he has evolved into more of an everyman gecko with a Cockney accent.

#3: Rango

Perfectly cast, with Johnny Depp providing the lizard’s voice, Rango is the tale of a fish-out-of-water chameleon, who becomes sheriff of the desert town of Dirt and uncovers a mystery involving the area’s drinking water. I also have to give Rango props for dealing with the dreaded Rattlesnake Jake, using his brains to defeat the brawny gunslinger. Anytime a slithering snake is defeated, the Sip Advisor is a happy man.

rango-fear-and-loathing

#2: Bowser – Nintendo

One of the greatest video game baddies of all-time, Bowser seems obsessed with Princess Peach to the point that he’s kidnapped her so many times she’s developed a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome and doesn’t mind playing board games and going go-kart racing with the evil lizard king. Bowser even has his family members getting in on the sinful acts and you may defeat them, but the princess will likely be in another castle!

#1: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

You had to know that these four heroes in a half shell would take the top spot. Of course, Michaelangelo is my favourite among the troupe, but each member of the team holds a special place in my heart and brings something different to the table. One of my favourite things about the TMNT franchise is all the different sidekicks and villains that were introduced, from Casey Jones to the Shredder, and all the Bebop’s and Rocksteady’s in between.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Secret of the Ooze (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Aug 9

  • Rim glass with Candy Sugar
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Pisang Ambon
  • Splash of Sour Apple Mix
  • Dash of Lime Cordial

I have to throw some honourable mentions out to Dino (Flintstones), Godzilla, Tick-Tock (Peter Pan), Sir Hiss (Robin Hood), and Reptile (Mortal Kombat). One reptilian that is definitely on the hate list is Barney the Dinosaur… he gives all prehistoric beasts a bad name and should have been slaughtered by the Transformers Dinobots crew.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I wasn’t really happy with the Mutagen and other Ninja Turtles-themed drinks that already existed (although Drunken Moogle has a neat cocktail that actually uses the toy mutagen canister for its glass), so I built my own shot version, using as many green-coloured products I had in my arsenal. The results were a fruit punch of sorts, including the Lime Cordial Mrs. Sip and I made ourselves. This shooter also provided my first chance to use my new tilted shot glass, which goes perfectly with the theme, in my honest opinion.

April 12 – Drunken Bunny

Bunny Style

It’s the season of the bunny… which means copious amounts of sex, right? Hmmm, apparently it just means lots of chocolate, jelly beans and other candy… I’ll take it! Here are the top five hippity hoppities (a colloquial term for rabbits):

#5: Br’er Rabbit – Song of the South

Ol’ Br’er Rabbit is always getting himself into trouble, which means the Sip Advisor has to bail him out and end up plummeting into the Splash Mountain briar patch, resulting in getting soaked. You know, sometimes I want to see Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox get their hands on the damn rabbit and tear him limb from limb. Together, we could celebrate with a jug of moonshine, some rabbit stew, and a barbecue cookout with all the trimmings. We could even watch Song of the South, providing we can find a copy of the banned film.

briarpatch

Why does Br’er Rabbit look happy to be thrown off a cliff into a briar patch!?

#4: Roger Rabbit – Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

You have to give a ton of respect to anyone (and I mean ANYONE) who can land the vivacious Jessica Rabbit. Sure, all Roger wants to do is play pattycake with her and that’s why I invented a sexual maneuver with the same moniker. Back to Double-R, I wonder if they’ll ever get around to doing the long-rumoured sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It’s taken more than two decades to sort things out, but producers don’t seem any closer to working on the prequel project that would apparently see Roger in his earlier days.

#3: Greg – Greg the Bunny

This adorable Fabricated-American isn’t just cute and cuddly… he’s naïve and innocent to boot. By chance, Greg joined the cast of Sweetknuckle Junction (inadvertently replacing his idol Rochester Rabbit), a children’s show akin to Sesame Street. The difference being that off-screen, his fellow puppets Warren the Ape, Count Blah, and others have a bad side that includes sex, drugs, and alcohol – sounds like fun, don’t it! Greg has to work hard to keep up with his cast mates, all while living the life of a second-class citizen among all the humanoids.

gregbunny

A meal with Gilbert Gottfried… Fabricated-Americans get all the lucky breaks!

#2: Babs and Buster Bunny – Tiny Toon Adventures

Babs and Buster, no relation, are a mischievous duo that head the crop of Acme Looniversity students and are looking to be the next generation of cartoon stars, following in the footsteps of the fabulous Looney Tunes gang. With school principal Bugs Bunny acting as their mentor, the two are the heir apparent to the Looney Tunes throne. Buster is Bugs’ intelligent, calculating side, while Babs represents Bugs’ manic, wild side. The couple comes together for a perfect mixture of mayhem. And I can’t be the only one who found Babs kind of attractive with her spunky attitude and sweetness. I mean, at least if you’re into animated femme fatales.

#1: Bugs Bunny – Looney Tunes

There’s no other way to say it: Bugs Bunny is an icon! His feuds with Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, and so many others are legendary. The great thing about Bugs is that he’s not impervious to his own battles and doesn’t always end up on the winning side. Surprisingly, the creators of the character didn’t think it would be the smash Bugs ended up being. Bugs has entertained his way to being a symbol for the entire Warner Bros. company (well, him and that damn singing frog!) and is still used in numerous media today.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Drunken Bunny

Drunken Bunny Shot

  • 0.5 oz Orange Rum
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Top with Whip Cream
  • Garnish with Mini Eggs Bits

I have to give out some kudos to some bunnies that are best associated with company logos and mascots. This would include the Playboy Bunny (logo or girls, they’re all good), the Cadbury Bunny (I love me some crème and mini eggs), and the Energizer Bunny (we all wish we had its stamina). Which rabbit would you have liked to see shoehorned into this list? Happy Easter y’all!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This is actually a cocktail recipe that I’ve adapted into a shooter, which I seem to have to do a lot around here! The liquid is delicious, although I had to combine White Rum and Grand Marnier to achieve the desired Orange Rum. The Mini Eggs Bits at the end of the drink were a very nice touch and were easy to crush up for the shooter.

December 28 – Broken Down Golf Cart

Surviving the Season

There are a number of things you just can’t do during the winter. Golf, for example, is pretty hard to play and enjoy if you live anywhere that experiences snow storms or other inclement weather. I’ve searched around for advice on how to beat the winter blues (not that I’m necessarily down myself) and while I agree with some suggestions, others have me perplexed and even angry. Here are some of those recommendations:

Relax/Catch up on Sleep

Mrs. Sip tends to burn the candle at both ends year round, but I feel run down the most at Christmas. With all the social gatherings on top of the usual pattern of work and activities, it can all be quite exhausting. Add to that the whole Christmas shopping mess and you’re in for a rough holiday ride. It’s also a time to be thoroughly enjoyed, so hibernating through the cold stretch isn’t desirable either. Find a perfect balance between rest and play and you’ll do fine.

Hibernation

Don’t Binge Drink

You little sippers know even before I launch into an obscenity-laced tirade that I’m not going to agree with this notion. I think the best part of trying to cope with winter is getting blitzed in your wonderfully warm abode while watching ancient episodes of Family Matters and Full House and longing for a simpler time in life. If you want to binge drink, by all means, go for it… and have a grand ol’ time while doing so.

Embrace the Season

I largely believe in celebrating whichever time of year you’re currently living through. Winter is no different. The season provides ample opportunity to do things you can’t most of the rest of the year, like ski, snowboard, ice skate, have snowball fights, build a snowman and so on. You should also treasure the time provided to be with family and friends over the holidays because you never really know how much of it you’ll have.

Treat Yourself

I love on Parks and Recreation how Tom and Donna celebrate ‘Treat Yo Self Day’ and apparently I’m not alone. The official day of this amazing holiday, as per its own Facebook page is Oct. 13. How you decide to Treat Yo Self is entirely up to you. It’s also a good idea to treat someone else really well and your efforts may come back as rewards in the future, doubling your positive results.

Exercise/Healthy Diet

I’m totally down with the exercise part, but the healthy diet doesn’t jive. Christmas is all about the cookies, chocolate, and other treats. I subscribe to the theory of the ‘Guy-et’ where as I work out for the sole purpose of balancing out all the bad habits I have. If you do it well enough, you’ll even begin seeing gains, but the point of the program is to at least hold off any losses.

Find Some Sun

Whether this is achieved through travel or something as simple as hitting the tanning salon, you have to find a way that works for you to warm up and get some vitamin-D coursing through your veins. Most years, Mrs. Sip and I seem to be able to get away to a warmer climate during the winter and I wholeheartedly advise others to do the same. It’s good to bring the swimsuit and sunglasses out in December and January.

Improve Yourself

Remember those resolutions you laid out at the start of the year? With only days or weeks left on the calendar, it might be time to finally cross off some of your tasks. While Mrs. Sip and I sit down each January 1st and discuss our goals for the year, the only one I maintain is the one Samuel L. Jackson once outlined as guest host of Saturday Night Live: “Continue to kick ass!”

Drink #362: Broken Down Golf Cart

Broken Down Golf Cart Shooter

  • 0.25 oz Vodka (I used Lychee)
  • 0.25 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Amaretto
  • 0.25 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Candies

Do you have any other suggestions for surviving winter? Please share for all the little sippers out there that might be struggling through the season!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The Lychee Vodka made this shooter a little more interesting than it might have been normally. It worked well with all the other ingredients and I still can’t really describe the liquors complex taste. You can’t really go wrong with Melon Liqueur, Amaretto, and Cranberry Juice, so the Vodka was simply the icing on the cake!

 

December 18 – Holiday Hopper

Christmas Vacation

I prefer to spend Christmas at home with family and friends, but that’s not for everyone. Some like to get out and see the world, leaving the comforts of familiarity far behind. If that sounds like you, here are some of the best places to travel to for Christmas joy!

Leavenworth, Washington

This quaint little Bavarian-themed town is great to visit at all times of the year, but it particularly comes alive at Christmas, beginning with its annual lighting festival. The Family Sip spent a few Christmases in Leavenworth when the Sip Advisor was a wee little sipper. We enjoyed many hours playing in the snow, going cross country skiing, and causing a general ruckus in the hotel halls. It’s hard to not be in the full Christmas spirit when you’re so surrounded by it.

leavenworth-lighting

New York, New York

One would probably start by visiting Rockefeller Center for outdoor ice skating and ogling the giant Christmas tree placed in the center of the plaza, but I for one would try to relive Kevin McCallister’s adventures from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York… especially if I can convince a couple cons to provide me with willing Wet Bandits impersonators! For Pa Sip, there’s also the Holiday Train Show, featuring numerous model trains rumbling through an intricate New York landscape.

Lapland, Finland

Home to Santa Claus Village and Santa Park and located near the Arctic Circle, this area has long been considered Santa Claus’ base of operations, where reindeer and polar bears (of the Coca-Cola swilling variety) can be found inhabiting the region. It’s here that you can get a photo with one of the most legit looking Santa’s I’ve ever seen… perhaps he is the real thing. Whoa, mind blown, I’m off to Lapland!

Disney Theme Parks

You never need a specific reason to go to a Disney park, but seeing the resorts at Christmas is a must at some point in every person’s life. I love how rides like the Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World are updated for the holiday season and the park’s Christmas Parade and Christmas Fireworks Extravaganza are spectacles that should be witnessed. Add to that all the Christmas treats, merchandise, lights, costumes, and everything else and it’s a holiday overload… in a good way!

Christmas-at-Disney

Bethlehem, Israel

Birthplace of Jesus Christ and home to the nativity scene, thousands make pilgrimages to Bethlehem each year to celebrate the holiday where its roots stem from. The Church of the Nativity sits upon the spot where Jesus is said to have been born (a silver star within the church marks the exact location of Jesus’ birth) and empties out into Manger Square. Numerous religious events take place around the Christmas holiday and regardless of your denomination, you can celebrate at some point in the area.

Reykjavik, Iceland

With its proximity to the North Pole, this may be the closest you ever come to Santa’s workshop. In fact, just outside the Icelandic capital is The Christmas Village, which offers everything from live musical performances to shopping opportunities to the Yuletide Lads (not one or two, but 13 Santa’s). Apparently their ‘mother’ can also be found nearby, but can you imagine the hardships she’s gone through raising 13 boys who are all unemployed and want to hand around children all day?

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Dubbed ‘The Christmas City‘ this place has taken celebrating the holiday season to new heights. They even have a live advent calendar, where each day, a different shopkeeper comes out the Goundie House door with treats for those attending. Christkindlmarkt is molded after the traditional European winter market and offers visitors the chance to buy arts and crafts and food. It doesn’t say anything about booze, but you hope that’s there too. I mean, you really, really, really hope they have that, as well!

Drink #352: Holiday Hopper

Holiday Hopper Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Menthe
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with Mint Leaf and Chocolate

After researching for this list, it’s clear that there aren’t many places that would be bad to spend Christmas. Perhaps war-torn areas and such should be avoided, but so many cities have something to offer for those looking to get away for the holidays.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This is one of those drinks that really surprises you. Given my aversion to Crème de Menthe, I can never really trust it, especially when it’s expected to play nice with other more normal ingredients like Melon Liqueur. Here, they all come together for a wonderful and enjoyable taste, perfect for a dessert beverage.

November 13 – Warp Pipe

Game Genie

Today we continue our look into the Sip Advisor’s favourite vidya games. This isn’t an article about the greatest games of all-time, just my top picks from childhood to adulthood, where that inner-child just never really went away. I’m not a massive video game guy, but I’ve always played this or that along the way!

Super Mario Bros.

This is one of the games that really boosted the video game industry and made Nintendo a household name. I’d say my favourite Mario game was Super Mario World (SNES), but I have also enjoyed all the original NES titles, as well as releases for Gameboy, N64, and Wii. The Wii version was great because you could play along with your friends all at the same time, although it usually ended up with us “accidentally” killing each other. One thing is certain: the games were far superior to the ill-advised movie!

money-power-woman

Wrestling Games

As I’ve admitted before, I was a huge wrestling fan in my pre-teen and teenage years. Some of the best wrestling classics came out during this period, especially the games made by THQ in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. The company had the WCW license first and then switched over to WWE, putting out one amazing offering after another. My friends and I spent countless hours fighting our issues out in battle royals. The best part was, if you were eliminated, you had another chance with the next entering character.

GoldenEye 007

Similar to the wrestling games, thousands of hours were wasted maiming each other in this N64 classic. Even those who weren’t gamers in the slightest knew about GoldenEye and had probably played at some point. While the single player missions were spectacular, the multiplayer killfests were even better. Our group would play where any damage killed you and would alternate between remote mines and rocket launchers being the feature weapon.

Plants vs. Zombies

While I’m not the biggest fan of tower defense games, this entry, which has you defending your home against an invading horde of zombies, using plants with their own special powers is a total delight. A sequel has been released, but as of yet, it’s only available to losers with iPhones (sorry, I’m a little bitter it’s not available on computers like the original or even for Android users… that misses a lot of the market). I’m sure it will eventually be in my possession, but the waiting is the hardest part (thanks, Tom Petty!).

plants-vs-zombies

Donkey Kong Country

Oh man, I love these games so much, particularly the Super Nintendo trilogy. The re-launch of the series on the Wii was also a spectacular offering for the eyes and the ears (the fingers not so much, as they had to do all the work!). The thing that’s so amazing about these games is that they’re so visually beautiful with rich colours and the music is fantastic. Combine that with smooth gameplay and wonderful level layouts and this is one of the best 2-D side-scrollers to ever exist.

Rollercoaster Tycoon

I love amusement parks and all the rides they contain. Therefore, when these games were released, I was an early adopter. It was so much fun to build your own parks and achieve whatever tasks were outlined. I didn’t play around too much with rollercoaster design except to launch unsuspecting riders off of a dangerously built ride and send them flying through the air to a fiery death!

Tetris

There’s just something about Tetris that is so addicting. I especially enjoyed the N64 edition (The New Tetris), which Broski Sip, Cousin Sip, and I used to play a lot, challenging each other to see who could last the longest without dying. The more lines you made, the faster you were able to build the world’s greatest landmarks. Much like Donkey Kong Country, the music in this franchise has always been top notch and keeps you wanting to play the game.

Drink #317: Warp Pipe

Warp Pipe Drink Recipe

That wraps up our look at my favourite video games of all-time. What are some of your favourite electronic pastimes? Perhaps you’ll steer me towards a new addiction, you pusher!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Once again, we go to The Drunken Moogle for this recipe, as they seem to have the market cornered on awesome video game-themed drinks. I used the split-sized glasses to help accentuate that image of the pipes in Super Mario Bros. This backfired on me a little when I went to split them up for Mrs. Sip and myself and she decided to nap instead, leaving me with two cocktails to down. Luckily, they were pretty light and tasty and I enjoyed the double treat!

October 24 – Nerds

Terrible Treats

There’s not a lot of candy out there that isn’t good, but some items draw some serious ire for the Sip Advisor. Here’s what tops the unwanted list:

Black Jelly Beans/Jube Jubes

I’ve grown to accept both of these evil devices, as my tastes have expanded, but there’s a reason why in a bowl of jelly beans or jube jubes, the black ones are the last to be finished, often with a clump of them remaining and some brave soul being dared to rid them from the world. And no, I’m not a racist, except towards those damn purple people, but that’s another story for another day.

Black Jelly Beans

Jelly Bellies

You just never know what you’re going to get with the mixed jelly bean flavours and that mystery can really stress a fella out. BeanBoozled packs even capitalize on this confusion with identically coloured candies on opposite ends of the taste spectrum. Some doppelgangers include Coconut or Baby Wipes, Tutti-Fruitti or Stinky Sock, Caramel Corn or Moldy Cheese, and Juicy Pear or Booger. I do have to give the company credit for their Cocktail Classics line, featuring Mojito, Bellini, Margarita, Pina Colada, Cosmo, and Daiquiri flavours!

Jawbreakers

The favourite candy of dentists everywhere! I’m always worried when eating a jawbreaker that I’m going to wreck my teeth. I’m just not patient enough to let the hard candy become soft, which is probably why I enjoy chewy Gobstoppers for their light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel ability. I remember having one of those massive giant jawbreakers when I was really young and having to smash it on the floor to make a piece small enough to fit in my mouth… then it was basically a choking hazard. Ah, the wonders of childhood!

Peeps

I’ve never really been a huge fan of marshmallow based candies and cookies. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d rather have a cream filling! Are you done giggling? How about now? Seriously, I’m just not that into marshmallows. Perhaps roasting them over the fire and exacting revenge on them via flames is the closest I can say I come to enjoying marshmallows. I do make concessions for marshmallows as part of baking, such as Rice Krispy Squares or Ma Sip’s famous delicacies.

Peep Show Candy

Push Pops

The thing I hated about these candies is that your spit would end up all over your finger and hand as it came through the device holding it. I thought we were supposed to teach kids not to suck on their fingers and grow the eff up! There seems to be some sort of disconnect between the two ideas there. Similarly horrible were Ring Pops, although I do look fabulous in designer candy jewelry!

Milk Duds

Junior Caramels are much better, but when Mrs. Sip can’t locate any for her movie popcorn, she’ll grab Milk Duds, which can be very hard to chew and you normally end up choking on the piece as you try to swallow. We’ve also taken a shine recently to the Caramilk or Rolo bites that were released not that long ago. Basically, as long as the chocolate and caramel is soft, we’re pretty happy. Once Mrs. Sip dumps them into her popcorn, though, I no longer partake.

Drink #297: Nerds

Nerds Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 1 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with Nerds

Which candies do you deplore? We should have a candy burning festival and as all the awful items burn in hell, we should rejoice in the purity of our favourite treats and stuff ourselves full of glorious vices!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I certainly wouldn`t associate Nerds or this cocktail with the ‘Terrible Treats’ moniker. I tried to put the Nerds on the rim of the glass, but they were too heavy to stay in place. To compensate, I just poured them on top of the cocktail and I think that worked well enough.  The drink didn’t blow my mind and left me a little disappointed. Not to mention that I think all these candy drinks are slowly giving me diabetes!