November 22 – Churchill

Tennessee Whiskey vs. Kentucky Bourbon

A battle of the ages has long been brewing (literally!) between the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. In one corner, you have the maker of the finest American whiskeys, while in the other, you have the home of bourbon creations. Let’s take a look at each state’s role in the world around us and see which place should get the nod in this never-ending conflict.

Famous Citizens

Tennessee: Davy Crockett, Morgan Freeman, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Dolly Parton, Al Gore, Miley Cyrus – can you imagine Davy Crockett, Morgan Freeman and Al Gore twerking!?

twerking

Kentucky: Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Boone, Muhammad Ali, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, The Judds, Colonel Sanders – that’s a murderer’s row of famous folks who call Kentucky home!

Sports

Tennessee: Tennessee Titans (NFL), Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), Nashville Predators – Memphis stole Vancouver’s basketball franchise… you better believe that’s a paddlin’.

Kentucky: Kentucky Derby – I love watching the horsies race and apparently Kentuckians do too, as they don’t have any professional sports franchises within the state.

Food

Tennessee: I love southern barbecue foods (your pulled pork, brisket, chicken) and all the sides those meats come with (I gotta stop writing on an empty stomach!). In particular, we have a chain in western Canada called Memphis Blues that provides all these delicacies and there’s one wonderfully located a block up the street from Mrs. Sip and my chateau!

Kentucky: KFC, yo! Gotta give some points to the Colonel here, even if the company has rebranded itself to drop the Kentucky moniker! The state is also known for a dish called Hot Brown, which involves (layered in order) toasted bread, turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and mornay sauce.

KFC S&M

Arts (TV, Movies, Music, etc.)

Tennessee: Music City, USA; Memphis Wrestling – I’m a fan of one and not so much of the other… which is which!?

Kentucky: Recognizable Stars – Ah, hello, look no further than they provided the world with George Clooney and Johnny Depp, as well as vampire hunter Abraham Lincoln!

Landmarks

Tennessee: Graceland, Dollywood, Country Music Hall of Fame, Opryland USA – Did you know that Dollywood even has a water park!? For some reason, among all these great landmarks, that’s what sticks out to me the most!

Kentucky: Churchill Downs, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, KFC Yum! Center, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace, Creation Museum, Fort Knox – The Creation Museum could, in fact, be the nation’s finest comedy club!

Slogans

Tennessee: “America at its Best” – I like the confidence of that statement!

Tennessee Slogan

This seems like a pretty good slogan, too!

Kentucky: “It’s That Friendly”, “Unbridled Spirit” – Sorry, but I’m not a fan of either of these attempts.

Nickname

Tennessee: Volunteer State – I hate volunteering for things, so Tennessee is going to lose some points in this category.

Kentucky: Bluegrass State – Mmm, mmm, I love me some bluegrass music… not the actual type of grass, of course.

State Symbols (last chance to get in the good graces of the Sip Advisor)

Tennessee: Their state wild animal (seriously, why do they have these things) is the raccoon… total props for that pick!

Kentucky: Their state dance is clogging… I’m not entirely sure what this is (no need for research here), but my mind tells me it’s like crunking, but more dangerous!

Drink #326: Churchill

Churchill Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Scotch Whiskey
  • 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

So, in the end, who was the big winner between the two states? Tennessee takes Landmarks, Slogan, and State Symbols, while Famous Citizens, Arts, and Nickname go to Kentucky. Sports and Food are a toss-up, so I’m afraid we’re right where we started at the beginning of this whole debacle!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’m not sure whether this cocktail is named for Winston Churchill or Churchill Downs, but I figured it was a fitting recipe either way. And it tastes pretty darn good to boot! It’s not too strong, which is always a risk when the recipe is so booze heavy and mixers are largely absent, but this one works, likely helped along by the Cointreau and Lime Juice, in particular.

March 20 – Blue Memphis

River City Rampage

While Mrs. Sip and I have travelled extensively, Memphis (in the great state of Tennessee) is a place neither of us has visited. While today’s drink can only do so much to take us there, here’s some attractions I’d like to see when I finally make my way to the Mid-South:

Graceland

Whether you’re a fan of Elvis or not (but come on, who doesn’t at least have some appreciation for The King?), any visit to Memphis would require at least a pit stop at his former home, Graceland. There, we can see Elvis’ collection of cars, his private planes, and a museum dedicated to the legend. A definite highlight would be viewing the toilet he apparently died on and the TV he shot at in a drug-induced rage. Ah, the memories. Perhaps we could even stay at the nearby Heartbreak Hotel to complete the experience!

elvis-loved-naughty-girls

National Civil Rights Museum

Oddly located inside the hotel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, visitors can learn all about the American Civil Rights Movement and how it changed the world we live in today. I guess using the hotel isn’t the worst idea. After all, who would ever stay there again after it was the site of King’s murder? Although, perhaps, the owner’s missed the boat on an opportunity to rent rooms to ghost hunters and other creeps.

Beale Street

Home to the annual Beale Street Music Festival, this is likely where your honourable Sip Advisor would go for his daily dose of life’s elixir (known to the common folk as alcohol). There are few things that beat the mix of good music and good drinks… perhaps good sex and good drinks, but I’m still conducting thorough research on the subject.

The Pyramid

If you believe that you’ll never be able to travel to Egypt (especially if you don’t like to be molested by 12 year old peddlers, angry mobs, or camels) and the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas frightens you, than Memphis is your next best chance to see one of the world’s largest pyramids. This famous sports and entertainment venue is the sixth largest pyramid in the world behind four in Egypt and the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. Now it’s been turned into a massive Bass Pro Shop fishing store, but that just means you can get in for free!

BBQ

I’m a huge fan of southern barbecue, so you can bet your sweet bippy that I’ll be chowing down on pulled pork, brisket, chicken and all the sides a man could ever want (cornbread, cob, slaw, tater salad) every chance I get. By the time I get back home, I hope to have a permanent barbecue sauce stain around my mouth. I’ll wear that like a badge of honour. No need for souvenirs, I already got mine!

Cat BBQ

Basketball

Whether it’s checking out some college hoops (University of Memphis Tigers) or the professional ranks (Memphis Grizzlies), a fan of the hard court can definitely get their fill here. I never attended a Vancouver Grizzlies game when the team played here (in fact I’ve never been to a NBA game ever… some sports journalist am I, right?), so I guess seeing them in Memphis would be kind of sacrilegious. Oh well, doing the wrong thing is what I do best.

Wrestling Scene

Home to one of the hottest territories during professional wrestling’s 1980’s heyday, Memphis is where grappler Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler (too bad he and Elvis never battled over the moniker), and legendary manager ‘Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart got their start. The group consistently sold out the Mid-South Coliseum with bloody clashes and suspenseful storytelling… old school style!

Mississippi River

Finally, why not end your vacation by floating down the mighty Mississippi (M-I-SS-I-SS-I-PP-I) aboard a riverboat. You can pretend you’re Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, sneaking onto the ship and causing havoc. Hopefully this riverboat also offers gambling, where I can bet my plane ticket home and leave me and Mrs. Sip stranded.

Drink #79: Blue Memphis

Blue Memphis

  • 1 oz Malibu Rum
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with half Pineapple Juice and half Milk
  • Garnish with Maraschino Cherry on a Pineapple Toothpick

As you can see, the recipe didn’t turn out as blue as advertised… so I guess it’s more of an Aqua-Marine Memphis. It still tasted pretty good, regardless of hue. Nashville, you’re up next!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I don’t think Milk and Pineapple Juice should be combined… really any juice I can’t see working well with the calcium goodness of Milk. This drink was largely saved by the Malibu Rum and Blue Curacao. Much thanks to liquor!