December 29 – Fireside Choco-Chat

Something to Talk About

I sometimes like to watch those year-in-review retrospectives you find on news and sports channels. It gives you a real picture of what happened the previous 365 days and an idea of what to expect when the calendar turns over. So, as we try to stay warm by the fire, here are the people and topics we most discussed in 2013:

Miley Cyrus

People have been shaking their groove things for many years, but it took a raunchy twerking performance by former child star Miley Cyrus at the MTV Music Video Awards to really help the pop singer burst on the scene. She followed that up with a string of other wild antics and her music video for Wrecking Ball, which features the artist (and all of her tan lines – you figure she would have got some colour before this production) swinging nude from the construction device and licking a filthy sledgehammer.

miley-cyrus

Prince George

Perhaps it’s the anti-parent in me or perhaps it’s the fact I couldn’t care less about celebrity offspring in general, but I don’t get the interest in the whole royal baby thing. Sadly, this kid is more famous that any of us will ever be and he still needs someone to wipe his own ass. I’d praise his genetic luck, but years of royal inbreeding have to catch up to reality eventually. At least he can claim things of Kate Middleton that most men would kill to also have rights to.

Concussion Awareness

This is the hottest topic in the sports world (even surpassing steroids) and it only seems to be getting more serious with each passing year. In 2013, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with its former players for concussion treatment and earlier this month, news came out that a similar class action lawsuit was being filed against the NHL. While the players involved should be compensated, I feel we’re travelling down a slippery slope towards the elimination of contact sports entirely.

Rob Ford

The every-man mayor proved he was much more than your typical person and provided late night shows with copious amounts of material. Sure he continues to leave a black eye on the city of Toronto by refusing to step down and out of the public spotlight, but it’s no worse than their professional hockey team has been doing for years! Perhaps once he’s experienced close to 50 years of futility he’ll finally call it a day.

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West

Kim and Kanye, or Kim-ye as they have been unitedly known, are perhaps Hollywood’s hottest power couple right now. This is what you get when you combine the amazingly egotistical Kanye West (he is the voice of our generation, after all) and the talentless yet uber famous Kim Kardashian (sorry, what exactly has she done again?). Don’t forget about baby North West, who has the perfect name for a fragrance already lined up: North by North West!

Fifty Shades of Grey

The franchise should really be called Fifty Shades of Who Cares, although I know I’m waging a winless battle. I’m just so outnumbered by women in their middle ages who love their mommy porn. How powerful is this group, you ask? Well, they’ve already forced Charlie Hunnam to give up on his role as Christian Grey in the film just because many thought he didn’t fit the part and backlashed against the performer on social media. What’s next? Will they get me booted off my own site because I’m far too talented? They may have a case there!

Drink #363: Fireside Choco-Chat

Fireside Choco-Chat Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Marshmallow Vodka (I used Smirnoff Fluffed)
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • Top with Hot Chocolate
  • Garnish with Whip Cream and a Chocolate Spoon

Before we retire for the evening, we should pay tribute to those who passed on in 2013. May there be drinks waiting for you all wherever you may be!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I went with Candy Cane Vodka instead of Peppermint Schnapps and that might have changed the taste. While I had looked forward to mixing Fluffed and Candy Cane Vodka with Hot Chocolate, I wasn’t overly impressed with the final product. Mrs. Sip liked it better than I did, however.

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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.

October 7 – Superman Cocktail

Celebrity Collectables

Jay Leno is known for his car collection and George Cloonery for his avid motorcycle passion. These celebrities, however, take collecting to whole new levels!

TV-Show Board Games – Quentin Tarantino

A man after my own heart! How many of us wanted to have the various home-edition games given to losers of a TV game show? Growing up, I had Classic Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, and Jeopardy, among others. Of course, the oft-deranged Tarantino would choose this as his obsession. We differ in that he prefers the classic games based on shows like I Dream of Jeanie, The A-Team, and The Dukes of Hazzard and movies such as Dawn of the Dead and Platoon.

dukes of hazzard board game

Who wouldn’t want to have this in their man-cave!

Model Trains – Rod Stewart

Pa Sip is a train-o-phile, but I can forgive him for that! Apparently Stewart also have a desire to put on the conductor’s hat and guide his own mini locomotives around a track, complete with fake landscapes, homes, and people. When Model Railroader did a cover story on the singer for their December 2007 issue, Stewart exclaimed, “It means more to me to be on the cover of Model Railroader than to be on the cover of a music magazine.” Perhaps you choose the wrong field then, Roddy!

Typewriters – Tom Hanks

I’m a little surprised Hanks accepted the male lead role for You’ve Got Mail, given his professed love for the typewriter. He was basically helping to usher in the death of the device… or maybe that was his plan all along, driving up the market price for the collection he had amassed. How does one collect typewriters? Do you go all crazy over the feel of the keys or is it the roller that gets your motor running. Perhaps Mr. Gump could let us in on his trade secrets.

Superman Paraphernalia – Shaquille O’Neal

Big Diesel is apparently a huge fan of Clark Kent, letting the super hero’s symbol and colours adorn everything from vehicles to even his bedspread. That’s thinking highly of yourself if you’re warning every person that shares that mattress with you that you think you’re Superman between the sheets! Perhaps Shaq Daddy is, but that’s a question I like not having the answer to.

shaq-superman

Knives – Angelina Jolie

I’m going to pass on this one… I vehemently despise Jolie and I have a few idea of what she could do with her collection. I’ll leave it at that.

Star Trek Memorabilia – Ben Stiller

While collecting Star Trek items is a pretty common ailment (yes, I called it an ailment, likely causing my entire Star Trek fan demographic to never return to this site) and industries such as Comic-Con have been born thanks to fans’ passion for the show, I wouldn’t have pegged Stiller as a Trekkie. The highlight of Stiller’s collection is reportedly the set of Spock Vulcan ears he has had signed by Leonard Nimoy, himself.

Surrounded by more than 1,400 Marines and sailors, actor Ben Stiller greets fans, signs autographs and poses for photos before treating troops to an advance screening of DreamWorksÕ ÒTropic Thunder.Ó

Ben Stiller gets mobbed by geeks just like his Star Trek idols!

Beanie Babies – Lou Ferrigno

Who could have thought that big, tough Lou Ferrigno (he played the Hulk on the 1970’s action show The Incredible Hulk… and I mean the green monster, not Dr. Bruce Banner) is a fan and collector of Beanie Babies!? You know, the cute, cuddly, bean-bag-filling stuffed toys. That seems like such a wild contrast, but perhaps Ferrigno is simply a child at heart. Hulk can smash the Beanie Babies all he wants… they’re practically indestructible.

Pig Figurines – Janet Jackson

Apparently Janet Jackson has a thing for pig figurines, proving that every member of the Jackson family has their own oddities. Why pigs? Why not? I, myself, like pigs. They provide me with glorious bacon, pulled pork, ham, sausage, and many other gluttonous items. I suppose they can be cute, as well. At least when they’re not covered in mud and slop and other filth. Too bad they always seem to be covered in these substances until they hit my plate!

Drink #280: Superman Cocktail

Superman Cocktail Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 Vodka (I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir)
  • 0.75 Peach Schnapps
  • Splash of Blue Curacao
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Float Grenadine
  • Garnish with an Orange Peel Cape

It should also be mentioned that Lindsay Lohan collects arrest warrants and Miley Cyrus has a passion for tongues… I just wish she’d keep hers in her god damn mouth.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
There are other Superman Cocktail recipes out there, but I picked this one for simplicity and ingredients I enjoy (and boy did I enjoy them here!). It wasn’t easy putting together my Orange Peel Cape, but I hope I kind of got the message across. I love how the blue and red colours mixed together in the photo!