Mixer Mania #15 – Going Nutty

The Sip Advisor feels bad for folks with a peanut allergy. I don’t know how I’d cope with existence if I wasn’t able to enjoy the legume. Not to rub salt in the wound, but here are my favourite peanut-based products that they’re missing out on:

Peanut Butter

Of the crunchy variety, of course, this glorious spread is best enjoyed in making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have also come to like using the substance on crackers, as well as mixing it with a handful of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Trail Mix

The Sip Advisor is a trail mix fiend, particularly of the variation that includes Smarties or some other chocolate treat to complete the experience of salty nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds) and raisins. That sweet touch is just right to balance the blend.

Trail Mix

Chocolate Bars

Among the peanut-packed confections I enjoy are Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Pay Day, Take 5, Snickers, Oh Henry!, Peanut M&Ms (as well as other chocolate-covered peanuts), and Butterfinger. Did you know, the Reese behind Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups was Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese, who invented the treat in 1928. Amazingly, he did this while raising 16 children!

Peanuts

Although I adore potato chips, during times while I’ve tried laying off the snack, I have often relied on peanuts to get my salt fix. Whether that be through barbecue, honey roasted, or mesquite mustard-flavoured releases, it gets the job done.

Cookies

There are few things as satisfying than a fresh-out-of-the-oven peanut butter cookie. If you add chocolate chips to the cookie, you’re in heaven. I have never tried to add jam, however, so this may be a future experiment.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Alcohol

Whether it be a Peanut Butter Stout or Van Gogh PB&J Vodka, I welcome peanuts in liquid form. One of my most favourite cocktails of all time used a peanut liqueur and it was to die for. As for nut-based brews, I’m always in for a pint… or pitcher… or keg!

Asian Dishes

I’m totally into menu items that incorporate peanuts into it for a little crunch or flavour. This includes Japanese Gomaae (spinach salad with peanut sauce) and Chinese Kung Pao Chicken. Most recently, the Sip Advisor has greatly enjoyed the Hunan Kung Pao meal at Earl’s Restaurants.

Mixer Mania #15: Peanutty Buddy

Peanutty Buddy.JPG

  • Rim glass with Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • 1.5 oz Frangelico
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda
  • Splash of Milk

In wrapping up, is there anything peanut-based that the Sip Advisor doesn’t like? Well, I’m not a fan of peanut brittle and I’d rather not have shelled peanuts because of the effort it takes just to get two little bits out, not to mention the resulting mess. That’s about it, I’d say.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I can’t believe how hard it is to find any cocktail recipes for the Lester’s Fixins Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda. I did find this concoction and altered it to suit my needs, removing the Lemon-Lime Soda and chunk of Peanut Butter in favour of the PB&J Soda, while also lowering the milk content. The drink wasn’t offensive in any way, but there just wasn’t much of a flavour profile at all.

Mixer Mania #14 – Apple Jacks

There are so many idioms that involve apples. No other fruit is used so frequently to convey completely unrelated ideas

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

I’d imagine this phrase was invented by the apple farmer’s industry, looking to boost sales and profit off of people’s anxiety.

Comparing apples and oranges

Have you ever seen an orange apple? For that matter, have you ever seen an orange that is anything but orange (provided it hasn’t gone rotten or moldy)?

Apples to Oranges

The apple of my eye

This is certainly how Mrs. Sip views me, as someone she cherishes above everyone else. Wishful thinking, perhaps!?

The Big Apple

Of all folks, it was a sports writer who first gave New York the nickname the Big Apple, when referring to the horse racing scene and all the money available from it in the city.

Good and bad apples/Rotten apple

I’d like to think that I’m a good apple among many bad/rotten apples in this world, but maybe there’s a little bruising on the ol’ Sip Advisor, too.

How do you like them apples?

Did you know that this expression has an abbreviation (HDYLTA), which is pronounced ‘huduyuluta’? I wish I could say that I made that up for this article. Anyhoo, the rhetorical phrase may come from the British use of ‘Toffee Apple’ trench mortars in World War I.

How Do You Like Them Apples

The apple never falls far from the tree

While using fruit to compare fathers/sons or mothers/daughters seems apropos, when you pick up said apple and throw it far away from the tree, that’s when you get estranged fruit/family.

As American as apple pie

Not to offend any of my American readers, but I always thought of the US as a state fair deep-fried dessert kind of country. Us Canadians call dibs on the majestic donut, though.

It takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch/barrel/bushel

Regardless of how the song goes, it’s been scientifically proven that one bad apple does in fact spoil a whole group of the fruit.

Upset the apple cart

Just like this site has been attempting to do since its launch, we aim to disturb the status quo and change the cocktail world… for the better, of course.

Mixer Mania #14: Dirty Apple

Dirty Apple

  • 1.5 oz Kahlua
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Splash of Milk
  • Garnish with an Apple Slice

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.25 Sips out of 5):
I made this cocktail even dirtier, going with my Chili Chocolate version of Kahlua for an added touch of spice. I also subbed in Apple Lime Juice, which has been a trusted mixer for the Sip Advisor for years. The drink turned out pretty well.

Mixer Mania #3 – It Does a Body Good

Got milk? The slogan became a pop culture phenomenon in the late 90s and early 2000s, thanks to the line of ‘milk mustache’ ads, featuring a who’s who list of celebrities during the time. Here’s a look at some of the best posters from the campaign (or at least the ones I felt like lampooning):

Kermit the Frog

Why a Muppet would need milk, I’ll never figure out… aren’t they more energy drink folk? Kermit does look quite dapper in this ad, which also included the tagline: “Milk isn’t just for tadpoles.”

got-milk-kermit

Austin Powers

Capitalizing on the popularity of Mike Myers’ secret agent character, the ad featured the spectacled one lounging on a couch, decked out in a silk blue robe (likely post-shag) with hairy chest that simply can’t be contained. Oh yeah, and martini glass of milk in hand wraps things up.

Steven Tyler

Typically the only white substance under the Aerosmith frontman’s nose is cocaine (aka booger sugar). Tyler’s mouth is iconic, while the caption “Make your bones rock hard” could certainly be misconstrued.

Garfield

The ad featured everyone’s favourite wisecracking cat with plate of lasagna. I don’t know about you, but I prefer my pasta with a nice glass of wine.

got-milk-garfield

Lindsay Lohan

I find it ironic that Lohan’s poster featured the tagline “The height of fame,” especially given the fall from grace her career and life would suffer in the years that followed.

Alex Trebek

The Jeopardy quiz master has one of the most iconic mustaches to ever exist – with or without milk. Add in the caption “Your bones may be in jeopardy” and that is one clever, if not intimidating ad.

Mixer Mania #3: The Sombrero

The Sombrero.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Kahlua Chili Chocolate
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with a Chocolate

Mrs. Sip actually collected these posters and magazine ads for a time and had her bedroom adorned with them. It was fun to have them in one place and see all the stars who had participated in the campaign.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I prefer to use recipes that are a little more complex than this, but it provided the perfect opportunity to open my new Kahlua Chili Chocolate bottle. That liqueur packs a punch and I’m happy to say it comes as advertised. I wish I had thicker milk for this cocktail, but Skim is what Mrs. Sip prefers and it worked decently here, helping to cool the spicy Kahlua.

Flavour Revolution – Peppermint

Stripped and Striped

Candy canes are one of many infamously striped items we enjoy in our daily life. Here are some of the other striped wonders the world has brought us:

Referees

Love them or hate them – and really, only a mother could love them – referees are a necessary element to most sports (albeit completely useless in baseball where computers can better detect balls and strikes). I have a theory that refs dress like zebras so fans can easily identify exactly where to direct their venomous hatred, when they feel their team has been wronged.

ref screws team

Sports Jerseys

Many teams out there on the sports landscape feature some kind of striping in their choice of jersey colours. Perhaps the most famous squad to don stripes (or in this case, pinstripes), is the New York Yankees. An urban legend exists that the Yankees adopted the pinstripe look to make portly star Babe Ruth look slimmer, but in actuality, the style was already used well before Ruth joined the franchise.

Clothes

Of course, the clothing industry is an obvious choice for striped items and some of the most iconic characters in pop culture have been known to wear these materials. Ronald McDonald sports striped socks. Similarly, two sociopaths, Dennis the Menace and Freddy Krueger, traditionally rock striped shirts. Some people think stripes don’t look good on them, while others don the look regularly.

Animals

The animal kingdom is full of creatures with stripes, including zebras, bumble bees, Bengal tigers, fish, raccoons, and even skunks. Therefore, Pepe Le Pew, Nemo, and Rocket Raccoon are among some of the popular characters that have streaks. And don’t forget that poor little kitty that always manages to accidentally gain stripes and become a target for Pepe Le Pew’s unwanted advances.

skunks as cats

Candy Stripers

I had to be careful not to type candy “strippers”, which is far more appealing than a trip to the hospital! Candy Stripers are often hospital volunteers, decked out in red and white striped uniforms. The whole concept originated in East Orange, New Jersey, all the way back in 1944, when a high school civics class project designed the uniforms to be used at the East Orange General Hospital.

Watermelons

My favourite fruit has a distinct striped pattern on its outer shell, which can be a telltale sign as to whether the melon is ripe, so long as the area between the stripes is light green. As beautiful as a watermelon looks on the outside, what we really care about is the delicious fruit inside. Watermelons should be a symbol of harmony and acceptance, because it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Crosswalks

We use them every day – not that some drivers seem to really care or notice – to “safely” moved about the world. The most famous sidewalk in existence is likely the one The Beatles crossed on their Abbey Road album cover. Since its release, thousands of Beatle-files have tried to recreate the scene, including the Sip Family… and we looked pretty good doing it.

zebra-crosswalk

Billiards Balls

Solids versus stripes… like gang warfare, that’s what the game of billiards really comes down to. The first player to sink a ball (whether it be a solid 1-7 or a striped 9-15), then works the rest of the contest to eliminate the other balls that match the ball they originally pocketed. At times, I’ve been a decent pool player, but I’m no master of the parlor game. I’ll definitely never be a pool hall hustler!

Barber Poles

Back in the day, these red, white, and blue striped poles were essential in identifying locations where one could get their hair cut… that and the many customers emerging from the shops with fresh dos. Today, the barber pole is a thing of the past. I personally blame the Barber Shop movie franchise, but that might be reaching a little.

Jail Uniforms

Up until orange jumpsuits (Orange is the New Black, after all) became the norm, we associated black and white striped clothing with criminals. This is because the uniforms were a “badge of shame” and were only changed when rehabilitation of prisoners began to be favoured over punishment. That said, to this day, if you want to dress up as a jailbird for Halloween, a black and white striped costume will do.

inmate_apparel

Flags

Most national banners out there feature a striped pattern of sorts. Most notably perhaps, is the American flag, which is iconic for its 50 stars – each representing a state within the union – and also its red and white alternating stripes. Many other countries flags are comprised of stripes, such as the United Kingdom, Greece, Cuba, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and others.

Circus Tents

After American Horror Story: Freakshow, I can’t look at circus tents the same anymore, but striping is a traditional feature of the big top venues. When the Cirque du Soleil tour comes to the city each year, everyone knows its location thanks to the colourful tent that pops up in downtown Vancouver. It also helps that it’s located in the same spot annually, but the tent definitely draws attention.

Flavour Revolution: Crème de Candy Cane

  • 1.5 oz Burnett’s Candy Cane Vodka
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Milk
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Candy Cane

Really, a striped pattern could be featured on absolutely anything. As for entries with “stripe” in their name, there’s the rock band The White Stripes and the Jamaican lager Red Stripe. Lastly, the main baddie in Gremlins is also named Stripe, thanks to his tuft of white hair.

November 28 – The Talking Monkey

A Glimpse Inside

Last week, we began looking at one of the most underrated elements to visual storytelling: narration. It’s amazing how essential the narration of a movie or TV show can be, sometimes making or breaking a project. This week, we move to the big screen. Let’s get things rolling!

#5: Sin City

As if coming from the pages of a comic book, viewers are taken on a journey through the voice of each focal character, learning their desires, motives, issues, fears, and discoveries. Narration comes from a variety of sources, including Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, and Clive Owen, each captivating the audience with their character’s story. Film noir is no stranger to the narrator storytelling device, but Sin City brought the style back to the mainstream.

sincity

#4: A Clockwork Orange

The ultra-violent Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell) is a drug-fueled sociopath who won’t hesitate in committing all kinds of horrible acts on innocent victims. As a result, many of Alex’s thoughts are quite disturbing and the way they are delivered by McDowell, in Alex’s teenage Cockney slang, will really have your skin crawling. Despite all efforts to reform Alex, the teen eventually returns to his old habits and more suffering is in the cards.

#3: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

It’s one thing to narrate a movie and it’s a whole other ball of yarn when you’re delivering the words of Dr. Seuss! I wonder how many retakes were needed to perfectly deliver some of the Seussian language? Regardless, Hannibal Lecter himself, Anthony Hopkins, nailed it, retelling the tale of The Grinch, who can’t stand the Whos down in Whoville, especially as the Christmas holiday approaches. While critics were less enthusiastic about the film, the Sip Advisor has always enjoyed it.

the grinch decorating

#2: Fight Club

The haunting narrations of this film will leave viewers chilled to the bone, as the protagonist (played by Edward Norton) turns his insomnia into attending support groups and later, starting a terrorist organization, bred out of a fighting club. While we never get the main character’s name, we certainly get all the thoughts that make him tick and lead to his mental breakdown… the problem is, he realizes too late exactly what he’s started and can’t stop.

#1: A Christmas Story

In a style that would go on to be the inspiration for The Wonder Years, we learn about the trials and tribulations little Ralphie goes through as he asks for a “Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle” for Christmas. This includes convincing his teacher, parents, and even the big guy himself, Santa, that the gun isn’t as dangerous as many fear. As if that’s not enough, Ralphie has to deal with schoolyard bullies, swearing in front of his parents, and ruined Christmas dinner.

Super Saturday Shot Day: The Talking Monkey

  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Banana Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Milk
  • Garnish with a Banana Slice

Of course, there’s always the king of the narration, Morgan Freeman, with credits in the role including Shawshank Redemption, War of the Worlds, March of the Penguins, and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. If a Hall of Fame, dedicated to the art, were to ever be built, Freeman would be its inaugural inductee!

November 21 – The Talking Cow

Story Guides

It’s funny how much narration can add to the overall effect of a TV show or movie. That’s why over the next two weeks, we will salute the voices behind our favourite entertainment. This week, we’ll start with TV land, while next week, we move to the big screen. Let’s get things rolling!

#5: How I Met Your Mother

Voiced by Danny Tanner… er, I mean Bob Saget, the audience joins Ted Mosby’s two children as we learn the nine-season long story of how Ted met their mother. I can’t help but think that most story tellers would have cut straight to the chase, especially with the rash of ADD-afflicted teens known to exist nowadays. Through Saget, we join Ted and the gang for all of their triumphs, heartbreaks, and adventures in the Big Apple.

how-I-met-your-mother

#4: The Goldbergs

Mrs. Sip and I have just recently got into this show and are really enjoying it. One of the best elements is the narration provided by my boy Patton Oswalt, as a young Adam Goldberg traverses the awesome decade that was the 1980s! As a child of the 80’s, I can appreciate many elements of this show, including Adam’s passion for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Transformers. All along, we have Oswalt guiding us with the same childlike joy and enthusiasm as the boy he’s doing an adult version of.

#3: Dexter

Through Dexter’s narrations, we learn what’s going on in his troubled mind. We also get to see the side of Dexter he rarely reveals to the outside world. While he gives the impression that he’s kind of robotic, his inside voice tells us that he’s actually got a sense of humour and can even care for the people around him. Some of the best laughs from the series come straight from the mind of our serial killer of serial killers, as he makes quips about the victims he’s hunting and the authorities he’s eluding.

dexter

#2: Arrested Development

From the mind of Ron Howard (almost literally, as he delivers a perfect narration), comes the wacky antics of the Bluth family. With a growing number of characters, as the story progresses, Howard keeps us updated with each development and even manages to add in his own comedy from time to time. Howard even factors into the series, doing double duty, playing himself at some points. The former Opie of The Andy Griffith Show did well for himself and survived the transition from being a child actor.

#1: Wonder Years

Voiced by Daniel Stern of Wet Bandits (Home Alone) fame, this voice guided us through the turbulent 1960’s and 70’s, as Kevin Arnold came of age. From teenage love to surviving high school, we saw – and heard – it all. Although I haven’t seen it in years, I can still recall many of the bombs dropped in the final narration of the series, including the fact that Kevin and Winnie didn’t have a true happily ever after and that Jack Arnold, Kevin’s dad, only lived a couple more years, before passing away.

Super Saturday Shot Day: The Talking Cow

  • Rim glass with Coconut Shavings
  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.5 oz Milk

If I could choose anyone to narrator my life’s story, it just might be the Dos Equis Man! Next week, we move to feature films, where narrators are essential to some stories. Which movies will crack the Top 5? You’ll just have to tune in to find out…

 

Flavour Revolution – Pumpkin

Hack Happy

The word pumpkin first appeared in the fairy tale Cinderella, which sees the princess-to-be transported to the big ball via a pumpkin carriage. Call it what you will, but Cinderella basically stumbled upon a wonderful life hack we all wish we had access to… here are some lesser hacks the Sip Advisor is down with:

Lost Luggage

Nowadays, everyone seems to have similar luggage to one another and it’s hard when you’re at the airport baggage claim with hundreds of tired travellers, waiting for your bags to roll across your spot at carousel. You worry that someone will grab your stuff and not realize or that you won’t be able to spot your own gear. Those fears can all be avoided by tying something around one of the handles that is totally unique.

lost-luggage

Instant Freeze

We’ve all been there before. You didn’t plan ahead and now you have a bottle of room temperature beer or wine that you desperately want to crack into, but it’s just not going to taste very well unless you can get it chilled… and fast. Well, simply wrap a wet paper towel around the bottle and toss it in the freezer for a short time. Before you know it, you’re ready to rock and your drink is too!

Grape Escape

Another strategy for fans of vino sees the use of frozen grapes, in place of ice cubes, so as to not dilute your drink. Personally, I’m happy to have ice in my wine (including reds), but the odd dirty look I receive – usually from Mrs. Sip – has caused me to pause and rethink my practices. A number of cocktail could benefit from similar creations, also adding an element of visual pleasure.

Cord Clusters

I’ve always found it amazing how cords seem to have a life of their own and all they want to do is get tangled with other cords. I guess that’s similar to humans and their desire to be loved and with a partner. Anyway, using binder clips can help keep cords separated while they’re plugged into the wall. When storing cords between uses, place them inside used toilet paper rolls to give them their own little dwelling.

Collar Calamity

Whenever I put a collared shirt through the laundry for the first time, I’m never sure what the result will be and whether the garment will survive its foray into the washer and dryer or come out wrinkled and ruined. Using a hair straightener on any wrecked collar can return it to its former glory. I have yet to use this little trick myself, but I have a closet full of shirts I can experiment with.

Tape Turmoil

After years of working in an office and having to use packing tape frequently, I started using a paper clip at the front end, so I could easily find the edge when using it again. What’s annoying is when people don’t understand what you’re doing and constantly remove the clip you were using to keep your tape end ready to draw from. These people will end up in office purgatory; eventually having to serve a devil boss… perhaps they’re already there!

Nailed Down

I can’t count how many times I’ve hit my finger and thumb when using a hammer. This especially occurs when camping and driving in spikes to hold the tent down to the ground. The simple idea of using a clothespin to hold a nail or those spikes would have saved me a lot of pain and frustration. Now I want to hit the great outdoors and experiment with this novel idea. Sure, I could just do a household project, but drinking outside is better!

Flavour Revolution: Dessert Table

One thing I learned while working on this article is the origin of Jack-O’-Lanterns. It all started with an Irish dude named Stingy Jack, who managed to trick the devil repeatedly. When Jack died, he was stuck in limbo and roamed restlessly, with only a burning coal to light his way. He was then referred to as Jack of the Lantern and later Jack-O’-Lantern. To keep this spirit away, the Irish carved turnips and potatoes, filling them with light, before they discovered pumpkins when immigrating to the United States.