Mixer Mania #39 – The Immortals

Aloe Vera Juice is a curious beverage. Prior to this project, I’d never tried the concoction and of course, I would only ever drink it as part of a cocktail… I may have to reconsider that, though. In Ancient Egypt, Aloe Vera was known as the “Plant of Immortality” and was even used by Cleopatra, as part of her beauty regimen. With that in mind, here’s the Sip Advisor’s guide to becoming immortal:

Have a Genetic Mutation

We have seen countless examples from the world of comics that all it takes to be immortal is a slight alteration to your genetic makeup. From Apocalypse to Wolverine, good or bad, many of the major players of the genre have existed for hundreds or thousands of years and cannot be destroyed.

Mutation

Be Bitten by a Vampire

Sure you’re still at risk of dying from sunlight, holy water, stakes, etc., but if you can avoid these potential dangers, you will live forever. You may tire of this world, however, so keeping a garlic-soaked stake nearby is a good idea.

Remove Death from the Picture

Both The Simpsons and Family Guy have spoofed what would happen if Death didn’t exist or was otherwise preoccupied. It’s an interesting concept, but the results seem to always be the same: Death is needed for there to be order in this crazy world.

Be a Horror Movie Bad Guy

Seriously, it seems like nothing can stop these guys – your Freddy Kruegers, Michael Myers’ and Jason Voorhees’ of the world – and even when you think you’ve vanquished the baddy and all is well with the universe, it’s likely only a matter of time before a sequel is released and we’re back to square one.

Straight Outta

Be a God or Goddess

This seems pretty unobtainable to us regular folk, but you never know. Some have thought of themselves as a higher power, only to learn the harsh reality of those claims eventually. The Sip Advisor is a proven deity, however, so beware of my omnipotence.

Take a Dip in the Fountain of Youth

Numerous forms of media have examined the existence of a Fountain of Youth. If it existed, would you dive in? What if you couldn’t be joined by all your loved ones and had to start anew. This is getting a little too deep for this site… let’s get to the drink!

Mixer Mania #39: Paradiso

Paradiso

  • Muddle Cucumber and Mint Leaves
  • 2 oz Tequila
  • Top with Aloe Vera Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Agave Nectar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Garnish with a Mint Sprig and Cucumber Slice

Aside from the Ancient Egyptians, Native Americans were also enamoured with the Aloe Vera plant, referring to it as “The Wand of Heaven”. The more you know!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Sadly, finding cocktail recipes for Aloe Vera Juice was not as easy as I’d hoped. This drink is decent, but too sweet. I would suggest not adding the Agave Nectar for a better balance.

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Mixer Mania #28 – Lively Legends

When the Sip Advisor was just a wee little sipper, rumours began circling (no doubt spread by the nefarious lemon-lime soda lobbyists) that drinking Mountain Dew caused a decrease in a man’s sperm count/shrunken testicles. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some other soda-related urban legends:

Mixing Pop Rocks and Soda

While many myths involve anonymous people, this legend went a step further and even named a notable victim, Little Mikey from Life cereal commercials in the 1970s. To counter the rapidly spreading rumour, the FDA created a hotline to quell parent’s fears. Not only was actor John Gilchrist alive and well, but he reprised the character for a series of ads in the 1980s, this time as a college student. Interestingly, combining Mentos and soda, does in fact result in explosive reactions.

Coca-Cola Made with Cocaine

Originally, it was… heck, it’s right there in the name, which references two of the drink’s original ingredients: coca leaf extract and kola nuts. Of course, the drug wasn’t illegal when the Coca-Cola first hit the market in the late 1800s, but Coke wasn’t completely cocaine-free until 1929. If anyone has any classic bottles lying around, you may truly get a buzz from the concoction.

One More Line

Dr. Pepper Made with Prune Juice

One of the Sip Advisor’s favourite all-time mixers, the beverage is made using 23 different ingredients; however, prune juice is not one of them. Dr. Pepper even goes so far as to rebut the query in the frequently asked questions portion of their website and at one time also published a brochure to the same effect. Amazingly, this rumour has persisted since the 1930s. Hey, at least the beverage would help folks stay regular, if you catch my drift.

Club Soda Kills Fire Ant Colonies

Unfortunately, the solution isn’t so easy. First, the queens of the colony need to be eradicated with poison, before Club Soda may help with the rest of the little buggers. While it won’t rid you of an infestation without the use of alternative methods, it can help in an equally annoying issue by being able to remove red wine stains.

Coca-Cola as Spermicide

I’m not even sure what one would do to use or test this method and I don’t feel like delving too deep into the issue. Suffice to say, it doesn’t work, so don’t go running out to your local convenience store to grab a six-pack or two-liter bottle just because you have a hot date on the horizon. Coke’s use as a lice remedy is still unproven, however, so perhaps you should have some on hand just in case.

Mixer Mania #28: Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid

  • 1 oz Watermelon Schnapps
  • 1 oz Rum
  • Top with Mountain Dew (Code Red)
  • Garnish with a Mint Sprig

There are a few other completely ridiculous mixer urban legends out there, such as energy drinks containing bull semen and Fanta being invented by Nazis. Ah, isn’t the internet fun!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.75 Sips out of 5):
Rather than regular Rum, I decided to use my Bacardi Arctic Grape variety, which resulted in a fruity, but refreshing cocktail. The Code Red Mountain Dew was good and it’s no wonder it won the DEWmand flavour competition a couple years back.

Belgium – Belgian Mojito

Full Meal Deal

Belgium is a pretty creative place. After all, they are responsible for the saxophone, the Body Mass Index, Club Med, Jean-Claude Van Damme (the Muscles from Brussels) and these culinary treats!

Beer

Let’s start with the fact that there are over 800 brands of Belgian beer. When Mrs. Sip and I were in Belgium many moons ago, we decided to try a bunch of different types of brew (not a hard choice, really) and were handed a menu that read like a phonebook. Each beer comes with its own specialized glass, said to improve the overall experience. It’s estimated that Belgians drink 84 liters of beer per person, per year. Those are numbers to be quite proud of!

Belgian Beer

French Fries

According to lore, it wasn’t the French who invented one of the greatest side dishes ever known to man, but the Belgians. In fact, the Belgians have an entire culture devoted to the French fry, including most citizens owning a deep fryer so they can make their own at all hours of the day. As a sauce man, myself, I’m happy to note that the fine folks of Belgium will use an array of different toppings on their fries, including mayonnaise (the big one over there), tartar sauce, and many others.

Chocolate

The sweet stuff is a big deal in Belgium, with chocolatier and confectionary outlets on many street corners. Point being, they are not hard to find. Some of the most popular chocolate brands in Belgium, include Guylian (makers of the sea shell chocolates) and Neuhaus (inventor of pralines and even the method of gift wrapping chocolate purchases). The world’s greatest chocolate sales occur at the Brussels International Airport, as travelers stock up on the goodies before exiting the country.

Belgium Waffles

I’m not sure what exactly takes a waffle and makes it Belgian (apparently this is a North American term to describe larger, but lighter battered waffles), but if they want to lay claim to this breakfast fixture, I say let them have it. In Belgium, it’s more common to see the term Brussels waffle, but it seems to all mean the same thing. In Belgium, waffles are even sold on the street as a snack on the go and sometimes from ice cream trucks.

Belgian Waffles

Brussels Sprouts

One of the most child-despised food items to ever exist, parents of fussy eaters can thank the Belgians for this culinary gem. The sprout has been grown in Brussels for over 400 years and while it could have originated anywhere, Belgium has jumped aboard the edible bud train. Mrs. Sip has recently got into Brussels sprouts, providing they’re roasted and smothered in cheese. I’m still not onboard with the leafy green, but we have a ceasefire with one another.

Mussels

Or as they know it, moules-frites (mussels and fries), has often been given the title of Belgium’s national dish. I like mussels from time to time, particularly if done in a Cajun-esque style and in one of those big pots with other seafood, potatoes, and corn on the cob. Back to Belgium’s take on the dish, the shellfish is typically cooked or steamed with vegetables such as onions, celery, and leeks, although other, more savoury techniques can be utilized.

Jenever

This ancestor of gin has been the national spirit of Belgium for hundreds of years. In fact, Jenever is a protected product of origin and can only be manufactured in Belgium, the Netherlands (where we will sample it in a few weeks), and parts of France and Germany. The traditional serving method includes a shot glass fresh from the freezer and filled to the brim. The first sip should be taken without the use of hands, before you can return to normal sipping procedures!

Belgium: Belgian Mojito

Belgian Mojito Cocktail

As a beer and French fry connoisseur, I give great praise to the people of Belgium and that’s without even taking into consideration the Sip Advisor’s sweet tooth. I won’t even deduct points for their addition of Brussels sprouts to the international potluck!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’ve never put together what is basically a Beer Mojito, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity. My drink turned into its own ecosystem with all the greenery in there. It tasted pretty good, though, helping me further my claim to being the ‘King of Mojitos!’

Estonia – Hammer & Sickle

Free as a Bird

Freedom… it’s something most of us take for granted. We wouldn’t do that, however, if we had been occupied by one empire after another for hundreds of years. Estonia (our next stop as we tour the liquor universe) has been listed as one of the freest countries in the world, following centuries of control by other countries. It’s a long and winding road, so buckle up and enjoy the ride to liberty.

meanwhile-in-estonia

If this doesn’t say freedom, I don’t know what does!

While Estonia was a long holdout in converting to Christianity during the Middle Ages, Pope Celestine III made sure that came to an end, calling for a crusade against the pagans of Northern Europe. In 1208, present-day Estonia was raided and despite resistance and fighting for many years, the country was finally conquered by Denmark in the north and Germany in the south. Around the same time, some Swedish people – including descendants of the legendary Swedish Chef – also settled into Estonian coastal land. The Germans became the ruling elite of Estonia by the end of the Middle Ages.

Fighting over Estonian land persisted for hundreds of years with Northern Estonia falling under Swedish control, while Southern Estonia briefly found itself under rule by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (ah, the PLC… not a group to meddle with). In 1625 the Swedes captured much of mainland Estonia and absorbed it into their growing empire. Estonia accepted this occupation, in exchange for protection against Russia and Poland. Kind of like a smart, but small kid recruiting a tougher, cool kid (although Sweden’s cool factor can be debated for hours on end) for protection against bullies.

When Russia defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War of the early 1700’s, they gained control of Estonia, although the legal system, governments, and education was mostly German up until the late 1800’s and in some cases, the first World War. The Russian Revolution of 1905 changed the landscape of Estonian life, but also opened the door for the country to gain autonomy.

Bread Freedom

Following World War I and the fall of the Russian Empire, Estonia declared its independence on February 23, 1918. It wasn’t long before they were back fighting, however, as the Red Army invaded just days after a provisional Estonian government was in place and the Estonian War of Independence lasted the next couple years. On June 15, 1920, Estonia adopted their first constitution and even joined the League of Nations in 1921, but we all know how that ended!

There was more trouble brewing for Estonia, however, as en route to a presidential election in 1934, Konstantin Päts, the head of state, became the country’s authoritarian ruler. The next period of life in Estonia was known as the Era of Silence. I’m praying this term also one day describes the death of reality TV. Political parties were banned and the parliament did not hold session from 1934 to 1938. Instead, Päts ruled by decree, much like the Sip Advisor does around the company headquarters!

As if things couldn’t get any worse, the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on August 23, 1939. The deal saw the two countries split up the nations the lay between them (Estonia, Finland, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia). Estonia went to the Soviet Union in the fantasy draft and it wasn’t long before the regime moved into its new territory.

Estonia Girls

The USSR occupied Estonia from 1940 to 1941 and during that time arrested over 8,000 citizens, executing more than a quarter of them. Next up, the German Nazi regime invaded. While originally welcomed, with hopes that Estonia could return to being an independent state, those wishes were quickly dashed by goose-stepping and swastikas.

World War II was not kind to Estonia and its people. The population decreased by about 200,000 people, with 80,000 fleeing West and 30,000 soldiers killed in action. Much of the land was destroyed, including ports, railways, and industrial and residential areas. As the Germans withdrew from the country, the USSR swooped in and put Soviet rule in place, arresting and executing those who opposed the takeover. Poor Estonia couldn’t buy a break.

Hidden behind the ‘red curtain,’ a movement known as the ‘Forest Brothers’ grew – similar to Robin Hood and his Merry Men, but minus the awesome songs of the Disney and Men in Tights offerings. They opposed the Soviet occupation and grew to approximately 30,000 members. Their resistance was ultimately unsuccessful and it wasn’t until the late 1980’s that the tide began to change and Estonia reached for sovereignty again. The 1990’s brought free elections, a new congress, and a referendum on independence.

Free Turtle

Estonia’s confirmation of independence occurred on August 20, 1991. The day has become a national holiday as a result and features Will Smith battling aliens to save the world. On June 28, 1992, Estonians approved a draft constitution and on September 20, 1992, Lennart Meri was elected president, choosing Mart Laar as prime minister.

Things continued to roll along for Estonia as the new millennium approached. The country joined the European Union in 2004 and adopted the Euro currency in 2011. In recent years, Estonia has found itself ranked first in Internet Freedom (so much porn!) and World Liberty. Congrats to everyone who made it all happen!

Estonia: Hammer & Sickle

Hammer & Sickle Drink Recipe

  • Muddle Mint and Lime Wedges
  • 1.5 oz Vana Tallinn
  • Dash of Brown Sugar
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Garnish with Mint Sprig

What’s next for the Baltic nation is unknown, but I sincerely hope things continue on an upswing. It’s a beautiful country and one I consider to be a hidden gem when touring Northern Europe.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
Being the King of Mojitos comes with great responsibility… it means that you always have to be on the lookout for new variations to master. I wanted to try this recipe because the Vana Tallinn and Brown Sugar change things up from your usual Mojito Recipe and this cocktail is a keeper. The Vana Tallinn, which carries a vanilla flavour, makes for a delicious Mojito ingredient, getting along very well with the Brown Sugar and even the Mint and Lime Wedges. I took the drink name from Vana Tallinn’s Wikipedia page and although it was meant for another concoction, because citation was needed, I decided to steal the moniker for myself!

England – London Cup

Riot Brigade

From South Africa, we head north to merry old England. While it may or may not have originated there, the country has long been known as a hotbed of football hooliganism. Here’s a look at some of the most notorious hooligan firms and the anarchy they have caused!

Hooliganism Industry

6.57 Crew – Portsmouth FC

Taking their name from the depature time of trains from Southsea Station in Portsmouth to London’s Waterloo Station, the 6.57 Crew has been subject of TV documentaries and books on their hooliganism. The club has even had a 10-year old member arrested and convicted of violent disorder. For the 2006 Football World Cup, 130 members of the 6.57 Crew were forced to hand over their passports, limiting their ability to travel to Germany for the tournament.

Chelsea Headhunters – Chelsea FC

This firm has been linked to white supremacist groups, such as Combat 18, a neo-Nazi organization. One member, Kevin Whitton, was sentenced to life in prison for assaulting a bar manager, in which Whitton held the arms of the victim while another Headhunter smashed a beer glass into his face. The Headhunters have long-standing rivalries with firms representing other London-based teams, including Arsenal, Tottenham, and Queens Park.

Millwall Bushwackers – Millwall FC

Any group who chants “No one likes us, we don’t care!” has members that are in need of a serious hug. Perhaps they weren’t given much attention and love as youngsters. Anyway, The Den, where Millwall FC played was closed on five separate occasions by the Football Association due to fan violence. Clearly, these Bushwackers aren’t the fun loving type like the Bushwackers of wrestling fame.

bushwackers

Red Army – Manchester United FC

Sometimes called the Men in Black (hunting aliens when not disrupting soccer matches), the Red Army’s most infamous year might have been 1974-75, while Man U was relegated to the Second Division of the English League. During that season, Red Army supporters often outnumbered home team fans, while United was on the road, causing havoc with each stop across the country. The firm is largely cited as a reason for crowd segregation and fencing at UK football stadiums.

Inter City Firm – West Ham United FC

The ICF has been the basis for one film (Green Street Hooligans) about hooliganism, while serving as consultants on another (The Firm). A movie was also made about former leader Cass Pennant, who despite being black during a time of heavy racism, rose to the top of the ICF and served four years in prison (the first to ever be given a long-term sentence) as a result of his hooligan actions.

Men Discussing

Leeds United Service Crew – Leeds United FC

The LUSC has even been known to beat up opposing fans in wheelchairs… now that’s hardcore. Leeds United has done much to distance itself from the firm, as the level of violence caused by the LUSC has nearly ruined the team. Leeds United was banned from European competition for four years in the late 70’s thanks to fans rioting and in Telford United refused to host the team at their own stadium in 1987, due to the LUSC’s reputation.

The Muckers – Blackpool FC

Colloquially, “mucker” means good friend, but these Blackpool supporters certainly weren’t amiable with fans from other squads. Despite Blackpool’s history of being a lower-tier team, The Muckers were a major league firm, making a 1985 BBC list of the six worst clubs, as far as fan violence was concerned. The Muckers have gone through a number of eras and leaders, seemingly resembling a gang, rather than fans, and participating in West Side Story type rumbles (minus the dancing and singing, of course!).

England: London Cup

London Cup Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Tanqueray Rangpur Gin
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Campari
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice and Lemonade
  • Garnish with Cucumber Slices

While the heyday of hooligan firms is long behind us, football fan violence still exists. I’m still thankful nothing broke out during the Man United game Mrs. Sip and I attended in 2007, although our street car did break down in the middle of the town, making for an interesting trip home!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
For my England posts, I wanted to pick up a new and unique Gin and I found exactly that with the Tanqueray Rangpur. I had never seen this product before and was happy to come across it in a duty free shop in the Dominican Republic. The spirit combines Gin with Rangpur Limes as well as some other spices and it is quite refreshing. The same can be said for today’s cocktail, which I enjoyed despite the presence of Campari.

August 29 – Mexican Mojito

Mocktail Mania

While I simply deplore the concept of the mocktail – I mean, seriously? You’re offering me a drink with no booze? – I feel it can be a fine training tool for young’uns who shouldn’t be indulging in sweet lady liquor. I have to give credit to the inventors of some mocktail names, which are as catchy as the spirits would normally be strong. Here are some of my favourites:

Nojito

One of my favourite families of drinks is the Mojito, highlighted by today’s offering of the Mexican variety. When I have my own little sippers, I’ll want to gradually introduce them to the wonders of mixology and this will be a fine starting point, especially for delicious summer bevvys. Mocktail Ingredients: Mint Leaves, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Club Soda

Mocktail Cat

Safe Sex on the Beach

Sometimes called No Sex on the Beach (although I prefer ‘Safe Sex’ because at least someone is getting lucky!), I think the safest sex on the beach is to make whoopee anywhere other than the beach. Remember, they don’t call it sandpaper for nothing… that stuff can be rough! Mocktail Ingredients: Cranberry Juice, Pineapple Juice, Peach Nectar, Maraschino Cherry

Maternitini

I have given brief thought to a time in the very distant future when Mrs. Sip becomes pregnant and whether or not I’ll give up booze in solidarity with her. And I’m quick to shrug those ideas off and say eff that! I just thank the gods above that I don’t have to carry a child and lose out on my drinking ways. Mocktail Ingredients: Raspberries, Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice

Hot Not Toddy

While I rarely drink warm beverages (even if they are booze-fueled), this is a classic wintertime cocktail that can even be enjoyed sans alcohol (or so I’m led to believe!). I really only down the occasional hot chocolate at Christmas time and it’s usually topped with some sort of liqueur for added flavour and fun! Mocktail Ingredients: Tea, Honey, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg

Mocktail Poisoning

Virgin Mary

A number of mocktails simply throw the word virgin in to get their point across, but this is a rare instance where it actually works quite well. Subbing in for the Bloody Mary, the Virgin Mary doesn’t look very good on paper, at least from my perspective. Any drink with Tomato Juice and no liquor seems not worth the effort. Mocktail Ingredients: Tomato Juice, Worcestershire Sauce, Hot Sauce, Lemon Juice

Unfuzzy Navel

This solves the age old mystery of what exactly makes a Fuzzy Navel fuzzy… it’s the liquor, of course! I suppose an unfuzzy navel is much sexier than a fuzzy one because that probably means it belongs to a dude. Nevertheless, I’ll take mine fuzzy with alcohol, please! Mocktail Ingredients: Peach Nectar, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, Grenadine

mocktail wedding

Not So Dark and Stormy

I feel a better name for this mocktail would be something like ‘Calm Before the Storm’, just to completely flip it around. I wonder if the Gosling’s Rum folks have hissy fits over this drink in the same manner they do over the Dark and Stormy alcoholic beverage recipe, which they have a copyright over. Mocktail Ingredients: Ginger Beer, Molasses, Lime Juice, Lime Wedge

Salty Dog Without the Tail

This is certainly one of the cleverer mocktail names I came across in my research. It actually makes more sense than the actual spirit-based refreshment. This would be a great drink to pull out around kids who would have a grand ol’ time with the name alone. Grapefruit Juice may be an acquired taste, but I’d make sure my kids got used to it! Mocktail Ingredients: Grapefruit Juice, Salt

Drink #241: Mexican Mojito

Aug 29

  • Muddle Mint Leaves and Lime Wedges
  • 1.5 oz Tequila (I used 1800 Añejo)
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with a Mint Sprig

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some other classic mocktails, such as the Shirley Temple and Arnold Palmer (if you add alcohol, it becomes a John Daly!) with this list. My favourite as a wee little sipper was the Roy Rogers. The Sip Family would sometimes stay at the Embassy Suites hotel chain, which had a wonderful happy hour including drinks and appies. Kids were treated to this recipe (cola, grenadine and a Maraschino cherry) and got to feel like they were part of the party! Now let’s never speak of mocktails again!!!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
While not my favourite among the Mojito family of drinks, I thoroughly enjoyed this rendition. Using Añejo Tequila was a nice touch, of course, and it is yet another spirit that works well with all the usual Mojito ingredients.

August 19 – Mint Julep

N’Awlins

We’ve travelled to many lands far and wide, but today we venture into the deepest, darkest parts of… New Orleans! Throw on your beads and mask cause things are about to get cray-cray around here. How crazy you ask? We’re talking take an episode of True Blood and turn it up to 11 crazy!

Eat Amazing Food

Alligator, gumbo, po-boy (sandwich stuffed with oysters and shrimp), crayfish… you name it, you can probably find it among N’Orleans eclectic restaurants. The place is also famous for hot sauces, so make sure to pick up a couple bottles that will make steam shoot out of your friend’s heads. Remember, chef Emeril Lagasse was heavily influenced by the New Orleans style, so it must be good. BAM!

Po Boy

Not true little Po, I love you lots!

Plantation Tour

On these tours, you will see some beautiful landscapes, wonderful architecture and learn the amazing history of the families that built and owned the properties. Perhaps you’ll even pick up on some of the Cajun/Creole ways and language or sit back and enjoy some fresh squeezed lemonade as you rock back and forth, fanning yourself, and complaining of the intolerable heat.

Live Music

Home to the birth of Jazz, as well as perhaps the most famous musician to ever scat, Louis Armstrong, you can bet any visit to ‘The Big Easy’ would be highlighted by live music performed in any of the city’s hottest venues. There is even jazz concerts at funerals in these parts. Visitors can also choose from a number of annual festivals to get their groove on, including the Jazz and Heritage Festival, Bayou Boogaloo, and Satchmo SummerFest. Or they can stroll down to venues such as Preservation Hall, to catch some of the top jazz musicians our time.

Show Your $&%@^#*

Even if you’re not there at Mardi Gras, there’s nothing wrong with flashing some skin… you might even be rewarded with beads, providing you got curves like Mrs. Sip! If you get taken away in cuffs, never fear, that’s just part of the foreplay! Apparently, nudity can be exchanged for other “trinkets” as well. While I wonder if the trinkets would have any value whatsoever, I’m up for some scientific investigation!

Beads Kitty

Air Boat Adventure

A favourite activity of one Sterling Archer, thanks to his obsession with Burt Reynolds and the movie Gator, these tours take guests through the waters outside the city, where they can view wildlife such as alligators, snakes, turtles, and a number of species of birds. If you want to take things at a slower pace, you can take a slower swamp boat tour or even a Mississippi River steamboat.

A Trip through History

For the history buffs out there, New Orleans provides a number of outlets to get your learning on. There’s Jackson Square (named after President Andrew Jackson), the site of the Battle of New Orleans during the Civil War, and the World War II Museum, among others. N’Orleans was founded in 1718, so that has given the place plenty of time to become marinated with history.

Bourbon Street Pub Crawl

It would fulfill a dream of mine to have a Mint Julep (today’s feature drink) at a Bourbon Street bar. New Orleans is also responsible for a number of other cocktail inventions, such as the Sazerac, the Obituary Cocktail, and the Ramos Gin Fizz. Joints like The Old Absinthe House and Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop will have you throwing your doubloons around until the wee hours of the morning. Best of all, public drinking is allowed (if not encouraged) in the quarter.

bourbon faced

Cemeteries and Haunted Tours

In New Orleans, bodies are buried in above ground graves and tombs because of the high water table and increased probability of flooding. That, coupled with the city’s long history, including activity in the Civil War, and prevalence of occult culture (voodoo, etc.), makes for an interesting tour. The original Haunted Mansion at Disneyland was based on a New Orleans style antebellum home, so surely the real thing would be just as creepy!

Sports

I have a soft spot in my heart for the New Orleans sports scene, given that they’ve lost as many teams as my hometown of Vancouver and seem to always be looking over their shoulder as franchises threaten relocation. Your options consist of the Saints (NFL) and Pelicans (NBA) on the professional level, but there is also a myriad of college action to choose from in a variety of disciplines.

Drink #231: Mint Julep

Mint Julep

  • Muddle Mint Leaves
  • 2 oz Bourbon (I used Jim Beam)
  • 2 tsp Turbinado Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with Mint Sprig

I’ve only been to New Orleans once when I was 13, so I’m due for a return trip when I can actually get into bars. Mrs. Sip is there right this very minute and having a great time… lucky girl!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is a slow sipper drink thanks to the high concentration of liquor and really no mixers, other than Simple Syrup. My choice of Black Cherry Bourbon was nice for a unique flavour on the spirit side of things.