May 25 – Banana Boomer

Attached at the Hip

I got the formula for today’s shot from one of those recipe cards attached to the bottle of Crème de Banane I bought a few months back. While it’s somewhat common nowadays to receive a few ideas on how to use the liquor you’re buying, companies have also come up with a number of creative freebies to entice customers to purchase their brand over another. Here are some of those items:

Beef Jerky – Alberta Premium Whiskey

Nothing beats buying a bottle of liquor and having a suggested snack right there waiting for your consumption. It’s one stop shopping, as now you don’t have to hit the convenience store on your way home and can get straight to the important part: the drinking! One little side note about Alberta Premium Whiskey: it was the favourite drink of one Jim Lahey on Trailer Park Boys, except the label was covered (for copyright reasons) with Jeddore Premium, a joke on the French J’adore, meaning “I love”!

beefjerky

Glasses – Various

As common as it is to get recipe cards with your booze, a glass to enjoy those recipes in is frequently thrown into the sale’s mix. My favourite glasses that I’ve been able to accumulate include the always classy Crown Royal, the fun-loving Bacardi, and delicious Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey shot glass. One day, this could be like a young kid’s baseball card collection… just a little more scrumptious.

Pump – Big Bottles (Smirnoff Vodka, Jack Daniel’s Whiskey)

I’m not sure if anyone other than me has looked close enough, but you know those giant bottles of liquor… I’m talking about the ones that come in at a price of about $100 and are 3 litres… did you ever notice that they come with a giant pump, similar to ones that come on hand soap? I guess that’s not really a freebie and more of a necessary accessory, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless.

Mini Bottles – Various

Another fixture of the liquor freebie is the mini bottle of the same or another brand. If I have the choice between buying a bottle with no mini bottle attached and buying a bottle that comes with a mini bottle of another liqueur I’ve been wanting to try, of course I’m going to take the free mini. I’m smarter than the average alcoholic, after all!

minibottles

Muddler – Bacardi White

I’ve already recounted the tail about how I went out and bought a $40 bottle of rum a few years back, just because it came with a muddler. It was at a time when I was just getting into mixology and experimenting with different ingredients and techniques. While I could have just gone to a kitchen utensil store and picked up a muddler for $10, I figured it never hurts to have a giant bottle of rum accompany said muddler.

Luggage Tags – Fuzion Wines

This is just a neat little add on and a fantastic marketing ploy by Fuzion Wines. What a perfect way to spread word of their wines across the world than have customers (or as I like to affectionately call them, mules) do it for you, as they travel the globe. Not to mention, buyers will be more drawn to your wine among the thousands that exist if you are offering them a little something extra. It’s win-win-win!

Chocolates – Bailey’s Irish Crème, etc.

You might as well indulge your sweet tooth while grabbing some booze to go. These treats are often combined with Irish Crèmes and Chocolate Liqueurs, but can also be found with bottles of wine and even tequila brands. Usually the chocolates are long gone before the bottle of booze has even been tapped (especially with Mrs. Sip around), but it’s the thought that counts.

Drink #145: Banana Boomer

Banana Boomer Shooter

What was your favourite alcohol freebie? I’m sure there are many out there that I’ve missed, given that I largely have to do my liquor shopping in Canada and despite the fact we’re supposed to be some of the nicest, friendliest people in the world, we don’t seem to be extremely high on liquor swag. I guess you can only be so awesome!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shot tastes very good, an obvious conclusion given the ingredients. You’ll want to be careful with any candy you put into the shot, as they could become a choking hazard (unless you’re into auto-erotic asphyxiation). The one downside of the drink is that it’s a little plain. Still, it’s a fun one to bust out around friends!

April 7 – Mojito

Muddle with Care

I was born to muddle. And no, I’m not talking about confusing issues and messing things up (although I have a propensity for that, as well). I love crushing stuff up for drinks and seeing what the results are. I don’t know where this desire came from… probably some deep-rooted childhood stuff. Perhaps it had something to do with destroying sand castles or jumping in puddles.

I even went out and bought a $40 bottle of Bacardi Rum because it came with a muddler. Then I started making Mojitos, first the traditional kind, before adding raspberries and other fruit. I had an original recipe called “When All Else Fails” (to be featured on this site eventually), which included muddled watermelon and grapes, with tequila and lemon-lime soda.

Too bad my bottle of rum didn't come with the Bacardi Mojito girls!

Bacardi Mojito girls have mint on their breasts… I’ll muddle that, too!

Much like my fondness for rimming (drinks, that is), I’m willing to muddle anything: cucumber, mint, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, mandarin oranges, apples, bananas… all the colours of the rainbow.

I’ve often heard jokes from professional bartenders that Mojitos are a dreaded bar order because they find muddling to be such a pain in the ass. I tend to disagree and find that muddling isn’t much of a problem for me. Granted, I’m not being asked to make more than say four Mojitos at a time.

supersized_mojito

There’s just something very satisfying about building a drink from scratch (for yourself or others) and the flavours that are released by muddling really enhance the taste and even smelling senses while enjoying a cocktail.

A list of things I plan on muddling in the future is practically endless – chocolate bars, sour candies, peanuts, cereal, etc. If you are interested in experimenting with muddling, you don’t even need to go out and get a muddler like I did. A spoon, some skill, and patience will do the trick and you’ll be thanking me later for inspiring you to go down this road!

Drink #97: Mojito

Mojito

  • 8 Mint Leaves
  • 2 Lime Wedges
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1.5 oz White Rum
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

Muddle the mint leaves, limes and sugar together, before adding ice, the rum and finally the club soda. A slight variation that many of my “customers” enjoy is to substitute the sugar and soda with 7-Up or Sprite. I still maintain that I make the best Mojitos in the land and I defy anyone to prove me wrong. It is on like Donkey Kong, yo!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I still prefer Mojitos to be made with Lemon-Lime Soda, instead of Club Soda, but I had to try the original once for this site. Wait until the start of summer when I present my award winning (in my mind only!) Raspberry Mojito.