September 29 – Negroni

Bittersweet

There are some legendary roles that have been passed up by actors and actresses for various reasons. That probably made some of these folks pretty bitter… let’s take a look!:

Tom Selleck – Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

The Magnum P.I. star and his moustache were slated to play the role of archeologist Indiana Jones, but Selleck wasn’t allowed to vacate his TV role long enough to film the movie. The role went to Harrison Ford instead and three sequels followed. Selleck has done okay since, but lost out on playing such a treasured character. At least Selleck didn’t have to suffer through the backlash The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull received.

tom-selleck-indiana-jones

Molly Ringwald – Vivian (Pretty Woman) / Molly (Ghost)

The 1980’s icon missed the boat on a couple big roles in 1990 including Vivian in Pretty Woman and Molly in Ghost, played by Julia Roberts and Demi Moore respectively. Instead, Ringwald was living and acting in France. When she returned stateside, she had parts in TV movies and series but hasn’t done anything of note since her heyday decades ago. Roberts and Moore on the other hand enjoyed strong careers after these movies.

Will Smith – Neo (The Matrix)

I am certainly not a fan of The Matrix trilogy of movies and apparently, neither was Smith. The Fresh Prince turned down the character of Neo, saying he found the script too hard to follow. Instead, Smith would go on to make Wild Wild West, a universally panned film, around the same time. Smith has also admitted that Keanu Reeves was perfect for the role, which I take to mean the character was always intended to be one-dimensional, monotone, and boring.

will smith as neo

Mel Gibson – Bruce Wayne/Batman (Batman)

With all the uproar over the selection of Ben Affleck to play Batman, it’s interesting to note actors who previously passed on the iconic role. Gibson turned down the offer for Tim Burton’s 1989 film, believing the movie would be a flop… and this is all before his high-profile meltdown. Michael Keaton, of course, stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park before the franchise took a downswing with Val Kilmer and George Clooney behind the mask.

Sean Connery – Gandalf (Lord of the Rings)

The former James Bond legend passed on the role of Gandalf, reasoning that he didn’t “get” fantasy (because, you know, the James Bond plots are super realistic) and instead went on to make The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a movie that involves superheroes and is based on comics. Yup, that seems much more grounded in reality. Connery was paid $17 million for his part in the League, but it also pushed him to retire from acting. Had he accepted the Gandalf role and the offered 15% of the box office, he could have made $400 million through the trilogy!

sean-connery-gandalf

Denzel Washington – Det. David Mills (Se7en)

Denzel reportedly turned down the role later played by Brad Pitt, saying the movie was too dark. Apparently, he later regretted passing on the part, but he did alright for himself eventually, with an Oscar win for Training Day. Se7en launched Pitt into superstardom and also paired him with director David Fincher. Over the years, the two would also combine their efforts for Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Kevin Costner – Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption)

Costner was huge in the early 90’s and his acceptance of the Andy Dufresne role would have helped him avoid the total bomb that became his Waterworld passion project. After Waterworld, it took quite some time for Costner to rid himself of the stench of failure (must have been some stinky water on that set) and some could argue he’s never fully recovered. Tim Robbins took the Andy Dufresne part and went on to enjoy a renaissance of sorts.

Drink #272: Negroni

Negroni Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire East)
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

I sincerely hope that every actor and actress whose career was launched by one of these roles originally turned down sends that person some kind of gift basket each year, thanking them for their poor judgment and decision making. Join us tomorrow for part two of this franchise!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (1.5 Sips out of 5):
I knew going into this cocktail that I wasn’t going to like it very much. I find Campari’s bitterness to be too harsh and the Sweet Vermouth wasn’t able to bring it back to a tolerable level. I’m unclear as to why this has become such a classic cocktail. I guess there are enough people out there that prefer bitter drinks.

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May 22 – Greyhound

The Great Debate

Gin and vodka have long waged a war over liquor supremacy. For example, many arguments have taken place over whether a true martini should be made with gin or vodka. Years ago, vodka surpassed gin and when it did so, a number of cocktails that used to feature the juniper tasting alcohol began a metamorphosis, which included a new name. Today we look at gin names vs. vodka names and I play god and decide which one is better.

gin_vodka_bottles

The battle often wages within the same company…

Salty Dog (Gin) vs. Greyhound (Vodka) – Winner: Greyhound

For some reason I’m perturbed by the name Salty Dog. I have no clue where this aversion lies within me, but I just don’t like the name. It’s a drink I was planning to make for Gin Week last month, but when I discovered that there was a vodka version with a more palatable name (to me at least… and I’m calling the shots), I made some edits to my calendar. And that brings us to today!

Martini (Gin) vs. Kangaroo (Vodka) – Winner: Martini

I do love me some barbecued kangaroo, but I’m afraid that’s not enough to sway this judge. I gotta go with the original Martini in this case. Many alcohol lovers will tell you that if it’s not made of gin and vermouth, it’s just not a Martini, no matter what kind of glass you serve it in. While I don’t completely agree with this line of logic, I do respect their opinion. After all, I already have enough enemies as it is.

Gins

The Gin Army

Ruddy Mary (Gin) vs. Bloody Mary (Vodka) – Winner: Bloody Mary

This one isn’t even close, as you have a classic cocktail matched up against a relatively unknown drink. That said, I would like to try the gin version of the libation and see how it compares to the vodka option. I wonder how it might have changed my perception of the Bakon Bloody Mary I made last month, although we would have tragically lost the bacon essence with the removal of Bakon Vodka.

Negroni (Gin) vs. Negroski (Vodka) – Winner: Draw

This one was tough to judge. On one hand, you have the famous drink, Negroni, but on the other hand, when vodka is substituted, you have a pretty cool name in Negroski. In a rare Sip Advisor move, I decided to call it a draw. I know, having no outcome is like kissing your sister – or at least that’s how the sports pundits always put it. Tell ya what, I’ll flip a coin… if only I could find one.

Vodkas

The Vodka Troops

Tom Collins (Gin) vs. Vodka Collins (Vodka) – Winner: Tom Collins

Much like the Bloody vs. Ruddy Mary, this one took little time to make a decision. The Tom Collins is one of my favourite drinks and I can’t even fathom changing up the way I make them (see Cool Collins). Looking back, I guess I changed the name and recipe, too. Well, now my entire world is upside down. Thankfully, I’ve always been skilled at standing on my head. And we just keep on rolling.

Gin & Tonic (Gin) vs. Vodka Tonic (Vodka) – Winner: Neither

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I don’t much care for Tonic Water. Therefore, both competitors have been disqualified and given lifetime bans from the sport.

Gin & Juice (Gin) vs. Screwdriver (Vodka) – Winner: Gin & Juice

While I’ve always been a fan of good drink names and the Screwdriver is among my favourites, I feel if I didn’t pick Gin & Juice, that Snoop Dogg would put a hit out on your national hero, the Sip Advisor. While I maintain that I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts, I am deathly scared of gats and I therefore settle the case in favour of Mr. Dogg. His drink also comes with a sweet song, so there’s that little caveat.

Drink #142: Greyhound

May 22

  • Rim glass with Salt
  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Pinnacle Citrus)
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Wedges

It’s incredible that gin and vodka can be so interchangeable, despite their very different tastes. Perhaps we should all just call a truce between the two alcohols, drink a Vesper (which combines both gin and vodka) and declare this the best summer of love EVER! Then again, the Vesper features three parts gin to one part vodka… this feud will never be over…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I was looking forward to trying this drink, despite not being a fan of Grapefruit Juice. I’ve always liked salted rims, so that probably helped in my enjoyment of the cocktail and as I figured, all the ingredients came together to make a nice mix.