Sip Trips #123: Wedded Bliss

Last week was a very busy one for myself and Mrs. Sip. We were members of a friend’s wedding party and there were a number of events to attend and breweries and restaurants to visit during our stay in the North Vancouver area.

Our first stop was the Tap & Barrel Shipyards location, which served host to the rehearsal dinner. There, I ordered the PB&J Burger, which was fantastic. I’ve had the burger on other occasions, but this was hands down the best version of it I have experienced. As for drinks, I chose pints of Mount Arrowsmith Comfortably Chum Hef and Hearthstone Magodes White IPA. I had also wanted to try the 33 Acres of Cashmere Red Ale, but it was tapped out.

Rehearsal Dinner.png

The next day, we visited Boston Pizza for a drink after I finished work. I picked the Whiskey BBQ Bacon Caesar, which had a really interesting smoky barbecue flavour to go with the usual Caesar blend. Following that beverage, we hit the nearby BC Liquor Store to pick up some supplies for the room. We snagged the Doan’s Brewing Happy Pack, which is comprised of two tall cans each of their Rye IPA, Kolsch, Stout, and seasonal Crystal Weiss.

After a brief respite in our room, we journeyed to Beere Brewing Company, where I had a serving of their recently released Cherry Willis Imperial Stout. The brew was very nice, featuring flavours of cherry and cacao. The night wrapped with one more brewery stop, as I showed an out-of-town friend the North Van scene, popping into Green Leaf Brewing for a pint of their Azacca Cadabra ISA.

Saturday was the wedding, and with an open bar on the docket, a lot of drinking was done. I visited the bar so many times that I had a good relationship going with the bartender, who complimented my alcohol tolerance, as well as the cuteness of Baby Sip, who was enjoying her first wedding and was very well-behaved throughout.

Open Bar.jpg

Following a couple days off to recharge the batteries after the wedding, we were back at it Tuesday night, first stopping at Earl’s Kitchen + Bar for a happy hour beverage. I chose their Rhino Pale Ale, which is served in a massive, intimidating glass. Our evening entertainment was supplied by Relish The Pub and their weekly trivia night. One difference with Relish’s trivia, compared to other local options, is that each table pays a $5 entry, with that money going towards the BC Cancer Foundation. While we have yet to win anything during our few visits to Relish, the prizes are quite good (gift cards and pitchers of beer), so we will have to try our luck again in the future.

Mrs. Sip’s birthday is this weekend, so it will be another busy “break”. The Sip Advisor will be slinging drinks at a joint birthday party for Mrs. Sip and a friend, as the hosts are moving out at the end of the month and are looking to get rid of some liquor bottles. Should be a lot of fun!

Advertisements

December 27 – Hammered Farmer

Experience Points

I got to thinking the other day about things that must be experienced as a drinker. The rites of passage as a boozehound, if you will. Here’s some of the items that crossed my mind and I believe made me the Sip Advisor I am today!

Drink from a Funnel – Friends of Mrs. Sip and myself had this funnel they called Skeletor (thanks to it being a skull), which was fun drinking out of and made for a good dare as part of drinking games.

Funnel Fail

Do a Keg Stand – As a kid, I was always standing on my head. It’s something I did well and I still do head stands on many objects I find. Combine that with chugging beer and you have the infamous keg stand. I think I did pretty well in my only attempt.

Use a Flask – I first bought a flask in my early 20’s and have since upgraded to a much nicer one, which I gave out to each of the groomsmen and ushers in my wedding. As I’ve written before, Fireball is my go-to flask filler and it has seen me through many wild nights.

Buy Booze as a Minor – While I didn’t frequently do this, it did happen from on a couple occasions and without incident. It truly shows your dedication to the sport.

Enjoy an Open Bar – I’ve been lucky enough to attend a few “open bar” functions in my time. Sometimes those bars haven’t been very lucky to have me as a guest!

Rent a Keg – This is something I have yet to do personally. Sure, I’ve been to the odd keg party, but I’ve never hosted one. We’ve often bandied about the idea of getting a keg for my annual beer pong tournament, but letting folks drink whatever they wish has always won out over the mass serving. I did have a mini keg that travelled through some of Europe with me, if that counts.

Tap the Keg

Drunken Karaoke – Is there any other kind of karaoke!?

Buy a Round for a Group – It’s always important to take your rightful turn in buying drinks for the group. Just make sure you get yours back in due time.

Invent a Cocktail – Clearly this is no longer an outstanding issue for the Sip Advisor…

Buy a Woman a Drink – Does Mrs. Sip count? If so, then check!

Play Drinking Games – Whether it’s Beer Pong, Quarters, King’s Cup, Flippy Cup, or anything else, drinking games are an essential element of boozing fun. I’d say go easy on rookies, but they should know what they’re getting themselves into.

battle-shots

Go on a Beer/Wine Tour – In the course of this project, I’ve detailed the wine and beer tours I’ve been privileged to go on. Next up comes some visits to hard alcohol distilleries.

Do a Shot Challenge – Whether it’s one you create on your own or something hosted by a bar, these are always a fun way to get smashed and stretch your drinking limits. Mrs. Sip and I took part in one notable challenge in Nice, France, where we (along with three others) had to down all of our 10 shots in successive order. I was the only one ballsy enough to include a couple Flatliners in my set.

Visit a Beer Hall – Drinking around the world has become a huge part of travel for Mrs. Sip and I, whether it’s trying news beers, wines, and spirits, or visiting booze landmarks across the globe. The beer hall we enjoyed in Munich, Germany was among these great memories.

Do a Pub Crawl – Man are these fun… I’ve done crawls in a lot of parts of the world (Key West, Florida; Preston, England; Honolulu, Hawaii; etc.) and they’re always full of laughs, adventure, and of course alcohol. Map out a route and hit the town!

Bar Crawl

Survive a Hangover – Does it count if I’ve helped someone through their hangover? Remember, the Sip Advisor is immune from rough morning afters.

Be Known by Name at a Bar – While I have yet to find a place “where everybody knows my name”, the Sip Alliance was recognized at The Yard House in Hawaii as “Oh, you guys are back!”

Ride a Mechanical Bull – This should only be done while blitzed because it limbers you up for the eventual fall. I achieved this at the PBR Rock Bar in Las Vegas this year (twice!) and it was totally worth the resulting crotch bruising.

Hit Multiple Fast Food Joints on the Same NightGuilty as charged. Just the other day, Mrs. Sip and I grabbed some Mickie D’s takeout and while passing by a Mega Bite pizza shop, I joked we should grab some slices for the road as well. Before I knew it, Mrs. Sip was in there snatching some before we were on our way again!

Drink #361: Hammered Farmer

Hammered Farmer Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Spiced Rum (I used New Orleans)
  • Top with Root Beer
  • Splash of Apple-Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wheel

What else do you think qualifies as a rite of passage for experienced drinkers? I wanted to include my feat of drinking a beer underwater, but Mrs. Sip insisted it was so rare and awesome that I was the only that would qualify. She’s always pumping my tires!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This is one of those bizarre recipes where they recommend way too much booze to make a decent drink. They say you should use 4 oz of Spiced Rum. While that will achieve the desired effect of being a Hammered Farmer, the cocktail’s taste will be way too strong. I dumbed the ingredients down to make a tasty drink where you can taste each element being presented. You’ll still get blasted, it just won’t be from one serving!

August 21 – Village Idiot

Dumb and Dumber

Yesterday we had a look at some of the stupid things I’ve done over my many awesome years. Did you really think that was it, though? There are so many other wild tales of great idiocy in my archives. Here are a few more select stories!

One More for the Road

Well before I became the seasoned drinker you see before you today, I was still learning the ropes of the liquor game and picking up experience points where I could. At a party very early in my drinkdom, shortly after high school graduation, I was having a great time catching up with folks I hadn’t seen since our days of set school schedules and also meeting some newbies to the Sip Advisor’s world.

Before I knew it, I was 10 beers deep. With the party still in full swing, I was sad to discover that my stock had been completely depleted. I was now regretting giving out the couple brews I had gifted to others for past offerings bestowed upon me. For shame, Sip Advisor… but it gets worse. In my bag of goodies was one Mike’s Hard Lemonade – the popular drink of my graduation summer. Why I brought it with me, I don’t know. Perhaps the devil slipped it in my bag for its own amusement.

Mikes Lemonade

Without much thought, I cracked the can open, took a big swig, and immediately felt it not sitting very well. Being young and dumb as I was, I finished the beverage and decided to make my way home. What was usually only a ten minute walk home took me nearly double, as I was forced to stop frequently to get sick on some poor stranger’s lawn. I eventually made it home to get sick once more in my room, before passing out. Lesson learned, my little sippers: beer before liquor, never been sicker… liquor before beer, you’re in the clear!

Wax-on, Wax-off

For years following Mrs. Sip and I becoming an item, I had complained about not liking my chest hair and wanting to have it removed. Mrs. Sip must have finally hit her breaking point because one night, she showed up at my place with a waxing kit and said the time had finally come to put up or shut up. So, there we stood, in the bathroom, Mrs. Sip warming and dripping hot wax over my body, as Broski Sip snickered and filmed the incident for prosperity purposes (or at least that’s what they told me!).

Finally, it was time. RIP! Mrs. Sip pulled away the first patch and left in its place was a bald patch of skin. I was surprised that the whole process didn’t really hurt that much. So, we continued and in no time we were finished and I had a nice smooth chest. End of story, right!? Not so fast. Within minutes my chest was covered in all these tiny red little bumps that never really went away until the hair started growing back. A man just can’t catch a break!

chest waxing

Cruise Ship Quarantine

Back in early May, I wrote an article about how to enjoy an open bar. Let’s just say I wrote that post a little too well. You see, my aunt was getting married aboard a cruise ship and the wedding package featured a one-hour open bar with little appies and such. With only an hour to drink like kings, a game plan was needed and I captained that ship straight into the rocky cliffs.

Video and photo evidence from the event shows me with two drinks in hand for nearly every appearance. We also lined up at least 10 rounds of shots to go with the double fisting of doubled drinks. I can throw down pretty good in the game we call alcohol, but my biggest mistake that day was building all that booze on top of nothing. I hadn’t eaten that morning (not a huge surprise, as I’m not really a breakfast guy) and still hadn’t touched anything edible by the time the wedding ceremony was over around 2pm.

I guess it could have been worse!

I guess it could have been worse!

Largely on my advice (and coercion) three of us ended up getting quarantined, while a couple others were incapacitated for much of the trip. Worst of all, we were banished to our rooms because those of us who got sick did so in front of ship staff and we were forced to miss much of the post-wedding celebration. Let’s just sum up by saying that it was far from my finest moment, but I can still provide a lesson of sort to all you little sippers to keep yourself on track and only lose your cookies in the privacy of your stateroom!

Drink #233: Village Idiot

Village Idiot Martini

  • 1 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Dash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Slices

Again, I implore you to share your stories of stupidity. I’m starting to feel a little lonely here, sharing all my goof ups and not hearing any of yours. Let’s make this a give-take idiot relationship!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
If you make one of these, you’ll be far from a village idiot, you’ll be a genius. It’s so refreshing and tasty, crisp and clean. The recipe is pretty simple, so I spiced it up a bit with top shelf liquors Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka and Bombay Sapphire Gin. Everything worked well together and left me thirsting for more!

May 10 – Cherry Crepe

Open Bar-athon

Tomorrow, the Sip Advisor will be attending a wedding ceremony aboard a cruise ship, which features a one-hour open bar reception. I know what you’re thinking… who in their right mind would invite this guy to an open bar function!? Talk about a doomed muster drill! Anyway, with only a small chunk of time to get your swerve on, here’s how to best spend your drinking:

open-bar-wedding

Order high-end liquors only

Start by putting your blinders on so you can only see the top shelf liquors. Run of the mill spirits need not apply. Every cocktail you have made should include one of the following: Grey Goose or Ketel One (vodka), Don Julio or Patron (tequila), Hendrick’s or Bombay Sapphire (gin), Cruzan or Mount Gay (rum), Crown Royal (whiskey), Maker’s Mark or Wild Turkey (bourbon). You get the point. Don’t dabble in the Smirnoff’s and Bacardi’s of the world, despite their solid reputation.

Everything comes in doubles

You should never order a drink in this situation and not ask for a double shot of the alcohol. While you will be given strong drinks, that shouldn’t matter too much given the quality of the booze you’re asking for. Everything should go down easy and you won’t even notice how much you’re enjoying yourself.

Double fist your drinks

Line-ups to get your drinks may be long, so it’s best to act like you’re ordering for yourself and your lovely partner (as invisible as they may be) in order to save trips to the bar and wasted time without a drink in your hand. It should also be noted that you should time your lining up accordingly. If lines are stretching and you have half a drink left, it’s probably time to drag your butt back into the line.

open bar dangerous

Get a round of shots (or two or three)

Want to be the life of the party – and perhaps piss off the bar staff – order a round of shots for your group, no matter how big it may be. Fill that bar counter with baby glasses and then pass out the shooters to anyone within reaching distance. Then, make a little speech that no one will remember (preferably to a group of folks who don’t even know you) and slam that sweet sucker.

Drink straight hard stuff

If it’s available, order neat or on the rocks selections of high quality sipping alcohols. Scotch, Courvoisier, Remy Martin, Hennessey, etc. I like to make these drinks my last of a session, perhaps the one you grab right at the tail end of the hour so you have something you can go through at your own pace when the reception is over and the dreaded muster drill is fast approaching.

Get shit-faced and ride it through the night

A hardened veteran such as myself will need a little nip here and there to keep the buzz going, but if you’re not that experienced with liquor, you can probably have a small batch of drinks and be floating in the breeze most of the night. Just be careful of the inevitable crash. Check your levels frequently and top up if necessary.

open bar control

Try a bunch of different stuff

If you’re into experiment (and who isn’t) go into the reception with a loose game plan of cocktails you’d like to try. Don’t waste other people’s time in the line-ups perusing the menu, but have an idea of two or three recipes you want to give a go. If you don’t like something, go and order another libation. Don’t drink a bad drink for the sake of finishing it. Note: If the open bar is being provided by a company or organization, this is an acceptable thing to do. If the bar is being provided by friends or family, you’re just running up their tab and that is not cool at all.

Get a bartender to fill up your flask

While this may be hard to achieve, my heart (and idea) is in the right place. If you strike up a good report with one of the booze jockeys, give this little tactic a shot. Most people probably wouldn’t feel too comfortable in doing so, so you can always resort to a strong last call drink to last you a little after the reception.

Drink #130: Cherry Crepe

Cherry Crepe Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Cherry Vodka (I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir)
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with a Chocolate-Covered Cherry

So, if you follow my notes, you will likely be walking around the reception double fisting two doubled-up, top shelf alcohol drinks, with a chaser of shots on the way. What do you do about appetizers, you ask? Sorry, my little sippers, not my field of expertise!

And don’t ask me what you may be doing after the reception, because unless you don’t get hangovers like me, it may not be a pretty picture! For hangover advice, check out my recent post.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I really like the Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, one of my top shelf spirits. I thought the recipe worked really well together, of course highlighted by the Vodka, which has an almost sour note. Garnish that baby with a yummy Chocolate-Covered Cherry and all’s well that ends well!

January 27 – AC Maple Leaf

Mixology on the Fly

open bar

Recently, my wife scored some tickets to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at YVR. On our recent holiday, we decided to stop there before our flight, and what a time we had. First, I was able to grab a free copy of The Hockey News magazine – it’s always good to have some reading material for the flight and whatever travel bugs you might have to suffer through (we were en route to Mexico, after all) and then we headed to the food station for some eats. That’s when I noticed it: there, illuminated by god’s light, as angels sang in my head, was the free-pour bar, stocked with nearly everything a mixologist needs.

My jaw dropped, eyes bulged… I might have even got a little aroused. I frisbeed my plate away, smashing it against a wall, and skipped (literally!) over to the bar. I couldn’t think straight. What did I want to make? WHAT DID I WANT TO MAKE?… and how many drinks could I throw back in the next hour?

I went to work, putting together a mix of Crown Royal Whiskey and Grand Marnier. Top with some Sprite, toss a wedge of lime on there and you have yourself a delicious cocktail invented in mere moments. I also did my best to make a Long Island Iced Tea, but had to sub Grand Marnier in for Triple Sec, which didn’t turn out too badly, as both spirits have an orange taste.

After double-fisting those cocktails, it was onto some heavy lifting. I quickly fired up a scotch on the rocks, courtesy of close friend Johnnie Walker and finished with a healthy dose of Courvoisier Cognac, to bring out the ladies’ man in me.

The key to mixing on the fly, is having an idea of what tastes good together, or at least, what different liquors taste like. I knew I could trust Grand Marnier as a flavor enhancer and that worked out quite well. If anyone else wants to give me tickets to a private airport lounge (or an open bar – anytime, anywhere), you know where to find me!

Drink #27: AC Maple Leaf (An on-the-fly Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

AC Maple Leaf Cocktail

  • 1 oz Crown Royal Whiskey
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • Top with lemon-lime soda
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge

Sip Adviosr Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This was a fun little recipe to cook up on the fly. Using what I had at my disposal, I think I put together a pretty decent drink. The Crown Royal and Grand Marnier work well together and some Lemon-Lime soda just completes the concoction.