Mixer Mania #26 – Cocktail Leaders

The Caesar – featuring Clamato Juice – is a very popular drink in Canada and that got me thinking about beverages named after historical rulers. Here are some of those concoctions and the men (and one woman) who inspired them:

Winston Churchill

The Churchill combines Scotch, lime juice, sweet vermouth, and Cointreau, and was created for the man himself, by bartender Joe Gilmore of the American Bar in London’s Savoy Hotel. Apparently, Churchill preferred Johnnie Walker in his servings. There are other drinks named after and inspired by the British Bulldog (highlighted by this slide show article), but this is the definitive entry.

Richard Nixon

Another creation to come from Joe Gilmore and the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, the Nixon was actually compiled at the bar and then sent over to Claridge’s Hotel, where president Nixon was staying during a 1969 visit to the UK. Made using bourbon, sloe gin and peach bitters, this is a cocktail I have yet to try, but sounds pretty good.

Nixon Not a Crook

Queen Mary I

While the Bloody Mary beverage has been attributed to a few different people, the general consensus is that it belongs to this queen, who earned her ominous nickname through countless executions of Protestants during a five-year reign over England and Ireland. I’ve never much cared for the tomato juice-based Bloody Mary, greatly preferring a Caesar, instead.

Abraham Lincoln

Although the tragic American president was assassinated in 1865, it wasn’t until 1900 that the man was immortalized in cocktail form with the President Lincoln. The recipe, which first appeared in San Francisco’s Pacific Wine and Spirit Review, mixes bourbon, simple syrup, orange curacao, orange bitters, absinthe and club soda.

Abraham Lincoln Quote.jpg

Napoleon Bonaparte

When you have a liquor created in your honour, as the French Emperor did with Mandarin Cognac, why not have a cocktail bear your name as well. Ironically, the Napoleon doesn’t contain cognac and is instead built with gin, orange liqueur and vermouth. I wonder if that would add to the little man’s complex!?

Theodore Roosevelt

The rugged adventurer, who would come to have stuffed bears everywhere named after him, can also lay claim to having his very own cocktail. Returning to New York after a 15-month hunting trip in East Africa, Roosevelt was greeted with a drink. While the original ingredients are forgotten, a beverage of dark rum, dry vermouth, orange juice and simple syrup has taken its place.

Mixer Mania #26: A Curious Feeling

A Curious Feeling.JPG

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Clamato Juice
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Pinch Brown Sugar
  • Garnish with a Cucumber Slice

Apparently, the fast track to having a cocktail named after you is to become president of the United States… seems easy enough!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Given the cocktail’s name and ingredients, I was a little leery of what to expect. It ended up being pretty good, with the Clamato Juice (a Bacon-flavoured variety I recently discovered) playing a MVP role.

Mixer Mania #2 – Orange Crush

As the Sip Advisor recently watched Rambo (aka First Blood Part II) the other day, I began thinking of other fictional Vietnam War veterans. Taking advantage of today’s feature mixer being orange juice and the involvement of Agent Orange in that war, here are some of the greatest fictional Vietnam vets:

John Rambo

Speaking of the former special forces soldier, Rambo was captured by North Vietnamese forces and held and tortured in a POW camp for months before escaping. The horrors of the war scarred Rambo and his return home didn’t go any better, given all the anti-war sentiment across the U.S. The second Rambo movie sees the character return to Vietnam to rescue some American prisoners of war and when things don’t go as planned, Rambo goes on a rampage until the mission is accomplished.

rambo-fly-in-room

Thomas Magnum

Flanked by his buddies and fellow veterans Rick and T.C. (both marines), Magnum fought in Vietnam as a Navy SEAL. After the war, Magnum gets hooked up with a pretty sweet gig, watching the Hawaiian home of wealthy friend/author Robin Masters. While situated there, Magnum takes a up a career as a private investigator, which placed him in a number of hairy situations (I intentionally use the word ‘hairy’ for all the shots we got of a shirtless Magnum, as he patrolled the beaches and waters of Hawaii).

Principal Skinner

Back when he was a punk teen, known as Armin Tamzarian, the future principal of Springfield Elementary was shipped off to Vietnam to fight as a Green Beret. There, he met Sgt. Seymour Skinner, who turned the angry orphan around. When the real Skinner was apparently killed in action, Tamzarian returned to Springfield to deliver the news to Skinner’s mother… only he couldn’t break her heart and ended up spending the rest of his life taking his mentor’s identity.

principal-skinner-no-future

The A-Team

Consisting of Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, Lt. Templeton “Face” Peck, Capt. H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock, and muscle Sgt. B.A. “Bad Attitude” Baracus, this special forces team is court-martialed for a crime they are falsely accused of committing and are forced to escape military prison. On the run, they become mercenaries, travelling the world, helping those they meet along the way. The show was turned into a feature film in 2010 and a rebooted TV series is in development.

Forrest Gump

A fair portion of Forrest Gump’s story plays out in the jungles of Vietnam, where Gump meets fellow recruit Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue and Lt. Dan Taylor, both of whom have a profound impact on his life. Gump and Lt. Dan eventually team up and enter the shrimping game, in honour of Bubba, who never made it home from the war. Their success eventually leads to both men being financially set for life, thanks to Lt. Dan investing in Apple, a small, but rising company at the time.

Mixer Mania #2: Blood and Sand

blood-and-sand

  • 0.75 oz Blended Scotch
  • 0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.75 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Honourable mentions go to Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver), Angus MacGyver (MacGyver), Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon), Tommy Vercetti (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City) and even Saved by the Bell’s Mr. Belding.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.25 Sips out of 5):
I thought I had created this classic cocktail some time ago, but a quick search revealed it was still on my liquor bucket list. I only wish I had made it earlier, as it’s a pretty good drink. I liked how there was some strength to the alcohol content, but not an overwhelming amount.

August 29 – After Work Special

Lame Labour

Admittedly, the Sip Advisor isn’t content with his current career. Apparently, I’m not alone, as there is a lot of literature out there about why people hate their occupation and what they should do about it. With Labour Day rapidly approaching, here are some other folks that really hated their job:

#5: Walter White – Breaking Bad

Before moving to a life of crime and meth production, Walter was a high school chemistry teacher. And it’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, but he had previously been on the cutting edge of the science world, before selling his share in an idea that would eventually become quite profitable. Walt is so underpaid as a teacher that he has to take a side job as a carwash cashier and when he’s diagnosed with cancer, he has to enter into the seedy world of drug manufacturing, in order to make enough cash to keep up his treatment.

making meth

#4: Peter Gibbons – Office Space

Out of all the entries on this list, I probably identify most with Peter, who is frustrated with his place in life and the lack of pleasure his mundane, dead end career brings him. His dealings with his boss are excruciating and he has no other option but to take all the crap. Flanked by his colleagues Michael and Samir, the trio try to take a small cut from each transaction coming through the company, only to have their program give them a much larger slice than they intended. At least they got to destroy the printer that was always breaking down.

#3: Jim Halpert – The Office

In a similar fashion to Peter from Office Space, Jim is young and talented, but stuck in a job that pays the bills, while not providing the satisfaction he’s really searching for. If it wasn’t for his attraction to receptionist Pam Beasley, he probably would have bolted years earlier. I gotta say, though, working closely with your girlfriend/wife and getting to see her at all hours is something I would love to do. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s cool with the Sip Advisor. In time, Jim figures things out and begins to pursue an interest in a start-up sports marketing company.

Jim Halpert Try

#2: Homer Simpson – The Simpsons

While Homer has tackled numerous jobs (boxer, sports mascot, snow plow driver, voice actor, etc.) during the show’s long run, the one he has to attend day in, day out, is one he does not enjoy. Homer was able to break free once from the Nuclear Power Plant, but with another baby on the way, was forced to return and grovel for his job back. A sign now sits in his sector, which states: “Don’t Forget: You’re Here Forever.” Homer changed the sign with photos to read “Do It For Her” in reference to daughter Maggie, the reason he had to return.

#1: Al Bundy – Married with Children

Nearly every episode of this iconic show featured woman’s shoe salesman, Al Bundy, returning from a day of work in which he didn’t get paid very well, but was verbally and sometimes physically abused by the clientele. “So a fat woman walks into the store today,” is usually how the tale began and ended with an epic struggle to fit a woman’s foot (or hoof as Al often called it) into a shoe that was too many sizes smaller than needed. So much for a guy who once had dreams of playing pro football… all until he was married with children!

Super Saturday Shot Day: After Work Special

  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with Coconut Shavings

For those out there that are working in what they love to do (or at least what they went to school for), I am absolutely jelly of you. Sadly, the Sip Advisor has to save his passions for outside of work… and I don’t even get paid for my efforts. One day, my rainbow will come though. I just have to keep my head held high and reach for the sky!

June 6 – Baby Aspirin

Rockabye Baby

While wee little sippers are still a little down the road for Mrs. Sip and I, they are a subject that is often on our minds and that has inspired today’s article. Here are the Top 5 babies, some of which make having children seem like a great idea, while the others put a vasectomy at the top of the Sip Advisor’s “To Do” list!

#5: Muppet Babies

What do you get when you take the awesome Muppets and turn them into little babies? One of the most imaginative, adorable shows ever conceived, of course. This version of the characters sees Kermit and the gang as youngsters living in a nursery and being watched by the never-seen Nanny. Each episode saw the future variety act stars learning life lessons through their vivid imaginations. The Muppet Babies theme song is an absolute classic that I still find stuck in my head every so often.

#4: Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm – The Flintstones

It would be criminal to not include these two tykes; especially given the Sip Family has named cats after them. Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm go from little neighbours, brought together by the friendship of their respective parents, to dating as teenagers in the sequel series, The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show. Eventually, the pair even got married and had twins. Now, if that isn’t a case of love at first sight, I don’t know what is!

#3: Stewie Griffin – Family Guy

While he’s much more intellectually-advanced compared to others on this list, Stewie is still a baby… and he can be a naughty little baby, indeed. For quite some time, his main objective in life is to murder his own mother. While this desire eventually fades, Stewie hasn’t completely changed his tune and is often getting up to some level of mischief – sometimes in different generations throughout history –  thanks to his time machine and other inventions.

Stewie Drinking

#2: Rugrats

The adventures of the Rugrats gang typically revolve around the babies learning the ways of the world. This included potty training, first trips to the public swimming pool, and going through the naked phase. Led by the seemingly fearless Tommy Pickles, the other youngsters include the oft-terrified Chucky Finster, and wild twins Phil and Lil DeVille. Tommy’s cousin Angelica was always around to stir up trouble for the babies, who we later got to see as pre-teens in the show All Grown Up.

#1: Maggie Simpson – The Simpsons

Mrs. Sip and I absolutely adore Maggie, who despite never uttering a word (aside from calling Homer “daddy” in one episode) has found herself a titular character in many of the family’s escapades. With pacifier always nearby, Maggie is capable of so much more than most youngsters her age. Hell, she has already been involved in the attempted murder of Mr. Burns and has also saved her father from the mafia. She even has an arch-enemy: the uni-browed Gerald. Not bad, for an infant.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Baby Aspirin

  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Garnish with a Sour Soother

It’s funny how many classic characters have been thrust into a series where they are babies or kids: Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, the Looney Tunes gang, the Jungle Book animals, the Archie teens, the Flintstones, and many others. Well, time to put the little ones off to bed and have some adult time!

Flavour Revolution – Grapefruit

Ruby Roundup

Last year, when rockin’ the Around the World project, I wrote about the grapefruit when stopping briefly in Barbados. With that in mind, this time around, we’ll be looking at the ruby red version of the fruit and so we might as well dig deeper into the jewel and some of its greatest examples:

The term ruby comes from the Latin ruber, which means red. That said, rubies can range in colour, including shades of pink, purple, orange, and brown. This depends on the chromium and iron components that make up the gem, as well as which wavelengths of light are absorbed by the stone.

rubies in drinks

Rubies are symbolic of devotion, integrity, courage, and happiness. If you or a loved one is lacking in any of these areas, go out and pick up a precious gem and turn your life around today. Also, rubies have a reputation of being the stone of love, passion, and vitality. That’s a lot of pressure to take on and I can understand why emeralds balked at the job offer.

Aside from being the birthstone of folks born in the Cancer zodiac sign (June 22-July 22), rubies are also perfect gifts for people celebrating their 15th or 40th wedding anniversary. Mrs. Sip and I have a more than a decade to go before we even hit the first of those milestones, but I might as well start saving now!

Placing just behind diamonds and drawing even with sapphires, rubies are one of the sturdiest gems in existence. Perhaps, this is why some members of the Hindu religion don the stone, in order to keep their enemies at bay. That’s a potentially expensive security system. Similarly, in Burma (one of the hottest ruby regions in the world), warriors believed rubies made them invincible in battle, even going so far as to embed them in their body.

cat security system

There are very few flawless rubies and you can bet you’ll have to fork over a ton of cash to get your hands on those rarities. A ruby without any blemishes can be more expensive than a diamond of the same weight and quality.

Here are some famous rubies from across the globe:

Sunrise Ruby

Purchased by an anonymous buyer at an auction in 2015 for $30.3 million, the Sunrise Ruby (aka Sunshine Ruby) is the world’s most expensive coloured gemstone. Not bad for a gem which has had its colour described as “pigeon blood” red. The Swiss Gemmological Society described the piece as “a unique treasure of nature”.

jewellery woman

Liberty Bell Ruby

This gem, the largest mined in the world, was subject to an elaborate heist in 2011. A few years later, and after a $10,000 reward was offered, four men were arrested in connection with the crime. Despite the arrests, police believe that the jewel will never be recovered. The ruby was originally found in East Africa in the 1950s and weighed four pounds. Sculpted in 1976, to imitate Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, the jewel was joined by 50 diamonds (one for each U.S. state) and had a worth of $2 million.

Elizabeth Taylor Collection

One of Hollywood’s most proficient jewellery collectors – likely due in part to her eight marriages to seven different husbands – it took two full days to auction all of Elizabeth Taylor’s massive assembly of trinkets. This included many ruby pieces and among the top sellers were a $4.2 million ring set and a $3.7 million necklace.

Flavour Revolution: Love Machine

In some Asian countries, rubies are placed underneath the foundation of buildings to bring the development good luck. I wish I had enough of a fortune to use gems solely for blessings!

April 18 – High Five

Playing Peeves

Earlier this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs got into trouble for not doing their typical salute to the crowd, following a win. They were accused of snubbing the audience that had recently gone so far as to throw jerseys on the ice, when disgusted with the team’s play. Really, it’s their fault for being Maple Leafs fans in the first place, but I digress. While I don’t have any issue with the salute, one way or the other, here are some other player traditions that should be outlawed:

#5: Staged Fights (NHL)

While this pet peeve bothers me less than others that did not make this list, I figured I’d be fair and try to include as many different sports as I could. I’m not the biggest advocate of fighting in hockey, but I do like the odd tilt, usually between two light/middleweights who are chucking knuckles for a reason. Staged fights between two super heavyweights, only fighting because that’s all they can provide to the game, is a waste of roster spots. With the demise of the hockey enforcer, this happens rarely in today’s NHL. You still see the occasional bout off the opening draw, but it’s usually based off of something that happened in the team’s last contest.

hockey fights

#4: Slapping Helmets (NFL)

Given all the concussion concerns and lawsuits being launched by former players, it blows my mind when I see entire football squads viciously slapping each other on the helmet, in order to CELEBRATE a play. Talk about friendly fire! It almost makes you wish they went back to the days of smacking each other on the ass, as all that might do, is produce a bruise. I think every football player loses credibility in the whole concussion argument, given they’re likely seeing stars after successful plays, with injuries caused by their own teammates. Hmmm, perhaps the NFL should hire me onto their legal team!

#3: High-Fives After Each Free Throw Attempt (NBA)

Okay, so the fouled basketball player steps up to the free throw line, which basically means a take-your-time, unobstructed shot from a mere 15 meters away from the hoop and if he makes the shot, everyone on his team must give him a high-five… hell, they even high-five for a missed shot! There is some debate whether the exchange of pleasantries after each shot helps keep a player loose, or disrupts their technique or needed alterations for the follow-up shot. I think the whole process is ridiculous and I think some players do as well; given there have been instances of hoop stars mocking it.

free throw high fives

#2: Elaborate High-Five Routines (MLB)

What do you do when you’re sport is slower than watching paint dry and you have to play 162 games each season? Develop an elaborate high-five routine, of course! I don’t understand why sports highlight shows are so enamored with this trend and feature the choreographed hand-slapping and fist-bumping performance in their replay packages. Sometimes the act goes on for minutes at a time and yes, I guess that does make it more exciting than the game itself. You would never see this ridiculousness in faster-paced sports, because if a hockey player, for example, tried it, they would be body checked through the boards before they could finish!

#1: Complaints About Running Up the Score

I’ve largely only seen accusations of this in football circles, but the other major leagues will take measures to quell landslide victories. In hockey, you might see the winning team rest its scoring lines, in favour of checking players, while in baseball, bunting and stealing bases may be discouraged. Basketball games are usually too close to call and in football, teams may run shorter plays and not go for big scores. The problem with this is if I paid my hard earned money to go to a contest and my team was obliterating the opposition, why would I want that experience to stop? All fans want to see the stars of the sport do what they are paid millions to do: perform at the highest level, not take a game off.

Super Saturday Shot Day: High Five

High Five Shot

  • 0.3 Grand Marnier
  • 0.3 oz Rum
  • 0.3 oz Passion Fruit Liqueur
  • 0.3 oz Orange Juice
  • 0.3 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with an Orange Wedge

I can’t believe how many of these items are based on high-fiving. Narrowly missing the list was female tennis players screaming and grunting their way through matches… although, it is kind of hot! Next up, the Sip Advisor should take a look at the greatest pet peeves I have towards sports fans. This would include such gems as dorks leaving a game before it’s over and the completely unnecessary wave.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is actually a cocktail recipe, but was easy to convert to a shooter, since all the ingredients were in equal portions already. It’s an incredibly fruity shot, so you know the flavours are going to be nice. The booze quotient could be upped a little so you know you’re drinking a shooter, but the taste is quite enjoyable as it is.

August 16 – Columbo

Private Dicks

I like a good mystery and these gumshoes have offered some of the greatest examples of sleuthing known to the world. They each employ their own tactics, but the end result is always the same: the bad guy is punished for their crime and the good guy feels some sort of redemption. Here are the Top 5 detectives:

#5: Rescue Rangers

Sometimes, some crimes go slipping through the cracks (did anyone out there sing that opening!?)… and that’s when you need the Rescue Rangers: Chip, Dale, Gadget, and Monterey Jack (plus his little buddy Zipper). This classic Disney Afternoon animation block cartoon sees the legendary Chip and Dale and company solve crimes, such as missing pets and all the other stuff the real police don’t feel like investigating. The gang also regularly battle such villains as Fat Cat and Professor Norton Nimnul. Interestingly, Chip and Dale weren’t even originally planned to be part of the show, but were used to add some established Disney characters to the series.

Chip & Dale

#4: Ace Ventura

Of the Pet Detective variety, Ace is an unconventional investigator and devout animal lover. When hired to solve the case of missing Miami Dolphins mascot and real-life dolphin, Snowflake, he becomes embroiled in a complex mystery involving a disgruntled ex-player and Dolphins superstar quarterback Dan Marino. Can he crack the case before the Dolphins’ next big game and bring Snowflake home safely? This role launched the career of Jim Carrey and the surprise hit even produced a sequel, When Nature Calls, which sadly didn’t live up to the first film.

#3: Magnum P.I.

Thomas Magnum is a fine private detective. He’s willing to work on everything from cases involving cheating spouses to more serious stuff like drug rings and assassination plots. The former Vietnam veteran gets a ton of help from his buddies TC, Rick and even Higgins, all while living the good life in Robin Masters’ Hawaiian home. Played by the dreamy Tom Selleck, the iconic role had to be good, as he even gave up playing Indiana Jones thanks to the series’ shooting schedule. There has been talk of a movie or TV series remake, but I just don’t know if it could ever measure up to the original.

Magnum Man

#2: Sherlock Holmes

Along with his companion (and I don’t mean to make it sound like they are lovers… although I’m sure some have explored this premise), Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes is certainly London’s finest sleuth and is perhaps the world’s greatest. The creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes has appeared in countless forms of media. Some of my favourites include the recent movies with Robert Downey, Jr., the current BBC TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and the animated Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. With Holmes, you must always remember that the game is afoot!

#1: Lt. Columbo

I grew up on the disheveled detective and it’s probably because of him that I haven’t become a criminal mastermind… well, that and to be a mastermind, you need to have a fully-functioning brain. Peter Falk is a god damn legend in my books and all Mrs. Sip can do is roll her eyes when I stumble upon a Columbo mini-movie and have a brief celebration. Although she’s often mentioned, we never see Mrs. Columbo throughout the entirety of the series and we also never learn Lt. Columbo’s first name. Many have speculated that it’s Frank, as it appears when his LAPD ID badge is shown close up. Oh, one more thing, Columbo loves chili as much as he loves solving murders!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Columbo

Columbo Shot

  • 0.75 oz Campari
  • 0.25 oz Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Cigar

The Sip Advisor would make a horrible detective. Sure, I like solitude and spying on folks can be fun, but you can only get so drunk while on a stakeout and I would find the job cramping my current lifestyle. Plus, there’s the whole critical thinking aspect and all you little sippers know that isn’t in my wheelhouse!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I’m not sure if this shot (or cocktail I’ve shrunken down to shooter form) was actually meant in homage of the greatest detective of all-time, but I’m using it in that way anyway… there is an Italian connection between the character and Campari, so maybe there’s a match there. And how about that garnish!? Columbo was often seen smoking a stogie, so why not include it with the shooter. It all goes down okay and that bitter Campari aftertaste doesn’t kill like it usually does.