Snack Time #37 – Sweet Shoppe Jelly Beans

The Sip Advisor is a jelly bean fan, but I’m also quite particular about which types I enjoy. Among those I prefer are these candies from Sweet Shoppe, which are satisfyingly tasty and the right consistency, in my humble opinion.

With five different colours, flavours include cherry, blue raspberry, lemon, orange and apple, all of the sour variety. In a serving, I typically have two of each colour, unless Mrs. Sip has removed all the blues and reds, her favourites.

Sour Jelly Beans.jpg

The product can be found at Dollarama stores for the low, low price of $1. I can’t seem to find much more information on the product online, but if the Sip Advisor’s word is good for anything, it should be for jelly bean advocating.

A trip to the dollar store doesn’t go by without a jaunt past the candy aisle. Superb deals can still be found on these products. While some dollar store items can be suspect, name brand treats shouldn’t cause any concern.

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Flavour Revolution – Papaya

Slang Bangers

Somehow, the papaya has become slang in Costa Rica for a statement lacking truth, as well as in Cuba for a woman’s downtown lady parts. Here is some other fruit-based slang that will change the way you look at melons, berries, and citrus:

Apples

In this category, you can become a bad apple, be the apple of one’s eye, be an apple that didn’t fall far from the tree, polish one’s apple with a flattering comment, be a Jackson 5 song and spoil the whole bunch, or be compared through the apples and oranges argument. So, how do you like them apples?

apple mcdonalds

Bananas

I’m not a big banana fan and I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a banana republic, which means crazy stuff is going down in an unstable country… and yet a clothing store took the name. On the other hand, I’ve often enjoyed the work of second bananas on TV and in movies. And in all honesty, Mrs. Sip would probably tell you I went bananas many years ago and somehow she still puts up with me… perhaps she drove me there!

Cherry

My life is pretty damn good. One might say that it’s a bowl of cherries. I work hard to maintain my relationships and keep everything in cherry condition. I’m very careful in making choices and tend to cherry-pick. Although, in sports such as hockey, I’ve never been one to cherry pick offensively and have always had a mind for the defensive end and a complete game.

Lemon

Perhaps best applied to cars – some U.S. states even have lemon laws to protect used car buyers – this term is used to describe items that are constantly in need of repair. In a completely different realm, adult-oriented Japanese comics, known as Hentai, are apparently called lemon in the western world.

large lemons

Melon

Running the complete gamut, the noble family of melons can be used to describe everything from someone’s head to a women’s ample bosoms. If you were trying to decide the best melon for either of those body parts, I’m sure the answers would be quite varied.

Grape

I think some of the worst people out in the world are those who have sour grapes because they are envious of what others have, not appreciating what they themselves have been blessed with. Also, if you go to the vine where grapes are grown, you might become a player in the spreading of a rumour and these folks might not be much better than those with sour grapes.

wine-grape-depression

Pear

When something takes the shape of a pear, you know trouble is coming. It means that plans have backfired and some serious improv is needed to get things back on track and save the mission. There are many theories on where the term originated, from human bodies as we age to World War I and II happenings and even ship construction.

Peach

As described above, most of my life can be described as being peachy. Mrs. Sip plays a large role in this, as she’s a peach. I suppose if you hated peaches or were allergic to them, you might be hesitant to use the term to define anything good.

Flavour Revolution: Compadre

It seems like so many of these fruit slangs can be turned sexual. Even the innocent apricot is used to describe a man’s cajonies, while the cherry can be referenced for a number of different adult-oriented ideas.

Flavour Revolution – Orange

Blood from an Orange

The blood orange is a natural mutation of a normal orange. Speaking of mutations, superheroes can’t all become invincible, receive the gift of flight, or adopt spider-like abilities. Take Captain Citrus, for example, created by Marvel for Florida Orange Juice, at a cost of $1 million. His powers include making good choices… oh and energy shields and such, by drinking orange juice each day. Here are some of the other worst mutations/special powers in comic book land:

Jubilee

Poor Jubilee… she has long been viewed as a weak link in the X-Men armor and it’s quite understandable. I mean, she’s often the youngest of the bunch and her power is shooting fireworks from her hands, which she can’t even control that well. That’s like attending a 4th of July party at your buddies place and half his stash of explosives are duds that just fizzle out. Then a big one goes off unexpectedly and everyone has to duck for cover.

discovered super power

Almighty Dollar

Real name Pennington Pennypacker (where do they come up with this stuff!), Almighty Dollar shoots pennies from his hands. While that might hurt, wouldn’t that also kind of reward your foes!? If I was a villain, I’d get Almighty Dollar’s crime fighting attention as much as possible and see how long would it took to amass a fortune. I guess he’s out of luck in countries where the penny has been rendered extinct.

Bouncing Boy

I often wonder how superheroes (and regular folk alike) discover their talents. For example, Bouncing Boy has the ability to turn into a bouncing ball. Did he one day run into a wall and bounced right off it? Bouncing Boy’s success as a mutant is best seen when battling foes with animals as sidekicks. All he has to do is start bouncing around and he will distract the creature. As for people, the odds may be stacked against him.

Cypher

A member of the X-Men, Cypher is basically a glorified translator, who should really be employed by the United Nations, rather than being an affiliate of the mutant superhero team. I mean, how many times is Cypher called upon to help the organization. Isn’t he more of a liability than any help. I have to give him kudos for a pretty cool name, but one would hope he’s capable of more than facilitating discussion.

toxic waste super powers

Dollman

Somehow we’ll have to avoid all the genital jokes, but Dollman’s special talent is being able to shrink himself to six inches… you know, the size of a doll. I suppose that being able to decrease your size has worked for some heroes in the past (Ant-Man for example), but it might be the name of this character that really irks most fans. Now if Dollman lived in the Toy Story universe, that may make more sense than the comic realm.

Arm Fall Off Boy

Have you ever wanted to be able to remove your own arm and use it as a club against your enemies? Yeah, me neither. I feel that any superhero that is named solely after their “special power” is one that is doomed to fail. Aren’t you also at a more-than-slight disadvantage when you’re using one arm to swing your other arm at foes? And couldn’t your opponent remove your arm and use it against you!?

awkward super powers

Matter Eating Lad/Maggott

These two characters are known for their ability to eat anything and everything. Why this qualified them to be comic characters and didn’t just put them on a path for competitive eating glory is beyond me. Let’s hope that Matter Eating Lad/Maggott never cross paths with Eye Scream, whose talent is that he can turn himself into ice cream. I wonder what flavour he can change into and whether we can find spoons quick enough?

Kylun

I’m not sure if being able to copy sounds is even a super power, as the dude from the Police Academy movies seemed to be quite adept at it and I wouldn’t classify him as a hero… just a funny guy. As Soundwave from Transformers showed, all you really need is a robotic recording device to do similar work. I suppose Kylun could come in handy in espionage situations, but what worth would he have in battle?

Flavour Revolution: Dracula’s Kiss

Dracula's Kiss

  • Muddle Orange Wedges
  • 1.5 oz. SKYY Blood Orange Vodka
  • Top with Blueberry Pomegranate Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Orange Wedge

There is one superhero with odd powers that may be closest to the Sip Advisor’s heart. Gin Genie’s special talent corresponds with the amount of booze in her system. Mrs. Sip can tell you that I operate in a similar fashion!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This drink wasn’t bad, but there was almost too much going on to be anything special. The Bluberry Pomegranate Juice really takes over the tasting experience and makes the cocktail too juice-like.

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.

June 9 – Sangria

Wine Time

Well, Wine Cocktail Week is finally here. I’m far from a wine connoisseur, but I’m willing to try some new recipes and see what the results are, which I’m pretty sure is how wine was invented in the first place. If I mess anything up in today’s lesson, don’t go all wine snobby on me. I accept you for your many faults, and you should forgive me for the one or two mistakes I make on a yearly basis. Capiche! On with the lesson:

wine-how-classy-people-get-wasted-funny-poster

There are thousands of different types of wine, made up of hundreds of different grape combos. Some of the most popular wine varieties include: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Shiraz, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. My personal favourite wine is Francis Coppola’s Diamond Collection, Emerald Label Pinot Grigio. Damn, son, that’s a mouthful!

The Top 10 wine producing countries are: France, Italy, Spain, the United States, Argentina, China, Australia, South Africa, Germany, and Portugal. I have to say that I’m a little surprised Canada has yet to crack this list given we have a number of wonderful wine regions. Oh well, something to aim for in the future.

Despite tradition, the screw cap method of opening a bottle of vino is quickly replacing corked tops, thanks to the ease and simplicity of which a bottle can be opened. I can’t count how many times Mrs. Sip and I have been stuck on vacation without our trusty bottle opener, leaving us in a lurch when trying to crack open some wine. Perhaps Ma and Pa Sip have the right idea with boxed wine? Easy to open and a lot more alcohol to share!

funny-wine1

Wine is one of the healthier libation options, as it contains fewer calories than beer and is fat- and cholesterol-free. A glass a day (or more) will keep the doctor away… or at least we all hope!

Contrary to popular belief, many wines should be enjoyed within a year of being bottled and not left to “age”. If you are looking for a good wine to age, ask an expert. In an interesting contrast, as white wines sit, they gain colour, while their red counterparts lose colour the longer they wait to be served.

A number of celebrities have invested their money into the wine industry, including aforementioned film producer Francis Coppola; musicians Bob Dylan, Madonna, and Sting; hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky; race car driver Jeff Gordon; screen stars Raymond Burr, Dan Aykroyd, Emilio Estevez, Drew Barrymore, and Antonio Banderas; theme park heir Diane Disney; and golfers Arnold Palmer, Ernie Els, and Mike Weir.

Perhaps Zach Galifianakis will be the next celeb to invest in a winery!?

Perhaps comedian Zach Galifianakis will be the next celeb to invest in a winery!?

Now to the mathematics portion of the post… here are important grape-to-wine measurement ratios to remember: one grape cluster (75 grapes) equals one glass of wine. Four clusters equal one bottle of wine. 40 clusters of grapes equals one vine, which makes up 10 bottles. 1,200 clusters (30 vines) equals one barrel, which equals 60 gallons, which equals 25 cases of wine. 400 vines equals one acre of land, which equals five tons of grapes, resulting in 332 cases of sweet lady liquor. And you didn’t even need a calculator! If you find that math too confusing, just remember $10 equals one bottle of decent California or Okanagan wine, and what numbers do we really otherwise need?

When describing the smell of a wine, you have to be careful with which words to use, otherwise you could look like a buffoon. Bouquet refers to the total scent of the wine, while aroma is meant for the grapes. If you wish to combine both the bouquet and aroma, you would call that the nose. This is starting to make my head spin and we haven’t even begun to drink yet. Let’s get on with it then.

Drink #160: Sangria

Sangria

  • Sliced Strawberries, Orange, Lemon, Lime, and Raspberries
  • 1.5 Litres Red Wine (I used Peller Estates Merlot)
  • ½ Cup Triple Sec
  • Top each drink with Lemon-Lime or Club Soda
  • Garnish with Fruit from Pitcher and Wine Charm

Now you’re ready to open up your own winery. All you need is a cool name. I’d call my own winery Siparellio, giving it a hint of Italian heritage, while having absolutely none at all. Salute!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I really enjoy my and Mrs. Sip’s homemade Sangria (no dirty thoughts, fellas)! I’m not even a big wine fan, but with all the fruit we put in and when we top it all off with some Lemon-Lime Soda, you can’t go wrong with this very refreshing, perfect for summer treat!