Flavour Revolution – Hazelnut

Nutty Goodness

As we delve into some Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, I thought it would be a good time to discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of the nut world, or better put: the ones I love versus the ones I loathe!

Good:

Peanuts – I am a certified peanut fiend. I like most all types, with the exception being peanuts in shells and with their skins still on. I’m just not a fan of the fuss and mess that comes with them. I’m currently in the process of devising a masterful trail mix recipe, set to include honey roasted peanuts, Smarties, chocolate covered raisins, and cashews (more on them later).

elephant peanut

Almonds – These are best smothered in chocolate and not being sold by one of those groups that charges an arm and a leg for a small box. Charity be damned when I want my almond fix. Almonds also work on their own, roasted or salted. I also have massive respect for almonds for the flavouring they lend to Amaretto, one of my preferred nightcaps.

Macadamia Nuts – The Hawaiian treat, which everyone must bring back when vacationing on the islands, is a favourite of mine and Mrs. Sip. We are particularly fond of the Mauna Loa line, which includes varieties such as milk and dark chocolate, honey roasted, Maui onion and garlic, and coffee glaze. A couple companies have also devised Macadamia Nut liqueurs, which are very tasty.

Cashews – I absolutely love cashews, but they are so darn expensive that I only get them on very special occasions (ie. when other people serve them and I’m lucky enough to be on hand to help them with their abundant supply). Figuring everything was cheaper in southern Africa, during our recent travels, I grabbed a pack of cashews, without even looking at the price. When they were scanned at the checkout, my jaw dropped, but I’m not one to leave an item behind. They were delicious and got me through some long bus days.

cashews mixed nuts

Bad:

Pecans – I like pecans in Turtles chocolates, but little else. I think it’s because the other ingredients make up for this lackluster nut. There’s just something about the taste of pecans that I can’t wrap my head around. The texture is also an issue for the Sip Advisor.

Chestnuts – The roasted ones at Christmas smell so good, but it’s like eating warm paste, if you bother to buy a pack. My displeasure with chestnuts has even caused me to question my enjoyment of the yuletide classic The Christmas Song, which opens with the line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”…

roasted chestnuts

Walnuts – It’s amazing how odd these nuts look, inside their cases. They remind me of a turtle shell and don’t look very appetizing. I think I turned on walnuts when considering the work it takes to get one open, using a nutcracker (which, given its name, brings about many images of horror) and then having to clean up the mess that creates.

Corn Nuts – These are the jawbreakers of the nut world and while they come in many interesting flavours (some of which I’d like to see brought over to other nut and even potato chip options), I just don’t enjoy the munching experience that comes along with corn nuts.

Flavour Revolution: Mister Frangelico

  • Rim glass with Crushed Nuts
  • 1 oz Frangelico
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • Splash of Orgeat Syrup

There are also a few nuts that I just don’t have any opinion on one way or the other. These include hazelnuts (funny enough, given today’s liqueur choice), Pistachios, and Brazil Nuts. Have I missed anything?

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January 17 – Attorney Privilege

Order in the Court

With Mrs. Sip’s birthday right around the corner, I thought I’d salute her profession and take a look at the greatest fictional lawyers. I have to preface this piece by saying that I did not include serious legal dramas, such as Law & Order (and all its subsidiaries), The Practice, Boston Legal, etc. So, without further ado, here are the litigators I’d choose to have watching my interests!

#5: Barry Zuckercorn – Arrested Development

Barry Zuckercorn has looked after the legal interests of the Bluth family for decades, but is out of his league when George Sr. is arrested and charged with investment fraud and even treason against the country. After years of negligent representation, Zuckercorn is finally replaced by the smooth, fast-talking Bob Loblaw, although is hired back when Loblaw deserts the Bluth’s. Still, you gotta love a lawyer whose ads ask: “Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?”

Zuckercorn

#4: Dan Fielding & Christine Sullivan – Night Court

One of the things that made Night Court so amazing was the banter back and forth between district attorney Dan Fielding and public defender Christine Sullivan – throw in judge Harold T. Stone and you have the makings of some fine legal repartee. Ironically, it was the sleazy, womanizing Fielding who was actually the prosecutor, while truthful and naïve Sullivan was the public defender. And who couldn’t love that wicked theme song blasted at the start of each episode!

#3: Lionel Hutz – The Simpsons

Lionel Hutz is an ambulance chasing, injury-faking, schyster, who makes every joke about lawyers seem accurate and all contempt hurled towards that profession justifiable. Hutz represented the Simpson family in a variety of suits, including Bart being hit by Mr. Burns vehicle, Bart ingesting a jagged metal Krusty-O cereal toy, and Homer being barred from a seafood buffet. This character could have had so many more great moments had its voice actor Phil Hartman not been tragically killed.

Lionel Hutz

#2: Vincent Gambini – My Cousin Vinny

The gruff, inexperienced lawyer – who seemed to be out of his element in the courtroom – eventually earned the respect of the entire court, including the judge who jailed him for contempt. Vinny’s different style of practicing law saves his wrongly accused cousin from a murder charge and possible death penalty. A sequel to the film never took place, despite a script being written. Marisa Tomei, despite winning an Oscar for her role as Vinny’s girlfriend, was not interested in reprising the character.

#1: Saul Goodman – Breaking Bad

When you represent (among other seedy clients) a pair of meth cooks, you’re bound to get a little dirty yourself… and that’s just the way Saul likes it. Heck, Saul Goodman isn’t even the guy’s real name. If you break it down, he’s really saying “It’s all good, man!” Saul is willing to go to all lengths for his clients, so long as the compensation is there. Saul will be getting his own show soon, aired exclusively on Netflix. So, if you ever find yourself in trouble, you “Better Call Saul!”

Super Saturday Shot Day: Attorney Privilege

Attorney Privilege Shot

  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Orgeat Syrup
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Wow, was this ever a hard list to narrow down… I would also hire Fletcher Reede (Liar Liar), at least before he went all soft; Harvey Birdman (Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law), because the Sip Advisor is really a rejected Hanna-Barbera animated character; and Ben Matlock and Perry Mason, simply because they’re badass lawyers who rarely lose a case, despite having the odds stacked against them!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I decided to go with this shooter, over another recipe, because Mrs. Sip is a fan of Orgeat Syrup and this drink is dedicated to her, after all! It was pretty good and what I would call a Man’s Man shot, what with the classic Bourbon and Angostura Bitters combo. This would make for a Mad Man-esque cocktail, if the proportions were upped.

Jamaica – Au Pair

Dread Heads

Reggae music was born in Jamaica in the 1960’s and has since traversed the globe thanks to acts like Bob Marley and The Wailers. Let’s take a look at some of Jamaica’s greatest musicians from the genre:

Bob Marley

Marley’s influence spread well beyond his music, as he became a figure of the Rastafarian movement and even helped warring political parties come to agreements. “I Shot the Sheriff,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “Could You Be Loved,” and “Buffalo Soldier,” highlight the long list of hits Marley is credited with. Prior to the 1976 Smile Jamaica concert, an attempt on Marley’s life was made, but he only suffered minor injuries. Marley died of cancer on May 11, 1981, He was only 36 years old. There is a statue of Marley in Kingston, Jamaica and many of Marley’s children have entered the entertainment business, carrying on dear ol’ dad’s legacy.

Bit Da Sheriff

Jimmy Cliff

Born James Chambers, Jimmy Cliff acquired his recording name from the cliffs that surrounded his childhood village of Adelphi Land in St. James, Jamaica. Cliff’s first hit, “Hurricane Hattie” came at the age of only 14. Working with producer Leslie Kong, Cliff released one successful track after another until Kong passed away. Cliff also appeared in the movie The Harder They Come, which brought reggae to new audiences. He was the face of the genre until usurped by Bob Marley. Cliff was enshrined into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Toots Hibbert

Dubbed ‘The Skafather,’ Hibbert is the leader of the band Toots & The Maytals and he might as well be, given he can play every instrument that makes up the ensemble. In 1966, Hibbert found himself in prison thanks to a possession of marijuana conviction, but his experience inspired one of his best known songs “54-46 That’s My Number.” With The Maytals, Hibbert wrote the first song to actually use the word reggae with 1968’s “Do the Reggay.” Hibbert received the Order of Jamaica in 2012 and still performs to this day, at the age of 71.

Peter Tosh

Amazingly, Tosh was self-taught on the guitar and he even helped Bob Marley learn to play the instrument. Joined by Bunny Wailer, the three formed the Wailing Wailers. After Tosh split from The Wailers and began a solo career, he released “Legalize It,” his pro-marijuana anthem. This, and Tosh’s defiant personality, led to beatings from Jamaican police. Tosh was even signed to the Rolling Stones record label before returning to his own. On September 11, 1987, Tosh was shot and killed by a man who he had given money to, when that man and three accomplices went back to try and get more cash from the artist.

We Be Jammin

Bunny Wailer

The Wailer in The Wailers, Bunny Wailer has been described as the best singer among the band and equally talented with writing songs, yet failed to achieve the same level of international fame as his bandmates. This could be the result of Wailer disappearing from the world’s eye for approximately three years after the Wailers disbanded. When he reemerged, Wailer didn’t miss a beat, going on to win the Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 1991, 1995, and 1997. Newsweek named Wailer one of the three most important figures in world music, along with King Sunny Ade of Nigeria and Brazil’s Milton Nascimento.

Gregory Isaacs

Known as ‘The Cool Ruler’ (which the Sip Advisor has to admit is a pretty wicked nickname), Isaacs is credited with over 500 albums, including many compilation releases. In the 80’s, Isaacs fell into drug troubles (who didn’t during that decade!) and served a six-month sentence for possession of unlicensed firearms. The drugs took a toll on his smooth voice, but Isaacs kicked the habit and worked in the industry up to his death in 2010, at the age of 59, following a lengthy battle with lung cancer. Today, the Gregory Isaacs Foundation carries on the artist’s charitable work and legacy.

Jamaica: Au Pair

Au Pair Cocktail

  • Muddle Apple Slices
  • 1.5 oz Appleton Rum
  • 0.75 oz Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Orgeat Syrup
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

Reggae music has shared a long association with marijuana, so if drinking isn’t your cup of tea, you can celebrate the songs in your own way!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail was a knockout spectacular. The Appleton Rum is so nice, as you get a hint of it at the end of each sip. Despite more than two ounces of booze, you can barely taste any liquor, thus making for the perfect recipe. This was my first opportunity to use the Orgeat Syrup Mrs. Sip and I picked up recently and it was a very welcome touch to the drink. I can’t advocate for this cocktail enough!

September 18 – Mai-Tai

Rum Diary

There are some pretty good rum slogans out there, as companies try to capitalize on the liquor’s perception as a laid back spirit. Here are some of my favourites, as we sail through the Caribbean!:

Sailor Jerry’s – This is no girly rum.

One of my favourite libations of all time and a brand that could be the first inductee into my own personal liquor hall of fame (oh, that sounds like a good article idea!), I love Sailor Jerry’s. And yes, it is certainly not a girly rum… even though there’s a picture of a girl prominently on the bottle. I’ve probably gone through more bottles of Sailor Jerry’s than any other alcohol and that’s something to be proud of!

Sailor-Jerry's

Malibu – Malibu… seriously easy going.

With the company’s blend of light rum and fruit flavours, one could definitely conclude that Malibu is “seriously easy going”! Is there anything finer in life than relaxing on a sandy beach, the sun bronzing your skin, with a rum-based cocktail in your hand? The all-inclusive industry was based on this theory and now those companies thrive in having people get their R&R on, accompanied by the divine secrets of sweet lady liquor.

Appleton – Raise your rum!

And toast the liquor gods, while you’re at it. This slogan is two-fold. On one hand, they’re talking about raising the quality of the rum you drink when you choose Appleton. On the other hand, it can be viewed as a toast and celebration thanks to the fine folks at Appleton. I’m a big fan of Appleton, something I know I’m not alone on. So, raise your rum to the Sip Advisor and let’s get bombed!

Bacardi – Live like you mean it.

I grew up on Bacardi, as it was my parent’s rum of choice and as a result, I’ll always have a place in my heart for the spirit. I like to think I live most days to the fullest and Bacardi has often helped me with that quest. The Sip Advisor becomes a whole different being when the rum is flowing and good times are set to be had. Every day should be cherished in some way and Bacardi is always a good start!

Bacardi Rums

Captain Morgan – Got a little Captain in you?

I certainly have a little Captain in me… just not in that way… not that there’s anything wrong with that! I have a sense of adventure and of boozing my way through those glorious good times. Pirating is surely in my blood, somewhere along the family lines because I love rum, the water, being aboard ships, and causing mayhem. For those of you that don’t like those things, you can apply to my school of rehabilitation and we’ll get that all sorted out.

Parrot Bay – The Parrot is calling.

If the Parrot is calling, I’m certainly listening! And that’s even though I absolutely hate birds. At least the parrot is a colourful species, which helps you ignore all the other annoying bird elements for a short time. Then, once you get to the rum drinking, you completely put aside all of your hatred towards the aviary animals. We can all get along thanks to a little shared enjoyment of the finer things in life.

Drink #261: Mai-Tai

Mai-Tai Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 oz Dark Rum (I used Captain Morgan)
  • 0.75 oz Light Rum
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with half Orange Juice and half Pineapple Juice
  • Float Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry and Cocktail Umbrella

Which rum slogans are you particularly fond of? Has the Sip Advisor slipped up and left your favourite line off this list. Come on, give me hell!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
While I wasn’t able to pull of the traditional Mai-Tai recipe (not having access to Orgeat Syrup), Mrs. Sip and I found an adapted recipe that subs Amaretto in its place. The drink was good, surprising Mrs. Sip who has a dislike for Amaretto and a love for Mai-Tais. If it passes her taste test, it can’t be written off!