October 25 – Green Ghoul

Spooky Specters

Last week, we kicked off the haunted month of October with a look at the best animated ghosts and this week we get a little eerier with some live-action apparitions. But just like the Ray Parker, Jr. song, “I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts!

#5: Sam Wheat – Ghost

Never has homemade pottery been so sexy… and never will it be again! Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore’s spin at molding clay has certainly resulted in numerous copycat attempts, with those people realizing how messy the whole process actually is. Back to the movie, though, Wheat is shot and killed during a botched robbery and has to save his love from a similar fate. He also has to unveil former friend Carl as a money launderer, all while a ghost who can’t be seen or heard. That’s where “medium” Whoopi Goldberg comes in, hoping to help Sam tie up the loose ends and move on to the next world.

Swayze Ghost

#4: Freddy Krueger – Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger is by far the Sip Advisor’s favourite horror movie ghoul. Just the thought of a being invading your dreams and snuffing out your life in such a violent manner gives me goose bumps (and not the of the R.L. Stein variety). Add in his look, with the scarred face and clawed glove and you won’t want to ever sleep again. The Nightmare on Elm Street concept has inspired some of the most creative kills in horror movie history. Robert Englund, despite being typecast as a nice guy, took the role of Freddy and rocked it for eight movies and 44 TV episodes, before Jackie Earle Haley took over for the 2010 reboot.

#3: Beetlejuice

Say his name three times and you’re in for a visit from the supernatural con artist and bio-exorcist… a visit you just might regret! Played perfectly by Michael Keaton and set in a world that only director Tim Burton could dream up, this dark, yet oddly colourful movie inspired a cartoon series that turned Beetlejuice into a protagonist and friend of Lydia Deetz (you know, the same teen he tried to force against her will and carry out a dark wedding with in the film). There is talk of Keaton and Burton reuniting for a long-awaited sequel to the original film, perhaps even called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, a follow-up in development since 1990.

Beetlejuice Origin

#2: Jacob Marley & Christmas Spirits – A Christmas Carol

Without the help of these specters, Ebenezer Scrooge may have never learned the true meaning of Christmas and how to be a better human being, in general. First, starting with his former partner Jacob Marley (who is cursed to suffer in the hereafter after a lifetime and greed and selfishness), Scrooge is warned that he will be visited by three spirits: the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. These ghouls guide Scrooge through his early days, showing him where the seeds of misery were first planted, how the people around him are currently suffering, and finally, the end result if he doesn’t change his ways immediately.

#1: Dr. Malcolm Crowe – The Sixth Sense

Spoiler alert! Bruce Willis – or at least his character – is actually dead in The Sixth Sense… he just doesn’t know it at first. The twist in this movie is executed so well that it made a career for M. Night Shayamalan. A career he has since faced challenges in, but a career nonetheless. Dr. Malcolm Crowe is trying to help a youngster, Cole Sear, through issues that include seeing and talking to people that have passed away and are having trouble getting through to the other side. In the process of Dr. Crowe helping Cole, Cole actually helps the good doctor and gives him release from being stuck in limbo.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Green Ghoul

Green Ghoul Shot

  • Rim glass with Green Sugar
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Midori

Who’s your favourite live-action or animated ghost? Which specters and spooks give you the heebie-jeebies? Never fear, cause next week, we’ll delve into the best ways to kill these baddies!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
The best part of this shot, other than the Midori melon liqueur, was the salty rim, created by spreading Lime Juice around the glass, allowing the Green Sugar to stick. It’s not that the shot was bad, but it was strong thanks to the Vodka. Thankfully, I used a really nice Vodka, Tito’s to be exact, and that helped with the overall enjoyment.

Austria – Green Tear

Not Just a Band

When Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated on June 28, 1914, he had absolutely no clue what his murder would instigate. Despite being the major catalyst for the first World War, this Austrian ruler is a largely forgotten footnote in history. Thankfully, the Sip Advisor is here to teach and while sipping a glass of the country’s fine schnaps, here is a little information on ol’ ‘Double F’ and the tragedy that would change the world!

First World War Problems

Growing Up

Ferdinand and his family lived by the motto: “Good Habsburgs (his family lineage), Good Catholics, and Good Austrians”… that just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “A Lannister always pays their debts.”

At the age of 11, Ferdinand found himself one of the wealthiest men in Austria, after his cousin Duke Francis V died and named Franz his heir on the condition that he add the name Este to his own. Hell, to become one of the wealthiest men in Austria, I’d tattoo the name Este on my member! Rumour has it Ferdinand also had to spend one night in a haunted house, but many are skeptical of this account.

Ferdinand may have never found himself the heir to the Austria-Hungary throne had it not been for his cousin Prince Rudolf (aged 30) committing suicide with his 17-year-old mistress in 1889. Karl Ludwig, Ferdinand’s father, became second in line behind Franz Josef, but quickly renounced the position and passed the rights down to his son.

Throne of Games

As a youngster, Ferdinand spent very little time in Austria, often travelling the world searching for cures to his never-ending stream of illnesses.

Ferdinand’s relationship with the citizens of Austria was always strained due to his lack of time spent within the country’s borders and the feeling that he was an outsider. And not one of those cool greaser outsiders like Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, or Matt Dillon. He still managed to somehow stay gold, though.

An avid hunter, Ferdinand always made sure to schedule at least one hunting trip as part of any official travel for the Empire. He kept a running tab of his hunting exploits and stories state that he killed 2140 birds in one day. My belief is that he wanted to assemble an army of undead animals to do his bidding.

Ferdinand was passionate about landscaping outdoors and interior design inside and was constantly on the lookout for a property in need of fixing up. He could be considered one of the world’s first home flippers. Ferdinand’s eclectic tastes also helped him build a great antique collection, which included 3750 pieces of St. George and the Dragon. Clearly, he had a thing for slaying mythical beasts.

slain da dragon

Finding Love

Women always have a way of muddling things up and that was no different for Ferdinand. His wife Sophie was from a lower social class and even though Franz Josef stated he would not consent to Franz and Sophie’s marriage, the two wed on June 28, 1900. The catch was that Sophie could never receive an official royal title and their children could not succeed Ferdinand as ruler. As a result, Sophie rarely appeared in public beside her husband.

Franz and Sophie had three children: Sophie (I guess you’d call her junior), Maximilian (a name which I hope to bring back to present day popularity), and Ernst (a name which I have no joke to deploy upon).

Sophie was finally allowed to accompany Franz on official business for the empire for his trip to Bosnia in June 1914. The end of the visit would also mark their 14th wedding anniversary. The couple arrived in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, which is also St. Vitus Day, commemorating the Battle of Kosovo in 1389.

cat-battle

Surprise Attack

The Battle of Kosovo made a martyr out of Milos Obilic, who snuck into the Ottoman Sultan’s tent and killed him before receiving the same fate himself.

Serbians viewed the Austria-Hungary Empire as their new oppressors and there had been other attempted attacks on high-ranking Austria-Hungary members before Ferdinand’s death.

The Black Hand (must have caught a case of gangrene), which carried out the assassination of Franz and Sophie were also responsible for the murders of King Alexander and Queen Draga of Serbia. This act of treachery was committed while the two were together in bed… what a way to go!

Death Sting

First, a grenade was hurled at Ferdinand’s procession by Nedlejko Cabrinovic, but it detonated behind his vehicle and he was not harmed. While any normal person would halt their little parade there, Ferdinand was urged to continue by General Oskar Potiorek who asked, “What, do you think my city is full of assassins?”

Ferdinand insisted that if the trip continued, only major routes should be used and no side streets… unfortunately his own driver was never delivered this message. When the driver took the first schedule turn, there was assassin Gavrilo Princip, waiting for him. Princip had earlier tried to get a shot in at Ferdinand and when he couldn’t retreated to the side street in dejection.

Princip fired only two shots, one into Franz’s neck, the other into Sophie’s stomach. Both proved to be fatal. Ferdinand’s final words to his wife were “’Don’t die! Stay alive for our children!”

Assassination

The Aftermath

Princip and his fellow assassins were rounded up and put on trial. Because he was under the age of 20, Princip did not receive the death penalty and was instead sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Princip died in his jail cell on April 28, 1918 from tuberculosis. His illness was so bad that his right arm was amputated before his death.

Upon Franz’s assassination, the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, etc.) declared war on Serbia, drawing Serbia’s allies (the UK, Russia, France, etc.) into the fray and creating the first World War.

The 1911 Gräf & Stift Double Phaeton automobile, which carried Franz and Sophie during their fateful procession, is now displayed at the Museum of Military History in Vienna. It’s no Batmobile, but it has its own place in history. The pistol used by Princip, as well as the clothing Ferdinand died in are also displayed at the museum.

Future Museums

The bullet that killed Ferdinand, sometimes referred to as “the bullet that started World War I” is part of an exhibit at Konopiště Castle in the Czech Republic.

Franz and Sophie are buried at Arstetten Castle in Austria. In memoriam, Austria-Hungary released a commemorative stamp featuring the couple. One day there will be a Sip Advisor stamp tribute that will taste like schnaps with each lick!

Austria: Green Tear

Green Tear Cocktail

  • 1 oz Mata Hari Absinthe
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Tonic Water
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

Well, that wraps up our stay here in Austria. It should be noted that the country can also claim to be home to famous world citizens like Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. That would be an interesting table to sit at for a dinner party!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Well, as you can see, the drink is certainly not green. On the plus side, this was a really decent Absinthe cocktail. I think the combo of Cranberry Juice and Tonic Water is perfect to go along with the very bitter Absinthe. If you’re weary of the hallucinogenic spirit, give this recipe a try and your mind may be changed for the long run!

December 12 – Candy Cane

12 Days of Christmas

While the Sip Advisor is doubling the efforts of everyone out there and offering 25 days of Christmas rather than a paltry 12, one would have to admit that the damn 12 Days of Christmas song can really get stuck in your head. Upon reviewing the lyrics, I’ve decided to give each item listed in the tune a patron saint. So, let’s warm up our vocal chords and run the gauntlet!

12 Drummers Drumming – Animal from The Muppets

One of my favourite percussion artists of all-time and star of The Electric Mayhem (perhaps the greatest band name in the history of music!), Animal knows how to work the skins and cymbals. His trademark wild behaviour makes him a perfect addition to this menagerie of fascinating characters.

animal drums

11 Pipers Piping – ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper

One of professional wrestling’s best bad guys, Roddy Piper knew how to ignite hatred within fans. He was the perfect mix of cocky, dastardly, and vicious, earning his way into the hearts of millions of fans worldwide.

10 Lords-a-Leaping – Michael Flatley

Whatever happened to this guy? He was the Lord of the Dance… and surely that included much leaping. Apaprently, Flatley is living the good life in Beverly Hills, probably creeping on all the 90210 teenagers and throwing around his millions of dollars.

9 Ladies Dancing – Jennifer Grey

You should never put Baby in a corner and I refuse to do so, as well. One would hope that if Jennifer Grey accepted this honourable position, that she’d bring the spirit of Patrick Swayze along with her and they could perform their hit numbers from Dirty Dancing.

dirty dancing

8 Maids-a-Milking – The Octomom

You’d have to assume that the poor woman went through sheer agony over having to breast feed all eight of her newborns. Let’s just hope her jugs didn’t end up looking as disgusting as her pregnant alien-like belly did.

7 Swans-a-Swimming – Michael Phelps

I briefly considered Natalie Portman for this position, based on her role in Black Swan, but there are other positions I’d rather have her fill! Instead, Michael Phelps gets the part thanks to being the greatest swimmer this world has ever seen. 22 Olympic medals don’t lie, folks.

6 Geese-a-Laying – Anthony Edwards

While I hope to never see Anthony Edwards actually lay an egg, he gets the nod in this category as a result of playing Nick “Goose” Bradshaw in the 1986 classic, Top Gun. He was Tom Cruise’s greatest inspiration before Scientology rolled around and brainwashed the star.

duck-duck-goose-topgun

5 Gold Rings – Mr. T

Thanks to all the jewelry Mr. T is usually rocking, he’d be perfect for this role. And why can Mr. T get away with wearing so many valuable? Because no one would ever mess with the guy. Even at the age of 61, I know for a fact that he would kick my ass… that’s not saying much, but you have to credit the guy for still being a BA badass.

4 Colly Birds – Paul McCartney

I didn’t even know what a colly bird was and apparently it’s nothing exciting. It’s a common blackbird (that’s what they’re actually called) and so I add sainthood to sir Paul McCartney’s long list of accolades. He wrote the Beatles classic Blackbird and seems to understand the fowl best.

3 French Hens – Brigitte Bardot

This broad was quite the looker in her younger days. At age 79, Bardot seems to have gone a little nutty, but it’s hard to tell as that seems to be a typical personality trait for the French. Still, anyone who posed for Playboy to celebrate their own 40th birthday is rockin’ it in my books.

brigitte_bardot

Where the hell is that phone hooked up???

2 Turtle Doves – Turtle from Entourage

Wait, a turtle dove is a bird… what the hell? Half of this song is about gifts of birds… I don’t want any damn birds. I’m trying to rid the world of these vermin. I still pick Turtle because he’ll at least bring a party atmosphere to the organization.

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree – Danny Bonaduce

Surely, with all the drugs and crazy antics Danny Bonaduce has gotten up to in his life, the former Partridge Family child star has awoken to find himself nestled in a pear tree on at least one occasion. Rock on, you crazy ginger!

Drink #346: Candy Cane

Candy Cane Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Crushed Peppermint
  • 0.75 Peppermint Schnapps
  • 0.75 Vodka
  • 0.75 Crème de Cacao
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Top with Milk
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Garnish with a Candy Cane

Do you have any issues with my patron saint selections? I’m willing to listen to ideas for other candidates and if you sway me with a sound argument, I just may give you some credit. Ready, set, go!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I liked this martini, despite how much of a pain it is to produce Crushed Candy Cane bits for the rim. I made quite the mess putting that element together. The drink completely tasted like a Candy Cane and was quite enjoyable.