November 8 – Sweet Tweet

Technologically Traditional

Yesterday, we looked at my favourite apps and while I’ve embraced the games and information tools available to tablet and smart phone users, there is a lot of technology I refuse to adapt to. Kicking and screaming, I’m trying to hold onto my familiar way of life. Here are some items I refuse to give up or learn.

Laptop Mouse

It may surprise some that the Sip Advisor, this internet guru you’ve come to love, still uses a mouse with his laptop. I hate that little square built into the actual computer that you’re intended to use. I find that it completely slows my progress down. I occasionally use Mrs. Sip ‘s laptop for some site work and I wish she’d regress back to a mouse so that I’m more comfortable operating her computer.

Mouse Hunt

Touchscreen Keyboard

Recently, my old phone died on me and I was forced to upgrade. I had dreaded this day for some time, as I knew it meant losing my pullout keyboard. I think too many errors occur with the touch screen typing system and don’t even get me started on Mrs. Sip’s swiping texts that are littered with spelling errors and unrecognizable words. I often respond to her with a simple “?” because I have no clue what she’s writing me about. And sometimes I do it just to be a dick!

Websites (Instagram, Linked In, Foursquare)

While I’ve joined sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest, there are numerous other social media hubs that I just can’t get into. I don’t get the rage over Instagram and the weird filters people use on their low-resolution pics, I don’t care to meet business contacts through Linked In (I mean, my contacts would just be winos and alcoholics anyway), and I don’t need to let everyone know I’m still sitting on my couch through Foursquare!

Cell Phone Photos

Speaking of low-res photos, I really don’t understand why people are relying on their cell phones to capture the greatest moments of their life. I get it that you’ve shelled out a fair amount of money for these devices and that bringing along an actual camera is another hassle to deal with, but you just can’t replace the quality of image a real camera provides. No matter how good cell phone pixel quality gets, it will never supersede the ol’ digital camera.

Camera Phone

Ear Buds

Am I the only person in the world who absolutely despises these sound delivery devices? Everywhere I look, people have ear buds jammed into their head. That’s not to say I don’t like listening to music, but I prefer to have an actually set of headphones and not something that constantly feels like it’s going to fall out of the snugness of my earlobe. Perhaps my ears are made to the specifications desired for bud usage, but I hate those little things.

Tablets

I have nothing against tablets and I think they are actually pretty neat with the big screen and all the functions they can provide. That said, between my laptop and phone, I have no intention of ever purchasing one. Donations will be accepted (they always are!) at the Sip Advisor headquarters, however. If anyone is tired of their iPad, Tab, Surface, or Nexus, you know who to ship it to.

ihad-ipad

E-Reader

I barely read enough print books to justify having eyes and a brain, let alone an e-reader. Mrs. Sip spends countless hours on her digital book, which infuriates me to near madness. No, I don’t see the Sip Advisor picking up a Nook, Kindle, or Kobo anytime soon; unless it becomes the only way for little sippers to read my awesome work… then I’ll practically become the face of the industry!

Video Game Systems

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably have to say it again: I will not buy another video game console. After the Nintendo 64, I held out for years without buying a system until finally caving an buying a Playstation 2 near the dying days of the console. Then I said it again before becoming enamored with the Nintendo Wii, again in its later years of existence. Clearly, I’m not an early adopted and I may own all of these products right before they become useless!

Drink #312: Sweet Tweet

Sweet Tweet Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Rum
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • 0.5 oz Peach Liqueur
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Cherry Syrup
  • Garnish with Lime Wheel

Which items do you refuse to purchase and accept as the way things are done today? Am I the only one who refuses to give up the Discman, Sega Genesis, and MySpace!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I “borrowed” this recipe from a photographed menu from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York, which also offers guests the Garden of Google, Brbon Tumblr, and… the SipAdvisor. Hey, wait, hold on a second. Should I be asking for royalties? Perhaps a cease and desist order? I’ll have to contemplate my legal options! As for the cocktail, it wasn’t bad, but it was a little too sweet. I guess that was implied in the drink’s name.

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November 7 – Angry Bird

App-ology

I think apps are pretty great, for the most part. They help us get through those boring dinners with “friends” and keep us distracted when taking awful public transportation. No need to app-ologize, here are some of my favourite programs:

Mixology

The Mixology app has been wildly important with the operation of this blog. It is full of thousands of drink recipes and I have often consulted the program for ideas for this site. Even before I became the Sip Advisor, I was using the app to impress friends and family with cocktail creations. One of its functions allows you to enter in all the ingredients you currently have stock and it will provide you with all the drink recipes you can achieve with your bar supplies.

mixology app

Angry Birds

I’ve discovered that the only birds I can tolerate are Angry Birds. Perhaps I appreciate that we are on the same level rage-wise. I like how the franchise is always coming up with new ideas (and dastardly birds) to keep fans engaged in sequels. While I’ve enjoyed each Angry Birds game I’ve played, I would have to say that my favourite versions have been the Rio movie partnership and the Space setting. I have yet to play Angry Birds: Star Wars.

TV Show Favs

As you all know, the Sip Advisor is a TV connoisseur. As such, there are a lot of shows and episodes for me to keep track of. Thankfully, this little program was designed and I’m able to check off each episode of a show I’ve watched, so as to not repeatedly view the same program over and over again. There’s even a scheduler, which will keep you informed of airings of your favourited series’, keeping you completely in the television loop.

Candy Crush Saga

I’m enjoying the puzzles in Candy Crush Saga, but I’m not a fan of being asked to pay to continue playing or bugging people of Facebook to get more levels and power-ups. I understand that the company needs to make money somehow, but it sucks to be locked out of a game for two days at a time, waiting for more adventures. While I’ve enjoyed other casual games more, I like the gameplay and art of this entry and would recommend it.

Candy Crush Saga

Super Stickman Golf

While I’m just getting into the sequel, I have to admit that I like the original entry in the series better thus far. I feel, at times, that the developers of the second game over-extended themselves and made levels more difficult than they needed to. There was simplicity to the first Super Stickman Golf that I will forever love. For those who have never heard of the title, you play wonderfully-imagined golf courses, such as urban cityscapes, deserts, frozen wonderlands, and castles.

Bad Piggies

While I enjoy Angry Birds better than its spinoff Bad Piggies, this game is pretty good too. In each level, you’re trying to build a contraption for the bad piggy (the antagonists of the Angry Birds series) to race to the finish line, collecting valuable stars along the way. Some of the content I’ve encountered so far in this game has been a little confusing, but I’m slowly wading my way through the issues and getting accustomed to this new style of play.

Temple Run 2

I had seen people obsessively playing Temple Run before I had a phone that was capable of downloading it. When I finally grabbed the sequel for myself, I quickly found out why. While you’re basically doing the same thing over and over again, every run is different with alternate maps, obstacles, routes, and coin placements. I have a couple little complaints like there being a lack of gems and other artifacts to find (they just don’t come up as often as you would think), but I still recommend people check out the title.

Drink #311: Angry Bird

Angry Bird Martini

  • 1 oz Scotch
  • 1 oz Peach Liqueur
  • Top with Apple-Lime Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Fuzzy Peaches

With a brand new phone that allows me to get all the apps my previous phone couldn’t handle, I’d love to know what all my little sippers out there are enjoying. Pass along your favourites and I’ll reward you with all my usual hard work!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
Without a doubt, a truly wonderful drink. Apple-Lime juice once again earns a 5-Sip rating, but the real treasure in this cocktail is how you can’t even tell there’s Scotch in the recipe, which would make some people cringe at the idea of even sampling the drink. The stars totally aligned for this wicked martini!

June 24 – Cold Lips

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

We continue our vacation exploits with stops in Estonia, Russia, Finland, and Sweden, along with more hijinks aboard the Emerald Princess!

Drinking on the Ship

One of my favoruite parts of a cruise vacation is, of course, the drinking. There are a number of bars around the ship and it’s fun to hit each one for at least one bevvy. Highlights of this voyage included cheaper cocktails in the Skywalker Lounge (with it’s beautiful views out the back of the ship), thanks to our new platinum status as cruise members and a visit to Vines Wine Bar, where tapas and sashimi sushi accompanied glasses of rose and pinot grigio wines.

cruise ship

I was drinking, but I wasn’t driving… I swear!

Liquor Finds & Dannebrog Café

Tallinn, Estonia was an amazing little stop that I hadn’t anticipated enjoying so much. And it came with a number of liquor moments. After touring the old, historic city, we popped into a souvenir store and found the aforementioned Cloudberry Liqueur. Imagine my surprise and excitement when Mrs. Sip pointed it out behind one of the cashiers. We also discovered the town’s most popular spirit Vana Tallinn and later found bottles of liqueur that included sugar crystals at the bottom to keep the libations sweet and delicious. Mrs. Sip selected a peach variety of this technique to bring home.

Our last stop of the port visit was to a little bar situated into the old town wall of the medieval city, called Dannebrog Café. You have to climb up narrow and steep stone stairs to enjoy your food and drink high up on a little wooden platform built from the wall (I think Mrs. Sip needed a drink or two just to get the courage to make the climb back down!). From our high perch, we were offered and amazing view of the city, while enjoying some local beers and wines, before making our way back to the ship and onward.

Vodka Tasting

On our honeymoon cruise, Mrs. Sip and I took part in a rum tasting aboard our ship, as we went through the Panama Canal route. This time, traversing through Northern Europe’s Vodka Belt, we of course had to sample some of the spirit and we were happily provided with a sampling of vodkas. We tried Russian Standard, Absolut and Matrioshka Lux, as we geared up for our two days in Russia. In Russia, we were advised by our guide to pick up a bottle of Beluga Vodka, said to be one of the finest sold in the country. That is precisely what we did and hopefully the old adage is true: Russians really know their vodka!

russian vodka

Beers in Finland

With only a short time in Finland, we had to rush around to get our sightseeing done, including taking a boat out to the famous world heritage site, the Suomenlinna sea fortress. When that was complete, it was time for a little rest and relaxation in a Helsinki pub, trying a couple local beers. Before we returned to the ship, we hit a convenience store and bought seven tall boys, each a different brand, to later have our own beer tasting to experience a greater selection of what the country had to offer on the brew front. My personal favourite was the Karhu selections.

Captain’s Circle

A highlight of our last two extended cruises has been invites to the Captain’s Circle celebration (for returning cruisers only). These are mini drinkfests, where servers bring you one cocktail after another for about half an hour, even if you’re already working on three drinks at once at your table. On our Panama honeymoon cruise, it’s where I discovered an appreciation for Cosmos and this time, I was able to enjoy a couple Gimlets, among other treats.

Finishing Cruise Alcohol

At the end of every cruise comes a brief moment of panic when you realize that you still have a fair bit of alcohol left to consume and so few hours to accomplish the feat. Never fear, however, as our troupe went through a quarter bottle of vodka, a dozen beers, some champagne and even hit a couple of the bars around the ship for afternoon cocktails! Damn, I love days at sea!!!

Drink #175: Cold Lips

Cold Lips Cocktail

  • Rim glass with Powder Candy
  • 1 oz Vana Tallinn
  • 1 oz White Rum
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Strawberry

So, as you can see, our little vacation was anything but, what with all the port stops and other activities. Still, any time away from work is good time!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Like yesterday’s inaugural experiment with Crowberry Frost Liqueur, today’s drink provided us with our first opportunity to make a cocktail with Vana Tallinn, which tastes very nice in this mix. I used a Powder Candy Rim to visually show the ‘cold lips’ effect. The Cranberry Juice actually works well with the liquors and all ingredients come together nicely.