Flavour Revolution – Cucumber

Cold-Blooded

The term “cool as a cucumber” comes from the fact that cucumbers are known to actually cool the blood. Someone who shows a similar disposition to a cucumber, remaining cool under pressure, is usually given the nickname Iceman… and there are a lot of these folks. Let’s take a look at some of the dudes (there doesn’t seem to be any women on the list) who have ice in their veins:

Chuck Liddell

Liddell is a retired Mixed Martial Arts fighter and Ultimate Fighting Championship legend, holding the record for most knockouts in the company’s history at 13. Liddell has capitalized on his Iceman moniker, opening a memorabilia store called The Ultimate Iceman in 2010, as well as titling his autobiography Iceman: My Fighting Life. There is also Iceman Fight Gear, which is designed based on Liddell’s suggestions.

Chuck Liddell

Kimi Räikkönen

The Formula 1 driver was given the nickname Iceman for a number of reasons, including the frigid temperatures of his native Finland, his cool as a cucumber demeanor on the race track, and his often standoffish relationship with fellow racers, media, and even his own team. I’m not sure how much weight a nickname holds when you give it to yourself, but Räikkönen does have 20 wins under his belt.

Retief Goosen

The South African professional golfer is more likely to be called ‘Goose,’ but he’s also known by ‘Iceman’ for his calm, poised behaviour while on the links. Interestingly, both of Goosen’s nicknames also belong to characters from the movie Top Gun. Goosen’s mom credits her son’s conduct on him being struck by lightning at the age of 15, while golfing with a friend. That event would definitely change your perspective.

Richard Kuklinski

It’s not often that a contract killer gets lumped together with sports stars, but Kuklinski’s method of freezing his victims, to throw off their time of death for investigators, earned him this dubious handle. Kuklinski estimates that he murdered anywhere from 100 to 250 people, while working for the Five Families of New York’s Mafia. The Iceman, a film based on Kuklisnki’s double life, was released in 2012.

Richard Kuklinski

Dean Malenko

Also dubbed ‘The Man of 1,000 Holds,’ Malenko would often approach the ring with absolutely no emotion on his face and this continued throughout the duration of his matches. Unfortunately, when the strong technical wrestler arrived in the character driven WWE after stints in other promotions, he was saddled with the persona of a James Bond-esque ladies’ man, which just didn’t fit.

Adam Vinatieri

While there are some who devalue the role of a football placekicker, when compared to the rest of his teammates, Adam Vinatieri has earned the respect of fans, media, and his colleagues, thanks to completing some of the most essential field goals in the history of the sport. His resume includes two game-winning Super Bowl kicks, among his record four championships for a kicker.

Wim Hof

Of all the people listed in this article with the nickname Iceman, Hof is the only that can claim to actually have a close relationship with the cold stuff. Hof was once the world record holder for the longest ice bath at one hour and 44 minutes. He also excels at other cold weather challenges, including climbing the world’s most fearsome mountains in only shorts and completing marathons in polar temperatures, also scarcely clad.

George Woolf

How about a little Canadian content to wrap up? Woolf was one of the jockeys who rode the legendary Seabiscuit. His strategy of waiting for just the right moment to make his move in a race is what earned him the nickname Iceman. Sadly, Woolf died following a racing accident, in which he fell from his horse and suffered a head injury. An award for jockeys was named after Woolf and awarded annually since 1950.

Flavour Revolution: Crisp Twilight

Crisp Twilight Cocktail

  • Muddle Sage Leaves
  • 1.5 oz Effen Cucumber Vodka
  • Top with Grapefruit Soda
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with a Cucumber Slice

Cucumbers are so awesome that they can even be used to cure hangovers… not that the Sip Advisor is ever afflicted by this dreaded condition. Thanks to their mix of vitamins, sugar, water, and other nutrients, a few slices of cucumber can be the difference between waking up normally, or wasting the day away in bed!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This drink was okay, but given the combo of Angostura Bitters and Grapefruit Soda, the Simple Syrup and even Cucumber Vodka could only do so much to balance out the cocktail, with a kick of sweetness. The Sage Leaves didn’t do much at all for the drink, hidden behind other flavours.

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April 25 – Gravity Wave

Sit Down, Shut Up

Last week, we looked at the Sip Advisor’s pet peeves on the field of play, committed by athletes. This week, we examine the fouls perpetrated by the fans on the sidelines… your fellow enthusiasts. Heck, one may be sitting next to you as you read this. Let’s get on with the list:

#5: TV Appearance

You know the people that work too hard to get on TV, usually yapping into their cell phone to make sure they’re getting the exposure they want… yeah, these people should be immediately ejected from the stadium and banned for an indeterminate amount of time. For one, they’re not paying attention to the action on the field of play and are more concerned with a brief game cameo. Second, they’re usually obscuring the view of other fans in that seating area. Is that really worth the price of admission?  People holding large signs can be lumped in with this group.

Fans with Signs

#4: Beer Run

I love a beer with my sports (albeit I’m not fond of the price, but whateves), but I certainly refuse to spend more time in concession line-ups than I do watching the contest. Even worse are those people who are constantly getting up and down throughout the game and blocking your view of the action. There must be some sort of cosmic law out there in the universe that says those who will be up and down throughout a game will be seated in the center of an aisle, while those who will be mostly seated will have spots on the aisle, repeatedly disturbed.

#3: Bandwagon Jumpers

If you’re not going to bother following the squad when they need the support the most, then you’re not a true fan. Sure, anyone can get behind a franchise that is loaded with stars and expanding its trophy case, but the true die-hards will be there through thick and thin. You only hope that when someone jumps off the bandwagon, they hurt themselves so seriously that they never get back on. Sadly, the world of fandom doesn’t work this way and the long-time fan suffers most, as ticket prices rise, which can be covered by those who only offer part-time backing.

bandwagon fan

#2: Yelling “Get in the Hole” for Every Shot

The obnoxious fan who started this trend should be drawn and quartered, all the while being pelted by golf balls. All you ever see today is fans shouting “get in the hole” for every single shot of a golf round. It’s particularly absurd on long par-5 tee shots, that have absolutely no chance of being sunk. I guess having some passion on the part of khaki-wearing, sweater vest-adorned golf fans is welcome, but not this way. Unfortunately, Tiger Woods followed this annoying phrase a little too closely and wound up losing his wife, kids, picture perfect image, sponsorship deals, credibility, and so much more.

#1: Leaving a Game Early

This is something I simply refuse to do. I paid good money for my seats and until the final buzzer, my ass will be stuck in said seat. Mrs. Sip and I recently attended a hockey game in Anaheim and were flabbergasted when the arena began emptying out before the shootout was even conducted. While I would NEVER leave a game early, I could at least understand if it was a blowout score, but taking off when things are all knotted up… that’s insanity! Incredulously, fans left the stadium before the Seattle Seahawks miraculous comeback over the Green Bay Packers, to punch their ticket to a second consecutive Super Bowl. Some missed out on the greatest rally the team will ever have.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Gravity Wave

Gravity Wave Shot

  • Rim glass with Caramel Sauce
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • 0.5 oz Root Beer Schnapps

I’m also greatly opposed to the wave, which is why I selected the shooter above. What’s worse is when some jackass has a few too many bevvies and tries throughout the entire game to get this crap going. What fan behaviour earns your ire? I’m curious to hear!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I gave this shot to Mrs. Sip (who is a pickier drinker than myself) prior to going out one night and she enjoyed it. I also liked it, but then again, I’m an easier to please audience. My greatest concern in constructing the shooter was how to garnish it. None of the ingredients have an obvious garnish partner, so I went with a Caramel Sauce rim, which pulled the whole thing together!

United States – Suffering Bastard

Sports Supporters

See what I did there… I made a jock joke! Anyhoo, there is some debate over which sport is the most popular in the United States. Is it their national pastime baseball or has it been surpassed by the football juggernaut? Also fighting for market share and expendable income is a host of other competitions. One thing is for certain, the US, compared with other countries, has a greater variety of sports options for its citizens. Why else do you think the country needs all those ESPN channels!? With all that athletic competition, there is sure to be some big time events. Here are some interesting facts on each of the country’s championship crowning spectacles:

Super Bowl – NFL

What can you say about the Super Bowl that hasn’t already been said. The event is so mammoth that it is second only to soccer’s Champions League final as the most viewed annual sporting event. We’ve all heard the astronomical amounts companies pay for commercial time during the Super Bowl, but did you know that non-sponsor advertisers can’t use the word Super Bowl in their spots? Instead, they’re forced to use more generic terms like “the big game”. In 2007, NFL commissioner Roger Goddell suggested a Super Bowl could be played at Wembley Stadium in London. This would mark the big game’s (I want to stay clear of trouble with the NFL… they could send a 400-pound lineman after me) first foray outside the United States, if it were to ever occur. College football also has a strong fan following and Bowl Games, such as the Rose Bowl are hugely successful events. The Army vs. Navy annual meeting is also a display of extreme fanaticism and patriotism.

Super Bowl

World Series – MLB

It’s kind of ironic that the World Series is contested by a league that contains one Canadian team among 29 American squads. Even the Little League World Series (hosted every year in Williamsport, Pennsylvania) is more world-inclusive than the big leagues. The Fall Classic has inspired a fair share of American history, from the fixed championship series of 1919 to the earthquake-interrupted contest in 1989. And then, there’s 1994. Despite playing close to a full regular season, the World Series wasn’t contested in 1994 due to the player’s strike. The Montreal Expos were the top team at the time of the labour dispute and could have continued Canada’s string of World Series wins (the Toronto Blue Jays having won in 1992 and 1993). After the 2004 season, the Expos were relocated to Washington, D.C. to become the Nationals. Coincidence or anti-Canadian conspiracy? Let the theories begin…

March Madness – NCAA

I don’t think any other country gets as pumped for collegiate sports than the US. This tournament makes stars out of teenagers and for some, is the only reason they still support their alma mater. The NCAA’s annual event to crown a national basketball champion is bigger than the professional level NBA Championship Finals. Fans pick their brackets and battle for bragging rights (and cash money, yo) as they watch their choices run through the gauntlet. Upsets are perhaps the most interesting aspect of the tournament. In 1985, Villanova went from #8 seed to National Champion, while Florida Gulf Coast was the lowest ranked team ever (#15) to advance to the Sweet 16. In fact, all four #1 seeds making the Final Four has only happened once, in 2008. Since 1947, the winning team has cut down and claimed the court nets as a trophy for their triumphant victory, with the head coach cutting the final strand.

The Masters/US Open/PGA Championship – PGA

Thanks in large part to Tiger Woods, golf has grown in popularity the last couple decades. Three of the four events that make up golf’s Grand Slam are contested in the United States (the other being the British Open, usually played in Scotland). Of them, The Masters is the most prolific of the bunch, played each season at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Winners, along with receiving oodles of prize money, get the privilege of wearing the infamous green jacket that club members wear when on the course, as their win makes them an honourary member. The jacket is meant to remain at Augusta National, but when Gary Player won in 1961, amid all the celebrating, he took it home with him to South Africa. Masters winners earn a lifetime invitation to play in the tournament and an automatic inclusion into the three other majors, Players Championship, and PGA Tour for the next five years.

Point of Golf

US Open – PTA

I bet some reader’s don’t recognize the PTA other than standing for the Parent-Teacher Advisory. Well, in this case, we’re talking about the Professional Tennis Association. Played out of New York’s USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (good lord that’s a mouthful) each summer since 1881, the US Open is one of four grand slams for the PTA (the others including the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon in London). In 1973, the US Open became the first of tennis’s grand slam events to award equal prize money to both the male and female champion. Keeping with the trend of innovation, the US Open was the first to host play at night with the use of floodlights in 1975. While the Serena Williams has enjoyed recent success at the tournament, winning each of the last two years, the last American to win on the men’s side was Andy Roddick in 2003.

Triple Crown – Horse Racing

A common trend that makes these events so epically huge is their gambling potential and that is perhaps most prevalent with the Triple Crown of horse racing. The Kentucky Derby (described as the most exciting two minutes in sports), the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes, make up this trio of popular sprints. Coming live from Louisville, Kentucky; Baltimore, Maryland, and Elmont, New York; respectively, the Triple Crown has existed since 1875, but there hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner since 1978, when Affirmed took the photo finish at each historic track. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is the only person to win the Triple Crown with different horses, as Thunder Gulch won the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, but in between, Timber Country won the Preakness Stakes. Many other countries also have their own version of the Triple Crown.

Sprint Cup Series – NASCAR

Racing around an oval for hundreds of laps is so huge in the US right now that some could argue it’s the most popular sport in the country. While some believe fans are simply waiting for a wreck to happen, true pundits point out that there is a beauty in the strategy of auto racing. Either way, this series of races comes with a strong viewing audience, as well as sold out attendance at the tracks. The pinnacle of the NASCAR season is the Daytona 500, which was first run in 1959 and has opened the Cup Series since 1982. Named because of its 500-mile length. The 2.5 mile track needs to be rounded 200 times to complete the race. Sadly, racing legend Dale Earnhardt died at the track on the final lap of the 2001 race. Only three years earlier, Earnhardt finally won the famous competition, after years of mechanical issues, crashes, and being passed for the lead late in races.

United States: Suffering Bastard

Suffering Bastard Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Jim Beam Bourbon
  • 1 oz Gin
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with Lime Wedges

I can’t help but notice the US has a bit of an obsessions with balls (base, foot, basket, etc.). Not to tease, but at least us Canadians are only preoccupied by pucks! A number of other events could have made this list, including the X-Games, WrestleMania, the Indianapolis 500, and even the All-American Soap Box Derby.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I enjoyed every element of this drink, even the Angostura Bitters, which I find often don’t factor in enough to register any opinion of them. I have to ask: Is there anything Ginger Ale can’t do? The answer is a simple no. I was really looking forward to pairing Bourbon with Gin and am ecstatic that it all worked out so well!

December 30 – Iron Man Cocktail

We’re Going Streaking

As tomorrow marks the conclusion of the 365-day cocktail project, my efforts will be included with some of the greatest streaks known the world over. In fact, it’s probably the greatest compilation ever put together in human existence… and you little sippers were all a part of history. Here are some other notable runs.

Cal Ripken, Jr. – 2,632 Consecutive MLB games

While baseball lacks so many of the physical demands of other sports (hell, players spend more than half the game simply standing around and do so little that they can sometimes play two contests in one day), Cal Ripken, Jr.’s 2,632 straight games is still an amazing achievement. The streak started on May 30, 1982 and ended on Sept. 20, 1998, as the shortstop wanted to wrap it up on his own terms and avoid any controversy that may follow in the twilight of his career.

Cal-Ripken

Doug Jarvis – 964 Consecutive NHL games

To play that many successive games in one of the most physical sports on the planet is quite the impressive feat. When that streak spans your entire professional career (from 1975 to 1987), while winning four Stanley Cups, as well as the Selke Trophy (NHL’s top defensive forward) and Bill Masterton Trophy (awarded for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey) that makes the record that much sweeter.

Brett Favre – 297 Consecutive NFL Quarterback Starts

Given how rough and tumble professional football can be, it’s astonishing that Brett Favre was able to start 297 games in a row, all while sending pictures of his junk via cell phone to select female members of team staff. Okay, so some of Favre’s shine rubbed off (perhaps bad word choice) near the end of his career, but you can’t take away the guy’s grit and passion.

Joe Dimaggio – 56-Game Hit Streak

It has been written before that the hardest thing to do in professional sports is hit a fastball. While I vehemently disagree with that assertion, I do agree that there are unique skills required to be a pro ball player and Joe Dimaggio’s streak is pretty impressive because of this. Perhaps more notable, the dude married Marilyn Monroe… not too shabby!

Joe Dimaggio

Lance Armstrong – 7-Consecutive Tour de France Victories

While Lance Armstrong’s streak of victories has since been tainted by his steroid scandal, the man competed in a world rife with cheating and he still managed to win seven straight Tour de France titles. Armstrong’s celebrity also boosted funding for cancer treatments, so regardless of his name being sullied, he still did some great things for the world.

Wayne Gretzky – 51 Consecutive Game Point Streak

Wayne Gretzky is the most prolific scorer in NHL history, putting up so many records that will never be touched. Among those, is his 51-game point scoring streak in 1983-84. The Great One averaged 3 points per game during that run and had he sat out the rest of the season after the stretch was ended, he would have still won the scoring title by 27 points!

Byron Nelson – 11 Consecutive PGA Tour Wins

Today, you’re likely to see a different leader atop the PGA Tour each week. To win 11 straight in today’s golfing world is totally unfathomable. Not ever Tiger Woods in his prime came anywhere near touching that mark. Nelson won 18 of 30 tournaments in 1945 and 52 throughout his PGA career. He also added 12 wins on other professional circuits.

A.C. Green – 1,192 Consecutive NBA Games

I think I’m more impressed with the fact the deeply religious man waited until the age of 38 to finally lose his virginity. Now THAT’S an iron man streak! Green’s foundation promotes abstinence before marriage and he was finally wed in 2002, following his playing career, which lasted from 1985-2001, including three NBA Championships.

Drink #364: Iron Man Cocktail

Iron Man Cocktail Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Amaretto (I used Disaronno)
  • 1 Shot of Orange Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine

So, what’s next for The Sip Advisor? You’ll have to stay tuned for a big announcement on New Year’s Day. The excitement is palpable, isn’t it!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This recipe comes courtesy of The Drunken Moogle site and while it is meant for the comic and movie character Iron Man, I think it applies here, as well. Simply place the shot of Orange Juice into the Amaretto/Grenadine Mix and slam the whole concoction back. The drink is sweet, so if you have a tooth for that, you’re in luck. Most will want to have a more tart taste mixed in, so this cocktail doesn’t work for all.