Mixer Mania #32 – Site Songs

When working with strawberries, the Beatles tune Strawberry Fields Forever will often pop into my mind, earworm style. With this week’s feature mixer being Strawberry Juice, I thought it would be a perfect time to look at some songs about places (more specific than a city or state) you can actually visit:

Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

The world’s most famous band (my opinion, of course) had a couple of hits about real places around their hometown of Liverpool. These include Penny Lane and the aforementioned Strawberry Fields Forever. When the Sip Family visited Liverpool in 2007, we took a tour that stopped at these locations, as well as the grave of Eleanor Rigby, featured in the song A Day in the Life, and rumoured to be where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met.

Strawberry Fields

Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash

Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues made the Folsom State Prison a part of pop culture. Later, Cash would perform twice at the venue, calling the inmates who watched his shows, “the most enthusiastic audience I have ever played to.” Notable prisoners of the 137-year-old jail, include musician Rick James, actor Danny Trejo and notable psychopath Charles Manson. That said, I doubt the prison is any kind of attraction, unless you’re a serious Johnny Cash fan.

Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant

While sounding upbeat, this Eddy Grant song is actually about a riot that took place on the south London street in 1981. The riot started due to recession tensions, which were felt particularly by the area’s African-Caribbean community. When we first moved in together, Mrs. Sip and I almost rented an apartment in a building called Electric Avenue. You better believe this song would have been going through my head every time I walked through the front doors.

Electric Avenue

Portobello Road – Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Portabello Road, located in the Notting Hill area of London, was featured in song in this 1971 Disney musical film. The track highlights the road’s market and those who inhabit it. Mrs. Sip’s love of Disney resulted in us venturing to the area on one of our trips to London. Sadly, there wasn’t much of a market running when we visited, perhaps due to the inclement weather we had to contend with. Despite this, I still allow Mrs. Sip a lot of control over our touring plans.

Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

This song is most memorable for the amazing saxophone pieces, which apparently increased sales in the instrument, following the track’s release. Baker Street, of course, refers to the London road, whose most famous resident is the fictional Sherlock Holmes. Rafferty’s song, however, was about feelings of alienation and isolation. On most of my visits to London, I’ve ended up in the area, for a quick picture or two outside 221B Baker Street.

Mixer Mania #32: Valentini Martini

Valentini Martini.JPG

  • Rim glass with Strawberry Jam
  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • Top with Strawberry Juice

It’s amazing how most of these songs highlight areas of England and finding other such examples was very difficult to do. Oh well, time to rock down to Electric Avenue (you know, after the eight-plus hour flight to the UK and pain getting through immigration and all!).

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I couldn’t find any straight up Strawberry Juices, so I went with Strawberry-Kiwi. To enhance the berry flavour, I used Raspberry Vodka and rimmed the glass with Strawberry Jam. The results were decent, but nothing spectacular.

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July 25 – Lipstick Lesbian

Coming Out

With Pride weekend upon us, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the greatest LGBT characters… and there are a lot of them, making this list very hard to narrow down. Somehow, the Sip Advisor was able to thin the herd, so let’s get to it!

#5: Daffyd Thomas – Little Britain

While he claims to be the only gay in the village, Daffyd takes exception when he’s not being recognized for his sexuality and while he feels he’s turning heads and making a statement, everyone else is totally cool with his lifestyle. In fact, many of the townspeople are also members of the LGBT community. Ironically, when others reveal their sexual orientation, Daffyd is prone to homophobic outbursts.

Daffyd Thomas - Little Britain

#4: Lafayette Reynolds – True Blood

The heavy make-up wearing, eyelash extension rocking short order cook makes the world of Bon Temps go round, in his own unique way.  Interestingly, Lafayette is killed off very early in The Southern Vampire Mysteries books, but the TV series took a different approach, as the character proved to be so popular with audiences. In a world full of horny, indiscriminate vampires, anything and everything can happen.

#3: Mr./Mrs. Garrison – South Park

Garrison has been everything from a straight male, to a gay male, to a transgendered straight female, to finally a transgendered lesbian female. Covering the entire gamut, Garrison is one of the show’s funniest characters and would make for a fascinating teacher. We have to remember that this is a universe where Satan also identifies as gay, having been in a relationship with Saddam Hussein of all people!

Mr. Garrison

#2: Waylon Smithers – The Simpsons

Poor Mr. Smithers… all he wants is to be loved and respected by his boss, Mr. Burns, who barely acknowledges his existence and hard work. The writers of The Simpsons joke that Mr. Smithers is “Burns-sexual,” although he is regularly seen as a fixed member of the Springfield LGBT community and social scene. Hopefully Mr. Smithers finds happiness, whether with or without Mr. Burns.

#1: Cam & Mitchell – Modern Family

Cam and Mitchell put the “modern” in Modern Family more so than any of the other characters. Over the course of the show, we’ve seen Cam and Mitchell’s relationship grow to include the adoption of a daughter and tying the knot. Throughout it all, the rest of the family has been incredibly supportive, even Mitchell’s old school father Jay, who while he doesn’t always show it, is very proud of his son.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Lipstick Lesbian

  • Wrap glass with Rainbow Candy
  • 0.5 oz Watermelon Pucker
  • 0.5 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Dash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Some honourable mentions go to Lt. Jim Dangle (Reno 911), Dean Craig Pelton (Community), Lloyd Lee (Entourage), Oscar Martinez (The Office), Mr. Humphries (Are You Being Served?), Ray Gillette (Archer), Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and – allegedly! – Bert and Ernie (Sesame Street). Have I missed anyone? Feel free to let me know below!

April 12 – Canuck-tini

Rebuild Realization

As the NHL season winds to a close and the playoffs are set to begin, the Sip Advisor’s team, the Vancouver Canucks only have a spring of golf tee times to look forward to. This rare occurrence over the last decade is the culmination of the squad unraveling since their 2011 Stanley Cup Final appearance, thanks to a few highly-publicized misfires. Please forgive me a moment to regionalize my work for this site, as here are the top five reasons the Canucks are in need of a reboot:

#5: Trading for Derek Roy

While some trade deadline rental deals work out and the player sticks with the team for a few seasons (ie. Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre in 2011), trading for Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars in 2013 completely blew up in the Canucks collective face. Roy never seemed to click with his Vancouver teammates and signed with St. Louis in the off-season. Worst of all, the ‘Nucks gave up some of their future in the deal, trading away defensive prospect Kevin Connauton and a second round draft pick, which was used to select goaltender Philippe Desrosiers. Only time will tell if that comes back to bite Vancouver in the butt later.

Fun for Whole Family

#4: Trading for David Booth

A former 30-goal scorer with the Florida Panthers, Booth has scored a combined total of 26 tallies in his nearly three seasons with the Canucks. While Vancouver only gave up a couple of players (Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm) who didn’t seem to fit with the club going forward, Booth has never been able to live up to the expectations fans first hoped for when he came to the Canucks and has found himself frequently on the injured reserve list. Booth is certainly a buyout candidate this summer, despite his strong play to end the campaign, with one season remaining on his six-year, $25.5 million contract.

#3: Trading for Keith Ballard

Looking to beef up their options on puck-moving defensemen, the Canucks traded for Keith Ballard, of the Florida Panthers, at the 2010 NHL Draft. To land the rearguard, Vancouver gave up former first round draft choice Michael Grabner, Steve Bernier, and their opening pick of that draft, which turned out to be Quinton Howden. Grabner flourished with the New York Islanders, scoring 34 goals in his rookie season after being waived by the Panthers. Bernier is a regular with the New Jersey Devils, while Howden is now cracking the Florida line-up. Ballard was bought out in the 2013 off-season after a couple seasons of ineffectiveness and time spent in the press box.

Canucks Riot

#2: Trading Cody Hodgson

Hodgson apparently wanted out of Vancouver, but trading him away depleted a strong center ice core. With Ryan Kesler likely on his way out of town, Hodgson could have seamlessly slotted into the second-line center role that would have opened up. Getting Zack Kassian in the deal was a decent return, but he has yet to realize his full potential. Some have argued, however, that he hasn’t been given a fair chance to succeed under the current coaching regime. Hodgson, meanwhile, has put up 85 points for the Buffalo Sabres since the swap, leaving Vancouver (Kassian has 41 points in the same time) without the greatest prospect they’ve had in years.

#1: Trading Cory Schneider/Roberto Luongo

This whole fiasco lost the Canucks not only their number one netminder, but also the goalie of their future. When the team moved on from Luongo during the 2012 playoffs, I knew he was done with the squad… yet the saga lasted until March 2014 and by that time, Schneider had already been dealt. Now, the Canucks are left with two young, inexperienced and unproven tenders in Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom, while their once solid tandem wins games for other franchises. That puts a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Bo Horvat (drafted with the pick exchanged for Schneider) and Shawn Matthias (the other part of the Luongo deal, along with Markstrom).

Super Saturday Shot Day: Canuck-tini

Apr 12

  • 0.5 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Dash of Honey
  • Garnish with Mint Leaves

Hopefully, the Canucks can clean things up a little at this year’s draft and through free agency. Picking up a free agent goalie and trading Ryan Kesler (I hate to see him go, but he clearly wants out) for a package of assets could get this reboot off the ground quickly. I can’t help but notice that the Florida Panthers have played a great role in Vancouver’s misery and demise. That said, Florida can also be credited with the Canucks’ last ascension, when Roberto Luongo was plucked from the Southeast Division in 2006.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
After a year like the one Canucks fans just endured, downing copious amounts of alcohol is in short order. Will this shot do the trick? Well, it can’t hurt! This martini recipe comes from the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver and I’ve taken the liberty of converting it into a shooter. It was okay and probably makes a better martini, to be honest. You mostly taste the Blue Curacao, with a hint of the Raspberry Vodka. Much like the Canucks 2013-14 season… it’s disappointing!

Australia – Moonlight Martini

Land Down Under

We’re going “down under” as we leave Estonia for the warmth and beauty of picturesque Australia. Mrs. Sip lived in the country for half a year and I was lucky to join her for six weeks. While together, we toured a fair portion of the country. There were numerous and diverse sites that we both fell in love with during our stay. Here are some of our favourites:

Phillips Island

Home to the World’s Smallest Penguins, hundreds of tourists gather each day and brave the elements to watch the little flightless birds return from the water, like clockwork, to their burrows on Phillips Island. Sadly, but understandably, you’re not allowed to take photos of the tiny travelers, as flashes from cameras can blind them and cause them to become disoriented, get lost, and turn into easy prey for predators.

Penguin Parade

Great Barrier Reef

Cairns is home to the Great Barrier Reef and its impressive collection of coral formations. In some of the clearest, most stunning water I’ve ever been in, I did my first ever scuba dive and saw species of sea creatures I may never see up close again. We also snorkeled the area for a few hours and enjoyed the bathtub temperature of the ocean… plus, it’s always fun to perv on Mrs. Sip in the water!

Daintree Rainforest

Also while in Cairns, Mrs. Sip and I also toured the Daintree Rainforest, including a river cruise where we searched for legendary crocodiles and a hike through the tropical bush. The Daintree is home to an untold number of animal and plant species and you never really know what you’ll come across in your trek. Mrs. Sip was on edge about seeing any spiders, while I was ever-vigilant in avoiding snakes.

Wildlife

There are some animals you will only see in zoos and around Australia during your lifetime. We decided to combine the two by visiting one of the country’s nature reserves: the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. There, we viewed epically large crocodiles, fed kangaroos, and were attacked by parakeets and lorikeets. We even got our photos with a koala and all was well until it peed all over our friend!

Koala Currumbin

Ayers Rock/Uluru

This mystical mass of land is located in the Australian Outback and while I did not journey there for my own personal walkabout, Mrs. Sip made the trip. It takes between two to three hours to walk around Ayers Rock/Uluru and it’s also a wonderful spot to view sunrise and sunset each day. Interestingly, it’s said that if you take any rock from the site you will be cursed, leaving many trying to return “souvenirs” they’ve pick up from the World Heritage Site.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney was such a neat city (surprisingly clean and green) in its entirety, but perhaps its most famous landmark is the Opera House located in Sydney Harbour. Mrs. Sip and I did a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour of the iconic metropolis and spent a fair bit of time hanging out in the harbour. Tourists can even climb the Harbour Bridge for a spectacular viewing opportunity.

Surfer’s Paradise

While I failed miserably at my attempt to learn surfing in Australia, the beaches around the country are a sight to behold. Surfer’s Paradise is where all the youngsters go to hang out and hang ten. If you’re not into the beach and ocean stuff, the area is also home to numerous dining and shopping options. If you choose to stick to the sand and water, be careful of disruptive visits by anything from jellyfish to sharks.

Australia: Moonlight Martini

Moonlight Martini Drink Recipe

  • Muddle Blackberries
  • 1.5 oz Shiraz/Syrah Wine
  • 1.5 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with Blackberries

Australian wine is also a big deal and they are most famous for their Shiraz/Syrah grape variety, which was brought to the country from Europe by James Busby in the 1830’s. Speaking of Aussie wine, Mrs. Sip and I also thoroughly enjoyed the Barossa Valley wine tour we joined in Adelaide, specifically our meal of kangaroo cooked in… you guessed it: red wine!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Given the World’s Smallest Penguins was one of my favourite Australian attractions, coming across the Little Penguin Shiraz Wine was almost too perfect to be true. Sadly, I didn’t have the Orange Vodka the recipe asked for, so I subbed in Raspberry Vodka with a splash of Triple Sec to get the orange flavour. The drink was pretty good and had a number of different notes to tease the taste buds!

November 2 – Porn Star

Curiousity Killed the Pervert

I’m a curious person and as a curious person, I do a lot of thinking. In line with today’s shot, these are questions I have come up with for the porn industry!:

Porn Star Name

Good lord, Mrs. Sip would be Seductive Teaser… how incredibly accurate!

1) Can you do a threesome in the shower?

I just think that the risk-reward quotient and the dangers of tub slippage would prevent such scenarios. Heck, most showers don’t even fit TWO people comfortably, let alone three and you have to imagine that producers are searching for the cheapest option possible, which precludes mansions and their expansive bathing spaces.

2) Do porn stars get danger pay?

On the subject of dangerous situations, I wonder if performers receive some sort of additional pay in line with the added risks they take on a daily basis. For example, the larger the object used, the grungier the location filmed in… how about the more the merrier with each person added to a scene? The cash could add up pretty quickly if this is the case.

baby-model-vs-teen-porn-star

3) Are tramp stamps industry identification tags?

It seems like you can’t get through a single scene without seeing at least one tramp stamp… multiple lower back tattoos if you’ve picked a really good movie! Is this like how puppies and kitties get tattooed on the inside of their ear in case they go missing? Can stars be tracked for research purposes and have their stats recorded for prosperity?

4) Will their every be a porno filmed in anti-gravity?

I’m not sure how much money has to be shelled out for someone to rent out an anti-gravity simulator, but you have to think that any erotic movie filmed in a setting like this would make that money back in spades. Thinking of this scenario has got a million procedural questions circling in my mind, but perhaps I should stop while I’m ahead, as thus far, I’ve been able to write an entire post about adult films and not delve into too controversial territory.

Drink #306: Porn Star

Porn Star Shooter

  • 0.75 oz Blue Curacao
  • 0.75 oz Raspberry Vodka/Liqueur
  • Dash of Milk
  • Garnish with Maraschino Cherry

I gotta say that the research for this post was probably the most fun I’ve had to do for this site. Do you have any questions you’d like me to forward to the adult industry?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This classic shot recipe had to be done at some point in this project. Most recipes don’t include the dash of Milk, but I thought that was a hilarious addition to the shooter. It was my choice to garnish the shot with a Maraschino Cherry and I’ll let your imaginations figure that one out. I can’t say a bad thing about the liquors used in this shooter and everything comes together in a nice, neat package (get it!).

October 28 – Witch’s Brew

Happy Hunting

Drawing from my years of experience as a world renowned candy hunter, I’ve come up with some great tips for all the little sippers out there that are looking forward to a wicked Halloween haul. Some of these tricks and tip may not be of the highest moral value, but they’ll fill your pillowcases quicker than a pillow (just made that up… probably needs a little tinkering)!

Tip #1: Candy Clusters

The best way to maximize your Trick or Treat time is to find areas where there are numerous doors to knock on in a tight space. Apartment and town house complexes or even neighbourhoods where houses don’t have much yard space between lots are perfect to rack up the goodies without tuckering yourself out too much.

Trick Fire

Tip #2: Return Trips

If a house is giving out something really awesome (full-sized bars, bags with multiple candies, etc.), there is nothing wrong with returning to that residence later in the evening. Don’t pester the poor people with repeated visits, but perhaps hit the place again on a second go-round of the neighbourhood.

Tip #3: No Pack Mentality

While you want to be with your friends and share this wonderful experience, don’t get bogged down by being in too big of a group. Let’s be honest, only a few of the people you’re usually with are actually your friends. Stick to smaller groups which makes it easier to travel and get your treat at each house before moving onto the next stop.

Childhood Obesity

Tip #4: Courtesy Counts

Be very thankful and energetic at each stop. You never know if your costume, behaviour or other intangible might earn you a bonus piece of candy. Also, if you drop by the home of someone you know, make sure to acknowledge them, as your relationship to them or their kin may benefit your treat haul.

Tip #5: Split Shift

It won’t be too long before you’re running out of room in your bag and are tired of lugging the heavy sack around. There’s no shame in planning a route that lets you stop off at home, dump out your candy, and hit the road again for round two. Or, if with friends, make sure one of your homes is along the route for a recharging point.

Trick or Treat

Tip #6: Home Collection

Each time you go in and out of your own house, make sure to grab a treat for yourself (and one for your imaginary friend!), courtesy of your own parents. The leftover will largely be yours anyway, so you’re just getting ahead of the game.

Tip #7: Longevity Wins

Make sure you’re up for a full night of candy hunting. At the end of the evening, some folks might be giving out more than the usual one piece in order to get through their stock and be able to shut their lights off. This is when you pounce and take advantage of the fact that you have better cardio and durability than all the others. Your training has paid off!

Drink #301: Witch’s Brew

Witch's Brew Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Raspberry Vodka (I used Absolut)
  • Top with half Tonic Water and half Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Blue Raspberry Mixer
  • Garnish with Berries

Anyone else out there have any suggestions for the wee little sippers who will be hitting the streets in just a few days’ time? Feel free to pass them along.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I was pleasantly surprised by this cocktail. While I’m not a big Tonic Water fan, it didn’t detract from this drink, perhaps because I covered it with the Berry garnishes and the Blue Raspberry Mixer. This is one case where I wish I had access to liquid nitrogen to create a fog effect.

October 21 – Gummy Worm

Macabre Memes

There are some hilarious Halloween memes out there and I’ve taken the painstaking task, upon myself, to collect these gems for all you little sippers. Grab your favourite bevvy and enjoy some laughs on my behalf!

Scooby-doo-Halloween-masks

What a cardinal idea! Imagine all the times you’d hear, “And I would have gotten away with it all, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!” Now you just have to decide which member of the Scooby Gang to go as. Fred’s ascot creates too many questions, as does Shaggy’s drug addiction. I guess this one goes to the dogs!

halloween-Jehovah's Witnesses

A brilliant theory which makes me want to track down the JW’s that disturb me on lazy weekend afternoons and repeatedly knock on their doors… until they give me some damn candy, of course. And when those treats never come to fruition, you continue to knock and piss them off until they realize what they have been doing for years is just as annoying.

Halloween-sexy-costumes-girls

I’m not sure why they settled on 1983, but given that was the year I was born, I can only assume I was the one who originally came up with this amazing concept! Halloween is a prevert’s dream and thanks to all the women who dress however they damn well like (women’s lib!!!), dudes are treated to a visual feast of epic proportions. Smile on, my brothers!

halloween-toilet paper

I’m learning so much with my research for this post. You could probably put together a couple months worth of TP supply if you just pissed off a few teenagers and let them trash your place. Unfortunately, if those teens chose to go the egging route, you’d have a more difficult time of multi-purposing their prank, unless you had a number of skillets available and could quickly gather up the yolky goop.

Scaredy Cat

Don’t worry little kitty, we’re almost through the season of ghouls and ghosts… although, that’s not what really sets off our pets, it’s the constant doorbell ringing of Trick-or-Treating kids and the setting off of fireworks and firecrackers. My familiy’s little ones do not enjoy Halloween night. Hopefully they find a good hiding spot to rest through the evening of torture.

Drink #294: Gummy Worm

Gummy Worm Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • Splash of Blue Curacao
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Gummy Worms

I hope you enjoyed these laughs and if you see anything you want to send my way to return the favour, by all means, go right ahead!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I subbed in Cointreau because I didn’t have the Mango Vodka the original recipe called for and that may have detracted from the drink. The cocktail did taste sort of like a Gummy Worm and the garnishes went over quite well.