China – China Blue

Great Walls of Fire

The Great Wall of China was erected (that word always makes me giggle) over a number of eras and decades and is one of the most impressive engineering feats in history. Since its construction, it has become a world famous monument and used for countless other achievements. Here are some of its notable uses and appearances:

Big Air

There have been a number of attempts by bikers, skateboarders, and the like to jump the Great Wall. Extreme athlete Travis Pistrana even tackled the challenge on a toy bike. Sadly, not every attempt has been successful. Two Chinese BMX riders were looking to fly over the wall to celebrate a national holiday. One landed safely in the area set up to catch the falling stuntmen, but the other flew right over it to his death. So much for home field advantage!

Great-wall-I-can-hold-it

Go Your Own Way

While jumping the Great Wall is a dream for some, that vision wasn’t held by cyclist Kevin Foster. Instead, Foster wanted to travel a fair chunk of the world heritage site. In 50 days, Foster trekked 1,174.8 miles of the wall, through sandstorms, hail, monsoons, high temperatures, and even a crash that sent him through a portion of the structure and caused three broken ribs. The journey was called “the last, greatest, cycling adventure on the face of the earth.”

Running with the Wall

Most little sippers, like the Sip Advisor, probably don’t follow the sport of free running. It’s basically akin to parkour, but involves more theatrics… wait, there can be even more acrobatics thrown in? World renowned free runner (you can be renowned in this field?), Ryan Doyle put the Great Wall in its place as part of his Red Bull World Wonders Tour. Remember, Red Bull: It gives you wings… and hopefully not because you’re dead and on your way to the afterlife.

Super Repairs

In perhaps one of the cheesiest special effects of all-time, Superman used laser vision to repair the Great Wall after it had been damaged by the equally cheesy villain, Nuclear Man (before The Simpsons Radioactive Man). This all came about in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, which effectively killed the movie franchise. I’ve never been a Superman fan, but I have to give him credit for fixing a landmark I have yet to see.

Building the Wall

In 2005, a number of acts gathered for a concert using the Great Wall setting as a backdrop. Headlined by Boyz II Men, other performers included Cyndi Lauper and Alicia Keys. The show was recorded for a DVD release, The Great Wall Concert (I’m blown away they couldn’t come up with a more glitzy name than that), and also included interviews with historians, visits to other Chinese landmarks, and comedy performances on the streets of Beijing.

Abracadabra

There has been some amazing feats performed in the world of magic and David Copperfield’s act of walking through the Great Wall has to be among them. What else would you expect from the same man who has levitated above the Grand Canyon, made the Statue of Liberty disappear, and wed Claudia Schiffer!? For this illusion, Copperfield used a sheet and his faithful assistant to appear to go through the legendary wall… his secret is safe with me!

Maid in China

Rope Tricks

Chinese acrobat Adili Wuxor (dubbed the ‘Prince of Tightrope Walking’) and his apprentice Yakup Jang performed a tightrope walk of 1,100 feet from one point of the Great Wall to another in 2013. It’s estimated that the duo was 328-feet above the ground at the highest point. If that wasn’t enough, the stuntmen performed some theatrics during the 40-minute crossing, including sitting on the rope, balancing on one foot, dancing, and even going blindfolded.

The Wall is Not Enough

While it has yet to happen in a Bond film, it has long been rumoured and researched to film a motorcycle chase scene at the Great Wall for the long running franchise. First dreamt up for the 1989 License to Kill, negotiations with the Chinese government hit a snag when the politicians asked for power over the script. The most recent 007 saga, Skyfall, was to include the fabled act, but plans changed and although Bond travels to China, the Great Wall was not used.

China: China Blue

Mar 31

  • 2 oz Chu Yeh Ching Chiew
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Lychee Juice and Grapefruit Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Wheels

I’m proud of all you little sippers for traversing the Great Wall with me and not needing to be carried by bodyguards like that twerp (nee douche bag) Justin Bieber. Now that was an amazing feat… of stupidity!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Some say Chu Yeh Ching Chiew is similar to wine, others to gin, and some classify it as closer to vodka. One site calls it Chinese Bamboo Leaf Vodka and that’s good enough for me! What really matters is that it’s believed to cure hangovers… well, at least for you hangover prone little sippers out there. As for this cocktail, it’s not bad. The flavour is indescribable thanks to the mix of Chu Yeh Ching Chiew and Lychee Juice; two flavours I don’t know very well. It could use some fizz, however.

March 28 – Vegas Bomb

Vegas or Bust

Well I’m off to Vegas tomorrow, which is a favourite weekend getaway for Mrs. Sip and me. So with our trip quickly approaching, I’m turning my mind to one of my favourite drinking trends: public consumption. One of my favourite things about Las Vegas is the opportunity to drink in public. Nothing beats walking along the strip on a nice warm day with a cold 40 oz beer in your hand.

Grab a drink, hit the strip, party... it`s as easy as one, two, three!

Grab a drink, hit the strip, party… it`s as easy as one, two, three!

While liquor is available everywhere in Vegas, ABC Stores are great for cheap beer, liquor and even little bottles of wine for Mrs. Sip (I know, she embarrasses me too!). There’s even a jaunt you can do in the Miracle Mile shopping centre where you can grab a beer at one ABC, enjoy it as you walk through the mall and make another pit stop to refuel as you hit a second store deeper in the complex. Hell, it’s the only way I can get through the pain of shopping.

Drinking on the street in Vegas was a graduated learning process for us that evolved on each subsequent trip. First we started off with the hotel bought frozen drinks in crazy plastic shaped containers that you see everyone carrying around (we figured that the hotels are selling them to you, so it must be okay to walk around with).

Then we progressed to aluminum beer cans (aluminum is like plastic, right?). But the beers we really wanted were in bottles. So finally we took the plunge, bought a few, and dared to see if we would be challenged with our glass. As we exited one of the ABC stores, we realized that our beer bottles weren’t twist tops – a huge mistake on our part. As we tried to decide whether we should go buy an opener, a security guard began to approach us. We were quickly relieved to learn she just wanted to help us pop the tops of our drinks! Viva Las Vegas!

I’ve now advanced beyond beer in Vegas and instead I often like to grab a mickey of something and a mixer, take a swig out of the mixer bottle and drink my way through the entire combo as we go along. Mrs. Sip took advantage of one of these afternoon buzzes, by getting me to pose like a drunk for photos on the replica Brooklyn Bridge outside New York, New York. Little did I know that I was mimicking the exact pose of a real drunk behind me. Thanks babe!

Drinking on the Strip

Even celebrities drink on the strip!

Walking the strip, you get quite the eclectic group of people and that means a mix of drink ideas and opportunities. You get your beer guys and gals, your frozen drink enthusiasts, your hard liquor folk, and the dreaded sobriety demons (who you can recognize because they are usually yelling scripture at you and informing you that all sinners go to hell… too late!). It is perfectly fine to taunt these men and women, unless they are designated drivers… we here at The Sip Advisor are cool with DDs and support that cause.

Just writing this post makes me want to be there right now… I only hope my money can last the long weekend!

Drink #87: Vegas Bomb

Vegas Bomb Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 oz Crown Royal
  • 0.75 oz Butterscotch or Peach Schnapps
  • 1 Red Bull

Simply drop your shot into the glass of Red Bull and slam that sucka’. We don’t leave for Sin City until tomorrow, but we couldn’t resist getting all crazy and into the spirit of things!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Drop shots can be fun, but messy. That was the case with this particular one, as the shot glass tipped sideways when I dropped it into the big glass. I went with Butterscotch Schnapps for the sweet portion of the shooter, but you could also use Peach Schnapps.

March 22 – Southern Frost

Meteoro-losers

Straight up: I hate weathermen, weather reports, weather gossip, weather channels, weather balloons, weather vanes (also hilariously known as weather cocks), and generally anything else having to do with weather reporting or prediction.

Mrs. Sip, on the other hand, is always updating me on what the weather will be like where we live and most frustratingly, what it will be like during our next vacation destination a month before we’re set to be there (I think this trait is hereditary, so hopefully it’s not passed down to our children… *shudder* children). Weather guys and gals can’t even get their forecasts right the day of, so how the hell can they accurately predict what the weather will be like a month ahead of time?

Weathermen Wrong

In any other industry, if you were wrong more than half the time, you would be fired and never work in that field again. For some reason, meteorologists get a pass and I’m not cool with that. But what’s more bizarre is that WE KEEP LISTENING TO THEM! (And I obviously do not include myself in that “we” because I’m clearly in the small percentage of the population who has leveled up and evolved beyond weather reporting).

I say the only way to check the weather is to look out your own window and examine what the sky is doing at that present time. If you live in a stable environment, then this should be all you need to do for weeks at a time. I live in a volatile, urban, rainforest (kind of wish I lived in the Rainforest Cafe), where you can have multiple weather patterns in a single day. Still, the check-out-your-window process works fine for me.

No Rain Indoors

I think a fitting punishment for all weathermen would be for them to be sucked into their own green screens and be mauled by the various monsters that have come to life thanks to CGI special effects. The hotties that are put into the role of weatherwomen, regardless of education and training, can be spared, provided they perform their duties in the buff, going forward. Now there are some chances of precipitation I can get behind!

I can’t believe there’s a whole channel dedicated to weather. What do I care if it’s snowing in Eastern Canada or if there’s a heat wave in Dubai? The Weather Channel should be turned into another sports channel, giving airtime to games like Dodge Ball, Ultimate Frisbee, and Hackeysacking. It could be called ESPN Stoner and it would be a haven for advertisers like Doritos, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Red Bull (I may have said too much now. I call dibs on the sports channel idea).

Back to weather reports, I think we can all agree that it only provides entertainment to seniors and for that reason alone, I suppose we can allow it to continually exist. I have great respect for our elders and I want them to enjoy a happy retirement and twilight years… they’ve earned it. *Sniff* Now I’m getting all emotional. Let’s get on with today’s drink.

Drink #81: Southern Frost

Southern Frost Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Southern Comfort
  • Top with half Cranberry Juice and half Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with an Orange Slice and a Raspberry

Quite frankly, the only weather phenomena I want to hear about is one that I can drink. At least it will help me get through the daily weather report. God speed!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
While the drink tasted great, I was especially happy with the garnish job I put together. I’ve found Southern Comfort to be a really solid liquor contribution and the combo of Cranberry Juice and Ginger Ale works really well together.

March 21 – Bottle Cap

Penny Candy Perfection

I’m sure everyone can remember back to his or her childhood – liquor-decimated brain cells be damned – to the days when a trip to the local convenience store with your allowance money was special. Well, maybe this doesn’t apply to kids nowadays who seem to be ushered around everywhere and are never let out of sight of their helicopter parents. Do they even know the rush and reward of walking to get candy, blowing your allowance all in one place and finding that perfect treat for the walk home? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean us kidults can’t reminisce. Here were some of my favourites:

Double Bubble

I remember the odd time when the Sip Household would have one of those big tubs of Double Bubble chewing gum. Once, I had so many back-to-back pieces of the gum – hell, we were making gum sandwiches and burritos with the stuff – that I got a massive headache from all the chewing. This was the first of many brain injuries (as I’m sure you can tell) and led to a placement on the injured reserve list for months. Yeah, that last joke was about as funny as the comics they packaged with the gum!

Swallowing Gum - The Horrific Outcome!

Shockers

God bless the Wonka candy company (makers of Nerds, Runts, Gobstoppers, etc.), which capitalized on the popularity of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (book and movie). Shockers can certainly be credited for every cavity that has ever been filled in my mouth. These extremely sour, but fun to chew candies never lasted long around The Sip Advisor headquarters. Each of the five Shockers flavours – sour green apple, blue raspberry, grape, orange and cherry – tasted great, which often can’t be said for candy packs. There’s usually one slacker flavour that doesn’t pull its own weight, but not with this treat.

Pixy Stix

Man, kids are stupid. I remember acting like Pixy Stix were some kind of drug. Myself and friends would shoot a bunch of sticks before a hockey game and we were probably sugar buzzing so high that we’d come out, have a couple good shifts, and then crash hard. If the small “snack size” sugar packets weren’t enough, you had to upgrade your dose to those massive two-foot long tubes and before you knew it, you were a junkie.

Pixy Stix Billboard

Jelly Tots

When I decided to put together a candy table for my wedding last summer, I started to gather some favourite treats from past and present. When I found a package of Jelly Tots, I was instantly reminded of how much I enjoyed them in my youth. It had been a while since I’d had any, my need for candy replaced by liquor desires in my teens. The candy table was a hit, a highlight of the wedding, I dare say. Well, it was largely demolished by the time I and the rest of the wedding party returned from our photo excursion. I still managed to get some Jelly Tots, though!

Bottle Caps

What today’s drink is all about! The only thing that sucks about Bottle Caps candy are the grape-flavoured ones, which taste worse than most cough medicines. And it always seems like there are a disproportionate amount of those terrible death-tasting grape candies in each box. Give me more of the Cherry, Root Beer, Orange Crush and Cola pieces and sub out the grape candies for a lemon-lime soda tablet. Hell, throw in a Red Bull flavor… anything but yucky grape.

Drink #80: Bottle Cap

Bottle Cap Cocktail

  • 1 oz Root Beer Schnapps
  • 1 oz Raspberry Liqueur
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Top with Cola
  • Garnish with Sour Soother

Thankfully, I still get a weekly stipend from Mrs. Sip, specifically for penny candy. It was part of our prenuptial agreement and I’m thankful every day that I had that written in. You can’t see me!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This drink tastes exactly like a Bottle Cap candy. It’s not very heavy on liquor, which can sometimes be a nice change of pace. I wish I could have garnished the drink with an actual Bottle Cap, but it was made impromptu, so I settled for a yummy Sour Soother. C’est la vie!