Mixer Mania #37 – Notably Negligent

Did you know that we have Ginger Beer to thank for the legal term of negligence. It all stems from the English 1932 case of Donoghue v. Stevenson, which resulted when Mrs. Donoghue drank a Ginger Beer that had been manufactured by Mr. Stevenson’s company. There happened to (allegedly) be a snail in the bottle, which caused Mrs. Donoghue to become sick. Mr. Stevenson was guilty due to negligence, which had previously not been used in legal matters. Here are some other infamous cases of legal negligence:

McDonald’s Coffee

Almost everyone out there knows of this lawsuit, which most point to as being ridiculous. After hearing the circumstances, though, many change their minds and can understand why the restaurant chain was punished as harshly as they were. When 80-year-old Stella Liebeck spilled a cup of java on her lap, causing third-degree burns, she asked for $800 to cover the treatments for her injuries. When McDonald’s balked, Liebeck sued and was awarded $2.7 million by a jury. Apparently, the franchise had received hundreds of complaints about the temperature of their coffee which was served much higher than other restaurants.

Coffee Caution Hot.jpg

Google Maps

In 2009, Lauren Rosenberg used Google Maps for a walking journey she needed to take and ended up getting hit by a car. The map service advised her to walk on a freeway void of sidewalks as part of her trip, resulting in the accident. Rosenberg sued Google (and the driver who hit her) for $100,000 to cover her medical bills. The case was eventually dismissed, as Google does have warnings about the reliability of their directions.

Los Angeles Dodgers

After a San Francisco Giants fan, Bryan Stow, was viciously beaten by two men, causing brain damage, Stow sued the Dodgers, alleging his attack was to be blamed on a lack of security presence at the opening day contest between the two teams. Stow was awarded $18 million, of which the Dodgers were found to be 25 per cent responsible, but still have to fork over $13.9 million to cover all of Stow’s medical bills and loss of earnings. Hostilities between Giants and Dodgers fans have existed for decades, even resulting in a couple murders.

Wendy’s Chili

In 2005, Anna Ayala of California sat down to a meal at a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose. While eating, she claimed to have discovered a severed fingertip in her bowl of chili. She sued Wendy’s, however, Ayala had a checkered history of lawsuits against companies and it didn’t take long for investigators to poke holes in her story. Ayala was later arrested and charged with attempted grand larceny for the incident, which she pled guilty to and was sentenced to nine years in prison, serving four years. The finger belonged to a co-worker of Ayala’s husband. Wendy’s estimated their loss of revenue from the incident to be $21 million.

Mixer Mania #37: Bermuda Black

Bermuda Black

  • 2 oz Rum
  • 1.75 oz Stout or Porter Beer
  • Top with Ginger Beer
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

What are some other famous negligence lawsuits that have been filed in this crazy world? Whether legit or not, the subject matter is often quite interesting and often divisive.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I was really looking forward to making this drink and it did not disappoint. If you try it and the Ginger Beer content is too high, you can even the drink out with more of the Stout/Porter Beer and the results will be absolutely delicious.

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Mixer Mania #34 – Wondrous Watermelon

Up until recently, I didn’t realize Watermelon Soda was part of the Crush pop line or even existed. Given I love watermelon, this was a very happy discovery and I instantly grabbed a bottle. Much like this watermelon-based soft drink seemed mythical, let’s take a look at some legends meant to explain the existence of watermelons:

Making Papa Proud

Our first origin story comes from Vietnam, where a young prince angered his father, the king, and was banished to a deserted island. There, he found a fruit that he feared was poisonous and only consumed when all other options were gone. The fruit was tasty and extinguished his thirst. The prince then cultivated the fruit, which spread across the island. He also sent some of the fruit drifting into the sea, with his name and the island’s name carved into them. This brought others to the island, in search of the fruit. The king learned of his son’s achievements and invited him home, crowning him the next king.

Cat Watermelon

Slithering Save

Moving on to Armenia, this tale begins with a king’s servants cutting a snake’s horns off, in order to save it. As a thank you, the snake left a seed at the palace. From the seed, grew a new fruit, which was offered to an ailing old man, saving his life. The king tried the fruit next and felt invigorated. Thus, Armenians called watermelon “Not-Die”, once upon a time. I’m conflicted on this legend. On one hand, I don’t think I would ever be inclined to save a snake, but would rather chop its head off. On the other hand, the servants heroic efforts resulted in the creation of watermelon, so can I really fault them?

Passion of the Priest

We’ll wrap things up with a journey to the Philippines, where a Spanish priest was working hard to convert folks to Catholicism. One particular area was resistant to the priest’s teachings about Christ and his sacrifices. The ruler of this region eventually detained the priest and punished him according to his lessons, crucifying him on a cross. The priest succumbed to this treatment and his blood flowed into the ground below. When the ruler later returned to the cross, the priest had disappeared and in his place, a fruit had grown, its innards resembling the blood of the priest. And that’s how people get converted!

Mixer Mania #34: Nice Melons

Nice Melons.JPG

  • 2 oz Rum
  • Top with Watermelon Soda
  • Splash of Peach Juice
  • Dash of Lime/Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

There is also a legend of vampire watermelons (and pumpkins), but I’ll let you look into that yourselves…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
For this recipe, I’ve subbed Watermelon Soda and Peach Juice in place of Watermelon and Peach Pieces, respectively. I also used the last of my Bear Hug Mango Rum to up the melon content and the result was very, very good. It may be a little sweet, but that can be evened out by Club Soda. The Watermelon Soda is nice on its own, reminding me of a 7-11 Slurpee.

Mixer Mania #31 – Hard as they Come

Don’t get me wrong… I’ve been a root beer fan for many years, but I still can’t fully fathom why hard root beer has taken North America by storm. I mean, if I have the choice between a hard root beer and any craft beer, I’m reaching for the craft suds. With the fad in mind, let’s look at some of the hardest things out there, some real and some fictional:

Samoan Wrestler’s Heads

It’s long been a running joke in professional wrestling that a Samoan grappler’s head is virtually indestructible. For example, when an opponent would attempt a head butt, they would be the one to experience injury, while the Samoan would feel no effect, often laughing off the feeble attack.

Diamonds

That pretty little thing you’ve placed on your partner’s hand is actually one of the hardest substances known to man. Doesn’t seem so elegant anymore, does it!? Mrs. Sip has advised me that I should be shopping for another… better get on that.

Jawbreaker

Sometimes I don’t understand why this candy exists, given its unpleasant nature of causing dental damage for little to no enjoyment. A Gobstopper is okay because they breakdown easily enough, but those massive jawbreakers are simply a dentist’s dream.

Adamantium

Thought to be virtually indestructible, Adamantium is the element that has been fused to mutant Logan’s skeletal structure, turning him into a super weapon, code name: Wolverine. The painful procedure also caused Logan to become amnesic and forget his past.

Adamantium

Feminum

Sticking with indestructible super hero alloys, we have Feminum, used to forge Wonder Woman’s bracelets. This material can only be found on Paradise Island, home to Wonder Woman (aka Princess Diana) and her fellow Amazonians.

Anvil

Is there a better weapon in animated comedy than the anvil? Whether dropped by one of the Animaniacs or in a botched fashion by the lovable Wile E. Coyote, it can do some serious damage. You know, the type that causes chirping birdies or flashing stars to circle your noggin’.

Mixer Mania #31: Amber’s Revenge

Amber's Revenge.JPG

  • 1 oz Scotch
  • 0.5 oz Rum
  • 0.5 oz Tequila
  • Top with Root Beer
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

The whole hard root beer craze reminds me of a story my dad has told of a German relative trying root beer while visiting Canada and practically spitting out the soda upon discovering his beverage was far from the ales he was accustomed to back in Germany.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’m not sure who Amber is/was, but she must have been pretty pissed off, as I had to quarter each of the liquor ingredients to make the cocktail palatable. Not many drinks include Scotch, which is a slight shame because it works really well here and probably in other recipes.

Mixer Mania #28 – Lively Legends

When the Sip Advisor was just a wee little sipper, rumours began circling (no doubt spread by the nefarious lemon-lime soda lobbyists) that drinking Mountain Dew caused a decrease in a man’s sperm count/shrunken testicles. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some other soda-related urban legends:

Mixing Pop Rocks and Soda

While many myths involve anonymous people, this legend went a step further and even named a notable victim, Little Mikey from Life cereal commercials in the 1970s. To counter the rapidly spreading rumour, the FDA created a hotline to quell parent’s fears. Not only was actor John Gilchrist alive and well, but he reprised the character for a series of ads in the 1980s, this time as a college student. Interestingly, combining Mentos and soda, does in fact result in explosive reactions.

Coca-Cola Made with Cocaine

Originally, it was… heck, it’s right there in the name, which references two of the drink’s original ingredients: coca leaf extract and kola nuts. Of course, the drug wasn’t illegal when the Coca-Cola first hit the market in the late 1800s, but Coke wasn’t completely cocaine-free until 1929. If anyone has any classic bottles lying around, you may truly get a buzz from the concoction.

One More Line

Dr. Pepper Made with Prune Juice

One of the Sip Advisor’s favourite all-time mixers, the beverage is made using 23 different ingredients; however, prune juice is not one of them. Dr. Pepper even goes so far as to rebut the query in the frequently asked questions portion of their website and at one time also published a brochure to the same effect. Amazingly, this rumour has persisted since the 1930s. Hey, at least the beverage would help folks stay regular, if you catch my drift.

Club Soda Kills Fire Ant Colonies

Unfortunately, the solution isn’t so easy. First, the queens of the colony need to be eradicated with poison, before Club Soda may help with the rest of the little buggers. While it won’t rid you of an infestation without the use of alternative methods, it can help in an equally annoying issue by being able to remove red wine stains.

Coca-Cola as Spermicide

I’m not even sure what one would do to use or test this method and I don’t feel like delving too deep into the issue. Suffice to say, it doesn’t work, so don’t go running out to your local convenience store to grab a six-pack or two-liter bottle just because you have a hot date on the horizon. Coke’s use as a lice remedy is still unproven, however, so perhaps you should have some on hand just in case.

Mixer Mania #28: Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid

  • 1 oz Watermelon Schnapps
  • 1 oz Rum
  • Top with Mountain Dew (Code Red)
  • Garnish with a Mint Sprig

There are a few other completely ridiculous mixer urban legends out there, such as energy drinks containing bull semen and Fanta being invented by Nazis. Ah, isn’t the internet fun!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.75 Sips out of 5):
Rather than regular Rum, I decided to use my Bacardi Arctic Grape variety, which resulted in a fruity, but refreshing cocktail. The Code Red Mountain Dew was good and it’s no wonder it won the DEWmand flavour competition a couple years back.

BC Beer Baron #32 – Steel & Oak Tortuga Wild Ale

If you had told me at the start of this 366-days of BC craft beer project that February would hit and I still wouldn’t have covered Steel & Oak Brewing (one of my and Mrs. Sip’s preferred breweries), I would have told you to lay off the sauce… and leave it for the Sip Advisor. That’s just a testament to all the good beer out there in this province.

The Tortuga Wild Ale is a special release, as part of Steel & Oak’s Oak-Aged Series. This brew was aged a full year in Caribbean rum barrels and then given a second fermentation to add notes of sour cherry. I’m not very familiar with wild ales and although I’m not a huge fan of sour beers, I did enjoy this beverage. The Tortuga has a strong rum finish following tart sour cherry beginnings and something about the combination of those two elements really worked for me.

Steel & Oak Tortuga Wild Ale

Mrs. Sip’s Take:

This wasn’t really for her. She liked how the beer was strong (7.3% ABV), being a Belgian Dubbel and Tripel fan (are there Beligan Singels?), but didn’t really enjoy the sour tastes. She would gravitate towards other Steel & Oak products.

Tortuga, of course, is an island in the Caribbean – belonging to Haiti to be exact – which was an epicenter of pirate activity in the 1600’s, including being heavily referenced in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. And where there are pirates, there will also be rum. For what it’s worth, a direct translation of the term means turtle or tortoise. The more you know [rainbow swipe]!

It may have taken us a while to get to our first beer from Steel & Oak, but it certainly won’t be our last… especially with a bottle of the company’s Smoked Dunkelweizen sitting in my fridge!

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

April 18 – High Five

Playing Peeves

Earlier this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs got into trouble for not doing their typical salute to the crowd, following a win. They were accused of snubbing the audience that had recently gone so far as to throw jerseys on the ice, when disgusted with the team’s play. Really, it’s their fault for being Maple Leafs fans in the first place, but I digress. While I don’t have any issue with the salute, one way or the other, here are some other player traditions that should be outlawed:

#5: Staged Fights (NHL)

While this pet peeve bothers me less than others that did not make this list, I figured I’d be fair and try to include as many different sports as I could. I’m not the biggest advocate of fighting in hockey, but I do like the odd tilt, usually between two light/middleweights who are chucking knuckles for a reason. Staged fights between two super heavyweights, only fighting because that’s all they can provide to the game, is a waste of roster spots. With the demise of the hockey enforcer, this happens rarely in today’s NHL. You still see the occasional bout off the opening draw, but it’s usually based off of something that happened in the team’s last contest.

hockey fights

#4: Slapping Helmets (NFL)

Given all the concussion concerns and lawsuits being launched by former players, it blows my mind when I see entire football squads viciously slapping each other on the helmet, in order to CELEBRATE a play. Talk about friendly fire! It almost makes you wish they went back to the days of smacking each other on the ass, as all that might do, is produce a bruise. I think every football player loses credibility in the whole concussion argument, given they’re likely seeing stars after successful plays, with injuries caused by their own teammates. Hmmm, perhaps the NFL should hire me onto their legal team!

#3: High-Fives After Each Free Throw Attempt (NBA)

Okay, so the fouled basketball player steps up to the free throw line, which basically means a take-your-time, unobstructed shot from a mere 15 meters away from the hoop and if he makes the shot, everyone on his team must give him a high-five… hell, they even high-five for a missed shot! There is some debate whether the exchange of pleasantries after each shot helps keep a player loose, or disrupts their technique or needed alterations for the follow-up shot. I think the whole process is ridiculous and I think some players do as well; given there have been instances of hoop stars mocking it.

free throw high fives

#2: Elaborate High-Five Routines (MLB)

What do you do when you’re sport is slower than watching paint dry and you have to play 162 games each season? Develop an elaborate high-five routine, of course! I don’t understand why sports highlight shows are so enamored with this trend and feature the choreographed hand-slapping and fist-bumping performance in their replay packages. Sometimes the act goes on for minutes at a time and yes, I guess that does make it more exciting than the game itself. You would never see this ridiculousness in faster-paced sports, because if a hockey player, for example, tried it, they would be body checked through the boards before they could finish!

#1: Complaints About Running Up the Score

I’ve largely only seen accusations of this in football circles, but the other major leagues will take measures to quell landslide victories. In hockey, you might see the winning team rest its scoring lines, in favour of checking players, while in baseball, bunting and stealing bases may be discouraged. Basketball games are usually too close to call and in football, teams may run shorter plays and not go for big scores. The problem with this is if I paid my hard earned money to go to a contest and my team was obliterating the opposition, why would I want that experience to stop? All fans want to see the stars of the sport do what they are paid millions to do: perform at the highest level, not take a game off.

Super Saturday Shot Day: High Five

High Five Shot

  • 0.3 Grand Marnier
  • 0.3 oz Rum
  • 0.3 oz Passion Fruit Liqueur
  • 0.3 oz Orange Juice
  • 0.3 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with an Orange Wedge

I can’t believe how many of these items are based on high-fiving. Narrowly missing the list was female tennis players screaming and grunting their way through matches… although, it is kind of hot! Next up, the Sip Advisor should take a look at the greatest pet peeves I have towards sports fans. This would include such gems as dorks leaving a game before it’s over and the completely unnecessary wave.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is actually a cocktail recipe, but was easy to convert to a shooter, since all the ingredients were in equal portions already. It’s an incredibly fruity shot, so you know the flavours are going to be nice. The booze quotient could be upped a little so you know you’re drinking a shooter, but the taste is quite enjoyable as it is.

June 20 – Texas Roadkill

On the Road Again

With the summer rapidly approaching, families are likely making plans for road trips, vacations, and other forms of long distance travel. After reading this list and viewing the media listed, you may want to reconsider. Here are the Top 5 road trip movies, which never go according to plan!

#5: Zombieland

Can road trips still occur in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world? Zombieland proves they can, as our four heroes – identified only by the city which they hail from – try to survive together and decide the safest place for them to be is Pacific Playland in Los Angeles – after all, there might be Twinkies there! When they arrive, through a mine field of the undead, they discover there really is no safe place left in the world, except maybe with each other.

zombieland twinkies

#4: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Neal Page is having a bad day… and it’s about to get a lot worse. While trying to get home for Thanksgiving, his simple flight from New York to Chicago is transformed into a three-day nightmare, with an unwelcome companion, Del Griffith, along for the journey. One thing after another goes wrong, usually caused by the affable Griffith. In the end, the two men share the holiday together and a new appreciation for what they have.

#3: Beavis and Butt-head Do America

Despite Mrs. Sip’s refusal to watch this film, it’s a great movie that everyone should watch at least once. Heck, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel actually gave the flick two thumbs up. The story sees our favourite teenage delinquents trek across the country, in search of their missing TV, while also getting unwittingly entangled in a murder-for-hire plot. Everything comes to a head in Washington, D.C., with the White House as a backdrop and the ATF’s intervention.

beavis-and-butthead

#2: Little Miss Sunshine

This sleeper hit sees the dysfunctional Hoover family set out for the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, which daughter Olive has lucked her way into. Along for the ride are Olive’s parents (currently going through some marital issues), moody brother, suicidal uncle, and drug-abusing grandfather. That sounds like a hell of a car load to the Sip Advisor! Best of all, the troupe is making the journey in a rundown VW Microbus, which makes for some not-so-comfortable family bonding.

#1: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Starring an ensemble cast that included legends such as Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, and Jonathan Winters, this film sees a number of travelers race to uncover $350,000 buried in the Santa Rosita Beach State Park. The movie Rat Race was a remake of sorts to the original, if you’re hoping to watch a more contemporary version of the story. There was also a great parody of the concept in an episode of The Simpsons. The things people do for money!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Texas Roadkill

  • 0.3 oz Rum
  • 0.3 oz Gin
  • 0.3 oz Vodka
  • 0.3 oz Bourbon
  • Dash of Tabasco Sauce

The best part about these movies is that they remind you of your own travel experiences (albeit probably not as eventful). For example, the film EuroTrip allows Mrs. Sip and me to reminisce about our Contiki tour around the continent, while National Lampoon’s Vacation makes me look back fondly on road trips across the U.S. with family. Lastly, Almost Famous inspires foggy memories of that time I toured North America with my bluegrass band… okay, I might have made that one up.