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.

Belgium – Belgian Mojito

Full Meal Deal

Belgium is a pretty creative place. After all, they are responsible for the saxophone, the Body Mass Index, Club Med, Jean-Claude Van Damme (the Muscles from Brussels) and these culinary treats!

Beer

Let’s start with the fact that there are over 800 brands of Belgian beer. When Mrs. Sip and I were in Belgium many moons ago, we decided to try a bunch of different types of brew (not a hard choice, really) and were handed a menu that read like a phonebook. Each beer comes with its own specialized glass, said to improve the overall experience. It’s estimated that Belgians drink 84 liters of beer per person, per year. Those are numbers to be quite proud of!

Belgian Beer

French Fries

According to lore, it wasn’t the French who invented one of the greatest side dishes ever known to man, but the Belgians. In fact, the Belgians have an entire culture devoted to the French fry, including most citizens owning a deep fryer so they can make their own at all hours of the day. As a sauce man, myself, I’m happy to note that the fine folks of Belgium will use an array of different toppings on their fries, including mayonnaise (the big one over there), tartar sauce, and many others.

Chocolate

The sweet stuff is a big deal in Belgium, with chocolatier and confectionary outlets on many street corners. Point being, they are not hard to find. Some of the most popular chocolate brands in Belgium, include Guylian (makers of the sea shell chocolates) and Neuhaus (inventor of pralines and even the method of gift wrapping chocolate purchases). The world’s greatest chocolate sales occur at the Brussels International Airport, as travelers stock up on the goodies before exiting the country.

Belgium Waffles

I’m not sure what exactly takes a waffle and makes it Belgian (apparently this is a North American term to describe larger, but lighter battered waffles), but if they want to lay claim to this breakfast fixture, I say let them have it. In Belgium, it’s more common to see the term Brussels waffle, but it seems to all mean the same thing. In Belgium, waffles are even sold on the street as a snack on the go and sometimes from ice cream trucks.

Belgian Waffles

Brussels Sprouts

One of the most child-despised food items to ever exist, parents of fussy eaters can thank the Belgians for this culinary gem. The sprout has been grown in Brussels for over 400 years and while it could have originated anywhere, Belgium has jumped aboard the edible bud train. Mrs. Sip has recently got into Brussels sprouts, providing they’re roasted and smothered in cheese. I’m still not onboard with the leafy green, but we have a ceasefire with one another.

Mussels

Or as they know it, moules-frites (mussels and fries), has often been given the title of Belgium’s national dish. I like mussels from time to time, particularly if done in a Cajun-esque style and in one of those big pots with other seafood, potatoes, and corn on the cob. Back to Belgium’s take on the dish, the shellfish is typically cooked or steamed with vegetables such as onions, celery, and leeks, although other, more savoury techniques can be utilized.

Jenever

This ancestor of gin has been the national spirit of Belgium for hundreds of years. In fact, Jenever is a protected product of origin and can only be manufactured in Belgium, the Netherlands (where we will sample it in a few weeks), and parts of France and Germany. The traditional serving method includes a shot glass fresh from the freezer and filled to the brim. The first sip should be taken without the use of hands, before you can return to normal sipping procedures!

Belgium: Belgian Mojito

Belgian Mojito Cocktail

As a beer and French fry connoisseur, I give great praise to the people of Belgium and that’s without even taking into consideration the Sip Advisor’s sweet tooth. I won’t even deduct points for their addition of Brussels sprouts to the international potluck!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’ve never put together what is basically a Beer Mojito, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity. My drink turned into its own ecosystem with all the greenery in there. It tasted pretty good, though, helping me further my claim to being the ‘King of Mojitos!’

Croatia – Naked Lady

Spotty Reputation

Without Croatia, we might have never been introduced to 101 Dalmatians. These spotted dogs come from the Dalmatia region of the country (which has a coat of arms that features leopards, not Dalmatians) and were once used as carriage dogs many years ago. Because of this, they are typically very comfortable around horses and can keep up to them. Let’s learn a little more about the pooches:

One of the first uses of the breed was to guard the borders of Dalmatia. They have also found work as rescue dogs, hunting dogs, circus dogs, and watch dogs. Hey, it’s a living!

Dalmatian Spots

Dalmatians have gone by other names over time, including Carriage Dog, English Coach Dog, Plum Pudding Dog, and the Spotted Dick Dog. The British sure have a funky way of naming their pups and you really have to wonder which bloke came up with that last one, as accurate as it may be.

A fully grown Dalmatian can weigh anywhere between 35 and 70 pounds and their average lifespan is 10-13 years, although some have lived to the ripe old age of 16. Dalmatian litters range from 9-13 pups, although in rare occurrences, larger broods have been born in one go, with a reported 18-puppy birthing in 2009.

When a Dalmatian is born, it has an all-white coat and its trademark spots only appear at about three weeks. By the time they are one month old, they will have most of their spots, but other will appears throughout the dog’s life, just at a slower rate. The spots are usually black or brown, but some rarer colours do occur, such as bluish-grey, orange, yellow, and even tri-coloured.

Dalmatian Shadow

Dalmatians are high energy dogs and one negative effect of the popular book (written by Dodie Smith) and animated and live-action Disney movies was the increase of people adopting Dalmatian dogs for their children, only to realize they weren’t suitable animals for kids. Sadly, this resulted in many of the dogs being given up for adoption by underprepared owners, which was exacerbated by unethical breeders, who were already mass-producing poorly bred puppies to take advantage of the fad. Happily, a number of groups popped up to deal with the overwhelming number of Dalmatians looking for homes.

The dogs are often associated with fire departments, which began when Dalmatians transitioned from carriages to fire engines. Dalmatians today are used as mascots for firehouses and as ambassadors for fire safety education with the young and old alike. It’s not uncommon for a firefighter to own a Dalmatian as their pet, to honour their past heroics.

Dalmatians Coloring Book

According to the Dalmatian Club of America, 12% of the Dalmatian population is deaf, while other dogs of the breed can only hear in one ear. On the positive side, Dalmatians lack the typical “dog smell” and are fairly clean pets, thanks to a lack of oil in their fur.

The Dalmatian is also largely associated with Budweiser beer and the company’s Busch Gardens theme parks. Anytime you see the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses, you can bet their Dalmatian carriage dog is close by. The brewing company has assembled a number of these teams and they tour around promoting the product. Dalmatians were even used to guard beer wagons, as the driver went about his business making deliveries. Let’s salute this proud, noble, beer protector!

Croatia: Naked Lady

Naked Lady Martini

  • 1 oz Rum
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Rakija
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Lemon Zest

Aside from Dalmatians, the necktie also technically comes from Croatia, as it is a descendent of the cravat. If I had chosen to write about that, though, it would have largely been to take shots at all the schlubs who have to wear one every day to work!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Wow, Rakija is strong, but I can’t say that I don’t like the liqueur. This martini was decent with some complex flavours going on. I’m curious to try Rakija in other recipes and see if I can find a grand slam recipe for the spirit!

November 30 – Re-Run

Crossover Calamity

Last week (Nov. 21) was World Television Day and I passed over it in favour of dedicating myself to Whiskey Week. That transgression has bugged me since and must be remedied. I love TV. It is by far my favourite entertainment option, far surpassing movies, music, and reading, with food, sex, and sports receiving brief shout outs. In belated honour of that special day, here are some of the oddest crossover partnerships, most of which have occurred on the small screen!

Baywatch – World Championship Wrestling

It would be so bizarre if you were hanging out at the beach, enjoying some sand and surf, when all of a sudden a 400-pound professional wrestler – fully decked out in his ring gear – storms the coastline to confront his enemy. You see, at the time, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were hanging out with Mitch Buchannon and the chest-tacular babes of Baywatch. Of course, challenges were made and a ring constructed, with the good guys triumphing over evil and sending them packing with sand in their tights.

WCW Baywatch

Come on Hulkster… nobody wants to see you run along the beach!

Scooby Doo – Harlem Globetrotters, Batman and Robin, Laurel and Hardy, The Addams Family, The Three Stooges

The Scooby Gang can be credited with having the most bizarre partnerships in the history of sleuthing. They’ve crossed numerous mediums to ruin the schemes of creepy, old men, who just want their share of a town’s or family’s riches. I think the most bizarre of these associations would have to be The Addams Family, as Scooby and Shaggy wouldn’t be able to be around the spooky clan… unless there was just enough Scooby Snacks to keep them occupied.

X-Files – The Simpsons

While this was a very well done crossover, the fact that dry FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully even ventured into the chaotic town of Springfield seems like an odd choice at first glance. Investigating Homer Simpson’s claims of seeing an alien-like figure that has a sweet and heavenly voice and appears every Friday night like Steve Urkel, the X-Files tandem discovers that the extraterrestrial is in fact only Mr. Burns, who is let loose following his weekly longevity treatment.

Springfield Files

Superman and Wonder Woman – The Brady Bunch

Why Superman and Wonder Woman would bother to waste their time helping the snot-nosed kids of the Brady Bunch will forever remain a mystery. Perhaps it was a slow day for the Justice League or they were fumigating the Fortress of Solitude or something. I just feel that Superman and Wonder Woman could have spent the day doing anything else – from bumping uglies to running errands – and it would have turned out better.

Archie – The Punisher

Why these two entities would ever need to cross paths is something I can’t fathom. Was Archie searching for vigilante justice after Jughead ate him out of house and home? Did he finally have enough of that prick Reggie? Perhaps Betty and Veronica were tired of clashing in their pursuit of a fair-skinned ginger and decided to rid the world of the guy, via a murder-for-hire plot. In actuality, The Punisher is searching for a notorious drug deal named Red, who (get ready for the hilarious misunderstandings) just happens to look like Archie. As if junkies would ever buy product off a guy that looked like Archie!

archie punisher

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Power Rangers

I guess if you suspend your disbelief enough (or take some hallucinogenic drugs), anything is possible. And that was the theory that went behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teaming with the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. The two sides actually have more in common than you’d think: they’re teenagers, have martial arts training, use weaponry, enjoy pizza… you know, all the important stuff.

Superman – Muhammad Ali

While most would side with Muhammad Ali in regards to any battle he entered, it’s hard to do so when he’s up against a completely invincible being like Superman. This was such a mismatched fight that I hope Ali immediately fired all his representation. Even Don King would have been able to see the writing on the wall and he’s a selfish loser with only his own best interest in mind. I just hope the prize money was worth the walloping Ali was in for.

Drink #334: Re-Run

Re-Run Shooter

  • 0.75 oz Hpnotiq Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Rum
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Pineapple Candy

Which befuddling crossovers have I missed? Please send them my way, as I’m always looking for inebriated viewing ideas!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty decent on the taste scale. The citrus-flavoured Hpnotiq went well with the other ingredients and on the plus side, the combination didn’t come across as too sweet. I’ve been trying, when Grenadine is an ingredient, to not overwhelm anything recipes with the substance and that worked to perfection here.