November 11 – Dirty Martini

Hall of Fame

Recently, I got the idea of building my own shrine to immortal alcohols. These spirits have meant a great deal to me and have made me the Sip Advisor I am today. So, without further ado, here is the inaugural Sip Advisor Liquor Hall of Fame Class!

Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum

I’ve always enjoyed spiced rums, but none more so than Sailor Jerry’s. A definite highlight in my relationship with the spirit was a booth along Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience, where free pour drinks that were upwards of 60% Sailor Jerry’s were enjoyed in copious amounts. Sadly, on my last visit, that booth was nowhere to be found… but they can’t take my memories!

sailor-jerry's collection

Crown Royal Whiskey

A true Canadian classic, akin to actor Leslie Nielsen, musician Neil Young, and the Tim Horton’s donut franchise! Crown Royal is a wonderful whiskey that has played a large role in the Sip Advisor’s life and career as a liquor jockey. When a recipe calls for whiskey, it’s hard for me to not instinctively go for the Crown Royal, sitting high and mighty in its top shelf perch.

Bacardi Light Rum

Bacardi Light Rum was training wheels for me, as I entered the booze world in my teenage years. Ma and Pa Sip were regular rum and coke drinkers and like parents like son, I took up the family business. I can’t remember how many times I filled up a flask of Bacardi before heading out to a party. A tradition I will one day pass down to my own little sippers!

Fireball Whiskey

This is my go-to flask filler, perfect for weddings, camping, and nights out on the town. If you’re ever in the need for a little nip of something to get the party started or warm up in inclement weather, Fireball is the perfect tonic to get your motor running. I’ve even converted little sippers to the joys of the whiskey thanks to my great reputation as a sharer.

Frieball Whiskey Heaven & Hell

1800 Añejo Tequila

Mrs. Sip and I were first introduced to 1800 on a group trip to Mexico for New Year’s 2012. In the land of tequila, one fine product emerged for us, combining a wonderful taste with a very reasonable price point. We have since returned to Mexico and tracked down the 1800 Añejo again and it won’t be long before we have to repeat the process a third time.

Granville Island Brewery

The beer wing’s first entrant has to be the offerings of the Granville Island Brewery. From their Raspberry and Wheat Ales to their Lager and Honey Lager entries, not much comes out of the GIB kitchen that doesn’t pass the Sip Advisor’s stringent testing methods. I look forward to many more years of brewing goodness from this micro-brewery.

Cola

We finish the evening with our first hall of fame inductee among the mixer category. It’s a pretty obvious choice. My first drinks all included cola (of the Pepsi variety, of course). Whether it was a straight up rum and coke or the adventurous Long Island Iced Tea, cola has always been there for me and I’ll never forget its friendship, love, and support.

Drink #315: Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini Drink Recipe

  • 2 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire East)
  • 0.25 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Splash of Olive Juice
  • Garnish with Olives

As with most hall of fames, a stringent voting process was needed to decide which drinking elements earned their way into these hallowed halls. Thankfully, an entire panel of top journalists and other prominent alcohol figures all reside in my head. Congrats to all the honourees.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
A star-studded event like saluting the 2013 hall of fame class needs a classy drink and so I went for the Dirty Martini. You can make this cocktail with either Gin or Vodka. I decided to go with the Gin variant, as that is the traditional method. One recipe noted to fill your martini glass with an ice cube and some water before placing in the fridge for a few minutes to let the chalice chill. This cocktail is certainly not for everyone. However, I like Olive Juice and I love Gin. Put the two together and the results are actually quite pleasant. I can see why this is such a popular martini to many people.

October 13 – Red Rum

Screen Spooks

Normally this time of the year, Mrs. Sip and I are getting into the Halloween spirit by watching scary movies and TV show episodes that highlight the pinnacle of October. With Mrs. Sip away in Europe, experiencing real-life haunts such as Dracula’s Castle, I’ve been left on my own to spook myself. Here are some of my favourite horror viewings:

Dead Snow (2009)

This movie is spectacular, focusing on the uprising of a horde of Nazi zombies. It begins with your usual group of young people heading out into the wilderness for a wild weekend at a remote lodge. Along the way, they awaken the Nazi zombies and the gruesome killings begin. Will anyone survive? Dead Snow is a Norwegian movie, so you have to be okay with subtitles, but I totally recommend sitting through the fun.

Dead Snow

April Fool’s Day (1986)

Mrs. Sip and other members of the Sip Alliance are fans of murder mystery parties. As for myself, I enjoy the eating and especially the drinking, but the whole dressing up and getting into character I find to be a struggle. This film takes the classic murder mystery weekend that turns real route. I haven’t yet seen the 2008 remake, preferring the cheesiness of the 80’s flick, although the remake was direct to DVD, so it’s probably got its fair share of fromage, too!

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

I’ve always thought that Freddy Krueger is one of the best horror movie baddies. He can be so vile and repulsive… yet charming, as he was made in later installments, dropping classic catchphrases and killing his victims in a more cartoonish style. The original Nightmare is a great film, perhaps best remembered lately for Johnny Depp’s role. The Freddy character has gone on to star in numerous movies, returning to the cold-blooded killer he was meant to be in recent adaptations.

The Shining (1980)

Watching Jack Torrance’s (Jack Nicholson) descent into madness is a great feat of acting. If I was stuck in that massive resort all by myself for the winter, I’d probably go a little nuts, as well. Nearly as good as the movie, is The Simpsons spoof of The Shining, which features Homer losing his composure when he discovers that there will be no TV and no beer during the duration of their stay looking after Mr. Burns mountain home.

the-shining

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

I’m particularly fond of the remake of this film, which is largely set in a shopping mall and depicts a group of strangers having to band together to remain safe in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Of course, some are able to do what’s best for the unit, while others are only capable of looking out for themselves. The resulting chaos is a thrilling ride as you hope that the good ones can make it out alive.

Saw (2004)

While I still haven’t completed my watching of the entire franchise, I give full marks to the first Saw movie, which has so many twists and turns and violent endings that you’ll be glued to your screen as you try to figure out, just as the victims do, why they’ve been chosen by Jigsaw to ‘play a game’. The film is not for the squeamish, as Jigsaw’s traps are quite horrifying and deadly, but the psychology behind Saw is what really makes the series work.

Drink #286: Red Rum

Red Rum Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Spiced Rum (I used Sailor Jerry’s)
  • 1.5 oz Irish Crème
  • Top with Cream Soda
  • Garnish with Chocolate Cookie Stick

Do you have any suggestions for a lonely and easily frightened Sip Advisor? Feel free to pass them along my way!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
It looks like Pepto Bismal… and that’s not necessarily a good thing. The drink doesn’t taste that bad, perhaps helped along a fair bit by the Sailor Jerry’s and even Cream Soda, but the Irish Creme causes some curdling, which takes a little while to get used to. This is one cocktail you’ll definitely want to ingest with caution.

September 10 – Homeward Bound

Welcome Back

Some players just don’t look right in jerseys that differ from the one they’ve worn for years. In most of the big leagues, athletes can sign one-day contracts so that they may retire as a member of the team that made their career. Other times, a trade brings that star back into the fold. Then, there’s always returning from retirement. Here is some of the greatest returns home in sports history.

Trevor Linden – Vancouver Canucks (NHL)

Trevor Linden, captain of the Vancouver Canucks was traded to the New York Islanders in 1998. After bouncing around to a couple other teams, the Canucks reacquired the heart and soul leader of their last championship appearance team. In Linden’s first game back (which I attended with the Sip Family), he notched a couple points and was named the second star of the game, allowing fans to dedicate all their energy specifically to one of the team’s most legendary figures. A few years later, Linden left the game the right way, serenaded by the fans who adored him for so many years, and making a final trip around the ice surface that hosted so many memories for all involved.

Doug Gilmour – Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)

Growing up, for some bizarre reason that I may never be able to explain, I was a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Please collect your jaws from the floor… sadly, it’s true. My favourite player was Doug Gilmour, a gritty and talented player, who nearly led the team to their first Stanley Cup since 1967. Gilmour was traded to New Jersey in 1997, but would return to the Leafs at the 2003 trade deadline, causing fans to rejoice. Sadly, in just his second shift back with the team, he collided knee-on-knee with Calgary’s Dave Lowry and was done for the season, later calling it a career that summer.

Hulk Hogan – World Wrestling Entertainment

In the 1980’s, Hulk Hogan’s symbiotic relationship with the then World Wrestling Federation launched both entities into the stratosphere. Working together, Hogan became one of the most popular wrestlers of all-time, while the WWF became the first promotion to enjoy national mainstream exposure and success. Hogan left the company in 1993 to perform in World Championship Wrestling and didn’t return to the soon-to-be-renamed WWE until 2002. He originally returned as a bad guy, but fans would not have any of that, cheering for Hogan to once again become the “Real American” character most had grown up with. They got their wish and fans feverishly ate up the nostalgia act.

Ken Griffey, Jr. – Seattle Mariners (MLB)

Ken Griffey, Jr. grew up in the Seattle Mariners organization, debuting in 1989 and even playing alongside his father, Ken Griffey, Sr. Griffey became the face of the franchise and even the entire league, adorning video games, posters, t-shirts, and other merchandise. The slugger was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 2000, as he wished to play closer to home and be more involved in the lives of his children. Griffey’s numbers declined following the trade, but petitions were signed by Seattle fans to bring him back. Finally, in 2009, Griffey returned to the Mariners. His second tenure had its issues, like Griffey being accused of napping in the clubhouse during games, but he was honoured into the team’s Hall of Fame in August 2013.

Ken Griffey, Jr.

Michael Jordan – Chicago Bulls (NBA)

After winning three straight NBA titles in the early 90’s, there was nothing left for Michael Jordan to accomplish. When his father was murdered that summer, Jordan retired from basketball and decided to try his hand at professional baseball, hoping to realize his father’s dream of him playing in the Majors. When his baseball dream fizzled out, it was back to the hard court and the Bulls for Jordan. Another three NBA Championships followed before Jordan left the game again in 1999. His last return to basketball was with the Washington Wizards, a team he had part-ownership with and had been President of Basketball Operations.

Mario Lemieux – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)

Like Jordan, Mario Lemieux kept returning to the game he loved after time away from the rink proved he still had too much passion for the sport to watch from the sidelines. Super Mario returned from cancer and a retirement to put up all-star level numbers and pad his legacy as one of the game’s greatest players. While he never won another Stanley Cup, he was an integral member of Canada’s gold medal victory at the 2002 Winter Olympics and also saved the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise as owner of the team, ushering in the Sidney Crosby era.

Drink #253: Homeward Bound

Sept 10

  • 1.5 oz Spiced Rum (I used Sailor Jerry’s)
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with Lemon Wheel

What was your favourite return home? As above, it can be an athlete, an actor, or hell, it could be Ron Jeremy’s long-awaited return to the world of pornography!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This was a simple, but very enjoyable cocktail. I love the name about as much as I adore Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum and the moment I saw this recipe advertised at a local bar, I knew I’d be making it when I went home. The caramel-flavour of the Spiced Rum works nicely with the tart Lemonade and makes for one fine drink!

June 2 – Backyard Tea

No Need for Crumpets

One of my all-time favourite places to have a drink is on the back deck at Ma and Pa Sip’s place, after a day of tanning and swimming, while watching the sun set and enjoying a barbecue meal. Before the evening morphs into late night shenanigans and beer pong, this is a moment to relax, catch your breath, and enjoy all the little pleasure in life. Here are some of my other preferred drinking locations:

Disneyland/Disneyworld

There’s just something about grabbing a beer and enjoying the park that is so amazing. You can either use it to help you through a portion of a long attraction line-up or just sit back and relax, taking in the sights and sounds that make the lands come to life. I’ve also had two of my most crazy drinking experiences at these parks, one at Disneyland (see Hidden Mickey) and once at Disneyworld’s EPCOT (to be featured in a future post).

drunk-pooh

Balconies

While Mrs. Sip often calls it a night and hits the dream world, I’m just not ready to join her. In these cases, I can often be found on the many balconies I’ve had the pleasure of drinking on. Whether it’s Santorini, Greece, watching the waves roll onto the beach; the isolated wilderness of Wigwam, B.C.; or aboard our honeymoon cruise, enjoying tropical lightning storms; I always find good use of my balcony time.

Camping

Is there anything better than relaxing in the great outdoors, being one with nature, and getting your swerve on!? Providing you have copious amounts of booze, a ton of snacks, a roaring fire and a comfy chair, do you really need much more to the camping experience? Sure bug spray and a lamp or flashlight might help… hell, a tent could come in handy too, but as long as you have the essentials, everything will work out!

drunk camping

Bar Patio

With patio season rapidly approaching, I’ve spent a great many hours finding some of the best spots in my area to enjoy a frosty beverage in the open air. It’s so nice to have the sun shining down upon you with liquid relief close by; great friends and good conversation to pass the time… it almost brings a tear to my eye. In my little part of the world, given our short and mild summer, we use any excuse possible to get out onto the patios, even if it’s not really that warm.

My Couch

I’ve made it quite clear on this site that I’m a reasonably lazy fellow. I enjoy my down time and that usually comes in the form of libations in front of the tube, wasted away in Margaritaville and other locales. When I’m off in my own little world, it’s best not to disturb me or else you run the risk of having to reset my circuit. I’m just full of programming flaws!

Drink #153: Backyard Tea

June 2

After writing this post, I can’t wait for summer to be here. You know it’s just around the corner when the wonderful scent of barbecue wafts through the neighbourhood air. Makes sure to enjoy one of these drinky-poos this season!

Sip Advisor’s Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This was a wonderful mix. I love my Sailor Jerry’s and the Iced Tea was fun to play with – an ingredient I’ve wanted to experiment with for a little while now. The Lemonade just heightened the lemon flavour in the recipe for a tangy taste.