Mixer Mania #39 – The Immortals

Aloe Vera Juice is a curious beverage. Prior to this project, I’d never tried the concoction and of course, I would only ever drink it as part of a cocktail… I may have to reconsider that, though. In Ancient Egypt, Aloe Vera was known as the “Plant of Immortality” and was even used by Cleopatra, as part of her beauty regimen. With that in mind, here’s the Sip Advisor’s guide to becoming immortal:

Have a Genetic Mutation

We have seen countless examples from the world of comics that all it takes to be immortal is a slight alteration to your genetic makeup. From Apocalypse to Wolverine, good or bad, many of the major players of the genre have existed for hundreds or thousands of years and cannot be destroyed.

Mutation

Be Bitten by a Vampire

Sure you’re still at risk of dying from sunlight, holy water, stakes, etc., but if you can avoid these potential dangers, you will live forever. You may tire of this world, however, so keeping a garlic-soaked stake nearby is a good idea.

Remove Death from the Picture

Both The Simpsons and Family Guy have spoofed what would happen if Death didn’t exist or was otherwise preoccupied. It’s an interesting concept, but the results seem to always be the same: Death is needed for there to be order in this crazy world.

Be a Horror Movie Bad Guy

Seriously, it seems like nothing can stop these guys – your Freddy Kruegers, Michael Myers’ and Jason Voorhees’ of the world – and even when you think you’ve vanquished the baddy and all is well with the universe, it’s likely only a matter of time before a sequel is released and we’re back to square one.

Straight Outta

Be a God or Goddess

This seems pretty unobtainable to us regular folk, but you never know. Some have thought of themselves as a higher power, only to learn the harsh reality of those claims eventually. The Sip Advisor is a proven deity, however, so beware of my omnipotence.

Take a Dip in the Fountain of Youth

Numerous forms of media have examined the existence of a Fountain of Youth. If it existed, would you dive in? What if you couldn’t be joined by all your loved ones and had to start anew. This is getting a little too deep for this site… let’s get to the drink!

Mixer Mania #39: Paradiso

Paradiso

  • Muddle Cucumber and Mint Leaves
  • 2 oz Tequila
  • Top with Aloe Vera Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Agave Nectar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Garnish with a Mint Sprig and Cucumber Slice

Aside from the Ancient Egyptians, Native Americans were also enamoured with the Aloe Vera plant, referring to it as “The Wand of Heaven”. The more you know!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Sadly, finding cocktail recipes for Aloe Vera Juice was not as easy as I’d hoped. This drink is decent, but too sweet. I would suggest not adding the Agave Nectar for a better balance.

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Mixer Mania #35 – Blood and Guts

It has become common practice in North America to turn Bloody Mary (or Caesar) drinks into entire meals. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most epic orders out there:

Home Cooking

Located a short jaunt from the Sip Advisor headquarters in Vancouver is Score on Davie, which boasts a Caesar Madness menu with garnished Caesars ranging from $12-$20. Their crowning achievement, however, is the Checkmate, including “roasted chicken, Score burger, pulled pork sriracha glazed slider, onion rings, chicken wings, a pulled pork mac & cheese hotdog and a brownie for dessert”. If you and a few others want to shell out $60, you have a complete feast here.

For Your Comedic Pleasure

While not available at a restaurant (yet!), comedian Randy Liedtke set out to construct the most insane Bloody Mary in existence and mission complete. The monstrosity includes a personal pizza, onion rings, fried chicken, a sub sandwich, French fries, cheeseburgers, garlic bread and traditional garnishes. There’s even a second Bloody Mary hidden in the concoction, which becomes a Where’s Waldo-like exercise. Liedtke then attempted to consume his creation, which I can only guess ended not-so-favourably.

Crazy Bloody Mary.jpg

Wild & Crazy

Imagine being so skilled at creating massive Bloody Mary beverages that you’re able to start your own company doing so. That is the reality for Sarah Jayne Pickart of Wisconsin, whose viral creations led to her establishing the catering company, Wild & Crazy Gourmet Bloody Marys. Among her most popular concepts is the Surf & Turf Supreme, including bacon-wrapped lobster, various sliders, pork loin lollipops, stuffed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, bacon, mussels, crab legs, calamari rings, shrimp, coleslaw, tuna salad, cheesecake, cheese curds, cheese whips, and veggies… something had to be healthy.

Beastly Dining

Staying in Wisconsin (where else would such gluttonous concoctions be dreamt up!?), we visit Sobelman’s Pub & Grill, which has five location throughout the state. The chain offers an entire Bloody Mary menu, highlighted by The Beast ($45), which contains Brussels sprouts, fruit and vegetables, shrimp, sausage, cheese, sliders, and the coup de grâce, bacon-wrapped cheese balls. Should that not be enough, you can get The Bloody Beast, complete with a whole fried chicken for only $5 more.

The Most Important Meal

At the Train Wreck Bar & Grill in Burlington, Washington, this is one Bloody Mary meal that the Sip Advisor (along with Ma Sip) has actually endured. Served atop of the Breakfast Bloody Mary is breakfast sandwiches, meatballs, bacon-wrapped potatoes, and typical trimmings, such as meats and vegetables. The restaurant is a favourite stop for Ma and Pa Sip whenever they are in the area and while I’ve only been this one time, it was a fantastic way to start the day.

Mixer Mania #35: Red Death

Red Death.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Scotch
  • Top with Tomato Juice
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • Dash of Salsa
  • Garnish with a Meat Spear

Writing this article now has me very hungry. I hope I haven’t caused the same pangs for all you little sippers out there!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
How can you do an entire article on Bloody Mary drinks and not feature one as your own cocktail, you ask? Well, I’ve already profiled the Bloody Mary long ago and I really don’t like the drink. I’m a Caesar man through and through. That said, this beverage does contain many elements of the Bloody Mary and was good. My garnish wasn’t as wacky as the beverages above, but still looked neat.

Mixer Mania #20 – Measure of Success

Did you know that olives (the juice form being today’s feature mixer) were once used as a unit of measurement? A “k’zayit”, which translates to “like an olive” was used to estimate amounts of Jewish ceremonial foods, including challah, matzah and wine. Let’s take a look at some other odd units of measurement:

Wheaton

Based off of actor Wil Wheaton, this unit of measurement takes into account a person’s number of Twitter followers. A Wheaton is described as 500,000 followers, making a milliwheaton equivalent to 500 followers. Please take the time to follow the Sip Advisor on Twitter, so I can reach milliwheaton heights.

Sagan

As a tribute, scientist Carl Sagan’s catchphrase “billions and billions” was turned into a unit of measurement for quantity. A Sagan can now be used to describe a large quantity of anything. For example, the Sip Advisor has consumed a Sagan amount of potato chips in his lifetime.

carl-sagan

Warhol

Artist Andy Warhol once famously said (I’m paraphrasing here) that every person will famous for 15 minutes. As a result, his name has been associated with the measurement of fame. Some folks out there who have achieved kilowarhol and megawarhol status, still haven’t left the world with anything tangible… you know, your Kardashians, et al.

Waffle House Index

This measurement is used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to calculate the effect of a storm and its following recovery efforts. It’s based on the Waffle House restaurant chain’s reputation of staying open during the worst of weather, serving up breakfast, while others are afraid to step outside.

Hobo Power

Coined by radio personality Adam Carolla, this unit can be used to describe an offending odor. It is based on a scale of 1-100, with 50 hobopower leading a person to become physically ill, while 100 hobopower results in death. Of course, this is all theoretical.

homeless

MegaFonzie

We can thank Futurama for this unit, which measures one’s coolness. Developed by Professor Farnsworth, and using Happy Days character Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli as a reference point, I once took the test and came away disappointed with a rare negative rating. Ay!

Helen

Unfortunately, this is another measurement where the Sip Advisor doesn’t show well. Mrs. Sip on the other hand ranks highly when associated with Helen of Troy, who is said to have had “the face that launched a thousand ships”. Therefore, a millihelen can be used to describe the beauty it takes to launch a single ship, while any negative helen (Sip Advisor territory) causes ships to be beached.

Mixer Mania #20: Crotch Kicker

Crotch Kicker.JPG

  • Rim glass with Salt
  • 1 oz Tequila
  • Top with Sweet and Sour Mix
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Olive Juice
  • Garnish with Olives

There is also a Big Mac Index in existence, but it actually sounds kind of legitimate and recognized, so I’m not touching that one. My personal Big Mac Index is calculated as one sandwich per every second visit to the chain.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.25 Sips out of 5):
I haven’t done much experimenting with Olive Juice, aside from the Dirty Martini. I thought this cocktail was decent, with a fair mix of sweet and sour tastes. I didn’t notice the Olive Juice very much and that may have been all for the best.

Mexico – Sea of Cortez

Lucha Libre Lunacy

Wrestling and especially masked wrestlers are a huge hit in Mexico… perhaps more so than anywhere else in the world. The mask adds a dash of mystery to each character and also provides them a colourful outfit and persona. The fast-paced, high-flying in-ring style of the luchadores is mesmerizing for fans and has been captivating spectators for close to a century. Let’s take a look at some of the personalities and history of the genre:

Mask Manufacturing

Don Antonio Martinez is credited with creating some of the earliest lucha libre masks, moving to the face veneers from a successful leather boot business. As the story goes, Martinez employed a set of 17 facial measurements (a trade secret to this day) to help make the masks feel snug for the grapplers using them. Some of Mexico’s greatest wrestling stars would go on to wear a Martinez mask, taking the sport to unimaginable heights.

Lucha_libre_máscaras

The Saint

It takes some dedication to wear your wrestling mask at all times, inside and outside the ring. El Santo became one of Mexico’s cultural icons, appearing in countless movies, comic books, and other media. He only revealed his face to the world late in his life. Appearing on a talk show more than a year after his final match (at the age of 65, no less!), without warning El Santo removed his mask. One week later, the star passed away after suffering a heart attack. The grappler was buried donning his trademark silver disguise. His funeral was one of the biggest in Mexico’s history.

Legendary Lineage

Another hugely popular lucha libre fixture was Mil Mascaras. Hell, the guy even appeared on three different Mexican stamps. Mascaras competed all around the world and is considered one of the most influential wrestlers of all-time. A ban on masked wrestlers appearing at Madison Square Gardens was even lifted specifically so Mascaras could work for the then World Wrestling Federation. His legend lives on today through his nephew and current WWE superstar Alberto Del Rio. While Mascaras has never been unmasked during his lengthy career, Del Rio wrestles sans cover.

Dancing with the Demon

Blue Demon rounds out lucha libres first “Big Three” group of stars (also including El Santo and Mil Mascaras). Much like his fellow “Big Three” alums, Demon starred in numerous feature films, even leading a group of masked wrestlers on the big screen. Together they were dubbed The Champions of Justice and gave other legendary super groups such as the Justice League and Avengers a run for their money. Okay, I made that part up, but they were definitely more proficient when it came to cartwheels and somersaults!

misterioenlasbermudas

I guess the “big three” were kind of like the Rat Pack… yup, Frank, Dean and Sammy were replaced by El Santo, Mil Mascaras and Blue Demon!

For Sale

I nearly every market around Mexico, a traveler can find wrestling masks of varying quality to be purchased. The disguises include replicas for some of the biggest stars of Mexico, as well as those for competitors who have gained popularity abroad. You can even pick up the odd comic superhero façade, such as Spider-Man and Captain America.

Something to Lose

It is humiliating for a wrestler to be unmasked and therefore one of the most exciting and highly-anticipated contests in Mexico is the Mask Match (aka Luchas de Apuestas, which translates to “gambling fights”), where the loser has to reveal their face to the viewing audience. If the masked wrestler’s opponent doesn’t wear a mask, they often put their hair on the line in return. When a wrestler loses and is unmasked, it is common for his personal information to finally be recognized and published. That star is often no longer allowed to compete as that character, a further humiliation heaped on top of the original loss.

Big Time

In 1994, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) joined forces with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) to co-promote a pay-per-view event entitled When Worlds Collide. The show launched the careers of many Mexico-based stars, including Rey Mysterio, Jr., La Parka, Eddie Guerrero, and Konnan. Thanks to this platform, the grapplers started being signed to contracts with bigger American promotions like Extreme Championship Wrestling and the aforementioned WCW.

Mexico Wrestlers

No Respect

Throughout the mid to late 1990’s, more and more wrestlers from Mexico exploded onto the scene in the U.S., exciting fans with their speed, agility, and aerial offense. Things started off pretty well for the imports, but soon turned sour as the roster became flooded with foreign talent, most of whom weren’t featured much and found themselves buried underneath the bigger American grapplers. A number of stars were stripped of their mask in matches that had little to no meaning. Rey Mysterio, Juventud Guerra, and Psicosis all found themselves without their familiar covering and despite revealing themselves to fans, saw little improvement to their position in the pecking order.

Return to Glory

In 2002, pint-sized phenom Rey Mysterio (nee Jr.) debuted with the world’s largest wrestling company WWE, returning to wearing the mask that once brought him such great popularity. Bursting onto the scene by defeating some of WWE’s top stars, a renaissance of masked competitors seemed on the horizon. Sure enough, in 2006, Mysterio captured the World Heavyweight Title. No small feat (pun intended) for the 5’6” ultimate underdog!

Mexico: Sea of Cortez

Sea of Cortez Cocktail

 

  • Rim glass with Salt, Sugar and Chili Flakes
  • 1 oz Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Chipotle Spirit
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Grapefruit Soda
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

The luchadores comprise the Sip Advisor’s favourite style of wrestling. I just love seeing these smaller guys steal the show from the larger, hulking bodies with their crazy, high-risk action-packed contests. Perhaps it’s the cruiserweight in me or maybe it’s just the thrill of watching people fly through the air with complete disregard to their own safety. Either way, I thank them for their contributions to my entertainment.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
This recipe provided one of my first chances to use the Chipotle Spirit I picked up a couple months back at Rogue Distillery in Portland, Oregon. On that trip, myself and Ma and Pa Sip ate at Gustav’s Pub, where I found this recipe. My favourite aspect is the rim, complete with Chili Flakes, which take a margarita recipe and make it that much better. I went with Grapefruit Soda instead of Juice and may have found a new mixer to advocate for. I love my drinks that have a bit of a bite to them and this was certainly no different!

August 25 – Wedding Anniversary

Whatcha Get Me?

Today, Mrs. Sip and I celebrate one year of marriage! While doing research for our celebration, I came across the list of traditional and modern anniversary gifts. Some make sense – you know, your typical array of varying jewelry and fine materials – while others take a little more time to wrap your head around. Here are some of those items that brought a smile to my face:

Wedding Anniversary

Traditional (U.S.)

Paper (1st) – Could this be the divorce agreement!?

Cotton (2nd) – So, a collection of ear swabs, cotton balls and panty liners should suffice, right!?

Traditional (U.K.)

Fruit and Flowers (4th) – Here’s an apple and a posy. Let’s see which one goes bad first…

Sugar (6th) – Looks like anniversary #6 will be highlighted by rimmed daiquiris!

Salt (8th) – So, if I grab Mrs. Sip some McDonald’s fries, have I satisfied the tradition?

Wine (85th) – Oh, sure, make things easier on the older folks, who might actually have the money to spend on these items!

Wedding Anniversary 2

Modern

Clock (1st) – I think Mrs. Sip would take this as an insult, given that she’s always late and I’ve been trying for over a decade to correct that behaviour!

Appliances (4th) – Okay, you’ve survived the first few years of marriage… now it’s time to get that girl to start doing some dishes… cooking you meals… washing your clothes… all that other chauvinistic stuff. What says love more than a crock pot or a toaster oven? Ironically, I do all that for our little household. Mrs. Sip works long hours and I’m generally around more, so I take care of details like cleaning up our place and preparing dinner.

Wood Objects (6th) – Oh, this one is too easy… next!

Pen and Pencil Sets (7th) – You’d figure that this gift idea would be a little higher up on the list. I wonder if pen and pencil sets have lost all meaning since everyone just uses computers nowadays. Mrs. Sip, if you’re reading this, just get me a new laptop!

Anniversary Gift

Lace (8th) – Finally things start to get a little interesting. Lace… on Mrs. Sip… yes, please!

Leather Goods (9th) – Almost as good as the lace, but is this because by this point the marriage needs a little something to spice it up?

Musical Instruments (24th) – But what if neither person is good at playing any instrument whatsoever? I guess there’s always Guitar Hero and Rock Band options!

Engraved Marble (90th) – If Mrs. Sip and I actually make it to our 90th anniversary, you can damn well bet that I’ll be getting that shizzle engraved! I guess by that point we would be buying each others…tombstones? (nothing so “forever” like matching headstones, right?

Drink #237: Wedding Anniversary)

Wedding Anniversary Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Vodka (I used Beluga)
  • 1 oz Galliano
  • 0.5 oz Campari
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Garnish with a Raspberry

Happy anniversary, baby! It’s the paper anniversary, but our printer is busted and I’m all into recycling, so I made you this post instead. You can print it at work at a later date!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail tastes pretty good… right up until the Campari-kick comes in at the end and ruins the entire taste you were previously enjoying. My recommendation is to sub out the Campari for any other Bitters you might have.

July 21 – Michelada

Beer-telligence

Let’s kick off Beer Cocktail Week on the right note with some education on the… you know what? It’s the middle of summer and I’m trying to get my tan on, so I’m going to go the lazy route with this one (ha ha, very funny, “isn’t that what you always do, Sip man?”). Rather than delight you with facts and trivia I’m able to dig up from around the internet, I’m going to let someone else do my dirty work. So, here’s an infographic from WearYourBeer.com… enjoy!

24 Things You Didn't Know About Beer

Drink #202: Michelada

Michelada Drink Recipe

  • 1 Beer (I used Okanagan Springs 1516 Lager)
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Soy Sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco Sauce
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

Well, this cocktail is supposed to be perfect for a hangover… thankfully, I never get them. Gotta drink something though. Cheers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This is a very interesting beer cocktail. Its ingredients are similar to what you’d throw into a Caesar or Bloody Mary, minus the Clamato or Tomato Juice. That said, I have heard of Michelada versions that include those juices or other alterations and I’d be curious to try some different varieties.

 

January 20 – Melon Margarita

Tequilas

Well friends and fellow sippers, I’m back from Mexico, with a ton of new booze, so that seems like the perfect opportunity to launch into Tequila Week. Each day I’ll feature a different tequila-based cocktail and together we’ll all get a little loco!

Also, before I left for our holiday I sent a kindly-worded letter to my liver advising it (I seem to do a lot of advising) of the upcoming situation. When I returned home, this was waiting for me. My liver must have mailed it or something (doesn’t your liver mail you stuff?):

Rebuttal from my Liver

Check Liver Light

Dear Sip Advisor,

So, let me get this straight… first you drag me to Mexico – kicking and screaming as only a poor liver can – for a tortuous week at an all-inclusive resort, and just when I think I’ll finally get some rest, you have the audacity to announce that today is the start of Tequila Week!

At the resort, you decided, in your infinite wisdom, to do your own all-inclusive challenge and try to have one of every single drink on their pool bar menus. There were 72 drink mixes on that menu, what the firetruck were you thinking!? The only thing that steered you away from this (after you were already halfway through the list, mind you) was when you grew tired of the sugary mixes the bartenders were using. But naturally that’s about the time when you discovered the anejo dark rum… thanks a lot buddy [sigh].

How did you like the 24-hour flu I e-mailed your way? That was supposed to stop you, or at the very least, slow you down. Instead you took one day off and then made up for the missed action when you’d recovered.

I would, hereby, like to announce my secession from your body… if only I could find a way out.

Your long-suffering frenemy,

Liver

Hmmm… tough love, but my liver does have a point. Sugary pre-made mixes are generally a big no-no for all my little sippers out there. When you can, try to make all or the majority of your drink from scratch, or at the very least, use higher quality fresh juices or mixer. Your liver (and your friends) will thank you for it!

Without further ado, here is the first tequila drink, starting with a slight spin on an old classic:

Drink #20: Melon Margarita

Melon Margarita

  • Rim glass with lemon or lime juice, followed by salt
  • 1.5 oz tequila
  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Top with Margarita Mix (optional)
  • Garnish with lime or watermelon wedge

I hope the rest of Tequila Week is as delicious as today was. Have a great tequila recipe that you’d like to see featured here on Sip Advisor? Just let my liver and me know!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m a big Margarita fan (providing it’s on the rocks and not frozen) and I also have a massive appreciation for melon liqueur. Put the two together and you should have one fine cocktail and here, you do.