Ohio – Boozy Buckeye

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we travel to Ohio, the Buckeye State, to see what trouble we can get into. Given the state gave out the first ever traffic ticket, though, we better tread carefully. Let’s do it:

Motto: “With God, all things are possible” – All things are always possible…

Food: For those with a sweet tooth, Ohio has a number of options. Most notably, Buckeyes (balls of peanut butter fudge dipped in chocolate) are popular throughout the state. With a portion of the peanut butter exposed, they resemble the nuts from buckeye trees, the State Tree of Ohio. Life Savers Candy and Chewing Gum were also invented there.

Drink: Gem Beverages has operated in Ohio since 1923. Their most popular brand is Ski, a citrus soda, which comes in regular, diet, cherry and tropical flavours. This category seems like a good place to also mention that the pop-top (pull-tab) drink can was invented in 1959, by Ohioan Ermal Fraze, as he looked for a better way to open beers.

Buckeyes

Site to See: Cedar Point amusement park, in Sandusky, is the second oldest amusement park in the U.S. The park has been called ‘America’s Roller Coaster’ and contains 71 rides. It is the most visited seasonal theme park in the country. Cedar Point was awarded ‘Best Amusement Park in the World’ 16 years in a row (1997-2013) by Amusement Today.

Street: Euclid Avenue in Cleveland gained attention in the late 1800s and early 1900s for the wealthy families living along the route. With residents like John Rockefeller, the area became known as Millionaires’ Row and the beauty of the street earned it another nickname: The Showplace of America. There’s also a really neat three-way bridge in Zanesville, called the Y-Bridge.

TV Show: A number of good sitcoms are set in Ohio, including The Drew Carey Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Family Ties. Hit musical dramedy Glee also took place in the state. Of them all, The Drew Carey Show was probably my favourite, thanks to characters like Lewis and Oswald. Also, John Lithgow did an amazing job on 3rd Rock, while we can thank Family Ties for Michael J. Fox.

Movie: Did you know one of the greatest characters of the horror genre haunts Ohio… even its resident’s dreams? The A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, which sees Freddy Krueger stalk his victims in their sleep, was created by Wes Craven, who was born in Cleveland. There are nine Elm Street films, along with a TV series, novels, comic books and other media.

Freddy Krueger

Book/Author: As someone who grew up on this author’s work, I had to pick R.L. Stine for this category. His Goosebumps series introduced millions of kids to the concept of reading for fun, while his Fear Street series kept those kids, now as teenagers, interested in picking up a book. Stine’s countless novels have sold hundreds of millions of copies.

Fictional Character: The Hulk (real name Bruce Banner) is from Dayton. If I’m being honest, I was never really a fan of the character until Mark Ruffalo took over the role in The Avengers movies. The scene where he obliterates Loki by rag dolling him around is one of the best in any Marvel movie. Hulk SMASH, am I right!?

Fictional City: Coolsville is the hometown of Scooby-Doo and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang. Sure, a lot of weird happenings occur in the town, but as long as the Mystery Machine is nearby, you know the case is about to be solved by some meddling kids and their dog. Interestingly, there is a real town in Ohio, named Coolville, after founder Simeon W. Cooley.

Actor/Actress: Paul Newman, star of movies such as The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, The Sting, and a Sip Advisor personal favourite Slap Shot, was born in Shaker Heights. Newman was nominated a number of times for the Best Actor Oscar, finally winning one for The Color of Money. His Newman’s Own food company donates all after-tax profits to charity.

Paul Newman

Song: Ohio by The Black Keys is an ode to the state, with the group being formed in Akron. It was a bonus track on their album Brothers and contains lyrics such as “Get me home; Before, before I lose my mind. I need some space to let my; My tape rewind.” It should also be noted, Ohio has a State Rock Song, Hang On, Sloopy by The McCoys.

Band/Musician: Dave Grohl, frontman of the Foo Fighters and drummer for Nirvana before that, was born in Warren. While many famous people have a street named after them in their hometown, Grohl has an alley. Visitors to the landmark can find paintings and a sculpture of Grohl, as well as the world’s largest drumsticks. Grohl is said to visit the site on occasion.

People: Ohio is a capital of aviation. The Wright Brothers (Orville and Wilbur) were from Dayton, before moving to North Carolina and making the first successful motor-operated airplane flight. Also, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit earth, were born in Wapakoneta and Cambridge, respectively.

Animal: Smoky the Dog was a war dog, accompanying Corporal William A. Wynne, during World War II. Smoky’s efforts, running wires to help build an air base, saved about 250 soldiers from being exposed. After the war, Wynne and Smoky returned to Cleveland, where the dog became a national sensation, with her popularity reviving the Yorkshire Terrier breed.

Smoky the Dog

Invention: High school friends from Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, co-created comic book superhero Superman, with the character debuting in the first issue of Action Comics, in 1938. The rights to the character were sold for a mere $130, which was standard business in the industry at that time. While they were paid well by DC Comics afterwards, the duo regretted selling the copyright.

Crime: Ohio has had two sets of serial killer brothers terrorize the state. First, Anthony and Nathaniel Cook were incarcerated for raping and murdering at least nine white victims in Toledo, in racially-motivated crimes. Next, Gary and Thaddeus Lewingdon both received life sentences after committing 10 murders around the state, with robbery being their motive.

Law: It is illegal to get a fish drunk… but they make the best drinking buddies!

Sports Team: Ohio has many sports options spread across the state. Cleveland has three teams in the Indians (MLB), Browns (NFL) and Cavaliers (NBA), while Cincinnati has the Reds (MLB) and Bengals (NFL). Finally, there’s the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) and the Ohio State University Buckeyes football program, which also plays out of Columbus.

Superman

Athlete: Ohio has a trio of GOATs (greatest of all-time). This includes golfer Jack Nicklaus, who won 117 tournaments, including a record 18 majors; MLB all-time hits leader Pete Rose, winner of three World Series; and basketball superstar LeBron James, with three NBA championships, each of which he was the Finals MVP for. Rose and James played most of their careers in their home state.

Famous Home: A Christmas Story House can be found in Cleveland. In 2004, entrepreneur Brian Jones purchased the home on eBay for $150,000 and restored it to how it looks in the film. Jones also bought the house across the street, turning it into a museum, featuring props from the movie, such as the family’s car and a Red Ryder BB gun. You can even book an overnight stay in the home.

Urban Legend: What was once known as Boston Township, is now dubbed Helltown, an area of Ohio rife with stories of paranormal activity, Satan worshippers, the supposed “end of the world” road and the mutant ‘Peninsula Python’. The legends resulted from Boston becoming a ghost town in the mid 1970’s, as government began creating the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Museum: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame can be found in Cleveland and Canton, respectively. How did they end up in Ohio? Well, Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed was the first to use the term rock and roll, while in 1920, Canton hosted a meeting between four Ohio-based football teams, founding what today is the NFL.

Pete Rose

Firsts: Ohio has a lot of interesting firsts, including the original professional fire department and ambulance service, as well as the first police force to use a vehicle. The state also had the first concrete street and is where the first automobile was created. Cleveland was the first city lit by electricity and later had the first traffic signal system. Lastly, the first pro baseball team was the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

Company: Fast food restaurant Wendy’s was founded by Dave Thomas, in Columbus, in 1969. The chain, named after one of Thomas’ daughters, is now headquartered in Dublin, with their office located on Dave Thomas Boulevard. The restaurant is the third largest hamburger fast food chain in the world. Ohioans claim to have invented dipping fries into Frosty milkshakes.

Events: The Kent State Shootings, where National Guard members opened fire on unarmed student protestors, shocked the country. Four people were killed and nine wounded during the anti-Vietnam War rally. Criminal cases resulted in no convictions, while civil cases eventually resulted in a $675,000 settlement paid by the state to plaintiffs.

Miscellaneous: Ohio is known as “The Mother of Presidents”, given seven Commander-in-Chiefs have come from the state. This includes Ulysses S. Grant (18th President), Rutherford B. Hayes (19th President), James A. Garfield (20th President), Benjamin Harrison (23rd President), William McKinley (25th President), William H. Taft (27th President), and Warren G. Harding (29th President).

Boozy Buckeye

Boozy Buckeye

  • 1 oz Irish Cream or Bourbon
  • Top with Hot Chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp of Melted Peanut Butter
  • Garnish with Whipped Cream

This cocktail is meant to best replicate the Buckeyes dessert treats in liquid form. As for the debate between whether to use Irish Cream or Bourbon, I said to hell with it and used Peanut Butter Whiskey for even more of a peanut butter punch. A recipe variation I found uses two ounces of Coconut Rum and an ounce of Kahlua, instead. The beverage might be best enjoyed while tailgating before Ohio State Buckeyes football games.

Flavour Revolution – Coffee

Just Add Water

Let’s be straight: coffee is basically ground beans with the addition of water. Yup, that’s what you’re forking over good money to buy from places like Starbucks and their competitors. Admittedly, some things are just better with a splash of the wet stuff. Here are the best items where a little water goes a long way!

Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate

Of those three options, I’m more of a hot chocolate man, but I must admit that I don’t really like hot beverages much at all. I think one of the simplest pleasures in life is a cold drink… with lots of ice! It often blows my mind how expensive these drinks can be, given they’re usually comprised of something cheap (a tea bag or hot chocolate packet), simply joined by hot water.

hot drinks devil's temperature

Kool-Aid

I grew up on Kool-Aid, and the product really provided the first lessons in mixology that I ever learned. So much so, that I worked hard to perfect the right level of sugar to include in my pitchers of the juice. I had a few favourites over the years, including Blue Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Kiwi, and old-fashioned Lemon-Lime.

Ramen Noodles

Joining Kool-Aid, noodles were an essential part of my college diet. It’s amazing what one little flavour packet can do to improve your disposition in life! Okay, so the noodles probably aren’t that good for you, but they’re cheap and effective in quashing those hunger pains. Research has come along that says these noodles will lead to heart attacks and diabetes. It might be worth it!

Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s funny that a push was made through the new millennium to add more chicken, vegetables, and noodles to this classic soup, which works quite well as a cold and flu remedy. It has been my experience that people are mostly in it for the broth anyway, but if you prefer your soup to be loaded with other ingredients – let’s call them flavour enhancers – then that’s cool with the Sip Advisor.

chicken noodle soup

Pool/Hot Tub

Growing up with a backyard pool was amazing. I always wished I could have a hot tub, though, as that would be the best way to get Mrs. Sip in her bikini during the winter months! For other outdoor water fun, you could also throw together a classic Slip N’ Slide or load up a Super Soaker and get a little trigger happy!

Chia Pet

Cha-cha-cha Chia… with that innocent little jingle, the world was introduced to these potted plants. All you had to do was spread some seed (sounds dirty, eh) around the animal body, add water and before you knew it, you had a plant of your very own. Later, Chia Pets capitalized on popular characters, such as Scooby Doo and Garfield. There’s even a Barack Obama variation.

Theme Park Ride

Is there anything better than an amusement park ride that splashes down into a range of water… unless it’s the middle of winter and getting soaked is the last thing on your mind? During hot, humid days, though, these attractions can be a godsend. Some of my favourite water rides are Disney’s Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Rapids, Universal’s Jurassic Park, and Knott’s Perilous Plunge.

Flavour Revolution: Fall at Dusk

  • 1 oz Patron XO Café Liqueur
  • 1 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Dash of Basil Syrup
  • Top with Soda Water
  • Garnish with a Pineapple Wedge

I have to disclose that I am in no way a fan of coffee, unless it comes in booze form. If you are, I forgive you for your sins. Testify, my little sippers!

June 6 – Baby Aspirin

Rockabye Baby

While wee little sippers are still a little down the road for Mrs. Sip and I, they are a subject that is often on our minds and that has inspired today’s article. Here are the Top 5 babies, some of which make having children seem like a great idea, while the others put a vasectomy at the top of the Sip Advisor’s “To Do” list!

#5: Muppet Babies

What do you get when you take the awesome Muppets and turn them into little babies? One of the most imaginative, adorable shows ever conceived, of course. This version of the characters sees Kermit and the gang as youngsters living in a nursery and being watched by the never-seen Nanny. Each episode saw the future variety act stars learning life lessons through their vivid imaginations. The Muppet Babies theme song is an absolute classic that I still find stuck in my head every so often.

#4: Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm – The Flintstones

It would be criminal to not include these two tykes; especially given the Sip Family has named cats after them. Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm go from little neighbours, brought together by the friendship of their respective parents, to dating as teenagers in the sequel series, The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show. Eventually, the pair even got married and had twins. Now, if that isn’t a case of love at first sight, I don’t know what is!

#3: Stewie Griffin – Family Guy

While he’s much more intellectually-advanced compared to others on this list, Stewie is still a baby… and he can be a naughty little baby, indeed. For quite some time, his main objective in life is to murder his own mother. While this desire eventually fades, Stewie hasn’t completely changed his tune and is often getting up to some level of mischief – sometimes in different generations throughout history –  thanks to his time machine and other inventions.

Stewie Drinking

#2: Rugrats

The adventures of the Rugrats gang typically revolve around the babies learning the ways of the world. This included potty training, first trips to the public swimming pool, and going through the naked phase. Led by the seemingly fearless Tommy Pickles, the other youngsters include the oft-terrified Chucky Finster, and wild twins Phil and Lil DeVille. Tommy’s cousin Angelica was always around to stir up trouble for the babies, who we later got to see as pre-teens in the show All Grown Up.

#1: Maggie Simpson – The Simpsons

Mrs. Sip and I absolutely adore Maggie, who despite never uttering a word (aside from calling Homer “daddy” in one episode) has found herself a titular character in many of the family’s escapades. With pacifier always nearby, Maggie is capable of so much more than most youngsters her age. Hell, she has already been involved in the attempted murder of Mr. Burns and has also saved her father from the mafia. She even has an arch-enemy: the uni-browed Gerald. Not bad, for an infant.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Baby Aspirin

  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Garnish with a Sour Soother

It’s funny how many classic characters have been thrust into a series where they are babies or kids: Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, the Looney Tunes gang, the Jungle Book animals, the Archie teens, the Flintstones, and many others. Well, time to put the little ones off to bed and have some adult time!

October 18 – Ghostbuster

Specter Spooks

With the haunting season just getting underway (although Halloween candy was already on sale during the summer), the Sip Advisor figured it was as good a time as any to delve into the paranormal world. There are so many great ghosts out there that I decided to split the list between animated and humanoid (aka live action) ghouls. This week, we go cartoon ghost hunting. I hope you join me because I’m already a little scared!

#5: The Boo Brothers – Scooby Doo Meets the Boo Brothers

I love these three broskis, who are like the departed spirits of the Three Stooges. Instead of Larry, Curly, and Moe, you have Meako, Shreako, and Freako, a trio of ghost hunters, who just happen to be spirits themselves. The only thing bringing their rank down a little is the fact they only appear in one Scooby Doo movie, but it is my favourite of all Scooby adventures. This tale sees Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy Doo travel to the estate of Colonel Beauregard, Shaggy’s deceased uncle, who has left everything to his nephew. While there, the gang has to search for the family jewels while solving the mystery of who is haunting the home.

The Boo Brothers

#4: Boo – Super Mario Bros.

I always liked the creativity that went into the Super Mario Bros. ghost house levels. Avoiding the creepy little apparitions that only follow you when your back is turned added a whole new element of gameplay. There is also the massive King Boo, leader of all Boos, who you have to contend with from time to time. Boo became such a popular character that he joined the gang for their go-karting and board game adventures. His laugh when selected or after doing something naughty to another player is one of the best elements to choosing the spirited one.

#3: Slimer – Ghostbusters

This gelatinous blob is pretty disgusting when he makes his very first appearance in the halls of the Sedgewick Hotel, devouring a guest’s leftover room service, before sliming Ray Stantz and covering him with green goop (otherwise known as ectoplasm). Slimer really came into his own during the Ghostbusters cartoon, assisting the team in their escapades. Some quick trivia: Slimer was actually voiced by Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman in the movies, and Dan Aykroyd referred to Slimer as the ghost of his good friend John Belushi, who was slated to star in the film before his death. Slimer was so popular, he even had his own toothpaste product released.

Slimer

#2: Grimm Grinning Ghosts – Haunted Mansion

Delighting and spooking guests since 1969, the Grimm Grinning Ghosts of the Disney theme parks Haunted Mansion attractions are among numerous characters featured on the revolutionary ride. There is rumoured to be 999 happy haunts in each Haunted Mansion and they’re always looking for one more soul to join their party. Sometimes, a hitchhiking ghost may even hop into your doom buggy right before exiting the ride, so beware! Each park’s Haunted Mansion is themed differently and has its own unique storyline, with most characters seeming to have their own backstory. Guests are known to each have their own favourite.

#1: Casper – Casper the Friendly Ghost

He may be the ‘Friendly Ghost,’ but methinks there’s a dark side to the little guy. No one is “that” friendly without wanting something in return… just ask Mrs. Sip about my behaviour. Anyhoo, I love the parallel The Simpsons made comparing Casper to Richie Rich and wondering if the two were the same. That’s the kind of stuff that blows your mind and keeps you awake at night. Casper is sometimes tormented by his three uncles, the Ghostly Trio of Stretch, Stinky, and Fatso (although their names have varied over time), but Casper seems to have a good handle on things… until his much-rumoured inner darkness in unleashed!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Ghostbuster

Ghostbuster Shot

  • 0.5 oz Amarula Cream
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • Dropped into glass of:
  • 1 oz Crown Royal Whiskey
  • Top with Cola

I have to say that I also love the use of ghosts in South Park, including Eric Cartman (thinking he had died from eating KFC and was stuck in limbo), Biggie Smalls, Edgar Allan Poe, and the host of recently deceased (at the time) personalities to appear in the episode Dead Celebrities. South Park… making death fun!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
It’s been a while since I did a drop shot drink and this one sounded pretty interesting. I envisioned an almost root beer float type effect occurring as everything mixed together, but that didn’t necessarily happen. The taste was decent, though and it looked cool watching everything meld.

Mexico – El Diablo

Ancient Civilizations

While this may take on the look of a history class, we’ll try to liven things up with human sacrifices, monuments to the gods, the seven wonders of the world, and mystical mythology. All in a day’s work around the Sip Advisor offices! At recess we can even enjoy some tacos, burritos and enchiladas. So, take your Pepto or Tums, it’s time to get a little freaky with the various cultures that make up Mexico’s history:

Olmecs

These fine people worshipped a god that was half human and half jaguar. It had no name, so I’ve supplied my own: the humuar! You laugh now, but just wait and I bet those thieves writing modern Scooby Doo episodes will eventually steal this title. The Olmecs (now best known for the Olmeca Tequila brand… although I have no verification of this!) developed large parts of the eastern coast of Mexico and can be credited with sculpting the famed Colossal Heads.

The Olmecs have more origin stories than some comic book characters, including tales told in popular culture that they originated from Africa. Most researchers don’t find these accounts to be very credible, but the same could be said for many super heroes. The concept of zero is said to have been developed by the Olmecs, meaning we have them to blame every time we run out of money, food, lives, etc. Before this civilization came along, everything was infinite and unlimited and they went ahead and ruined all our fun in the name of mathematical accuracy.

90's Game Shows

Most importantly, Olmec culture was used for the 90’s Nickelodeon game show Legends of the Hidden Temple!

Aztecs

Usually nomadic, the Aztecs settled in Mexico after spotting an eagle standing on a cactus, clutching a snake in its talons. The image represents the sun, the heart, and the earth, respectively and is now depicted on the country’s flag. Like the Olmecs before them, the Aztecs were big into human sacrifices, believing that without blood, the sun would stop moving and the world would come to an end. During a sacrifice ceremony, the heart of the victim (although they’d have you believe there were volunteers) would be cut out and burned in the temple. The heart was known as “precious eagle cactus fruit,” which should be released as a liquor flavour.

The Aztecs were a bloodthirsty civilization, sacrificing anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 people per year. Ruler Montezuma II even killed 12,000 of his own people in one day. Not content to just enjoy sacrifices as entertainment, the Aztecs played a ball game called tlachtli… although the losers were often killed off to appease the gods. Thankfully, this isn’t the same result after the Sip Advisor’s soccer matches (winless in 2014).

Mayans

The Mayans also played a ball game known as pitz, which is speculated to have featured decapitations, with those separated heads possibly used as balls in the sport. When in battle, the Mayans were known to throw hornet bombs at their enemies, which was an actual hornet’s nest. This is how Macaulay Culkin’s character in My Girl actually died, but the movie covers the fact the Mayans were responsible. Hey, if they used decapitated heads for sport, is a hornet bomb really unimaginable!? The Mayans can be credited with building the Chichen Itza city, now considered one of the seven wonders of the world.

Mayans were perhaps one of the first image-conscious civilizations, but they went about it in all the wrong ways. They would press boards against babies’ foreheads to given them a desired flat surface and cross a young child’s eyes by dangling an object on the bridge of their nose until the desired effect was achieved. Children were named according to the day they were born with a set list for boys and girls that was expected to be followed. Lastly, although they’re always credited with predicting the end of the world in 2012, this is complete hokum (to borrow a line from Sheldon Cooper). The Mayan’s calendar system merely meant that a new cycle would begin on Dec. 20, 2012 and mention of other occurrences past that date do exist in Mayan accounts.

Incans

The Incas recorded their history using a string and knot system, known as Quipu. The Sip Advisor does the same when tying his shoelaces every morning, although those entries are lost every afternoon when the laces are untied and I’ve forgotten to once again jot down the activities of my day. The Incas were prominent users of the coca plant for everything from pain relief to surgeries, energy boosts to appetite suppression. Modern day pop drinkers and cokeheads can thank them for their discovery.

ancient-Incas-2012

The Incan flag depicts two snakes eating opposite ends of a rainbow with a tassel in the middle. I’d give my best interpretation of what this could mean, but I would surely offend a number of groups and therefore, I’ll leave it be. European diseases such as smallpox greatly destroyed the Incan civilization. The disease was able to spread so quickly because of the empire’s own triumphs, such as their highly-developed road system.

Zapotec

This civilization built cities in the south of Mexico and believed that they came into existence after emerging from caves or transforming into human form from being trees and jaguars. Were the tree people more likely to be vegetarians, while the former jaguars were meat eaters? Ah, the experiments one would conduct if they had a time machine!

The Zapotec also developed the first writing system in the Americas, so we have them to thank for this wonderfully-crafted site, but also them to blame for tripe like the Twilight series. While at war (is that all people ever did back in the day!?) the Zapotecs used a cotton form of armour. I have continued on this tradition, as when I enter battle with Mrs. Sip, I adorn myself with Q-tips, cotton balls, and surgical wrappings. It doesn’t help much, but it has provided many amazing selfie photos!

Toltec

The time of the Toltecs was looked at as a “golden era” thanks to developments in writing and medicine, among other advancements. Both the Mayans and Aztecs highly respected the Toltecs and fashioned themselves after the civilization in many regards. To have a ‘Toltec heart’ was a compliment of the highest respect as it carried the weight of being worthy and excellent at all things. This is a commendation that I have received throughout my life, but only now realize that folks weren’t hurling insults in my direction.

Mexico: El Diablo

El Diablo Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Blackberry Liqueur
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

So much blood has been spilt in Mexico and we haven’t even got to the drug cartels that run the country today. Oh well, some stories need to be saved for another time!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I was really looking forward to trying out this recipe and it did not disappoint. I did sub Blueberry Liqueur for Blackberry Liqueur because I was curious about how that would work and it came together very well. The best part of the drink was the smoky tequila aftertaste that can only be enjoyed with an anejo version of the spirit. Given this cocktail and Monday’s 5 out of 5  Sea of Cortez drink, Mexico has the best numbers so far for the Around the World tour!

March 29 – Mad Dog

Dog’s Breakfast

They are often called man’s best friend, but I’ll be the judge of that. While I’m not the most comfortable around dogs, especially bigger breeds, I do have a fondness for Golden Retrievers and a few other varieties. Well, this one’s for the dogs as here are the top five puppies in history:

#5: Wilfred – Wilfred

Wilfred is a marijuana-smoking, beer-drinking, potty-mouthed pup. To Ryan, his owner’s neighbour, Wilfred is a human in a dog costume. To everyone else he’s just a canine. Either way, Wilfred is as misbehaving as they come and often pushes Ryan to do things he normally never would. Wilfred’s best moments come when he’s trying to be like a true dog, like making friends with the popular pooches, destroying a house when kept inside, or sneaking treats from Ryan’s co-workers.

Wilfred Sandwich

#4: Snoopy – Peanuts

Whether as Charlie Brown’s not-so-faithful dog or battling the legendary Red Baron in the skies, Snoopy is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Lucy knows this first hand, as she has been victim to Snoopy’s wet dog kisses on a frequent basis. Let’s not forget Snoopy’s symbiotic relationship with Woodstock the bird, as well as the critically-acclaimed Snoopy Dance, which has swept the nation for many years.

#3: Satchel – Get Fuzzy

Poor Satchel Pooch, always having to deal with the megalomaniac stylings of Bucky Katt. Somehow, Satchel’s kind, gentle nature always shines through even in the face of cats being cats. Satchel has a bunch of friends, including other neighbourhood dogs who are part of his playgroup and ferret neighbour Fungo Squiggly. Best of all, Satchel is Canadian (all the good ones are!), his roots being traced back to Cheticamp, Nova Scotia.

Satchel

#2: Santa’s Little Helper – The Simpsons

This mutt has more lives than a cat. Many episodes have centered on SLH’s bad behaviour and he keeps being invited back into the Simpsons home with open arms. Through various misdeeds, SLH has been sent to obedience school, found himself in the possession of Mr. Burns as an attack dog, been sent to live with Officer Lou, and abandoned at an ostrich farm. Every time, though, the dog returns to his family and they are happy to have him back.

#1: Scooby Doo – Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

While few can stand his nephew Scrappy Doo, Scooby Doo is one of the most beloved hounds in history. The scaredy dog doesn’t want to deal with the mysteries his human friends stumble upon and would rather be in hot pursuit of Scooby Snacks. With his best pal Shaggy by his side, these two do everything they can to avoid being chased by a fiendish specter, but always seem to end up on the wrong end of that equation, leading to the capture of various spooks.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Mad Dog

Mad Dog Shot

  • Rim glass with Whip Cream
  • 0.75 oz Vodka
  • 0.25 oz Raspberry Liqueur
  • Drops of Hot Sauce

So, which dogs should have made this list? There were certainly many I had to cut from my preliminary research, so I’m sure to have missed something. Perhaps we’ll put Scooby Doo on the case of the upset reader!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I used the Whip Cream rim to give an impression of a rabid dog, foaming at the mouth. It also helped cool down some of the heat from the Hot Sauce in the shooter. Physically and visually pleasant… reminds me of myself. All in all, this was a pretty good shot and I’d suggest not going crazy with the Hot Sauce and using a Vodka that goes well with the Raspberry Liqueur.

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.

November 16 – Scooby Snack

Treat Time

Today, we take a look at fictional snacks in TV and movies… but not just any fictional snacks… no, fictional snacks that have since gone on to become real, buyable products. The world is truly a wonderful place!

Scooby Snacks – Scooby Doo

How someone turned a fictional puppy edible into fruit snacks and cookies geared towards kids is an act of pure genius. There are also dog treats that go by the same name, so be careful when buying the product for your young’uns. I have to say that I really hate the Scooby Snack song, as it plays in my head every time I think about Scooby Doo (which is far too often for a 30-year-old) and once again, the tune is stuck in my brain… must move on.

Scooby Snacks

Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans – Harry Potter

When this company says they have “every” flavour, they mean it. The line includes tastes of earwax, rotten egg, vomit, dirt, and sausage mixed in with your normal fare: watermelon, cherry, blueberry, banana, and green apple. This listing kind of sounds like a Survivor Series wrestling match, with the five dastardly baddies taking on the good and pure for taste supremacy. I think you’d have to be a Harry Potter super fan to pick up a pack of these jelly beans.

Stay Puft Marshmallows – Ghostbusters

Most people think fondly of the iconic scene in Ghostbusters where the team of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore battle the mammoth Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Their reward for protoning the literal tub of goo was to be covered with the white sticky substance (don’t get any ideas) he was made of. It’s too bad they didn’t next face a chocolate-based monster and finally a graham-cracker encrusted foe to complete the smores trio!

Cheesy Poofs – South Park

Eric Cartman’s favourite snack treat is an actual product, released to tie-in with the series’ 15th anniversary. While I’m not a fan of eating cheese, I have on occasion enjoyed cheese-powdered snacks like Doritos and Cheetos. The product, which is thought to have originated in Canada (according to the show) is so beloved by Cartman that he even auditioned to be the face of the advertising campaign, but had his song largely cut from commercials.

Willy Wonka Products – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

This fine collection of Wonka products includes Gobstoppers, Nerds, Laffy Taffy, Pixy Stix, Fun Dip, Runts, Sweet Tarts, Shockers, and so much more. I keep hoping the company will eventually open a factory, complete with Oompa-Loompas, a chocolate river, and the chance to be taught a valuable lesson on how to behave! So long as they don’t include that trippy, psychedelic boat-trip tunnel scene that include some pretty haunting imagery.

Krusty-O’s – The Simpson

While this item could be considered part of a balanced breakfast, let’s be honest, it’s more frosted snack than healthy meal. Yes, the same cereal that gave away a jagged metal Krusty-O, which nearly killed Bart Simpson, was released to the public as part of a tie-in with The Simpsons Movie in 2007. 7-11 stores that were temporarily branded as Kwik-E-Marts to go along with the promotion were largely where the cereal could be located.

Drink #320: Scooby Snack

Scooby Snack Shooter

  • 0.3 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.3 oz Crème de Banane
  • 0.3 oz Midori
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with Whip Cream

Which fictional product would you love to be able to consume? For myself, I’d have to pick Sweetums NutriYums (Parks and Recreation), Smurfberries (The Smurfs), and Cornballs (Arrested Development). Put them together and you’ll have yourself one hell of a feast!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
Wow… that’s all I can really say about this shot. It is the first shooter to receive a 5-Sip rating and it’s hard to really describe how good it is. First, you’re hit with the Whip Cream, before the Crème de Banane, Melon Liqueur, Coconut Rum, and Pineapple Juice come in the finish the flavour party. It all goes down so smooth and tastes so delicious. There are four variations of the Scooby Snack, but each follows a general pattern. I’ve provided the recipe for the original. Now I understand why Scooby was so willing to put himself in danger after a little treat!

August 7 – Undercover Squirrel

Dicks

I often try to match the subject matter of a post to the name of the featured cocktail… but with a drink called the Undercover Squirrel, what is a liquor deviant supposed to do? Therefore, I decided to write about a topic very close to my heart: the greatest detectives. I love me a good mystery and these sleuths are some of the best!

Columbo

I grew up watching Columbo and his inverted mystery adventures where you know who the killer is all along and the fun comes in how the good Lieutenant trips them up with his idiosyncrasies and constant hounding. The disheveled, but always polite homicide detective was known for his catchphrase “Just one more thing,” which usually signaled he had a prime suspect in mind and all he had to do was reel them in.

Columbo murderer

Sherlock Holmes

With Sherlock Holmes, the game is always afoot and the adventures for this crime solver are seemingly endless thanks to all the different incarnations of the character. Currently, there is a movie franchise and two TV series (starring Robert Downey, Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, and Jonny Lee Miller, respectively) focused on Holmes. The legendary detective has provided inspiration to many of the other entries on this list.

Jessica Fletcher

I don’t think anyone has been surrounded by so much death and homicide than the Murder, She Wrote author, Jessie Fletcher. It seems everywhere she goes, from her sleepy hometown of Cabot Cove to travels around the world results in someone losing their life. I think a great finale to the show would have been revealing that Fletcher was in fact a Dexter-esque serial killer or perhaps she was Death itself!

Thomas Magnum

Private investigator Thomas Magnum may be the luckiest man alive. He gets to live in an expansive Hawaiian estate, free of cost; drive hot cars around the island, also free of cost; and meet a bevy of beautiful, tropical women… that might cost a little bit. All he has to do in his spare time is solve the odd theft, kidnapping, or murder and he gets to live in paradise. Plus, he has one of the best theme songs known to man!

Magnum PI Moustache

Inspector Jacques Clouseau

The bumbling imbecile and lead of the Pink Panther movies may have his heart in the right place as he tries valiantly to be a good officer of the law, but his ineptness always shines through. How much of a screw-up is Clouseau? He has even driven his superior into a state of madness, as the former Chief Inspector designed a doomsday device with the core intention to kill Clouseau.

Scooby Doo and the Gang

Travelling the country in the legendary Mystery Machine, Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby are often thrust into a mystery and have to solve it while being chased and spooked by any number of scary monsters, usually in rumoured-to-be-haunted settings. The crew always prevail in the end, unmasking some villainous individual who was looking to capitalize on some local urban legend. It should be noted that Scooby and company narrowly edged out the Rescue Rangers for the animated sleuth team entry.

scooby-doo

Adrian Monk

Adrian Monk is an ex-homicide detective, who was forced to leave the police after the murder of his wife, which triggered an extreme obsessive compulsive disorder and various phobias. He now works closely with the San Francisco Police Department as a consultant and usually outshines his fellow cops by solving every murder that the team is investigating.

Ace Ventura

The pet detective, Ace Ventura doesn’t play by the rules… in fact, he probably doesn’t even know what they are. Ventura is more than just a pet detective; he’s a lover of animals and is able to form a special bond with many of the creatures he is trying to rescue. This character launched the career of Jim Carrey and the first movie was a childhood favourite of mine. Never forget, friends: laces out…

Drink #219: Undercover Squirrel

Aug 7

  • Muddle Mint Leaves
  • 1.25 oz Pear Vodka (I used Absolut)
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon
  • Garnish with Mint Leaf

Damn, there were a lot of private detective type shows in the 80’s. Along with Magnum P.I., which I included above, I was forced to leave out such classics as Jim Rockford, A.J. and Rick Simon, and Remington Steele (with partner Laura Holt). A great movie to look out for if you can find it is Murder by Death, which spoofs many classic detectives including Sam Spade, Nick and Nora Charles, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Charlie Chan.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
What a fantastic drink with a number or rarely used ingredients. I have to say that Mint may be my favourite item to use in cocktails, as it always provides a unique and wonderful taste. The Cinnamon worked really well with the Galliano to add a beautiful note of vanilla and spice.

April 20 – Liquid Marijuana

Puff, Puff, Pass… Drink, Drink, Done

Mary Jane isn’t my relaxant of choice – hell, she’s not even my favoruite Spider-Man girlfriend – but I don’t frown upon those who love their weed. And since it’s 4/20, a holy day for reefer connoisseurs, I thought we should take a look at the most prolific stoners as boozers and smokers unite to enjoy this shot:

Cheech & Chong – Numerous movies and albums

These two famous overachieving potheads took their stand-up comedy routine and turned it into numerous movies and albums, working together off and on for over 30 years. They are responsible for a number of famous catchphrases, most notably “Dave’s not here, man.” Not only do these two play fictional stoners, but one of them also plays the role in real life. Tommy Chong was sent to prison in October 2003 for selling bongs and other paraphernalia over the internet. This incarceration occurred while he was a cast member of That 70’s Show, playing, you guessed it: a hippie burnout named Leo Chingwake.

Cheech & Chong Parked

Dale Denton & Saul Silver – Pineapple Express

First off, let me say that the pants James Franco wears for the duration of this film are, quite possibly, the greatest wardrobe choice in the history of film. If someone were to ever bequeath these to me, I would honour them with their own special holiday. Dale (Seth Rogen) and Saul (Franco) get stuck in a hilarious set of circumstances thanks to their enjoyment of Pineapple Express, an extremely potent brand of marijuana. Their dealer, Red, (Danny McBride) also joins in on the fun and the three have to triumph over a oppressive drug kingpin.

Jeff Spicoli – Fast Times at Ridgemont High

It’s so hard to believe that this character was played by Sean Penn, given all the serious roles Penn has since gone on to play. Spicoli, a laid back, pot smoking, surfer dude, became so popular that he’s featured on the cover of the movie, despite being a tertiary character. One of the subplots of the movie is teacher Mr. Hand trying to get the best he can out of Spicoli. When Mr. Hand thinks he’s achieved results, he releases Spicoli but eventually comes to the conclusion that everyone at the school is “on dope”. Spicoli meanwhile goes on to save a drowning Brooke Shields, but wastes the reward money hiring Van Halen to perform at his birthday party… sounds about right.

The Gang – That 70’s Show

One of the most enjoyable running gags on That 70’s Show was ‘The Circle’, where any number of the group’s members – Eric, Hyde, Kelso, Fez, Donna, Jackie and any number of their friends – would wax philosophically after enjoying some marijuana, as the camera rotated around the table. Some of the shows funniest lines came out of these scenes. One memorable segment included the kids’ parents sitting in the circle, high from “special” brownies and mimicking their children’s actions.

Harold & Kumar – Go to White Castle, Escape from Guantanamo Bay and A Very 3D Christmas

While not the biggest stoners per se, these two gentlemen enjoy their weed. Their zany adventures to White Castle, from Guantanamo Bay and attempting to save Christmas were often fuelled by the drug in some way. A highlight of all the movies is the performance of Neil Patrick Harris (playing himself), which practically revived his career. In the films, NPH is an even bigger drug user than Rolly and Kumar, who can definitely hold their own.

Norville “Shaggy” Rogers – Scooby-Doo

Although the show never quite comes out and says it, let’s look at the evidence: 1) Shaggy’s constantly searching for munchies 2) his attention span is minimal at best 3) his nerves are always shot and he appears strung out 4) he has conversations and hangs out with a dog… conclusion: Shaggy is your typical pothead. Still, Shaggy is one of the most beloved characters in the history of media, especially when paired with his pal Scooby. The two have teamed together for countless adventures, highlighted by my personal favourite, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers.

shaggy-stoned

Thurgood Jenkins et al – Half Baked

While Dave Chappelle himself was disappointed with how the movie turned out – he wrote the script and starred, but said the movie was dumbed down from being adult-oriented to more of a kids movie – there are still a number of funny moments in this film. Some favourites are when Thurgood describes the different types of pot users, particularly the Scavenger Smoker (Snoop Dogg), who comes into the scene at the first sniff of marijuana and proceeds to smoke the guy’s entire joint before moving on. The scene where Scarface quits his job at the fast food restaurant is also a highlight.

Jay & Silent Bob – Almost every movie by Kevin Smith

It’s hard not to notice that stoners in films often come in pairs or trios (whereas alcoholics are always portrayed as miserable loners, hmmm…). Jay and Silent Bob seem to always pop up in Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse, and why not? Silent Bob is played by Smith. The duo’s notorious appearances in movies they weren’t the star in led to their own title adventure where they’re on a mission to shut down a movie based on their personas. The pair offer a great lesson too: if you have one loud mouth who never shuts up, then his buddy better be silent to help restore the balance.

Drink #110: Liquid Marijuana

Liquid Marijuana Shot

  • 1/4 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1/4 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Malibu Rum
  • 1/4 oz Spiced Rum (I used Kraken)
  • Splash Pineapple Juice
  • Splash Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with Rolling Paper Stir Stick

As we down this shooter, I wish all my pothead brethren a very happy 4/20… enjoy your day!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was sweet, but not overly so. It goes down nice and easy, but isn’t very exciting. Despite all the ingredients it’s relatively effortless to make. It’s not like you have to do layering or anything. Give it a shot (literally!) and see what you think.