Scotland – Macbeth’s Dream

Land of Make Believe

When picking what to write about for our visit to Scotland, golf was an obvious choice. And while there was an abundance of options for a second article, I kept being steered towards fictional characters. Rather than spend a fair bit of time on only one of these individuals, I’ve decided to split my time and cover the gamut of my favourite Scots. Hell, even some of Scotland’s most famous real-life citizens have been largely fictionalized in media portrayals following their deaths. So, let’s take a look at some of these fine fictional figures:

Scrooge McDuck

An all-time favourite character of the Sip Advisor, Scrooge McDuck can do no wrong. Do you know that he has even invited me over for a swim in his vault? Physics be damned, we had a hell of a time wading through all his gold and jewels. There’s a great DuckTales episode where Scrooge and family return to his native Scotland and Castle McDuck, which is being haunted by druids and a ghost hound. The fictional McDuck has actually been honoured in Glasgow as a famous citizen of the city.

Duck Dynasty

William Wallace

Braveheart is a wicked awesome movie and can be forgiven for all of the creative license the production took on the real-life version of Scotland’s fight for independence. Wallace (or at least his fictionalized version) is a born leader, who has been wronged too many times by the ruling English. In response, he pulls together an army of like-minded Scots to finally take arms against the English and win back their land. I won’t spoil the story, but let’s just say things could have turned out better.

Merida

Brave centers on this young Scottish princess, who isn’t ready to take on the role she is destined for. She wants to get dirty, ride horses, and shoot her bow and arrow. She certainly doesn’t want to be married off to a boy she’s never met or be responsible for ruling over her subjects. This difference of opinion causes a rift between Merida and her mother and an errant use of magic makes matter worse. Can the curse be reversed in time, restoring peace and order to the Scottish Highlands?

Loch Ness Monster

Without the advent of ol’ Nessie, I don’t think many people would travel to Loch Ness. While the area looks beautiful, the real drawing power here is the legend of the monster. Similar legends of underwater creatures exist around the world (including the Ogopogo, just a few hours away from the Sip Advisor’s home base), but the Loch Ness version is by far the most famous. To be fair, she was discovered by Mr. Burns on an episode of The Simpsons, so perhaps all the sightings weren’t hoaxes.

Kitty Loch Ness

Groundskeeper Willie

Speaking of The Simpsons, one of the funniest secondary characters on the show has to be this cynical, downtrodden Scotsman. The often kilt-clad Willie hails from Kirkwall in Orkney, a dispute that had to be settled when both Glasgow and Aberdeen laid claim to the groundskeeper. Much humour is derived from other characters not being able to understand what Willie is saying and also his penchant for ripping his clothes off to reveal a ripped and toned body.

Shrek

Sticking with the animated world, Shrek may be based off other nationalities (thought to be a stereotype of medieval Hungarians), but his voice is 100% Scottish. The role was originally intended for Bill Murray and later Chris Farley, before Mike Myers joined the project. After watching a rough cut, Myers asked to re-voice the character with a Scottish accent (which he also used as Fat Bastard in the Austin Powers franchise) and the rest is fairytale history.

Hulk to Shrek

Macbeth

This Shakespearean play (one of the original game of thrones) is based off the real-life King Macbeth of Scotland, although ol’ Billy Shakes takes Macbeth and makes him a regicidal anti-hero, who kills for the role of ruler. Because of his actions, Macbeth’s conscience won’t let him enjoy his ascension and when his wife, Lady Macbeth, goes crazy from guilt – despite pushing her husband into the whole scheme – both are tragically dealt with in typical Shakespeare style.

Montgomery Scott

Whenever Captain Kirk demanded, “Beam me up, Scotty!” he was referring to Montgomery Scott, the engineer of the USS Enterprise. Scott, in the original Star Trek series, was actually played by Canadian, James Doohan, who auditioned for the role using a variety of accents. Creator Gene Roddenberry settled on the Scottish accent, when Doohan explained that the Scots had a storied history of nautical engineering. Ironically, the character was almost completely cut from the series.

Scotland: Macbeth’s Dream

Macbeth's Dream Martini

  • 2 oz Scotch
  • 0.25 oz Triple Sec
  • 0.25 oz Amaretto
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • Garnish with an Orange Slice

In closing, it should be pointed out that the Sip Advisor is actually the greatest fictional character of Scottish descent. Hailing from the Clan Wilson, makers of fine scotch, bagpipes, and kilts, we also took the legend of Rob Roy and turned it into a cocktail!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I think this recipe ended up being a little too sweet thanks to ingredients like Triple Sec, Amaretto, and the Sugar. That said, it went down easy enough and the Scotch had its typical smoky finish to boot.

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Scotland – Hole-in-One

Teeing Off

Golf was invented in Scotland in the 15th century and soon after came the legendary Old Course at St. Andrews. The Sip Advisor won’t bore all you little sippers with the details of how the game came to be, likely because there is way too much debate over those facts and laziness is a hell of a drug. Instead, let’s take a look at some of the wilder facts about the game:

Golf was actually banned in Scotland by the Scottish Parliament on three separate occasions, as the government believed the game was causing citizens to neglect their military training, particularly learning archery. These bans occurred in 1457, 1471, and 1491.

Golf Sport

A number of celebrities and sports stars are known for their golf game and this has bred the popularity of Pro-Am tournaments. Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Samuel L. Jackson, Jack Nicholson, and Wayne Gretzky all have a penchant for the links. On the female side of the ledger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Cameron Diaz are known to get their swing on. There are also a number of high-profile folk who have invested in golf course ownership. This list includes Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake, Willie Nelson, and Celine Dion.

Great golf movies to check out include: Caddyshack (plus its sequel), Happy Gilmore, Tin Cup, and The Legend of Bagger Vance. Bill Murray’s famous ‘Cinderella Story’ scene from Caddyshack was completely improvised and is perhaps the best part of the entire movie.

Along with javelin (I can’t believe an astronaut actually packed a spear with him), golf is one of only two sports to be played on the moon. As part of the Apollo 14 space mission in 1971, astronaut Alan Shepard brought along a 6-iron and hit a one-handed shot (it was all he could manage given his bulky suit) which will eventually return to earth as an unstoppable meteor, causing mass chaos and human extinction.

Golf Club

Most are unclear as to where all the bird names (birdie, eagle, etc.) for golf shots came from, but the Sip Advisor is here to settle the matter, at least for birdies. In 1889, George Crump hit a bird with his first shot. On his second attempt, he hit the ball mere inches from the hole (a putt he easily made later, giving him a one-under par score for the hole). The Smith brothers, whom Crump was playing with called it “a bird of a shot” and that later became a birdie, as the term spread through their club and then across the country.

Sticking with the golfer’s glossary, a hole-in-one (known as an ace) is golf’s greatest shot, but it can be even better. If hit on a par four, the player has scored an albatross, while if the rare feat is achieved on a par five, it’s known as a condor. Only four condors have been recorded and verified in history.

One of the most unique golf courses in the world exists in Nunavit, Canada, where a nine-hole tournament is played each year for the Toonik Tyme Festival. Golfers battle freezing conditions, a course made up of sheets of ice and snow, and use fluorescent balls to get their round in. The highest golf course in the world is located in Morococha, Peru, where the Tactu Golf Club can be found 14,335 feet above sea level.

Monkey Golfing

Little guy probably plays better than the Sip Advisor!

If you want to play some of the best golf courses in the world, you better start saving now. Aside from the astonishing cost to become a member at some of these clubs – New Jersey’s Liberty National Golf Club (where Phil Mickelson and Eli Manning are members) has a membership price tag of $250,000, plus yearly dues of $25,000 – even many public courses will take a serious chunk out of your wallet. Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas is the most expensive at a whopping $500 per 18 holes.

There are some great pro golfer nicknames out there. Some of the best include: Wild Thing for John Daly, the beer-drinking, heavy-smoking, trailer-living, lovable star; Halimoney for Hal Sutton, who is thrice divorced; Aquaman for Woody Austin, who once fell into a lake following a shot at the 2007 President’s Cup; and Smiling Assassin for Shigeki Maruyama, a Japanese player, whose facial expression is locked on smile, regardless of his performance.

Golf Score

Before tees were invented, golfers would build mounds of sand to hit their shots off of. It’s amazing how the smallest piece of wood can make such a huge difference… like they say, it’s not the size of the tool, it’s how you use it!

One last little nugget of info to blow your mind: there are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball. Can you imagine the insanity of the person who actually took the time to count these indentations? What if he lost count halfway through and had to start over again? That would drive someone to drink!

Scotland: Hole-in-One

Hole-In-One Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Scotch
  • Top with Iced Tea and Lemonade
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wheel

When I was 13, I became wildly interested in golf. While that passion petered out when I realized I wasn’t any good at the game, I did make one hole-in-one during my brief career. Hole #15 at the Sunshine Woods Golf Club will always be in my memories thanks to that great day. Amazingly, one of the guys in the pair my friend and I were playing with that day, scored an ace earlier in our round on hole #6.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really liked this cocktail. I know Scotch isn’t traditionally meant to be mixed, but this was a good coming together of flavours. If you like your drinks strong, but easier to down than straight booze, then this is a recipe you should seriously consider.

November 17 – Southern Hospitali-tea

Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch, Rye

Today marks the beginning of Whiskey Week at the Sip Advisor and while we will look quite closely at the Tennessee favourite, we will also examine all of the liquor’s familial members: Bourbon, Scotch, and Rye.

Drink #321: Southern Hospitali-tea

Southern Hospitali-tea Drink Recipe

So, how was school today? Not settle yourself on the couch for cookies and milk and afternoon cartoons… ah, those were the days!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
With a pretty simple recipe, you know full well what you’re getting into and in this case, that’s a good drink. The JD Honey Whiskey was a nice touch and worked well with the Iced Tea. I made sure to toss a fair bit of Lemon Wedges in the cocktail for added flavour. A nice addition would have been some Lemonade.

September 3 – Unicorn

Animal Crackers

Recently, a big deal in social media was made over Scotland’s national animal (to be revealed very shortly). That got me thinking about the rest of the world and which creatures have had the honour of proudly and respectfully representing a country. No nation will be off limits, as I am definitely going to skewer my home country. Here are some of the best selections:

Unicorn – Scotland

For some reason, a mythological animal for Scotland actually makes sense given they’re a mythological country! I’m just messin’ with ya Scots. Don’t forget, we here in Canada still have strong ties to the U.K. despite our distance from the motherland. The unicorn was actually a symbol of the Scottish royal family. The more you know *rainbow swipe*!

unicorn

Beaver – Canada

Speaking of my part of the world, we chose an animal which just begs for other citizens to make double entendres about how much we love it! Bring on the jokes, we can take them! The beaver is a very industrious animal, building their dams for shelter. They are also good recyclers, using trees that nobody needs anymore. Stupid oxygen-enabling trees!

Lion – Belgium/Bulgaria/Luxembourg/Netherlands/U.K.

Are there even lions in most of these countries (that aren’t caged in a zoo)? Did they just choose a bad ass animal to look cool among the international community, not realizing how many other countries also claimed the feline? A place like Ethiopia or Kenya having the lion as their national animal makes sense…since, you know, lions actually live there.

King Cobra – India

This is an intimidating choice, warning us all that the Indian population can be subdued with hypnotic music, but at the same time are deadly predators that can strike in an instant and cause accelerated death. If that’s really the case though, why does it take me so long to get a live person when I call for customer service?

Cobra and girl

See, cobras can be cute and cuddly!

Gallic Rooster – France

It kind of makes sense that France would relate themselves to a bunch of cocks, am I right!? I’m sure most French people are actually quite nice, but Parisians take the cake on being dicks. We once had a cab driver who refused to acknowledge our request to go to the Eiffel Tower until we flipped it and said “Tour Eiffel”… Va te faire foutre!!

Persian Cat – Iran

While most would view the Iranians with some fear and hostility, how can you do that when they picked a freakin’ fluffy cat as one of their national animals! Ma and Pa Sip have a Persian-ish cat at home and she’s a darling…unless you try to move her off the bed. Not very friendly to her fellow felines either now that I come to think about…

Dolphin – Greece

Of course the Greeks would pick the most sexual of creatures when selecting their national animal. They did, after all, invent a great deal of the carnal moves and positions in existence, rivaling the Indians and their Karma Sutra. Apparently, dolphins also play a role in Greek mythology, as helpers of mankind. Aquaman must be jealous!

funny-dolphin

Dodo – Mauritius

Good job Mauritius (wherever the hell you are) for picking an animal that has long been extinct. Perhaps your fate will be much the same. Seems like you’re asking for a rough future with your choice in animal worship.

Bull – Spain

Nothing like killing your national animal for the entertainment of screaming, blood-thirsty fans! What’s that, you also show it respect by tying up its testicles before you taunt, tease, assault, and slaughter the beast? Hmmm, you Spanish have a funny way of showing affection. At least the bull sometimes gets revenge with a thunderous gore!

Bulldog – U.K.

Scotland’s pick of the unicorn doesn’t look so bad anymore. At least it’s a majestic creature. Meanwhile, England picked one of the foulest mutts in the dog world. With a face only an owner could love and enough drool to flood an apartment, the bulldog seems an unlikely choice for people who a nation of prim and proper tea drinkers.

Drink #246: Unicorn

Unicorn Drink

  • 1 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Brandy
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • Splash of Cointreau
  • Dash of Melon Liqueur
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with a Pink Marshmallow

What do you think of some of these national animals? Is there a country you wish I had targeted with my adept lampooning? I can take the heat, just as much as I can give it out! By the way, here’s a quiz on the subject of national animals (I hope you were taking notes)… enjoy!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really enjoyed the Melon Liqueur finish. It went really well with the rest of the recipe, highlighted by the Irish Crème. Garnishing the cocktail with a Pink Marshmallow seemed like the perfect addition for a Unicorn-themed drink.