September 26 – Capital Punishment

Special Scribes

As we continue to celebrate the gloriousness that is the Sip Advisor (with my recent birthday and all), today we will look at the greatest writers out there in the land of fiction. Write-on my brothers and sisters!

#5: Jack Torrance – The Shining

It seemed like a good idea for writer Jack Torrance to take a job as a caretaker, looking after the massive Overlook Hotel estate in the Colorado mountains over the winter off-season… especially when he could use the solitude to get down to work. Only problem is the silence and seclusion turned an already damaged man into a complete psychopath, set on hunting down his own wife and son. Remember, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”

jack torrance

#4: Brian Griffin – Family Guy

This often pretentious dog considers himself a future legendary scribe, except for the fact that for the longest time, he only talked about writing the great American novel, never sitting down to actually pen it. When he finally does, Faster Than the Speed of Love, is shredded by critics. His follow-up self-help title Wish It, Want It, Do It becomes a best seller, but the fame and fortune for Brian is fleeting, as he lets it all go to his head and alienates those that love him.

#3: Paul Sheldon – Misery

I would never expect my work to get me into trouble (unless I give a liquor company a bad review and they boycott serving me!), but that’s exactly what happens to Paul Sheldon, after he decides to end his popular series of romance novels. He just so happens to also be in the custody of his ‘number one fan’ Annie Wilkes, when this conclusion is published and that leads to a whirlwind of pain, instead of being nursed back to health by the former medical professional.

misery hammer

#2: Jessica Fletcher – Murder, She Wrote

It’s pretty easy to get ideas for your best-selling mystery novels when real-life murders seem to follow you around like you’re death personified. Jessica Fletcher may reside in the sleepy, rural town of Cabot Cove (where there’s an out-of-proportion murder rate), but thanks to her success as an author, she often travels the world and… you guessed it, comes across even more brutality. At least she’s always able to solve the crime, outwitting bumbling police officers everywhere.

#1: Dr. Watson – Sherlock Holmes

Along with being a sidekick and companion, Dr. John Watson also took it upon himself to record the extensive case files of Sherlock Holmes. As a fan of a good mystery, I wonder where we would be without the writings of Dr. Watson (who was originally to be named ‘Ormond Sacker’). Dr. Watson becomes a biographer of sorts for Holmes, largely because he can’t stand others taking and receiving credit for the solving of high-profile crimes.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Capital Punishment

  • Rim glass with Crushed Nuts
  • 0.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto

Some honourable mentions go to poets Mikey Blumberg (Recess) and Diane Chambers (Cheers), journalists Paul Hennessy (8 Simple Rules) and Ray Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond), crime novelist Richard Castle (Castle), columnist Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City), and TV writer Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke Show). May the words flow freely from your minds!

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Latvia – Kretchma

Triple Threat

Mikhail Baryshnikov is perhaps the most famous person to call Latvia home. The dancer-turned-choreographer, considered to be one of the greatest performers of his generation, if not all-time, was born in Latvia’s capital city of Riga in 1948. Let’s take a look at the man who has transcended his art and entered other realms of entertainment!

The son of an engineer and a dressmaker, Baryshnikov began his ballet studies at the age of 12. His talent was quickly recognized and in 1964, he was moved to the Vaganova School in what is now St. Petersburg. Early in his career, Baryshnikov was partnered with top Russian ballerina Irina Kolpakova, while they were members of the Kirov Ballet in the former Leningrad.

dance class plie

Baryshnikov defected to Canada in 1974, searching for artistic freedom, instead of being pigeon-holed as a ballet dancer. He quickly joined the American Ballet Theatre and later New York City Ballet, where he also took over the artistic direction of the troupe. Some of Baryshnikov’s best work came while partnered with Twyla Tharp. The two completed projects that include Push Comes to Shove, The Little Ballet, and Sinatra Suite.

The 1977 movie The Turning Point brought Baryshnikov’s talent to the mainstream and introduced a decade-long ballet craze to the United States. Playing Yuri Kopeikine, a Russian dancer and playboy, Baryshnikov was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. The film starred Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine and is about the drama of the dance world… a precursor to the Step Up series, perhaps!?

Baryshnikov’s other film credits include Giselle (also the work in which he made his stage debut in 1967) and White Nights, which is not about cocaine-fuelled parties. White Nights actually teamed Baryshnikov with legendary tap dancer Gregory Hines. The movie featured a number of memorable dance scenes, including one where Baryshnikov pirouettes 14 times while in cowboy boots.

perfect pirouette

On the smaller screen, Baryshnikov appeared in the final season of Sex and the City, as Aleksandr Petrovsky, a successful Russian artist. The character pursues main character Carrie Bradshaw, despite being much older and already having a grown child. Although he convinces Carrie to move to Paris with him, the relationship doesn’t work out and the series ends with Carrie and Mr. Big back together. I never thought I’d write an entire paragraph on a Sex and the City plot.

Baryshnikov’s nickname is Misha, a term which normally might only be used by the man’s close friends and family. After so many people struggled to pronounce his name correctly, he encouraged the use of Misha by friends, family, and fans alike. Baryshnikov used his nickname as the moniker for the perfume he released in 1989. I’ll still never really get why men are able to put out fragrances for women and vice versa, but who am I to question the way the world works.

baryshnikov-quote

Current American Horror Story star, Jessica Lange and Baryshnikov were in a relationship from 1976 to 1982 and have a child, Aleksandra (born 1981) together. The two apparently spoke French when they first met, as Baryshnikov had yet to learn English. A rare heterosexual in the dance world, he also had relationships with ballerinas Gelsey Kirkland and Lisa Rinehart, the latter of which, he has three kids (Peter, Anna, and Sofia) with.

With fellow choreographer Mark Morris, Baryshnikov operated his own modern dance company, The White Oak Dance Project, from 1990-2002. In 2005, he opened the Baryshnikov Arts Centre in New York. He was recently seen in an uncredited role, as Interior Minister Sorokin, in 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Baryshnikov has even been honoured with cocktails based on his life and career. The drinks include Dancer, Actor, and World Citizen… now that’s a triple threat!

Latvia: Kretchma

Kretchma Martini

  • 1 oz Stoli Vodka
  • 1 oz Creme de Cacao
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

The only real knock I have against Baryshnikov is that he asked for asylum in the city I hate the most in this beautiful country of Canada. That would be Toronto, the center of the universe according to anyone who lives there. Other than that, the guy’s okay in my books!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This is a very good cocktail, especially when you use Stoli’s Salted Karamel Vodka. The Grenadine gives it a terrific colour and I’m always surprised at how well Lemon Juice and Creme de Cacao work together.

November 15 – The Soprano

Turn Down Service

For some actors, taking a TV role when you’re considered a movie star is a step down. That just provides an opportunity for another talent to step in, knock the performance out of the park and end up doing better in the long run than the one who originally turned his nose up at the project. Here are some examples of folks who passed up on TV glory (for whatever reason):

Ray Liotta as Tony Soprano (The Sopranos)

Ray Liotta, star of movies like Goodfellas, turned down the landmark role because he wanted to focus on movies. In the time he could have been playing the mobster, Liotta made numerous films, but nothing particularly memorable. Of course James Gandolfini took the role and ran with it… straight to three Emmy’s, which launched his own chance to enter the movie world before his untimely death earlier this year.

liotta-soprano

Tom Selleck as Mitch Buchannon (Baywatch)

Tom Selleck turned down the head lifeguard role, as he didn’t want to be a sex symbol… to which I’ve always said, “too late, Mr. Magnum!” Selleck’s role refusal did give David Hasselhoff and his German minions another chance to rejoice and without it, Hasselhoff’s infamous downward spiral might have gone unnoticed. Seriously, though, who hasn’t tried to eat a floor cheeseburger in a drunken stupor!?

Michael Richards as Adrian Monk (Monk)

Fresh off his stint as crazy neighbor Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld, Michael Richards was offered the role of obsessive compulsive disorder suffering detective Adrian Monk, but he wasn’t interested in the role. ABC let the show slip away to the USA Network, which cast Tony Shalhoub , who played the intricately troubled ex-cop perfectly. Richards instead went on a racial slur-laced rant at a comedy club and would probably pay for work now.

Craig T. Nelson as Jay Pritchett (Modern Family)

Craig T. Nelson hasn’t evaded the question of why he turned down a role on the wildly popular Modern Family. He is quoted as saying the money just wasn’t good enough. The former Coach star did go on to snag up the next patriarchal role to come his way on Parenthood, leaving the living legend, Al Bundy himself, Ed O’Neill to step in a lead the 21st century family… as well as cuddle up to Sofia Vergara!

nelson-pritchett

Dana Delaney as Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City)

Ms. Delaney passed on the iconic role because she didn’t want to be in a show about sex… then why audition for a show called SEX and the City!? And really, what show doesn’t have some element of sex in it. Hell, even Sesame Street has toyed with the idea of Bert and Ernie being romantically involved! Sarah Jessica Parker took the part and became a cosmopolitan swigging female hero. Honestly, I don’t even know who Delaney is…

Thomas Jane as Don Draper (Mad Men)

I’ve already professed my hatred for Mad Men and apparently Thomas Jane, The Punisher, agrees with me! He didn’t think an intellectual show on a channel (AMC) known for movie reruns would work. You win some, you lose some. Jon Hamm stepped in and gets to drink tons of whiskey, while being lauded for an incredibly awful show. Some guys have all the luck.

Michael Keaton as Jack Shepard (Lost)

I’ve never watched Lost, but Ma and Pa Sip were die-hard fans. Apparently the character of Jack was supposed to not live past the pilot episode. When writers changed their plans, the former Batman backed out, thus avoiding the most confusing plot in television history and likely countless headaches from trying to get an understanding of what was going on!

Drink #319: The Soprano

The Soprano Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Bourbon
  • 1.5 oz Amaretto (I used Disaronno)
  • 0.5 oz Southern Comfort
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Orange Wheel

Well, that wraps up our look at those that have turned down TV roles. I myself have turned down a couple characters in my childhood acting days: Bud Bundy on Married with Children; Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell, and Alf on, well Alf. Think of the money I’ve missed out on…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Early this year, I made The Godfather cocktail. This is the Americanized version of said drink, with the use of Bourbon and Southern Comfort. I liked the recipe, but those who aren’t fans of strong, liquor-heavy beverages might want to avoid it. It wasn’t overly heavy, but it was pretty potent.

October 8 – Mudslide

Ready-Made

Personally, I’m not a fan of ready-made booze products. But it’s a topic I feel should be discussed and what better time to do it than while we enjoy a fresh serving of one of the more popular bottled options, the Mudslide. Here are some other pre-mixed selections available on the market:

Mudslide – Packaged by the folks at Kahlua (among other companies), this is one concoction that I’ve actually tried and I remember (stop laughing… I do have some brain cells left) enjoying. Of course, this was years before I got into mixology and I don’t think I’d try this type of product nowadays.

Kahlua Mudslide

Caesar – There’s been quite the market the last few years for ready-made Caesars and while it’s nice to have such a complicated recipe simplified in bottle form, I think the Caesar truly shines when you put all those intricate ingredients together yourself.

Cola Mixes – This can be done with rum, whiskey, bourbon, etc. with companies such as Bacardi, Malibu, Bulleit, Jim Beam, and Jack Daniel’s flooding the market. Broski Sip and I did find ourselves enjoying Jack Daniel’s Hard Cola on one vacation, but that was many moons before I became the Sip Advisor you worship today… I’m a bit of a booze snob now. Most of these liquor companies also offer their spirit mixed with ginger ale for the anti-cola drinker.

Gin & Tonic – G&T’s are so easy to make, it amazes me that anyone would need it to be pre-mixed and bottled for them, but the world has become incredibly lazy. Gordon’s is one prominent company that has jumped aboard the ‘ready-to-drink’ train. Smirnoff also offers a vodka tonic mix.Gordon's G&T

Cosmopolitan – I guess you could still pour your Cosmo bottle into a martini glass, but I think all of the class and sophistication the drink is supposed to come with would be lost. The girls on Sex and the City would be so horrified!

Mojito – I strive to make a wicked Mojito and have received rave reviews. I just can’t fathom enjoying a pre-mixed version of the cocktail, so I’ll just move on.

Long Island Iced Tea – I am a fan of the pre-mixed Long Island Iced Tea spirit, combining vodka, gin, rum, and triple sec in one fell swoop, but I don’t think I’d like a pre-bottled version of the drink, eliminating the chance for me to play with different mixers.

Long Island Iced Tea Box

Long Island Iced Tea in a box!?!? Oh, shizzle, where do I sign up!

Dark N’ Stormy – Made by the Bundaberg Rum company, I only wonder if they got clearance from the Gosling’s folks to bottle this drink, since Gosling’s claims a copyright on the Dark N’ Stormy recipe and will fight bartenders who use it sans Gosling’s Rum.

Daiquiri/Margarita – I’ve seen these offerings in a wide array of flavours, from lime to strawberry to mango and everything in between. I’m a huge fan of the legitimate versions of these drinks and am curious to try the pre-mixed style, but also a little cautious, as well.

Pina Colada – We finish with the Pina Colada, which troubles me a little because I think the drink is best received in frozen form. I guess you could add it to shaved ice, much like a snow cone, but given we are mired in the onset of winter, I can’t even think about summer drinks at the moment.

Drink #281: Mudslide

Mudslide Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • Top with Chocolate Milk
  • Garnish with Peanut Butter Cup

It seems that all of your popular cocktails have been released in pre-mix form. That’s capitalism for you, I suppose. If this is how you prefer to get your swerve on, I don’t hate you… I just don’t like you very much!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
There are a variety of Mudslide recipes in existence. The ingredients I used are an amalgamation of those offerings. The Tequila stood out a little stronger than I would have liked, but otherwise, the cocktail was passable.

January 9 – Appletini

Signature Drinks

ChristopherDaniels-Appletini

One of my favourite wrestlers – yeah, that’s right, I watch wrestling, so what of it? I like to watch a good slobber-knocker every now and again, while sipping back the booze… mmm, booze… wait, where was I? As I was saying, one of my favourite wrestlers of all time, the ‘Fallen Angel’ Christopher Daniels, started a gimmick recently in which he’s always seen with an Appletini during interviews and even while coming down to the ring. This got me thinking (and drinking) about the Appletini, of course, and also about the characters out there that are associated with a particular drink, frequently having it in their possession.

Julian – Trailer Park Boys (Rum & Coke)

Julian rum and coke

It is a rare sight to see Julian without a rum and coke in his hands and there were many times throughout the run of Trailer Park Boys when viewers marveled over the tasks he was able to complete while not spilling his coveted beverage. Among them, playing street hockey and running from the cops in a high-speed chase.

Ron Swanson – Parks & Recreation (Scotch)

Tough as nails, Ron Swanson refuses to drink anything but Lagavulin Scotch. Only once has he departed from his nectar-of-choice, after co-worker Tom Haverford designed snake juice (described as a high-end Kahlua style liquor by its creator, but as basically rat poison by others – to be discussed in a future post on invented drinks) and bet Ron he would love it. Ron did and the result was the video posted below.

The Dude – The Big Lebowski (White Russian)

The Dude white russian

Throughout the movie, The Big Lebowski, The Dude enjoys nine White Russian cocktails. There’s even a drinking game out there, where players are supposed to have a White Russian every time The Dude has one. That’s an impressive feat and could be a future Liquor Challenge for myself (coming soon to The Sip Advisor)!

Don Draper – Mad Men (Old Fashioned)

Sorry, Don... no photo for you!

Sorry, Don… no photo for you!

Mad Men sucks… sorry, it had to be said. I love how my site can be a platform for me to hate things! I’d start writing about Mr. Draper, his drink of choice and his show, but too many words have been wasted on—

(see what I did there?)

Carrie Bradshaw – Sex and the City (Cosmopolitan)

Carrie Bradshaw cosmo

The ladies of Sex and the City revitalized this cocktail after making it their favourite libation. As I recently wrote in my Cosmo post, I do enjoy this drink and for that, I guess I have to thank Carrie and company for making it so popular in restaurants. In return for my gesture of gratefulness, I only ask that there be no more Sex and the City movies. Deal?

Ron Burgundy – Anchorman (Scotch)

Ron Burgundy scotch

“I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly.” That is one of many amazingly funny quotes about scotch in Anchorman. I can’t wait for the Anchorman sequel, where I’m sure Ron will get back to his womanizing, scotch-loving ways. Stay classy, San Diego!

Burton Mercer – The Blues Brothers (Orange Whip)

The 'Orange Whip' isn't pictured, but you can tell that this guy is a booze hound!

The ‘Orange Whip’ isn’t pictured, but you can tell that this guy is a booze hound!

Mercer’s drinking of this beverage even inspired a renaissance of sorts for it. I definitely need to steal his way of asking who wants a drink. He basically makes a drink for each time he asks if anyone wants one and then likely enjoys them all, himself. “Who wants an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips.” Ha, classic!

James Bond – James Bond Series (Vodka Martini/Vesper: shaken, not stirred)

james-bond-vesper-martini

Everybody has done the “shaken, not stirred” joke at some point in their life. We get it, you watch movies and can quote one of the shortest and most misinformed lines featured on the silver screen. The funny thing is that the way Mr. Bond has his drink constructed, is actually incorrect. Anytime you are only using alcohols, with no mixers involved, it’s recommended that you stir your ingredients, rather than shake, so as not to bruise the alcohol too much and diminish its taste. Tisk, tisk, James…

And finally…

J.D. – Scrubs (Appletini, easy on the tini)

JD appletini

And now we come full circle! Like wrestler, Christopher Daniels, J.D. on Scrubs loved his Appletinis. Despite the fact most bartenders mistook him for being female, as a result of his drink order, J.D. would not be deterred and that takes some balls. J.D. even paid $105 for an Appletini once, but found it a little too light on the ‘tini’. Let’s salute J.D. and make him a proper one.

Drink #9: Appletini

Appletini

The best part about putting this piece together is that it has inspired me to make some cocktails I had previously never tried. I’ve always wanted to try the Bond-styled martini – although I’ll be stirring my ingredients, thank you very much – and the Orange Whip intrigues me, as well. I also have never had a true old fashioned yet, but I will certainly not be thinking about ‘the show that shall not be named’ when I enjoy the classic concoction.

Have I missed anything? Did I neglect your favourite character and their drink of choice? Drop me a line and chew me out, just make sure to have fun with your insults. Until next time…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I like the Appletini… there, I said it. That sour apple flavour, while not my favourite, is quite tasty. One must always be sure to use sour green apples for this recipe. I guess you could use red or golden delicious, but what would be the point.

January 6 – The Cosmopolitan

Cosmo’s Aren’t Just for the Ladies

Don't be so shocked, Skeletor, dudes be drinknig Cosmos, too!

Don’t be so shocked, Skeletor, dudes be drinking Cosmos too!

When I was 12 I had one of my kidneys removed, leaving me with a wicked scar that surprisingly worked well with the ladies. I like to think I know how studs like Ryan Reynolds and Matthew McConaughey feel with people everywhere ogling their midsection… only problem, I don’t have a ripped abdominal core… I’m on the freak side of the awe and attention. But that’s not the point of this story.

Prior to the operation I met with a dietary physician or something like that – basically someone who tells you what to eat and drink and what not to indulge in. I was told to reduce my salt intake (never really happened… seasoning salt, I put that shit on everything), drink alcohol in small doses when I became of legal age (you think I listened to that advice… I’m doing this blog, aren’t I) and to drink cranberry juice (lame… gross… hated the vile substance). That is, until recently, when I tried a Cosmo on my honeymoon cruise – hell, it was handed out to me for free – and found that cranberry juice wasn’t so bad after all… providing vodka, triple sec and lime juice are large portions of the mix.

Now, the Cosmo is likely one of the most ordered “Girls Night Out” drinks, but I’m going to team up with the drink and bring equality to the cocktail world. Together, we will change this perception that the Cosmo is only for the ladies. Like the You Can Play campaign in the hockey/sport universe, I vow that You Can Drink a Cosmo, or any other martini, and not feel ashamed to be doing so.

There’s nothing wrong with a man holding a pink drink. A few months back, I even had a Cotton Candy Collins at Society in Vancouver. The restaurant being empty that particular afternoon might have helped, but it was worth the risk to enjoy this creative cocktail, which, of course, came with a healthy dose of pink cotton candy on the top of the drink and has inspired me to do a future Candy Drink Week.

Back to the Cosmo… I began to make them more regularly and before I knew it, a bottle of juice that I thought would sit in my fridge untouched for years was nearly empty. As you’ve seen in previous entries, I often don’t play by the rules in my cocktail construction, and for the Cosmo, this is no different. I personally prefer to drink a Cosmo on ice and in a rocks glass (as I first enjoyed it on the cruise), but for the purposes of this entry, I’ve presented the drink in a martini glass, as that is the traditional method. Just put all the ingredients into a shaker and strain.

Drink #6: The Cosmo

Cosmopolitan Martini

  • 1.5 oz vodka (I used raspberry vodka just to girl it up a little more!)
  • 1 oz Cointreau or other triple sec
  • Top with cranberry juice
  • Splash of lime juice
  • Garnish with lime wedge

All that’s left is to get cozy in a fuzzy robe and slippers (picture coming soon), throw on your favourite chick flick (mine’s Debbie Does Dallas – that counts right?!) and sip the night away!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
It may be a girly drink, but it’s a good one. The Cosmo was one of the first drinks that allowed me to enjoy Cranberry Juice and for that, I have to thank it. I have to admit though, my favourite ingredient is the splash of Lime Juice.