Mixer Mania #27 – The Right Mix

Just like how Sweet & Sour Mix works so well in many a cocktail, opposites attract and that can certainly be said for these couples. While one of the duo is a kinder, gentler soul, the other has no qualms about unleashing their fury:

Edith & Archie Bunker – All in the Family

How the sweet and naïve Edith ever ended up with gruff and narrow-minded Archie is one of life’s great mysteries. They made it work, though, as it took someone with Edith’s demeanor to love and balance the often insufferable Archie.

Lois & Hal – Malcolm in the Middle

Dealing with the stress of four (with a fifth coming later) challenging sons, would take its toll on any mother. When your husband also acts like a child, you just can’t get ahead. Or perhaps that husband is the glue that keeps the family working. I’ll credit Bryan Cranston with anything and everything.

Hal & Lois

Doug & Carrie Heffernan – King of Queens

Some of the things Carrie does to her family and friends is downright deplorable. Meanwhile, Doug is a happy-go-lucky type counterbalancing his wife. Maybe Carrie was just pissed she ended up with such an oaf… guess I better watch out for similar signs from Mrs. Sip.

April & Andy – Parks and Recreation

Super goof Andy Dwyer and snarky April Ludgate somehow combine to make an endearing couple. Once again, this is a balance thing; however, it helps that April isn’t all that mean behind her not-so-friendly outward façade.

Stan & Francine Smith – American Dad

You figure combinations like ultra conservative Stan Smith and fairly liberal wife Francine would be a recipe for disaster, but you’d be wrong. While Francine appears to be laid back, there’s a fierceness that only Stan can truly bring out of her and then lookout…

Stan & Francine

Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy – The Muppets

For Kermit the Frog, it ain’t easy being green… and that isn’t helped by his on-again, off-again girlfriend Miss Piggy, who’s a diva if there ever was one. While Kermit can often find himself in the crosshairs of Miss Piggy’s ire, she still loves her ‘Kermy’ with all her heart.

Shrek & Princess Fiona – Shrek

When one member of a couple is a feared and reviled ogre, you’re already starting off on unequal footing. Enter Princess Fiona to soften Shrek’s anger and reintroduce him to civilization, following years of reclusiveness. Being a fellow ogre helps, too.

Cersei Lannister & Robert Baratheon – Game of Thrones

I just had to include uber bitch Cersei Lannister somewhere on this list. While Robert Baratheon may have his own demons, his jovial personality is a stark contrast to the scheming and cutthroat behaviour of his queen. A queen who eventually has him killed.

Mixer Mania #27: Black Widow

Black Widow.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz Southern Comfort
  • Top with Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Of course, Disney seems to be all over the theory of sweet and sour opposites attracting, with other more recent examples including Belle and The Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Flynn Ryder and Rapunzel (Tangled), Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde (Zootopia), Fix-It Felix and Calhoun (Wreck-It Ralph) and even WALL-E and EVE (Wall-E).

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I doubled each of the ingredients for this cocktail, as I live by the motto: “Drink big or don’t drink at all!” The martini was pretty good, if a little on the sweet side (where was the sour?). Of particular note was the Captain Morgan’s Black Spiced Rum, which had a root beer flavour to it.

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July 11 – Scorpion’s Tail

A Movie of Their Own

With the Minions (more on them later) getting their own movie, out in theatres this weekend, the Sip Advisor thought it would be a good time to look at other characters that proved so popular that they earned their own film(s). Kind of like how Mrs. Sip keeps trying to break away from me and launch her own brand… too bad for her, she’s under contract for years to come!

#5: The Scorpion King

After a brief appearance in The Mummy Returns (in one of the worst CGI effects of all-time), wrestling star The Rock launched his Hollywood career with his own film, as the titular Scorpion King. While it wasn’t going to garner any Oscar consideration, the action in this movie was great and the story pretty good, too. Three additional movies have joined the franchise, although The Rock vacated the role.

scorpions

#4: Machete

It’s funny that the ultraviolent Machete first appeared in the children’s movie franchise Spy Kids, before branching out on his own vigilante activities. Played to badass perfection by Danny Trejo (a former prison inmate before turning to acting), the Machete character has enjoyed two film installments to date, featuring massive deadly weapons, beautiful women, and a lot of creative kills.

#3: Puss in Boots

This suave little kitty stole out hearts, starting with Shrek 2, en route to his own movie and Netflix TV series. Puss in Boots may have existed since 1697, but he has never been more popular than when he sliced and purred his way through various enemies in the DreamWorks films. Voiced by Antonio Banderas, Puss is based on the classic character Zorro, another role tackled by Banderas.

puss in boots

#2: Inspector Jacques Clouseau

This bumbling detective character is a favourite of the Sip Family, as is star Peter Sellers. Just a side character in the first film of the franchise, The Pink Panther, Sellers stole the show away from lead David Niven and never looked back. As Clouseau, a number of additional movies were made under the Pink Panther banner, up until Sellers died in 1980, at the age of only 54.

#1: The Minions

I love these little yellow guys, despite the fact I can’t understand most of what they say. The trailer for this movie is pure gold, with the Minions switching from one evildoer to another, after accidentally killing their masters throughout the ages, including an Egyptian pharaoh, Dracula, Napoleon, and others.  I can’t wait to check out the movie and I know I’m not alone in that desire!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Scorpion’s Tail

  • 0.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.5 oz Banana Liqueur
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with a Pineapple Wedge

Honourable mentions include Jay and Silent Bob, the Penguins of Madagascar, and Aldous Snow (Get Him to the Greek). I wasn’t sure how to handle comic characters, such as Wolverine and Elektra, as they are their own entities, so I’ll leave them in this section. Hate if you want, but let’s all just relax and have a drink!

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.

April 26 – Golden Dragon

Dragon’s Den

While preparing for our Around the World stop in China, I had originally intended to do an article on dragons, which are an integral part of Chinese culture, mythology, and folklore. China is not alone, however, with having dragons as part of their legends, so I switched this post over to a Super Saturday Shot Day article and now we can have some real fun. Here are the top five dragons in media:

#5: Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty

How cool would it be to have the power to turn into a dragon? For the wicked fairy Maleficent, this ability comes out as she tries to keep Prince Phillip from rescuing Princess Aurora. Even the name Maleficent is finely-crafted as it translates into “doing evil or harm”. The soon-to-be-released live action film Maleficent should be an interesting twist on the Sleeping Beauty fable, as we gain some perspective into the antagonist and get her point of view. Sadly, Angelina Jolie plays the titular (literally!?) role, but I’ll have to make peace with that.

Maleficent Dragon

#4: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat

One of the most athletically-gifted wrestlers of all-time, Ricky Steamboat is a former NWA World Champion (a pretty big deal for you non-grappling fans) and his series of matches with the incomparable Ric Flair are considered legendary. Nicknamed ‘The Dragon’, while he was with the WWE during their cartoon gimmick era of the early 90’s, Steamboat even came to the ring breathing fire high into the air and wearing an outfit with fake scales. Sadly, his career was cut short due to a serious back injury in 1994, depriving fans of many more classic confrontations.

#3: Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal – Game of Thrones

While these dragons have already played an important role in the Game of Thrones saga, you just know that they will eventually become a focal point of the book and its TV series sibling. The dragons made Daenerys Targaryen a serious contender in the realm and helped her shed the misconceptions that she didn’t belong on the throne. Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal (I always love how fantasy novels come up with names) will continue to grow and intimidate. I doubt, however that all three make it through the series unscathed and there is likely some tragedy ahead for the ‘Mother of Dragons’.

Mother of Dragons

#2: Mushu – Mulan

Returning to the Disney vault, we get Mushu, an under-sized serpent and protector of Mulan as she joins the fight against the Hun army. While Mushu is a decent sidekick to Mulan, my favourite appearance of the dragon is at the Disney Animation Studio attraction at Disney Parks, where he co-hosts the Drawn to Animation demonstration. I find it ironic that Eddie Murphy played this little firecracker of a dragon, then fell in love with a dragon as Donkey in Shrek. The guy must have a thing for the mythical beasts!

#1: Toothless – How to Train Your Dragon

It’s unbelievable how much Toothless reminds me of one of Ma and Pa Sip’s cats. Yes, an animated dragon reminds me of a living cat… I’m special like that! Anyway, young Viking Hiccup finds Toothless one day and over time, the two become friends and partners as Hiccup trains Toothless to work with him, while also coming to the realization that the stories he’s grown up on about dragons being evil may not be true for every creature of the clan. Together, they bring a stop to the constant war between Vikings and dragons. I’m really looking forward to this year’s sequel to the 2010 hit and there’s even a planned third film due in 2016.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Golden Dragon

Golden Dragon Shot

While I’m not a huge fan of dragons, I have a deep respect for them. I wish I could sleep all day underneath a castle and be feared simply by reputation. I have to toss out a couple honourable mentions to Trogdor the Burninator from Strong Bad E-mails (Homestar Runner) and Eric Cartman’s stuffed animal dragon Rumpertumskin on South Park. Both characters are very minor players, but have given me great pleasure in the past.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I subbed in Torched Cherry Rum for Dragon Berry Rum because it’s what I had on hand and also thought it worked with the theme of dragons and fire. This shot was really good, particularly the mixing of the Goldschlager and Sour Apple Mix. The Torched Cherry Rum was indeed a good choice, adding a different note to an apple pie type flavour.

March 22 – Fat Cat

Cat Scratch Fever

They don’t need our love, but we shower them with adoration anyway. I’ve always been a cat guy and find them to be a great pet for someone as lazy as myself. They’re pretty self-sufficient (don’t need to be walked or washed) and will be entirely happy with a dish full of food, warm laundry to nap on, and the odd catnip toy for a little buzz and exercise. Here are the top five greatest felines in history:

#5: Puss in Boots – Shrek

The little kitty is clever and cunning. He lures his foes in with his deep, dark, sad eyes and once they are mesmerized, out comes the sword and the fight is on. Puss is a furry version of Zorro and not coincidentally is voiced by Antonio Banderas, who played the iconic swordsman in recent times. Whether he’s teaming with Shrek, Donkey and the rest of the gang or enjoying his own adventure, Puss is sure to leave his mark (hopefully not literally) on history.

puss-in-boots

#4: Tom – Tom & Jerry

Poor, poor Tom. No matter how hard he tries, Jerry always manages to elude him and Tom usually winds up with a boo-boo. Therefore, I always liked it best when Tom and Jerry teamed up. After all, the two have been around since the 1940’s, which is a long time to be continually chasing one another. The duo’s long standing rivalry has had an influence on other media. Even Jackass star Johnny Knoxville credits the tandem for inspiring some of the stunts the troupe attempt.

#3: Bucky – Get Fuzzy

Bucky isn’t as well-known as some of the other felines on this list, but he’s above and beyond, one of the funniest. Bucky is a terror to his owner Rob and roommate Satchel (a Sharpie-Labrador cross). A lot of the humour in Get Fuzzy comes from the pets’ misunderstanding of human words and actions and Bucky is a master of the misinterpretation. He’s also constantly scheming for money, food or domination over the apartment, which often results in his being grounded in his closet.

Bucky Katt

#2: Garfield – Garfield & Friends, etc.

What’s great about Garfield is that he just doesn’t care. He only has room for a few loves in his world and that void is quickly filled by food (particularly lasagna), his blankie, and stuffed bear. Sure, he’s occasionally nice to John and Odie, but that’s only for holiday specials like Christmas and Halloween. For this cat, it’s all about the luxuries in life. Garfield is so lazy, he can’t even be bothered to form meaningful relationship with other cats.

#1: Sylvester – Looney Tunes

Sure, Sylvester’s not the smartest animal on the block, but he gets an ‘A’ for effort, every time out. If he ever caught that infernal Tweety Bird, the world would rejoice in a congregation more massive than the Olympic opening ceremony parade. Sylvester’s son and wife also appear in some animated shorts, with his son often declaring “Mother, get the bandages,” after his father gets roughed up by any number of adversaries.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Fat Cat

Fat Cat Shooter

  • 1 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.25 oz Amaretto
  • 0.25 oz Crème de Banane

I’m sure I’ve made some choices with this ranking that has upset some of you. Send your best cat claws my way and make me regret my decisions. If I don’t hear any criticism, I will assume that my picks are good as gold and all free thinking will henceforth be left up to the Sip Advisor… you’re welcome!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Okay, this one is going to take some explaining. Sure it doesn’t look like your typical shooter, but this is how a cat would drink it. I wanted to present the shot in a saucer type dish to go along with the name and theme of the recipe. It’s a pretty good shot, but the Crème de Banane gets buried and you taste the Amaretto the most. Drink up, my little kitties!