Australia – Moonlight Martini

Land Down Under

We’re going “down under” as we leave Estonia for the warmth and beauty of picturesque Australia. Mrs. Sip lived in the country for half a year and I was lucky to join her for six weeks. While together, we toured a fair portion of the country. There were numerous and diverse sites that we both fell in love with during our stay. Here are some of our favourites:

Phillips Island

Home to the World’s Smallest Penguins, hundreds of tourists gather each day and brave the elements to watch the little flightless birds return from the water, like clockwork, to their burrows on Phillips Island. Sadly, but understandably, you’re not allowed to take photos of the tiny travelers, as flashes from cameras can blind them and cause them to become disoriented, get lost, and turn into easy prey for predators.

Penguin Parade

Great Barrier Reef

Cairns is home to the Great Barrier Reef and its impressive collection of coral formations. In some of the clearest, most stunning water I’ve ever been in, I did my first ever scuba dive and saw species of sea creatures I may never see up close again. We also snorkeled the area for a few hours and enjoyed the bathtub temperature of the ocean… plus, it’s always fun to perv on Mrs. Sip in the water!

Daintree Rainforest

Also while in Cairns, Mrs. Sip and I also toured the Daintree Rainforest, including a river cruise where we searched for legendary crocodiles and a hike through the tropical bush. The Daintree is home to an untold number of animal and plant species and you never really know what you’ll come across in your trek. Mrs. Sip was on edge about seeing any spiders, while I was ever-vigilant in avoiding snakes.

Wildlife

There are some animals you will only see in zoos and around Australia during your lifetime. We decided to combine the two by visiting one of the country’s nature reserves: the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. There, we viewed epically large crocodiles, fed kangaroos, and were attacked by parakeets and lorikeets. We even got our photos with a koala and all was well until it peed all over our friend!

Koala Currumbin

Ayers Rock/Uluru

This mystical mass of land is located in the Australian Outback and while I did not journey there for my own personal walkabout, Mrs. Sip made the trip. It takes between two to three hours to walk around Ayers Rock/Uluru and it’s also a wonderful spot to view sunrise and sunset each day. Interestingly, it’s said that if you take any rock from the site you will be cursed, leaving many trying to return “souvenirs” they’ve pick up from the World Heritage Site.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney was such a neat city (surprisingly clean and green) in its entirety, but perhaps its most famous landmark is the Opera House located in Sydney Harbour. Mrs. Sip and I did a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour of the iconic metropolis and spent a fair bit of time hanging out in the harbour. Tourists can even climb the Harbour Bridge for a spectacular viewing opportunity.

Surfer’s Paradise

While I failed miserably at my attempt to learn surfing in Australia, the beaches around the country are a sight to behold. Surfer’s Paradise is where all the youngsters go to hang out and hang ten. If you’re not into the beach and ocean stuff, the area is also home to numerous dining and shopping options. If you choose to stick to the sand and water, be careful of disruptive visits by anything from jellyfish to sharks.

Australia: Moonlight Martini

Moonlight Martini Drink Recipe

  • Muddle Blackberries
  • 1.5 oz Shiraz/Syrah Wine
  • 1.5 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with Blackberries

Australian wine is also a big deal and they are most famous for their Shiraz/Syrah grape variety, which was brought to the country from Europe by James Busby in the 1830’s. Speaking of Aussie wine, Mrs. Sip and I also thoroughly enjoyed the Barossa Valley wine tour we joined in Adelaide, specifically our meal of kangaroo cooked in… you guessed it: red wine!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Given the World’s Smallest Penguins was one of my favourite Australian attractions, coming across the Little Penguin Shiraz Wine was almost too perfect to be true. Sadly, I didn’t have the Orange Vodka the recipe asked for, so I subbed in Raspberry Vodka with a splash of Triple Sec to get the orange flavour. The drink was pretty good and had a number of different notes to tease the taste buds!

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April 6 – Fire Extinguisher

Weapons of Destruction

Well, it’s WrestleMania weekend, the best time of the year for sports entertainment fanatics. When I heard about this shooter, the first thing I thought of was hardcore matches, where one wrestler would spray another in the face with a fire extinguisher. Always good for a laugh, let’s see if it works as a shot as well. But first, here are some other great wrestling weapon choices while we sip away:

Coconut

One of the most famous feuds of the 1980’s was started when ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper bashed Fijian Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka over the head with a coconut following a verbal lashing that would now be classified as racially-fueled. This defined the term “foreign object”… I mean, what is a coconut doing at a wrestling show anyway!?

Piper-Snuka

The angle may have been controversial, but they turned it into an action figure set, so I guess that makes it all okay.

Mannequin Head

Deranged wrestler (aren’t they all!) Al Snow was often seen talking to a mannequin head, which came in handy during matches where he needed an extra edge. I’m sure the head told Al it didn’t appreciate being used as a blunt object, but Al was so out of his mind he probably didn’t take into account his friend’s concerns.

Kitchen Sink

Ever heard the term, “Everything, but the kitchen sink”? Well, during a Good Housekeeping Match between misogynist Jeff Jarrett and woman wrestler (and later porn star… how’s that for women’s lib?) Chyna, even a kitchen sink was used – as well as a toilet seat, salad tongs, mixing bowl, and ironing board. The match ended with both competitors covered in flour and with Chyna becoming the first ever female Intercontinental Champion.

Snakes

Indiana Jones least favourite animal (and the Sip Advisor’s) has actually been used as a weapon in wrestling rings. Jake “The Snake” Roberts has on a few occasions used pythons and cobras to attack his opponents. The dastardly attack even backfired on him once, ending with a snake biting at his own neck.

Sega Genesis/Super Nintendo/Laptop

Hardcore icon New Jack was known for bringing an entire garbage bin filled with weapons to the ring with him for matches – well, they could more likely be classified as attacks. One of his trademark assaults involved placing a vintage video game system or laptop on his victim’s crotch before smashing it with a crutch of other swingable object.

new-jack

New Jack: definitely not the kind of guy you want taking a swing at your baws!

Payphone Handset

When The Rock (Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson) was battling with Mankind (best selling author Mick Foley… proving wrestlers actually are intelligent at times) over the WWE Title over a decade ago, the two met in a number of brutal encounters. One such match featured The Rock bashing Mankind in the head with a payphone handset while shouting “It’s for you!”

Tennis Racket

Manager Jim Cornette was rarely seen without his patented tennis racket and his opponents were seldom left unscathed when the ‘Louisville Slugger’ had a chance to wallop them behind the referees back. I wonder if he ever hit the court to play…

Urn

The legendary Undertaker – whose gimmick was that he was thought to be undead – was often ushered to the ring by his manager Paul Bearer, who was in possession of the urn said to contain The Undertaker’s ashes. Whether this story pans out or not, the urn was definitely used on multiple occasions to batter an opponent of ‘The Deadman’ and help secure a number of victories.

Drink #96: Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher Shot

Judging by the list above, it seems as if anything can be used as a weapon in the ring. I know wrestling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (although who drinks tea around this site anyways? Well, maybe the Long Island version), but thank you for letting me relive some memories on this special weekend for all the Hulkamaniacs out there!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really enjoyed this shooter. The burn of the Fireball Whiskey was quickly cooled by the creamy Bailey’s and a Cinnamon-Sugar rim is always welcomed by me. The addition of Red Hots completed the presentation wonderfully.