Mixer Mania #7 – Promotional Propensity

If the Sip Advisor had to put his money on which soda war had the best advertising campaigns, it would probably go to the great battle of lemon-lime beverages, fought primarily between 7-Up and Sprite forces. Here are the most memorable promotions from each combatant:

7-Up: “Make 7 Up Yours”

Featuring Orlando Jones of Mad TV fame, this series first showed the comedian walking the streets in a shirt that said “Make 7” on the front and “Up Yours” on the back. He would then tell passersby to “Make 7 Up Yours”, to which those he offended would respond by saying stuff like “Same to you!” Taking advantage of the popularity of the slogan, t-shirts were even released, of which the Sip Advisor proudly owned one. The other commercials were also very funny.

Sprite: “Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst.”

This campaign featured a series of ads that poked fun at other drink company promotional concepts. One in particular, featured legendary wrestler Sting showing up to wrestle an adolescent boy, who thought swigging some Sprite would give him the skills necessary to battle the grappler. Another sees cute orange drink mascot Sun Fizz come to life, only to terrorize an entire family, including their dog. Damn, the late 90’s to early 2000’s were fun.

Mixer Mania #7: Electric Jam

Electric Jam.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

Of the two campaigns presented above, I find it very hard to pick a winner. I think I have to give the slight edge to 7-Up, given I actually owned the t-shirt and have been a long-time Mad TV fan.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I feel I’ve seen recipes similar to this before, with different names. For the Blue Curacao content, I went with my trusty foam pump, which helped finish the cool colouring of the drink. I also used Skyy Blood Orange Vodka to complete the citrus experience. All in all, the cocktail was pretty good, if a little on the sweet side.

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Flavour Revolution – Apricot

Cautious Cuisine

Despite the deliciousness, popularity, and versatility of apricots, it should be noted that the fruit’s pits (or kernels) are actually poisonous and can produce a form of cyanide. Here are some other foods that are alarmingly poisonous and potentially dangerous to your health:

Mushrooms

This one is too easy… I mean, come on, it’s defined as a fungus. That said, mushrooms can be many things, from delicious to deadly, healing to hallucinogenic. With regards to poisonous mushrooms, flat caps are a huge giveaway and toxic shrooms come with names such as death caps, destroying angels and dapperlings. Scarily, it is feared that many European mushrooms may be contaminated thanks to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

chances-with-mushroom

Nuts – Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts

Sure, many folks out there have severe allergies to nuts, particularly peanuts, but other types, when eaten raw, can be dangerous. Raw almonds, also known as bitter almonds, contain cyanide and can be fatal when consumed in large doses. Regardless, they are still sold in some stores, with risk being handed over to the customer to decide how cautious they want to be. Other countries have outright banned the nuts from being available.

Fruit – Apples, Cherries, Tomatoes

The seeds in apples and pits in cherry, contain cyanide. Cherries have resulted in other deaths non-edible deaths. Lucullus, a Roman general, committed suicide in 56BC, upon learning that he was running out of cherries, a crop he had introduced to Europe years before. Tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous by Europeans who didn’t trust the delicious fruit. It took some time for those fears to dissipate and now there’s only the odd salmonella outbreak.

Tuna

The issue with tuna, other than the facts that it smells horrible and doesn’t taste that great either (yes, this is solely according to the Sip Advisor), is that levels of mercury absorbed by the fish before it is caught and killed can be passed on to the consumer. This has given me pause for thought about how much the Sip Family kitties love getting served tuna water. Man, they love that stuff and go nuts whenever the can opener is used!

just-add-tuna

Potatoes

Potatoes are such an integral part of people’s diets that it’s a little scary how dangerous, albeit rare, their consumption can be. My first thought was that someone from the popcorn lobby made this accusation up to spoil the potato chip industry, but I have since learned the charges are true. Basically, what you have to watch out for is when a potato turns green, which if eaten, can result in weakness, coma, and even death.

Blowfish

Consuming blowfish (fugu) can be like playing a round of Russian roulette.  Unless prepared to perfection, it can be very poisonous. As a result, the emperor of Japan is barred from eating the fish, despite it being a cultural delicacy. One famous incident involved kabuki actor Bandō Mitsugorō VIII, who believed he could tolerate the poison… he was wrong. There is also an episode of The Simpsons where Homer eats Fugu and is told he only has 24 hours to live.

Flavour Revolution: Virgin’s Kiss

  • 1.25 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.5 oz Apricot Brandy
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with an Apricot Slice

This list could also include rhubarb, elderberry, raw meat and eggs, and even underprepared honey. I’ll stick to my artery-clogging potato chips , thank you very much, which will only get me in the long run!

December 19 – Dirty Christmas Tree

Christmas Cringe

Christmas is right around the corner and these are some of the gifts you wouldn’t want to find under your tree. In most cases, the thought is there, but the results just don’t pan out. Let’s see what will be sent to donation in the very near future:

#5: Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge – The Simpsons

All Bart wanted for Christmas was the violent video game Bonestorm, going so far as to steal a copy from the local Try-N-Save department store. Of course, he gets caught, breaking his mom’s heart. After making amends for ruining the family holiday photo, Marge says that she has found the perfect gift for Bart. When it’s video game-shaped, he quickly unwraps the package to reveal… Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge. It’s not what he wanted, but having his mom’s love again is all he really needs.

Bonestorm Games

#4: Old Radio Tapes – NewsRadio

While the rest of the WNYX staff receive sports cars – after complaining about their original gifts of repurposed baseball hats from station owner and eccentric billionaire Jimmy James – Matthew is left out, receiving only a set of Fibber McGee and Molly tapes. Not only does he miss out on a car because Mr. James tried to get personal gifts for the staff after his first misfire (before resorting to the expensive cars), but Matthew’s favourite old time radio show is Jack Benny.

#3: A Pebble – A Muppet Family Christmas

Don’t get me wrong, this Christmas special is beloved by the Sip Advisor and the entire Sip Kingdom, but a pebble as a present is a horrible idea. You can tell it’s bad because after the Fraggles give the rock to Robin the Frog (complete with song trying to justify why such an awful offering has occured), he quickly flips it, re-gift style, to Grover. I never really got the whole Fraggle Rock crew and am glad they spent most of this momentous Christmas celebration underground.

Fear and Loathing Fraggle Rock

#2: Frame and Hook – Mr. Bean

As Mr. Bean and his girlfriend are shopping for Christmas gifts, they walk by a jewellery store, where she drops hints that she’d like a ring. Of course, Mr. Bean completely gets the wrong message and thinks she wants the photo frame that sits nearby the jewellery. So, a frame and hook for that frame is what she receives, causing her to flee his apartment in tears. Mr. Bean does treat his stuffed bear better, though, replacing the button eyes Teddy was in need of.

#1: Coal – Rugrats

Okay, the bratty Angelica ends up getting exactly what she wants for Christmas (a Deluxe Cynthia Beach House), even after she has been a total terror… but Santa might have left a little something to strike some fear in the girl’s black heart, when opening the house’s garage door reveals some coal residue. I guess she did try to remedy all of her bad behaviour upon warning from Grandpa Lou about what wicked kids can expect from Santa as far as gifts go.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Dirty Christmas Tree

  • 0.25 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.25 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 0.25 oz Sour Mix
  • Drop of Grenadine

Researching these TV articles was not an easy task and so if I’ve missed any of the worst gifts given in small screen history, please let me know. Merry Christmas, my little sippers!

Flavour Revolution – Peach

Pit Stop

Peaches are best defined by the massive pit at the center of the fruit. That got the Sip Advisor thinking about some of the most famous pits, found outside fruits. Here’s what this eccentric old mind was able to come up with:

La Brea Tar Pits

Located near Los Angeles, these pits of heavy crude oil have trapped a countless number of animals over the years, including mammoths, sabre-toothed cats, wolves, bison, horses, bears, sloths, turtles, and even lions. The La Brea Tar Pits official website advertises itself as “The World’s Most Famous Ice Age Fossil Excavation Site”. It’s certainly an area I wouldn’t want to disappear into.

la_brea_tar_pits

Brad Pitt

The two-time World’s Sexiest Man (at least according to People Magazine, which has elected to not include the Sip Advisor’s name on voter’s ballots) is a universally known star. I’d say my favourite Brad Pitt work is Fight Club, but I still have issues with the guy for leaving Jennifer Aniston, in favour of Angelina Jolie. That is a decision I’ll never be able to understand and just have to make peace with.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Home to the Steelers (NFL), Penguins (NHL), and Pirates (MLB) of the sports world, the city is also the birthplace of notable folks, such as Jeff Goldblum, Ken Griffey Jr., Zachary Quinto, George A. Romero, Julie Benz, Joe Manganiello, Kurt Angle, and Gillian Jacobs. Lastly, one of my favourite American craft breweries, Fat Head, originated in the ‘Burgh and for that, we thank them!

Pit Bulls

Among dog fans, these pups go by the shortened term ‘Pits’. While they are sometimes feared for the occasional horror story that hits the rounds regarding attacks by dogs, anyone who owns one swears by their loving nature. Some famous pit bulls include Petey (The Little Rascals), Chance (Homeward Bound) and Champion (Parks and Recreation). There’s also the rapper of the same name, but whateves.

pit bull cat

Piper’s Pit – WWE

This was the wrestling talk show to end all talk shows. A place where many of professional wrestling’s greatest storylines either began, progressed, or ended. Hosted by the wild, unpredictable ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper, the Pit was the setting for Andre the Giant turning on Hulk Hogan, leading to their epic WrestleMania III showdown, and Piper’s own feuds with Jimmy Snuka and Adrian Adonis, among others.

Armpits

Armpits get a bit of a bad rap, as they are one of the central sweat zones for both males and females, sometimes causing embarrassing body odors. For some though, this is an area of sexual attraction and fetishism (known as maschalagnia). While that’s not for the Sip Advisor, I’m not here to judge. The female armpit hair debate, however, has a simple answer: the less the best!

Flavour Revolution: Tickled Peach

Tickled Peach Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Peach Liqueur
  • 1 oz Gin
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

There are also a number of famous pits and sinkholes, found around the world. And how could we forget The Peach Pit from Beverly Hills 90210, where the coolest kids from the richest zip code hung out. Ah, the wonderful 90’s!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I was hoping to use a Peach Moonshine, but went with Peach Liqueur instead. This made the drink sweeter than I would have wanted and it just wasn’t the best mix I’ve had before. I don’t know if Moonshine would have changed that at all, but I’ll have to try it out in the future.

July 25 – Lipstick Lesbian

Coming Out

With Pride weekend upon us, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the greatest LGBT characters… and there are a lot of them, making this list very hard to narrow down. Somehow, the Sip Advisor was able to thin the herd, so let’s get to it!

#5: Daffyd Thomas – Little Britain

While he claims to be the only gay in the village, Daffyd takes exception when he’s not being recognized for his sexuality and while he feels he’s turning heads and making a statement, everyone else is totally cool with his lifestyle. In fact, many of the townspeople are also members of the LGBT community. Ironically, when others reveal their sexual orientation, Daffyd is prone to homophobic outbursts.

Daffyd Thomas - Little Britain

#4: Lafayette Reynolds – True Blood

The heavy make-up wearing, eyelash extension rocking short order cook makes the world of Bon Temps go round, in his own unique way.  Interestingly, Lafayette is killed off very early in The Southern Vampire Mysteries books, but the TV series took a different approach, as the character proved to be so popular with audiences. In a world full of horny, indiscriminate vampires, anything and everything can happen.

#3: Mr./Mrs. Garrison – South Park

Garrison has been everything from a straight male, to a gay male, to a transgendered straight female, to finally a transgendered lesbian female. Covering the entire gamut, Garrison is one of the show’s funniest characters and would make for a fascinating teacher. We have to remember that this is a universe where Satan also identifies as gay, having been in a relationship with Saddam Hussein of all people!

Mr. Garrison

#2: Waylon Smithers – The Simpsons

Poor Mr. Smithers… all he wants is to be loved and respected by his boss, Mr. Burns, who barely acknowledges his existence and hard work. The writers of The Simpsons joke that Mr. Smithers is “Burns-sexual,” although he is regularly seen as a fixed member of the Springfield LGBT community and social scene. Hopefully Mr. Smithers finds happiness, whether with or without Mr. Burns.

#1: Cam & Mitchell – Modern Family

Cam and Mitchell put the “modern” in Modern Family more so than any of the other characters. Over the course of the show, we’ve seen Cam and Mitchell’s relationship grow to include the adoption of a daughter and tying the knot. Throughout it all, the rest of the family has been incredibly supportive, even Mitchell’s old school father Jay, who while he doesn’t always show it, is very proud of his son.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Lipstick Lesbian

  • Wrap glass with Rainbow Candy
  • 0.5 oz Watermelon Pucker
  • 0.5 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Dash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Some honourable mentions go to Lt. Jim Dangle (Reno 911), Dean Craig Pelton (Community), Lloyd Lee (Entourage), Oscar Martinez (The Office), Mr. Humphries (Are You Being Served?), Ray Gillette (Archer), Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and – allegedly! – Bert and Ernie (Sesame Street). Have I missed anyone? Feel free to let me know below!

May 23 – Mad Tea

Happiest Drinking on Earth

With Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration beginning this weekend, it’s certainly time to party. Now, if the Sip Advisor ends up on the receiving end of an invitation to the affair, I have to decide who I want to enjoy the evening with. Here are some great Disney characters to share a drink with!

#5: Belle

It’s always good to have a hot babe on your arm (or on the barstool next to you), as you enter any drinking hole. This is one of many reasons I keep Mrs. Sip as happy as possible and in my gainful employ. Sure, Belle is a little too into her books (so is Mrs. Sip) and that goes against the Sip Advisor’s grain, but behaviours can be changed. Being educated is a good base to have and I have to think that behind the whole prim and proper attitude, Belle’s a bit of a freak. After all, she did get together with a beast!

Belle Beasts

#4: Winnie the Pooh and Tigger

When going for wobbly pops in the 100 Acre Forest, I’d choose Winnie the Pooh and Tigger as my wingmen. Eeyore is forbidden from joining us, thanks to his gloomy view of the world, while Piglet is only invited so we have a designated driver on hand. Imagine the crazy things you could probably convince Tigger to do for your own entertainment? Plus, Pooh often gets gluttonous munchies similar to me, only his vice is a pot of honey, while the Sip Advisor is quick to reach for a bag of potato chips.

#3: Mr. Toad

If the parties thrown at Toad Hall are any evidence, the eccentric amphibian knows how to host a good shindig. We’re talking open bar, troublemaking weasels, people swinging from chandeliers… you know, all the good things in life! One issue might be Mr. Toad’s penchant for driving while under the influence – a definite no-no in the Sip Advisor’s books. Perhaps he needs me to keep him on the straight and narrow. His overbearing friends are also of concern, but we just won’t invite them.

mr-toads-ride

#2: Scrooge McDuck

Along with trading stories with the well-travelled mogul, Scrooge McDuck would be able to cover any tab the two of you racked up. We’re talking enjoying some of the world’s most expensive liquors in locales around the world, as you experience your latest DuckTale! I’m sure it wouldn’t take long for the Sip Advisor to earn a spot amongst McDuck’s nephews. Hell, I can’t be any more annoying than the accident prone Launchpad McQuack or the hapless Fenton Crackshell.

#1: Baloo

Baloo seems like a totally down-to-earth bear, needing only the bare necessities of life to get by. That’s what I look for most in a drinking companion. I prefer people who are easy going and don’t have a whole lot of drama surrounding them. There’s also the fact that Baloo has access to his own private plane and could fly the two of us to any remote location we want to visit. Hell, his buddy King Louie even has his own joint, Louie’s Place, where we can drink the place dry and probably for free!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Mad Tea

  • 0.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Green Tea
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with Mint Leaves

While narrowing this list was difficult, there are a number of Disney characters that you certainly wouldn’t want to sit down to drinks with. Cruella de Vil would certainly turn nasty and you’d have to think that Donald Duck would get quite mean after a few too many beverages. Then, there’s Jiminy Cricket… who the hell wants to have their conscience around when they’re slamming back the booze and getting up to stupid stuff!

January 24 – Pigskin Shot

Game within a Game

With the 2015 NFL Super Bowl just over a week away, I thought I’d help out all my little sippers out there, that might not be a fan of the sport, and perhaps find themselves invited to a big game party. Here’s some ways you can enjoy the game, while not exactly enjoying the game!

#5: Half-Time Show

The choice of entertainment for each year’s big game opens up great debate. Usually, in the end, whichever act has been invited to perform puts on a good show and everyone walks away happy. This year, viewers will be treated to the musical stylings of Katy Perry, who had a massive year in 2014 with hits like “Roar” and “Dark Horse”. Perry will be joined by Lenny Kravitz, which will at least add a rock element to the show. Let’s hope we get a repeat of 2004 and if you’re lucky, you might even get to see some boobies!

Barely Watch Super Bowl

#4: Betting

Whether you’ve got money on the line in Vegas, between friends, or in some kind of office pool, it seems that betting on the big game is as essential as which beer you’re going to bring to the affair. Prop bets have also become really big with each passing Super Bowl. These include wagers on everything surrounding the game, from the national anthem, to what coaches will wear, to what colour Gatorade will be dumped on the winning bench boss. If you play your cards right, you might bring home enough cash to cover your food and drink losses!

#3: Food

Speaking of edibles, the Super Bowl offers a myriad of snacking choices and it’s certainly a day you don’t want to be inhibited by any diets or cleanses. The dip options alone, are enough to make your head spin. And what goes best with most dips? Well, chips, naturally. We all know that the Sip Advisor is a chippy fiend and I’ll use any excuse to stock up on as many bags as I can fit into our cupboards. Hell, most years I don’t even watch the game, but make it a point to do a little shopping spree prior, and then I just let it ride until the stock has been depleted!

Super Bowl Food

#2: Drink

Food and drink go hand-in-hand, but the Sip Advisor has always leaned towards liquid nourishment. When hosting or attending a party, it’s tough choosing what to stock your or your buddy’s fridge with. While beer is a natural choice for watching sports, there are a number of other options available and the cocktail revolution has allowed for something to be available to everyone. As for brew options, treat yourself. Don’t settle for the easy choices, like Budweiser (or Canadian for us fans north of the border) and instead, grab a case of craft brew and be a true beer snob!

#1: Commercials

For some people, the only reason they tune into the game, is to watch the enormously expensive commercials that break the program up. Each year, there is a set of memorable ads that become an extension of the game. Did you know that the Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” campaign started with a Super Bowl spot? Then there’s also perennial top contender Budweiser. The company has used both the Clydesdales and Wassup guys for a number of outstanding adverts, regardless of how you feel about the actual product or company.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Pigskin Shot

Pigskin Shot

  • 0.5 oz Midori
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

What other tactics can we share together to help anti-football fans make it through the Super Bowl? If it’s any consolation, at least it only occurs once each year, not like all these stupid awards shows that often have invites flying the other (female to male) direction. A dude may have to deal with the Oscar’s, Grammy’s, Golden Globes, Emmy’s, and others. One football game seems fair in comparison!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I was originally going to do a shot called Blitz, which combined Irish Crème, Kahlua and Pineapple Juice. I was curious about how that would all go together, but the result was mass curdling, which looked disgusting. Therefore, I found this recipe instead, which was much nicer. I even used my recently acquired Grey Goose Le Melon in the vodka slot and it worked perfectly with the Midori!