Louisiana – New Orleans Fizz

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. You’d think Louisiana would have a nickname like Party Central or something like that, but it’s actually the Pelican State, with the birds found in droves along the state’s coastline. As the locals say, laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll):

Motto: “Union, justice, confidence” – Sometimes, any three words will do.

Food: Louisianans love food and have introduced the world to a number of dishes. At the top of that list are items such as Jambalaya, Gumbo, Po’boys (a Sip Advisor favourite), Tabasco Sauce, and even the legendary Turducken (a chicken stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey).

Drink: Given the state’s party reputation, it should come as no surprise a number of cocktails have been created in Louisiana. The Sazerac, for example, is thought to be among the first cocktails ever made. Also, Southern Comfort was invented by a bartender in New Orleans. If liquor isn’t your thing (why are you on this site!?), Barq’s Root Beer also comes from the state.

Po'boy

Site to See: Nobody travels to Louisiana without stopping in New Orleans for some French Quarter action. If you happen to visit during Mardi Gras, you’re in for one of the world’s greatest parties. Other attractions worth visiting include various plantations (Oak Alley, Myrtles, Whitney), or taking in a swamp/airboat tour.

Street: Bourbon Street is the most famous of the lanes that make up the French Quarter. The route is lined with bars and strip clubs and fuels the nightly party in the district. Open container laws in the French Quarter allow patrons to drink in public and travel the streets to their heart’s content.

TV Show: True Blood ran for seven seasons and 80 episodes of mythical creature adventures. Based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries books by Charlaine Harris, viewers are transported to a world where almost anything is possible and thanks to being broadcasted on HBO, nothing was really off limits in terms of content.

Movie: There’s some great movies set in Louisiana. Chief among them, The Waterboy, starring Adam Sandler as Bobby Boucher, an amateur hydration expert, who has hidden talents on the football field. Disney fans have also been taken to the state through films such as The Rescuers and The Princess and the Frog.

Bourbon Street

Book/Author: Anne Rice, author of The Vampire Chronicles series, was born in New Orleans. Two of Rice’s novels from The Vampire Chronicles, Interview with the Vampire and The Queen of the Damned, have been adapted into films, while a TV series has been announced as being in development.

Fictional Character: The Ragin’ Cajun, Gambit, is a member of the X-Men, known for his ability to control energy and turn everyday items into weapons. I’m waiting for the day we finally get a Gambit feature film, but it seems to be stuck in development hell, despite the willingness of A-lister Ryan Reynolds to play the character.

Fictional City: Bon Temps, the setting for True Blood, and home to its many memorable characters, is a place one might want to live… at least until crazy stuff starts happening. Despite being inhabited by vampires, werewolves, witches and all other types of predators, you could say the humans of Bon Temps aren’t much better and are actually worse.

Actor/Actress: Reese Witherspoon was born in New Orleans and became an actress as a teenager. Witherspoon’s career has grown to see her be one of the highest paid women in the industry, thanks to starring roles in Legally Blonde and Walk the Line, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar.

Bon Temps

Song: Louisiana is the birthplace of jazz music, so I had to pick a tune from that genre for this category. Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? originally appeared in the film New Orleans, performed by jazz legends Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. The track has been covered countless times, including by artists such as Harry Connick Jr. and Jimmy Buffett.

Band/Musician: More on Louis Armstrong, who was born in New Orleans. Satchmo, as he was nicknamed, greatly influenced the style of music that he would become synonymous with, over a 50-year career. New Orleans’ primary airport was renamed in his honour, in 2001. Other accolades included a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, posthumously presented.

People: Popular talk show host and activist for the LGBT community, Ellen DeGeneres, was born in Metairie. DeGeneres has her own lifestyle brand (who doesn’t nowadays) and is one of the highest paid entertainers in the world. Her daytime talk show has been in production since 2003. In 2016, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Animal: My top options for this category were a cat, a peacock and an alligator… all the eclectic variety one would expect from Louisiana. I’m going with the cat because he took up residence at New Orleans bar, Molly’s at the Market, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Wu would even join patrons for a drink, served shot glasses of cream.

Mr. Wu

Invention: Two of the most popular casino games, Poker and Craps, were invented in Louisiana. While versions of the games had previously existed, they were adapted and became popular once being introduced in the state.

Crime: The Axeman of New Orleans operated between May 1918 and October 1919, killing six people and injuring another six. Never identified, one theory was the slayings were Mafia motivated, as most victims were Italian. The Axeman also wrote a letter at one point, stating they would not attack any home playing jazz music on a particular night. Jazz music filled the city and no murders occurred.

Law: A couple Mardi Gras based laws should be highlighted. It is illegal to throw beads from a third-story window and snakes are not allowed within 200 yards of the parade route. Alligators may be allowed, but they are not to be tethered to a fire hydrant.

Sports Team: New Orleans is home to two Big 4 sports franchises, with the Saints (NFL) and Pelicans (NBA). The Saints won the 2009 Super Bowl, uniting the city after the tragic events of Hurricane Katrina. The Pelicans (formerly Hornets) were relocated from Charlotte, North Carolina for the 2002-03 season.

Dog Poker

Athlete: Brothers Peyton and Eli Manning were born in New Orleans, while their father Archie (also a quarterback) played for the NFL’s Saints. Both Peyton and Eli were drafted first overall before going on to win two Super Bowls each. Other notable hall of famers from Louisiana, in their respective sports, include Terry Bradshaw, Bill Russell, Karl Malone, Clyde Drexler and Marshall Faulk.

Famous Home: LaLaurie Mansion, in New Orleans, is where Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a member of high society, tortured and murdered slaves. Her crimes were discovered following a fire at the home, which was then destroyed by an angry mob. LaLaurie escaped to France, while the mansion was rebuilt and owned by actor Nicholas Cage for a brief time. Today, tours will take you to the home, but visitors are not allowed inside.

Urban Legend: Voodoo is so prominent in the state, the practice of it is commonly known as Louisiana Voodoo. Acts include the use of potions and Voodoo dolls, among other techniques. Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau, is still quite popular among followers, despite dying in 1881. Ghostly sightings of Laveau have been reported and according to lore, marking her grave with an ‘x’ and doing a few other actions, may end up with a wish being granted.

Museum: The Cabildo, in New Orleans, is now home to the Louisiana State Museum, but it played quite the role in the history of the state and country. It was the site of the Louisiana Purchase pact, which doubled the size of the U.S. For $15 million, or $18 per square mile, France sold America land which now comprises parts of 15 states and even two Canadian provinces.

Voodoo Doll

Firsts: According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the first female self-made millionaire in the U.S. was Madam C.J. Walker (born Sarah Breedlove, in Delta), whose wealth was earned through her line of cosmetics and hair care products. When Walker died in 1919, she was considered the richest African-American woman in the country.

Company: Two popular fast food chicken restaurants can trace their origins back to Louisiana. Popeyes was founded in the state in New Orleans, in 1972, although it’s now headquartered in Miami, Florida. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers first operated in Baton Rouge, in 1996, where it is still based.

Events: Hurricane Katrina was one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, with its epicenter being New Orleans. It was the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history, causing an estimated $161 billion in damages. The human toll was worse, with 1,833 recorded deaths from the hurricane and ensuing floods.

Miscellaneous: The Sip Advisor’s favourite area at Disneyland is New Orleans Square. Rides like The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean form the basis for this affection, while restaurants serving up southern fare and bands playing jazz numbers complete the departure to another world.

New Orleans Fizz

New Orleans Fizz

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Cream
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • 1 Egg White
  • 2 Drops of Vanilla Extract
  • Top with Club Soda

Also known as the Ramos Gin Fizz, this drink was invented by Henry C. Ramos at his bar, the Imperial Cabinet Saloon, in New Orleans. Despite the cocktail’s long preparation time, its popularity grew when Louisiana Governor, Huey Long, acquired a taste for it and had a bartender travel from New Orleans to New York, to teach bartenders there how to make it.

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.

Mixer Mania #21 – The Thirst Quencher

Today’s feature mixer is Gatorade, which may be best known for its use in pro sports. The drink isn’t only meant for consumption, though, and has become a part of team celebrations. Here are some interesting facts about the Gatorade Shower:

A Ritual is Born

This odd sports tradition was started innocently enough when Jim Burt of the New York Giants drenched head coach Bill Parcells with a cooler of the drink following the team’s victory over the Washington Redskins on October 28, 1984. Apparently, the shower was the result of Burt feeling he was mistreated by Parcells during the previous week. The following season, Parcells was cascaded with Gatorade 17 times, en route to the 1986 Super Bowl Championship.

Gatorade with Gators

Giving Credit

The practice of the Gatorade Shower is often mistakenly credited to Dan Hampton of the Chicago Bears, probably because he claims to have invented the exercise. Unfortunately for Hampton, his first recorded washing of coach Mike Ditka occurred about a month after the Burt-Parcells occasion.

Jumping Leagues

Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics was reportedly the first NBA coach to receive a Gatorade shower, following the team’s 2008 NBA Championship. I can only imagine the hazard this created on the hardwood surface of the basketball court.

Odds Maker

One of the bets people can put their money on during the Super Bowl has to do with what colour the Gatorade will be when it’s splashed onto the winning coach. Even the curmudgeonly Bill Belichick has received colourful sports drink drenchings in the past.

Gatorade Commercial

Killer

Would you believe that the custom has actually contributed to a death? At the age of 68, Pro Football Hall of Fame coach George Allen was dunked by his Long Beach State players and weeks later died of pneumonia. Sure, there could have been other contributing factors, but one has to wonder if the icy beverage simply claimed its first victim.

Too Soon

In 2002, Kentucky coach Guy Morriss was doused by his team with mere seconds remaining on the score clock. Unfortunately, this occurred as their opponents, Louisiana State, threw a Hail Mary pass that after pinballing around a little, was hauled in for a touchdown and an LSU 33-30 victory. The incident is known as the Bluegrass Miracle.

Things to Come

One could argue that the Gatorade Shower was a precursor to the Ice Bucket Challenge, which had folks dousing themselves with buckets of icy water during the summer of 2014, hoping to raise money for ALS research. I still wish I’d had the chance to nominate Mrs. Sip for a dunking.

Mixer Mania #21: Southern Rain

Southern Rain.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Southern Comfort
  • Top with Gatorade
  • Garnish with a Strawberry

Despite the Sip Advisor’s massive popularity, it looks like my skills don’t translate to any team sports and therefore I’ll likely never be on the receiving end of a Gatorade Shower. I can still dream, though!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I picked up this variation of Gatorade (Summit Storm) because the colour was so unique. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate to this cocktail and may work better with clear spirits. As for taste, the Gatorade is light, but works well with the Southern Comfort.

Mixer Mania #8 – Family First

Fruit Punch is like the United Nations of juices, bringing crops of all walks of life together and trying to co-exist in harmony. That also sounds like the description for a blended family… therefore, here are some of the best fictional merged units to ever come together:

The Brady Bunch

The original blended TV family saw a mother and her three daughters join a father and his three sons. Of course, there was also maid Alice to play peacekeeper between the factions, so long as she wasn’t out with boyfriend, Sam the butcher (an awesome wrestling name!). Cousin Oliver later came along, although he basically signaled the end of the series and his name is now used to describe when a show adds a young character to avoid cancellation.

Step Brothers

It’s one thing to find common ground with young children that are suddenly asked to act like kin, but when you’re trying to find peace between two middle-aged slackers still living at home, it can be a total nightmare. Such was the case for Brennan Huff and Dale Doback, as their mother and father, respectively, decide to marry and bring their families together. They do become close, in the end, but the early stages included attempted murder.

step-brothers

Step by Step

An updated 90’s version of The Brady Bunch saw TV darlings Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy combine their offspring to make one massive family. Add in cousin Cody – who lives in a van on the Lambert-Foster property, despite their massive house – and you have a pretty large household. This was TGIF programming at its finest, my little sippers, and they even tried to shoehorn a new baby into the show, prior to advance-aging her.

Blended

You’d figure after starring together previously in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates that Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore wouldn’t be strangers anymore, but here they were bringing their respective families together in Africa of all places. Sandler, a widower with three daughters is joined by Barrymore and her two sons from a previous marriage and hilarity ensues when they’re placed in a myriad of African mishaps, before falling in love.

X-Men

While not a typical blended family, the students of Charles Xavier’s School for the Gifted are like one big clan, with many of the mutants forced from their birth homes by parents who either can’t handle their child’s extraordinary powers or are too scared to. Sure, things get a little weird when you consider some of the romantic relationships sparked within the group and the jury is still out on whether Professor X is a good father or not.

wolverine-kid

Modern Family

When Jay Pritchett married Gloria Delgado, her son Manny was also part of the deal. Later on, Jay and Gloria have a child of their own to add to the mix. As the show’s name implies, the series includes a number of different family mixes, such as the Dunphy’s – your “typical” family of mom, dad, and three kids – and the Tucker-Pritchett clan, which is comprised of a gay couple and their adopted Vietnamese daughter.

The Cleveland Show

After reuniting with his high school crush, Cleveland Brown and son Cleveland Jr. end up shacking up with Donna Tubbs and her two children from her previous marriage, Roberta and Rallo. The move from Quahog, Rhode Island to Stoolbend, Virginia means a whole new set of family and friends for the Browns, who initially struggle to meld with the Tubbs unit. Eventually, they return to Quahog, as most blended families do when their spinoff is cancelled.

Once Upon A Time

A big theme in Disney animated movies (and the fairy tales that they’re based on) is that of the blended family. Therefore, it’s no surprise that these would be transferred over to the Once Upon A Time world, most notably with Evil Queen Regina becoming the stepmother of Snow White and later sharing mother duties of young Henry with Emma Swan, the boy’s biological mama. Regina also becomes a pseudo mother to Robin Hood’s son.

Mixer Mania #8: Alabama Riot

Alabama Riot.JPG

  • 2 oz Southern Comfort
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Top with Fruit Punch
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Strawberry Slices

I must ask, if the world drank more Fruit Punch, would we be more accepting of each other’s differences? Yeah, probably not, but it would be neat if the solution was that simple…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
With this recipe, I was most curious with how the Peppermint Schnapps would work with the other ingredients. While it actually made a decent partnership with the Fruit Punch, it still remained a little too noticeable. I happy I tried the drink, though.

November 14 – False Alarm

Audial Dismay

Last week, we looked at the heavenly sounds that bring a smile to my face. This week, we’re not so lucky. This article might as well be called: “The Sounds that Keep the Sip Advisor Up at Night, Living in a Downtown Condo.” That’s simply too long, though, so here we go with the aptly titled “Bad Sounds”:

#5: Crying Babies/Kids

While this causes a natural instinct to kick in among mothers, it’s annoying as hell to everyone else in the general vicinity. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for the parents of a wailing youngster, as I know I will likely be in that position one day. That doesn’t stop the clamor from waking the Sip Advisor as he’s trying to catch a little shuteye on flights or enjoy the typically pleasant sounds of Disneyland. The worst is when a kid can turn it off and on, in an attempt to get attention.

cry boobs appear

#4: Trucks Backing Up

Beep, beep, BEEEEEEP… you get the point. Mrs. Sip and I live near a few businesses and I am often disturbed from my slumber by this increasingly annoying sound. I get the safety reason behind larger vehicles being able to warn people and other cars that they’re reversing, but why do these cautions have to be so loud, especially in the middle of the night in residential areas. Can’t you see a psychopathic driver setting his truck in reverse and then abandoning it, revelling in the misery of those within earshot!?

#3: Honking Horns

The Sip Advisor really hates people that are horn happy (almost called them horny, but I don’t discriminate there). The type of people that tap their horn whenever they are frustrated, regardless of if it’s justified or not. Yes, traffic might be backed up, but laying on your horn isn’t going to help matters. The worst is when I’m walking along, lost in thought and I’m startled by some idiot blaring his horn. Usually, when I looked around to see what the commotion is about, there’s no issue at all.

horn gun shots

#2: Alarm Clock

No matter how nice the file you choose on your phone or whether it’s your favourite song of all-time, when this noise wakes you up, you’re not very happy. It can actually make you turn sour on a song you used to enjoy, as I went through when Mrs. Sip used Californication by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for a couple years. Now she uses Coldplay’s Paradise, but I’m not sure I ever really liked that song in the first place. The only good alarm is waking up naturally, on your own schedule.

#1: Car Alarms

Worse than an alarm you’re expecting, is one you don’t, especially if it goes unclaimed, as it always does in the case of useless car alarms. With all the street parking downtown, Mrs. Sip and I are subjected to car alarms on a near regularly basis. Worst of all, is when the terrorizing sounds follow you while camping, of all places. You figure you’re getting away from all the disturbances of city life when you’re out in the wilderness, but that wasn’t the case recently for us. I exasperatedly looked at Mrs. Sip and said, “We just can’t get away from it!”

Super Saturday Shot Day: False Alarm

Some honourable mentions include dripping water, insects buzzing by your head, and emergency vehicle sirens, which narrowly misses making the list because of its necessity. Have I missed a sound that you find absolutely unnecessary and deplorable? Let me know!

September 12 – Life Flight

Frenzied Flights

As Mrs. Sip and I prepare for a 36-hour flight itinerary from Vancouver, Canada to Livingstone, Zambia, I am reminded of the many plane rides from hell that have entertained us over the years. Hopefully the two of us won’t have to deal with any convicts, terrorists, or venomous snakes, among other obstacles, and the journey is nothing but smooth sailings. These folks weren’t so lucky!

#5: Airplane!

Food on flights is pretty awful a majority of the time and mass food poisoning is only one of the many mishaps the passengers of Flight #209 had to deal with. Even their pilot was stricken by the illness. Personally, I’m still hesitant to touch airline meals after getting sick following our flight from Morocco to London last year and it’s not like I ever craved the barely-passable-as-food substances anyway.

airplane-boop

#4: Snakes on a Plane

While I’m fascinated by snakes, I’m also terrified of the creatures. If I was aboard a flight where dozens of the poisonous reptiles were unleashed (and stimulated to attack), the Sip Advisor would be hysterical and yes, there would be just as much cursing coming from my mouth as Samuel L. Jackson’s. You know, just minus the heroic courage and quotable punchlines!

#3: Con Air

As if snakes weren’t bad enough, imagine a plane full of violent criminals. That’s certainly not pleasant, but on the upside, you’re the one wrongly-convicted dude amongst them and you’ve served your time and just want to get home to your woman and baby girl. Of course, things don’t go according to plan and not even the worst southern accent in the history of film will help you!

first-class-passengers

#2: Air Force One

The concept of terrorists aboard an airliner became all too real, thanks to the 9/11 attacks. Back in 1997, though, it was largely Hollywood action fodder. So, Indiana Jones… er, I mean President James Marshall (played by Harrison Ford), finds himself aboard the Commander-in-Chief’s private plane, except he’s not alone. He’s joined by members of a Russian terrorist group and they’re looking for a bargaining chip.

#1: Twilight Zone

One of the worst aspects of air travel is your fellow passengers. They can be rude, smelly, anxious, obnoxious, and inconsiderate. I’ve even been on a few flights where passengers have nearly come to blows. What would be even worse, would be a passenger complaining about a monster being on the wing of your plane… especially if you’re trying to grab a little shuteye. The crazy part is the guy was actually right – dun dun dun!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Life Flight

It should also be noted that Launchpad McQuack of DuckTales and Darkwing Duck fame has one of the worst pilot records in history. Sure, once he’s up in the air, he’s a deft pilot. Problem is, he’s never met a landing that he liked, making for a white-knuckle ride every time!

October 22 – Angry Dan

Festival Phooey

My little sippers, my thesis is simple: the price of some liquor events is insane!

Case in point, Mrs. Sip and I were looking forward to attending our first Vancouver Hopscotch event this November, even making peace with the $50 (plus tax and service charge) cost that came along with the whiskey and scotch lover’s dream experience. That is, until we began looking into just what exactly our near $60 entrance fee entailed.

All you get for your little nest egg of an investment is a souvenir glass and five drink tokens. FIVE tokens! That works out to more than $10 a pop for a little tiny sample. Sure, they bring in stuff from around the world (around 300 products), including some libations you may never have the chance to taste otherwise, but that’s ridiculous value for your hard-earned cash. It also sounded like some booths could charge you more than one token per sample. That could translate to paying $20 or more for a little sip of liquor that you might not even enjoy.

Similarly, I turned down invites this summer to go to the Vancouver Craft Beer Week Beer Festival, not because I had other plans, but because I didn’t agree with the perks of the event. For $35 (plus taxes and fees, of course), attendees received a miniscule three tokens and the typical commemorative taster glass. Why in the world would I pay $10-plus per beer sample, when I could go to many local bars and get the same brews in pint-size servings for the same price? Hell, why wouldn’t I invest that $10 towards an entire pack or case of beers, at any nearby liquor store?

expensive-taste-low-budget

Sure, it only cost $1.10 (they couldn’t just round it off at a buck!?) at Hopscotch and $1.25 at the VCBW Beer Festival, for additional tokens, but that’s just added charges on top of your already high dowry. And guess what, if you happen to get a little hungry, you still have to pay extra for any food that may or may not be available.

For events like these, I’d rather they nix the bands or other entertainment and souvenir glass (how many of these do I really need cluttering up my cupboards?) and give everyone 10 tokens… even then, you’re not getting good bang for your buck. I know many vendors don’t even ask for your ticket or token, but some people (ie. your faithful Sip Advisor) usually gives it up willingly, in order to avoid that awkward moment between server and drinker.

Liquor events aren’t all bad, though. Mrs. Sip and I, along with Ma and Pa Sip, attended the Portland Beer and Wine festival last Easter and what an amazing event that was. For only $20, we received a souvenir glass and a whopping 10 tokens that could be spent on beer, wine, spirits, food items, a used vehicle (okay, not that one), etc. And additional tokens were only $1! Not to mention the live entertainment and info sessions that were all part of the spectacle. We will be back, as info for the 2015 event is already online with deals such as $22 for entry, a glass (wine or beer), and 10 tokens. That’s on top of free entry to the first 500 visitors on the Friday.

bender beer festival

Even in Canada, you can come across great events. In August, to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary, Mrs. Sip and I attended the Made with Love cocktail competition. We paid only $55 (the early bird price, but even full fare was only $65) and were treated to unlimited cocktail samples from 13 of the city’s top bartenders. On top of that, food was included and damnit, it was good. It still has me craving fried plantains!

Earlier the same summer, the Sip Alliance went to the annual Tip N’ Taste event in Langley, B.C. We had been a couple times many years before, but had lost interest when event organizers lost their way and dramatically raised prices to the event. This year, the price was back down to what it should be, $25. With that, attendees received five drink tokens and five food tokens with a great variety of vendors on both sides of the equation.

Well, now that I’ve cleared my conscious and had my little rant, let’s have a little drink together!

Sip Commentary #1: Angry Dan

Angry Dan Cocktail

  • 2 oz Southern Comfort
  • 2 oz Fireball Whiskey
  • Top with Cola
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

Want to get your own displeasure with liquor event pricing off your chest? Feel free to vent with a profanity-laced comment below!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
For this inaugural commentary (aka rant) post – more to come in the future – I wanted a drink that had the word “Angry” in it and coincidentally, this cocktail actually includes the Sip Advisor’s first name! The drink was quite nice with a soft burn at the end of each sip. The only downside is that it’s a typical liquor and mixer cocktail, lacking any real complexity.