Cocktail Corner – Clean Slate

Good Riddance

As the Sip Advisor has done in years past, it’s time to look back at those that enjoyed the best and worst years in 2015. As for me, 2015 was a mixed bag of amazing experiences and personal lows. I’m happy to bid farewell to the year and start fresh with 2016. Let’s see who’s likely to join me:

#5: Jared Fogle and Subway

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Jared Fogle went from the face of Subway and role model to those looking to shed pounds, to public pariah overnight, after it was revealed he was being investigated for paying for sex with minors and receiving and distributing child pornography. The fall was even swifter than his rise to fame as spokesperson of the sandwich shop. As 2015 came to a close, Fogle was sentenced to a 15-year prison term. I wonder if he can get his precious sandwiches from behind bars?

Jared Subway

#4: Hulk Hogan

Once the greatest star the wrestling industry has ever seen, the full damage of Hulk Hogan’s leaked sex tape from 2007 was finally revealed in 2015. In the video, Hogan uses racial slurs in describing the thought of his daughter Brooke’s dating a black man and instantly, the ‘drink your milk, take your vitamins (ahem, steroids),’ all-American hero was gone. There will be no Hulking-up from this and if we ever see Hogan again in a WWE ring, it will be a complete and total shock.

#3: Sepp Blatter and FIFA

One of the most crooked sports organizations in the world was finally served a slice of humble pie, in the form of an FBI-lead investigation into corruption accusations against a number of FIFA officials and president Sepp Blatter. After originally forging ahead and even winning his bid for re-election as head of the football association, Blatter eventually chose to resign due to the scandal. Most recently, Blatter was banned from any FIFA involvement for eight years.

Sepp-Blatter-FIFA

#2: Bill Cosby

Despite a collection of friends, colleagues, and fans who are still willing to defend Bill Cosby, in light of countless drugging and sexual assault allegations, the comedy legend was finally backed into a corner and charged with sexual assault by Pennsylvania authorities, on December 30, 2015. To date, more than 50 women have come forward in recent years, claiming that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. Depending on where this heads in 2016, Cosby could top this list next year.

#1: Syrian Refugees

With images of bodies – young and old – washed ashore, as Syrian refugees attempted to flee their country for better lives, amidst civil war and unrest, this international incident finally came to the forefront in 2015. With many countries accepting the four million refugees into their borders, let’s hope that 2016 is a year in which the Syrian refugees are moved from the worst list, to the best, finding new and prosperous homes, around the world.

Cocktail Corner: Clean Slate

Jan 4

  • Rim glass with Sugar
  • 0.75 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Sour Apple Mixer
  • Top with Champagne

Some dishonourable mentions include fraudster Martin Shkreli, reality star rapist Josh Duggar, Volkswagen, Ashley Madison and their users, Ebola victims, and American police. Next week, we look at those who had a great 2015 and look to ride that momentum in the New Year.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I did some tinkering with this recipe, but the end result was a decent drink. There’s a bunch of different flavours all competing for your attention, with the Amaretto probably winning the battle. A fun drink for New Year’s celebrations.

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June 28 – Surfer on Acid

Summer Fun

With summer just kicking off, people out there might be making lists of the things they want to accomplish throughout the season. Here are some of the items that routinely appear at the top of Mrs. Sip’s and my summer bucket list… we hope we can be of assistance to all you little sippers out there:

#5: Picnic in the Park

The Sip Advisor makes a damn good sandwich and there’s nothing better than finding a nice quiet spot in the park to enjoy your own creation. If you’re lazy, you can always get someone else to make the sandwich for you (I’ve heard a place called Subway has decent hoagies) and then you know it will be done properly. Make sure to grab some good sides and snacks to round out the meal and be ready for dessert, too. If you can sneak some wine into your setting, then definitely go for it. All that’s left is to bring a comfy blanket along because you’ll probably be in the mood for a nap!

Picnic Basket Inspection

#4: Getting Active

After spending many months cooped up in a small, crowded gym, it’s nice to get out into the great outdoors for some exercise. Whether rollerblading or biking, Mrs. Sip and I love the downtown Vancouver seawall route, which takes you through picturesque Stanley Park. As one would expect, given its name, the seawall offers some stunning scenery, as you roll through beach after beach. It’s not my cup of tea, but I’ve heard hiking is also popular during the summer. You could even be one of those kooks that does their yoga or tai chi outdoors. Just get off the couch and get outside!

#3: Drive-In Theatre

While these amazing places seem to be a dying breed, if you have one even remotely nearby I whole-heartedly suggest you check out a couple flicks there. It’s always fun to go snack shopping prior to the night out and given most of the theatre’s revenue comes in the form of food sales, we’re always sure to make a couple purchases there, too. For the price of one movie in a normal theatre, you can get two or three at the drive-in and best of all, you can actually talk to your vehicle-mates throughout, without being a bother to over viewers. Trying to stay up until the wee hours of the morning (if you’re going for three films) can be daunting for some.

Theatre Food

#2: Drinking on Patios

You know that summer has officially arrived in this part of the world when the patios open up and folks can be seen enjoying their libations in the fresh air. Once the first glimmer of sun peaks its way through the rain clouds, it can be tough to get a spot on any of the city’s spectacular decks, but it’s worth the wait to be able to enjoy a beverage while people watching or getting reacquainted with friends that have hibernated through the winter. This wonderful experience also applies to the decks of your mate’s homes, where you don’t have to worry about exorbitant prices for cocktails.

#1: Drinking Poolside

Of course, to achieve this, you either need to have your own cement pond, or have a generous friend who doesn’t mind sharing theirs. I, of course, am the latter in that statement and I love throwing parties for my crew, where all that is required is a pair of swim trunks and some flippy-floppies (plus a case of beer) for good times to ensue. As day turns to night and all inhibitions are drowned by booze, it might be time to lose those coverings and go for an incredibly liberating skinny dip. Luckily, there’s always someone too conservative to join in, so make sure to make them the beer wench for the late night shenanigans!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Surfer on Acid

Surfer on Acid Shot

  • 0.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with Pineapple Wedges

Honourable mentions go to watching fireworks, barbecuing, camping, and going to the fair. You’ll notice that “Going to the Beach” is absent from my ‘To Do’ list. Need I remind all you little sippers that the Sip Advisor doesn’t like sand. When I have access to swimmable water in a private setting, why would I ever go to the poor man’s pool? Your hate mail is always welcome!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shooter was pretty good and I like that the Pineapple Juice component was minimal. A funny story: To get the Pineapple Wedges, I bought a couple slices of Hawaiian pizza and plucked the garnishes off for later use. When I finally used the pieces, I could still taste the pizza flavours, such as ham and tomato sauce. Ah, memories!

August 31 – Brain Freeze

Roasted

During Frozen Cocktail Week, I subbed Jell-O shots in as the Super Saturday Shot Day post, rather than create a frozen shot… for I believed a frozen shot to be an utterly insane and useless creation. Here we are two weeks later and I have in fact created a frozen shot, inside a frozen shot glass, no less. Mrs. Sip insisted it be done and here it is… now you all have her to blame for your ice cream headaches!

With that in mind, let’s take a few moments together to roast Mrs. Sip. She may be the best thing that ever happened to me, but that doesn’t mean she’s immune from a little Sip justice!

Stuck in Rome

Mrs. Sip and I love Rome, particularly the Trevi Fountain, which we have visited multiple times during the day and at night. On our last trip there in 2007, we had already stopped by during the day with our tour group, before we went off on our own for a romantic dinner. When our meal was complete, night had fallen and Mrs. Sip insisted on returning to the fountain for a twilight viewing. Off we went, snapped a couple photos, watched a drunk guy jump in, and tossed a penny into the attraction (usually a penny for a wish to return to Rome, but since the drunk guy may have been collecting them, let’s just call it charity). When we made our way back to the subway, we were met by a locked gate. Keep in mind it was only 9 pm on a Friday night… there was no way the line could be closed.

Trevi Fountain

Frantically we searched for another entrance with no luck. The place our group was staying was 40 minutes outside the city by transport, so taking a cab was clearly not an option for us poor students. We tried figuring out a bus route that might get us to the train line we needed to take, but ultimately ended up stranded in the middle of nowhere in the middle of nowhere. Looking for a safe place to stay until the trains started running again at 5am, we ended up inside an American-themed hot dog and waffle joint that was open late. The Italian waitress, who spoke no English, and one beyond-drunk customer were our only company. As Mrs. Sip napped on our little table, the drunk dude tried in loud Italian, which I don’t speak, and violent hand gestures to communicate with me. When he noticed that I clearly didn’t understand he spoke even louder (because that does the trick, obviously) Finally I got across that he knew a guy who could rent us a room..by the hour…right.

Night turned into morning and we left our little slice of salvation en route back to the train station… with our still drunk, helpful, Italian associate in tow. Fear not, little sippers, he ended up coming in handy. When we reached the station we caught the first train of the day and were off. But our day pass transit tickets had now technically expired and we had spent the last of our cash on waffles on a stick. Enter our drunk Italian friend (yes, he was our friend now) who explained to the ticket collector our struggle and situation and the nice man allowed us to continue on our journey uninterrupted. We finally made it back to our campsite at 6:30am, with enough time for an hour-long nap, before we were back aboard the bus and onto our next destination.

Lost in Monaco

Here’s another tale from that same circuit tour of Europe… we had some sketchy luck during that vacation. Mrs. Sip and I had just spent an amazing evening in Monaco, walking to the city’s famous palace and enjoying the luxury casinos in the heart of the metropolis. As our tour group reconvened and headed back to the bus for the journey back to our humble (and I really mean that) abode. Along the way, Mrs. Sip stopped to take some photos and joined one of our fellow traveler in his. I kept with the group, theorizing that I could at least grab us some seats together on the bus.

Monaco

When I boarded the bus, I quickly grabbed us a spot and watched the rest of the group pour one-by-one back onto the coach. With each passing person, I grew more anxious. Then, the once steady stream stopped and nobody else seemed to be coming. I looked around the entire bus, thinking perhaps she had boarded and didn’t see me and vice versa… no such luck. I began to panic a little as our tour guide asked if anyone was missing. Mrs. Sip and one other passenger were not with the group. The minutes seemed like hours as I waited. The bus couldn’t wait around all night, as the drivers have very strict rules as to how long they can be driving and how much time off they need before journeys.

It was time to go and I had to hurriedly hustle off the coach, so as not to leave Mrs. Sip behind (wherever she might be). For some reason, I had Mrs. Sip’s passport, wallet, and credit card on me and Mrs. Sip had just our camera…and the only map of Monaco we had. Fantastic. Thankfully, I went no further than a few steps when I spotted Mrs. Sip hauling ass towards the bus. She and the other missing passenger had taken a wrong turn trying to catch up to the group after their photo and had run back and forth through an underground tunnel vainly trying to find us. We flagged down our bus, quickly boarded and were off again with only 90% of the bus giving the future Mrs. Sip disapproving looks.

Karate Kid

Mrs. Sip can be a funny specimen when she’s inebriated, although I guess we all can. During her university days, Mrs. Sip lived with a bunch of roommates who were very tight, being in the same sorority and some of them having been friends even before living together. After the girls went out for their end-of-the-year dinner, a bunch of their respective guys came up to join the party. When I arrived, Mrs. Sip and I went into her room so I could drop off my things and get settled in and she can change from her cocktail dress to something more comfy. As I sat in her computer chair, she started doing a karate-like interpretive dance and said that she could perform a roundhouse kick over my head.

Karate

Amused and curious to see where this might lead, I allowed her to make her challenge. Then, without warning, she backed up and went to fire her leg over my head… only her leg never got anywhere near me and instead, all that I heard as I closed my eyes was a sickening thud of flesh against desk. She had slammed her poor little foot, full force, right into the side of her desk and was now hopping around, howling. I’ve rarely seen Mrs. Sip cry… she’s cold as ice… but she was mighty close this time. The moans she was making had everyone in the nearby kitchen and living room thinking that the Sip Advisor was getting his swerve on. The other guys were cheering me on and congratulated me when I popped out of the room until I told them that I think she had broken her foot. The next day when I took her for x-rays, doctor’s, and hospital we had to explain over and over again that she had “kicked a desk” while I endured sidelong dubious glances from medical professionals. Ah well, I guess even Mrs. Sip is allowed a drunk faux pas every once in a while! (yes french pun intended)

Marrying the Sip Advisor

Perhaps the biggest mistake she’ll ever make! *rimshot*

Drink #243: Brain Freeze (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Brain Freeze Shot

  • 0.5 oz Kraken Black Spiced Rum
  • 0.5 oz 1800 Reposado Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Crowberry Frost Liqueur
  • Blend with Ice
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Mrs. Sip knows the stress she often puts me through with her misadventures… at least we’ve earned some good stories out of our mistakes!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This is the perfect dare shot. It is not the easiest to drink (brain freeze, sensitive teeth, stomach freeze, etc.), but it’s incredibly fun and unique. The Tequila taste came out the strongest with a lingering Spiced Rum finish. I liked adding some Maraschino Cherry Juice to make it look like the frozen brain was bleeding! Give it a try sometime!

May 17 – PB&J Martini

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

After yesterday’s debacle of a cocktail, I’m happy to follow it up with this treat. Like a professional athlete in need of a bounce back effort, here I am scoring the game winning goal, destroying the walk-off homerun, hitting the buzzer beater… you get my drift. While I’m a big fan of liquid lunches, I have to say that my heart flutters for sandwiches, as well. Here are some of the best ones:

Grilled Cheese

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the biggest fan of cheese. That said, I’m bizarrely a fan of grilled cheese sandwiches, providing they’re made with a white cheese like mozzarella or swiss and not the processed American cheddar slices that are synonymous with the meal. With a side of potato chips and a dollop of ketchup to dip your sandwich into, I’m in kid-like heaven.

grilled-cheese

BLT & Club

When I was younger, I was a picky eater. A BLT, though, was a favourite of mine and a regular order at restaurants. As my tastes evolved, the club sandwich largely replaced the BLT for me and it doesn’t matter whether that extra meat is turkey, chicken, ham, or all three… they’re all going to the same wasteland known as my stomach! You have to remember, my little sippers, bacon is an essential item on nearly every sandwich, so don’t be stingy with it.

PB&J

The classic that I make better than most everyone else on the planet (if I don’t say so myself)! Now that I’ve also conquered the liquid form of this marrying of peanut butter and jelly, you might even say that I’ve become a god among men. There aren’t many tag teams out there that can compare with peanut butter and jelly. Ham and pineapple gave them a run for their money once, but it was an uphill battle.

Ice Cream

The first draft of this blog did not include the scrumptious ice cream sandwich. For that, I have repented my sins and after considering whether or not my best days were behind me and it was time to retire from the writing game, I have decided to carry on and work at redeeming myself. The best ice cream sandwich I’ve ever had is the Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie one, which used to be infinitely better before meddlesome folks began their crusade against junk foods.

ice-cream-sandwiches

Beef Dip

Not a lot beats a nice soft roll, stuffed with thin slices of roast beef and a delicious hot au jus to dip the sandwich into. Flavouring a meat in its own drippings seems cannibalistic, but nobody’s on trial here, so go ahead and do your worst. Destroy that sandwich with the ferocity of a natural predator and don’t feel a moment of remorse. If you are not of the carnivoristic variety, then go on your merry way with your *chortle* salad.

Pulled Pork

I love barbecued meats, especially pulled pork. I could eat this stuff on the reg and never get sick of the deliciously shredded substance. If you throw a little creamy coleslaw down on that sammy, brother, your head will be spinning into orbit. You don’t trust the Sip Advisor? You know, I’m not a one dimensional cocktail jockey… I hate other skills to go along with my liquor awesomosity.

pulled-pork-pancake

Now that is a beautiful sandwich!

Philly Cheesesteak

I had never really tried a cheesesteak sandwich until an American Cheesesteak restaurant opened up close to my home. I have to say, that I was completely blown away. My order of choice is The Cowboy, which includes shaved prime rib, crispy onion straws, barbecue sauce, bacon mayo and aged white cheddar (which by now, you know is disqualified from my order). It’s a delicious meal that I don’t indulge in often enough.

Meatball Sub

Make sure to have your pens and paper ready because I’m about to reveal to the world my typical Subway order, now famously referred to as ‘The Advisor’. I start with a 12-inch meatball sandwich on Italian herb and cheese bread (yeah, I oddly like cheese in my bread, but not on my sandwich). I elect to not have it toasted and then I add the following condiments: lettuce, tomato, pickles, black olives, green olives (if I’m at one of the rare Subway’s that carries this delicious addition) and topped with mayo. My order is rarely modified because consistency is an art form.

Drink #137: PB&J Martini

May 17 P&J Martini

  • Rim glass with Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • 1.5 oz Chambord
  • 1.5 oz Frangelico
  • Top with Milk

I bet after reading this, every single one of you are hungry for a good sandwich! In writing this post, I realized that I’ve never really had a true Sloppy Joe before. I will have to give this a try and see if it cracks the list above. My money is on it making the list… anyone else care to enter a wager!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
A tasty drink made all the more better with a very fun rim job. You can also turn the ingredients into a shooter, if you remove the milk proportion. I’ve wanted to try this drink for some time and I was finally able to put it all together. It actually tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, minus the bread and with a little more booze flavour than the lunch has. You won’t be disappointed if you try it yourself.

February 26 – Life’s A Peach

Rough Starts

Sure it’s February and the weather may not be at its best in your neck of the woods. Maybe you’ve caught a winter flu or cold bug (like Mrs. Sip passed along to your friendly neighbourhood liquor slinger). But hey, things could be worse. You could be one of these people, having a not-so-peachy start to 2013:

Lance Armstrong

Lancelot finally revealed what made him so “Livestrong” en route to winning seven Tour de France titles. With his image tarnished, all the good he ever did for cancer research and being an inspiration to cancer victims and their families has been tossed out the window along with his legacy in cycling. At least he hooked up with Cheryl Crow… that you can never take away from the man.

Nike Slogan

Oscar Pistorius

The ‘Blade Runner’ went from hero to zero in South Africa (and around the world) when he killed his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times, claiming he mistook her for a robber. Guess when you hear someone burgling your precious toiletries it’s better to shoot four times through the locked bathroom door first and let the jury ponder questions of self-defence later. The only person involved in the case with perhaps an even less peachy time of it than Pistorius is the chief investigating officer, Hilton Botha, who managed to botch most of the initial investigation. But hey, it’s really hard to get your investigation details right when your mind is probably on your own upcoming charge of attempted murder, right Mr. Botha?

National Rifle Association

Speaking of gun violence, with all the recent incidents in the United States, the NRA is really under fire. How the NRA continues to push their pro-weapon message, in spite of all the school shootings, mall massacres, and other tragedies is beyond this simple Canadian boy. It’s sad that it seems there needs to be even more unnecessary killings in order to finally get the message across. Then again, if the past is any indication, the NRA isn’t listening to any messages that don’t call for principals, babysitteres, and girl scouts to start carrying guns. Whoa, a completely serious Sip Advisor. I must apologize for that, readers. It won’t happen again.

Subway

The hoagie haven has been busted for serving 11-inch sandwiches instead of the advertised 12-inches. How many more 12-inch sandwiches could have been made with the inch that was missing from every sandwich Subway has sold over the years? That’s an extra bite or two of glorious sandwich goodness and I for one am outraged!!! Apparently, I’m not alone, as there are several pending lawsuits against the chain. It’s hard to believe people would actually file suit over this. Can they claim extreme mental anguish because of the missing inch? Does an extra inch really make the difference (Mrs. Sip says it does). I personally think all the litigants should get paid out in coupons for one-inch subs. There, problem solved!

Subway Sandwich

Victims of Russian Meteorite

Videos of this event have been astonishing viewers for weeks now. The crappiest part, aside from the more than 1,000 injuries, was the sonic boom that shattered so many windows in the area. Daytime temperatures in this part of Russia were only as high as -12-degrees Celsius, so you can assume that a lot of Russkies were freezing their asses off waiting for their insolation from the harsh climate to be restored. At least they have vodka and while it’s been proven to not actually heat a body, it’ll get ya drunk and make it easy for you to fall asleep, regardless of temperature. (Warning: passing out in extreme temperatures may cause frost bite, death, or your buddy to draw fallic symbols on your face).

Woman with Deadly Vagina

An unidentified Brazilian (the place, not the wax job) has been caught trying to kill her husband by putting a poisonous substance on her hoo-ha and demanding her husband pleasure her orally. Given she had recently asked for a divorce, that should have been his first clue to get the fuck outta Dodge. Lucky for our lethario, he has some bloodhound in him and smelled something fishy… and then he smelled something poisonous (*rimshot*).

To top it all off, the woman is being sued by her estranged husband… that’s right, sued… not criminally prosecuted, although sources say that is still a possibility. And we all thought Brazilian fart porn would be the country’s worst export in the sex department. Now we could see a rash of poison vagina murder copycat plots…

Poison Woman

Pope Benedict XVI

Shouldn’t the pope be saying that prayer and faith will heal him and help him continue to lead the church? His stepping down due to age and illness (the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415) shows that his election was totally the wrong choice (although he was given 7-1 odds to take the job… do people gamble on the papacy nowadays?). Personally I think the Catholic Church should just select someone young and sexy in its next conclave. Is Justin Bieber available?

2012 Doomsdayers

The fact that we’re all (well, most of us are) still here in 2013 is enough to drive an apocalypse theorist nuts (if they’re not already there). It won’t be long before another theory emerges and these crackpots get back to building their bomb shelters and stocking supplies for the “end of days.” I happen to think that I’d thrive in a post-apocalyptic world. Liquor would be in high demand and if you search my home, that seems to be all I’ve hoarded for emergency purposes!

Drink #57: Life’s A Peach

Life's a Peach Drink

  • 1 oz Vodka (I used Pinnacle Strawberry-Kiwi)
  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with a real Peach Wedge and a Fuzzy Peach candy

Yes, 2013 has been rough so far for the folks listed above. And to think, we’re only two months deep into the calendar. People still have another 10 months to completely mess up their year and everyone else’s. Never fear, though, my little sippers, I’ll always be here to make things better!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I wasn’t entirely impressed with this cocktail. The Strawberry-Kiwi Vodka disappointed and didn’t blend well with the Peach Schnapps. With the drink done, I went to eat the Peach Wedge and realized, I don’t care much for peaches!