Sip Trips #57: In the Name of Science

After taking a week off from Sip Trips articles, I’m back with a vengeance. Mrs. Sip and I shelled out the big bucks to attend the Science of Cocktails charity event at Science World and had a fantastic night, albeit a fuzzy one for myself.

Tickets were $145 each (and no, that wasn’t even VIP pricing… those tickets went for $250 a pop), which had Mrs. Sip and I approaching with caution while friends of ours instantly balked at the price. We decided that if tickets were still available in late January, after our credit card rolled over to a new bill cycle, we’d commit. That is sound financial planning, my little sippers!

managing finances

What initially got me excited about the event was the list of alcohol sponsors, including Jack Daniel’s, Chambord, Ardbeg, El Jimador, Hennessy, Ciroc, Tanqueray, Remy Martin, Belvedere, and so many others. Just looking at the list again has me licking my chops. Even Parallel 49 Brewing was there, but this was a rare night in 2016 where beer took a backseat for the Sip Advisor.

Featuring some of the city’s top bartenders, working 25 beverage stations, Science World was transformed into a booze lovers paradise… all in the name of science. Each of the booths set up provided a lesson in molecular mixology, from smoking Ardbeg Scotch fumes to the three different way to consume a Mai Tai, including smoking, eating (jellybeans) and drinking.

The food on hand was pretty good, but some of it ran out very early into the evening. I enjoyed the sushi and poutine booths, while Mrs. Sip feasted at the meat and cheese table. The sushi was too popular, though, and was gone by 10pm, despite the event ending at midnight.

adult lunchables

We didn’t get to check out any of the presentations going on throughout the night, as the general game plan was comprised of receiving a drink at one station and enjoying it while lined up at the next one. My goal of hitting each and every station was moderately successful. We thought we’d hit them all, until referencing the map we were given at the start of the night and realizing we missed a couple of the more hidden booths. We’ll just have to do better next year.

Proceeds from the gala will go to help fund school field trips to Science World, which hosts thousands of students each year. I personally remember attending as a high-schooler and having a really good time, so I’m happy to pay the experience forward.

For the Family Day weekend, the Sip Alliance hit the road for a two-day, 12-brewery expedition, which was a wonderful way to spend a long weekend, while staying local. Our experiences on this journey will largely be documented in upcoming BC Beer Baron articles (tried 86 different beers over the span), but if anyone out there wants itinerary ideas for their own excursions, feel free to hit me up for our routes.

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November 11 – Burnt Martini

Hall of Fame 2014

Last year, we opened the doors to the Sip Advisor Hall of Fame, inducting five spirits, one entry into the beer and wine wing, and one mixer, as well. It was a festive evening, although nobody really remembers much about it! Without further ado, here is the class of 2014!

Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey

Honey Whiskey was the final cut from last year’s Hall of Fame class (with two other whiskeys going in), making it a surefire entry this year. I love this stuff, going so far as to chip one of my teeth when I couldn’t get my flask open and the container was carrying this elixir… not one of my finer moments, but it did occur. Even Mrs. Sip, who has a love-hate relationship with whiskey, is a fan of cocktails made with JD Honey (which would be my porn name if the industry was lucky enough to have me!).

JD Bees

Tanqueray Gin

Although I’m a big fan of gin, this is the first alcohol of that genre to enter the hallowed halls of the Sip Advisor Hall of Fame and it was a tough choice. After a close race between Tanqueray and a competitor brand, the nod went to Tanqueray thanks in large part to the Rangpur variety that I have enjoyed so much, since picking up earlier this year. It has leap-frogged all other options in the phylum to find its place amongst so many other fine spirits.

Appleton Rum

I’m sad to say that Appleton Rum is currently not part of the Sip Advisor liquor colletion after being a mainstay for years. After using and finishing it for Jamaica week, I have yet to replace it and Appleton has become a casualty of having to pick up other rums for the Around the World project, instead. That doesn’t mean that the fondness has faded, however, and it won’t be long before the shelves are stocked again with this fine rum.

Absolut Vodka

Like gin, vodka was absent from the inaugural Sip Advisor Hall of Fame class, an act that must be remedied. Also like gin, it came down to a very difficult decision between a few companies, but in the end, it was inspirational flavours that won the day. Absolut has all the usual suspects available for consumption, but advancements such as their fine City Series, and mixing of interesting flavours has pushed Absolut ahead of its contemporaries and into the hall.

Absolut Flavors

Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps

Rounding out the spirit entrants into the Hall of Fame is Peppermint Schnapps, which is great on its own as a shooter, or combined with hot chocolate and a few other drinks. Around Christmas, there are so many events that are favourable to Peppermint Schnapps-spiked beverages. It’s no wonder that mint is often on the Sip Advisor’s breath and emanating from Sip family mugs and thermoses.

1884 Malbec Wine

Wine gets the nod over beer this year in the category they share. Mrs. Sip and I have enjoyed many lazy Sundays with a bottle of this Argentinian red. I even used it for this year’s Around the World project, when the Sip Advisor visited Argentina. This wine is perfect great evenings with a loved one, relaxing and boozing (the two things the Sip Advisor does better than perhaps anyone else). I like adding a little ice to my wines (even reds), which I hope you little sippers won’t hold against me.

Dr. Pepper

In the mixer wing, Dr. Pepper joins Pepsi, perfectly depicting the evolution of the Sip Advisor’s drinking habits. When I’m looking for an easy-to-make well drink, I’ll often toss in anything from the aforementioned Honey Whiskey to Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum (part of last year’s HoF class) and top whatever spirit I’ve chosen with Dr. Pepper. The flavours are more intense with this soda than others available, making for a crisp, tasty, and effervescent experience.

Hall of Fame 2014: Burnt Martini

Burnt Martini

It’s so nice to see everyone all decked out in their finest threads. We sure make a great looking group. I wonder which spirits will finally hear their names called next year for enshrinement… only time will tell!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
As we did last year, with the Dirty Martini, we’re pulling out a very classic recipe for our annual Hall of Fame article. This edition gets the Burnt Martini, which combines two of my favourite alcohol varieties in Gin and Scotch. It was a nice drink, but certainly strong. The smoky flavour of the Scotch at the end of each sip was quite enjoyable.

December 9 – Angel’s Delight

One for the Ages

For most, it would be hard to pick a favourite Christmas. What pushed that particular Dec. 25th over the edge? Was it a gift? How you celebrated? Who you celebrated with? All of them seem so good, but for the ol’ Sip Advisor, it’s a pretty easy choice. Not to take anything away from any other Christmas I’ve enjoyed over my 30 years on this planet, but bar none, my 2010 Christmas was the best… that’s when I popped the big question to Mrs. Sip! Here’s our story:

best-christmas

Mrs. Sip and I had been together for over eight years when the fall of 2010 rolled around and had been through a lot together. Having dated since we were both 18, we’d practically grown up together. While the road was generally quite smooth, there was the odd bump, as one would expect when you’re coming into your own as a person and going through all the steps of adulthood, such as school, work, friendships, etc.

We had also spent quite a bit of time doing the dreaded long distance relationship thing. Mrs. Sip took off for England just six months into our courtship (does that even happen anymore?) and she was there for much of the first year of our dating. A couple years later, I was off to England for my own exchange program, followed by Miss Sip going to Australia for a term and shortly thereafter, me taking off again, this time for a full year living in Toronto.

We’d done things the right way (I believe) and not rushed into our relationship, allowing each other to grow and expand our horizons at our own pace. Our relationship matured magically as a result.

One day at work, a radio ad came on and it dawned on me that it was time to go ring shopping. I hadn’t been thinking too much of taking our relationship to the next level, but at that moment, everything just seemed right about the idea.

engagement-ring

I bought Miss Sip’s engagement ring (a spectacular piece of jewelry, if I don’t say so myself) in September of 2010, sans any help from friends or family. I wanted to do this all on my own and keep it a secret from as much of the world as possible. This caused some crazy thoughts to run through my head, such as “What if something happens to me before I ask Miss Sip to marry me and no one ever knows I have this ring purchased?”

It was a long wait from late September to late December, as I planned to propose to Miss Sip on Christmas Day and then be able to share it will all of our family and friends throughout Christmas dinners and get-togethers. Periodically, I’d take a quick peek at the beaming diamond ring buried in my dresser drawer, awed by the step I was about to take and the journey that would surely ignite.

The only person in the world I told of my intentions was Miss Sip’s dad. I had always intended to ask permission for her hand, but I did worry my secret would get around. True to his word, my future father-in-law kept my secret… and later paid for doing do!

Christmas Eve finally came and I was beyond excited. The one downside was that both Miss Sip and I were currently suffering through pretty serious colds. We had a meal out together before heading back to our apartment to enjoy our first Christmas just the two of us. Sadly, instead of enjoying drinks, while making gingerbread houses and watching a movie, we were sucking back Neo-Citron, hacking and wheezing, and giving up on gingerbread houses, settling for a gingerbread shanty town. We also put on the god awful Babes in Toyland film before both passing out from our medication.

christmas eve

The next morning, I was feeling a little better, but Miss Sip was still having issues. I briefly considered postponing my marriage proposal, but decided that I just couldn’t wait any longer and with both our families hosting Christmas dinners, there may not be a better opportunity to have everyone gathered.

Under the guise that I wanted to capture our first Christmas morning for prosperity, I had borrowed Pa Sip’s video camera and had it set to perfectly capture our engagement. It was hard to conceal my excitement, as we started opening our stockings.

After our stockings were emptied, I made sure Mrs. Sip went first for exchanging gifts. She got me a Nintendo Wii, which would normally have stolen the show as far as Christmas gifts go, but I knew what we’d really be talking about all day. Finally, after three months of planning and waiting, it was my turn to blow her mind.

Things started off slowly. I gave her a set of different hot chocolate toppings and a digital photo frame – I had to have something under the tree for her to throw off the scent of what I was planning. Ironically, Mrs. Sip had done the same thing for me using random DVDs (the Wii was hidden underneath a pillow).  After the photo frame and hot chocolate toppings came my “set-up piece” – a simple silver bracelet that came with the engagement ring. As Miss Sip examined the bracelet, probably thinking that she should return the amazing Wii she had given me, I dropped to one knee and trying to keep my voice from cracking said, “I know that’s not the jewellery you deserve, so I also got you this!”…

Christmas-gift-diamonds

Miss Sip was shocked. I don’t think she had any idea this was coming down the pipeline. We’d talked about a future together, but I don’t think she expected this at all. She quickly responded with a resounding “YES!” and what a relief that was. I kept thinking of TV shows and movies where a marriage proposal is met with rejection. Thankfully this didn’t go in that direction.

The rest of the morning was a blur. We celebrated, planned how we would tell everyone and cursed our colds. The ring was three sizes too big and shortly after I proposed Miss Sip completely lost her voice, but nothing could take that day away from us… we were now engaged to be married!

Our first stop was Miss Sip’s parents to open gifts. We brought over cinnamon buns, but I couldn’t eat with all the anticipation. Mrs. Sip was able to talk long enough to let her parents and sister know we had gotten engaged that morning and we had another little celebration.

I left after a couple hours to go to my parents. After opening gifts there, we were all relaxing when Ma Sip inquired about what I’d got Miss Sip for Christmas. I told her about all the items, leaving out the engagement ring for later. I could feel Ma Sip glaring at me as I continued to aloofly watch TV. She was not happy with my choice of gifts, which was all the more hysterical given what had actually transpired. I couldn’t help but let a wicked smile cross my face as I left the room.

Lying Parents

That evening, I left my family dinner to return to Miss Sip’s parent’s place where I announced to the rest of her family that we had taken the next step in our relationship. Miss Sip couldn’t do it thanks to her voice giving out on her. Another celebration ensued before we were able to slip away and return together to Ma and Pa Sip’s home, where my family had gathered.

After settling in, I once again made the big announcement and (I bet you know where this is going) more celebrating was to be had. Ma Sip got her wish in that Miss Sip’s Christmas gift was more than a bracelet.

The rest of the next month was spent telling our friends about the engagement before revealing to the world via Facebook that we were set to be married in 2012!

Drink #343: Angel’s Delight

Angel's Delight Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 oz Gin
  • 0.75 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Milk
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Candy Cane

Do you have a particular Christmas that you could call your favourite? Please share your story with Sip Nation!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This martini was a bit of a surprise.  I wasn’t sure how it would all come together and it ended up being a perfectly sweet and smooth drink. The colour and garnish were nice and it was simply an all-around good cocktail.

September 30 – The Wink

Near Misses

Here is part two of my investigative series looking at roles actors and actresses passed on that cost them millions of box office dollars, increased fame, and iconic characters and franchises. Let’s get right on with it!:

Johnny Depp – Ferris Bueller (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

Depp’s career could have been launched years before he finally broke through, or perhaps it could have fizzled out much like Matthew Broderick’s has. We’ll never really know, as Depp passed on the role of Ferris Bueller and all of his ditching class hijinks. Had he taken the role, perhaps Depp would have never developed into the eclectic actor he is today and we would have missed out on characters like Edward Scissorhands and Capt. Jack Sparrow.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Johnny Depp

Michelle Pfeiffer – Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs)

An Oscar could have been Pfeiffer’s prize if she had accepted the offer to play Clarice Starling in the wildly successful (both critically and financially) Silence of the Lambs. It’s not like Pfeiffer saw a drop in her career at that point, later playing Catwoman in Batman Returns, but she missed a rare chance to snatch up an elusive Oscar statue. It seems Pfeiffer made a career of turning down roles, including the female leads Pretty Woman, Basic Instinct, Thelma & Louise, and Evita, among others.

Jeremy Irons – Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs)

Sticking with Silence of the Lambs, Irons turned down the role of Hannibal Lecter because he found the script to be too violent. So, let me get this straight, it’s okay to voice an evil lion (Scar) who causes his own brother’s death and nearly his nephew’s, as well (in a kids movie, no less), but wearing the face of another human is not okay!? Irons missed out on a movie that swept the Oscars and is best remembered for being an animated kitty.

Hugh Jackman – James Bond (Casino Royale)

On top of playing everyone’s favourite adamantium-infused mutant, Jackman was also offered the role of iconic spy James Bond. He passed on the part, saying he wasn’t ready to hold down two so very notable characters at the same time… then went on to play freakin’ Jean Valjean! Okay, the Les Miserables protagonist isn’t on the same level as the other two, but I have to get something for sitting through that drudgery. On a positive note, Daniel Craig has been perfect as Bond, thus far.

James Bond - Hugh Jackman

Jackman as Bond could have worked!

Russell Crowe – Wolverine (X-Men)

Speaking of Wolfy, Crowe was originally pegged to play the age-unknown Logan/Wolverine. Rumour has it (or at least the rumour I made up) that Crowe was unable to grow the sideburns necessary for the character and therefore abandoned the project, not wanting to lose any legitimacy if he had used make-up or special effects instead. Crowe and Jackman would later play bitter enemies in Les Mis, with Crowe using his turned down role as inspiration for his hatred towards Jackman’s character.

Dave Chappelle – Bubba (Forrest Gump)

While he has since gone on to have a highly acclaimed TV show (as well as his highly-publicized meltdown and leaving said show), Chappelle was originally offered the role of Bubba in Forrest Gump. Had he taken the part, Chappelle would now have numerous restaurants around the United States in his honour. Perhaps he passed on the character because the slim comedian just couldn’t put back enough shrimp to justify Bubba’s obsession with the seafood.

Jake Gyllenhaal – Jake Sully (Avatar)

Gyllenhaal did finally get to play a cripple (spoiler alert) in Source Code, but he missed out on the Avatar money train and getting to be a computer animated blue guy fighting a mechanized army to save FernGully, the last rainforest. Sam Worthington snatched up the role, which he will reprise for 2016’s Avatar 2 (which has the working subtitle ‘Blue Man Group Rides Again’). It should be noted that Matt Damon also rejected the offer for Avatar.

Drink #273: The Wink

The Wink Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Gin (I used Tanqueray)
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • 0.25 oz Absinthe
  • Splash of Simple Syrup
  • Dash of Peychaud Bitters
  • Garnish with Lemon Twist

With all the hype recently about who turned down the male lead in 50 Shades of Grey and who eventually accepted the role, it will be interesting to see if there are any regrets in the future. Menopausal women love this garbage, so I smell a big money franchise.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2 Sips out of 5):
This drink is pretty strong and bitter, with the Triple Sec and Simple Syrup only able to do so much to sweeten the mix. After some ice dilution, the cocktail tasted slightly better. It was nice to finally use the Peychaud Bitters Mrs. Sip picked up for me in New Orleans, but I hope to find better recipes to use it in, in the future.

August 26 – Wedding Cake

I Thee Wed

Yesterday, Mrs. Sip and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. With that in mind, I’m reflecting back to our special day last year. Weddings are a funny thing to plan. You put so much energy and effort into one day (a day you’re too busy to enjoy every detail of) and before you know it, the day has passed. I wouldn’t consider myself a wedding coordinator expert and I know every person has their own desires and budget, but for my money, these are the must-haves for your nuptials:

Live Band

While a DJ will get the music job done, I will never regret shelling out a little extra to have a live band at our wedding. Mrs. Sip and I are classic rock fans, so we picked a local band, The BobCats, which specializes in covers of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, CCR, Van Morrison, and others. We’d seen the guys perform multiple times before and were thrilled when they were available to work our wedding and rock the joint to the early hours of the morning.

Electric Mayhem

These guys were my second choice to play our wedding!

Photographer

This one is pretty obvious and I think very few couples get married nowadays without a professional photographer documenting their special day. Our photos are amazing and will provide instant memories of our wedding as we review them over time. Magnolia Photographic was the perfect choice for our wedding and I’m particularly fond of the stunning shots of Mrs. Sip, who looked drop dead gorgeous that day (and all other days!).

Videographer

When Mrs. Sip and I first started the wedding planning process video was not a priority. Hell, it wasn’t even on the list. Then you start talking to people who fully recommend getting a videographer and you start looking at videos and it suddenly becomes a must-have. We buckled and hired a great little company (RF Weddings) that provided us with an amazing video of highlights from the day. The way they blended song and images together was truly masterful and guests loved watching the same day edit during our reception.

Candy Bar

This was another idea that wasn’t initially on our original list of ideas, but I threw it on the “to do” list last minute after attending a friend’s wedding in Toronto which featured one. Choosing all the candy to put into the bar was a lot of fun, but tracking down containers to display the treats was a little more daunting (we wanted drink-themed glasses like martini and goblet styles). Still, we got it done (thanks to an extra shopping trip by Ma Sip) and the creativity of the friend I put in charge of setting up the station.

Candy Bar

This was our actual wedding candy bar… looks pretty sweet, am I right!?

Entertainment during Photos

Mrs. Sip and I didn’t want to kill the buzz of guests between ceremony and reception, when most couples now disappear to do off-site photos with their wedding party. We had a strings band (Musical Occasions) play between the two events, while beverages and snacks were available and we also had a group come out that does magnetic photos of your invitees, which they can take home. On the subject, you also don’t want to force your guests to kill too much time between the ceremony and reception… keep that in mind.

Buffet

Not to take a shot at plate service for dinner, but I prefer buffets, which allow guests to grab exactly what they want, enjoy a variety of options, and eat until they’re about to explode. With all the craziness going down at our wedding, I only managed to load up my plate once and never even got to the dessert edition, although it looked spectacular. The folks at the Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club sure know how to put a spread together.

funny-buffet

Limos

It’s your special day and you might as well be travelling in style. Unless you have a cool and unique car for transport, a limo is the best way to achieve this. Ace of Spades Limos worked diligently to get everyone where they needed be when they needed to be there. We used four different limos during the day (one for the bride and bridesmaids, one for the groom and groomsmen, one for the wedding party for photos, and one at the end of the night for the happy couple) and there wasn’t a single issue to deal with.

Hotel

In my books, it just doesn’t seem as special if you go through the whole wedding process, only to return to your normal home that night. Indulge in a little pampering and take off to a nearby hotel. We checked into the Pan Pacific along Vancouver’s waterfront. It was a mch needed respite as it allowed Mrs. Sip and I to get away after the wedding, digest the events of the day together, and enjoy some quality one-on-one time. Couples can also achieve this much needed getaway by immediately leaving for their honeymoon, which is a good way of forgetting all about any post-wedding issues!

Drink #238: Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 oz Gin (I used Tanqueray)
  • 0.75 oz Amaretto
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Splash of Milk
  • Garnish with Wedding Bands (if you got them!)

What are the wedding must-haves that you insist on? Have any issues with my list? Too bad, it’s written in internet stone!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I already made the Wedding Cake Shot, so now it was time to try the martini edition. There are other versions of this drink, but I wanted to see how all these ingredients would work together. The Gin doesn’t overwhelm the taste buds, which surprised me and nothing is out of place at all with this cocktail. Getting the wedding bands to sit just right for the photo was a pain, but it was one of those ideas I just had to see through.

June 30 – Flamingo

Only a Mother Could Love

I’m not a big fan of flamingoes. I think they look weird and smell ever worse. I do like the hotel in Las Vegas, however, home to many Mr. and Mrs. Sip adventures, but I digress. Here is a quick look at some of earth’s other weird, odd, and not-so-attractive wildlife:

Vulture

The vulture is so ugly that they make the perfect villain. Add that to the fact that they scavenge prey that is hurt or sick and eat dead flesh (even letting other animals go first to make their job easier) and you really have one nasty bird. If their eating habits weren’t bad enough, vultures are known to vomit when approached or threatened. Can it get any worse? Of course it can. Vultures urinate down their own legs to kill bacteria from all the carcasses they wade through and also to cool themselves.

vulture

Camel

They spit at people because they know they’re ugly and won’t ever be able to repair their image. Camels aren’t even easy to ride on thanks to their humps, their humps, their lovely lady lumps. I would know. Sure they can survive forever in the desert without water and other amenities, but so can sand and I hate that, too. Apparently eating a camel’s hump is considered a delicacy in some parts of the world (you know, the crazy ones) and I’m not sure I could stomach it.

Turkey

These creatures are lucky they’re delicious, or else we would have made sure they went extinct years ago. What’s with the whole bug-eyed giblet look? It’s like they’re not even trying and have made peace with the fact that they look best cooked and served at Thanksgiving or Christmas. At least they have some self-worth, I suppose. I hope the one that is saved every year by the American president enjoys its temporary safety… for now!

Aye-Aye

These bat-rodent crossbreeds are apparently killed on the spot by natives in Madagascar, as they’re viewed as bad omens. Take one look and you can kind of understand why someone may think the little oddity brings bad luck. While I’m completely against animal cruelty, I have to admit that the Aye-Aye is one creepy looking being. As a general nuisance, myself, I kind of have a soft spot for these little freaks, who villagers believe can puncture a victim’s aorta with their little fingers.

Aye-Aye-Captain

Star-Nosed Mole

While regular moles don’t look half bad, the star-nosed mole just looks odd thanks to its tentacle-like nose, which helps the blind as a bat animal do everything it needs to, like see, taste, touch, etc. Thankfully, this isn’t the type of mole depicted in my beloved Wind and the Willows, as I don’t think Ratty would want to live with a star-nosed mole and it certainly wouldn’t be welcome at the prestigious Toad Hall.

Soft-Shell Turtle

I’d rather be viewing soft-serve ice cream than a soft-shell turtle and here’s a little TMI: these turtles pee through their mouth! While your normal everyday turtle can also have its critics, at least we’ve turned them into the loveable Teenage Mutant variety, causing a generation of kids to ask their parents for a turtle, only to find out it doesn’t eat pizza and whip out catch phrases like “radical”, “gnarly”, and “cowabunga”!

Blobfish

What a nightmare this creature is. It looks like a slug with a bitter beer face. If Jabba the Hut was ever to be a real living being, this would be it. All it does is float around and eat whatever is right in front of it and happens to get swallowed. I can respect an animal that works hard and catches its own food. One that doesn’t do much of anything will have to work harder for my endorsement.

blobfish

Proboscis Monkey

While I hate to put any monkey on this list, I just can’t let this species slide under the radar. It demeans all other primates if I don’t out them. The schnoz on these beasts is pretty epic. It looks like a giant yam, except you wouldn’t be able to get yummy fries out of it. The proboscis monkey does have a wild sex life, but unfortunately isn’t very long-lasting, another mark against it.

Naked Mole Rat

And the mole makes the list twice… well done genus… or is it phylum? Ah, who cares! I normally love hearing the word ‘naked’, but in this case, all I can do is close my eyes and shed a tear. Why didn’t anybody ever tell this creature to put its clothes back on? Perhaps if it ran around wearing a miniature Hawaiian shirt and khakis it wouldn’t be so bad to look at. Add some shades and you might even have a loveable creature.

Monkfish

I can’t believe these things are actually edible and their tail meat has been compared to that of the uber-delicious lobster. It has even been dubbed “the poor man’s lobster”, but can sometimes command market prices equal or even higher than lobster. All this talk about lobster has got me all hungry. Then I take another look at the monkfish photo and adios appetite.

Drink #181: Flamingo

Flamingo Martini

  • 1.5 oz Gin (I used Tanqueray)
  • 0.5 oz Apricot Brandy
  • Dash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Flamingo Stir Stick & Lime Wedge

After viewing all that ugly, I have to flip through cute kitten memes before bed, just to make sure I don’t have any nightmares. Here’s a site I suggest for some happy viewing. Thanks for reading!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
There is also a Flamingo recipe that consists of Vodka, Triple Sec, Peach Schnapps, and Cranberry Juice, as well as a blend that involves Apple Schnapps, Melon Liqueur and Cranberry Juice. Why there are so many different Flamingo drinks, we may never know. This drink has a little of everything. It’s sweet with the Apricot Brandy and Grenadine, sour with the Lime Juice and bitter with the Tanqueray Gin. The taste is complex, but it works and you can’t say anything bad about the colour that results from the ingredients mixing.

June 18 – Paradise

Paradise Found

Everyone has their own idea of paradise. Here’s mine:

Cat-Is-Ready-For-Paradise

Drinks

Let’s start with the easy stuff. There is a 24/7 all-inclusive open bar. All the best liquors from around the world are in full stock and the taps are filled with my favourite beers. Every garnish you can imagine is ready to be used and interesting glassware is in abundance.

Food & Snacks

All my favourites are served around the clock. We’ve even imported items from my preferred restaurants and room service is available at all hours of the day, with no extra charge. There is a bottomless (Mrs. Sip won’t be alone!) candy bar that is filled with all the finest chocolate, gummies, and sours the world over. Similarly, every chip flavor is represented with a fully-stocked chip bowl bar, where the motto is: “come for the salt, stay for the flavour!”

Wardrobe

It is illegal for Mrs. Sip to wear anything more than a bikini, including in the winter, although she is allowed to wear a robe then. Meanwhile, the weather is so perfect, that I spend my days in swimsuit and tank to show off my chiseled-out-of-rock body!

cute chick

Music

Classic rock tunes are pumped into the atmosphere non-stop and only shut off for naps and sleepy time. Mrs. Sip is allowed the odd dance tune, but it has to be approved by my commission of music experts and it will cost her half her wardrobe.

Movies & TV

Only the best in adult animated comedy is broadcast in my paradise… okay, I’ll allow some other programming, but it will largely be comedy-based, with only a few dramatic shows sprinkled amongst the line-up schedule. Everything is, of course, viewed on a state-of-the-art projection screen in our theatre wing.

Activities

Aside from the open bar and buffet, there are a few essential setting elements I can’t forget. There is a lazy river that I can wind down every day, eventually finishing off with a dramatic raft waterslide and pool drop. There is also a hot tub where we can party and relax our tense muscles. Looking for evening entertainment? How about trying your luck at the casino or taking your lady on a date night to the fully-stocked games room or even 18-hole mini-golf course! Finally, what dreamland would be complete without one of these…

paradise ball pit

Exercise

In a perfect world, we would all look exactly how we wanted without having to put any effort into keeping fit and healthy. That said, all my favourite sports equipment is readily available, including an ice rink for hockey and a complete gym. Best of all, in this little world, you don’t get gross callouses on your hands that take forever to fully heal. Let’s not forget about the hardcore calorie-burning sexercise either!

Miscellaneous

There has to be some pets in this perfect world and that would definitely include kitties and puppies. Birds are shot on sight, if they somehow manage to make it past my crack security staff. I think that about sums it up. Ah, I love imagination!

Drink #169: Paradise

Paradise Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Gin (I used Tanqueray)
  • 1 oz Apricot Brandy
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Garnish with Apricot Slice

I guess, for the most part, I basically described a cruise where you largely stay in your room, eat and drink what you want and have a number of entertainment options at your fingertips. What would you include in your paradise? There are NO wrong answers… except for birds!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Like all Orange Drink/Apricot Brandy concoctions, this reminds the palate of a Creamsicle. The addition of Gin makes it a little boozier than other recipes, but it tastes good. I subbed Orange Soda for Orange Juice because I wanted to try something different and OJ, I’m just not that into you!