February 14 – Love Bite

Lover’s Quarrel

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at some of the classic “will they/won’t they” TV romances. Nearly every show has one, hoping to bring in the hopeless romantic as a regular viewer. My favourite story is from NewsRadio, where the network wanted this element for the show, much to the chagrin of producers. So, they had Dave and Lisa sleep together immediately, before then teasing their relationship from that point. Well, on with the list:

#5: Ben & Leslie – Parks and Recreation

The Parks and Rec crew are quite incestuous with numerous couplings coming out of the small department. Despite stiff competition (Andy and April, Chris and Ann, etc.), Ben and Leslie get the nod for best “will they/won’t they” storyline on the show, as it took the nerdy Ben to finally reel in the ambitious Leslie, who was more likely to be married to her job than a living person. Ben and Leslie’s wedding was especially touching, as the Parks and Rec crew had to stage the event on short notice.

Ben and Leslie

#4: Niles & Daphne – Frasier

Niles loved Daphne from the first moment he saw her… the problem was, he was in a loveless marriage with the never-seen Maris. By the time Niles got his side of things all sorted out, Daphne was due to be wed to Donny – ironically, Niles divorce attorney. Well, true love conquers all, and Niles and Daphne ended up together, marrying and having a baby boy. Poor Niles waited many years – and through many boyfriends – for his chance to be with Daphne, but fate works in mysterious ways.

#3: Leonard & Penny – Big Bang Theory

For those who believe that opposites don’t attract, take for example the relationship between blonde bombshell Penny and her kind, but geeky neighbour Leonard. Despite taking a while to date and an extended break-up, the two have been together for a fair portion of the show’s run and at this point are even engaged. Rivaling Leonard and Penny is Sheldon and Amy, who most fans just want to see finally get into bed with one another!

The Gorilla Dissolution

#2: Jim & Pam – The Office (US)

Based off of the similar storyline of Tim and Dawn from the UK version of The Office, Jim and Pam go from co-workers with a mutual crush to lovers, having to evade obstacles such as Pam’s pending marriage to Roy, Jim’s transfer to another Dunder Mifflin branch, and Pam going back to school in New York. Once Jim and Pam were all securely married, Dwight and Angela moved into the spot of “will they/won’t they,” but their relationship was always a little odd and unusual.

#1: Ross & Rachel – Friends

These two went back and forth so many times, that it makes one’s head spin. In the end, they of course wound up with each other, following the typical last-minute ditch effort to save the relationship, with Ross rushing to the airport to stop Rachel from leaving the country for a job opportunity in Paris. Through the series, the two even produced a child, all the while teasing a reunion, but never really getting back together from the first time they became a couple and broke up.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Love Bite

Love Bite Shot

  • 0.5 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Orange Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Milk
  • Garnish with Chocolate

Honourable mentions go to Kevin and Winnie (The Wonder Years), Zack and Kelly (Saved by the Bell), Eric and Donna (That 70’s Show), and Fry and Leela (Futurama); some of which ended happily and others, not so much. Thankfully, my will they/won’t they with Mrs. Sip worked out pretty well!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
The Cherry and Orange Liqueurs mixed together really well, but the Milk didn’t play nicely with the spirits, nearly curdling the alcohol. Luckily it didn’t get that far and the flavours could still be enjoyed. At least I always had the Chocolate garnish to enjoy afterwards!

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November 22 – Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Reunification

Earlier this year, the online world became abuzz, when a poster was released, teasing a Friends reunion for this Thanksgiving. It turned out to all be a hoax, but that got me thinking of shows where I’d love to see a reunion episode or some other gathering of the cast/characters, injecting new life into the stories many of us grew up on. Here is the cream of the crop of those I’d love to see one more time!

#5: Recess

Perhaps in a similar vein to All Grown Up, the Rugrats re-launch, it would be great to find out whatever happened to the Recess kids – T.J. Detweiler, Vince LaSalle, Ashley Spinelli, Gretchen Grundler, Mikey Blumberg, and Gus Griswald – and where they lives led after their fourth grade adventures at Third Street Elementary School. Did any of the kids ever hook-up (my bet’s on Mikey and Gus!)? The new story could be set in any time period, whether it be high school, college, adulthood, old age, etc. If a more adult network took the reins of the show, instead of Disney, we might get some very interesting and scandalous (thank you The Ashley’s) stories!

Recess Grown Up

#4: That 70’s Show

When we last left Point Place, Wisconsin, the 1970’s rolled over into a new decade. Therefore, the most pressing question to be answered, is how did the gang find life in the 80’s? Hell, for that matter, how did their 90’s and 2000’s go? I guess you can’t go too far ahead or you might lose the participation of the parents, Red, Kitty, and Bob, which would be too bad. I’d love to find out if Eric and Donna finally managed to stay together. What about Hyde, Kelso, Fez, and Jackie? What became of Kelso’s child? Was he as dumb as dear ol’ dad!? These are the kinds of questions that keep the Sip Advisor up at night… it’s tough being me!

#3: Full House

The Tanner clan was sent off into the television abyss with the show’s typical nice, neat wrap up. Since then, a lot has changed for the cast and would make for some crazy storylines, should there ever be a reunion episode. Would they incorporate Jodie Sweeten’s real-life meth addiction into the storyline ala the classic “On a very special episode…” trope. How would they handle Bob Saget’s departure from the squeaky clean image that made him neat freak single father Danny Tanner, as well as host of America’s Funniest Home Videos. And you just know there’s some juicy yarns out there, should the Olsen twins elect to participate.

Full House Reunion

#2: Cheers

There was the odd mini-reunion on the Cheers spinoff, Frasier (which would also be a decent series for a reunion), but I’d love to see everyone all together again at the classic bar set, enjoying a mug of fine brew and reconnecting. With Cheers being such an ensemble cast, many of which have gone on to thriving careers, it may be hard to get them all back onto the same page, but at least you know Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin would be present, as their butts have been stapled to those bar stools since the series finale in 1993. You’d have to imagine that at least one of the bar regulars would now be suffering from cirrhosis, but it should make for good viewing!

#1: Saved by the Bell

As a child of the 80’s and early 90’s, you could never say that you didn’t have at least some fondness for this show. While we got a decent finale with the wedding in Vegas movie, a whole generation thirsts for more. Did Zack and Kelly survive to rigors of getting married young? How about the kids that surely came along (I mean, who wouldn’t want to tap the former Miss Kapowski!?). If they did relaunch this series, they could do something similar to what Boy Meets World did, where they brought back Cory and Topanga as parents to a teenage girl. Jimmy Fallon (among others) tried to get the whole crew back together, but all efforts have failed thus far.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Sadly, the TV reunion just isn’t done as much anymore, compared to the past where shows like Gilligan’s Island, The Andy Griffith Show, and even Growing Pains all got together again to update viewers on the status of their favourite characters. And that’s all too bad, as there are so many series I’d love to see a follow-up from. Honourable mentions go to basically any TGIF show and let’s throw Beavis and Butt-head in there, as well, just to irritate Mrs. Sip!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I chose this shot to go with this article because it (the cake) seemed like the kind of thing that might be served at an actual family reunion. As you can see by the measurements, there’s very little booze in this shooter, so you’re basically just getting Pineapple Juice and Grenadine. My suggestion is to up the alcohol and have some real fun!

Morocco – Black, White & Fig

Fun with Fezzes

While it may not be the most stylish headpiece ever adorned, the fez hat is a symbol of Moroccan nationalism, worn to protest French occupation. Hell, even the royal court of Morocco wears the fez, the only Arab nation to do so. Despite all that, today, the fez is seen by some as politically incorrect and viewed with negative connotations. Let’s take a closer look at this polarizing piece of headgear:

Originally called a ‘tarboosh,’ which roughly translated means head cover, this hat dates back to the time of the Ottoman Empire. It is typically made using red felt with a tassel attached to the top of the cap. When a number of Arab monarchies were overthrown following World War I, the fez was made illegal by the new rulers and those who dared to wear them had their asses tossed in jail.

Fez Cat

The city of Fes, Morocco was actually quite important to the hat’s existence, as it produced the colouring agent, using crimson berries, to turn the hat red. It was the only place that had access to this hue before artificial dyes were later manufactured. Today, the city is known as the ‘Mecca of the West’ and the ‘Athens of Africa’ and not much is mentioned about the hats any longer.

The decline of the fez put it amongst other headdresses that may only be worn for events such as weddings, funerals, or invitations to the royal palace. Many of the male employees at restaurants and hotels in Morocco don the cap to give tourists a little thrill and a trip back through history. You may even get the chance to wear one and snap a few photos, but it will likely set you back a little in the realm of tip money.

If you’d like to have your very own fez, they can be found online. Most sell for under $20 and come in a variety of colour schemes, but ones involving higher quality materials or with some historical value will set you back a little more, in the $100-$150 range. They can also be imported directly from Morocco, adding some legitimacy to the accessory.

Fez Pot

Today, the fez is most commonly recognized as being worn by members of the Shriners men’s fraternity. Despite wearing the fez, the group is not associated with Arabic or Islamic culture and is more in line with Masonry. The group can often be seen participating in parades, while driving around in miniature cars, and also advocating for their Shriners Hospitals for Children, across North America. Members have included presidents and other high-profile politicians, star athletes, musicians, and other notable celebrities.

Others who have worn the hat include: Aladdin and Abu; Moroccan Mole, sidekick to Secret Squirrel in the 1960’s Hanna-Barbera cartoon; Sallah, from the Indiana Jones films; Magician Tommy Cooper; one of the many Doctor Who incarnations; and a number of Disney Theme Parks characters, particularly at the Tokyo and Hong Kong sites. Steely Dan even recorded a song titled Fez for their 1976 The Royal Scam album.

The term FES has also gone on to stand for Foreign Exchange Student, most famously portrayed by the character of that name on That 70’s Show. We never learn Fez’s real name, as the other characters state it’s too hard to pronounce. All we learn is that the first five K’s are silent and his name is made up solely of vowels (which seems to contradict those silent K’s). We also never learn where exactly the character is from and both that mystery and his real name are running gags throughout the series.

Morocco: Black, White & Fig

Black, White & Fig Martini

  • Rim glass with Pepper and Sugar
  • Muddle Apple Slices and Pepper
  • 1 oz Mahia
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Grapefruit Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Apple and Lime Slice

I personally believe that I would look quite fetching in a fez hat. While it would be similar to a smoking cap, I’d use it solely for getting blitzed and dancing around , preferably with a monkey assistant. I know that sounds like a hundred bad stereotypes, but that’s just how we roll at the Sip Advisor offices!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Mahia is an interesting spirit in that it’s Fig-based. It has a unique taste that I simply can’t place. Mrs. Sip and I both really enjoyed the Pepper & Sugar Rim and it added an different taste to the cocktail that didn’t overpower. For the citrus portion of the martini, you have the option of Lime Juice or Grapefruit Juice. I went with a splash of both because I like my sweet and sour.

April 20 – Liquid Marijuana

Puff, Puff, Pass… Drink, Drink, Done

Mary Jane isn’t my relaxant of choice – hell, she’s not even my favoruite Spider-Man girlfriend – but I don’t frown upon those who love their weed. And since it’s 4/20, a holy day for reefer connoisseurs, I thought we should take a look at the most prolific stoners as boozers and smokers unite to enjoy this shot:

Cheech & Chong – Numerous movies and albums

These two famous overachieving potheads took their stand-up comedy routine and turned it into numerous movies and albums, working together off and on for over 30 years. They are responsible for a number of famous catchphrases, most notably “Dave’s not here, man.” Not only do these two play fictional stoners, but one of them also plays the role in real life. Tommy Chong was sent to prison in October 2003 for selling bongs and other paraphernalia over the internet. This incarceration occurred while he was a cast member of That 70’s Show, playing, you guessed it: a hippie burnout named Leo Chingwake.

Cheech & Chong Parked

Dale Denton & Saul Silver – Pineapple Express

First off, let me say that the pants James Franco wears for the duration of this film are, quite possibly, the greatest wardrobe choice in the history of film. If someone were to ever bequeath these to me, I would honour them with their own special holiday. Dale (Seth Rogen) and Saul (Franco) get stuck in a hilarious set of circumstances thanks to their enjoyment of Pineapple Express, an extremely potent brand of marijuana. Their dealer, Red, (Danny McBride) also joins in on the fun and the three have to triumph over a oppressive drug kingpin.

Jeff Spicoli – Fast Times at Ridgemont High

It’s so hard to believe that this character was played by Sean Penn, given all the serious roles Penn has since gone on to play. Spicoli, a laid back, pot smoking, surfer dude, became so popular that he’s featured on the cover of the movie, despite being a tertiary character. One of the subplots of the movie is teacher Mr. Hand trying to get the best he can out of Spicoli. When Mr. Hand thinks he’s achieved results, he releases Spicoli but eventually comes to the conclusion that everyone at the school is “on dope”. Spicoli meanwhile goes on to save a drowning Brooke Shields, but wastes the reward money hiring Van Halen to perform at his birthday party… sounds about right.

The Gang – That 70’s Show

One of the most enjoyable running gags on That 70’s Show was ‘The Circle’, where any number of the group’s members – Eric, Hyde, Kelso, Fez, Donna, Jackie and any number of their friends – would wax philosophically after enjoying some marijuana, as the camera rotated around the table. Some of the shows funniest lines came out of these scenes. One memorable segment included the kids’ parents sitting in the circle, high from “special” brownies and mimicking their children’s actions.

Harold & Kumar – Go to White Castle, Escape from Guantanamo Bay and A Very 3D Christmas

While not the biggest stoners per se, these two gentlemen enjoy their weed. Their zany adventures to White Castle, from Guantanamo Bay and attempting to save Christmas were often fuelled by the drug in some way. A highlight of all the movies is the performance of Neil Patrick Harris (playing himself), which practically revived his career. In the films, NPH is an even bigger drug user than Rolly and Kumar, who can definitely hold their own.

Norville “Shaggy” Rogers – Scooby-Doo

Although the show never quite comes out and says it, let’s look at the evidence: 1) Shaggy’s constantly searching for munchies 2) his attention span is minimal at best 3) his nerves are always shot and he appears strung out 4) he has conversations and hangs out with a dog… conclusion: Shaggy is your typical pothead. Still, Shaggy is one of the most beloved characters in the history of media, especially when paired with his pal Scooby. The two have teamed together for countless adventures, highlighted by my personal favourite, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers.

shaggy-stoned

Thurgood Jenkins et al – Half Baked

While Dave Chappelle himself was disappointed with how the movie turned out – he wrote the script and starred, but said the movie was dumbed down from being adult-oriented to more of a kids movie – there are still a number of funny moments in this film. Some favourites are when Thurgood describes the different types of pot users, particularly the Scavenger Smoker (Snoop Dogg), who comes into the scene at the first sniff of marijuana and proceeds to smoke the guy’s entire joint before moving on. The scene where Scarface quits his job at the fast food restaurant is also a highlight.

Jay & Silent Bob – Almost every movie by Kevin Smith

It’s hard not to notice that stoners in films often come in pairs or trios (whereas alcoholics are always portrayed as miserable loners, hmmm…). Jay and Silent Bob seem to always pop up in Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse, and why not? Silent Bob is played by Smith. The duo’s notorious appearances in movies they weren’t the star in led to their own title adventure where they’re on a mission to shut down a movie based on their personas. The pair offer a great lesson too: if you have one loud mouth who never shuts up, then his buddy better be silent to help restore the balance.

Drink #110: Liquid Marijuana

Liquid Marijuana Shot

  • 1/4 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1/4 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Malibu Rum
  • 1/4 oz Spiced Rum (I used Kraken)
  • Splash Pineapple Juice
  • Splash Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with Rolling Paper Stir Stick

As we down this shooter, I wish all my pothead brethren a very happy 4/20… enjoy your day!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was sweet, but not overly so. It goes down nice and easy, but isn’t very exciting. Despite all the ingredients it’s relatively effortless to make. It’s not like you have to do layering or anything. Give it a shot (literally!) and see what you think.