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 1 – Teddy Bear

Full of Stuffing

There are some great stuffed animals that have appeared in media over the years. Friends of our favourite characters who just don’t get the attention they deserve. Well, that’s going to change right now. Here are the Top 5 stuffed animals:

#5: Larry the Leopard – The Cleveland Show

Larry the Leopard is Cleveland Brown Jr.’s imaginary friend. With a relationship bordering on the creepy (ie. Larry is sometimes portrayed as Junior’s spouse), Larry is an important part of his owner’s life. Junior practically has a nervous breakdown when Larry is put through the washer and dryer, taking away his essence or as it is more filthily known, his stank. Cleveland Sr. is not a fan of the stuffed animal and its effect on Junior, who takes advice from the inanimate object.

Larry the Leopard

#4: Teddy – Mr. Bean

It seems at times as if Teddy is the only person Mr. Bean cares for… although Bean’s use of Teddy in his palns often results in punishment to the bear. The two exchange Christmas gifts, Mr. Bean makes sure Teddy is safely buckled in while driving, and the bear is given its own bed. Teddy became such a popular character in the series, that Ty (makers of Beanie Babies) produced a replica, so fans of the series could have their own adventures with the stuffed bear.

#3: Clyde Frog, Rumper Tumpskin, etc. – South Park

Cartman has a whole collection of stuffed toys that become his imaginary friends (also including Polly Prissypants, Peter Panda, and Muscle Man Marc), joining him for tea parties and otherwise filling in for Cartman’s lack of a father. When Cartman is finally ready to grow up and leave behind his plush friends, they are all murdered in a twisted, schizophrenic fashion with Cartman as the culprit and his childhood toys as the victims.

Cartman Stuffed Animals

#2: Rupert – Family Guy

While Rupert seems like an innocent enough stuffed bear, when Stewie imagines the two of them cavorting together in his fantasy world, Rupert becomes a muscled man (save for his teddy bear head) is skimpy speedo shorts. There are many other insinuations that Rupert is gay, likely playing off of Stewie’s own ambiguous sexuality. Stewie losing Rupert or moving on from the toy has been used in a couple of episodes, but the bear always winds up back in the crib.

#1: Hobbes – Calvin and Hobbes

Like the other stuffed animals on this list, Hobbes becomes an imaginary friend to his owner, in this case Calvin. The two get up to all sorts of trouble together with Hobbes trying to be the voice of reason, but often being ignored. Artist Bill Watterson blurs the lines of how real Hobbes may be with events like Hobbes being regularly tossed in the washing machine, which are baths that the tiger is forced to deal with.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear Shot

  • Rim glass with Chocolate Syrup
  • 0.25 oz Kahlua
  • 0.25 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 0.25 oz Cola
  • 0.25 oz Milk

Honourable mentions go to Winnie the Pooh, Ted, Pookie (Garfield), Smacky (Get Fuzzy), Mr. Bear (Full House), and Bobo (The Simpsons). What’s your favourite stuffed animal from the entertainment world? It’s time to get cuddly!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty good, reminding me of a Cola float… and how could you go wrong with that! The Chocolate Syrup rim took me back to the days of stuffed animals with early morning cartoons and chocolate milk. You know, the good ol’ days!

February 4 – Lounge Lizard #2

Bar Crawl

When I profiled the original Lounge Lizard cocktail, I discussed my favourite real-life bars. Today, I turn reality upside down and present to you, my little sippers, the best of fictional bars. Sometimes we all wish these places were real. Seriously, though, it seems like every single show in history has featured a watering hole as a recurring setting (thus making this list extremely difficult to narrow down):

Cheers – Cheers

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name… I bet everyone who read that last line, sang it in their head! How great would it be to hang out with a regular Joe like Norm Peterson. Or shoot the shit with bartenders like Sam Malone and Woody Boyd. You could even get your daily dose of factually inaccurate trivia from Cliff Claven or some psychiatric treatment from Frasier Crane. Everyone in the place had something to offer – except maybe Paul, but we’ll let it slide.

Cliff & Norm

Moe’s Tavern – The Simpsons

While Moe’s Tavern may not be the highlight of any visit to Springfield, it’s a decent joint that means a lot to its regulars. The bar has gone through a number of style changes with the times, usually to capitalize on some trend – gay bar, family restaurant, stylish martini bar (wouldn’t that be the same as the gay bar!?) – but it always returns to its former glory by episode’s end.

The Broken Stool – The Cleveland Show

After moving from Quahog, Rhode Island to Stoolbend, Virginia, Cleveland Brown promptly found himself a new group of friends – “there’s old friends, new friends and even a bear” – who regularly convene at The Broken Stool. There’s nothing like having a favourite haunt for you and your best buds and having a bear as a pal would absolutely rule. You could get him to catch fish for you and stuff.

Broken Stool

Merlotte’s & Fangtasia – True Blood

In the True Blood universe, you have the best of both worlds. First, there’s Merlotte’s, where normal people can go to enjoy a drink or some southern cooking and crazy shit often happens. At Fangtasia, vampires, humans and werewolves alike can enjoy an evening of debauchery and crazy shit ALYWAS happens. How either owner can keep their places running with the high death rate (including to staff) and constant turmoil at each location, is beyond my comprehension.

Roger’s Place – American Dad

I dream of my own man-cave bar set-up one day… not that I don’t have that already, but it’s not in a man-cave. Neither is Roger’s Place, alien Roger Smith’s bar in the attic of the Smith family home. Here, Roger waxes philosophical for his visitors – usually suggesting a solution to their problem that gets them into even more trouble. Next time I’m bartending for the Sip Advisor friends and family, I’m going to give out bad advice… whether people want to hear it or not.

Roger's Place

The Warsaw – The Drew Carey Show

One of the best features of this bar, was you could live above it, as Lewis and Oswald did, complete with their own fire pole into the place. Can you imagine how happy I, the Sip Advisor, would be if I could roll out of bed in the morning and ride a pole down to my favourite bar? Oh wait, I practically do that already, minus the pole and if you add a little more crawling to the trek.

Drink #35: Lounge Lizard #2

Lounge Lizard #2 Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • 1 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Top with lemon-lime soda
  • Garnish with lemon and lime wheels

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
The Lounge Lizard family of cocktails may be one of my favourite. Here, you have Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao and Melon Liqueur all getting together to party as lemon-Lime Soda plays DJ and lays down some dope tracks. Not sure of what exactly I just wrote… let’s just say that the drink is spectacular.