Mixer Mania #25 – Tonic Treatment

Tonic water is a polarizing mixer, but I have come to appreciate it in some drinks, specifically the Gin & Tonic. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best fictional tonics to ever be imagined:

Simpson & Son’s Revitalizing Tonic – The Simpsons

Created by Grampa Simpson, this potion will turn a loser into a lothario with one quick swig. After successfully using it, Homer decides that he and his dad should go into business together and sell the aphrodisiac to other men desperate for a quick pick-me-up.

The Simpsons has also featured other fantastical solutions, such as Brain & Nerve Tonic, which caused baseball star Ken Griffey Jr. to become addicted and overdose on the substance, causing gigantism. Lastly, there’s Dimoxinil, a hair regrowth remedy, which Homer used to improve his looks and life, only for Bart to knock over the bottle and spill the remaining cure.

Simpson & Son_s Revitalizing Tonic

Vitameatavegamin – I Love Lucy

Containing vitamins, meat, vegetables, and minerals, this health product was meant to provide users with their daily doses of each element in a single serving. The invention also contained alcohol, causing Lucy to start feeling the effects as the takes for the commercial she was filming began to pile up, with typically hilarious results.

Dr. Terminus – Pete’s Dragon

Snake oil salesman Dr. Terminus plays a key role in the original Pete’s Dragon movie. While the potions he’s selling are fakes and he’s been chased out of every town he’s tried to sell his wares, the “doctor” actually believes in his creations. As he sings: “Bites and burns and blue abrasions, got a pill for all occasions!”

Dr. Flimflam’s Miracle Cream – Futurama

Purchased by Dr. Zoidberg for an exorbitant price, the cream does provide Leela and Fry with superpowers, a listed side effect for humans. They form the New Justice Team with robot Bender and provide heroics to the city of New New York… at least until the cream runs out.

Mixer Mania #25: Desperation

Desperation.JPG

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz Midori
  • Top with Tonic Water
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

There is also a long list of fictional erectile-dysfunction remedies, usual coming from sketch comedy shows, such as Saturday Night Live and Mad TV, parodying the industry.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
There are some interesting Tonic Water cocktails out there and I look forward to experimenting more with the mixer in the future. As for this drink, it was pretty good with the bitter tonic followed closely by the sweet flavours of orange and melon, resulting in a balanced beverage.

Mixer Mania #18 – Using and Abusing

For some time, commercials have aired hyping chocolate milk as the perfect post-workout beverage. Yes, better than protein shakes, regular milk, water, or sports drinks. Regardless of how legit this claim may be, it got the Sip Advisor thinking about fictional substances used by characters to enhance their physique:

Weight Gain 4000 – South Park

In Eric Cartman’s obsession to be a “beefcake” for his televised award ceremony, after winning his school’s Save Our Fragile Planet essay contest, he begins taking doses of Weight Gain 4000. Well, at least the product came as advertised. By the end of the episode, Cartman has swelled to a massive size and is barely moveable. In his mind, though, the added pounds are simply muscle mass. Cartman does get the fame he wanted, though, as his obesity lands him on talk show Geraldo.

Cartman Weight Gain 4000

Thump – Aqua Teen Hunger Force

After being hospitalized for high blood pressure, Master Shake decides to get into shape. His method of doing this is to drink copious amounts of an illegal fitness beverage called Thump. The product’s flavour options – Mango Bitch Slap, Coconut What Did You Say To Me, and Blueberry Butt Rape – would have most people reconsider, but this is Master Shake we’re talking about. Of course, the muscles gained come to life and start a murderous rampage… just another day in South Jersey!

Powersauce – The Simpsons

Looking to shed his trademark spare tire, Homer Simpson turns to the Rainier Wolfcastle endorsed Powersauce bars to help with his efforts in the gym. Homer’s dedication to only eating foods in bar form led to him becoming the next spokesperson for Powersauce bars and their representative to scale the ominous Murderhorn Mountain. Homer ends up being successful in reaching the Murderhorn peak, but it is also learned that Powersauce bars are merely made from apple cores and Chinese newspapers.

Homer Powersauce Bars

Spinach – Popeye

Popeye has been using this “performance-enhancing substance” throughout his career, with Olive Oyl his enabler. Popeye simply grabs a can of spinach, pops it open and consumes the vegetable, leading to bulging muscles that get him through a number of dire situations. In the real world, spinach sales increased as a result of the character’s association with it. Ironically, spinach was chosen as Popeye’s supplement of choice, due to its iron content, which was later determined to be a miscalculation.

Venom – Batman

The supervillain Bane gains his massive physique by abusing this super steroid. The addictive formula must be constantly administered, directly to Bane’s brain, or else the user will suffer extreme withdrawal. The drug makes Bane so strong, that he is able to break Batman’s back and send him into temporary retirement. Of course, anytime his stream of Venom is disrupted, Bane becomes weak and easily defeated. After all, every antagonist has to have their Achilles’ heel.

Mixer Mania #18: Dirty Bastard

Dirty Bastard.JPG

  • 1 oz Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Chocolate Milk
  • Garnish with Maraschino Cherries

I don’t think I would take any of these enhancers. No, I’ll stick to the chocolate milk – preferably booze-fueled – thank you very much!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
The highlight of this martini might have been finally opening the bottle of Bailey’s Cherry Chocolate Irish Crème I’ve been holding onto for far too long. Despite all the booze that’s part of this recipe, the cocktail is fairly light and the flavours are quite cohesive.

Mixer Mania #6 – It Gives You Wings

Energy drinks have become such an integral part of popular culture that of course they would be spoofed on TV and in movies. Let’s take a look at some of the more famous fictional energy drinks:

Brawndo (Idiocracy)

Otherwise known as ‘the thirst mutilator’, this sports drink was being used to irrigate the crops of the United States, before the process actually started destroying farming yields and causing food shortages. Of course, this is about 500 years in the fictional future, so we have nothing to worry about… for now. Brawndo actually became a legit product for a time, although it was released years after the film, so they kind of missed the cross-promotion possibilities.

Blue Bronco (The Simpsons)

Appearing in a handful (at least for the four-fingered Springfielders) of episodes, this energy drink is most prominently featured when teacher Mrs. Krabappel is fired and replaced by hipster Zachary Vaughn. When Bart looks to get Mrs. Krabappel rehired, he plans to spike Zach’s Blue Bronco – which he refers to as “riding the indigo pony” – only to discover that the new educator already does this, ending with a booze-fuelled rant about hating the children, prior to his firing.

Booty Sweat (Tropic Thunder)

Endorsed by rapper-turned-actor Alpa Chino, Booty Sweat comes with the slogan “Pop An Ass Open”! As part of the marketing campaign for Tropic Thunder, Booty Sweat was actually released to the public. Not surprisingly, one of the most common places to find the product was at bookstores on college campuses. Throw in a few retail chains, such as Hot Topic and the cherry-flavoured energy booster became a short-term hit.

Tru Blood (True Blood)

While meant to keep vampires alive, without having to draw blood from humans, the ‘energy drink’ was also a key component in the final seasons of the HBO series, when Tru Blood stock was tainted with the dreaded Hep-V virus. This made it useless to vampires and drove them to need to feed on human plasma to stay alive… or at least not die for reals. Later, New Blood replaces Tru Blood as the next vampire nourishment supplement.

Butters’ Creamy Goo (South Park)

Wow… how to approach this entry without losing my blogger’s license. Okay, so to become better Sarcastaball players (don’t have enough word count to explain the sport), the young South Park kids begin ingesting Butters’ Creamy Goo, the newest ‘sports drink’ on the market. In the end, the adults discover that the product is actually just semen and as usual, Butters ends up grounded. Only in the quiet little mountain town that is South Park!

Mixer Mania #6: All Nighter

All Nighter.JPG

  • 1 oz Galliano
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Strawberry Liqueur
  • Top with Energy Drink
  • Garnish with an Orange Slice

I’ve never been much of an energy drink guy, only dabbling in them when mixing the odd drop shot or other alcoholic beverage. I don’t think I’ve ever had a serving that hasn’t been spiked in some manner and I don’t plan on bucking that trend anytime soon.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
When describing this drink to friends, I said that it sounded really neat… until you added the Energy Drink. But since I used the Tropical-flavoured version of Red Bull, it was pretty tasty. The entire concoction was on the lighter side, but the flavours were all really good.

Mixer Mania #2 – Orange Crush

As the Sip Advisor recently watched Rambo (aka First Blood Part II) the other day, I began thinking of other fictional Vietnam War veterans. Taking advantage of today’s feature mixer being orange juice and the involvement of Agent Orange in that war, here are some of the greatest fictional Vietnam vets:

John Rambo

Speaking of the former special forces soldier, Rambo was captured by North Vietnamese forces and held and tortured in a POW camp for months before escaping. The horrors of the war scarred Rambo and his return home didn’t go any better, given all the anti-war sentiment across the U.S. The second Rambo movie sees the character return to Vietnam to rescue some American prisoners of war and when things don’t go as planned, Rambo goes on a rampage until the mission is accomplished.

rambo-fly-in-room

Thomas Magnum

Flanked by his buddies and fellow veterans Rick and T.C. (both marines), Magnum fought in Vietnam as a Navy SEAL. After the war, Magnum gets hooked up with a pretty sweet gig, watching the Hawaiian home of wealthy friend/author Robin Masters. While situated there, Magnum takes a up a career as a private investigator, which placed him in a number of hairy situations (I intentionally use the word ‘hairy’ for all the shots we got of a shirtless Magnum, as he patrolled the beaches and waters of Hawaii).

Principal Skinner

Back when he was a punk teen, known as Armin Tamzarian, the future principal of Springfield Elementary was shipped off to Vietnam to fight as a Green Beret. There, he met Sgt. Seymour Skinner, who turned the angry orphan around. When the real Skinner was apparently killed in action, Tamzarian returned to Springfield to deliver the news to Skinner’s mother… only he couldn’t break her heart and ended up spending the rest of his life taking his mentor’s identity.

principal-skinner-no-future

The A-Team

Consisting of Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, Lt. Templeton “Face” Peck, Capt. H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock, and muscle Sgt. B.A. “Bad Attitude” Baracus, this special forces team is court-martialed for a crime they are falsely accused of committing and are forced to escape military prison. On the run, they become mercenaries, travelling the world, helping those they meet along the way. The show was turned into a feature film in 2010 and a rebooted TV series is in development.

Forrest Gump

A fair portion of Forrest Gump’s story plays out in the jungles of Vietnam, where Gump meets fellow recruit Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue and Lt. Dan Taylor, both of whom have a profound impact on his life. Gump and Lt. Dan eventually team up and enter the shrimping game, in honour of Bubba, who never made it home from the war. Their success eventually leads to both men being financially set for life, thanks to Lt. Dan investing in Apple, a small, but rising company at the time.

Mixer Mania #2: Blood and Sand

blood-and-sand

  • 0.75 oz Blended Scotch
  • 0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.75 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Honourable mentions go to Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver), Angus MacGyver (MacGyver), Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon), Tommy Vercetti (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City) and even Saved by the Bell’s Mr. Belding.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.25 Sips out of 5):
I thought I had created this classic cocktail some time ago, but a quick search revealed it was still on my liquor bucket list. I only wish I had made it earlier, as it’s a pretty good drink. I liked how there was some strength to the alcohol content, but not an overwhelming amount.

December 26 – Christmas Cheer

Better to Give

Christmas may have passed, but to keep in the spirit, let’s have one more look at some great gifts given, this time in TV history:

#5: iPod – The Office

Looking to impress young intern Ryan, Michael Scott totally disregards the $20 limit on Secret Santa gifts and instead buys a $400 iPod, setting off a trading war for the music player. The real great gift was what Jim had put together for Pam: a tea pot filled with mementos and a private letter (which he later withdrew). Across the pond, the U.K. Office also had a memorable gift exchange, when Tim gave Dawn an art set, encouraging her to “Never give up” on her dreams.

the office christmas

#4: Blank Cheque – Mary Tyler Moore Show

While it was simply an oversight, Mary Richards’ Christmas turned interesting when she received a blank cheque from boss, Lou Grant, as a gift. What would you do? Personally, I would bilk TV station WJM of every dime they had and then vanish into the night, never to be seen again, as I live the rest of my days in some tropical paradise with Mrs. Sip and an endless supply of booze. Mary, on the other hand, had to go and inform the gruff managing editor of his error.

#3: Leonard Nimoy’s Autograph – Big Bang Theory

Christmas shopping can be an awkward exercise, especially when finding a gift for someone you don’t know so well. Part of the issue is you don’t know what they might be getting you in return. Sheldon Cooper seemed to have that all figured out by buying his neighbour Penny bath baskets in varying sizes. When she surprises him with a signed napkin from his hero Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek’s Spock), he rushes to his room and gathers every basket he had assembled.

#2: Santa’s Little Helper – The Simpsons

Down on his luck after learning he will not receive a Christmas bonus and that his second job as a mall Santa didn’t pay out as he had hoped, Homer Simpson had no presents for his family. Fortune has a funny way of turning around at Christmas, though, and as Homer and Bart are picking through the discarded wagers outside the dog track, hoping to find a winning stub, out comes the dog they bet on, in need of a new family. This special was the start of The Simpsons long animated run.

#1: Lost Love Letters – A Garfield Christmas

There are some incredibly thoughtful gifts in this Christmas special. While Odie’s construction of a backscratcher for Garfield was incredibly cute, the lasagna-loving cat stole the holiday by unearthing lost love letters sent to Grandma Arbuckle by her late husband. The funny thing is that if this were ever to happen for Mrs. Sip in the very distant future, a tuna water-loving kitty would have to dig up all my old e-mails to her. Hopefully the cat has no issues remembering my password.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Christmas Cheer

Some might argue that the greatest gift from TV might be the now real holiday of Festivus, from the Seinfeld episode The Strike. If that’s how you prefer to celebrate, I hope your airing of grievances, feats of strength, and Festivus miracles are everything you ever wished for!

Flavour Revolution – Apricot

Cautious Cuisine

Despite the deliciousness, popularity, and versatility of apricots, it should be noted that the fruit’s pits (or kernels) are actually poisonous and can produce a form of cyanide. Here are some other foods that are alarmingly poisonous and potentially dangerous to your health:

Mushrooms

This one is too easy… I mean, come on, it’s defined as a fungus. That said, mushrooms can be many things, from delicious to deadly, healing to hallucinogenic. With regards to poisonous mushrooms, flat caps are a huge giveaway and toxic shrooms come with names such as death caps, destroying angels and dapperlings. Scarily, it is feared that many European mushrooms may be contaminated thanks to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

chances-with-mushroom

Nuts – Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts

Sure, many folks out there have severe allergies to nuts, particularly peanuts, but other types, when eaten raw, can be dangerous. Raw almonds, also known as bitter almonds, contain cyanide and can be fatal when consumed in large doses. Regardless, they are still sold in some stores, with risk being handed over to the customer to decide how cautious they want to be. Other countries have outright banned the nuts from being available.

Fruit – Apples, Cherries, Tomatoes

The seeds in apples and pits in cherry, contain cyanide. Cherries have resulted in other deaths non-edible deaths. Lucullus, a Roman general, committed suicide in 56BC, upon learning that he was running out of cherries, a crop he had introduced to Europe years before. Tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous by Europeans who didn’t trust the delicious fruit. It took some time for those fears to dissipate and now there’s only the odd salmonella outbreak.

Tuna

The issue with tuna, other than the facts that it smells horrible and doesn’t taste that great either (yes, this is solely according to the Sip Advisor), is that levels of mercury absorbed by the fish before it is caught and killed can be passed on to the consumer. This has given me pause for thought about how much the Sip Family kitties love getting served tuna water. Man, they love that stuff and go nuts whenever the can opener is used!

just-add-tuna

Potatoes

Potatoes are such an integral part of people’s diets that it’s a little scary how dangerous, albeit rare, their consumption can be. My first thought was that someone from the popcorn lobby made this accusation up to spoil the potato chip industry, but I have since learned the charges are true. Basically, what you have to watch out for is when a potato turns green, which if eaten, can result in weakness, coma, and even death.

Blowfish

Consuming blowfish (fugu) can be like playing a round of Russian roulette.  Unless prepared to perfection, it can be very poisonous. As a result, the emperor of Japan is barred from eating the fish, despite it being a cultural delicacy. One famous incident involved kabuki actor Bandō Mitsugorō VIII, who believed he could tolerate the poison… he was wrong. There is also an episode of The Simpsons where Homer eats Fugu and is told he only has 24 hours to live.

Flavour Revolution: Virgin’s Kiss

  • 1.25 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.5 oz Apricot Brandy
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with an Apricot Slice

This list could also include rhubarb, elderberry, raw meat and eggs, and even underprepared honey. I’ll stick to my artery-clogging potato chips , thank you very much, which will only get me in the long run!

December 19 – Dirty Christmas Tree

Christmas Cringe

Christmas is right around the corner and these are some of the gifts you wouldn’t want to find under your tree. In most cases, the thought is there, but the results just don’t pan out. Let’s see what will be sent to donation in the very near future:

#5: Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge – The Simpsons

All Bart wanted for Christmas was the violent video game Bonestorm, going so far as to steal a copy from the local Try-N-Save department store. Of course, he gets caught, breaking his mom’s heart. After making amends for ruining the family holiday photo, Marge says that she has found the perfect gift for Bart. When it’s video game-shaped, he quickly unwraps the package to reveal… Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge. It’s not what he wanted, but having his mom’s love again is all he really needs.

Bonestorm Games

#4: Old Radio Tapes – NewsRadio

While the rest of the WNYX staff receive sports cars – after complaining about their original gifts of repurposed baseball hats from station owner and eccentric billionaire Jimmy James – Matthew is left out, receiving only a set of Fibber McGee and Molly tapes. Not only does he miss out on a car because Mr. James tried to get personal gifts for the staff after his first misfire (before resorting to the expensive cars), but Matthew’s favourite old time radio show is Jack Benny.

#3: A Pebble – A Muppet Family Christmas

Don’t get me wrong, this Christmas special is beloved by the Sip Advisor and the entire Sip Kingdom, but a pebble as a present is a horrible idea. You can tell it’s bad because after the Fraggles give the rock to Robin the Frog (complete with song trying to justify why such an awful offering has occured), he quickly flips it, re-gift style, to Grover. I never really got the whole Fraggle Rock crew and am glad they spent most of this momentous Christmas celebration underground.

Fear and Loathing Fraggle Rock

#2: Frame and Hook – Mr. Bean

As Mr. Bean and his girlfriend are shopping for Christmas gifts, they walk by a jewellery store, where she drops hints that she’d like a ring. Of course, Mr. Bean completely gets the wrong message and thinks she wants the photo frame that sits nearby the jewellery. So, a frame and hook for that frame is what she receives, causing her to flee his apartment in tears. Mr. Bean does treat his stuffed bear better, though, replacing the button eyes Teddy was in need of.

#1: Coal – Rugrats

Okay, the bratty Angelica ends up getting exactly what she wants for Christmas (a Deluxe Cynthia Beach House), even after she has been a total terror… but Santa might have left a little something to strike some fear in the girl’s black heart, when opening the house’s garage door reveals some coal residue. I guess she did try to remedy all of her bad behaviour upon warning from Grandpa Lou about what wicked kids can expect from Santa as far as gifts go.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Dirty Christmas Tree

  • 0.25 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.25 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 0.25 oz Sour Mix
  • Drop of Grenadine

Researching these TV articles was not an easy task and so if I’ve missed any of the worst gifts given in small screen history, please let me know. Merry Christmas, my little sippers!