Australia – Stormy Weather

Criminal Crunch

Not many countries start off as another nation’s penal colony. Australia is by far the most recognized of these lands and somehow, the British castoffs sent there turned Australia into one of the most wonderful places in the world to visit, live, and love. Let’s take a look at some of the more notable convicts to be shipped down under and how they helped build the great nation of Australia:

Australia Cell Blocks

William Bland

While I believe government to be largely useless, it is a necessary evil when building a new society. Bland was a former naval surgeon who found himself in Australia because he killed a man in a duel… seems like a fair and completely reasonable way to settle an argument. Bland eventually held a seat in Australia’s legislative assembly, an early example of government criminality.

William Henry Groom

Groom followed a path similar to Bland, going from prisoner to member of the inaugural Australian Parliament. I guess you can’t fault a penal colony for having members of its government being former convicts. Sadly, Groom died shortly after his appointment and never got to fully enjoy the perks of being an elected official (money, power, drugs… the Rob Ford special!).

James Squire

Now, here’s a guy who deserves massive recognition for his contributions to early Australia society. Squire was one of the original convicts to come over to Australia and being first was a recurrent theme for him. He later became the country’s first brewer and brands like Tooheys and Victoria Bitter have him to thank their legacy. Showing the importance of alcohol in any society, Squire’s death in 1822 spawned the biggest funeral held in the colony days.

VB Kangaroo

Jørgen Jørgensen

Not many folks can claim to be the ruler of Iceland, but Jørgensen was one of those peeps. He arrested the Danish Governor (almost as bad as The Walking Dead’s Governor), with intentions of giving Iceland their freedom, but that was squashed by Denmark. The eccentric adventurer, as Jørgensen’s been described, was a spy for a spell for the UK, translating documents and working throughout France and Germany. He wound up a convict in Australia and upon his release explored Tasmania.

William Chopin

This fella kind of went full circle, as he flourished working in a prison hospital and went into chemistry after receiving his ticket of leave. Unfotunately, his skills as a chemist landed him back in jail later, as he went into the illegal abortion business. He was the ‘chemist gone bad’ centuries before Breaking Bad ever aired.

John Kelly

Sometimes it takes a generation to make your mark on society, as is the case for John Kelly, whose son Ned gained notoriety as a Robin Hood-type folk hero, battling the establishment with his band of not-so-merry men (colloquially referred to as Kelly’s gang, but that’s such a harsh term) and becoming an outlaw in the process. Ned Kelly was later executed for his crimes, but his legend has grown thanks to movies starring Mick Jagger and Heath Ledger. He’s even featured on an Irish stamp.

Ned Kelly

John Davies

As a writer, I believe information (as well as entertainment) is essential in getting a nation rolling. After his release from prison, Davies co-founded The Mercury newspaper in 1854. The daily publication, servicing Hobart, Tasmania, still exists to this day. The company remained in the Davies family until 1988 when it was taken over by what is now News Corp Australia.

James Ruse

Without food, we’re all screwed… well, except perhaps Ghandi. Anyway, Ruse was responsible for the first successful wheat harvest in New South Wales (where the first convict ships landed to settle). Today, an Agricultural High School (the Aussies really push you to choose your career path early) is named after him and students spend their days riding tractors and shucking corn.

Henry Kable

While the world is always becoming more litigious, to have dropped the first lawsuit on a nation is quite the feat. Kable’s civil suit was over a parcel of goods to be given to he and his wife upon arrival at the Australian penal colony, but it was stolen en route. Kable successfully sued the ship’s captain for £15, even more impressive given prisoners were considered dead by law at the time and had no rights. It’s no surprise then, that Kable later became a wealthy businessman, probably turning his legal windfall into a fortune.

Lawsuit

Robert Sidaway

What is a society without entertainment? Sidaway opened Australia’s first theatre (and we’re not talking about one of those talking pictures types), in Sydney, in 1796. Back then, you could pay for seats using money, flour, meat, or alcohol. If alcohol was a currency nowadays, I’d be filthy rich (instead of just filthy!). The theatre featured performances of Shakespearean and other English works, but was shut down by authorities in 1800, as it was deemed a corrupting influence.

Mary Wade

Wade was the youngest female convict shipped away, leaving the UK for Australia at only 11 years old. By the time she passed away at age 82, she had 21 children and more than 300 descendants, leaving a family tree that now adds up to tens of thousands and includes former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Now that, my little sippers, is a legacy.

Australia: Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Shiraz/Syrah Wine
  • 1.5 oz Dark Rum
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Float Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with a Strawberry Slice and Raspberry

Coming from a lineage of scoundrels and miscreants, that explains the likes of Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe, but not Steve Irwin, Crocodile Dundee, and others of that ilk. Australia, forever mystifying outside observers with their citizen’s contrasting personality traits… I think I just came up with a new tagline for the country!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Another good Shiraz/Syrah cocktail has me really enjoying the Little Penguin Wine. The Ginger Ale was solid, as usual, and of particular pleasure was the Appleton Rum I used. You could get a hint of it with each sip and it was an absolutely delicious touch to the rest of the recipe.

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November 14 – Breaking Bad

Regretful Decisions

Recently, I did a series of articles about actors that probably regretted movie roles they had turned down. Today, I embark on a similar series, but change the medium. We’re looking at TV characters that have been passed up on… usually for the better!

Paul Giamatti as Michael Scott (The Office)

The iconic role that made Steve Carell a household name and launched his movie career could have gone to someone else. Paul Giamatti turned down the U.S.-version of David Brent and focused on his movie career. A few others were reportedly considered for the role, including Hank Azaria, Martin Short, Bob Odenkirk, and even Rainn Wilson, who ended up as the best possible Dwight Schrute imaginable.

giamatti-scott

Pamela Anderson as Dana Scully (X-Files)

The show would have been much less sci-fi and a little more parody had this poor choice actually happened. I’m not a fan, but the X-Files staff made a great move by going in another direction. You can also bet that if Anderson had taken the roll, there would have been more slow-motion running scenes and the skimpiest outfits possible for a paranormal investigator!

John Cusack/Matthew Broderick as Walter White (Breaking Bad)

I’m a huge Bryan Cranston fan, long before he became a meth-making, cancer-surviving maniac. I even heard one joke that Walter White is Cranston’s character on Malcolm in the Middle after he goes into hiding! Getting back on track, apparently both Cusack and Broderick turned down the role, leaving the door wide open for Cranston. I can kind of see Cusack doing an okay job, but Broderick would have been a long shot to make this work.

Katie Holmes as Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Good lord I hate this show with a vehement passion. The story goes that Holmes passed on Buffy in order to finish high school (a commendable action), before she joined the cast of Dawson’s Creek the next year (an uncommendable action). Sarah Michelle Gellar had originally auditioned for the role on Cordelia, but thankfully the domino effect introduced the world to Charisma Carpenter, who later posed for Playboy and that’s all that really matters!

holmes-buffy

Ryan Reynolds and Xander Harris (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Speaking of that which shall not be named, my alma mater homey (The Green Lantern and I attended the same college) saw the writing on the wall and passed on this nerd-captivating show. He has since gone on to become a Hollywood heartthrob, while Nicholas Brendon has gone on to do a variety of work, but nothing near the level of his Xander Harris (the one character I didn’t mind on the show) fame.

John Hawkes as The Governor (The Walking Dead)

I’m not familiar with who John Hawkes actually is (he actually played a few roles you know, you jackass), but I find his reasoning to be sound. He refused the role of The Governor, as he thought someone else could do the character better. Enter David Morrissey, who has provided the character a hauntingly authoritative aura in his battles with Rick Grimes and the other survivors.

Paul Shaffer as George Costanza (Seinfeld)

I can’t imagine anyone other than Jason Alexander portraying Costanza: Lord of the Idiots. Shaffer, best known as David Letterman’s band leader, was left a message from Jerry Seinfled, offering him the role if he wanted it, but due to his other commitments, Shaffer never even returned the call. I just don’t think the show would have been very good without Alexander in the role of Jerry’s best friend.

Drink #318: Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Blue Salt/Rock Candy
  • 2 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedges

What will tomorrow’s sequel list hold? Wouldn’t you like to know? And for a small fee, I’ll tell you. Hey, gotta support this project somehow!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I don’t have any major complaints about this cocktail, but it didn’t measure up to many of the drinks I’ve been making recently. I’m glad the Blue Candy Powder rim worked out as it helped with the Breaking Bad crystal meth theme. Tequila and Lemonade are a good combo, so give it a chance sometime.

July 29 – Bloody Roadrunner

Crime & Punishment

Throughout history, we have been introduced to many evil characters (real and fictional). Some of these folks have paid greatly for their misdeeds, but some have not received their comeuppance. Here are a few most people would like to see get theirs:

The Roadrunner – Looney Tunes

This drink’s namesake has always gotten the best of Wile E. Coyote, which saddens me because I’m a staunch supporter of the coyote. Granted, it’s funny to see the poor guy constantly falling off cliffs and having massive desert rocks crush him, but I know we’d all love to see The Roadrunner get caught and turned into Roadrunner Stew. Beep, beep that you little bastard!

Tweety Bird – Looney Tunes

Similar to The Roadrunner, Tweety Bird is the bane of Sylvester the Cat’s existence. Poor Sylvester just can’t seem to catch that bird and the end result is another smattering of Band-Aids to heal all of Sylvester’s wounds. My feline sidekick Furious B. (aka Bam Bam… that’s right, my cat is so epic he has two names) is a bird catching expert, often leaving little presents for Ma and Pa Sip. Perhaps he could lend some advice to Sylvester and together they could eradicate the bird population.

Joffrey Baratheon – Game of Thrones

I’m sure it’s eventually coming, but I can’t wait to see this little brat get knocked down a few thousand pegs. Hell, throw in his mother and grandfather and let them all get treated to some revenge best served cold. It will be a complete pleasure to see this little psychopath meet his maker. The only question is, who will be the one to get to him? There’s already a long and growing list of potential vindicators!

JoffreyBaratheonPracticeTarget

Wrestling Heel – All Promotions

The history of professional wrestling has been filled with dastardly bad guys, who cheat and coward their way to the top. All you want to see is them get locked in a steel cage and get their ass handed to them on a silver platter, courtesy of the heroic good guy who just can’t take the injustice anymore. Some of the best in history include Triple H, Ric Flair, Edge, Ted DiBiase, and even WWE chairman Vince McMahon.

Brad Marchand – Boston Bruins

While I don’t wish anything bad on most hockey players, there is one I wouldn’t mind hearing had post-concussion issues and that is the reigning rat king of the NHL, Brad Marchand. He is a talented player, but he’s also dirty and much like the rest of his team, gets away with more than most players are able to. The way he repeatedly punched Daniel Sedin during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals – and got away with it – was disgusting.

Brad Marchand

The Governor – The Walking Dead

While The Governor has suffered his own share of tragedy, much like the rest of the survivors in AMC’s Zombie infested world, his sneaky, vile behavior begs that he receives even more misfortune. And you can bet Rick and company will deliver. All we have to do is wait for Season 4 to kick-off and revenge plans should be in motion. Sadly, The Governor’s remaining troops might eliminate a few more of the good guys before it’s all said and done.

Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

This evil woman is the domineering presence reigning over the mental institution in which Randle McMurphy finds himself sent to. Nurse Ratched is responsible for the lobotomy of McMurphy, which renders him useless, after he continued to defy her authority despite shock therapy and other punishments. Granted McMurphy nearly choked Ratched to death (after she caused the suicide of a young, frightened patient) and caused her injury to her neck and vocal cord, but she never truly faces retribution for her abuse of power and patients.

Drink #210: Bloody Roadrunner

Bloody Roadrunner Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Southern Comfort
  • Top with half Sports Drink and half Fruit Punch
  • Garnish with Raspberries

Unfortunately, we may never see some of these people get their comeuppance. We are allowed to dream, however, and dream we shall!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is a tasty cocktail, but could use something in the form of bubbles to give it a little more zest. Otherwise, it goes down a little too easy like juice or iced tea.

February 21 – Rainbow Orgy

Open Bar

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot… concerned? You should be. As a result of this blog, I always have to be thinking about things to write about on a daily basis. Well today my brain wants a bit of a vacation and I’ve just let my thoughts drift and mingle (becoming an orgy of thoughts, if you will… see how I tied that all into today’s drink!). My thoughts are very skewed – random even – and tangents are easy to go off on. So, as Dr. Dre once rapped, “Journey with me into the mind of a maniac”…

1) All the best vices are often portrayed as women (hmmm, what does that say?). Alcohol is no exception and in fact many liquors have stripper/porn star names (it’s true, I did very in-depth and personal research to come to this conclusion): Tangueray, Bombay Sapphire (ooohhhh, exotic), Kahlua, Tia Maria, Amaretto, Cherry Liqueur (think about this one!), Peach Schnapps, Margarita… and the list goes on and on… the result of mixing a few of these ladies together in a shot glass is usually something really dirty (Porn Star, Slippery Nipple, Silk Panties with Lace, and Cum Shot, to name a few).

Pole Dancing

2) Why are women so opposed to deep fried food, but absolutely love fondue?

3) I wonder if any astronauts have ever got down with their bad self in space? Talk about a thousand mile-high club.

4) Is there anything sadder than a closed liquor store? Anything!?!? I think not.

Closed Liquor Store

5) How come every time a new black character is introduced in The Walking Dead, another one has to (spoiler alert) die? Is it that they are tagging out or is there some secret AMC contract about how many African American’s are allowed to appear in any one show at a time? You would think Mad Men would then balance everything out since apparently according to the show only white scotch drinkers existed in the 1950’s.

6) Why are “World Energy Conservation Days” and “World No Gadget Days” promoted so heavily on social media sites… and usually by the people who are online the most? Maybe if they scaled back their post and tweet output, the need for these days would lessen.

7) I really want to order the new 40-piece Chicken McNugget meal McDonalds’ restaurants in the U.S. are advertising lately. Then I want to see how many sauce packs it takes to get through the whole lot. Just one of my very deep thoughts that I wanted to pass along.

Alrighty, I’ve taken up enough of your time. Here’s what you all came here for: today’s delicious drink!

Drink #52: Rainbow Orgy

Rainbow Orgy Cocktail

  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 1 oz Crème de Bananes
  • Top with half Orange Juice, half Brisk Strawberry-Melon
  • Garnish with Melon Liqueur-filled Strawberry

Like an amalgamation of my thoughts, this drink comes together quite nicely. The Crème de Bananes and Melon Liqueur mix very well with all the other ingredients and a drink you’d expect to be super sweet isn’t at all. I personally garnished the drink with a hollowed out strawberry that contained another shot of Melon Liqueur, but results may vary.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The colouring of the drink is pretty wicked and the taste wasn’t bad. This is another cocktail that could have benefitted from some fizz and perhaps a splash of Lemon-Lime Soda would have done the trick. I don’t know if I’d do a liquor-filled strawberry again, as it got a little sticky and messy.