July 19 – Floater

All the Balls

After last week’s look at the best sports movies geared towards a family audience, it’s time to turn up the vulgarity and venture into the world of adult-oriented films… well, not those types of films, but the sports type for teens and adults. Here are the Top 5 grown up sports movies:

#5: Baseketball

From the creators of South Park (Trey Parker and Matt Stone), comes this farce about a world where sports superstars have become so overpaid and corporations dictate athletic competition. A universe where sportsmanship no longer exists and money is the root of all evil. Enter Cooper and Remer, who create a baseball-basketball-beer pong hybrid that eventually grows to become the next great sports phenomenon. Some of the team names from the movie are particularly clever, including the Dallas Felons, Miami Dealers, New Jersey Informants, and San Francisco Ferries (think about that one for a moment!).

baseketball

#4: DodgeBall

The underdog story of a ragtag group trying to save their gym (Average Joe’s), as they dodge, dip, dive, duck, and yes, dodge again versus the super-charged squad of Globo-Gym, which is looking to buy out the smaller competition. The entire cast is hilarious in this movie (particularly, my boy Stephen Root) and the surprise cameos from some judges of the competitions are great as well. A sequel to the movie is in the works and both Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller are expected to reprise their roles. Hopefully they remember that if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!

#3: Happy Gilmore

Adam Sandler kept his string of 90’s hit movies going with this entry. The film sees aspiring hockey star – despite his awful skillset – jump into the world of professional golf, when he’s discovered by a one-handed golf course pro. Things become more serious for Gilmore when his grandma’s house is to be taken away and the only way to get it back is Gilmore’s success on the PGA Tour. In my opinion, along with the success of Tiger Woods, the popularity of this film launched a whole new generation of golf players and fans. Gilmore’s brawl with The Price is Right host, Bob Barker, is one of the best cameo scenes in movie history.

Happy Gilmore

#2: Caddyshack

Times are changing at the Bushwood Country Club, as a new wave of members enter the fray, disrupting the once peaceful and pristine society. Bill Murray steals the show as groundskeeper Carl Spackler, particularly his improvised scene describing the Cinderella story of a hard luck golfer at Augusta, while teeing off on some of the club’s flowers. Others, such as Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight are perfect in their roles as combative members. It’s too bad that the sequel couldn’t live up to the original, but it’s still an okay romp. I especially enjoy it when the course is given miniature golf elements.

#1: Slap Shot

There are so many quotable lines in this classic. Paul Newman is awesome as the Charlestown Chief’s player-coach, Reggie Dunlop, and with other oddballs like the ultraviolent Hanson Brothers joining the squad, there’s plenty of characters to appreciate and enjoy. Many of the roles were based on real-life players. As a young kid growing up in hockey-mad Canada, this film was like a rite of passage, especially given its adult elements. I can’t say much for the two sequels that have come out in more recent years, but everyone out there, hockey fan or not, should give the original a viewing.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Floater

Floater Shot

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Scoop of Peanut Butter
  • Dash of Chocolate Syrup

Who would have thought that two golf-themed films would crack this list? Even more surprising, not a single Will Ferrell sports movie made the Top 5… and I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan. Lastly, while they are made-for-TV documentaries, the Sip Advisor encourages everyone out there to check out ESPN’s 30-for-30 series and get your learn on!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
All I have to say about this shot is, think about the pool scene in Caddyshack… disgusting, indeed! You’re also supposed to garnish with shot with Corn, but I just couldn’t make that graphic leap. Given the shooter is straight vodka, it’s strong, but the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sauce tame it a little… just not enough.

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December 24 – White Christmas Dream

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

When it comes to Christmas Eve traditions, I’m sticking to the sweet things in life. None of this going to church crap or fasting and depriving yourself of all the wonderful things this world has to offer. I’m talking stuffing your face with food, watching great entertainment, and drinking yourself into a delightful Christmas coma. Here’s what we should all be up to that night:

Eating Right

By eating right, I of course mean eating wrong. If you haven’t polished off something deep-fried and greasy or chocolate covered before the evening is through, then there is something seriously and inherently wrong with you. Mrs. Sip and I have enjoyed meals out the last few years, gorging ourselves on lobster, beef, beer, and wine. Others might order out and let others do their cooking. It’s a fantastic idea and will keep you sane through the crazy holidays!

Not Even a Mouse

Hey, we all have to eat, right!?

Viewing Party

The perfect combo, as you enjoy your gloriously fattening meal is to thrown on some of the movie, special, and TV show favourites I’ve pointed out throughout this month. Make sure snacks are thoroughly stocked throughout the house, including the bathroom. You never know when you’ll be stuck in there for a prolonged period of time and it’s always recommended that you keep feeding the beast, rather than starve it.

Deck the Halls

If you’ve chosen to take this time and do a little last minute decorating, first, shame on you, and second, put all that crap down and relax. It’s too late anyway and all you’ll end up doing is un-decorating on Boxing Day. Take my advice and simply wait for next year. You’ll be happier, but perhaps not healthier.

The Good Book

This may be the only time I ever advocate for the act of reading, but some should probably be done Christmas Eve, especially if you have young ones roaming your halls. Of course, The Night Before Christmas is the perfect tome to share aloud. There has to even be recorded copies of the classic, so I don’t have to actually doing any reading myself!

Last Minute Wrapping

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

I prefer to not open gifts on Christmas Eve (not even one) in favour of saving them all for a grand Christmas morning melee. If you’re one of those poor suckers still tracking down gifts on the day before Christmas, let me enjoy a thorough laugh at your expense. Make sure to get a treat for your pets, as well, as it’s amazing to watch kitties get lit up on catnip and chase little toys among the discarded wrapping paper!

Getting Blitzened

Not surprisingly, the Sip Advisor doesn’t view Christmas Eve as any less of an evening to get your drink on. There’s nothing like burning out your own bulb and passing out in front of the TV before a long winter’s nap. If you have to do any driving Christmas Eve, this of course isn’t achievable. The second you arrive at your final stop, however, you better do everything you can to get into the Christmas spirit, whether that’s shot-gunning a few brews or challenging your loved ones to a shooter challenge.

Leaving Something Out

Before heading to bed tonight, make sure to leave out a little sumpin’ sumpin’ for Santa Claus and his team. For the reindeer, a helping of carrots will keep their vision strong throughout the night, while jolly ol’ St. Nick can keep his energy level up with cookies and milk. Let’s just hope the guy isn’t lactose intolerant. Finally, make sure to leave a little cheese for Santa Mouse, the littlest helper of the bunch!

Drink #358: White Christmas Dream

White Christmas Dream Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Vodka (I used Smores)
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with Chocolate Sprinkles and a Wafer Stick

I wish all you little sippers a very merry Christmas. May you each get everything you wanted and more. As for myself, providing Mrs. Sip ends up wearing only tinsel, I’ll be the merriest of us all!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I suppose I went against the whole “White Christmas” theme by adding Chocolate Sprinkles and the Wafer Stick, but all white snowfalls eventually turn a little dirty. The drink tasted really good and wasn’t overly sweet or anything like that.

December 3 – Chocolate Peppermintini

Christmas Classics

Especially given it’s the winter months and the weather outside is frightful, it’s nice to snuggle up and watch a bevy of classic Christmas films. What should you include in your movie marathon? Ask and you shall receive. Here are my favourite Christmas flicks!

It’s a Wonderful Life

I absolutely adore this classic. And when you think about it, many of us might have never viewed the tale that has been copied and parodied so many times. It was never intended to be a “Christmas movie”, but that’s what it became. Jimmy Stewart is amazing throughout the movie (no surprise there, as the dude is actually an American hero) and his portrayal of George Bailey, who is too often in the wrong place at the wrong time, is one of the most treasured characters in cinema history.

Elf

The story of Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell at his usual level of crazy!) searching out his father and integrating into the fast-paced world of New York City is a fun movie to get into the swing of things during the holidays. Buddy has to work hard to get the hardened folks of New York City, as well as the rest of the world to find their Christmas spirit, which powers Santa’s sleigh, of course. The film, which has material both kids and parents alike can enjoy, has even led to a Broadway musical.

Bad Santa

If you’ve been following this site for any period of time, you knew that a raunchier film was going to come up at some point… here it is! Billy Bob Thornton plays Willie T. Stokes, an alcoholic womanizer who roams from town to town as a mall Santa, staking out his place of occupation in order to rob the store before moving on to the next score. Things are different this time when he falls for a woman and a loner kid and decides to eventually change his ways.

A Christmas Carol/Scrooge

It’s hard to pick a version that is best to view, but my favourites include The Muppet version (no surprise there) and probably the edition with Alastair Sim playing the cranky curmudgeon. Like It’s a Wonderful Life, this is another Christmas tale that has been parodied constantly, as Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, warning him that if he doesn’t change his ways, many will be affected and no one will care when his time on the earth is done.

Scrooge

Home Alone

While I’d caution folks who wish to view any of the movies past Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the first two entries are cinematic gems. As a kid, you only wanted to see the last segments of the films, where plucky Kevin McCallister sends burglars Harry and Marv (The Wet Bandits) through his nightmarish house of horrors, but with age and wisdom, I’ve come to realize the movies are much more than that. They include a lot of wonderful Christmas imagery and are perfect holiday romps.

A Christmas Story

This movie is a family favourite around the Sip Advisor offices. The story sees young Ralphie embark on a quest to receive a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. He runs into obstacles at every corner from his teacher giving him a poor grade on his essay on what he wants for Christmas to Santa Claus himself (a mall Santa that is) telling him he’ll shoot his eye out… and he nearly does in the end. TV network TBS has been known to broadcast the movie in a 24-hour cycle on Christmas day, so if you haven’t seen it yet, shame on you!

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

What a treasure this movie is. From Cousin Eddie’s antics to the misadventures of the hapless Clark Griswold, there are so many laughs in this film. Clark is looking to provide his family the perfect Christmas experience, much like the ones he enjoyed as a youngster. That all goes awry as the holiday becomes more of a nightmare with each incident, underscored by Clark’s uncertainty of whether his Christmas bonus will arrive and allow him to build a swimming pool for his clan.

shitter-was-full

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Some people crap on this flick, but I think it’s quite enjoyable. Thanks to the longer running time, not afforded to the cartoon special classic, we get a better understanding of why the Grinch hates Christmas and all the Who’s down in Whoville. Jim Carrey was the perfect choice to play the ‘mean one’ whose heart grew three times that day. This movie ushered in the chain of Dr. Suess stories to be adapted for feature films; some good, some bad… this is one of the good ones.

Die Hard & Die Hard 2: Die Harder

I’m a little disappointed that this series abandoned the Christmas time setting after the first two releases. This is for the action fan out there that wants only a sprinkle of the Christmas spirit in their movies. The first film begins with an office Christmas party that is invaded by terrorists while the sequel is set in an airport, as hero John McClane is waiting for his wife to arrive home for the holidays. Both movies are filled with shootouts, creative kills, and catchphrases galore!

Love, Actually

If you’re looking for a little more romance with your Christmas movie fare, give this film a try. It’s one of those “separate stories that all come together at the end” ensemble cast dealies, but it’s very good… even if Hugh Grant is a featured actor… a Prime Minister, no less. Set in Britain during the lead up to Christmas, the film sets out to prove that “Love, actually is all around us” and they hit the nail on the head through the interweaving narratives.

Drink #337: Chocolate Peppermintini

Chocolate Pepperminti Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Christmas Sprinkles
  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Smores)
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Liqueur
  • Top with Milk

What are your favourite Christmas movie viewings? I’m always looking to add to my annual “To Watch” list, so send those ideas in!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
While not a bad drink, Mrs. Sip didn’t like how sweet it was. I enjoyed its booziness and flavours (I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate and mint together!), although using the Smores Vodka might have altered the taste and a plain Vodka may have been bettered suited for the recipe.

October 4 – Campfire Martini

It Ain’t So Bad

Now that we’ve nestled into the cooler months of the year, it’s nice to bring out a drink like this and reminisce about the summer gone by. Fall and winter aren’t all that bad, though. You just have to find ways to deal with the change. Here are my favourite ways to spend the “indoor” months!:

Get Caught Up on TV

Gone are the days of playing outdoors, but that’s not necessarily a horrible thing. Now we get to snuggle up under warm blankies and watch all the TV we neglected over the summer. Mrs. Sip and I have so many shows, past and present, to get up to speed on. Among them: Sons of Anarchy and Venture Bros. Plus, there’s also all the returning shows that we watch regularly: Walking Dead, Community, Big Bang Theory, Parks and Rec, etc.

Homer Watching TV

Movie Marathon

In a similar vein to our TV habits, movie marathons are much easier to do without the sun enticing you to come outside and play. There were some pretty good flicks that came out over the summer that should be released to homes soon and there’s a lot of stuff to get caught up on from the past that you hear about over time. At least in my own theatre, I can eat all the potato chips I want and can suppress the enjoyment of popcorn.

Vacation to Tropical Locales

I don’t fully understand the need to go on vacation during your own summer. Why would you leave your home when it finally gets to the point where it’s worth living in? I like to save my vacation time for when the weather is garbage (raining buckets or freezing you to the core) and getting the eff out of dodge. Nothing can fend off those winter blues better than leaving winter far behind, in favour of sunny beaches, warm breezes, and poolside bars, if you can throw that in, too!

Tropical Vacation Photos

Winter Sports

From a simple ice skating session to more extraneous activities like skiing, snowboarding, and hockey, there’s much to do in the darker half of the year. I find the winter is a perfect time to mold your body back into shape as the desire to be anywhere other than the gym is lessened. If you’re a weightlifter, as I often purport to be, you’re also not sweating buckets in a stuffy gym, thanks to the cooler temperatures.

Picnic by the Fire

A favourite pastime for Mrs. Sip and I is to grab enough food for a King’s feast, turn up the fireplace, and spend an evening sans electronic distractions and clothing (if I can convince the missus!). Regardless of wardrobe choices, it can provide the perfect romantic setting for catching up with your best friend, sharing a few dozen laughs (I’m a pretty funny guy, after all), and forgetting all about the bitter cold that’s brewing outside!

Drink #277: Campfire Martini

Campfire Martini Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1.5 oz Smores Vodka (I used Three Olives)
  • Top with Milk
  • Splash of Chocolate Syrup
  • Garnish with a Toasted Marshmallow

What’s your best strategy for fighting off old man winter? I’m always looking to learn new techniques to enhance my all-round godness!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was delicious. A wonderful dessert martini that Mrs. Sip and myself couldn’t get enough of. The Graham Cracker Crumb rim works out better than most other rims. Creating the Toasted Marshmallow without the availability of a campfire was interesting… I had to use a small candle and hope for the best!