Flavour Revolution – Bubble Gum

Chewy Commemorations

Bubble gum always gets me feeling a little nostalgic. I really don’t chew it anymore and even if I do, it’s of the adult-flavoured un-fun variety. Let’s look back at some of the best brands from back in the day:

Dubble Bubble

Do you remember how amazing it was to stick your head in the Dubble Bubble 500-piece bucket and inhale!? What the company never told people is that that experience probably gave youth their very first high! I remember one time when I was young and dumb (as opposed to my current status of older and still dumb) and we were eating so much of the gum that I actually got a chewing headache. We were making gum sandwiches – a piece of gum, wrapped by two other pieces of gum – and popping the stuff like it was the last of its kind. In our frenzy, we didn’t even bother reading those amazing comics attached to the candy… yes, that was sarcasm!

Dubble Bubble Basketball

Big League Chew

The gateway gum to chewing tobacco! In actuality, it was a baseball player (minor leaguer Rob Nelson) that came up with the product, hoping to provide teammates with an option to nasty and health-hazardous chaw. He may not have ever hit the pros, but Nelson should be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame for his invention. The flavour names for Big League Chew were pretty creative. You had stuff like Outta Here Original, Ground Ball Grape, Curveball Cotton Candy, Slammin’ Strawberry, Swingin’ Sour Apple, and Wild Pitch Watermelon, all to go along with the baseball theme.

Thrills

I have never been able to explain my affinity for this gum. I mean, who really wants to put something in their mouth that tastes like soap? That’s supposed to be a punishment for swearing! Yet, I will happily pick up a pack of Thrills when I can find one. And the company is proud of the flavour – described as floral rosewater – branding its packaging with the slogan: “It still tastes like soap!”

Bubble Tape/Bubble Jug

These two unique delivery devices changed the bubble gum game and shook the industry to its core… okay, that may be a little overdramatic, but the products definitely put a new spin on how kids enjoyed their chewing. Bubble Tape was like having a six-foot tape measure that you could eat. There was even a mega roll, measuring 10 feet of chewing pleasure. As for Bubble Jug, I never could figure out their formula (I’m no Walter White… and that’s probably a good thing!), but somehow this fine powder would turn into a wad of bubble gum. Sure, the container sent the odd (and perhaps dangerous) message that you could consume what was in a laundry detergent-looking bottle, but whateves.

Bubble Tape

Card Pack Gum

How cool was it to not only get a pack of cards (sports, TV shows, movies, bands, otherwise), but also receive a little bonus treat with your collectable memorabilia? Depending on how old the pack of cards was, you were in for a stiff chewing experience! I bet someone out there chipped a tooth on this stuff at some point. For those that still have unopened packs of Topps, O-Pee-Chee, Bowman, Fleer, etc. for collecting purposes, that gum has to be at least four decades old, likely made with materials that are now banned by food and drug administrations. Now, that sounds like a fun experiment in stupidty!

Hubba Bubba

You could blow some pretty massive bubbles with these soft-chew pieces… and thanks to being less sticky than other varieties, folks didn’t have to worry about getting the gum stuck all over their face, hair, or worse. What that “worse” could be is totally up to your imagination. Perhaps the best thing about Hubba Bubba products was their overwhelming flavours, which actually lasted quite long and smelled great, even while still wrapped up.

Flavour Revolution: Purple Chew

Purple Chew Martini

Some chewable mentions go to Chiclets, Gold Nuggets, Fruit Stripe, GatorGum (the gum for athletes), and Blow Pops. Thank god there’s now a bubble gum-flavoured vodka, allowing us all to go back to our childhoods and chewing memories. At least with this version, we’re able to swallow the gum and not worry about it staying in our stomachs for years!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This recipe calls for the Three Olives Purple Vodka (grape flavoured), but since I didn’t have it on hand and really wanted to take a crack at the cocktail, I went with Grape Soda instead. This is actually the first time I have ever used Grape Soda on this site! The drink came together pretty well with a nice mixture of bubble gum and grape… likely exactly what they were going for!

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May 19 – Kamikaze

Voducation

It’s the start of Vodka Week here at The Sip and as we’ve done in the past, day one is all about educating ourselves. I will play the role of teacher and as per usual, you my little sippers will be my eager pupils, taking in the breadth of my knowledge (or at least what I could scour from the internet). There will be a test at the end, so please pay attention. Ah, what do I care, let’s go through the motions of the lesson plan and get drunk!

drinking-vodka-in-commercials-vs-real-life

Northern, Eastern and Central Europe – Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Scandinavian countries, Latvia, Lithuania, etc. – is known as the Vodka Belt because these countries are the historic home of the spirit as well as the area where it is most consumed worldwide.  Sure beats living in America’s Bible Belt! Imagine you could actually have a belt that was filled with vodka and had an extendable straw you could pull out to access the alcohol… I call dibs on the franchising rights. Lucky for me, I’m on my way to many of these countries at the moment during a Scandinavian cruise! (I see lots of vodka in my foreseeable future!)

Vodka gets its name from the Russian word ‘voda’, which translates to mean water. I have it on good authority that Russians actually drink vodka like IT IS water and are practically raised on the stuff. That’s pretty badass, as they’re running around with mickeys as bottles, while us North Americans are deciding how much Nesquik to put in our milk.

vodka_water

Vodka is considered to be the purest alcohol in the world thanks to its distillation process and lack of fusel oils.

While vodka can be blamed for too numerous injuries and deaths to count, the libation can also have many positive medical effects. It is known to keep arteries strong and clear, while also keeping drinkers cholesterol down. It can also be used to heal cold sores and fever and stave off strokes, heart attacks and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Before 1885, vodka was only sold in buckets of12.3 litres at a time. You could bathe in that much booze and apparently in Poland they did, as vodka was originally scented and used as after shave. Could this be why Mrs. Sip’s legs smell so good? She is part Polish, after all!

Super-Size-McVodka

Vodka has a ton of other uses, such as being a disinfectant that is strong enough to clean bathrooms. I find this to be a two-fold problem. First, who has the money to overpay on cleaning products and second, that’s just a lot of wasted liquor. In a pinch, though, if you have company coming over and have used your entire budget on entertainment goods, I guess you could pull off the clean sweep using vodka. As early as the 15th century, the liquor was even used in gunpowder manufacturing by Sweden.

There are actually Vodka museums in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Stockholm, and Amsterdam.

Today, nearly anything you can think of has been turned into a flavoured vodka. There’s bacon, smoked salmon, Froot Loop, cupcake, marshmallow, and the list is endless. Companies like Smirnoff, Absolut, Three Olives, and Pinnacle have the flavoured vodka market cornered, but even top shelf spirits like Grey Goose and Van Gogh have delved into the exotic vodka flavours.

Drink #139: Kamikaze

May 19

So, let’s get into our best Vodka Belt mood and party ‘til the sun comes up! And what if it’s that time of year where the sun never comes up, you ask? Then you better have some longevity when it comes to your boozing!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I like that this is a vodka version of a margarita. I took the shot recipe and turned it into a delicious, refreshing drink, perfect for summer. The Cherry Lemonade Vodka was a nice touch, with Cherry flavour coming through in the aftertaste.

January 30 – Firestone

Yuck… I’m Not Drinking That

There are those out there who think that Fireball Whiskey (a cinnamon-flavoured liquor) is gross. To those people I scream, “What, are you crazy?” Fireball is delicious and my go-to flask filler. For those that aren’t down with the Fireball or, more accurately, aren’t balling with the fire, I suggest you reserve your criticisms for these libations:

Alaska Distillery Smoked Salmon Vodka

Salmon belongs on a plate – wonderfully cooked by Mrs. Sip Advisor – with a couple sides, not in a bottle. The makers of this vodka suggest using it in Caesar recipes and perhaps they are onto something. Unfortunately, I think most people would find it hard to get their head wrapped around the concept of drinking a fish-flavoured drink, regardless of how good it could possibly taste. Suggested recipe: Bloody Mary

Smoked Salmon Vodka

Oddka Wasabi Vodka

I don’t even like wasabi on my sushi, let alone in my vodka. This spirit seems like something you would have on a dare. Maybe I’ll gather the Sip Advisor executive board for a game of spin the bottle and we’ll see if Wasabi Vodka makes an appearance on the path to enlightenment. One thing is for sure, this liquor might make a good chaser with some sashimi… providing you’re a fan of the green stuff to begin with. Suggested recipe: Japanese Garden

Oddka Wasabi

Oddka Electricity Vodka

Looking for an easy buzz? How about some electricity-flavoured vodka? Seriosuly, though, how do you bottle the taste of electricity? Did you lick a battery and then try to match the subtle notes of death? Perhaps ol’ Ben Franklin discovered this recipe when he conducted his famous kite during a lightning storm experiment all those years ago. He is known to have invented like a bazillion things. Suggested recipe: Electricity Shot

Oddka Electricity

Three Olives Purple Vodka

Is purple even a flavour? Growing up, purple (better known as grape) was one of my least favourite candy tastes. I found it to be too hit and miss to invest my piggy bank money in and pushed more of my assets towards stocks and bonds in watermelon and strawberry essences. Although, I will admit that the attractive woman enjoying a purple popsicle in the ad for this bottle makes me want to give it a chance. Fingers crossed it doesn’t taste like children’s cough syrup. Suggested recipe: Purple Rain

Three Olives Purple

360 Buttered Popcorn Vodka

I don’t like popcorn (the real thing) because I hate getting kernels stuck in my teeth. While the flavour of this vodka intrigues me, I’m currently at a complete loss as to what this liquor could possibly be paired with to make any drinkable cocktail. In the end, I think I’d rather buy rip-off movie theatre popcorn, choke on a couple kernels and call it a day, than sample some popcorn vodka blends. Suggested recipe (by 360): Caramel Corn Collins (actually want to try this!)

360 Buttered Popcorn Vodka

Three Olives Tomato Vodka

With “Bakon” and Tomato vodkas already existing, we are so close to making BLT or Clubhouse cocktails. I hope scientists out there are trying to come up with lettuce and chicken spirits (a much better use of their time than curing cancer or fixing global warming or anything like that). Like the Smoked Salmon Vodka, this spirit is probably best suited for the Caesar/Bloody Mary family of drinks, but I’m not sure it has any prospects outside of this realm. Suggested recipe: Bloodhound Variation

Three Olives Tomato

Drink #30: Firestone

Firestone Drink

  • 1.5 oz Fireball Whiskey
  • Top with half sour mix half orange juice
  • Garnish with trio of wheels (lemon, lime, orange)

If any company out there wants to send me a sample of their spirits and prove me wrong, I would welcome them with open arms and if my mind is changed, I would happily retract any criticism I have made and advise my little sippers to give these alcohols a chance.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
What I liked best about this cocktail was the faint burn that comes through on the aftertaste, thanks to the Fireball. Using the trio of fruit wheels ended up looking pretty good, so I’m happy I went down that route.