South Carolina – Charleston Mule

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. South Carolina’s southern hospitality welcomes the Sip Advisor this week. The Palmetto State claims to be the birthplace of barbecue so let’s get the smoker fired up, pour a pitcher of sweet tea and find a nice spot of the porch to enjoy:

Motto: “While I breathe, I hope” and “Prepared in mind and resources” – The definition of preparedness means having two different mottos.

Food: South Carolina has their own variation of some fruits, including the Bradford Watermelon and Carolina Reaper Chili Pepper. The Bradford Watermelon was once thought to be extinct, but the sweet, flavourful melon is making a comeback in Sumter. The Carolina Reaper, the world’s hottest pepper on the Scoville scale, is grown in Rock Hill.

Drink: South Carolina is said to be the birthplace of Sweet Tea and that claim makes sense given the first tea plants in the country were cultivated in the state. Today, the Charleston Tea Plantation is the only one of its kind in the U.S. Summerville has a Sweet Tea Trail, featuring the World’s Largest Sweet Tea and a number of outlets serving the beverage.

Carolina Reaper

Site to See: Myrtle Beach has become a popular vacation destination with an estimated 14 million visitors coming to the area each year. Its Boardwalk and Promenade opened in 2010 and has since been ranked as one of the top boardwalks in the country. Attractions along the boardwalk include the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, beaches, golf courses and restaurants and clubs.

Street: Rainbow Row on East Bay Street in Charleston is known for the 13 historic houses painted in pastel colours. It is said to be one of Charleston’s most photographed areas. The rainbow began when one owner painted her home pink and neighbours joined in, but legends persist it was done to help drunk sailors find their accommodations.

TV Show: Vice Principals, starring Danny McBride, follows Vice Principal Neal Gamby and his efforts to become principal of North Jackson High School. The series aired for two seasons and 18 episodes and was filmed around the Park Circle neighbourhood of Charleston, with West Ashley High School doubling as the school setting.

Movie: The Notebook, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, takes place on Seabrook Island, as well as in Charleston. The film tells the story of a young couple who fall in love, despite being from different social classes. Other notable movies with South Carolina ties, include The Patriot, The Big Chill, The Birth of a Nation, Glory, Full Metal Jacket, and Radio.

The Notebook

Book/Author: Peggy Parish, best known for children’s book series Amelia Bedelia, was born in Manning. She attended the University of South Carolina, leading to a career as a teacher, prior to becoming an author. There is a statue of Amelia Bedelia outside the Manning public library, a tribute to the city’s most famous resident.

Fictional Character: Among Parks and Recreation’s many memorable characters was the entrepreneurial Tom Haverford, portrayed by Aziz Ansari, who was born in Columbia. Over the course of the series, Haverford goes from underachieving government employee to successful restauranteur, with a number of failed businesses along the way helping him finally get things right.

Fictional City: East Peck was the setting for TV show Trial & Error, which was a mockumentary style sitcom, following lawyer Josh Segal, as he represented clients accused of odd murders. Causing further complications is Segal’s on-and-off romantic relationship with the prosecutor. The series ended after two seasons and 23 episodes.

Actor/Actress: Actor and stand-up comedian Chris Rock was born in Andrews. The Saturday Night Live alum has starred in movies such as the Madagascar and Grown Ups franchises, as well as created the TV series Everybody Hates Chris, based on his childhood. Rock ranks among the top 10 on many greatest comedians of all-time lists.

tom-haverford

Song: South Carolina has two State Songs, Carolina and South Carolina on My Mind. Carolina, based on a Henry Timrod poem, was made the State Song in 1911. It was joined by South Carolina on My Mind, by Hank Martin and Buzz Arledge (both from South Carolina), in 1984. Both tunes will make you pine for the Palmetto State.

Band/Musician: The ‘Godfather of Soul’ James Brown was born in Barnwell. Known for his energetic performances and hits such as I Got You (I Feel Good) and Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, Brown was made a charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2013. Brown had 17 singles top the Billboard R&B charts.

People: TV personality Stephen Colbert was raised on James Island. Colbert parleyed his role on The Daily Show into his own spinoff The Colbert Report. The success of that show led to Colbert replacing David Letterman as host of The Late Show, a positioning he still holds today. Colbert has won Emmy, Grammy and Peabody Awards, along with being a bestselling author.

Animal: At the Myrtle Beach Alligator Adventure, visitors can view the largest crocodile in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world. Utan, King of the Crocs, was brought to South Carolina in 2002. The croc was born in 1964 and measures 18 feet long, weighing 2,000 pounds. Utan is jokingly referred to as an ambassador of Thailand.

James Brown

Invention: Based out of Greenville, inventor Gerald Barber has created a number of objects to better the world… or at least entertain them. His most well-known invention is the free fall amusement ride, a version of which can be found in nearly every amusement park. He has also developed wind turbines and designer coral reef, among other patents.

Crime: On October 25, 1994, Susan Smith claimed to police a black man had carjacked her vehicle with her two young sons still inside. A nationwide search for the kids and suspect commenced, only to be halted a week later when Smith confessed she had allowed her car to roll into a lake, drowning her children. Smith was sentenced to life, with parole possible after 30 years.

Law: South Carolina looks like the fun police with a couple acts of legislation. First, a person must be 18 years old to play a pinball machine. Second, dance halls are prohibited from operating on Sundays. I’d hate to be a 17-year-old professional pinballer and dance enthusiast in the state on the Lord’s Day.

Sports Team: There are no professional teams in South Carolina, although the NFL’s Carolina Panthers (who play in Charlotte, North Carolina) have training facilities in the state. The Clemson University Tigers versus University of South Carolina Gamecocks football rivalry is known as the Battle of the Palmetto State. Also, actor Bill Murray owns and is the ‘Director of Fun’ for a minor league Charleston baseball team.

Bill Murray

Athlete: Baseball star ‘Shoeless Joe’ Jackson may or may not be the greatest athlete South Carolina has ever produced. His career was halted because of the 1919 Black Sox betting scandal, which saw participants banned from the sport, although many claim he was not involved. Jackson, born in Pickens County, would later play in other leagues, using aliases.

Famous Home: A major tourist attraction for South Carolina are the many plantations that are spread across the state. Two particularly notable estates are the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, one of the oldest plantations in all the south, and Drayton Hall, the only manor along the Ashley River to survive both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Urban Legend: Julia Legare, of the wealthy Legare family, was thought to have died of an illness and was buried in the family mausoleum. When another family member died years later, they found that Julia was not in her coffin. They theorized Julia had just been in a deep coma and perished trying to escape the crypt. Every door put on the mausoleum since won’t stay shut, as Julia won’t let it. Today, there is no door at all.

Museum: In Beaufort, you can find The Kazoo Museum, located in the Kazoobie Kazoos Factory. The museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of the instrument, as well as offers kazoo recordings and the history of kazoos, dating to the 1840s. The exhibition moved to South Carolina in 2010, following stops in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

Kazoo

Firsts: South Carolinians must have valued a good performance, as the state had the first symphony orchestra in the country and was the site of the first opera performed in America. Further appreciating entertainment and leisure, the state was home to the first public library, museum, theatre and golf club in the U.S.

Company: Restaurant chain Denny’s is headquartered in Spartanburg. The diner-style eatery is best known for being open 24/7 and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner items at all times of the day. Originally founded in 1953, as a coffee shop called Danny’s Donuts in Lakewood, California, there are now more than 1,700 Denny’s locations around the world.

Events: South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, so it’s no surprise the first battle of the Civil War occurred there, at Fort Sumter. Days after seceding in December 1860, Confederacy forces took Fort Sumter from U.S. troops. The fort wasn’t restored to U.S. order until February 21, 1865, when the American flag was raised again.

Miscellaneous: Tap Dancer Clayton ‘Peg Leg’ Bates was born in Fountain Inn. Bates gained fame for the finale of his act, the Jet Plane, which saw him leap across the stage, landing on his wooden leg (Bates lost a leg in a cotton gin accident at the age of 12), then do a series of backwards hops. Bates appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 22 times, the most of any guest.

Charleston Mule

Charleston Mule

  • 1.5 oz Sweet Tea Vodka
  • Top with Ginger Ale/Ginger Beer
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

This cocktail comes from South Carolina’s Firefly Distillery and takes advantage of tea being the State Hospitality Beverage. I went with Ginger Ale over Ginger Beer, for a slightly different taste than you normally get with a Mule drink, as well as my nod to Blenheim Ginger Ale being a South Carolina institution.

June 20 – Screwdriver

Tool Time

The screwdriver is one of the handiest tools known to man… and not just because of its alcoholic properties! Here are some other inventions that we just couldn’t live without:

Roomba

This little creation will travel across your home and vacuum your floors as it goes. It’s perfect for pet fur, dirt, and other small messes. Hell, the thing is probably (scratch that, IT IS) smarter than me. If can change directions after bumping into an object and detect falls, as well as dirty spots. On Parks and Recreation, Tom Haverford even attached an iPod dock to his Roomba, creating DJ Roomba, which throws down the sickest beats while working its way around your party.

Roomba

Batteries

For everything from TV controllers to sex toys, batteries are an essential part of everyday life. Without them, we’d have to get off our asses to change the channel. One of the WORST things that can EVER happen to you is when batteries die on you. The worst for me was the Wii video game controller, which always seemed to go out while I was in the middle of a big boss battle. Oh, first world problems!

Pen

The pen is mightier than the sword (although the Game of Thrones folks would beg to differ) and as a scribe myself, I’ve felt great power when I wield the pen of destiny and begin etching my thoughts of intelligence. All us great philosophers feel a sense of omnipotence (that’s omnipotence, NOT impotence!) when writing. If only anybody would trust us enough to listen.

Chainsaws

If Leatherface has taught us anything, it’s that a chainsaw means business. Relied upon for everything from efficiently taking down a tree to terrorizing teenage travelers, the chainsaw must be loved and feared all at the same time. When you hear that engine revving, it’s probably wiser to run for safety rather than sticking around, hoping it’s just a lumberjack in the forest.

girl chainsaw

Perhaps I ran away much too quickly!

Umbrella

What I love about the umbrella is its dual-function ability. Yes, it can keep you dry on a wet, rainy day, but it can also double as a weapon. For example, I’ve found that swinging it at cars that cut you off in crosswalks might not be in the best interest of calming a situation, but it sure brings a smile to your face.

Toilet

Can you imagine life if we still had to use primitive things like holes in the ground and pots and pans to do our business!? And what would you do when you indulge in one too many of the Sip Advisor’s wonderful recipes? Thank you Mr. Toilet!

Drink #171: Screwdriver

Screwdriver Cocktail

  • Rim glass with Orange Sugar
  • Muddled Oranges
  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Absolut Citron)
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Garnish with Orange Slice

I’m just waiting for someone to chirp that I’m a valuable tool and while you would be 100% correct, let’s not start throwing stones in glass houses. Which tool have I missed? Let me know your favourite and we discuss at length why you’re wrong!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
A very simple cocktail that had to be done at some point during this 365-day cocktail project. It was delicious, as I spiced things up with Muddled Orange Wedges and Fruitopia Orange Groove (thanks McDoanlds!), instead of plain old OJ. The results were very respectable, making me think I might have a future in this business!

January 13 – Long Island Iced Tea

Lightweights

Lightweights are lucky–they get drunk without having to spend much cash. I’m not saying I’m a heavyweight, but I probably fall somewhere in the middle thanks to years of experience and conditioning. The Long Island Iced Tea can be very deceptive for any lightweight. It tastes so good that you feel you’re not drinking much, but because of all the ingredients it takes to make the concoction (2.5 oz of liquor in each, plus limited mixer), you’re actually getting sloshed quite quickly. Both Marge Simpson and Sheldon Cooper have been victims of the Long Island Iced Tea’s venom. Here are some other classic lightweights:

stan smith

Stan Smith (American Dad)

Wanting to live life 1960’s style after watching an episode of Bewitched, Stan proposes to his wife Francine that they make a habit of having evening martinis when he returns from work. Things go off the rails quickly though when Stan is being chased by Francine through their neighbourhood, Stan in his underwear and Francine trying to get him to stop running. How many drinks did Stan have to be behaving in this manner? He consumed one cocktail.

Intoxi-Quoted (my word invention for quotes delivered while on the sauce!): Yaaaaaaahhhhh [unintelligible noises]

Stewie Griffin

Stewie Griffin (Family Guy)

I can’t really blame a baby for getting plastered so easily. He is literally the definition of a lightweight. Stewie starts drinking in order to be nicer and again it only takes one drink to get him tanked. When he refuses to stop boozing, Brian takes him to the Drunken Clam and gets him blitzed, in the hopes that he’ll quit. This, of course, doesn’t end well, with the pair crashing their car – driven by Stewie (naturally if a baby can drink, he can surely drive, as well) – into the bar. After experiencing a massive hangover the next morning, Stewie does give up the bottle… at least the one filled with liquor. QUITTER!

Intoxi-Quoted: [on top of a shelf, drunk] Everybody! Everybody! I’m gonna jump! Gonna jump from… Gonna jump… to my high chair! You ready? Can you… Can you see me… gonna jump… gonna ju… jump to my highchair. You watching? Are you? Are you? [jumps and misses highchair] Ow! You see me?

Marge Simpson

Marge Simpson (The Simpsons)

When the Simpson family attended a magic show-themed restaurant, Marge was given a Long Island Iced Tea by the magician and found the drink to be quite enjoyable (well, because, it IS quite enjoyable!) Before the show was over, she downed multiple cocktails and was totally soused. Her new found loss of inhibitions resulted in her taking to the stage as the magician’s volunteer. Once back at home, Marge continued to imbibe in frequent Long Island Iced Teas. My kind of lady!

Intoxi-Quoted: “I’d like to visit that Long Island place, if only it were real.”

The Habitation Configuration

Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory)

Sheldon (Jim Parsons) can be difficult to deal with. Penny (Kaley Cuoco), one of his most frequent combatants is a bartender at The Cheesecake Factory. When Sheldon saddles up to the bar and asks for something more than Chamomile Tea, Penny serves him (she could serve me anytime!) a Long Island Iced Tea, which he believes is non-alcoholic (due to the words “ice tea”). Sheldon slams a couple quickly, resulting in him confronting on-again, off-again frenemy, Wil Wheaton. He also lost his pants in another booze-related incident.

Intoxi-Quoted: “Get the Mad Hatter on the horn, I’m having a tea party!”

Tom Haverford (Parks and Recreation)

Looking to stir up some business, Tom (Aziz Ansari) takes former NBA star Detlef Schrempf to the club he has an ownership stake in, The Snakehole Lounge. While there, Tom seems to be very inebriated. It’s is later revealed by Schrempf, however, that Tom has only consumed two beers… and lite beers at that.

Intoxi-Quoted: “I’m DRUNK!” [at charity telethon]

Doc Brown

Doc Brown (Back to the Future)

In the third edition of the time travel franchise, Doc (Christopher Lloyd) passes out following a single shot of whiskey, which is bad enough, but all it took for him to get a buzz going was to smell the drink. And really, how could you ever tell whether or not he’s hitting the bottle… he’s so erratic in his natural behaviour. That’s why we like him!

Intoxi-Quoted: No quote available… the good doctor passed out until morning.

And here’s the drink that brought down two characters on this list and countless others in the real world!:

Drink #13: Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea

  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Tequila
  • 0.5 oz White Rum
  • 0.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Top with Cola
  • Garnish with lemon and lime wedge

That sure is a lot of ingredients, but it’s worth it in the end, as you get a strong, but delicious drink. Alternatively, you could go out and buy a Long Island Iced Tea mixer and all you would have to do is add the Sweet & Sour and Cola. I’ve tried one product like this and enjoyed it, but I do have to say, there’s nothing like the real thing!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really enjoy Long Island Iced Teas, but I feel that simply using the Long Island Iced Tea pre-mixed booze is simpler than having all four necessary liquors on hand and dropping half a shot of each into your drink. When I’ve used the pre-mixed, I don’t notice any difference in taste or effect, so why make things complicated on yourself. Regardless of that little issue, it’s still an awesome cocktail.