April 26 – Golden Dragon

Dragon’s Den

While preparing for our Around the World stop in China, I had originally intended to do an article on dragons, which are an integral part of Chinese culture, mythology, and folklore. China is not alone, however, with having dragons as part of their legends, so I switched this post over to a Super Saturday Shot Day article and now we can have some real fun. Here are the top five dragons in media:

#5: Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty

How cool would it be to have the power to turn into a dragon? For the wicked fairy Maleficent, this ability comes out as she tries to keep Prince Phillip from rescuing Princess Aurora. Even the name Maleficent is finely-crafted as it translates into “doing evil or harm”. The soon-to-be-released live action film Maleficent should be an interesting twist on the Sleeping Beauty fable, as we gain some perspective into the antagonist and get her point of view. Sadly, Angelina Jolie plays the titular (literally!?) role, but I’ll have to make peace with that.

Maleficent Dragon

#4: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat

One of the most athletically-gifted wrestlers of all-time, Ricky Steamboat is a former NWA World Champion (a pretty big deal for you non-grappling fans) and his series of matches with the incomparable Ric Flair are considered legendary. Nicknamed ‘The Dragon’, while he was with the WWE during their cartoon gimmick era of the early 90’s, Steamboat even came to the ring breathing fire high into the air and wearing an outfit with fake scales. Sadly, his career was cut short due to a serious back injury in 1994, depriving fans of many more classic confrontations.

#3: Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal – Game of Thrones

While these dragons have already played an important role in the Game of Thrones saga, you just know that they will eventually become a focal point of the book and its TV series sibling. The dragons made Daenerys Targaryen a serious contender in the realm and helped her shed the misconceptions that she didn’t belong on the throne. Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal (I always love how fantasy novels come up with names) will continue to grow and intimidate. I doubt, however that all three make it through the series unscathed and there is likely some tragedy ahead for the ‘Mother of Dragons’.

Mother of Dragons

#2: Mushu – Mulan

Returning to the Disney vault, we get Mushu, an under-sized serpent and protector of Mulan as she joins the fight against the Hun army. While Mushu is a decent sidekick to Mulan, my favourite appearance of the dragon is at the Disney Animation Studio attraction at Disney Parks, where he co-hosts the Drawn to Animation demonstration. I find it ironic that Eddie Murphy played this little firecracker of a dragon, then fell in love with a dragon as Donkey in Shrek. The guy must have a thing for the mythical beasts!

#1: Toothless – How to Train Your Dragon

It’s unbelievable how much Toothless reminds me of one of Ma and Pa Sip’s cats. Yes, an animated dragon reminds me of a living cat… I’m special like that! Anyway, young Viking Hiccup finds Toothless one day and over time, the two become friends and partners as Hiccup trains Toothless to work with him, while also coming to the realization that the stories he’s grown up on about dragons being evil may not be true for every creature of the clan. Together, they bring a stop to the constant war between Vikings and dragons. I’m really looking forward to this year’s sequel to the 2010 hit and there’s even a planned third film due in 2016.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Golden Dragon

Golden Dragon Shot

While I’m not a huge fan of dragons, I have a deep respect for them. I wish I could sleep all day underneath a castle and be feared simply by reputation. I have to toss out a couple honourable mentions to Trogdor the Burninator from Strong Bad E-mails (Homestar Runner) and Eric Cartman’s stuffed animal dragon Rumpertumskin on South Park. Both characters are very minor players, but have given me great pleasure in the past.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I subbed in Torched Cherry Rum for Dragon Berry Rum because it’s what I had on hand and also thought it worked with the theme of dragons and fire. This shot was really good, particularly the mixing of the Goldschlager and Sour Apple Mix. The Torched Cherry Rum was indeed a good choice, adding a different note to an apple pie type flavour.

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November 3 – Dragon’s Breath

Mythological Mayhem

I’m not really one for mythological beings, but if forced to pick a few favourites (as I’m being charged to do so here) these are the creatures I would pick:

Dragon

I like some movies based around dragons. How to Train Your Dragon was really good and Pete’s Dragon was a childhood treat. In each of those films, the dragons (Toothless and Elliot, respectively) were of a friendlier, loveable personality. I’m also a fan of the Eddie Murphy-voiced Mushu, but not particularly in the movie Mulan, but for the little dragon’s appearance as co-host of the Disney Animation Building’s ‘How to Draw’ attraction.

dragons-playing

Pegasus

The winged horse that I best remember from Disney’s Hercules cartoon, where it helped our hero Herc battle the forces of James Woods (otherwise known as Hades and evil incarnate). Wrestler Chris Benoit was also known as the Pegasus Kid and Wild Pegasus early in his career, as he toured Japan, Mexico, and Europe. Back to the stallion, one myth states that Pegasus was born from the spurting blood of a decapitated Medusa. Those Greeks sure no how to spin a yarn!

Centaur/Minotaur

Sometimes I wish I was half-man and half-beast… well, even more so than when I’m on a raging bender! What’s the difference between a centaur and a minotaur? A centaur has the body of a beast and head of a man, while a minotaur is of the opposite persuasion. While some may think that it’s hard to pick from one of these designations, I’d choose centaur in a heartbeat. That way I could look as gorgeous as I do now and be able to be a high profile athlete thanks to my tremendous lower body strength.

Unicorn

The national animal of Scotland (which still cracks me up to this day), was purported to have magic qualities. It was thought that the unicorn’s horn could be ground up and used in potions to help cure the ill. During medieval and Renaissance times, the horn of the narwhal was often sold to those looking to harness the unicorn’s powers. Nowadays, the horns of rhinoceroses are sold to those looking to increase their sexual virility. To sum up: horn = good.

unicorns-are-real

Griffin

This creature mixes the head and wings of an eagle with the body of a lion. Geez, can you imagine if lions could fly. Good luck keeping them pent up in a zoo, even if they do sleep away most of the day. I like big cats like lions and such because I think they possess a surliness of sorts. Anyway, getting back on track, the griffin combines an animal I love with an animal I detest, so what does one do in cases like that? I guess you just focus on the positives… go Hufflepuff!

Gremlin

While I prefer gremlins when their still in their Mogwai state and they haven’t been fed after midnight, like the uber cute Gizmo, they do serve an entertaining and often hilarious role even when they’ve crossed over to the dark side. Gremlins are often portrayed negatively, which has upset supporters of their society. They’re usually seen tampering with in-flight airplanes and disrupting other machinery. They should not be trusted, should you ever come across one.

Kraken

I like Kraken Black Spice Rum and shouting “Release the Kraken!” when we’re swimming in Ma and Pa Sip’s pool is a favourite pastime of mine, so the Kraken is a must for the list. The Kraken is usually depicted as an enormous sea monster, similar to a giant squid or octopus. It is capable of bringing down an entire ship and has been blamed for numerous tragedies at sea. These false accusations have caused the Kraken to remain hidden, deep beneath the surface and we may never know of its actual existence.

release-the-kraken

Gargoyle

The Disney cartoon, Gargoyles, is one of those extremely underrated shows that had enjoyable elements for kids and adults alike. Along with the humour of gargoyles adapting to a 20th century New York City (after being awakened from thousands of years trapped in stone) many storylines were dark, complex, and featured adult themes such as betrayal and hatred. Being a self-effacing person, I’ve adopted Moe Szyslak’s line about being a gargoyle, although I’m told I have model cheekbones!

Phoenix

While the first thing I think about when I hear the word Phoenix (aside from the Arizona town, of course) is Jean Grey’s evil character in X-Men (making her so much more interesting that plain old, boring Jean Grey), the Pheonix is another mythological bird that must be vanquished from the world. The only problem is, the Phoenix will continually rise from the ashes of its predecessor and haunt me with loud noises, poop bombs, and dive-bomb attacks.

Werewolf

There’s a great episode (aren’t they all!) of American Dad where Steve thinks he’s been turned into a werewolf, while at the same time, Roger has taken in a wolf to overcome his distress after the death of his two sea monkeys. Don’t just take it from me, go watch the episode. I’ve never really been a huge fan of werewolves and the whole Twilight franchise did nothing to help with that matter. Team “Who Gives a Fuck” was a more accurate take on the series.

Drink #307: Dragon’s Breath

Dragon's Breath Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Caesar Spice
  • 1.5 oz Dragonberry Rum
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Hot Sauce
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

What are your favourite mythological animals? And please don’t send me any replies citing Pokemon or anything else having to do with Japanese culture like Godzilla and Mothra. Seriously, those people come up with the craziest stuff!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I added just the right amount of Hot Sauce to this cocktail. It wasn’t so much that the drink was hard to enjoy and it wasn’t too little that you didn’t get a slight burn at the finish of each sip. I added a Caesar Spice Rim to give each sip that extra kick of heat!