Sip Trips #136: Exploring Europe (Part 1)

The Sip Family’s four-country, six-city European expedition has come and gone. Travelling with Baby Sip added a whole new element to traversing the continent and while she was very well-behaved, we were lucky to have a pit crew of friends helping us out along the way. Here’s part one of our journey:

Starting in London, where we have good friends living in the east end of the metropolis, our first full day happened to fall on Mrs. Sip’s inaugural Mother’s Day. With that event in mind, I worked with our friends to book an Afternoon Tea at the Hilton Hotel Park Lane. We opted for the bottomless prosecco option and enjoyed drinking for two and a half hours. As for tea, I went with the Black Currant and Hibiscus variety, while enjoying the collection of sandwiches and desserts before me. The service from staff at the Podium Restaurant & Bar was fantastic and made for a special celebration for Mrs. Sip.

To wrap up our excursion, we stopped into the East London Liquor Company for Baby Sip’s very first distillery visit. The cocktail I selected was the Black Garlic Matters, comprised of the company’s own Demerara Rum, along with maraschino, cold brew coffee, black garlic, cola, and orange. The drink was delicious and I savoured every sip.

modern-art

The next day, we took a long walk around London, visiting Tower Bridge and dropping into the Tate Modern. I hate this art gallery, but was bribed by Mrs. Sip’s promise of having a beer in their cafeteria, if I behaved myself. I didn’t, but she still let me have a drink anyway! The cafeteria provides a beautiful view of the city, which I enjoyed with a pint of Beavertown Neck Oil Session IPA.

From there, we met our friends for dinner at Wagamama. I had a very good order of Chicken & Prawn Yaki Soba, paired with a pint of Asahi. For her beverage, Mrs. Sip ordered a can of Nix And Kix Mango & Ginger Soda (with a touch of Cayenne Pepper), which was very tasty and I tried to track down another can to bring home for the purpose of making a cocktail with it, but came up empty handed.

On our final night in London, we met for dinner at Bubble Dogs, which combines hotdogs with champagne. The concept seems odd, but kind of works. Over a couple bottles of Rose bubbly, I had their Fourth of July Hotdog (barbecue sauce, coleslaw, crispy bacon), while we also split a number of the restaurant’s side dishes, including sweet potato fries, Horny Devils (corn and jalapeño fritters) and tater tots.

Cat with Hotdogs

Having Baby Sip with us limited some of our drinking activities, as some bars were unable to accommodate a little one, sometimes due to their liquor licence and sometimes to do with available space and us using a stroller. For example, I really wanted to do the Beefeater Gin Distillery Tour, but we weren’t able to with Baby Sip in tow.

As for craft beer, London has a bit of a bizarre scene, where most locations are only open for a few hours… and that’s not per day, but each week. We wanted to do the Bermondsey Beer Mile (10 breweries within a mile-long stretch), but it’s only an option on Saturdays. Regardless, I did pick up a number of bottled beers to enjoy, including Sharp’s Doom Bar Amber Ale, Adnam’s Ghost Ship Pale Ale, Young’s Special London Ale, and St. Austell Proper Job Cornish IPA.

Next up, we were off to Lyon, France to meet up with another set of friends. Part two will look at that brief stay, which included a tour into the Beaujolais wine region.

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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.

November 9 – Mind Eraser

Blackouts: Good or Bad?

Today, the Sip Advisor puts aside all the jokes and funny pictures and gets serious, examining one of the greatest issues facing the drinking world: blackouts.

Alternate Blackouts

Sorry, blacked out about being all serious and stuff!

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I am prone to the odd moment of blacking out when on a really heavy drinking bender. Most of Sip Nation jokes about missing scenes and not remembering what we did the night before. Some of these blackouts have been the cause for great stories and laughs later, but they can also be a little scary.

I know the day after one of these moments, I can feel a little off. I’m not sure if it’s from embarrassment over forgetting what happened or the brain having to reboot.

The Disney theme parks have been home to two of my most infamous blackouts. I detailed the first for the Hidden Mickey original recipe and in that post, I promised to share the details of Mrs. Sip and my country crawl at Disneyworld: Epcot, during our honeymoon. Well, little sippers, pack your bags and prepare for another adventure:

Adventure

Our cruise ship (18-day Panama Canal route) arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. at 7am to end that leg of our journey and we were two of the first people off the ship, quickly catching a cab to the airport to grab a rental car, before making the three-hour drive to Lake Buena Vista and the last couple days of our vacation at the Florida theme parks.

While Mrs. Sip enjoyed a little nap, I drove furiously (is there any other way), with the goal of being in the park for 1pm. We arrived at our hotel, checked in, bought our tickets, and hopped on the shuttle to the park, making it into Epcot for just slightly after our target.

We had always hoped to do the Epcot country crawl of enjoying a drink in each showcase and this was our opportunity. We also visited during the park’s Food and Wine Festival, providing ample opportunity to make our dreams a reality. After a wonderful Mexican lunch outside that country’s pavilion, we grabbed our first beers of the day (each ordering a sampler, which contained four half glasses of various styles).

Epcot Checklist

As we started to work our way through the brew, we looked at each other and neither of us was really feeling up to party. We had drank pretty heavily the night before, given it was the final night of our cruise and we had some stock to finish. We chatted about just taking it easy and enjoying the country showcases, perhaps returning to the country crawl idea later in the day… then fate intervened.

Out of nowhere, we started chatting with two brothers and their female friend from Philadelphia. They too were enjoying a beer sampler each, but seemed to be a little deeper into the drinking than we were. Once they heard it was our honeymoon, they decided to crash it and join us for a little bit, frequently announcing to the massive crowd that we were honeymooners.

Mrs. Sip and I played along and decided we’d hang out with these strangers for a little bit before splitting off and doing our own thing. We ended up spending the rest of the day with them, stopping off at each pavilion for drinks, food, and laughs. The two guys were great at poking fun at other guests (isn’t people watching awesome!) and drawing fellow drinkers into our circle. We even left the park briefly to meet their parents.

Epcot Adventurer

This is such an awesome idea… next time!

Given it was our honeymoon, they were also quite generous in buying Mrs. Sip and I a couple drinks and the last thing I remember from the park was downing Irish Car Bombs in the United Kingdom showcase pub. From that point on, things are a little fuzzy and even fuzzier as I write this one year later.

Ever the gentleman, I do remember making sure Mrs. Sip got a seat on the packed shuttle bus we boarded, while I swayed back and forth in the aisle. The rest of the night disappears into a black hole from that point on.

Stage Before Blackout

The next day I awoke to stories that Mrs. Sip had ordered late night cheese bread (a staple of her drinking diet) from Domino’s and that I had insisted on ordering a pizza to go along with it. After eating one slice, I reportedly passed out and was dead to the world until morning.

We visited the Universal Studios parks the next day (by the way, those attractions are not to be missed) and I was thankful I had driven and wouldn’t be inclined to drink. I did have a beer or two over the day, always quick to hop back on the trolley, but was definitely in recovery mode, as my frontal lobe tried to mend itself.

So, blackouts: good or bad? Wait, what was the question?

Drink #313: Mind Eraser

Mind Eraser Shooter

  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

What is your opinion on the ominous blackout? Is it something to be enjoyed and marveled at? Or is it something to be feared and avoided at all costs? I await your replies!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was a pleasant surprise. I’m usually not enthralled by Coffee Liqueurs, but there was something about this recipe that made me forget all about my hate for java. Perhaps it was my inclusion of Smores Vodka that made this shooter so palatable. I even made myself a second round of the shot to enjoy it again!

November 5 – International Incident

Drink Nation

I recently stumbled upon a report about the 10 greatest drinking nations in the world. Sadly, Canada did not make that list, but neither did our neighbours to the south… or even their neighbours to the south. Here are my thoughts on those that did crack the top 10 and where I think Canadians need to improve to better our future ranking.

10. Australia

While Australia has wine and beer creations to its credit, I can’t think of any liquors they’ve introduced to the world. The article does point out that former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke made the Guinness Book of World Records for downing 2.5 pints of beer in 2.5 seconds. If that’s the effort your politicians are putting forward, I guess you deserve to be on this list.

Kangaroo Drinking

Wow, even the roos are getting in on the act!

9. Germany

The land of Oktoberfest; the event which has largely earned them this spot on the countdown. Germany is known for their beer making, beer serving (wenches impressively carrying eight beer steins at the same time), and beer consumption. Although the Czech citizens drink more beer than the Germans, that’s still not enough to topple this suds nation.

8. Uganda

How does an African nation make this list? Does professional wrestler Kamala (the Ugandan Giant) have something to do with this, forcing the country’s way onto the list through sheer intimidation tactics? Apparently residents will gather and sit around a pot of ajono (beer-like substance) and pass a long straw around. Not sure that earns their way onto this list.

7. South Korea

All this despite South Korea’s strict social guidelines. Apparently, it’s common practice in the country to get plastered on mixes of beer and whiskey and let loose, getting out all of your pent-up anger and frustration. So, basically what every drinker in the world does when they’re a few wobbly pops deep into the night!

Korean drinking

6. Moldova

According to the World Health Organization, Moldova is the most liquored up nation in the world. Stats say that per person, each resident drinks 18 litres of alcohol in a year. Does that include children? The former Soviet nation’s favourite hangover cure is pickle juice and I’m down with that. Perhaps we could share some Moldovian fruit brandies, followed by pickles for breakfast!

5. Ecuador

The local liquor in Ecuador, Zhumir, is affectionately known as “hangover in a bottle”… that’s a challenge the Sip Advisor would like to take, given my invincibility towards the morning after suffering. Etiquette in the country dictates that you cannot start drinking until someone has made a toast, so if you’re all alone, make sure there’s a mirror in your room to cheers yourself.

4. France

Home to the Champagne region and too-many-to-count wineries. Apparently the people of France turn their nose up to selling liquor from other countries. That’s not really surprising, but it means they’re really missing out, especially with Belgian beers, Spanish sangria and English gin offerings so close to their borders.

french-funny-flag

What does this have to do with drinking? Nothing, but I’m posting it anyway! Suck it, France!

3. Russia

Russians drink vodka at all times of the day. It’s just their way of life. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime snack… no time of day is enjoyed sans vodka. Russia is the all-important buckle of the Vodka Belt. I’m totally down with people that don’t drink in normal conventions. We’d get along real well.

2. China

Sadly, this site has never received a viewer from the massive country of China. Thanks to the nation’s censorship laws, citizens often have to tether on to other countries internet signals to access non-governmental approved sites. I guess the more citizens you have (and China of course has tons) the more liquor you need to keep the population docile and happy and therefore your portfolio in the alcohol world grows.

1. United Kingdom

While I’ve always had a good time drinking in the U.K., I’m not sure I agree with the country taking the top spot on this list. That said, the country is lined with bars that are often packed to the brim with people looking to get boozed up. They can also be credited with much of the world’s gin production and for that, we thank them. Party on Brits!

Drink #309: International Incident

International Incident Drink Recipe

  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Macadamia Nut Liqueur
  • Splash of Milk
  • Garnish with Macadamia Nuts

If the fine folks in Mexico can’t even crack the list, despite their IP on tequila production, then us schlubs in Canada shouldn’t feel so bad. I also question nations like Ireland (although I guess it’s kind of part of the U.K.) and Belgium not cracking the top 10. I want answers, dammit!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This recipe is intended to be a shot, but I increased the ingredient increments and turned it into a nightcap cocktail. The drink gave me my first chance to use our Macadamia Nut Liqueur, which I subbed for the originally scheduled Hazelnut Liqueur and it tasted great. A highlight of the cocktail was the hint of salt you got with each sip, thanks to the Macadamia Nuts garnish!

April 27 – London Fog

Ice Ice Baby

Perfect for Halloween and all other non-denominational holidays, a recent fad in the mixology world has been to use dry ice or liquid nitrogen in cocktails, giving the presentation a special effect as a smoky fog rolls off of the drink.

Molecular Mixology

But there are dangers to the process, as well. An 18-year-old girl in the United Kingdom, celebrating her birthday, had her stomach removed after drinking a liquid nitrogen-Jagermeister recipe. That would be awful. You finally become legal and you’re out on the town for a wild night, but you can’t even get past your first drink… talk about a lightweight!

Also, you’d figure this chick’s stomach lining would be stronger given the diet of bangers and mash she certainly grew up eating. Jagermeister strikes again! So many years after the World Wars and Germany still wants revenge against the British.

Back to the issue at hand, these substances can cause cold burns to the mouth, throat and stomach, if ingested. Once it hits the stomach, it can warm rapidly, releasing air and other gases that can cause the stomach to burst… now that would be one epic fart.

Epic cat fart

This poor girl had to have a total gastrectomy (their words, not mine), which will certainly become all the rage for women, when it’s revealed that this process forcibly causes people to eat less, never feel hungry, and without a stomach, they won’t get big bellies.

If you are ever to order one of these “frozen” cocktails, you are advised to make sure the dry ice or liquid nitrogen has completely dissipated before taking a sip. That’s the issue here. This young girl was so fired up to get some booze into her system (aren’t we all!) that she couldn’t wait. Remember this little ditty I wrote to stay safe: If there’s steam, you’ll scream… if it’s clean, time to get smashed (I just didn’t feel like making it all rhyme… it’s more memorable that way!).

I have now tried a nitrogen cocktail, with Mrs. Sip at Hyde Lounge in Las Vegas. While they made the drink right in front of you with a travelling mixing bowl, it wasn’t served until the nitrogen had completely evaporated. The result was a frozen, blended recipe that tasted great as it slowly melted into a drinkable consistency.

I will discuss Molecular Mixology more in future blog posts. For the time being, like our stomachless friend from the UK, I simply can’t wait to get my drink on…

Drink #117: London Fog

London Fog Shot

  • 0.75 oz Absinthe (I used Mata Hari)
  • 0.75 oz Gin
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

While some dry ice would have been really cool for this shot, I don’t feel like dabbling in the dark arts. I wonder if they ever investigated whether Voldemort was involved in some of these liquid nitrogen incidents? I’m on to you, thou who shall not be named…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Holy hell this shot tastes like poison. I’m sure that was always the intention, as some shots are merely meant as punishment, but still, I had hoped something would come along and save this blend. Shots are harder to rate than cocktails because of this reputation. You can’t merely score the drink on taste and presentation. People do shots to get drunk… this will certainly get the job done!

April 21 – Gin & Tonic

GIN-Trification

Throughout this 365 drink-per-day challenge, I’ve tried to avoid recipes that are simply [insert alcohol] and [insert mixer]. It pisses me off when liquor companies run ads promoting recipes for their drinks and they’re so basic. I get it; you don’t have time to list a never ending set of ingredients, but at least give me something a little more substantial. That all said, you simply can’t have Gin Week without making a good ol’ fashioned Gin & Tonic!

Now here are some facts about gin that will surely have you salivating for a cocktail:

Gin & Tonic Diet

The libation was actually created in Holland, not England, where it is often associated thanks to all of the London Dry Gin companies (Beefeater, Gordon’s, Plymouth, etc.). In fact, gin’s name comes from the Dutch word for juniper, jenever. Juniper is a key ingredient in gin production and gives it that pine needle taste.

Gin is meant to be mixed with other ingredients, which help the spirit come to life. I remember shooting gin when I was a lot younger and while it would get you drunk, it was not the tastiest of liquors.

The alcohol was once public enemy #1, as in its earlier years it was often a poisonous blend of ingredients made by cheap distillers. Many poor Londoners died from drinking gin and the death rate was higher than the birth rate in the slums of the city. And we all thought Jack the Ripper was evil.

Keeping gin consistently badass, it was a very popular liquor during Prohibition because it could be manufactured anywhere, like in a bathtub, and didn’t have to be stored or aged in barrels. I bet Ernie and his rubber ducky wouldn’t mind having a soak in a Gin-filled tub… at least I wouldn’t mind. I happen to think I would have done well during the Prohibition Era, whether as a gin joint operator, bootlegger, distiller, etc. Just give me one of those wicked tommy guns and let’s rock!

Gin Drinking

The Philippines is the world’s largest consumer of gin. The gin & tonic drink is popular in tropical regions because gin was traditionally used to mask the taste of quinine, which happens to be the cure for malaria and is now also the key ingredient in tonic water (get it? hence the name tonic water). Unfortunately, the amount of quinine in tonic water today is so minimal, you would have to drink about 67 G&Ts per day to get enough of the tonic in order to actually prevent malaria.

Gin used to be the main ingredient in many popular cocktails, such as the martini, but thanks to Smirnoff Vodka’s very successful ad campaign “Vodka leaves you breathless”, vodka has often been substituted for gin. Further cocktails have also seen gin removed in favour of other spirits.

Finally, there is some controversy over the garnishing of gin-based drinks, particularly today’s recipe. While most mixologists insist that a lime be used to accentuate a G&T, in some places, such as the United Kingdom, lemon wedges are sometimes substituted. Some experts have attacked this substitution, calling it an “uncultured alternative”. Poor little lemons… what did they ever do to earn so much ire? (except give people canker sores).

Drink #111: Gin & Tonic

Gin and Tonic

  • Muddle three Lime Wedges
  • 1.5 oz Gin (I used Hendricks)
  • Top with Tonic Water
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

So, even with a very basic recipe, I found a way to spice it up a little with some muddled lime. I always forget how much I dislike Tonic Water until I make a G&T and then it all comes back to me. Once again, I have sacrificed myself for the good of all Sip Nation!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This is a solid drink, but I’ve never been a huge fan of tonic water. What helped make the concoction a little more palatable was muddling the lime wedges and leaving them in the drink to counteract against the beyond bitter tonic.

February 10 – Agave Kiss

School of Chocolate

Well, my little sippers, it’s the start of Chocolate Drink Week here at The Sip Advisor and as will become customary with these feature weeks, we shall begin with a little education on the subject. So, take your seats and have your duotangs (do you remember those old things?) at the ready. Class begins… NOW!

Women Love Chocolate

The only thing you really need to know about chocolate is that women crave it and will kill for it – seriously, you should see the scars I incurred from Mrs. Sip’s wrath, when I once withheld chocolate from her. It wasn’t even a bar she likes. I was in intensive care for two weeks and now have to wear an eye patch and walk with a noticeable limp. Still, I should have known better… at least that’s what she tells me.

Chocolate, of course, is made from the wonderful cocoa bean, which other purposes absolutely don’t matter. ‘God food’ as the Mayans called it can actually increase serotonin and endorphin levels, thereby acting as an anti-depressant. Chocolate is often referred to as an aphrodisiac, but I theorize that women just behave in ways that will get them more chocolate.

Chocolate Love

Here are some other random choco-tastic factoids:

For the 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, producers wanted the alien to follow a trail of M&M’s into Elliot’s home, but the Mars company found the E.T. puppet to be so unattractive and potentially frightening (he is an ugly mook, after all) that they refused to allow their candy to be part of the movie. Reese’s Pieces were used instead and it turned out to be one of the greatest examples of a missed product placement opportunity in a movie ever.

Speaking of M&M’s, on their touring rider, rock band Van Halen always requested that there be no brown M&M’s in their backstage area. Sounds like a petty request… perhaps even racist, but there is actually sound reasoning behind it. The band wanted to ensure that promoters actually took the time to read their lengthy rider (a type-written 53 pages) and if the organizers couldn’t even pay attention to that detail, then other much more important specifics would be overlooked as well. You know, ones that would actually affect their performance. Hopefully the group always got their demanded tube of KY Jelly, without issue.

brown_mms

My touring rider is pretty epic, too, for those looking to book me for personal appearances: I ask for a vat of jello to bathe in, a jar of the finest snorting caviar and a room full of purring kittens, among other desires.

Finally, the world’s largest chocolate bar was made in the United Kingdom in 2011 and weighed over 12,770 pounds, the size of an African elephant. Shhh, don’t tell Mrs. Sip. She’s been looking to plan our next vacation and has always wanted to do a safari tour. I guess you can do those in the U.K.!

Drink #41: Agave Kiss

Agave Kiss Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • 0.5 oz Chambord
  • Top with milk
  • Garnish with raspberries and white chocolate flakes

What would be on your rider, if you had one? How much chocolate do you think a woman could eat before she finally gave up on the delicious mess? I’m dying to know the answers to these questions!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I thought this drink looked and tasted great. Those White Chocolate Shavings came personally from me… see how hard I work for you little sippers!? I knew Chambord and Crème de Cacao would complement each other, but Tequila did its part to behave and not overshadow the recipe.