March 15 – Shamrocked

Kiss Me, I’m Irish

Around this time of year, we all want to be a little bit Irish… at least for the kisses! Therefore, I’ve taken it upon myself to name the top five greatest Irish citizens, invoking the 1/8th Irish within me. This is a hard list to breakdown, so I decided to take one member from each of the following worlds: literary, music, sports, business, and acting. I could have probably done an entire article about the greatest Irish drinkers, but that seems an even more difficult topic to tackle. Let’s get started, shall we!?:

#5: Bram Stoker

For turning Vlad the Impaler into the blood-sucking, eternal living, ghoul that has come to be the inspiration for countless movies, TV shows, plays, comics, and so much more media, Bram Stoker may be Ireland’s most famed writer, among a sea of other talented scribes. Including fictionalized diary entries, letters, and newspaper clippings, Stoker added an aura of realism to the story of Dracula, as the bloodthirsty count battled Professor Abraham Van Helsing and others. Sadly, Stoker could also be blamed for such vampire awfulness as Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Bram-Stoker

#4: Padraig Harrington

One of golf’s most successful players, Harrington has won two British Opens, as well as one PGA Championship. His 2008 season was exemplary, as the Dubliner won both of the aforementioned tournaments that season and was named European Tour and PGA Tour Player of the Year. Of the two golf majors he hasn’t won, his best performances were in the top five. Harrington is also heavily involved in charity work and is a global ambassador for the Special Olympics, hosting clinics for both players and coaches. Golfer John Daly may better exemplify the true Irish spirit with his personal trials, but we’ll take Harrington here.

#3: Bono

While I’d rather write about Enya and her moody, spiritual tracks, or Van Morrison and his classic rock, even I’d have to admit that Bono is a larger than life superstar. U2 (including fellow Irishman and buddy The Edge) are one of the most successful music acts of all-time. Their discography is full of hits, including Sunday Bloody Sunday, Vertigo, and With or Without You. The front man has received mixed reviews for his various causes with many critiquing him for being too preachy. If Bono doesn’t stop, I’ll reveal to the world that his real name is Paul Hewson… oops, too late! What’s so great about the name Bono anyway?

bono-looking

#2: Daniel Day-Lewis

This fine actor has wowed audiences with his portrayal of characters like Bill the Butcher (Gangs of New York), Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood), and even Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln). Day-Lewis is extremely devoted to his craft, researching his roles vigorously. For The Last of the Mohicans, he learned to live off the forest land, much like his character did. Later, for the period piece The Age of Innocence, he wore 1870’s aristocratic clothing (cane, cape, and top hat) out and about New York for two months. For Gangs of New York, he even apprenticed as a butcher. And here I refuse to even learn how to be a proper writer!

#1: Arthur Guinness

Ever notice that if you rearrange the letters in Guinness and tell a couple of them to screw off Irish style, you can spell genius!? Well, that’s what Arthur Guinness was. Sure, a Guinness stout is like a full meal and isn’t the easiest of beers to enjoy, but those who truly love a good pint will tell you until their blue in the face that Guinness should be held on its own pedestal. As far as Irish entrepreneurs go, I also have to toss some credit to Tony Ryan, the creator of Ryanair, which has helped Mrs. Sip and I cheaply traverse parts of Europe. Here’s a Guinness in honour of both gentlemen!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Shamrocked

Shamrocked Shooter

  • 0.5 Irish Whiskey
  • 0.5 Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Midori
  • Garnish with a Shamrock

For more Ireland coverage, check back later this week, as the Emerald Isle is out next stop for Around the World. It just so happens to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, which I hope all my little sippers out there are able to celebrate safely and happily!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty decent with the ingredients mixing together pretty well and creating a creamy melon taste. Luckily, I had bought Mrs. Sip a Shamrock necklace when I was in Ireland all those years ago and it was the perfect accent to the shooter.

April 12 – Black Magic

Magically Delicious

Love them or hate them, illusionists exist… unless their existence is, in fact, an illusion itself. Whoa… mind blown… better get on with the post before they make what’s left of my mind disappear, too! So tip your glass to some of the best real and fictional tricksters!

Harry Houdini

Any list about magicians realistically starts and ends with Harry Houdini. I remember as a kid being fascinated by Houdini, who I read about in a library book. For those that know the ol’ Sip Advisor well, the fact I was reading at all is a modern day miracle. Greatest illusion: The Milk Can Escape – where Houdini would be handcuffed and sealed inside a milk can filled with water. Failure, surely meant death.

houdinimilkcan

His assistants look uber evil!

David Copperfield

The Las Vegas legend is one of the most famous and successful illusionists of all time. His greatest illusion should really be his engagement to Claudia Schiffer (lucky bastard), but I digress! Greatest illusion: Vanishing Statue of Liberty – Thankfully, Copperfield wasn’t considered a terrorist for making this national landmark disappear.

Burt Wonderstone & Anton Marvelton

After years of going through the motions of their act, Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton reunite in a bid to outdo endurance artist and street magician Steve Gray. With the help of the legendary Rance Holloway, they show that Gray’s style of pain “magic” will never overtake their efforts in the classical trickery department. Greatest illusion: Disappearing Audience – in unusual Sip Advisor form, I won’t spoil the details of this illusion.

Penn & Teller

Turning to a real life amazing duo, Penn and Teller’s mix of magic, mayhem and comedy is perfect for all fans of the art. After seeing them live in Las Vegas, where Mrs. Sip became a part of the act, I can totally vouch for them as top rate performers. They’re always changing up and perfecting their show, so you never know what you might see. Greatest illusion: Bullet Catch – I wonder if Teller ever gets to shoot at Penn!?

G.O.B. Bluth

The hapless magician from Arrested Development is searching for his father’s love and respect… and thinks a career as an illusionist will help him accomplish it. G.O.B.’s act (or lack thereof, since he was kicked out of the Magician’s Alliance for divulging the secret to one of his tricks… oh sorry “illusion”) is a lot of smoke and mirrors, but he can be credited with bringing back the Europe hit “Final Countdown”! Greatest Illusion: Disappearing Yacht – okay, so he actually just blew the thing up for insurance money, but the crowd still roared its approval!

gob-bluth

David Blaine

An illusionist of the street magician and endurance stunt variety, I’ve always found David Blaine creepy. He just seems too “power of zen” for my liking. Still, the guy has done some crazy stuff. Greatest illusion: Vertigo – the guy stood atop a massive pillar in high winds and cold temperatures for 35 hours straight… I couldn’t even be lazy that long and Mrs. Sip would tell you I’m pretty good at that.

Criss Angel

Ever been mind freaked!? I can’t say that it’s a position I’ve ever tried, but apparently it made this dude popular. Greatest illusion: Walking on Water – for a guy who often purports to be Jesus-like, he might as well give this a shot. Quite frankly I would be more impressed if he could turn that water into wine!

Drink #102: Black Magic

Black Magic Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Absolut Raspberry)
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Twist

This drink is a member of the Black Russian family and was quite enjoyable. Its greatest illusion was giving me a sense of inebriation… that, and super powers.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I love the Lemon Twist garnish I used for this cocktail. This drink reminded me of the Brave Bull recipe I did earlier this year and both tasted good. The Raspberry Vodka added a nice twist to the concoction and worked well with the Kahlua.