New Mexico – Chimayó Cocktail

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we journey to New Mexico, to check out the Land of Enchantment, which sounds like something Disney should have copyrighted for their theme parks. Will this trip be just as magical? Let’s find out:

Motto: “It grows as it goes” – Perhaps the state’s mascot should be the Hungry Caterpillar.

Food: New Mexicans use chiles on and in everything from pizza and burgers to apple pie and ice cream. They even have a State Question: “Red or green?”, referring to either Red or Green Chile Sauce. When mixed together, this creates Christmas Sauce, which can be used on a variety of New Mexico favourites. Finish with a Biscochito Cookie and you’re feeling pretty good.

Drink: The Blue Sky Beverage Company was founded in Santa Fe, in 1971. Makers of all-natural soft drinks, Blue Sky is now owned by Coca-Cola. As a possible nod to the company, Blue Sky was the name of the crystal meth produced in TV show Breaking Bad (much more on that subject later). Also, Santa Fe Brewing Company was the state’s first craft brewery and is now its largest beer producer.

Red or Green

Site to See: Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to more than a hundred caves, although only three are open to the public. The main event of the trio, Carlsbad Caverns, was actually first explored by a teenager, in 1898, who named many of the rooms visitors see today. Over 400,000 people, on average, visit the park annually.

Street: Central Avenue, in Albuquerque, is one of the most important streets in the state. It was once part of the famous Route 66, during that highway’s lifespan. Today, notable attractions on the route include the KiMo Theatre, First National Bank Building, University of New Mexico main campus and Expo New Mexico, which hosts the New Mexico State Fair.

TV Show: The Breaking Bad universe, which also includes prequel Better Call Saul, is set in Albuquerque. Starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad has been called one of the greatest TV shows of all-time with Better Call Saul continuing that mantle. Combined, the shows will have run for 11 seasons, with Breaking Bad earning 16 Emmy Awards.

Movie: The Dollars Trilogy includes A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Starring Clint Eastwood as the Man with No Name, the Spaghetti Westerns (a style which was popularized by these films) are ranked among the best Western movies of all-time. They were not intended to be a trilogy, but the unnamed Eastwood character connected the dots.

Walter White

Book/Author: Written by Melinda Metz, the Roswell High series of young adult books follows three alien teenagers as they live amongst the human world. The series of 10 books were adapted into the TV show Roswell, which aired for three seasons (1999-2002) and was recently rebooted for another run, beginning in 2019.

Fictional Character: The characters of the Breaking Bad universe, most notably Walter White, Jesse Pinkman and Saul Goodman, have remained favourites of TV viewers, earning Saul his own prequel series and Jesse a sequel movie. Walter is generally regarded as one of the greatest TV characters ever, helped by the performance by Bryan Cranston.

Fictional City: With nothing particularly notable for this category, I wanted to share the story of Truth or Consequences, perhaps the greatest name for a city ever. Previously known as Hot Springs, the city changed its moniker as part of a contest run by the Truth or Consequences radio show, earning the right for the show to be aired from there on its 10th anniversary.

Actor/Actress: For a time, Demi Moore (born in Roswell) was the highest-paid actress ever, earning $12.5 million for the movie Striptease. That role capped a successful run of films, which included Ghost, A Few Good Men and Indecent Proposal. Also, Neil Patrick Harris, best known as womanizer Barney Stinson on the TV show How I Met Your Mother, was born in Albuquerque.

NPH

Song: O Fair New Mexico by Elizabeth Garrett (daughter of Sheriff Pat Garrett… more on him later), has been the State Song of New Mexico since 1917. There’s also a State Cowboy Song, Under the New Mexico Skies by Syd Masters, as well as a State Bilingual Song, New Mexico – Mi Lindo Nuevo Mexico by Pablo Mares. Combined, there’s a lot of options.

Band/Musician: John Denver was born in Roswell. He is best remembered for songs such as Take Me Home, Country Roads; Rocky Mountain High and Thank God I’m a Country Boy. Sadly, Denver died in a plane crash in 1997, at the age of 53. For the younger folks out there, Demi Lovato was born in Albuquerque, getting her break with the Disney franchise Camp Rock.

People: Amazon founder, President and CEO, Jeff Bezos, was born in Albuquerque. What began as an online bookstore, run out of Bezos’ garage, with a large investment from his parents, has turned into the biggest online retailer, making Bezos the richest man in the world and its first centi-billionaire. Bezos bought the Washington Post for $250 million… cash!

Animal: Smokey Bear was created by the U.S. Forest Service to warn people of the danger of forest fires. In 1950, a living symbol of the mascot was found in New Mexico’s Capitan Mountains, when a black bear cub was rescued from a tree as he avoided a blaze. Smokey Bear lived the rest of his life at Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo, with his remains returned to Capitan and buried at Smokey Bear Historical Park.

Jeff Bezos

Invention: New Mexico has been credited, or at least claimed, to be the inventors of two culinary items, the Breakfast Burrito and Frito Pie. The breakfast burrito first appeared on a menu in 1975, at Tia Sophia’s, in Santa Fe. The Frito Pie (corn chips, topped with chili and cheese inside the Frito bag) also comes from Santa Fe, where it was served at the Woolworth’s diner, in the 1960’s.

Crime: David Parker Ray (aka the Toy-Box Killer) is thought to have murdered as many as 60 women. His “toy-box” was a sound-proofed truck trailer, which he used to kidnap, torture, rape and presumably murder his victims. No bodies were ever discovered, but Ray was convicted of kidnapping and torture in 2001. He died a year later of a heart attack.

Law: The infamous McDonald’s Coffee Lawsuit was filed in New Mexico after 79-year-old Stella Liebeck suffered third-degree burns to her groin area when she spilled coffee. Obviously, coffee is hot, but the case arose from McDonald’s being warned repeatedly about the temperature of their drink. Liebeck was awarded $2.86 million, which was lowered to $640,000. She spent eight days in hospital, followed by further treatment for two years.

Sports Team: With no professional teams, college sports are the top game in the state. The University of New Mexico Lobos and New Mexico State University Aggies compete in a variety of sports, most notably their football programs, known as the Rio Grande Rivalry. There’s also the Albuquerque Isotopes Triple-A baseball team, which is named for The Simpsons episodes involving a similar squad.

Breakfast Burrito

Athlete: The Unser racing family, consisting of Al Sr., Bobby and Al Jr., are based in Albuquerque. Combined, those three won nine Indy 500 races and have each been inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. A series of successful racing video games were developed in the early to mid 1990’s, featuring Al Jr.

Famous Home: One of the oldest buildings in the country, the De Vargas Street House (aka the Oldest House), can be found in Santa Fe. Researchers believe the structure dates back to the 1600’s. Another impressive site, thought to be among the oldest continuously inhabited communities, is the Taos Pueblo settlement, built between 1000 and 1450.

Urban Legend: In 1947, a U.S. Army Air Forces balloon crashed near Roswell. Dubbed the Roswell UFO Incident, many people believe the object that had fallen out of the sky was actually an alien craft and a government conspiracy is covering up the truth. More recent interest in the event was sparked by an alien autopsy film, released in 1995 and revealed to be a hoax a decade later.

Museum: On July 14, 1881, legendary outlaw, William ‘Billy the Kid’ Bonney, was finally tracked down and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett, in Fort Sumner. The Billy the Kid Museum can now be found there, featuring artifacts from the young gunslinger’s assassination, as well as articles belonging to him. Billy the Kid was only 21 years old when he died.

Roswell

Firsts: For better or worse, the Atomic Bomb was developed in New Mexico, as part of the Manhattan Project. Code named Trinity, the first detonation of such a bomb took place in Alamogordo, on July 16, 1945. Weeks later, similar bombs were dropped on Japan, leading to the end of World War II. The test site is now a National Historic Landmark.

Company: With no recognizable companies to me, it should be noted that Microsoft was founded in Albuquerque, in 1975. Founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen moved the company to Seattle in 1979, to better attract developers. For more New Mexico flavour, convenience store chain Allsup’s was founded in Roswell, in 1956, and now has over 300 stores across New Mexico and Texas.

Events: During the 1898 Spanish-American War, fighters from New Mexico impressed Teddy Roosevelt so much, he began campaigning to have the territory become a U.S. state. New Mexico impressed once again during World War II, when Navajo code talkers used their language to get messages past the enemy. It’s the only military code to never be deciphered.

Miscellaneous: New Mexico is host to the largest air balloon festival in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The event runs for nine days each October and features 500 air balloons filling the sky. As a result of the festival’s success, New Mexico’s State Aircraft is the hot air balloon and the state is known as the Balloon Capital of the World.

Chimayó Cocktail

Chimayo Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 0.25 oz Crème de Cassis
  • Top with Apple Cider
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Apple Slices

Created in 1965, by Arturo Jaramillo, owner of the Rancho de Chimayó restaurant, in Chimayó, the drink has become the eatery’s signature beverage. The story goes that Jaramillo was looking for a way to use apple crops, which are bountiful in his part of the state, and this was the happy result.

August 29 – After Work Special

Lame Labour

Admittedly, the Sip Advisor isn’t content with his current career. Apparently, I’m not alone, as there is a lot of literature out there about why people hate their occupation and what they should do about it. With Labour Day rapidly approaching, here are some other folks that really hated their job:

#5: Walter White – Breaking Bad

Before moving to a life of crime and meth production, Walter was a high school chemistry teacher. And it’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, but he had previously been on the cutting edge of the science world, before selling his share in an idea that would eventually become quite profitable. Walt is so underpaid as a teacher that he has to take a side job as a carwash cashier and when he’s diagnosed with cancer, he has to enter into the seedy world of drug manufacturing, in order to make enough cash to keep up his treatment.

making meth

#4: Peter Gibbons – Office Space

Out of all the entries on this list, I probably identify most with Peter, who is frustrated with his place in life and the lack of pleasure his mundane, dead end career brings him. His dealings with his boss are excruciating and he has no other option but to take all the crap. Flanked by his colleagues Michael and Samir, the trio try to take a small cut from each transaction coming through the company, only to have their program give them a much larger slice than they intended. At least they got to destroy the printer that was always breaking down.

#3: Jim Halpert – The Office

In a similar fashion to Peter from Office Space, Jim is young and talented, but stuck in a job that pays the bills, while not providing the satisfaction he’s really searching for. If it wasn’t for his attraction to receptionist Pam Beasley, he probably would have bolted years earlier. I gotta say, though, working closely with your girlfriend/wife and getting to see her at all hours is something I would love to do. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s cool with the Sip Advisor. In time, Jim figures things out and begins to pursue an interest in a start-up sports marketing company.

Jim Halpert Try

#2: Homer Simpson – The Simpsons

While Homer has tackled numerous jobs (boxer, sports mascot, snow plow driver, voice actor, etc.) during the show’s long run, the one he has to attend day in, day out, is one he does not enjoy. Homer was able to break free once from the Nuclear Power Plant, but with another baby on the way, was forced to return and grovel for his job back. A sign now sits in his sector, which states: “Don’t Forget: You’re Here Forever.” Homer changed the sign with photos to read “Do It For Her” in reference to daughter Maggie, the reason he had to return.

#1: Al Bundy – Married with Children

Nearly every episode of this iconic show featured woman’s shoe salesman, Al Bundy, returning from a day of work in which he didn’t get paid very well, but was verbally and sometimes physically abused by the clientele. “So a fat woman walks into the store today,” is usually how the tale began and ended with an epic struggle to fit a woman’s foot (or hoof as Al often called it) into a shoe that was too many sizes smaller than needed. So much for a guy who once had dreams of playing pro football… all until he was married with children!

Super Saturday Shot Day: After Work Special

  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with Coconut Shavings

For those out there that are working in what they love to do (or at least what they went to school for), I am absolutely jelly of you. Sadly, the Sip Advisor has to save his passions for outside of work… and I don’t even get paid for my efforts. One day, my rainbow will come though. I just have to keep my head held high and reach for the sky!

November 14 – Breaking Bad

Regretful Decisions

Recently, I did a series of articles about actors that probably regretted movie roles they had turned down. Today, I embark on a similar series, but change the medium. We’re looking at TV characters that have been passed up on… usually for the better!

Paul Giamatti as Michael Scott (The Office)

The iconic role that made Steve Carell a household name and launched his movie career could have gone to someone else. Paul Giamatti turned down the U.S.-version of David Brent and focused on his movie career. A few others were reportedly considered for the role, including Hank Azaria, Martin Short, Bob Odenkirk, and even Rainn Wilson, who ended up as the best possible Dwight Schrute imaginable.

giamatti-scott

Pamela Anderson as Dana Scully (X-Files)

The show would have been much less sci-fi and a little more parody had this poor choice actually happened. I’m not a fan, but the X-Files staff made a great move by going in another direction. You can also bet that if Anderson had taken the roll, there would have been more slow-motion running scenes and the skimpiest outfits possible for a paranormal investigator!

John Cusack/Matthew Broderick as Walter White (Breaking Bad)

I’m a huge Bryan Cranston fan, long before he became a meth-making, cancer-surviving maniac. I even heard one joke that Walter White is Cranston’s character on Malcolm in the Middle after he goes into hiding! Getting back on track, apparently both Cusack and Broderick turned down the role, leaving the door wide open for Cranston. I can kind of see Cusack doing an okay job, but Broderick would have been a long shot to make this work.

Katie Holmes as Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Good lord I hate this show with a vehement passion. The story goes that Holmes passed on Buffy in order to finish high school (a commendable action), before she joined the cast of Dawson’s Creek the next year (an uncommendable action). Sarah Michelle Gellar had originally auditioned for the role on Cordelia, but thankfully the domino effect introduced the world to Charisma Carpenter, who later posed for Playboy and that’s all that really matters!

holmes-buffy

Ryan Reynolds and Xander Harris (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Speaking of that which shall not be named, my alma mater homey (The Green Lantern and I attended the same college) saw the writing on the wall and passed on this nerd-captivating show. He has since gone on to become a Hollywood heartthrob, while Nicholas Brendon has gone on to do a variety of work, but nothing near the level of his Xander Harris (the one character I didn’t mind on the show) fame.

John Hawkes as The Governor (The Walking Dead)

I’m not familiar with who John Hawkes actually is (he actually played a few roles you know, you jackass), but I find his reasoning to be sound. He refused the role of The Governor, as he thought someone else could do the character better. Enter David Morrissey, who has provided the character a hauntingly authoritative aura in his battles with Rick Grimes and the other survivors.

Paul Shaffer as George Costanza (Seinfeld)

I can’t imagine anyone other than Jason Alexander portraying Costanza: Lord of the Idiots. Shaffer, best known as David Letterman’s band leader, was left a message from Jerry Seinfled, offering him the role if he wanted it, but due to his other commitments, Shaffer never even returned the call. I just don’t think the show would have been very good without Alexander in the role of Jerry’s best friend.

Drink #318: Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad Drink Recipe

  • Rim glass with Blue Salt/Rock Candy
  • 2 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedges

What will tomorrow’s sequel list hold? Wouldn’t you like to know? And for a small fee, I’ll tell you. Hey, gotta support this project somehow!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I don’t have any major complaints about this cocktail, but it didn’t measure up to many of the drinks I’ve been making recently. I’m glad the Blue Candy Powder rim worked out as it helped with the Breaking Bad crystal meth theme. Tequila and Lemonade are a good combo, so give it a chance sometime.

October 30 – Corpse Reviver

Clever Costumes

There are some really funny costumes out there. Somehow, I’ve narrowed a limitless number of hilarious coverings down to a few favourites. There folks should be so proud of the honour I’m about to bestow upon them!

Facebook Post Costume

Just think about all the action this guy would get in a night, as every girl at the party would want to be the one featured in the Facebook post. Of course, he’d have to hold that sign up most of the time, but the benefits totally outweigh the effort. This is the kind of selfie I can get behind.

Lobster Kids Costume

Mrs. Sip loves lobster… but maybe not this much! When this kid is old enough to realize what happened to them at such a young age, do you think they’ll want justice. Perhaps they’ll be in therapy thanks to flashbacks of being stuffed in a pot and nightmares of being cooked. Good parenting!

breaking bad costumes

You would have to imagine that these two boys don’t even know what Breaking Bad is, but kudos to them for going along with a costume that is clearly the brainchild of their parents. Both boys nail the look of Jesse and Walter and you hope people handing out candy would appreciate the effort.

dog-poop factory-costume

Poor puppy doesn’t know that its owners and everyone it walks by is having a laugh at its expense. The payback will come when the dog chews up its owner stuff, slobbers throughout the house and perhaps even leaves a few ‘presents’ for its people to have to clean up. Sweet revenge!

rollercoaster-costumes

The problem with this costume is that it doesn’t work so well when any member separates from the group. Therefore, you have to choose the group members wisely because you’ll probably be spending the entire night with them or in a nearby proximity to them.

Drink #303: Corpse Reviver

Corpse Reviver Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Cognac (I used Courvoisier)
  • 0.5 oz Apple Rum
  • 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Garnish with Body Part Gummies

If you think there are better costumes out there, let me know. I’m always looking for my next Halloween outfit and have no qualms about ripping someone else off!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
There is also the more popular Corpse Reviver #2 recipe, but I wanted to give the original some air time. Today’s recipe calls for Apple Brandy, but not having any on hand, I resorted to an Apple Rum, which provided some of the required flavour, but lacked the sweetness the Brandy might have offered. That was left for the Sweet Vermouth to provide and it did so to a reasonable degree.