Flavour Revolution – Chocolate

Running on Empty

Not to send anyone into a panic, but there are those out there (you know, scientific folks) who say that we are running short on chocolate. This is because of the costs involved and the commitment (up to five years) to grow cocoa beans. This may lead the treat to become quite costly in the future, which is why the Sip Advisor is downing chocolate bars like there’s no tomorrow… because there might not be. Here are some other commodities that are rapidly disappearing and may eventually cease to exist:

Wine

While there seems to be new wineries opening every day, across the globe, and demand for wine has increased greatly, production of the drink has fallen by 5%. Many smaller outlets just won’t be able to keep making whites and reds and people’s thirst for wine just won’t be satisfied. There are some that think the issue is more of an “Old World” wine problem and that “New World” countries such as the U.S., Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and New Zealand will close that gap.

wine-is-like-ductape

Tequila

Sticking with alcohols, fans of margaritas and general shot craziness should be concerned. Blue agave, the plant that is used to create tequila takes 12 years to reach maturity and worse, in 2007, disease struck Mexico’s agave crops, causing 20% to be destroyed. While there is a current stockpile of tequila, prices will certainly rise and with many farmers switching over to growing corn instead, who knows what the future holds for the taco and burrito accompaniment.

Coffee

While I’m not a coffee fan (in fact, I’m a member of the anti-coffee lobby), I can only imagine the horrors of a world where those that drink copious amounts of coffee each day just to function, don’t have access to their fix. We’re talking zombie apocalypse here, people! The issue stems from droughts, high temperatures, and diseases which have affected coffee bean crops. Much, if not all of Arabica beans could disappear by 2080, if these trends continue as predicted.

coffee-crack

Bacon

I may not care about coffee, but I certainly have a crispy spot in my heart for bacon. The salty pork product is a splendid addition to everything from sandwiches to salads and even works as a vodka flavour. Sadly, this king of all meats is seeing decreased production thanks to farmer’s cutting costs, a 2012 drought across the Midwest United States, and a little something called the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. A worldwide shortage looms on the horizon and that is a world I don’t want to live in!

Water

When not drinking beer, wine, or a cocktail, the Sip Advisor can routinely be found with a glass of water nearby. I love the clear stuff and I think we can all agree that it’s pretty important to the survival of the world. As for the problem, I’ll put it this way: we don’t have enough water to turn it into wine and take care of that other item that is diminishing. The scary stat of the day is that by 2025, it’s estimated that two-thirds of the world may be forced to live with little to no water.

Flavour Revolution: Revolve

We have also exhausted the world’s gold supply, but that really only concerns Scrooge McDuck and his money bin swims. Over the years, the Sip Advisor has written a lot about chocolate, so finding the right subject for the Flavour Revolution project was a tough decision. I hope you enjoyed the article and didn’t scare you too much about the future.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):
For those curious, I found some good Chocolate Whiskey recipes at the Bird Dog Whiskey website

Advertisements

November 11 – Dirty Martini

Hall of Fame

Recently, I got the idea of building my own shrine to immortal alcohols. These spirits have meant a great deal to me and have made me the Sip Advisor I am today. So, without further ado, here is the inaugural Sip Advisor Liquor Hall of Fame Class!

Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum

I’ve always enjoyed spiced rums, but none more so than Sailor Jerry’s. A definite highlight in my relationship with the spirit was a booth along Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience, where free pour drinks that were upwards of 60% Sailor Jerry’s were enjoyed in copious amounts. Sadly, on my last visit, that booth was nowhere to be found… but they can’t take my memories!

sailor-jerry's collection

Crown Royal Whiskey

A true Canadian classic, akin to actor Leslie Nielsen, musician Neil Young, and the Tim Horton’s donut franchise! Crown Royal is a wonderful whiskey that has played a large role in the Sip Advisor’s life and career as a liquor jockey. When a recipe calls for whiskey, it’s hard for me to not instinctively go for the Crown Royal, sitting high and mighty in its top shelf perch.

Bacardi Light Rum

Bacardi Light Rum was training wheels for me, as I entered the booze world in my teenage years. Ma and Pa Sip were regular rum and coke drinkers and like parents like son, I took up the family business. I can’t remember how many times I filled up a flask of Bacardi before heading out to a party. A tradition I will one day pass down to my own little sippers!

Fireball Whiskey

This is my go-to flask filler, perfect for weddings, camping, and nights out on the town. If you’re ever in the need for a little nip of something to get the party started or warm up in inclement weather, Fireball is the perfect tonic to get your motor running. I’ve even converted little sippers to the joys of the whiskey thanks to my great reputation as a sharer.

Frieball Whiskey Heaven & Hell

1800 Añejo Tequila

Mrs. Sip and I were first introduced to 1800 on a group trip to Mexico for New Year’s 2012. In the land of tequila, one fine product emerged for us, combining a wonderful taste with a very reasonable price point. We have since returned to Mexico and tracked down the 1800 Añejo again and it won’t be long before we have to repeat the process a third time.

Granville Island Brewery

The beer wing’s first entrant has to be the offerings of the Granville Island Brewery. From their Raspberry and Wheat Ales to their Lager and Honey Lager entries, not much comes out of the GIB kitchen that doesn’t pass the Sip Advisor’s stringent testing methods. I look forward to many more years of brewing goodness from this micro-brewery.

Cola

We finish the evening with our first hall of fame inductee among the mixer category. It’s a pretty obvious choice. My first drinks all included cola (of the Pepsi variety, of course). Whether it was a straight up rum and coke or the adventurous Long Island Iced Tea, cola has always been there for me and I’ll never forget its friendship, love, and support.

Drink #315: Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini Drink Recipe

  • 2 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire East)
  • 0.25 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Splash of Olive Juice
  • Garnish with Olives

As with most hall of fames, a stringent voting process was needed to decide which drinking elements earned their way into these hallowed halls. Thankfully, an entire panel of top journalists and other prominent alcohol figures all reside in my head. Congrats to all the honourees.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
A star-studded event like saluting the 2013 hall of fame class needs a classy drink and so I went for the Dirty Martini. You can make this cocktail with either Gin or Vodka. I decided to go with the Gin variant, as that is the traditional method. One recipe noted to fill your martini glass with an ice cube and some water before placing in the fridge for a few minutes to let the chalice chill. This cocktail is certainly not for everyone. However, I like Olive Juice and I love Gin. Put the two together and the results are actually quite pleasant. I can see why this is such a popular martini to many people.

August 8 – Killer Kool-Aid

Beverage of State

Did you know that a number of American states have an official beverage? That’s right, on top of having state flowers and birds, more than half of the country’s states have gone to the trouble of selecting an official drink as well. While an overwhelming number of those states have taken the easy and politically correct route of naming milk as their bevvy of choice, here are the states that chose to shake things up and ruffle some feathers (of birds… hopefully roughly… stupid birds).

Nebraska – Kool-Aid

Nebraska lamed out a little by also choosing milk as their official beverage, but they did select Kool-Aid as their state soft drink. When I was a little sipper, I knew I was destined for a life of mixology thanks to the experiments I conducted with Kool-Aid. I mixed it with a number of ingredients, searching for the next great recipe. Pepsi and Kool-Aid, or as I called it, Kontaminated Kool-Aid, provided my most favourable results.

Kool-Aid

Alabama – Conecuh Ridge Whiskey

How awesome would it be to live in a place that’s official drink was freakin’ Whiskey?! I must admit, though, I’m a little surprised that Alabama didn’t go with Moonshine as their most famous liquid offering, but I guess they had to play a little nice with the process. Good on ya, Alabama!

Massachusetts – Cranberry Juice

I guess the fine folks of Massachusetts have some serious urinary issues if they’ve chosen Cranberry Juice as their official drink. Hey, whatever keeps them healthy and happy. Cranberry Juice does factor into a lot of cocktails, so perhaps they were onto something when choosing this mixer.

Florida – Orange Juice

This is a bit of a no-brainer as Florida is renowned for their Orange Juice. I wonder if O.J. Simpson was on hand for the ceremony making the juice the official beverage of the state. This would, of course, be years before his legal troubles, but being born in California he might be partial to that states orange juice history.

orange-juice

Rhode Island – Coffee Milk

Rhode Island wanted to follow suit with much of the country, but also tried to remain unique by picking Coffee Milk. I’m supposing this means much of the state runs around with a caffeine buzz leading to insomnia and a rash of Starbucks popping up to capitalize on the movement. My take on coffee and its subsidiaries can be found here.

Maine – Moxie

Moxie is Maine’s official soft drink and is made with the bitter tasting gentian root extract. While it is Maine’s state soft drink because creator Dr. Augustin Thompson was born in the state, the drink was actually produced in Massachusetts… I smell a blood feud!

Indiana – Water

How boring of a selection is this!? It’s like it didn’t even try! Don’t get me wrong, I love my H2O and whenever I’m not consuming alcohol, I’m downing the clear stuff to balance myself out, but come on… couldn’t they settle on something with even the slightest intrigue? Shame, Indiana… kind of sounds like a cool place to live.

diet water

New Hampshire – Apple Cider

An interesting selection, indeed… apparently this decision grew from a student campaign (their teacher wanted to get kids interested in government and show them they have a voice even at their useless age!) and even Facebook page to get the government to make it all official.

South Carolina – State-Grown Tea

I’m assuming this could be used in either hot or iced tea, but perhaps I’d cause an international incident for drinking one and not the other. South Carolina is another state that picked milk as its official beverage, but State-Grown Tea is their State Hospitality Beverage… yes, such a thing exists.

Ohio – Tomato Juice

This kind of reminds me of the Simpsons episode where the town of Shelbyville is forced to worship a turnip tree (once Springfield gets its precious lemon tree back) and the citizens can’t stand eating the vile vegetable. I’m curious as to how many people actually drink the official beverage of their state regularly. P.S.: Tomato Juice is gross!

Drink #220: Killer Kool-Aid

Aug 8

  • Rim glass with Kool-Aid Powder
  • 1 oz Vodka (I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir)
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

I’m surprised more states haven’t named an official beverage. California could choose wine, given its wonderful wine regions. Washington State could go with Apple Juice thanks to the production industry there. Finally, Michigan could choose motor oil as a nod to being the home of motor vehicle manufacturing.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I have to say that this drink tastes an awful lot like Kool-Aid… plus a little bit of the hard stuff! I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, which added a nice flavour with the top shelf spirit and all was well… oh yeah!

May 7 – Caesar

Well Hung

I never get hung over. Don’t get me wrong, I can feel a little off the day after a heavy drinking effort, but I do not display the normal symptoms of a hangover. Mrs. Sip and friends marvel over my invincibility against hangovers… or more accurately they get green with jealousy. Haters say that the dreaded morning after monster will catch up to me, but how can it ever sneak up on you when you have a perpetual buzz going!?

hangover cat

The Caesar (a Canadian original and menu staple), today’s libation du jour, is thought to be a steadfast hangover cure. Although this isn’t a proven fact, most drinkers would swear by it. Here are some other solutions to your throbbing headache, nausea, dehydration, and weakness – at least I’ve heard that’s what a hangover feels like:

Coffee

I don’t drink the stuff at the best of times, so I’m pretty sure it would make me sicker than I was before, if I tried it as a cure. According to some studies, drinking coffee may increase your alertness the morning after drinking, but it will also increase your dehydration. So, to sum up, I have once again proven that coffee and all its subsidiaries suck and should be stricken from the earth.

Aspirin, Gravol & Other Meds

I have been advised before to take an Aspirin before going to bed after drinking heavy. I laughed obnoxiously at the time and I’m still laughing today. Meds can actually be helpful to cure what ails you, though. Aspirin will relieve your headache and Gravol will settle your stomach. If you don’t have any pills lying around, Ginger Ale can also work wonders on the system. It makes a great mixer, to boot!

hangover not drinking

Fast Food

A morning run to McDonalds, Burger King, or any other fast food joint may not actually cure a hangover, but it’s a perfectly good reason to start the day right with a greasy meal! Then when you’re sitting on the couch all day feeling lethargic, you can blame your breakfast, rather than your hangover.

More Alcohol

This would be my favourite solution to a hangover, but apparently the “hair of the dog” approach will eventually make you feel worse, as you build toxins on top of already consumed poisons. The Caesar would fall into this category, with drinkers arguing that the blend of ingredients, and in particular the clamato juice (tomato juice if you’re making a Bloody Mary), is enough to jump start their body the day after getting smashed.

hangover keep drinking

Exercise

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good workout, but after a night out, even when I don’t get hangovers, the thought of an early morning bike or weight lifting session makes me shiver. I like to start the day slowly after getting blotto. I’ll eventually hit the gym, but I’m in no rush whatsoever to get there. The only exercise I want the morning after painting the town red is a little cuddling, if you smell what I’m cookin’.

Sleep

The complete opposite of exercise, staying in bed is a little more up my alley. Sleeping one off is as literal a hangover cure as you can find. A true warrior, though, doesn’t save his drinking for the weekends. Yes, us man-among-men types can hit the bottle with a fire so strong that it’s mesmerizing and still wake up early the next day, hop out of bed and be a stud at work. That’s when you know you’re a legend… or an alcoholic, whateves.

hangover-funny

Bacon

My good friend and future best man (you should always be planning ahead), bacon, has actually been recently proven to help make people feel better after they’ve hit the bottle too hard. Specifically a bacon sandwich can do the trick, thanks to the carbs in bread and the protein in bacon. Both these substances provide the body with essential amino acids which will help with recovery. Is there anything bacon can’t do!?

Water/Sports Drinks

If I’m not having an alcoholic bevvy and you see the Sip Advisor with a drink in my hand, it’s likely going to be water. I drink so much water every day, I figure that’s why I never get a hangover. Oddly, I don’t drink much water during a hardcore boozing session, but I have friends who swear by doing a 1-1 or 2-1 ratio of alcohol to water or sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade) beverages. I’ve never been a mathematician, so that just seems like too much work to me.

Drink #127: Caesar

Caesar Drink

  • Rim glass with Celery Salt
  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Bakon Vodka)
  • Top with Clamato Juice
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
  • Dash of Hot Sauce
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Horseradish
  • Garnish with Celery Stalk, Pickled Skewer, Spicy Bean, and Lime Wedge

Apparently, there are actually hangover pills. Personally, I wouldn’t give them much stock. Why waste your money on something that probably doesn’t even work, when you all you apparently really need is bacon and water? If you hate me because I don’t get hangovers, let me know. The best insults you can hurl my way may appear in a future post!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I’ve always been a fair-weather friend of the Caesar. I neither love it, nor hate it. However, now I’m a fan as apparently I just had to make one for myself. This eco-system of a drink was delicious. It was salty, spicy, savoury, and flavourful, all at the same time. A cocktail that was wonderfully enjoyed on a beautiful day!

February 23 – Berry Delight

Rim Jobs

One of my favourite ways to complete the aesthetics of a cocktail is to give it a good rimming. Apparently the network isn’t too happy with me terming it that way… don’t really understand why. And, actually, I shouldn’t say it’s how I complete the drink, as it’s usually the starting point… let’s call it a thorough round of foreplay. Oh, now I see the issue!

Bad Rim Job

I like to use anything that will stick to a glass, no holds barred style. With today’s cocktail, I used strawberry pop rocks. In the past, I’ve used anything from salt (perfect for margaritas) to coconut shavings to cinnamon sugar. And over the rest of this blog’s run, I will continue to experiment with other substances: cocaine, cereal, gravel, etc.

For those who are inexperienced rimmers (we can’t all be experts at the rimming arts), there are a few techniques that will help you put together the best looking cocktail. Here are some tips:

First, coat the rim of your glass with something sticky that will hold whatever you want to stick to it. You can use lemon or lime juice or different syrups (simple syrup in particular is handy).

Most rimming sets have you dunk your glass upside down into whatever liquid you’ve chosen to use and then into whatever rim you want to achieve.

Some people will only rim the outside of a glass, so as not to disturb the drink inside. You can accomplish this by dipping you glass at a 45-degree angle into the liquid, spinning so only the outside of the glass is coated. Then do the same with the rim ingredient. For this, you might want to use small plates, rather than a rimming set.

Drink Rim

Note: Those are not the Sip Advisor’s hands… mine are sexier!

Make sure that your rimming material isn’t so heavy that it will not hold. I’ve had issues with rock salt and crushed candy cane bits before. The lighter the item, the more likely it will adhere to the rim coating.

Once the rim is complete, you can use a moist paper towel to clean up the edges and remove anything that has fallen into the glass, if you want a clean cut look. Be careful adding any garnish to the glass, so as not to disturb your work of art.

If serving to friends, you could choose to only rim half the glass in case guests don’t want to taste the rim contents with each sip. Otherwise, they can man (or woman) up, take the first sip with the rim and drink every subsequent sip in the same spot… wussies.

Now let’s feel the snap, crackle and pop of today’s rimming. Satisfaction ALWAYS guaranteed.

Drink #54: Berry Delight (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Berry Delight Shooter

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This was a relatively plain shot, so I took it upon myself to add the Pop Rock rim, which was fun to eat even after the liquor was already down the hatch.