Flavour Revolution – Maple

Canadian Chauvinism

Maple is a cultural icon of Canada, whether you’re talking about trees, syrup or anything else. We put it on everything, including in booze. Hell, the maple leaf is even featured on our country’s flag, giving us one of the most unique banners in the world. With national pride in mind, here are some of Canada’s greatest patriots and icons:

Don Cherry

Cherry has about as many detractors as he does fans, but one thing everyone agrees on is that ‘Grapes’ is a staunch supporter of Canada, its hockey players, its military troops, and its national sport. He may go about this the wrong way sometimes, such as questioning the heart of European players, for example, but his heart is usually in the right place. The guy practically bleeds red and white maple leafs, which is sometimes hard to detect given the distracting nature of his wardrobe!

don-cherry-back

Bret Hart

Wrestling is full of patriotic characters, but you don’t see too many Canadians waving the ol’ red and white maple leaf too wildly. Bret Hart, however, along with his Hart Foundation stable, ventured on a unique storyline in 1997, where he criticized the United States and the fans that called the country home. This made him wildly popular in Canada and vehemently hated south of the border. For the rest of his career, Hart always wore Canadian pride on his sleeve and cemented his legendary status.

Wayne Gretzky

Among many great athletes, ‘The Great One’ is Canada’s most iconic and not just because he played the country’s national sport. Gretzky’s influence spread throughout the world and he can be credited with the rise of hockey’s popularity as a sport, not only across the southern United States, but also in many other countries across the globe. Gretzky represented Canada on many occasions, perhaps most notably as part of the management team that brought Olympic hockey gold back to the country after 50 years.

The Beaver

Ah, the majestic beaver… and let’s be clear, the Sip Advisor is actually talking about the noble dam-building animal. The North American beaver has found its way to being featured on the nation’s five-cent piece, the country’s very first postage stamp, and beaver sculptures can also be found adorning the Canadian Parliament Building. Canada also has a number of other creatures that are culturally appreciated, including Canadian geese, loons, and Canadian horses.

gratuitous beaver shot

Molson Canadian Beer

The country’s national beer might not be much to brag about, in comparison to craft beer options across the nation, but it’s still something to be more proud of than Budweiser, Coors, and many of the other beverage options our continental neighbours seem to be so satisfied with. Molson Canadian has a brewing tradition that dates back to 1959 and for many young Canucks, is the first beer they ever enjoy. The Sip Advisor is one of these people and I am forever grateful for my earliest suds.

Tim Hortons

Nothing is more Canadian than donuts! Others would insist that the company’s coffee be included as part of the national identity combo, but not the Sip Advisor. Tim Hortons has grown across the country and even into other parts of the world. With products ranging from donuts to Timbits (donut holes), as well as sandwiches, soups, muffins, cookies, and everything else in between, Tim Hortons is one international contribution that can be enjoyed across the globe.

Poutine

Canada can’t be given much credit for creating items that have taken over the culinary scene, but poutine is one thing we devised and have shared – to great success – with the world over. You can’t go into a pub nowadays without the place having at least one poutine dish on their menu. Even most fast food chains, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, have made the creation available for eaters on the run. Add some bacon (preferably Canadian) onto the meal and you’re ready to gorge!

Flavour Revolution: Poor Sap

Poor Sap Martini

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Maple Liqueur
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Dash of Bitters
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

As a whole, Canada isn’t necessarily known for staunch patriotism… unless we’re talking about hockey and then it’s time to knuckle up. Many of our homegrown stars leave the country and never look back, trying to remove every hint of their Canadian ancestry. You will often hear debates over whether a celebrity is Canadian or not or the statement “I didn’t know he was from Canada.” The same can’t be said for the above entries.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
With three ounces of liquor, this is a strong martini, but the taste is pretty solid. Of course, I used a Canadian Whiskey (Crown Royal) for the cocktail. I might have slightly overdone it with the Bitters, but it all depends on your taste preferences. All in all, a good drink.

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December 30 – Iron Man Cocktail

We’re Going Streaking

As tomorrow marks the conclusion of the 365-day cocktail project, my efforts will be included with some of the greatest streaks known the world over. In fact, it’s probably the greatest compilation ever put together in human existence… and you little sippers were all a part of history. Here are some other notable runs.

Cal Ripken, Jr. – 2,632 Consecutive MLB games

While baseball lacks so many of the physical demands of other sports (hell, players spend more than half the game simply standing around and do so little that they can sometimes play two contests in one day), Cal Ripken, Jr.’s 2,632 straight games is still an amazing achievement. The streak started on May 30, 1982 and ended on Sept. 20, 1998, as the shortstop wanted to wrap it up on his own terms and avoid any controversy that may follow in the twilight of his career.

Cal-Ripken

Doug Jarvis – 964 Consecutive NHL games

To play that many successive games in one of the most physical sports on the planet is quite the impressive feat. When that streak spans your entire professional career (from 1975 to 1987), while winning four Stanley Cups, as well as the Selke Trophy (NHL’s top defensive forward) and Bill Masterton Trophy (awarded for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey) that makes the record that much sweeter.

Brett Favre – 297 Consecutive NFL Quarterback Starts

Given how rough and tumble professional football can be, it’s astonishing that Brett Favre was able to start 297 games in a row, all while sending pictures of his junk via cell phone to select female members of team staff. Okay, so some of Favre’s shine rubbed off (perhaps bad word choice) near the end of his career, but you can’t take away the guy’s grit and passion.

Joe Dimaggio – 56-Game Hit Streak

It has been written before that the hardest thing to do in professional sports is hit a fastball. While I vehemently disagree with that assertion, I do agree that there are unique skills required to be a pro ball player and Joe Dimaggio’s streak is pretty impressive because of this. Perhaps more notable, the dude married Marilyn Monroe… not too shabby!

Joe Dimaggio

Lance Armstrong – 7-Consecutive Tour de France Victories

While Lance Armstrong’s streak of victories has since been tainted by his steroid scandal, the man competed in a world rife with cheating and he still managed to win seven straight Tour de France titles. Armstrong’s celebrity also boosted funding for cancer treatments, so regardless of his name being sullied, he still did some great things for the world.

Wayne Gretzky – 51 Consecutive Game Point Streak

Wayne Gretzky is the most prolific scorer in NHL history, putting up so many records that will never be touched. Among those, is his 51-game point scoring streak in 1983-84. The Great One averaged 3 points per game during that run and had he sat out the rest of the season after the stretch was ended, he would have still won the scoring title by 27 points!

Byron Nelson – 11 Consecutive PGA Tour Wins

Today, you’re likely to see a different leader atop the PGA Tour each week. To win 11 straight in today’s golfing world is totally unfathomable. Not ever Tiger Woods in his prime came anywhere near touching that mark. Nelson won 18 of 30 tournaments in 1945 and 52 throughout his PGA career. He also added 12 wins on other professional circuits.

A.C. Green – 1,192 Consecutive NBA Games

I think I’m more impressed with the fact the deeply religious man waited until the age of 38 to finally lose his virginity. Now THAT’S an iron man streak! Green’s foundation promotes abstinence before marriage and he was finally wed in 2002, following his playing career, which lasted from 1985-2001, including three NBA Championships.

Drink #364: Iron Man Cocktail

Iron Man Cocktail Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Amaretto (I used Disaronno)
  • 1 Shot of Orange Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine

So, what’s next for The Sip Advisor? You’ll have to stay tuned for a big announcement on New Year’s Day. The excitement is palpable, isn’t it!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This recipe comes courtesy of The Drunken Moogle site and while it is meant for the comic and movie character Iron Man, I think it applies here, as well. Simply place the shot of Orange Juice into the Amaretto/Grenadine Mix and slam the whole concoction back. The drink is sweet, so if you have a tooth for that, you’re in luck. Most will want to have a more tart taste mixed in, so this cocktail doesn’t work for all.

July 1 – Red Maple Sunset

Welcome to Canada

To celebrate Canada Day (my home and native land) I decided to take a look at the pros and cons of this country’s make-up. Why bother looking at what needs improvement, you ask? Well, I feel we should all be always striving to better ourselves and I expect no less from my country. That, and I’m a massive jerk, who likes to rant about things that displease me. On with the ranting!

Pro: Hockey

If you are ever in need of defining what an athlete should be, look no further than a hockey player, preferably of the Canadian variety. There, you will see true glimpses of sportsmanship, humbleness, work ethic, ruggedness, and manliocity. Think of icons like Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Gordie Howe, and ‘The Great One’ Wayne Gretzky.

Hockey Players

Con: Expensive Alcohol

Do you know how much easier this 365-day liquor challenge would be if I lived in almost any other country, rather than Canada. Even Canadian manufactured products are ridiculously priced. Whenever Mrs. Sip and I travel south of the border, we make sure to grab a ton of booze because it is just so much more reasonably priced. Sadly, we have limits on what we can bring back and as a law-abiding citizen, I actually follow these allotments… for the most part!

Pro: Good People

Canada has a reputation for its citizens being overly nice and helpful population. This standing is well-earned and as a fictional leader of this great land, I must say that I’m proud of our people and the work we all do to not only make our home a better place, but to welcome strangers from foreign lands.

Con: No Dill Pickle Round Slices

There are a lot of products that I can’t find in Canada, that are available south of the border (in fact, I wrote an entire article about this phenomenon). But one that absolutely flummoxes me is the absence of dill pickles in round slices. If it can be done for sweet pickles, why not dill? Clearly dill pickles can be sliced, but all I ever see is the elongated variety. It has driven me to become an ex-pat of this great nation and must be rectified.

Pro: Beautiful Women

I can say with full conviction that Canada has to have the most beautiful women in the universe. A long walk on a glorious summer day – with dark shades fully ensconced on my noggin’ – is an absolute treat with all the eye candy available to every red-blooded male. Sadly, that beauty gets hidden away during the cold winter months, when everyone is bundling up in toques, scarfs, and jackets, but it’s all worth it again on that first patio-suitable day of spring.

Canada Women

Con: Inclement Weather

As mentioned above, it can get cold and nasty during the winter, up here in the Great White North. Even here in Vancouver, where we have much more mild temperatures, we live in an urban rainforest where we get drenched by buckets of cold  rain every year. I know we’re not alone in the not-so-nice weather department, but that doesn’t mean I can’t bitch about it. On the bright side, if you like to ski (or just enjoy watching snow bunnies), we’ve got you covered!

Pro: Strip Clubs with Alcohol

Imagine my shock when my crew saddled up to a strip club in Seattle, Washington for my stag last year and were told that we had a choice: either see naked ladies or keep drinking. Before my friends could answer, I’d already left the lobby, en route to the next liquor establishment. Truth be told, I’m not a strip club regular, but if I do go, I want to be able to have an overpriced brew or cocktail while a young lady makes love to a pole!

Con: No Singles ($1 bills)

How are you supposed to get your money’s worth at the strip club!? The smallest denomination you can tuck into a dancer’s G-string is a fiver. That means you can go through a lot of money in very little time. And don’t even think about making it rain. A small wad of fives, tens, and twenties will pale in comparison to a massive wad of American ones. I guess you could take a jar full of loonies and toonies and toss it into the air and do some serious damage!

Drink #182: Red Maple Sunset

Red Maple Sunset Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Maple Syrup
  • Top with Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Egg Whites
  • Garnish with Canadian Flag

So, happy birthday Canada! I hope you get all the gifts you’ve wanted and that your next year is as fabulous as the last!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This was my first opportunity to play around with not only Campari, but also Maple Syrup. The drink was a nice mix of sweet and bitter, as the Campari has a fruity taste, with a bitter finish. The Maple Syrup actually worked well with the cocktail, which was a pleasant surprise given it’s a bit of an odd ingredient.