Cocktail Corner – Fashionably Late

Here’s Looking At You

For my birthday in September, I took a look at the best of 1983. To celebrate Mrs. Sip’s anniversary today, I decided we should delve into her birth year of 1984. Yes, on top of being more successful and better looking, Mrs. Sip is younger than yours truly. So, what do I bring to the table… sweet posts like this! I’ll be looking at the year in regards to what impacted Mrs. Sip the most, rather than myself. So, while 1984 was amazing for TV show debuts (The Cosby Show, Transformers, Murder She Wrote, Night Court), those series matter more to me, than her. On with the list and again, happy birthday, honey!:

#5: MAC Make-Up Launches

While Mrs. Sip is a natural beauty, the minimal make-up she uses is often from MAC and when she really wants to get gussied up for a special event, she lets the artists at the company do their thing. I am no cosmetics expert, but I can only assume they make fine products if Mrs. Sip and others have committed their time and financial resources to them. Not that she needs the help, but Mrs. Sip certainly looks stunning after applying MAC wares.

makeup lipsticks

#4: Legal Taping Using Betamax

Growing up, Mrs. Sip had a regular routine that consisted of coming home from school, napping, doing her homework, and then staying up late watching TV shows she had taped from earlier, before repeating the process. Well, that would have never been possible had the Betamax not won a 1984 legal battle versus Universal City Studios, which allowed home videotaping to be legalized. Given Mrs. Sip’s profession as a lawyer, a landmark legal decision seems perfect for this article.

#3: Movie Releases

1984 was an amazing year for feature films, with hits like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Revenge of the Nerds, Beverly Hills Cop, Police Academy, and many more all hitting the big screen. Many of these movies are beloved by Mrs. Sip, particularly Indiana Jones and Gremlins. All that’s missing is a Star Wars movie and you might have been able to call this the most important year in 80’s cinema.

Indiana Jones Temple Run

#2: Craft Breweries Open in B.C.

With the opening of both Granville Island Brewing and Vancouver Island Brewing (clearly, the islands knew something long before the rest of the province) craft beer arrived in British Columbia and while Mrs. Sip and I weren’t drinking back then, their hard work established a growing movement which we would finally be able to enjoy much later. While wine is still Mrs. Sip’s beverage of choice, she has become a craft beer junkie just like the Sip Advisor.

#1: Cirque du Soleil is Founded

Mrs. Sip is a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil productions, having seen a number of the Las Vegas-based shows, as well as big top performances here at home. Before hitting the international stage, Cirque du Soleil grew from a small touring operation in Quebec, Canada. Today, their combination of circus, theatrics, costumes, atmosphere, and music is loved the world over. Among Mrs. Sip’s favourite Cirque shows are O, Ka, and Love, proving it doesn’t take a long title to make a great experience.

Cocktail Corner: Fashionably Late

Jan 19

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Port
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

Mrs. Sip shares her birth year with such dignitaries as Scarlett Johansson and LeBron James. Some honourable mentions for 1984, include Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, Michael Jordan being drafted into the NBA, the creation of Tetris, and the birth of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in comic form. At least the actual 1984 didn’t turn out like the classic George Orwell novel, which showed the world in a state of dystopia. That said, 1984 brought the birth of crack cocaine, as well as the discovery of the AIDS virus, so maybe the novel wasn’t that far off.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This drink is, of course, in honour of the habitually late Mrs. Sip. I used Vanilla Spiced Whiskey in favour of Bourbon and that added a whole bonus flavour to the cocktail. My Port choice came from Backyard Vineyards, where Mrs. Sip is a member. Everything came together quite nicely for a refreshing, interesting martini.

Sip Trips #29: Camping Capers

There’s a lot to get to this week, so let’s get right to it. With Mrs. Sip’s return from Europe, she brought home a bottle of Pimms Strawberry with a hint of Mint and a bottle of Croatian wine. Friends of ours, living in London, also had mini bottles of schnapps (peach and pear) to send back with her.

For our camping trip to Golden Ears, some serious shopping had to be done, to stock up on beverages for the getaway. While I prefer drinking from bottles, it’s always good to have some canned beer on you when camping, as it fits better in coolers, is easier to conceal (if need be… I don’t tell people how to live their lives!), and provides near identical relief.

camping tent

I grabbed the Big Rock Swinger Pack to satisfy this requirement. The mixed set included their Grasshopper Wheat Ale, 7B California Common, Rhine Stone Cowboy Kolsch, and Cherry Farini Kristalweizen, which I was particularly curious about and was looking forward to try. I like Big Rock, but I find their Grasshopper to be very light on the wheat side. The Cherry Farini was a little heavier, though, and I liked the flavour, which wasn’t too overwhelming. As for the rest of the pack, they were solid brews and just right for the summer heat.

While you always worry about whether your packed enough booze, some of the bottles I picked up with the hopes of consuming while out in the forest, I never even got to. This included the Red Truck Campfire Kolsch (ironic due to the current province-wide campfire ban), Old Yale Moon Dance Mango Wheat, Hoyne Dark Matter, and Cannery Blackberry Porter.

Mrs. Sip and I did split the Mango Wheat after returning to civilization, and while good, it wasn’t chilled to the right level, having just made the journey home with us in a cooler that had lost much of its cool. That’s my fault for jumping the gun on the beer, but thirst needed to be quenched!

camping bar

For future camping, we learned to save our canned beers for trips to the beach or hiking, as they travel a little easier than bottles and seem to stay chilled longer. Tasting glasses also seemed to be a hit, especially with bigger bomber bottles that were better split and shared among friends.

Late last week, we managed to squeeze in a bike ride to Postmark Brewing, where we sat down to a tasting flight of their beers, including the Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe (the brew that drew me into visiting the location), West Coast Pale Ale, IPA, and Dry Irish Stout.

While there, we also grabbed a couple of products from their store, including the Glassbender Farmhouse Ale and BISA, a Belgian ISA. It was interesting to note that the Farmhouse Ale was $4 cheaper in the store, compared to the adjacent restaurant. If you’re on the fence about whether to give the brew a shot, pick it up and take it home. Mrs. Sip and I both enjoyed it, pouring it into plastic wine glasses while camping, to emulate how the beverage was being served in the restaurant. The BISA, which combines tangerines and spice, is at the forefront of my Drinking ‘To Do’ List!

bears-on-camping

I also bought a bottle of Wiser’s Vanilla Spiced Whiskey recently, as I need to get caught up on all the recipes I wasn’t able to put together as first we had to vacate our apartment due to the flood all the way back at the start of May and then Mrs. Sip leaving for a month-long vacation in Europe, taking our camera with her.

The next week looks busy (when doesn’t it?) with a family barbecue, a trip to the drive-in theatre, a Vancouver Whitecaps game – where thankfully, the stadium has come to embrace the craft beer revolution! – and who knows what else wild stuff we’re likely to get up to!

Flavour Revolution – Vanilla

Vanilla Ice

For the Glazed Donut Liqueur article I posted recently, I looked into some of the companies that make a living hawking sugary pastry treats. Now that we’ve entered vanilla country, said to be the most popular ice cream flavour around the world, I’d thought we should delve into the ice cream biz and some of its biggest players. Let’s hope we can get through before out treats melt!

Dairy Queen

Mrs. Sip and I are fans of the Blizzard, which was introduced in 1985 – 45 years after the chain opened. I always feel kind of bad for Dairy Queen, though. Try as they might, the chain will never be viewed as a place for food and will largely remain a place people go for dessert after eating elsewhere. I’d still love to see Dairy Queen and Burger King enter into a partnership, providing customers with a complete meal on the cheap. I had almost forgotten that Dennis the Menace was once the chain’s spokestoon, a role the character held for 30 years.

Dairy Queen Cone-Artist

Ben & Jerry’s

Launched by childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the two opened their first ice cream parlour in 1978. To celebrate their first anniversary, Ben and Jerry hosted their first ever ‘Free Cone Day’, which has become an annual staple of the company. Some of Ben & Jerry’s creations have capitalized on icons of pop culture, such as Stephen Colbert and the Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream release. Ben and Jerry are no longer part of the day-to-day operation of the company they founded, but still remain the faces of the brand.

Baskin-Robbins

Boasting 31 flavours, allowing customers to have a different taste each day of the month, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest ice cream chain. It was started in 1945 by the team of Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins and in the seven decades since they first opened, the company has created and carried over 1,000 flavours. Baskin and Robbins believed that customers should be able to try as many flavours as they wanted before committing for a full cone or cup and that’s why the chain has their famous mini pink spoons.

Baskin-Robbins Bikini Season

Cold Stone Creamery/Marble Slab Creamery

I combine these two companies because they are both relatively new to the ice cream game and they deliver similar signature products – ice cream combined with various toppings for a delicious result. While Cold Stone has enjoyed growth in recent years, thanks to partnering with other franchises, such as Tim Hortons, Soup Kitchen International, and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Marble Slab is actually five years old, having been founded in 1983. Today, Cold Stone has close to double the outlets Marble Slab does, but Marble Slab has expanded more into the international market, than its doppelganger.

Dippin’ Dots

The ‘Ice Cream of the Future’ (little pebble-like ice cream balls) is incredibly fun to eat… and there are actually about 2,000 of them in a 5oz cup. Dippin’ Dots are created by flash freezing ice cream in liquid nitrogen and was invented by microbiologist Curt Jones in 1987. Going with today’s featured flavour, the first taste Jones invented was vanilla. Since then, numerous flavours have been added to the company’s line-up, including mint chocolate, banana split, and the franchise’s most popular option: cookies and crème. No wonder they’ve found their way to being served around the world!

Flavour Revolution: The Turtle Dove

  • 2 oz Wiser’s Vanilla Spiced Whiskey
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice
  • Splash of Simple Syrup
  • Dash of Grapefruit Bitters
  • Dash of Vanilla Extract
  • Garnish with a Grapefruit Slice

In closing, we have to ask: Is vanilla really that boring? Sure, we give things that aren’t so flashy the moniker of being “vanilla,” but there’s actually a really nice flavour to the stuff. And is any ingredient that can be combined with whiskey really that boring?