It’s a common misconception that Disney is only magical for the kiddie set. Take it from this thirty-something: Walt Disney World has something to offer everyone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited and come across mom and dad zombies, traipsing through the parks with stupified, one-too-many-rounds-on-it’s-a-small-world glazed over stares. It makes me want to stage an intervention. Or, at the very least, direct them to this blog post in which I am sharing my personal picks for Disney’s top 10 cocktails. A few sips of one of these babies and those stupified stares–dare I say–magically disappear.
Before we begin, I have to tell you that my adult beverages of choice are wine and margaritas. You’ll notice, then, that my picks find their roots there. I have, however, included several tropical favorites and–not to completely exclude the kids–I’ve even featured a mocktail that you won’t want to miss. Without further ado…cheers!
10. Jay’Gail Sangria – Raglan Road – $9.50
Even the Irish can appreciate a good sangria, apparently. Theirs is made with Magners Cider and Peach Schnapps, along with some Fruit Liqueurs and squeezes just for kicks. While I found this beverage to be refreshing and bubbly, it wasn’t terribly strong. If you’re looking for a bit of a buzz, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest this, but if you’re just acquiring a taste for libations, then the Jay’Gail Sangria might be just right. It definitely has a hint of sweetness but it wasn’t near as sickeningly so as a Reisling or Moscato. And because Irish Cider is the base of it–as opposed to white wine–it is more malty than vine-y.
9. Banana Cabana – widely available – $9.25
It might seem weird that someone who doesn’t so much care for bananas would feature a drink called Banana Cabana on her top 10 picks for best cocktails, right? True. But look at that drink! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s made with a mix of mango and guava rums, as well as Creme de Banana, fruit juices, and a splash of grenadine. I think the mango and guava rums dilute that banana taste enough that I easily sipped away at this, my husband’s choice. It’s fun and fruity, though again, not too sweet.
8. Cucumber margarita – La Cava del Tequila – $12.50
This southwestern specialty brings together El Mayor premium silver Tequila, orange liqueur, caramelized pineapple juice, fresh basil, cucumber and agave nectar to concoct one fine margarita. The tastes of cucumber and basil most definitely come through and are very refreshing on the palate. Perhaps just a touch sweeter than I’d prefer, this margarita was moderately strong and oh so easy going down.
7. LeFou’s Brew – Gaston’s Tavern (Magic Kingdom) – $9.99
Truthfully, I was not expecting to like this mocktail. Intended or not, it quite closely resembles beer, but it’s 100% alcohol free and kid friendly. It’s made from frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow and topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam. I didn’t think I’d like it because I feared the sweetness factor would be out of control. While it is indeed sweet, it’s absolutely delicious. The hint of marshmallow is mostly definitely discernable. I also loved the smoothie-like texture and mango foam topping. Do treat the kiddos to this if you get the chance (and get one for yourself, while you’re at it).
6. Red Sangria – Paradiso 37 – $8
Available frozen or on the rocks, this red sangria is a bit out of the box in that it’s made with guava juice. That’s a new one to me. Judging on how much I liked it, though, I might have to try incorporating guava juice into my next homemade sangria batch. My personal wine preference is typically white, but I wanted to try the red for something different. It was quite good. The red wine flavor wasn’t terribly overwhelming, though still present. Together with the brandy and fruit juices, it made for an interesting change from the typical margarita I’d normally order at a Mexican restaurant. It did seem light on alcohol content, which may be a plus to some but to me it was a bit of a detractor.
5. Rum Runner – widely available – $9.25
The Rum Runner is my second favorite tropical drink. Made with Myer’s Platinum Rum, Blackberry Brandy, Creme de Banana, and tropical juices, it packs a yummy punch. But when they float the dark rum on top, all bets are off. The nice thing about this particular beverage is that it can be made quite weak if you’re just looking for a fruity splash of something fun while you’re lounging poolside. In that case, the alcohol is hardly discernable. I, personally, wouldn’t make that choice, but it’s a handy tip for the lightweights among us.
4. Godiva Liqueur Flight – widely available – $9.00
My handsome husband and I shared this Godiva Liqueur Flight one night at the Territory Lounge inside the Wilderness Lodge. It includes three half-ounce pours, including chocolate, white chocolate, and caramel, each topped with a Godiva Liqueur-infused strawberry. This was our dessert that night. Isn’t it such a fun presentation? I would think it might be a bit much for one person, but the two of us enjoyed it thoroughly, down to the last liqueur-infused bite. I highly recommend it as a fun way to enjoy a little something sweet after dinner.
3. Pineapple Margarita – La Cava del Tequila – $12.50
Pineapple lovers: behold. This is the ultimate in pineapple-y deliciousness. Within this cup, 100% Agave Tequila Reposado, ginger liqueur, caramelized pineapple nectar, fresh lime juice and agave nectar, come together to create one fabulous drink. It most definitely is on the sweet side, but I can vouch for it’s tastiness and strong pineapple flavor.
2. Avocado Margarita – La Cava del Tequila – $12.50
I would totally be lying if I didn’t own up to the hesitation with which I ordered this drink. I watched as the bartender scooped a half an avocado into the blender and totally second-guessed my decision. One sip of the finished product, however, and I didn’t look back. Unlike the margaritas I typically order, this one was served frozen. It’s quite a unique taste sensation because the creaminess of the avocado sort of rivals the tequila. Oh, but then there’s a sweet kick from the melon liqueur. Finally, the hibiscus Himalayan salt rim brings it all together. Only available in Epcot’s Mexico, this beverage poses such a conundrum for me. I’m a wine girl at heart, and I love to sip my way from Italy to France, but having discovered this little beauty, I’m left torn two ways. All the more reason for multiple visits, I suppose.
1. And my number one–must do–Walt Disney World adult beverage is…drum-roll please….the Captain’s Mai Tai. $9.25 & widely available
The picture alone makes me thirsty. For me, this is the ultimate vacation beverage. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, Amaretto, and tropical juices are topped with a generous float of Myer’s Original Dark Rum. There is simply nothing to complain about here. It’s sweet enough to go down smooth and easy, but strong enough to let you know you’re on vacation. This is my go-to drink when I’m at Typhoon Lagoon or Castaway Cay, my toes in the sand and the sun on my back. The only bad thing about this drink is that it leaves you wanting another–and we all know how dangerous that can be. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.