Holiday Season Drinks of 2013
The holiday season just wouldn't be the same without enjoying a Hot Buttered Rum, Baileys with Hot Chocolate or a Tom & Jerry. But when you're at the parks, what holiday-inspired drinks will fit the bill? Here you'll find special holiday drink menus along with some year-round favorites that just taste better during the holiday season.
The Disney park known for it's wide variety of drinks doesn't disappoint during the holidays. You can enjoy a hot traditional German wine, or enjoy a specialty coffee in Morocco.
During the holiday months, the wine room keeps a hot kettle brewing with their Christkindles Glühwein (Glow wine) behind the counter. This is a very popular and traditional alcoholic drink in Germany during Christmas. It is a red wine served piping hot with deep rich flavors of cinnamon, cloves and light citrus. A stop in Epcot during the holidays is not complete for us unless we get a glass of this. It's served in a plastic cup with a handle, just slightly larger than the typical wine glasses, for $8. You can also purchase a bottle to take home to your own festivities (which we did!).
It tastes like you took a savory sangria and heated it up. If this doesn't heat you up on a cold FL night (yes, it does get cold sometimes), nothing will. The bottle also recommends trying it over ice, but that just seems wrong.
The Tannenbaum (Christmas tree) shaped bottle holds "Baden Pinot Noir". You'll also find a fun assortment of every adult's favorite chocolate - the liquor-filled kind! Chocolates are available in boxes or single serving, you know, for those emergencies...
Along with the regular Glühwein, you'll find Albrecht Dürer Glühwein aus Weisswein which is a white wine sweetened with honey and other spices. We didn't see this one available by the glass, but if you're there it doesn't hurt to ask.
Holiday Beer Garden
Germany's Beer Garden from Food & Wine has been transformed for the seasons with a holiday theme. Here you'll find beer, wine and tasty treats from the Werther's store.
Gluhwein - $8
Winter Dream William's Punch - $7
Radeberger Beer - 12oz. - $5.86
Schonauer Apfel (Apple Liqueur) - $8
Lemberger - $7
Hex vom Dasenstein Pinot Noir - $6
Kloster Pinot Grigio - $6
Undone Dry Riesling - $7
Gunderloch Spatlese Riesling - $7
Hot Salted Caramel Beverage - $3.72 (might be n/a, but this is amazing!)
Review: The Winter Dream William's Punch is a special twist on your typical eggnog - a creamy, white wine with savory spices. Served hot with a heap of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top, this beverage will really warm you up for the holidays. Even if you're not a big eggnog fan, you may still want to give this a try - it's very different from your typical cold 'nog from the grocery store. Your typical eggnog is fortified with hard liquor, this one uses white wine and is quite different than what you're used to. Definitely worth a try.
So maybe these coffee drinks are available year-round, but who really wants to drink hot coffee in 90 degree weather? This is the time of year when we order these tasty concoctions again. Kasbah and Casablanca are our favorites. Even the non-coffee drinker here loves these drinks! How can you go wrong with a little coffee, some flavored liqueur topped with whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg?
Tangierine Coffee - with orange liqueur - $6.99
Kasbah Coffee - with hazelnut liqueur - $6.99
Casablanca Coffee - with vanilla liqueur - $6.99 (pictured)
Good news! We've got some holiday cocktail imbibery to be done at the Studios again this year! These delicious decadences can be found at High Octane Refreshments. Through diligent research we've also found the talented mixologists at the Tune-In Lounge are also fully capable of pouring a glass of cheer. The temporary bar next to Sci-Fi is pouring all except the Snowball and they do have hard liquor, beer and wine available.
Merry Margarita - $10.75
Sauza Gold tequila, blue curacao, sweet & sour, lime juice and a souvenir glow cube.
Sleigh Ride - $10.75
Myers's Platinum rum, Beefeaters gin, SKYY vodka, triple sec, sweet & sour and cranberry juice with a souvenir glow cube.
Snowball - $8.75
Kahlua coffee liqueur, Baileys Irish Cream, Amaretto, half & half and whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon nutmeg.
Baileys Coffee - $7.50
Baileys Irish Cream, fresh-brewed coffee, topped with whipped cream.
Captain's Hot Cider - $6.75
Hot apple cider with Captain Morgan Original spiced rum.
Due to popular demand, here's the Snowball Drink Recipe!
2 parts Amaretto, 1 part Kahlua, 1 part Baileys, 4 parts half & half. "Roll" to combine and top with whipped cream and a dash of ground nutmeg. "Rolling" a drink is simply pouring it from one glass to another; it's similar to shaking but doesn't cause the bubbles you'd get by shaking this creamy drink.
Review: You should know by now that we are no fans of glow cubes or flashy cups in general. We're not big on spending an extra $2-3 bucks for a blinky icecube. Here's the insider's tip, you can ask for the drinks without the glow cube. In fact, most of these "holiday" drinks are simply (and unfortunately) rebadged regular drinks with a holiday name. I asked if for the Sleigh Ride without a cube and the bartender asked if I meant I'd like a "Long Beach" - same drink sans glow cube profit. The "Sleigh Ride" was delicious with a great juniper bite from gin and the tart, tang of cranberry and sour mix. Simply put, crisp and refreshing but certainly best enjoyed by the gin lover in the party.
Ever wonder what a Snowball tastes like? I'm happy to report it's completely different than the white-washes I remember as a kid (northerner joke - Whoo!!!) Disney's Snowball is like a rich, creamy vanilla shake on ice. The amaretto provides a sweet almond backdrop and is perfectly complimented by Kahlua's smooth coffee and Bailey's sweet and creamy spices. Top this with whipped cream and plenty of nutmeg and you've got Christmas in a glass. Obviously, loaded with cream and sweet liquours this one isn't for the health conscious. But, it's Christmas and you're in Disney World, live a little!
The Merry Margarita did not stand up to its name. The worst drink we tried. It tasted like we were drinking a cup of sweet and sour mix with blue curacao. No discernable tequila taste whatsoever. Maybe we just got a bad pour, but for $7.50 (or $11 with a flashing ice cube!) I'd better be able to tell that I'm getting my top shelf tequila. What's that you say? They don't even claim it's got the good stuff in it? Obviously, steer clear on this one.
Osborne Lights Snack Carts
Spiced Eggnog - $7.25
Bottled Beer - $6
Sutter Home Wine (Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Grigio) - $7.50
Sparkling Wine - $7.50
If you would like a beer or wine and don't want to leave the lights, there's a stand selling beverages, along with some popcorn, cookies and other treats.
Big River Grille
Winter Tartan Scottish Ale, a special holiday brew, is available now - December at Big River Grille on Disney's Boardwalk.
While at Downtown Disney, don't miss their specialty cocktail this season, Bellringer Bellini. "A blush mix of effervescent prosecco with a hint of strawberry and cranberry."
View their full Holiday Menu here.
Fulton's Crab House
Any holiday favorites that we left out? Let us know in the comments.
It's beginning to taste a lot like Christmas...