LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – As baby boomers – the first generation to grow up with Disney theme parks – return to Walt Disney World Resort, they are seeking a new level of sophistication, especially in the realm of dining.
And the sophistication includes beverages, where the art of mixology has taken cocktails to a whole new level.
“We’ve just introduced a brand new beverage menu that tells a story of beverage innovation and quality,” said Stuart McGuire manager of Beverage and Concept Development for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “The new design is in the form of an explorer’s journal and includes sketches of iconic Disney images from around the world.”
Many of the new cocktails are made with “better for you” ingredients such as organic spirits, fresh fruits and herbs that have been procured locally when seasonally available, and lower calorie no-sugar-added fruit purees.
The Raspberry Rain Cocktail, for instance, is made with Rain Organics Red Grape Hibiscus Vodka, Chambord, freshly muddled raspberries, lychee and fresh lemon juice. The Superfruit Martini features Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka, pomegranate liqueur, cranberry juice, organic agave nectar and fresh lemon juice.
Top sellers include the Agave Nectar Margarita which is made with organic blanco tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, and organic agave nectar. The Antioxidant Cocktail continues to be one of the most popular drinks, made with Finlandia Wild Berries Vodka, Absolut Berri Acai Vodka, pomegranate, lychee and freshly squeezed lemon juice. The most popular dessert cocktail? The Godiva Chocolate Martini, made with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Crème de Cacao and Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur.
And plenty of cocktails come sans alcohol. “We think it’s important to provide the opportunity for adults to enjoy the unique and complex flavors of our drinks even if they choose not to consume alcohol,” said McGuire.
“Over the past few years we have provided focused training and developed beverages that have elevated the role of the bartender to that of ’mixologist,’ said McGuire. “We also use mixologist tools of the trade such as muddlers, fresh-fruit hand squeezers, mixing glasses and tins, drink strainers and mixing spoons.
An extensive selection of craft beers rounds out the new menu offerings. In 2010, Disney Parks and Resorts won the coveted VIBE Vista Award recognizing the beer program as best in the country in the chain hotel and resort category.