In round one of our “must drinks” adventure, we traversed roughly half of the World Showcase at Disney’s Epcot theme park. From tequila to beer to wine, the best of the booze was highlighted for each stop along the route. Now it’s time to batten down the hatches and finish the schnockered circle around the world.
While real-life America has much to offer food and drink lovers, it’s all burgers and Bud Light in Disney’s simulacrum. This is shame because the USA has much to offer in terms of craft bourbons and beers. Alas, the only whiskey to be found is mixed into a frozen lemonade. For craft beer lovers, there is the token Sam Adams tap. Here, just split a Bud Light with a friend, tick it off the list, and move on — quickly.
The best drinking spot is nestled in a back of the Mitsukoshi Department Store. The small tasting corner bar provides a sampling of Japanese sake. Here, service is elevated to an art form, with everything from paying to pouring to presenting — even carding — given with a flourish. The sake on menu change often, but cover the major variations with aged, dry, sweet, and unfiltered versions. For those unfamiliar with the rice wine, a dry or sweet is the way to go. But with it’s hard not to recommend a flight of three. They go down smooth and will help one forget about the insipid rice-infused Bud Light just downed next-door. The tasty bar is also conveniently located by to the Japanese snack section. Salty dried squid snacks offers a unique experience for those more accustomed to bar nuts or pretzels.
The next stop is another lackluster choice. Unlike the USA, it’s hard to blame Disney’s presentation when Morocco doesn’t have a huge drinking culture due to its religious influences. Options at Epcot have improved in recent years with the introduction of the Spiced Road Table, which features full bar service. The import Moroccan beer option is Casa, a standard pale lager reminiscent of Budweiser. On the other hand, Wine production in Morocco has been steadily improving since the 1990’s, which some becoming known outside the country. The must drink here is a Spice Road Signature Sangria, a sweet blend of organic red wine and fresh fruit. It’s available by the glass, for the thirsty, or pitcher, for the thirstier.
It would be easy to keep things traditional with the same old wine or champagne enjoyed by the French children. But “drinking around the world” is an adult’s game and the Wine and Champagne kiosk serves up a delicious slush. Easy junior, this icy-treat is a blurring blend of Grey Goose Citron and a shot of Gran Marnier orange liquor. It comes supersized and is perfect for kicking back and gazing at the pint-sized Eiffel tower, especially on a sunny day.
The UK pavilion offers one of the best drinking spots in Epcot at the venerable Rose & Crown. Fashioned after a traditional pub, the service is impeccable, the entertainment jolly, and the booze in abundance. As the night winds down the tables and bar fills up so stake out a place early, especially to catch a raucous piano performance by the Hat Lady. As a full service bar, there is something for everyone. But it’s hard to be at a pub and not have a pint to swing around while singing a traditional Irish bar song. There are several draft beer blends from the familiar “Black & Tan” to the less familiar “Golden” (Half Stella Artois, half Bass Ale). The Rose & Crown must drink is Boddingtons, a classic nitro pub ale. It’s smooth and creamy, as pleasant on the tongue is it is in the belly.
The choices at the last stop in the tour will make one want to quickly back-track to the UK Rose & Crown or loop around to start over at Mexico’s La Cava del Tequila. But for “drinking around the world” completionists a Canadian beer can be grabbed at an outdoor kiosk. Molson or Labatt? Either will serve the purpose at the end of the drunken expedition, so flip-a-coin. That’s your must drink, winner!
If you survived without passing out and waking up in Disney jail — congratulations you successfully drank yourself around the world! With beer, wine, and cocktail options ever exploding in the theme park, there is much that didn’t get a mention. If you have a favorite “must drink” not on the list, please share it in the comments.