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Disney Cruise Line to Sail First-Ever British Isles Cruise in 2016

posted on March 24th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Today we revealed our 2016 summer sailings, announcing our first-ever British Isles cruise, plus ports of call in more than 15 European countries! In addition to the British Isles, our tour of Europe includes cruises in the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, Greek Isles and the Mediterranean. Pretty incredible, right?!

Disney Cruise Line Charts New Course for British Isles

Our 12-night British Isles voyage on the Disney Magic departs from Dover, England, visiting destinations in Scotland, Ireland, France and England. I can’t possibly highlight all of the cool things you’ll experience on this cruise, but here’s a sampling:

  1. The majestic beauty, iconic castles and Highland culture of Scotland
  2. The merry, cosmopolitan city of Dublin, Ireland
  3. The culturally rich and romantic Paris, France
  4. The birthplace of the Beatles and the British Invasion in Liverpool, England
  5. The charming countryside of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands

Of course Europe isn’t the only awesome locale we’re taking you to in the summer of 2016. We’re also revisiting favorite destinations elsewhere around the globe including Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas. In this video, Cruise Director Brent gives us a sneak peek at where you can sail with us next year …

For more details, check out the Itineraries and Ports for 2016 page of disneycruise.com, and get ready to book this Thursday!

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Friendly Faces on a Disney Cruise Trump Friday the 13th Woes

posted on March 13th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Can you believe it’s Friday the 13th, again?! Last month on this traditionally unlucky day, we celebrated Villaintine’s Day, and I shared with you the top places to spot villains on a Disney cruise. But this month I want to focus on good rather than evil and show you some the friendly faces you can see when sailing with us.

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The Fab Five: The gang’s all here! Starting with our special Sailing Away celebration, you’ll see these beloved friends up on stage, walking the decks, giving out hugs and lighting up faces throughout your entire cruise. Potential memorable moments with these guys are just one reason to have your camera handy at all times.

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Princesses: Calling all royalty! Heroines like Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Aurora, Tiana and Ariel await your presence in the atrium lobby for our one-of-a-kind Princess Gatherings. Some of these special ladies also make appearances in our stage shows, singing tunes from your favorite Disney films and showing off their glittery gowns.

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Friends from Arendelle: Speaking of princesses, your two favorite royal sisters are now onboard all four ships, soon to be joined by their pal, Olaf. Plenty of warm hugs will be given, and come summer, these friends will delight Disney Magic and Disney Wonder cruisers during a spectacular “Frozen”-inspired celebration on deck.


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Intergalactic Heroes: The Force is strong with this one! Iconic characters from the Star Wars saga are joining us aboard eight sailings on the Disney Fantasy in 2016. During the day-long celebration, Star Wars Day at Sea, you’ll see them roaming the decks, converging on the deck stage for a special celebration, signing autographs and more.

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Pixar Pals: Your favorite characters from Pixar films are everywhere! You’ll spot them on stage, on screen, on deck and more. Some of our Pixar character highlights include “Toy Story – The Musical” in the Walt Disney Theatre, an atrium dance party in Alaska and humorous conversations with Crush in Animator’s Palate.

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Disney Junior: Jake and Sofia are two stars from Disney Junior bringing smiles to the faces of our littlest cruisers. One event your family won’t want to miss is our Disney Junior Pirate & Princess Dance Party where you can boogie to fun Disney Junior tunes, sometimes alongside this adventure-seeking pirate and adored princess in-training.

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Popular Pirates: Avast, me hearties! Jake isn’t the only well-liked pirate you’ll meet on your sailing. Captain Jack Sparrow can be spotted stumbling around Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay (Castaway Air Bar serves excellent rum!), and Mickey and his gang, including Chip and Dale, don their swashbuckling attire for our special pirate party night.

Of course, that’s not all! Friends like Lilo and Stitch are up for fun all year long, and Santa Claus spreads cheer throughout the holiday season. Who are some of the other friendly faces you love to see on a Disney cruise?

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Land of ‘Frozen’ Coming to Disney Cruise Line This Summer

posted on January 22nd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Anna and Elsa’s royal tour of our ships is soon to be filled with even more excitement! Not only is Olaf joining them on all four ships, we’re adding brand-new experiences for the whole family, starting this summer.

Land of “Frozen” Coming to Disney Cruise Line in Summer 2015

Highlights include a spectacular deck party, a new production number in “Disney Dreams,” new character meet and greets, storybook adventures ashore and another way to cool down on Castaway Cay. I’ll share some details on these exciting offerings today, and over the next several weeks, tell you more about what you can expect in summer.

A Day of Frozen Fun, Including New Deck Party

Debuting this summer, on select Disney Magic and Disney Wonder sailings to Europe and Alaska, Disney Cruise Line guests are transported to the land of “Frozen” when the ship is transformed into a winter wonderland and a day of frozen fun culminates with an extravagant celebration with friends from the Kingdom of Arendelle. The deck party, “Freezing the Night Away with Anna, Elsa and Friends,” is a family-friendly interactive celebration featuring the famous royal sisters and their fun-loving Nordic companions.

New Production Number in “Disney Dreams”

Our friends from “Frozen” are making their stage show debut at sea in the Walt Disney Theatre aboard the Disney Magic. In our original production, “Disney Dreams … An Enchanted Classic,” Anna, Elsa and Olaf join the line up of beloved Disney characters who together teach a young girl the power of her dreams. Brand-new scenes featuring “Frozen” characters include renditions of three popular songs: “Let it Go,” “For the First Time in Forever” and “In Summer.”

Land of “Frozen” Coming to Disney Cruise Line in Summer 2015

Magical Meet and Greets

In addition to warm hugs, Olaf will be giving autographs and taking photographs with children and families while he is cruising with us. He is joining Anna and Elsa on the Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic for some fun in the sun!

Adventures Ashore in Norway

This summer in Norway, the land that inspired Arendelle from “Frozen,” Disney Magic cruisers will have the opportunity to join exciting new Port Adventures that bring this fairytale setting to life. One signature adventure ashore in Ålesund, Norway, created exclusively for Disney Cruise Line, will immerse guests in the splendor and charm of Norway, with the help of Anna and Elsa, in an enchanting storybook village.

Olaf-Inspired Summertime Freeze Bar on Castaway Cay

We’re cooling down Castaway Cay with the addition of the Olaf-inspired Summertime Freeze bar! Serving non-alcoholic specialty frozen drinks in souvenir cups, the creative menu features refreshing beverages such as “Olaf’s Flurry Freeze,” “Sven’s Carrot Delight” and “Warm Hugs.” Summertime Freeze will be near the Pelican Point tram stop by Castaway Cay Family Beach.

With this news, I have a feeling some of you are saying, “Hands down, this is the best day of my life!” Am I right?

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Brand-New Events Premiere on Very Merrytime Cruises

posted on November 8th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Season’s Greetings! That’s right… our holiday celebrations are getting ready to set sail. And this year, our Very Merrytime Cruises are more magical than ever with brand-new events for the whole family!

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Today marks the first day of our Very Merrytime Cruises on the Disney Fantasy, and the party starts tomorrow on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder and Monday on the Disney Dream. If you’re cruising with us this week through the New Year, here’s some of the new holiday fun you can expect…

Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic – In the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, Disney characters lead holiday carols and the lighting of the glittering, three-deck-tall tree. This special event is the perfect way to kick off the holiday celebrations!

Winter Wonderland Ball – To celebrate the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, you’re invited to don your holiday finest and join Disney friends and princesses for a glamorous ball. On this night filled with dancing, singing and festive treats, you’ll be enchanted by the transformation of a snowman into jolly old Saint Nick himself before a magical snowfall overtakes the atrium.

Holiday Carolers – Dickens-inspired characters and carolers carry the spirit of the holidays throughout the ship while singing holiday classics, sometimes with the help of favorite Disney friends.

All of these special events are in addition to the activities you already love, like meet and greets with Santa, building gingerbread houses, listening to holiday storytellers and dancing at the tropical-themed “Deck the Deck Holiday Party.”

Brand-New Events Premiere on Very Merrytime Cruises Brand-New Events Premiere on Very Merrytime Cruises

Of course no holiday celebration would be complete without sparkling decor, and our team of elves works hard throughout the year creating decorations unique to each ship (more than 300 pieces of custom decor per ship!) Then they have just a few hours to install it! To give you a better idea of the work taking place right this moment on the Disney Fantasy, take a look back at the 20-foot tree going up for the ship’s very first holiday season…

Now that’s what I call teamwork! What part of our Very Merrytime Cruises are you looking forward to most?

To learn more about our Very Merrytime Cruises, check out these posts:

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Disney Magic Arrives to San Juan for First-Ever Departures from Puerto Rico

posted on September 20th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Today, Captain Mickey and the Disney Magic arrived to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to kick off our brand-new Southern Caribbean sailings.

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These 7-night voyages mark our first-ever itinerary departing from Puerto Rico. San Juan will be the homeport of the Disney Magic for the next four weeks until the ship returns to Port Canaveral for 7-night Western and Eastern Caribbean sailings.

To see some of the incredible locations Disney cruisers can visit in San Juan and our Southern Caribbean destinations, check out this video…


To learn more about our Southern Caribbean destinations and Port Adventures, visit these posts:

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A Taste of Grenada with Disney Cruise Line

posted on August 29th, 2014 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


St. George's, Grenada
Next up in my series about Port Adventures on our Southern Caribbean cruises is what to do from the port of St. George’s, Grenada. Known as the “Spice Isle,” Grenada is filled with spice estates, tropical gardens, beautiful beaches, thrilling diving, snorkeling, fishing and exploration through mountain landscapes and waterfalls. There’s an adventure to be had by everyone, with more options than I can possibly tell you about today!

Beach at Grenada Fort George

Tropical Beach Tour – Grenada is known for some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, so many of our excursions bring you to a stunning stretch of sand to relax and swim. If you want to take a step back in time on your way to the beach, this tour gives you the chance to explore the historic Fort George overlooking the capital city. Your stop here also provides a fantastic panoramic photo opportunity above the island and Caribbean Sea! Some of our other beach trips to consider are the Rum And Beach Tour, Aquarium Beach Day With Lunch and Beach House With Lunch.

Wild Monkey Waterfall

Around The Isle Of Spice – This Port Adventure provides a great taste of Grenada with an inside look at the spice and rum industry, along with fantastic views of nature and wildlife. First, discover the reason for Grenada’s nickname with a visit to a garden of spices at a historic estate and to a spice factory to see the seasoning, processing and sorting of nutmegs and mace. Then, after a tour of a famous rum distillery, you’ll visit Grand Etang to see the crater of an extinct volcano and possibly wild monkeys. Your last stop is to Annandale Falls, a 30-foot waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation.

Powerboat Sculpture Swim

Amazing Sculpture Park Snorkel By Powerboat – Molinere Point, a protected marine park, is a volcanic reef home to the world’s first underwater sculpture park. After a thrilling ride in a powerboat, you’ll have the chance to snorkel here and see an abundance of tropical fish and other marine life. Before heading back to port, you’ll cruise through Dragon Bay and along the island’s beautiful coast for some great photo opportunities.

Up next, I’ll give you my recommendation for Port Adventures in Barbados. When the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Exploring San Juan and the Southern Caribbean with Disney Cruise Line

posted on August 8th, 2014 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


We’re just six weeks away from our brand-new Southern Caribbean voyages, departing for the first time ever from beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico! As we count down the weeks until the start of this spectacular itinerary, I’ll be sharing insights on all you can see and do when we visit ports on the islands of Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and St. Kitts.

Today I want to start with the activities in San Juan you won’t want to miss before or after your cruise. With so much history and beauty in San Juan, it’s difficult to narrow down my favorite places to visit, so here’s just a glimpse of what your family can experience …

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Old San Juan
Think blue cobblestone streets, brightly colored buildings and a history that stretches back to the Conquistadors. You could spend the entire day walking around the old city of San Juan, browsing unique shops and eateries, shopping for arts and crafts in the plaza and exploring the grounds of the fort, Castillo San Cristóbal. Make sure you set aside some time to taste the savory flavors of Puerto Rico’s “Créole” cuisine, called “cocina criolla” by the locals, at one of the many charming cafés.

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El Yunque Rainforest
A lush tropical rainforest, the Caribbean National Forest known as El Yunque is less than an hour away from the city. From high atop the mountains, you can enjoy scenic views of the east coast of Puerto Rico, hike to water falls, explore rugged terrain on horseback or ATV, and more. Keep an eye and ear out for the singing coqui frogs and tropical birds that inhabit the trees.

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Beach and Water Adventures
There are several great beaches near San Juan where you can relax on the warm sand and take a dip in the sparkling Caribbean waters. Isla Verde is one of my favorites for its wide beach, palm trees and close proximity to restaurants and facilities. Adventure lovers can take advantage of the many fun water activities offered in the area, like snorkeling, surfing, jet skiing and scuba diving, just to name some.

Stayed tuned next week for my recommendations on what to do in Antigua. And remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Disney Cruise Line Summer Recipe: Seafood Paella

posted on June 24th, 2014 by Stephen Walker, Fleet Culinary Standards and Consistency Chef, Disney Cruise Line


This summer, Disney Magic cruisers are in for a special treat as we sail away from Barcelona. Out on the open-air deck, we’re cooking up an incredibly delicious, Spanish-inspired dish – seafood paella!

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Fresh clams, mussels, chicken, chorizo and prawns are just some of the ingredients mixed in with our specialty saffron-infused bomba rice to give this dish an unbelievable amount of flavor.

Even if you aren’t sailing in Europe with us this summer, you can still bring a taste of the Mediterranean into your home with this mouthwatering Disney Cruise Line recipe. You can also download our keepsake recipe card here. Enjoy!

Seafood Paella
Serves 8
Skill Level: Moderate
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 pound chicken tenders (3⁄4” dice)
  • 1 tsp. paprika spice

  • 4 garlic cloves (crushed)

  • 1⁄2 pound chorizo sausage (5” slice)
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil
  • 13⁄4 cup paella rice

  • 1⁄2 Spanish/yellow onion (finely diced)

  • 1 1⁄2 cups fish stock

  • 1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1⁄2 cups tomato juice
  • 2 beef tomatoes (seeded, skinned and finely diced)
  • 1 tsp. saffron threads

  • 3⁄4 cup green peas

  • 3⁄4 cup tiger shrimps (peeled)
  • 3⁄4 cup scallops (10–20)

  • 3⁄4 cup squid (1⁄4” slice)

  • 3⁄4 cup mussels

  • 3⁄4 cup small clams (like littleneck clams)

  • 3⁄4 cup lobster tail (3⁄4” slice)

  • 1 tbsp. salt ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley (roughly chopped)

Saffron Aioli

  • 1⁄4 tsp. saffron threads

  • 4 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp. white wine

  • 3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Red Pepper Rouille

  • 1 roasted red bell pepper (peeled and deseeded)
  • 1 garlic clove (roasted)

  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the Seafood Paella

  1. Toss chicken tenders with paprika spice and one chopped garlic clove in a bowl. Chill for 4 hours.
  2. Sear both sides of the scallops, then set aside. Sauté the chorizo, chicken and lobster in 1⁄4 cup of olive oil. Once cooked medium well, place onto a paper towel and set aside.
  3. Pour the remainder of the olive oil into the pan and bring to temperature to gently sauté the onion and the rest of the garlic. Once the onion is transparent, add the rice.
  4. Gradually add the HOT chicken and fish stock (a little at a time while continually stirring). Then add the tomato juice and chopped tomatoes. Once the rice is 3⁄4 cooked through, add the scallops, chorizo, chicken, lobster and remaining ingredients (except the flat parsley, clams and mussels). Continue stirring.
  5. Once the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked, stir in the peas and flat parsley. Lay the clams and mussels on top of the rice and cover with a clean napkin.
  6. The heat of the paella will open the shellfish.

For the Saffron Aioli

  1. Place the saffron threads into the white wine and reduce by half, let cool, then mix with the remaining Ingredients.

For the Red Pepper Rouille

  1. Blend the roasted red bell pepper, roasted garlic and red wine vinegar in a food processor. Mix with the mayonnaise and season with the cayenne pepper.
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Savoring the Flavors of the Mediterranean with Disney Cruise Line

posted on June 19th, 2014 by Stephen Walker, Fleet Culinary Standards and Consistency Chef, Disney Cruise Line


Savoring the Flavors of the Mediterranean with Disney Cruise Line
One of the Disney differences you’ll find when sailing with us is that we use the destinations we visit as inspiration for our menus. Last week I shared with you how Disney Wonder guests are enjoying a special Taste of Alaska this summer, and today, I want to tell you about the flavors of the Mediterranean Disney Magic cruisers are experiencing.

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Just like in Alaska, we use locally sourced products while sailing in Europe. Depending on where we are in the Mediterranean, we have themed menus like “Kouzina of the Greek Isles” and “Bella Italia” that feature culinary offerings specific to those countries. One of my favorite Mediterranean-inspired dishes is our braised osso bucco “Milanese” with gremolata, saffron risotto and bone marrow-reduction.

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Specifically on cruises that visit Greece, we serve spanakorizo me garides, a delicious jumbo shrimp with sun-dried tomato orzo pasta. Another popular Greek dish is our roasted dorade on spanakorizo, a short-grain rice with cinnamon, spinach and feta cheese.

Throughout the summer, I’ll be sharing recipes for some of our guest favorite dishes so you can make them at home. Today, I’ll leave you with the recipe for our Italian-inspired Potato Gnocchi with Cep Mushrooms. You can also download our keepsake recipe card here. Enjoy!

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Potato Gnocchi with Cep Mushrooms
Serves: 4 Guests
Skill Level: Moderate
Time: 50 minutes
Ingredients:
Homemade potato dumplings
1 white potato
1 egg
1⁄2 tsp. salt
2 cups plain white flour 3 qt. water

White Wine Cream Sauce
18 fl.oz white wine
3 shallots (finely diced)

1 stalk celery (finely diced)

1⁄2 leek (washed and finely diced)
11⁄2 cups heavy cream

11⁄2 cups vegetables stock

2 tbsp. chives (finely sliced)

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Garnish
11⁄2 cups cep mushrooms

2 tbsp. white truffle oil

1/3 cup fresh parmesan (shaved)
1 tsp. picked thyme

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

Homemade Potato Dumplings:
Place potato in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15–20 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash. Place 2 cups mashed potatoes in a large bowl (save any remaining mashed potatoes for another use). Stir in the egg and 1 teaspoon salt. Gradually beat in flour until blended (dough will be firm and elastic). Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 15 times. Roll into 1⁄2-in.-wide ropes. Cut ropes into 1-inch diagonal pieces. Press down with a lightly floured fork. In a thick-bottomed pan, bring water and remaining salt to a boil. Add gnocchi in small batches; cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until gnocchi float to the top and are cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into salted iced water. Then drain and keep on a wet cloth.

For the White Wine Cream Sauce:
Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan; sauté the shallots, celery and leek. When shallots are soft (no color), add the white wine and vegetable stock, then reduce by two-thirds. Add the heavy cream and reduce by one-third, season with salt and ground black pepper and pass through a fine strainer.

For the Garnish and Assembly
Sauté the mushrooms in butter; season with salt, ground black pepper and thyme. Set aside. Mix (dress) the gnocchi with the white wine cream sauce and place into a serving bowl. Place the sautéed mushrooms onto the gnocchi, garnish with the shaved parmesan and lightly drizzle the truffle oil on the gnocchi.

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A Disney Cruise Line Cocktail You Only Can Savor at Palo

posted on June 10th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


What a pleasure to head to the top deck of the Disney Magic for dinner at elegant Palo, where Italian specialties are beautifully prepared in the onstage kitchen. From a plate of beautiful charcuterie served with warm bread from the pizza oven to a sweet finish of chocolate soufflé, Palo is a leisurely dining experience not to be missed (ages 18 and older).

We can easily recommend the house-made pastas (the lobster ravioli with mascarpone cream is divine), the grilled seas scallops, the garlic-roasted rack of lamb … Palo’s diverse menu has something for everyone, and the chef will happily accommodate vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free requests.

Here’s a new pre-dinner cocktail that we couldn’t resist. It’s one to sip slowly, with a sublime sweetness from the berries and a little tartness from the aged balsamic vinegar. Make sure you use aged balsamic for a more intense, complex flavor.

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Balsamic Grande Cocktail
Serves 1

  • 5 fresh strawberries, divided
  • 1 1/2 ounces agave nectar
  • 1/2 ounce balsamic vinegar (aged 8 years)
  • 5 ounces Grey Goose Vodka

Muddle strawberries with agave and balsamic vinegar in a mixing glass. Add vodka and ice; shake and strain into chilled martini glass.

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