We promised a peek at the new beverages for this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, fruit-based sips like Key Lime sparkling wine from Florida Orange Groves at Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen and Ace Pineapple Hard Cider and sparkling pineapple wine at Pineapple Promenade.
Among new craft cocktails, we can’t wait to taste: La Tizana cocktail at Botanas Botánico and the Urban Mary at Urban Farm Eats.
“La Tizana is a Venezuelan-influenced fruit punch made with orange juice, lime juice, banana puree, grenadine and garnished with a tropical fruit medley of diced pineapple, mango, strawberries and oranges,” explains Marianne Hunnel, content development manager and beverage expert extraordinaire. For an adult version, you can add a splash of RHUM Orange liqueur from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.
“The Urban Mary is a tomato beverage made with spicy tomato juice, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce, garnished with a pickled green bean and micro greens,” Hunnel continues. Adding a shot of vodka is an option.
Craft beer is back in a big way, with new additions like Maple Bacon Stout, being brewed right now at Shipyard Brewing Company in Clearwater, Fla., to be released on opening day of the festival. Try it in a flight at The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews.
And one of the most whimsical takes on grown-up tastes is the new “Ice Pop” at Fleur De Lys in France, flavored with peach iced tea mixed with Grand Marnier Peach Raspberry (a limited-release spirit) and a splash of vodka. “It’s frozen, but not solid, so it just melts in your mouth – refreshing!” says Eric Weistroffer, general manager of Chefs de France.
New this year are free cooking demonstrations at 3 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through May 17 at Port of Entry at the entrance to World Showcase. If you’re there for the weekend, plan a short stop. The demos are just about 15 minutes, and it’s your chance to meet a Disney chef and watch how to prepare a delicious dish. Just some festival items to be featured at the demos will be the Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake, the ghost pepper-dusted tilapia, and white corn arepas. You can also pick up a copy of the Taste of Epcot festival cookbook with plenty of recipes to try at home.
For more information, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or go to epcotinspring.com. Admission to the festival, running March 4-May 17, includes all gardening programs and exhibits.