From September 25 until November 16, 2015 the Epcot theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort plays host to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Presented by Chase. The event allows Guests to “embark on a culinary adventure celebrating 20 years of culture and cuisine with the finest wine and beverage offerings.” Throughout the Festival, there are a variety of activities and offerings included in your basic park admission, such as free concerts and culinary demonstrations; however, each day there is also a variety of reservation-only beverage and mixology seminars. Each beverage or mixology seminar features three tastes related to the highlighted beverage, in addition to an information and education session related to the featured beverage.
DIStracted Tip – Beverage seminars are only for Guests ages 21+, so either make it an adult-only trip to Epcot or make a reservation for the kids in one of kids’ clubs available at certain resorts.
On Sunday, my husband and I attended the Mixology Seminar presented by the Jack Daniels Distillery. The seminar was hosted by Jeff Arnett, the head distiller of the Jack Daniels Distillery. This seminar featured cocktails made with three of Jack Daniels’ most popular varieties of Tennessee Whisky. After an introduction to the brand and a thorough history, Mr. Arnett provided us with a detailed description of their proprietary process of making Tennessee Whisky. Following the educational portion of the seminar, Mr. Arnett and his assistant demonstrated the proper way to assemble each of three cocktails.
DIStracted Tip – Reservations are HIGHLY recommended as events fill up ahead of time.
The first cocktail offered was a Gentleman’s Manhattan, which was a simple twist on a traditional cocktail. Instead of plain simple syrup and orange bitters, they used a spiced simple syrup and cherry bitters. It had a smooth and smokey taste, which was a nice departure from an otherwise bold drink. The second drink offered was a Jack’s Horse and Carriage (a Whisky Mule), which was a spin on the traditional Moscow Mule, made with whisky as opposed to vodka. Due to the addition of the blueberry puree and blackberry and mint garnishes, this drink was a super refreshing beverage that would best be enjoyed on a sunny day at a BBQ or other outdoor event. Finally, we were offered the Old is New Again, a subtle twist of the traditional Olde Fashioned. This cocktail added chocolate bitters and a chocolate garnish to the regular Olde Fashioned. Due to its smoky and bold flavor, this cocktail appealed to many of the true Tennessee Whisky aficionados, including my husband.
Overall, the Jack Daniels mixology seminar was educational and delicious! If you plan to travel to the Walt Disney World Resort in the coming weeks, I encourage you to find a mixology or beverage seminar that appeals to you. And at the cost of only $15 per person, it’s a great value. You can find the entire schedule of events on the Walt Disney World website.
DIStracted Tip – Tables in Wonderland members, Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Golden Oak Residents may be eligible for a $2 discount (per person, per event) for mixology seminars taking place Monday through Thursday during the festival.