REVIEW: New Attraction-Inspired Signature Cocktails at the Annual Passholder Exclusive Alfresco Tasting Terrace in Disney California Adventure
As we reported on a few days ago, the Alfresco Tasting Terrace in Disney California Adventure was switching to an Annual Passholder-only area. Even if you are not an Annual Passholder, you can still enter with a group as long as at least one member of your group has an AP. You will need to check in downstairs, and after a cast member checks your AP, your name will be placed on a list and your party will be directed to a holding area. We waited about an hour at 11:45 AM on a Tuesday. In honor of Disney California Adventure, each cocktail is inspired by the history of the park. Let’s take a closer look at these six new cocktails.
Look for this sign to check in on the lower level.
Here are your new signature drink options, minus the secret menu drink, The Nutmeg.
In addition to cocktails, there are various wines and beer available along with some small, tapas-style food options.
The Stinger – $15.00
Pineapple-Jalapeño Tequila, Orange Liqueur, and House-made Orange-Habanero Simple Syrup
Thankfully, this pepper-themed drink was significantly better than our ghost pepper experience for Halloween at Lamplight Lounge.
None of us are huge pepper fans, but we all could drink this. Would we get it again? No. But we would all agree that anyone who enjoys a bit of spice or jalapeno would enjoy this.
This comes across very light up front with tastes of orange and sugar. It reminded us of Tang with a strong finish of jalapeño. There are lots of citrus notes which help cut the heat. While none of us today would order this again, we think that those who enjoy spicy drinks would enjoy it.
Specialty Manhattan – $16.00
Bourbon, Pinot Noir and House-made Simple Syrup, garnished with a Charred Cinnamon Stick
The Manhattan was our sleeper pick. The presentation was classic and perfect.
You will feel like Don Draper sipping this with your giant fancy square ice cube.
We would suggest letting this one sit for a bit. Drop the cinnamon stick in and swirl it around for a few minutes. The bourbon was smooth and takes over the taste at first. Then as you sip, the pinot noir adds just a hint of red wine finish to really round this out. The simple syrup is barely noticeable and works with the wine and bourbon to bring this whole drink together.
We would absolutely order this again.
Drop In… If you Dare – $17.00
Gin, Elderflower Liqueur, fresh Lemon Juice, and Maraschino Cherry Mix
This drink was a huge miss, and even our server agreed that this one is hard to drink. We would Dare not get this again. Unless you LOVE gin, skip this.
The presentation comes with the maraschino cherry mix separate in a plastic squeeze tube. We tried it before squeezing in the mix and it only tasted of gin.
Getting to squeeze the mix in was fun, but still couldn’t salvage this. We mixed, we tried, we mixed more, we let it sit and still only tasted of gin with a very subtle aftertaste of lemon. Even the elderflower and lemon juice couldn’t cut the gin here.
We would dare not ever get this again.
Fun Wheel – $14.00
Spiced Rum, Blue Curacao, Premium Vodka, Pineapple Juice
The Fun Wheel was the winner of the group for us.
The beautiful blue color was inviting and while ours didn’t have the full lineup of colors like some we’ve seen on Instagram, that didn’t stop us from loving this. First off, you cannot taste the alcohol in this, which is saying something for a vodka drink.
We were afraid this would be super sweet, but it tasted light and was very refreshing. It reminded us of Cool Blue Gatorade, but souped up with some fresh fruit juices. We could easily have finished off several of these and been extremely happy, especially for the price.
This fun drink wheeled its way into our hearts and our bellies. Would get again, and again, and again.
5… 4… 3… 2… 1… – $15.00
Spiced Rum, Blue Curacao, House-made Simple Syrup, fresh Lime Juice, and a Tropical Juice Blend
This drink was one of our favorites. Our huge coconut fan finished this very quickly and would have enjoyed several more.
The presentation was fun and after a good mix this tasted like an upscale piña colada… although that cute orange garnish looks more like it belongs on the Fun Wheel Drink.
The alcohol was well hidden and the fruit juices added just enough contrast to the coconut flavor to leave us wanting more.
We would order this again, although it was the sweetest drink of the bunch, so beware of that. Otherwise, this was approved.
The Nutmeg – $16.00
Ground Nutmeg, Bailey’s, Dark Rum and Half & Half
This secret menu item is named for the cat who roams the back wooded area of the Terrace. Unfortunately, this was very unmemorable for being a secret menu item.
The presentation was a beautiful cream color with the ground nutmeg sprinkled on top. However, all we could initially taste was alcohol.
After sitting for a bit, this did become more drinkable and we could distinguish the Bailey’s and the cream. If you enjoy creamy drinks then this is worth a try, but ours was definitely boozy. So we would be willing to give this a try again, but not our first choice.
Overall, we enjoyed our boozy flight here and can appreciate this new quiet area reserved for Annual Passholders. Would we wait an hour again? Probably not. But we didn’t mind waiting an hour for the first time and would gladly wait 20-30 minutes to experience this again. There are enough cocktails, beer, and wine options along with the food selections to make this a great pit stop during a busy day in the park.