A Guide To The Best Cocktails At Epcot's Festival Of The Holidays

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Walt Disney World? Perhaps it's Mickey Mouse, roller coaster rides, or iconic Disney desserts like Dole Whip. But we'll let you in on a secret: for cocktail connoisseurs, few destinations compete with Disney's bars and booths. This is especially true for special events held at the parks, like the highly-anticipated Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

From November 24 to December 30, guests can enjoy a range of new world-class Disney holiday desserts, and, of course, drinks. Beyond tasting their way around the world, attendees may also meet Santa, catch celebrity narrators at the Candlelight Processional, visit the Epcot Holiday Cookie Stroll, and check out the new Luminous: The Symphony of Us fireworks show.

Still, trying the latest limited-edition flavors is always a main attraction, and there are more exciting options than ever to taste this winter. Along with all the delicious food of the 2023 Festival of the Holidays, you'll find dozens of cocktails — from a cinnamon-dusted horchata margarita to the boba-filled Butterfly Lantern. Furthermore, the globally inspired drink specials at Epcot are both fun and functional. Le Marché de Noël's frozen hot chocolate martini helps guests beat the heat during the day, while Bavaria Holiday Kitchen's warming glühwein is the perfect nightcap to nurse on breezy nights. 

If you want a preview of the seasonal Epcot experience, check out our best food and drinks at the Festival of the Holidays 2023 video review. (Even Mickey and Minnie make an appearance!)

Swirled Showcase: Berry Fizz Fragolino Red Sparkling Wine Float

Located between the Canada Pavilion and Port of Entry gift shop, Swirled Showcase is the newest booth to join Epcot's International Festival of the Holidays lineup. And after sampling its menu offerings, we have a feeling it will be a returning favorite at Walt Disney World. Berries and cream are an iconic duo, and Swirled Showcase has masterfully woven the two together to create the Berry Fizz Fragolino Red Sparkling Wine Float for this year's celebrations. 

Just as its name implies, the Berry Fizz cocktail contains a perfect pour of rosy Fragolino red sparkling wine. The heady beverage style has origins in Italy. It's known for its unmistakably fresh strawberry flavor. Topped with vanilla soft serve and frozen berries, Swirled Showcase's drink specialty is a sight to behold, and it tastes even better. Like an old-fashioned sherbert punch, each sip of Berry Fizz is fruity, carbonated, and creamy — yet not overly sweet. It's served in one of the most elegant disposable drinkware pieces we've ever seen, though the slender fluted 'glass' design makes it easier to spill as you walk. Due to the drink's excitable nature, we'd suggest savoring the Berry Fizz Fragolino Red Sparkling Wine Float whilst seated to ensure you don't lose a single drop.

Holiday Hearth Desserts: Peppermint Cocoa with Schnapps

Everyone loves a hot cup of cocoa during the holidays, but the weather in Orlando, Florida, isn't always ideal for sipping something steamy. Of course, Walt Disney World's Food and Beverage magicians have come up with a solution: the Peppermint Cocoa with Schnapps from Epcot's Holiday Hearth Desserts. The invigorating treat is a foolproof way to get your chocolate fix while keeping cool at Epcot's International Festival of the Holidays.

If you've been around the chocolate block, you know that hot cocoa doesn't always translate well to cocktails. However, Holiday Hearth Desserts mixes this tasty beverage up just right. Its smooth ice crystals are evenly dispersed throughout, and it tastes chocolatey, creamy, and minty all at once. Typically, we aren't super sweet on mint-flavored chocolate, but this cooling creation turned out to be just what we needed on a sunny day at Epcot. We found ourselves reaching for it again and again, and the pleasant buzz that came from the Schnapps was merely a bonus. To experience the chill of this peppermint cocoa cocktail yourself, head over to the Holiday Hearth Desserts booth located inside The Odyssey.

Char & Chop: Bloody Mary

While walking around the park during Epcot's International Festival of Holidays, we spotted Char & Chop near the Mexico area of the World Showcase Plaza. The savory scent of barbecued meat on the grill drew us in for a closer look, but the booth's boldest beverage was what ultimately caught our eye. Although we tried countless cocktails on our trip to Walt Disney World, we haven't been able to stop thinking about Char & Chop's twist on the Bloody Mary since we left.

The traditional Bloody Mary is a fairly curious cocktail — one that many drinkers love, hate, or haven't yet dared to try. A Bloody Mary is essentially a boozy meal replacement, and modern iterations of the drink are heartier still, garnished with tasty toppings like jumbo shrimp in addition to the classic celery stick stirrer. Char & Chop pushes the envelope even further for Bloody Mary fans, crafting an eccentric version with Kurvball Barbecue Whiskey and an adorably plump mini sausage topper. The vinegary, barbecue flavor is very prominent — there's even some sauce on the rim of the glass — but we were intrigued by the drink's unusual tang, as well as its meaty little mate. Char & Chop's concoction certainly won't suit everyone's tastes, but anyone who enjoys one-of-a-kind cocktails should check it off of their list at Epcot.

Las Posadas: Horchata Margarita

There's nothing quite like chilling out with a cool margarita in the summer months, and the same can be said for horchata in the winter. At Epcot's International Festival of the Holidays, the two contrasting cocktails collide in Las Posadas' horchata margarita, and the results are positively delicious. 

The team at Las Posadas manages to mix the two iconic beverages seamlessly, bringing out the best elements of both. As you reach for a sip, you'll immediately sense the softly spiced essence of horchata, courtesy of agua de horchata (rice water) and a healthy swirl of cinnamon-horchata rum. The margarita portion of the drink, a cinnamon-infused dash of Ilegal Mezcal, comes through shortly after. It's easy to love the horchata margarita on its own, but it's even better served with a snack. Las Posadas offers some of the most enticing fare at the Festival of the Holidays, so don't forget to pick up a delightful dulce de leche churro before you explore the rest of the park. 

Shanghai Holiday Kitchen: Butterfly Lantern

If Barbie were to take a trip to Epcot, we think the Butterfly Lantern from Shanghai Holiday Kitchen would be her go-to drink order. The luminescent libation was among the most memorable we had as we sipped our way through the Festival of the Seasons, from its unique flavor profile to its hypnotic hue. However, don't let its playful appearance fool you — this pretty pink potation is for adults only. 

What gives the Butterfly Lantern its signature color is a base of butterfly pea blossom gin. The purple spirit is stirred up with vodka and soda water, producing a brilliant fuchsia glow. But its good looks don't stop there. If you look closely, you'll spot a shimmering swirl of edible glitter in its midst, an artistic touch that's sure to make any vacation photo pop. Plus, there's also a pillowy bed of white boba along the bottom of the cup, mimicking the soft glow of a real butterfly lantern. The dazzling drink has a distinctive floral flavor, underscored by hints of prickly pear and lychee. Chewy, lychee-flavored boba is a treat in and of itself, but it's hard to resist the alluring aroma of Shanghai Holiday Kitchen's other delicacies, like vegetable spring rolls and nutty chicken skewers. 

Refreshment Outpost: Pumpkin Spice Ginger Cocktail

It doesn't matter if you wait all year for Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte or if you run away from the flavored coffee aisle come October — either way, you'll want to try this next drink. Mixed at Epcot's scenic Refreshment Outpost, the Pumpkin Spice Ginger Cocktail is a completely different spin on the seasonal flavor, tucked between the China and Germany park pavilions. 

Pumpkin spice is a phrase that may conjure visions of syrupy, sweet coffee drinks and desserts, but this spirited specialty is far closer to a mule. There's a good amount of Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka inside its icy copper cup, softened by sparkling notes of bubbly ginger beer. Each Pumpkin Spice Ginger Cocktail is served with a chubby cinnamon stick, which guests are encouraged to sip the beverage through like a straw. Interestingly, its light, crisp flavor reminded us more of fresh apple cider than pumpkin spice, and it's a stellar choice if you're looking for a lighter-bodied drink. Try it solo, or enjoy it alongside other Festival of the Holidays offerings from Refreshment Outpost, like the plant-based peanut stew. 

Bavaria Holiday Kitchen: Glühwein

Mulled wine is one of the most comforting winter treats one can cozy up with, and German Glühwein is a favorite of wine enthusiasts the world over for this reason. Things are no different at Walt Disney World. Even Orlando, Florida, can get a tad chilly from time to time, and the garnet-red glühwein from Epcot's Bavaria Holiday Kitchen is one of the greatest hot beverages served at the International Festival of the Holidays. 

It's hard to spot the difference between Bavaria's glühwein and a slow-simmered wine made at home as the booth prepares the beverage with the same care and attention. The pleasant warmth of the drink is complemented by its mild spice, which is further enhanced by a sturdy cinnamon stick at the base of its glass. Even those who aren't big on red wines will appreciate this glühwein's smooth, mellow flavor. We enjoyed it with Bavaria Holiday Kitchen's cheese fondue in a bread bowl, though it would also pair very nicely with the booth's pork schnitzel and braised red cabbage.

Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen: Japanese Christmas Punch

Anytime you hear the words 'Christmas Punch,' you know you're in for a good time — and we could hardly contain our excitement when we learned about the Japanese Christmas Punch from Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen. The popular pagoda-style booth is found in Epcot's Japan Pavilion, and its innovative menu has earned rave reviews from Festival of the Holidays fans.

First things first: this isn't your average grab-and-go drink order. The peachy pink punch arrives in a striking piece of plastic stemware that befits the beverage and imparts a feeling of sophistication to those who order it well before taking their first sip. And they'll feel even fancier once they try it, thanks to its rather refined recipe. Shi Wasu's Japanese Christmas Punch contains both shōchū and plum wine, and it has just enough sweetness to soften tart ingredients like lemon and cranberry. It's a clean, crisp cocktail that goes down smoothly, and it's also an excellent accompaniment to other seasonal fare available at the Japanese-themed booth. Shi Wasu's salmon roe and 'krab'-filled Sushi Tree is a fine choice for those seeking something savory, while sweet tooths may prefer a plate of delectable mochi cake served with hojicha cream.

L'Chaim!: Frozen Whiskey Sour

What could be better than a whiskey sour on a warm afternoon? A Frozen Whiskey Sour, naturally. Those with a preference for mouth-puckering mixed drinks can grab the chilled cocktail from L'Chaim! Holiday Kitchen, a cheerful blue booth near the Morocco and France Pavilions at Epcot. L'Chaim! was a favorite booth of ours at the Festival of the Seasons, and its signature seasonal cocktail is one of the park's best.

The ripe blackberry perched on top of L'Chaim!'s frozen whiskey sour gives you a clue as to what's underneath. In true New York fashion, Manischewitz blackberry wine serves as the star of the sunny beverage. It mingles with Manifest Straight Rye Whiskey, a potent spirit made from organic grains and locally produced in nearby Jacksonville, Florida. Its finely blended ice is light and refreshing, and the frozen whiskey beverage tastes a bit like a sour candy slushie. Though it's more than good enough to enjoy on its own, we wouldn't dream of leaving L'Chaim! Holiday Kitchen without a smoked salmon potato latke or a black and white cookie from the Festival of the Holidays Cookie Stroll.

Le Marché de Noël: Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini

There are several chocolate cocktails available at Walt Disney World this time of year, but the frozen hot chocolate martini from Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen might just take the cake — or macaron if you will. With its red-and-white striped straw and dollop of whipped cream, the picturesque drink looks like something you'd see Betty and Veronica sharing on the cover of an "Archie" comic. Most importantly, its velvety, chocolatey flavor makes it a must-try for cocktail fans.

If you can't decide between a dessert or a drink as you peruse the booths at Epcot's International Festival of the Holidays, there's no better option than the frozen hot chocolate martini. It's a tad more indulgent than its cocoa-based brethren, elevated by Grey Goose La Vanille Vodka and icy chocolate milk. Bold zebra stripes of dark chocolate syrup are drizzled over its whipped cream topping, complementing the creamy, sweet elixir beneath. Look for it at Le Marché de Noël (that's French for Christmas Market) through the end of the year at Epcot — and while you're there, make it a point to try the red-and-green booth's Bûche de Noël au Pain D'Épices, a festive Yule log cake brimming with heavenly hazelnut ganache.