Martinis at 4:30 in the afternoon? Don’t mind if I do. Is that considered ‘day drinking’? It doesn’t matter anyway when you’re on a Disney cruise. It’s your vacation after all.
This being my fifth Disney cruise, and my friend Katherine’s first cruise, I agreed to go with her to a martini tasting on the final full day of our three nighter. How had I never done this before?
Unequivocally the best $15 I’ve ever spent on board a Disney vessel. We headed down to Guest Services around 3:45 and purchased our tickets for this tasting. The tasting took place at Meridian, the swank lounge situated in between PALO and Remy on the 12th deck Aft of the Disney DREAM.
The main bar was situated with sweeping views of Castaway Cay, which made for another amazing experience when pulling out of port there.
After a quick glance at the drink menu ($10ish dollars for one martini) and then a glance down in front of me (5 mini martini glasses) I ascertained that this would be $15 well spent, at least where volume of alcohol was concerned.
The tasting ended up being a very intimate event. Only six of us total inside the lounge. We lucked out with our bartender as well. He was excellent! Tibor from Hungary. Gracious with just the right amount of humor and well versed in his craft of mixology. I noticed his “Disney Trainer” pin on his jacket and knew we were in for a legit experience.
Tibor gave us a little history on the martini (invented by an Italian bartender in NYC) and then presented us with our first pour. A gin martini with an olive.
I’m not usually a gin drinker. I prefer my martinis made with vodka and dirty. Tibor took this into consideration and poured some dirty juice into his perfectly straight up gin martini for me.
The next pour was an Appletini. This one was made with vodka but I found it to be a bit medicinal. That’s the nice thing about a tasting right? You get to try things you might not normally order in a bar and test out your palette.
Next up…a little Sex in the City action. Check out my perfect lil Cosmo!
So I would never normally order this in a bar. I do not like cranberry juice. Tibor changed my mind with this fruity cocktail. He was very light handed with the cranberry juice. Notice the light pink color. The balance of vodka, cranberry and lemon were in perfect harmony and I ended up finishing every last drop of my drink. I’m going to have to seek out Tibor on my next DREAM cruise and have him make another one of these for me.
Our fourth martini presented me with my turn to play bartender. What did I get to make you ask? Well…only the one drink I had been eyeing on the Meridian cocktail menu…the Creme Brulee Martini (Grey Goose Vodka, Amaretto, Baileys and Caramel Syrup).
As an added bonus, Tibor made us a fifth martini of his own creation called “T’s Flower”.
This was a complex cocktail and was my favorite of the night. It had several ingredients. I will reveal only one…Elderflower Liquor. The rest will remain a mystery. You’ll have to seek out Tibor when you cruise and ask him to make it for you.
We had SO much fun with Tibor and the other two couples at the tasting. I’m headed out on the Disney WONDER in October and I can’t wait to participate in some more of these tastings (beer, wine, tequila, cognac, etc.). And if you end up at a bar on the Disney DREAM and you see Tibor in front of you tell him that Amanda Tinney says “Hi!”.