For those of you that know me, you know that I like a stiff drink from time to time, and Disney is no exception.  Vodka martini, just enough olive juice to make it a little interesting, shaken, and up – thank you very much. The problem is that most bartenders (!) forget the vermouth rinse which is the key piece that keeps this drink from being just a big glass of chilled vodka.  I’m stuck in a constant dilemma – do I remind them when I order and totally insult them, or just trust that if they’re bartending at a possible martini bar they know what they’re doing? Usually I fare ok, sometimes not, but have no fear DVD DUO readers! I’ve painstakingly tested many of Disney’s finest drinking establishments and I happily report there are a handful of bars making ‘em right.  The Signature restaurants are all usually on point so I won’t waste your attention on those.

Art Smith’s Homecomin’

Yes, I know.  Let me tell you though this is one of my favorites at Disney.  They use Tito’s which I’m not a huge fan of (and I’m sure you could sub if you wanted to) but what sets this one apart is a thing invented by the etherworld – pimento cheese olives. Yessiree!  Pimento. Cheese. Olives. You’re welcome 😉

Victoria Falls Lounge

This is a beautiful bar in Animal Kingdom Lodge.  It’s on the second level with large, inviting leather chairs, and a stunning green marble bar.  Bartenders are lovely and personable. Bonus here is that you get the benefit of a wide South African red wine collection.

Ale & Compass Lounge

This is a newcomer.  I’ve only been once but it seems very promising. Cozy nautical themed bar/restaurant over in the Yacht Club hotel.  Friendly service. Restaurant is still trying to figure out its identity but for an afternoon cocktail/crowd break – great spot and even better location (between Epcot and Hollywood Studios).

Territory Lounge

Another one of my absolute favorites.  This one speaks to my inner New Englander (though it is, technically, themed in the Pacific Northwest) must be the giant bear carvings out of logs.  This bar is over in the Wilderness Lodge which is a stunning hotel to explore (there is a real creek running through the property). The drinks are well made and this bar has some tasty nibbles as well (I’ve never personally eaten but I always see so many good looking appetizer plates when I’m people watching!).  This is off the beaten path so we usually visit this one when we are dining at Artist Point or we may stop there on our way to the new quick serve in the Copper Creek Villas (which supposedly has a to-die-for burger).

Abracadabar (hit or miss)

This is the most frequent place to forget my vermouth rinse.  I will say though, they always have the Disney signature bourbon available (yes, true story, partnered with Knob Creek, not for sale, I tried) and they make very good Old Fashioned and a delightful margarita, so sometimes I just suck it up and enjoy a straight cup o’ vodka with a great view. This one is also great for people watching as it sits on the Boardwalk.

Keep checking back for my next installment. 

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