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Trader Sam's - Orlando
mmaurice
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Feb 25, 2015
Posts: 92
Posted: 2015-05-06 7:15 pm   Permalink

I have been here for a week and have had several (or more) drinks every night.

1) They won't tell you what's in the Grog
2) They use BG Reynolds syrups
3) They don't squeeze their juices but do use "fresh" squeezed.
4) The rum selection is pretty weak
5) The bar/wait staff know nothing beyond the drinks on the menu or anything about tiki
6) IMO the outside patio with the live entertainment is better than inside and it does have a great view of the evening fireworks
7) Inside they only let people in for the number of seats they have, no standing room. Once you get in, its all communal, meaning, I waited all this time to have to find my own seats, hopefully there are a couple together.



 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2461
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-05-07 07:34 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-05-06 19:15, mmaurice wrote:
I have been here for a week and have had several (or more) drinks every night.

1) They won't tell you what's in the Grog
2) They use BG Reynolds syrups
3) They don't squeeze their juices but do use "fresh" squeezed.
4) The rum selection is pretty weak
5) The bar/wait staff know nothing beyond the drinks on the menu or anything about tiki
6) IMO the outside patio with the live entertainment is better than inside and it does have a great view of the evening fireworks
7) Inside they only let people in for the number of seats they have, no standing room. Once you get in, its all communal, meaning, I waited all this time to have to find my own seats, hopefully there are a couple together.



Hi, mmaurice, I have several slightly different thoughts on your comments, and definitely appreciate your perspective. I hope you don't mind me sharing some of my take on your observations.

1) Secret grog recipe: Their recipes are proprietary, and they paid consultants a lot to develop their drinks, so I'm not surprised that the Grog contents are kept secret. But if we give them some time, we may see that similar to Trader Sam's West with their holiday recipes (Red Nosed Zebra etc.) they may come to release some *specialty* recipes from Trader Sam's East but likely not any of their mainstay drinks. Watch for Hurricane Hayward to potentially share some tribute recipes with us in the future. Until then, just enjoy the grog when you're there.

2) Use of BG Reynolds syrups - I don't think you're complaining about that decision, as BG Reynolds is a good thing in the eyes of many. Thank the tiki gods that they are not using Finest Call or some other mass-produced products! (If they are, then I'm not sure I want to know... heh!)

3) Use of "fresh juices:" That's a good observation. Sam's is a high-volume operation and likely they don't have the time or the room to squeeze their juices on-the-spot. I think someone else posted here that they have their centralized kitchen/food prep facility squeezing juices for them. This is still better than you get at many of the bars around Disney, so this is not a negative to me even through fresh on-the-spot would be better.

4) Weak rum selection: They are using some very good, but not all top-shelf, rums. Their rum selection is certainly much better than at most of the bars around Disney, and this is unfortunately lost on perhaps 95+ percent of their customers. They seem to have hit the sweet spot they were aiming for. I think your observation is a broad generalization if you look at what they pour. I would definitely give them much more credit for what they are doing.

5) Bar and wait staff: I keep reminding myself that they are all working partly as entertainers in a resort bar. It may help to partially re-adjust your perspective on that basis. I know I have previously pointed out that Trader Sam's East is a resort bar. I really do try to be careful and take that into account when formulating my opinions. There is some good and some bad, but overall it's really great and fun, and I think you recognize that.

6) Inside vs Outside: Here I think it's very important to recognize that the patio is very mellow and relaxed, and the focus is on relaxing entertainment and the views which are really nice. Then we must recognize that the inside is comparatively very loud and high-energy and intended to be very entertaining. To me this is a really obvious observation when I'm there, kind of "night and day" really. I tell friends that I would take a conversational date or group of friends to the patio. And I would take my buddies and/or more "crazy" friends inside. But that's just me - I think that I differentiate pretty well between the two environments and what they present to their guests. They are two completely different experiences. (Watch the night-time fireworks from the patio to the LEFT of the entertainment, and sit along the rail or one table row inside!)

7) Indoor seating limit: I think this is actually an AWESOME aspect of Trader Sam's East and the experience in this place is really enhanced by this policy. Also, don't overlook that the communal seating offers quite a bit more mixing-and-mingling with other folks who are also looking to have fun and talk. But if you want to be seated at a certain table or spot in the bar, you can also walk up to people and politely ask them to notify you when they plan on leaving. The wait staff has also been willing to help with this if you ask them - they know when final bar tabs are prepared and can give you a heads-up if you have a favorite seating location which may be coming available. (Tip appropriately if they help you out.) I give Sam's East much higher marks than Sam's West for the "mixing-and-mingling" factor. I place a very high value on this aspect of the bar since I was a frequent visitor to the old "Big Bamboo Lounge" in Kissimmee which ranked very high in my guest mixing/mingling of all the bars I have ever been to in my life. (http://www.BigBambooLounge.com - the venue closed years ago due to hurricane damage, but their web site is still up and maintained by their die-hard webmaster for the cadre of die-hard fans. There are some threads here on TC about the 'Boo as well. Similar to Sam's grog, they also had a very-secret "Swamp Water" cocktail. This venue was visited by a number of Imagineers and Disney artists over the years when WDW was being constructed, and to a small extent seems to have influenced some of what we came to see in the Adventurers Club and both Trader Sam's locations.)

I know I may see a few things differently from you, but I hope you and others will find my comments and my perspective helpful. I tried to include a few small hints which can make your Sam's visit more special and more fun.

Cheers!
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Tiki Toli
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Feb 05, 2013
Posts: 114
From: Canton Ohio
Posted: 2015-05-07 11:34 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-05-06 19:15, mmaurice wrote:
I have been here for a week and have had several (or more) drinks every night.

1) They won't tell you what's in the Grog
2) They use BG Reynolds syrups
3) They don't squeeze their juices but do use "fresh" squeezed.
4) The rum selection is pretty weak
5) The bar/wait staff know nothing beyond the drinks on the menu or anything about tiki
6) IMO the outside patio with the live entertainment is better than inside and it does have a great view of the evening fireworks
7) Inside they only let people in for the number of seats they have, no standing room. Once you get in, its all communal, meaning, I waited all this time to have to find my own seats, hopefully there are a couple together.





I agree with everything you said


 
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Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1518
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-05-07 12:43 pm   Permalink

FYI there are two "proprietary" juices used in some of the drinks:

POG (passion-orange-guava), which is also used in the Tambu Lounge (Backscratcher) and elsewhere. The commercial product is actually hard to find, but you can make your own pretty easy. I have a recipe up here:
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2013/07/31/trader-sams-enchanted-tiki-bar-one-of-many-changes-likely-coming-to-disneys-polynesian-resort/#backscratcher

GROG is the new mix that started at Trader Sam's in Disneyland. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the consensus is that it's probably grapefruit, orange and guava. I'll have to play around with it to determine the exact proportions.

I'm a fan of B.G. Reyolds, so that's definitely not a bad thing. I believe they use the falernum, cinnamon and orgeat syrups. You can't expect a bar like Trader Sam's to make its own syrups, or squeeze its own juice for that matter. Even The Mai-Kai contracts to have its fresh juices provided to them by an outside vendor.

While the rum selection could be better in spots, overall it's a big step up from the rest of the World, where you'll probably only find Bacardi silver and Myers's. So some slack should be cut here. And it won't be too difficult to upgrade later. Perhaps a new rum flight (but keep the Zacapa).

I'm not a fan of communal seating, but I think they did the best with what they had here. It's a very small space, and I too appreciate not having a bunch of people standing around.

And to the earlier comment about not being able to buy the mugs without buying the drink: I think the current system is great. I always like to drink out of a mug before buying it. And it ensures that hopefully more true fans get the mugs (for the most part), not people just looking to turn them around on eBay for a profit. That's gonna happen anyway, but why encourage it?

All the new mugs were available last weekend. I've got a pretty hefty review of the food and drinks in the works that I'll be posting here shortly.

Aloha!
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2461
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-05-07 2:02 pm   Permalink

That reminds me - POG is available to guests from a self-serve tap, and it's unlimited, in the concierge-level lounge in at least one of the longhouses.

 
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kkocka
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 797
Posted: 2015-05-07 2:08 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-05-07 12:43, Hurricane Hayward wrote:
GROG is the new mix that started at Trader Sam's in Disneyland. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the consensus is that it's probably grapefruit, orange and guava. I'll have to play around with it to determine the exact proportions.



See below.

Quote:

On 2015-05-07 12:43, Hurricane Hayward wrote:
I'm a fan of B.G. Reyolds, so that's definitely not a bad thing. I believe they use the falernum, cinnamon and orgeat syrups. You can't expect a bar like Trader Sam's to make its own syrups, or squeeze its own juice for that matter.



Again, related to what I say below, Sam's in CA have been making certain syrups of their own such as ginger syrup. If you have the staff that lives the Tiki scene, it can definitely happen. In addition to the cinnamon, falernum, and orgeat, I believe Sam's is also using the Hibiscus Grenadine. That's probably the one you could substitute and receive the least amount of change to your drink.


Quote:

On 2015-05-06 19:15, mmaurice wrote:
I have been here for a week and have had several (or more) drinks every night.

1) They won't tell you what's in the Grog
2) They use BG Reynolds syrups
3) They don't squeeze their juices but do use "fresh" squeezed.
4) The rum selection is pretty weak
5) The bar/wait staff know nothing beyond the drinks on the menu or anything about tiki
6) IMO the outside patio with the live entertainment is better than inside and it does have a great view of the evening fireworks
7) Inside they only let people in for the number of seats they have, no standing room. Once you get in, its all communal, meaning, I waited all this time to have to find my own seats, hopefully there are a couple together.



1. Gorilla Grog is pretty much POG juice + pineapple juice + lemon juice + falernum + something else that I can't recall and don't know. Saw it listed online, though the exact ingredients and amounts are unknown. Basically I make a small batch at home with even parts of pog and pineapple, then one part lemon, and sorta throw some falernum in at whatever my judgement is at the time. I've done just half pog and half pineapple and it was good enough for me in a quick fix. Try it and lemme know what you think.

2. They primarily use BG Reynolds, but for the common drinks (off menu/common bar drinks) they tend to use Finest Call, Monin, etc. This is just my assumption based on what they do in CA.

3. Yeah nothing is actually fresh squeezed on site, but I've seen giant gallons of Odwalla lime before.

4 & 5. The rum selection definitely is stronger in CA - they have Smith & Cross, Zaya, Cruzan Single Barrel, and some others currently. This is absolutely due to the staff who is very much into the scene and into craft cocktails (unlike #5). They've made a push for products because they're often the right tool for the job, and I believe are behind the push to replace Bacardi 151 with Gosling's 151. But, keep in mind that the change is also largely in part because of the benefit of time. They weren't acting as independent right off the bat: there were lots of battles and slow ground gain.
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Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1518
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-05-08 01:07 am   Permalink

I'm back from my second visit to the Grog Grotto on May 2-3, the first being back on March 31 when it first opened. My review of that visit is a few pages back on this thread:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=44996&forum=1&start=360

There will be a full, measured review of the food and drinks on The Atomic Grog, but that may take a few weeks since I've got lots of other stories in the works. So I thought I'd share a rough draft and some quick impressions. I'll also include info on the logistics and how I dealt with getting seats in the bar, which may help those visiting in the coming weeks. It's only going to get worse during the busy summer season.

I was actually planning on hanging out on the Tiki Terrace on Saturday night but couldn't find any empty tables shortly after it opened at 4. Beware that the patio fills up fast now, especially on weekends. It's first-come, first-served, so I would advise getting there before 4 if you're planning an early visit. They don't take your name, so you're forced to wait or keep checking back for seats. My wife and I were meeting up with two other couples and had a party of six. Most of the tables are for four, which is another issue to consider. They do allow you to walk up to the service bar and order, so you could grab a drink and hang out for a while until a table opens.


A view of the beach from the boat dock.

By this time, it was 4:30 and we wanted to sit and talk, so we headed up to the Tambu Lounge. On the way, I grabbed a pager from the door staff at the Grog Grotto and was told there was a 1-2 hour wait. When I walked by there an hour later, I overheard them telling people three hours. I assume you'll need to get there at least an hour in advance to be one of the first 50 to enter, at least on the weekends. We were in no rush, so I enjoyed a Backscratcher at the Tambu, though it too was pretty crowded at this hour with the dinner crowd for 'Ohana starting to gather. (It opens at 1 if you want to get an earlier start.) We found some chairs and couches in the waiting area and were able to have our meet-up and hang our for an hour or so.

Our party shrunk to four, so we checked the Terrace again. Still no seats. So we moved on to Plan C. We headed out to the boat dock and grabbed some drinks at the pool bar along the way. The weather was great, so this was another pleasant way to spend the wait for our pager to go off. Though the pool is now gated for resort guests only, there's a bar area (with seats) outside the gate on the marina side. We were the only ones there, and we also had the dock pretty much to ourselves with great views and a nice breeze. So the wait for the Grog Grotto definitely does not suck. Even the pool bar's standard Mai Tai seemed decent enough.

After about two hours of waiting, our pager went off. We were lucky enough to grab the round table in the left corner as you walk in, next to the lighted shadow box and Nautilus painting. This is one of the best tables, IMHO. It's away from the hubbub yet also affords views of everything. The Uh-Oa! was a surprise favorite. Even Mrs. Hurricane enjoyed it, and she's hard to please. I also had a Castaway Crush (only get this if you like cachaca) and she had a very well-made Dark & Tropical Stormy, another one of her favorites. I also tasted our friends' Zombie and Mosquito Mojito, which was very light. This is for newbies only.


Hey, I know that guy.

We had the chicken lettuce cups, which were a bit on the bland side but fresh and serviceable. The Headhunter Sushi Roll was the best of the sushi dishes with a tasty sauce elevating it. Saturday was the better of the two nights service-wise. Our "skipper," Natali, was the best I've encountered so far. She was attentive, knowledgeable and didn't over-do the schtick. The crowd was also mellow, which seemed to keep the antics throughout the room to a minimum. You do get a different experience at a table with a server than you do sitting at the bar, which we did in March. My skippers during that visit (Adam and Chris) were fine, but because they're also making drinks and dealing with servers and other issues, they have lots of distractions. I would tend to cut these guys a little slack if they don't give you their undivided attention. There's no such excuse for the servers.

The Mrs. and I returned on Sunday night and met up with AceExplorer and his better half. I think he got in shortly after opening, but we had a 30-minute wait around 8 p.m., which wasn't bad at all. Note: Off nights are much shorter waits, at least for the time being. There were again no seats in the Tiki Terrace, however, so we just killed time in the lobby and Boutiki, where I grabbed a Grog Grotto T-shirt. They were out of the Aloha shirts and pins.

Oddly, it was much rowdier inside the bar on Sunday (more locals and cast members?), and the skippers were also a bit amped up. But it didn't affect our experience too much since everyone seemed to be into it. The show they all put on for the Nautilus was amusing. We sat at the surfboard table with a larger group while we waited for a table for four to open. This is not a bad spot if you're not shy about meeting new people. The service from Skipper Kory was quick and professional, and the views from that table are among the best.


The view from the seats under Uh-Oa!

I had the Tahitian Torch (very tart and sweet, but also balanced and refreshing) and Mrs. Hurricane had Rosita's Margarita, which wasn't her favorite but it was drinkable. It has a heavy tequila and falernum taste, which I thought was distinctive. The Salmon Oshizushi was decent, but not as good as the roll from the previous night. A bit on the bland side. But the Pan-Fried Dumplings were much better than our initial visit in March. They were a lot crispier and the sauce seemed a bit tangier.

We moved over to the small table directly under Uh-Oa! for our final drinks. It's not the best seat in the house, but I like the view you get of the entire room. The Kahlua Pork Tacos were another dish that seemed better than our initial tasting. The bread was crispier and the meat seamed to be more seasoned. Perhaps the chef has worked with the staff to improve the execution since the opening. The drinks were also pretty much on-point. Though I did taste a HippopotoMai-Tai that AceExplorer ordered that seemed out of whack. Too much Bols curacao? It's not the best brand anyway, so it needs to be precise.

We ended the night with the last drink that I had yet to try, the mighty Nautilus (mahalo to AceExplorer for helping out!). Did I save the best for last? It was definitely a surprise, ranking right up there with the Uh-Oa! It certainly helps redeem the list of drinks specific to the Grog Grotto. This one must have been farmed out to an expert outside the Disney beverage department. It's reminiscent of a classic Tiki bowl, with nice balance and many flavors at play. I could taste the Appleton and Barbancourt rums, the peach liqueur, falernum and probably lime juice. It reminds me just a bit of a Three Dots and a Dash.


The new Zombie mug.

I've only had three visits, so my experience is anecdotal, but I get the feeling that food and drinks have improved slightly over time as the recipes are fine-tuned and the staff perfects their execution. As for the much-discussed performance of the skippers, it's really going to depend on who's working that night unfortunately. After our great experience Saturday, it looked like almost a completely different crew on Sunday and we encountered one of the more brash skippers (to put it politely) for our final order. It seems like there needs to be a lot more consistency with these cast members, particularly the ones working the floor.

But I'm trying to keep in mind that this is supposed to be a fun place that doesn't take itself too seriously. It's not intended to be a craft cocktail bar by any means. I'm not going to make any sweeping statements nor compare it to the original at Disneyland. I've not yet been there, so that would be impossible anyway. But I'll happily review the food and drinks.

Here, then, is my first rating of all the Trader Sam's Grog Grotto cocktails based on one or two tastes of each. I'd rather wait and conduct further research, but it may be months until I return and I thought this might be helpful for those who only have one chance to visit and need some guidance. As usual, it's based on my personal taste, but I also took into account Mrs. Hurricane's input as well as some of those whom I drank with. I consider taste, originality, complexity, presentation and other criteria. It's the same rating system I use for anything I taste: A 1-5 scale that can just be doubled to fit into a 1-10 scale like The Grogalizer. So, subject to later updates, here we go ...


Our skipper lights the Uh-Oa!


TRADER SAM'S GROG GROTTO COCKTAIL RATINGS
By Hurricane Hayward, March-May, 2015

Rating: 4.0
1. Uh-Oa!
2. Nautilus
3. Shrunken Zombie Head

Notes: These are all very good and heartily recommended. All of them pack a punch, rare for a Disney cocktail, and also have fine balance and quality ingredients. It doesn't hurt that these are also the three best mugs available, and they also come with a show.

Rating: 3.5
4. HippopotoMai-Tai
5. Dark & Tropical Stormy
6. Polynesian Pearl

Notes: The Mai Tai and Dark & Stormy both follow the classic recipes, so no originality here. But they're both well-done and worth trying. The Pearl is by no means a classic cocktail, but it's original and has some nice exotic flavors. Folks who like creamy drinks will enjoy it. Note that the Mai Tai and Pearl also trigger special effects.

Rating: 3.0
7. Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum
8. Tahitian Torch
9. Rosita's Margarita
10. Castaway Crush

Notes: These are all solid baseline drinks. Nothing special, but they may appeal to specific tastes. Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum is a poor man's Painkiller. The Torch is sweet, tart and not too heavy on the booze. And the Margarita and Crush should please those who like tequila and cachaca.

Rating: 2.5
11. Krakatoa Punch
12. Mosquito Mojito

Notes: I'd like to give the Krakatoa an incomplete rather than a low rating, but the one I tasted was way too sweet and out of balance. It's a shame since it triggers one of the better special effects. I'll definitely try this again to see if it improves. The light Mojito is OK, just not substantial enough to be rated any higher.

Not rated: Spikey Pineapple (available on the Tahitian Terrace only). I'd consider this Dole Whip spiked with Barbancourt Pang Rhum more of a dessert than a cocktail. I'll be trying it in the future, and I'd expect it to be somewhere at the bottom of the top 10.

Recommended small plates: Headhunter Sushi Roll, Kahlua Pork Tacos, Pan-Fried Dumplings. Also worth your time: Roasted Chicken Pork Pate Banh Mi Sliders, Corn-Battered Portuguese Sausages. Not impressed by: The bland Chicken Lettuce Cups and Salmon Oshizushi. Not yet tried: Hawaiian Poke.

I hope these tips will keep some potential guests from surviving the jungle and not losing their heads. Okole maluna!


A little nightcap: The Nautilus.

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[ This Message was edited by: Hurricane Hayward 2015-05-08 01:25 ]


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mmaurice
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Feb 25, 2015
Posts: 92
Posted: 2015-05-08 04:57 am   Permalink

They are definitely still tweaking the drinks and the staff.

I was sitting at the table to right of the bar two days ago, around 5pm, where the staff picks up drinks and there were 2 Disney crew and another guy looking at couple different drinks talking about how to pack the crushed ice and then about the decision to switch from one juice company to another. So definitely still working on it.

Regarding the BG syrups, I am in total agreement, this is a great choice. If you go to the other bars they are using Monin or in some cases, something cheaper. I was actually surprised to see them using something so craft. Hopefully the BG Reynolds folks can keep up with demand.

Regarding the consistency of the drinks, they are mass production so there is limited measuring of the ingredients when added, especially the juices. They are more of a 1 count here, 2 count here than actual measurements so I am sure you could see some inconsistency from drink-to-drink.

Now it is definitely not Tiki but worth checking out. On the property and not too far from the Polynesian is the Four Seasons. Walked around the property and all I can say is wow. My wife told me she booked the Poly so we could try it and be close to everything but the FS was the same price. We both said, darn, should have stayed here. Ate and drank at the bar at Capa on the 17th floor. They had some awesome drinks on the menu, Hurricane and a Zacapa 23yr Old Fashion. They also have house made Orgeat which they do an Almond Sour with but also made a Mai Tai true to recipe (Smith & Cross along with Myers) with a lime half and mint in the glass. Again, not Tiki but defiantly worth trying, and heck the drinks were nearly the same price.


 
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mmaurice
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Feb 25, 2015
Posts: 92
Posted: 2015-05-08 05:20 am   Permalink

Forgot to mention about the POG. Interestingly Minute Maid packages the POG in concentrate 1/2 gallons specifically for Disney to be used at the Poly and Aulani. According to the bar tender it is only sold to Disney.

 
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 3006
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2015-05-08 11:45 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-05-07 14:08, kkocka wrote:
1. Gorilla Grog is pretty much POG juice + pineapple juice + lemon juice + falernum + something else that I can't recall and don't know.


I can support that there is Falernum in Gorilla Grog as it gives me a stomach ache that is exactly like what Falernum gives me.
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Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1518
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-05-09 01:12 am   Permalink

mmaurice: The B.G. Reynolds syrups are a carry-over from Trader Sam's in Disneyland. They need them to make many of the drinks that came from that menu. I just wish they would embrace bitters just the same. You really need them for balance in the best Tiki cocktails.

If you go up to the Tambu Lounge, you'll see them pour out of the half-gallon Minute Maid containers of POG. Though POG is rare on the East Coast, I've heard it's not hard to find in California and, of course, Hawaii. I talk about that in more depth on my blog that features the Backscratcher recipe (link above).

You're absolutely right about the consistency issue as a result of free-pouring. I kept an eye on the bartenders (sorry, I mean skippers) when I was seated at the bar, and there's some effort made to be exact with the syrups and ingredients used in small amounts, but not so much with the juices. But the Disney beverage department runs a tight ship, so I'm sure they'll try to avoid over-pouring of spirits. I was at one bar before opening recently and witnessed the bartender being tested by a supervisor on his pouring and counting skills.

It's good to hear about the bar at the Four Seasons. It's pretty new, so I don't think a lot of folks are aware of it yet, but it's definitely now on my radar. I also need to get over to the bar at Todd English's Bluezoo at the Dolphin resort, which is reputed to have the best cocktails on property. Also highly recommend is the Top of the World Lounge at the Contemporary Resort's Bay Lake Tower, but you need to be a DVC member to get in there. Just off property in the Bonnet Creek area, the Waldorf Astoria is said to have an excellent cocktail program.

On WDW property, you never know where you're going to find good spirits. My favorite secret spot is L'Artisan des Glaces in the France pavilion at Epcot, where you can get a shot of Rhum Clement VSOP on your ice cream martini. As for the WDW bars, I think they generally get a bad rap. There are more than 70 bars and lounges in the parks and resorts. Like Trader Sam's, a lot of attention is paid to theming and presentation while the drinks suffer just a bit from homogenization, but you have to know where to go to get the perfect mix of drinks and decor.

Not to get too far off topic, but a quick list of my favorite spots to relax with a cocktail when I'm not at the Poly would include Mizner's at the Grand Floridan, the Wave and California Grill at the Contemporary, Territory Lounge at the Wilderness Lodge, Crew's Cup at the Yacht Club, Belle Vue Lounge at the Boardwalk, Victoria Falls and Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Raglan Road at Downtown Disney. In the parks, options are more limited, but I enjoy the Tune-In Lounge and Brown Derby Lounge in Hollywood Studios, Yak and Yeti and Dawa Bar in Animal Kingdom, and three of the four full-service bars in Epcot's World Showcase (La Cava del Tequila in Mexico, the Rose and Crown in the UK, and Tutto Gusto in Italy).

Now, before someone comes looking for my head, let's get back to Trader Sam's talk ...

[ This Message was edited by: Hurricane Hayward 2015-05-09 09:55 ]


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2461
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-05-13 06:13 am   Permalink

The current (May 12, 2015) issue of the AllEars® Weekly Newsletter has a discussion about kids and age limits at bars on Disney property. Trader Sam's East is mentioned. The article doesn't come down on any one side, and it does highlight that there are many differing points of view, opinions, and feelings on the matter.

The URL to the feature article is
http://allears.net/ae/issue816.htm.

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AceExplorer
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2461
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-05-13 06:20 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-05-09 01:12, Hurricane Hayward wrote:
Not to get too far off topic, but a quick list of my favorite spots to relax with a cocktail when I'm not at the Poly would include Mizner's at the Grand Floridan, the Wave and California Grill at the Contemporary, Territory Lounge at the Wilderness Lodge, Crew's Cup at the Yacht Club, Belle Vue Lounge at the Boardwalk, Victoria Falls and Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Raglan Road at Downtown Disney. In the parks, options are more limited, but I enjoy the Tune-In Lounge and Brown Derby Lounge in Hollywood Studios, Yak and Yeti and Dawa Bar in Animal Kingdom, and three of the four full-service bars in Epcot's World Showcase (La Cava del Tequila in Mexico, the Rose and Crown in the UK, and Tutto Gusto in Italy).



Your list is very similar to my own. I would add Rix Lounge at the Coronado Springs resort.
http://rix-lounge.com/ I give you extra points for Sanaa. Both Rix and Sanaa are my little secrets, so don't tell anyone else. Going a bit off the beaten bath does offer rewards at WDW.
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Dagg
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Joined: Jun 26, 2012
Posts: 332
From: Van Isle BC CA
Posted: 2015-05-15 09:49 am   Permalink

May 4th

Food was good
drinks were decent..
Service was lacking.

Still loved it and had a blast

Wife and I


Traveling companions







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Darren



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AceExplorer
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Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2461
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-05-15 09:52 am   Permalink

Darren - and a good time was had by all! How did you rate/enjoy the drinks and the food?

 
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