A look at Universal's new drinks for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley
Written by Robert Niles
As much as fans loved getting the opportunity walk through Hogwarts Castle and fly with Harry and his friends in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the runaway hit of Universal Orlando's original Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure might have been the Butterbeer.Tweet
The sweet, frothy drink quickly became the "must get" purchase in the new land and inspired spirited debates between fans of the regular and the frozen versions. (Universal then threw a warm version into the mix during the winter holidays this year.) So with the impending debut of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida next door, it's fair to ask: what's next?
If you're satisfied with the original, you will find both versions of Butterbeer available in Diagon Alley's Leaky Cauldron restaurant. But Universal's created several new Wizarding drinks for you to try, as well.
Universal's display of menu items from The Leaky Cauldron
The options include, on the top level: Fishy Green Ale ($4.99), left, and Gillywater ($4). Below that is Otter's Fizzy Orange Juice ($4.79). Then, at the bottom, are Tongue-tying Lemon Squash ($4.79) and Peachtree Fizzing Tea ($4.79).
I tried the Gillywater first. In addition to being available plain at The Leaky Cauldron, you can get flavored Gillywater at the Eternelle's Elixir of Refreshment stand in Carkitt Market, near the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts exit. Basically, Gillywater is just bottled water, but Eternelle's offers four colored, flavored "elixirs" that it will pour into your bottle of Gillywater. (I didn't get the price for the elixir mix-in.)
There's no detectable fizz - just a flavor like a sweetened Vitamin Water (minus the vitamins, one presumes). I also tried, and much preferred, the Fishy Green Ale.
This concoction looks like a glass of garishly-colored Boba tea, with little balls of blueberry flavor (meant to represent fish eggs) at the bottom of the mint-flavored drink. The obvious theme park comparison is with Disneyland's Mint Julep, but I found the mint flavor of the Fishy Green Ale to be far less intense than the Julep. Mint flavor has become so associated with mouthwash in the United States that many fans have complained that the Mint Julep tastes like taking a swig of Scope. Fishy Green Ale tasted more sugary than minty, allowing me to forget the mouthwash association that always stops me at the first sip of Mint Julep. But it was the blueberry "fish eggs" that really sold me on Fishy Green Ale. The little bursts of blueberry flavor helped highlight the brightness of the mint, giving the drink a unique and refreshing taste.
As I was walking out of Diagon Alley with my Fishy Green Ale in hand, a fan watching from the other side of the barricades in front of the London facade asked what I had. When I told her, she then asked if the drink was alcoholic (as it is in the Harry Potter books). I told her no, then shared the simple rule for determining the alcohol content of drinks in the Wizarding World.
The drink menu for The Leaky Cauldron
If it costs under five bucks, there's no booze in it. Which drinks are you looking forward to trying in Diagon Alley, after it opens officially on July 8?
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