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Robert Niles
Editor

A look at Universal's new drinks for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

Published: June 26, 2014 at 11:07 AM

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.

Butterbeer

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.

Leaky Cauldron drinks
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.)

Gillywater

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.

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.

Leaky Cauldron drink menu
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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Replies (4)

Rob Pastor

Published: June 26, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Fishy green Ale will be first on our list as was the Flaming Moe last year in Springfield. And, if I want a beer, I'll walk over to Finnegan's for a Guinness.
Anon Mouse

Published: June 26, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The best thing to do is share. I'll buy Fishy Green Ale and Butterbeer for the family.

I just checked out Cabana Bay. The rates are amazingly low. I would love to stay there with their prices of $120 a night.

Melanie Howe

Published: June 26, 2014 at 1:49 PM

I'm gonna have to try the Fishy Green Ale and Otter's Fizzy OJ. I didn't really like Butterbeer that much -- too sweet, and that's saying something for me -- so I'm hoping one of these will be more my taste.
Rob Pastor

Published: June 26, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Anon: Even better, if you stay in the off season for 4 or 5 days you can usually get rates in the 90's. Can't beat that for onsite. And the place is getting pretty good reviews on the Universal oriented internet sites.

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