One of Disney Cruise’s offerings for its adult demographic is the very popular beverage seminars. Although the types of seminars and tastings, as well as itinerary, vary from ship to ship, (they include whiskey, martini, and tequila and margarita tastings), mixology is one of the more popular ones (if not the most popular) and is the one I had wanted to try for a while. Thankfully its time worked out perfectly as it didn’t cut into the food tour we had reserved in Nassau.
Mixology on the Dream took place in the Skyline bar (one of my favorite spots-the main wall behind the bar features changing skylines of cities from around the world). It was led by one of the bartenders there (Aleksandar from Serbia-terrific, by the way), and he had two fellow bartenders on hand to assist.
The seminars are limited to 15 people which is why you need to sign up in advance once you board the ship as they do get booked up.
Alek started off the seminar by first explaining the components of a mixed drink and then going over the five drinks we would be making (yes, that’s right-attendees at Mixology make their own drinks). He also covered all of the equipment used when making drinks on the ships and how it differs from a bar on dry land due to regulation (ice crushers are not allowed on board due to safety regulations, so hand crushing ice is the way they do things).
The five drinks we would make were a tequila sunrise, a Mai Tai, a cosmopolitan (here’s to you, Carrie Bradshaw), a mojito, and a B52 layered shot. Before we started playing the role of bartender for each of the drinks, Alek made one himself, giving step by step directions. Naturally most of us in the group needed them to be repeated when it came our time to make it.
I suppose this is a sign of my naiveté, but I thought we’d be having “tastings” of each of the drinks. No, at mixology, you work with standard size glasses (i.e. what you would get if you had ordered the drink yourself). And no, Alek and his co-workers did not scrimp on the alcohol either. In fact, you were nudged on by Alek if he deemed you didn’t use enough (his reasoning was that he wanted you to learn how to make the proper version of the drink). I drank my first two concoctions (the tequila sunrise and the mai tai), but after that, I just took a few sips of the rest. I am not a big drinker to begin with so downing five cocktails in the span of an hour was just not going to happen.
After attending mixology I definitely have a new found respect for bartenders, especially since they make how many drinks in such a quick turnaround time. While I was pleased with my first two creations, my bartending skills definitely went downhill after those (too much of one thing, generally the “modifying agent,” can definitely ruin the taste). And let me just say, making a layered shot might be one of the most difficult things…ever.
All in all, after four Disney cruises I’m happy to have finally attended one of the beverage seminars and look forward to trying another one in the future.
Things to know
-Beverage seminars cost a nominal fee (ranging from $20-$40 depending on the ingredients being used)
-You can check your personal navigator your first day on board to find out which seminars are being offered during your cruise
-Be sure to sign up in advance as they are capped at a certain number of spots
-Eat something ahead of time (well, this shouldn’t be too difficult to do being on a cruise and all). You do not want to attend one of the seminars on an empty stomach