Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Disney Review: Taste, Shake and Indulge Like the French

The Thespian recently journeyed to Walt Disney World to partake in several of the events held in conjunction with the 15th Annual EPCOT Food and Wine Festival.     These are separately ticketed events above the cost of required theme park admission.

The first event was Taste, Shake and Indulge Like the French.   This was sponsored by Grand Marnier and was held on five Saturday afternoons in the Bistro de Paris Restaurant located in the France Pavilion.  The event the Thespian attended was held on Saturday, October 30th and was a sold out event.   It was nice to finally see the smaller Bistro location which is normally only open for dinner.

The event was hosted by a representative of Grand Marnier.   She took us through a brief history of Grand Marnier which began in 1827.    In case you are wondering, John Quincy Adams was President of the United States at the time (a question which the Thespian proved the only person to know the answer to in the entire five weeks the event was held.)   While we learned our history we were served mimosas made with Grand Marnier, which added a sweeter orange taste to the traditional champagne and orange juice cocktail.

Next we tasted three vintages of Grand Marnier itself.   The Cordon Rouge was the youngest  having been aged in the barrel for ten years.    This was followed by the 100th anniversary which was the Thespian's preferred version.   The last was the 150th anniversary which was a bit too strong for the Thespian, but whose husband was happy to take off her hands.

Our next adventure was the "shake" part of the event as we were taught how to make a Grand Smash cocktail.    We were informed that the Grand Smash was the ancestor of both the margarita and the mojito.  

In a shaker, smash mint leaves (we used 6 to 8) and lemon wedges (we used 4). Add a large amount of ice, and a generous portion of Grand Marnier (we were given a miniature bottle and used the entire bottle).    Shake the mixture and strain into a cocktail glass.   Garnish with mint.      It was very tasty.

Now, one should have something to eat with all this delicious alcohol.    We were given madeline cookies and dark chocolate to nibble on with the shots of Grand Marnier.    To accompany the Grand Smash we were given crepes.

It was a wonderful presentation that lasted 90 minutes.     I will comment that Bistro de Paris is located on the second floor of the building that houses the Chefs de France Restaurant.   It appears that it was handicapped accessible.  (a future entry will explain why that is important).

As we exited we were given gift bags containing a shaker, souvenir plastic glass, miniature bottle of Grand Marnier and a coaster.    We were made to feel welcome and special during the entire event.

If Disney decides to bring them back next year the Thespian highly recommends this experience.

Taste, Shake and Indulge Like the French was held as part of the 15th Annual EPCOT Food and Wine Festival.   It was a separate ticketed event that was in addition to required theme park admission.  No one under the age of 21 was permitted to attend this event.  

For information on special events at Walt Disney World, visit www.   and select Parks and Resorts and special events or special dining events.

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