Cocktails & Speakeasies: Spring Into Cocktail Season

Springtime is a time of rejuvenation, a new life, and fresh cocktails.

High-Hat From The

After the dark and slightly cold winter months here in the Orlando area, it’s a great time to get back out into the sunshine and explore the community.

No matter what adventures are on the docket for spring days around Orlando this season, Orlando magazine has found the perfect cocktail—or mocktail—pairing to go along with it.

Best cocktail for brunch

No matter the season, brunch is the day’s most important meal. Family-owned Cocina Maya & Mezcaleria in Lake Mary serves authentic Mexican cuisine and bright drinks made with mezcal.
Mezcal is a traditional Mexican drink that dates back to before the times of tequila. While they made both from fermenting the ancient agave plant, mezcal differs from tequila in how the core of the agave, referred to as the piña, is cooked. Cooking the piña underground gives a smokier taste to the mezcal, which can be tasted in cocktails crafted with this spirit.

For brunch drinks that are unique, the Paleta Mezcal Margaritas at Cocina Maya & Mezcaleria will keep you coming back for more.

Unlike most margaritas made with tequila, those made with mezcal are a bit smoky, which pairs well with refreshing flavors from fruit juice and large paletas—fresh fruit popsicles.

Salty and spicy Tajin coats the glass for added texture and spice. Offered in strawberry and mango, all it takes is one sip to leave Orlando and transport to brunches on the beach in sunny Mexico.

Best cocktail for an out-of-this-world adventure

For Orlando locals and visitors who need otherworldly adventure, Space 220 inside Walt Disney World’s EPCOT is the ideal location.

Travel through space and time on their “Stellarvator” from the ground in Orlando up to the space station located 220 miles above Earth.

Space 220 offers impressive views of space from any spot—from a table to the sprawling bar and lounge area. Grabbing a cocktail here is an experience that begins with the location and continues onto the beverages. The Atmospritz is an intergalactic take on the classic springtime drink, the Aperol Spritz.

They revamped the traditionally citrusy and slightly bitter drink with vodka, blood orange, orange juice, prosecco, and Aperol.

What puts this drink over the moon is the cloud of cotton candy that the drink is poured over—watch as the fluffy pink cloud disappears, adding a touch of sweetness to the beverage, perfect for springtime in space.

Deku Tree & Split Decision The Courtesy. (ROBERTO GONZALEZ)

Best cocktail for girls’ day out

The spring season wouldn’t feel complete without a good girls’ day—and the Ube Bae from The Courtesy Bar in historic Winter Park, is feminine and rich in flavor.

This secret menu drink embodies springtime with a sweet lilac tone, a color naturally derived from the Ube. Creamy and comforting with notes of sweet yam, it’s a scrumptious beverage to sip on all day with friends. Topped with flowers, fresh herbs, and dehydrated pineapple, this drink is one to share with your besties at the bar.

Best cocktail for boys’ day out

TORI TORI, a Japanese pub in the Mills 50 District, is an excellent place to try something new. With a more polished feel than a favorite local dive bar, TORI TORI offers yakitori and bar food alongside innovative cocktails using Japanese spirits.

The Highball, a popular drink served in bars all over Japan made with Japanese Whiskey, is found in abundance on the TORI TORI menu. This cocktail is great for a boys’ day out as it’s made with dark liquor, rich in flavor, and brightened by carbonated beverages to keep the drink light and refreshing.

With six classic highballs and a list of seasonal TORI TORI exclusive flavors, there’s something for everyone. Fabulous for springtime is their Chu-hi, which adds a tropical fruit flavor to this beloved Japanese drink.

Ube Bae, The Courtesy. (ROBERTO GONZALEZ)

Best springtime staycation cocktail and mocktail

Tiki bars and tiki drinks are a category all their own. With cult followings and fun, tropical vibes, it’s easy to see why these spots are beloved. Tiki drinks are a must for a spring staycation that takes you out of Orlando to a tropical getaway.

At Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is a classic tiki bar with over-the-top drinks and cast members. Each signature drink comes with a different tiki glass, and a unique set of rituals and traditions that encourages the entire bar to get involved with the festivities.
The Oh-Oa is a favorite for those who frequent the Grog Grotto, as everyone in the lounge chants “Oh-Oa!” as they deliver the drink to the table. It’s served in a tiki bowl with long straws for sharing and loaded with flavors of rum, including orange, passion fruit, guava, pineapple, and more, topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s a piece of paradise here in Orlando.

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has plenty of mocktail options for those looking to get into the tiki spirit sans spirits. The Skipper Sipper is a bright and refreshing choice for this spring as it features sharp, tart lime and fresh mint. When paired with sparkling water—a drink best enjoyed on the beach.

Best cocktail for date night

What could make date night more exciting than a cocktail crafted for two? The Centerpiece Old Fashion for Two from Sixty Vines in Winter Park is a beautiful spin on this bar staple. Using simple ingredients like bourbon, bitters, simple syrup, and seasonal herbs and fruit, this cocktail is just as fun to look at as it is to drink.

Arriving at the table in an ornate circular carafe, they expertly poured drinks into each glass. This unique beverage experience is ideal for couples who love craft cocktails.

Centerpiece Old Fashioned For 2 from Sixty Vines. (ROBERTO GONZALEZ)

Best cocktail for spa day

After a long day of relaxation and rejuvenation, there’s nothing better than a fresh, herbaceous cocktail to round out the day.

Over at STK in Disney Springs, the cucumber stiletto is refreshing, bright, and green. It makes cocktails feel tranquil—and even healthy.

Mint, lime, and of course, the refreshing flavor of cucumber comes together perfectly in a chilled martini glass with citrus vodka for a clean and bright drink tailor-made for a post-spa day springtime libation.

Best locally inspired cocktail

The Neighbors in the East End Market, is a fun bar that offers many specialty and seasonal drinks year-round. While exploring Orlando this spring, it only seems fitting to have a cocktail inspired by our favorite Florida community.

Our favorite part of the menu are the drinks inspired by the establishment’s name; this elevated neighborhood bar has an assortment of cocktails named for different neighborhoods in the Orlando area.

For springtime, we recommend the Ivanhoe, nicknamed the blooming pineapple. With mezcal, pineapple, and jalapeño; this sweet and spicy drink is a fun way to welcome the new season here in Orlando.

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