If you've ever dreamed of bringing the flavors of Walt Disney World's Epcot to your own kitchen, Disney Parks deliciousness awaits — even if a trip isn't in your near future.
Epcot, the brainchild of Walt Disney, is home to some of the property's most exciting dining options: Around the park's World Showcase, guests will find 11 themed pavilions celebrating diverse cultures through entertainment, merchandise and of course — food.
Fancy some fish and chips in the United Kingdom? They have it. How about a rich and delicate mousse au chocolat in France? Check (and it is très bien).
Ashley Craft, author of bestselling The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook, has set her sights on Epcot's globally-inspired bites with her latest release, The Unofficial Disney Parks Epcot Cookbook.The book is packed with 100 recipes for beloved drinks, snacks, meals and desserts found at Epcot — like the La Cava Avocado, an avocado margarita from the Mexico pavilion's La Cava del Tequila and the U.K. pavilion's crave-worthy fish and chips. It's the perfect way to satisfy that Disney craving ... whenever it beckons.
A busy mom of three, Craft is a former Walt Disney World intern who began blogging about Disney in 2017 as a way to keep the magic alive when away from the parks. Her most popular posts? Those involving recipes. "People really latched onto the recipes," she explains. "They were my most popular posts by far —people really enjoyed them, and I really enjoyed making them."
The popularity of those posts was a catalyst for Craft, who was then inspired to share her copycat recipes on a larger scale. The success of her first cookbook spawned The Unofficial Disney Parks Drinks Recipes, followed by her latest homage to Epcot. But with so many foodie-favorite options inside Epcot's gates, how did Craft choose what to feature in her latest book?
"I try to pick the most iconic, the most popular and the most Instagrammable recipes that people are looking for," she says. "I wanted this to be a book for the Disney fans out there."
Craft's favorite dish from Epcot? The sticky toffee pudding from the U.K. pavilion's Rose and Crown Dining Room. "It's just so good," she says. "I feel like it's this very delicious comfort food."
Craft worked with a mixologist to develop the drink recipes in the book, many of which are also able to be made as a non-alcoholic mocktail. Her favorite is her version of the berry punch from barbecue haven Regal Eagle Smokehouse.
As a lifelong Disney fan and devoted Epcot foodie, I put Craft's book to the test by trying out one of the most sought-after beverages in the park: the Grand Marnier Orange Slush martini.
"It's very reminiscent of a creamsicle," shares Craft. "I think adults come to Disney to revisit that nostalgia of being a child and bringing themselves to that place of joy — not having so many cares."
"Having this drink that tastes like a creamsicle is so fun and playful because it does have that adult element of being alcoholic, but [it also has] the child-ish element of tasting like a popsicle you would have in the summer," she adds.
Available in the France pavilion from Les Vins des Chefs de France, the drink, served martini-style, features delicious orange liqueur. It's so popular that the stand often draws lines throughout the day and has inspired seasonal "slush martini" varieties found often at Epcot festivals like the International Food and Wine Festival and the International Flower and Garden Festival.
For the at-home martini enthusiast, the drink was surprisingly easy to make in my own kitchen using tools I had already had. Even better? It indeed tastes just like the real thing. It's a martini, so it is booze-forward: Those who don't enjoy the taste of alcohol may want to add a bit more orange juice to the mix.
Grand Marnier Orange Slush Martini
Courtesy of Ashley Craft, author of "The Unofficial Disney Parks Epcot Cookbook"
2 ounces of pulp-free orange juice, frozen in an ice cube tray
1 ounce of orange-flavored vodka
1 ounce of white rum
1 ounce of simple syrup
1 ounce of Grand Marnier
2 ounces of ice cubes
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until slushy consistency is reached. Serve in a martini glass.
Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.