Eat and Drink

Guide to the Best Adult Beverages at Universal Orlando Resort

May 11, 2022
Cocktails at Universal Orlando Resort

Must be 21 years and older with valid photo identification to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. Drink responsibly. 

From happy hour hangouts to creatively crafted cocktails, there’s a lot to toast to and with around Universal Orlando Resort’s theme parks and hotels. Use this blog next time you’re looking for a guide to where to find the best cocktails, beers, and spirits at Universal.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA

Chez Alcatraz | San Francisco 

Cocktails at Chez Alcatraz

Located in the San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf area of the park is the sea-side themed bar Chez Alcatraz. It’s hard to miss this cool little spot because of the massive great white shark hanging beside it like it’s someone’s record-breaking catch. But this nautical-inspired bar isn’t just about the photo ops, they serve up some great signature cocktails, including the San Francisco Bay Breeze, a mix of coconut rum, cranberry and pineapple juice.

Shark Attach at Chez Alcatraz

SIGNATURE DRINK: Ocean Attack — This electric blue drink packs a tropical punch of flavor. And it comes with a heck of a performance by the bartender!

Finnegan’s Bar & Grill | New York

Finnegan's Bar Universal Orlando

This is a traditional Irish-American pub with a familiar feel and wide selection of Irish food, pints, and spirits. The beer menu is among the best you’ll find in the park, with a superb list of drafts and bottles, along with mixed draughts like the “Snake Bite” and the “Blacksmith”.

SIGNATURE DRINK: Finnegan’s Gin & Tonic – Think gin & tonic is a boring drink? You haven’t tried Finnegan’s. Gin, tonic water, raspberry and thyme turns this traditional mixed drink on its head.

Duff Brewery | Springfield, U.S.A.

Duff Brewery is the perfect place to grab some suds and enjoy the scenery. The bar offers outdoor seating with a great view. 

SIGNATURE DRINK: Duff Beer

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UNIVERSAL’S ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE

Backwater Bar | Port of Entry

Cocktails in Islands of Adventure at Backwater Bar

After a long day of thrill seeking and attraction going, this bar is like an oasis in the desert. Tucked behind Confisco Grille, it’s dark and cool inside and has a great patio with umbrella seating. But best of all is the assortment of mixed cocktails that combine flavor and intensity. It’s the perfect place to grab a drink and cool down while catching up on the day’s adventures.

SIGNATURE DRINK: Jalapeño Margarita — If you’re looking for a drink with a spicy kick of flavor, this one’s for you. The drink is made with top shelf tequila and liqueur, but it’s the housemaid jalapeño lime juice mix that really kicks it up a notch. 

Honorable mention: The Islander. Incredibly refreshing with hints of banana and peach.

The Watering Hole | Jurassic Park

The Watering Hole Cocktails

The Watering Hole is a small but mighty bar stop in Jurassic Park serving up drinks big on refreshment. They have a nice selection of beers and hard seltzers, but their specialty is tropical-inspired mixed drinks. 

SIGNATURE DRINK: Birds of Paradise — This refreshing drink packs a bite and is a perfect pick after a go on Jurassic World VelociCoaster. An added bonus: the specialty drinks are served in a souvenir pilsner cup. 

Honorable Mention: All of the beers are great, but I’m partial to those with a fitting purple T-Rex on the can…

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UNIVERSAL CITYWALK 

Bigfire 

BigFire Cocktail

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience at Universal CityWalk, it doesn’t get much better than Bigfire. The restaurant serves up top-notch steaks and seafood all over an open fire. The cocktail menu, which includes an extensive list of whiskeys, bourbons and other spirits, is also smoking good. Venture to the secluded back bar area where you can escape the noise from the theme parks with a great cocktail and a book, or catch up with friends over drinks.

SIGNATURE DRINK: Smoked, Smoked Maple Old Fashioned — Not only is this drink full of smoky mesquite flavor (thanks to the beef jerky garnish) it’s also super fun to watch it being made. The server comes to the table with bourbon infused with beef jerky in a crystal pitcher and a glass of swirling smoke turned upside down to contain it inside. The glass is then turned right side up and the bourbon is poured inside with a dash of added maple flavor and topped with an orange slice and a cherry.

Vivo Italian Kitchen

Vivo Wine Pour CityWalk

The setting is modern, but the food and wine list are classic in the best way. Only fresh ingredients made like grandma are found here. If you’re a wine lover, this is the perfect place for you. The restaurant breaks up their wine menu by region: Piemonte, Veneto, Trentino, Toscana, Centro Italia & Sardegna, among others.

SIGNATURE DRINK: I love any earthy, red wine from Italy with a smooth silky tannin finish, but definitely ask your server for their recommendation with your meal!

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville 

From the colorful decor, parrots galore and music blasting from the speakers, you know the vibes are chill. The menu is no different. Floribbean inspired cuisine and cocktails make it easy to find something delicious.

SIGNATURE DRINK: Lemon Blueberry Margarita — The margarita list is long at Jimmy Buffett’s, but this one stands out. Made with blue agave tequila, citrus sour, and blueberry puree and lemon, the flavor mixture is an unconventional surprise of flavors.

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UNIVERSAL ORLANDO HOTELS

Bar 17 Bistro at Universal’s Aventura Hotel 

Bar 17 at Sunset

The uber-modern decor and sleek vibe of the Aventura Hotel transport you to club nights in Vegas or L.A. Not only is the inside of the hotel swank and captivating, the views from the top floor are breathtaking. The best place to take it all in: Bar 17, the hotel’s rooftop bar, which offers 360° views of the city of Orlando and Universal’s three theme parks. Turn the fun all the way up Friday and Saturday night when the bar features a DJ.

SIGNATURE DRINK: It’s hard to choose just one, so we’re going with two. First up is One in a Melon, a blend of small batch hand-crafted vodka, artisanal elderflower liqueur, melon, pear, and lemon. This sophisticated drink is refreshing with a sweet finish. Looking for something simpler? Try the Marg 17, the bar’s signature margarita made with crystal-clear tequila, orange-flavored liqueur, lime, and agave.

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Sunset Lounge at Dockside Inn and Suites 

Sunset Lounge at Dockside Inn and Suites

This bar is where all the cool guests gather before heading out for the night or to catch up about the day’s gallavants. 

SIGNATURE DRINK: Endless Summer Lemonade — The name describes exactly how you’ll feel after the first sip. Relaxed, fun and like you hope the day never ends. The hotel’s signature cocktail is simplicity at its best, made with vodka and fresh lemon.

Oasis Beach Bar at Dockside Inn and Suites

This bar is the perfect place to escape the heat and grab a strong drink. Situated in a shady covered area off the massive pool at Dockside, the bar boasts a signature drink menu and also offers old reliable beers and wines.

SIGNATURE DRINK: Disco H2O — This cocktail is for the fun at heart (and those who pick up on homages to locations past….). Made with vodka, fruit-flavored syrup, and lime, it’s sweet and fruity and sends you back to a time when all you needed for a good time was to hear “cannonball” at the pool.

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Strong Water Tavern at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Cocktails at Strong Water Tavern

Grab a seat at Strong Water Tavern at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and get ready to be transported to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean and the old-world of rum runners. The tavern features a rum wall with more than 100 rare and vintage varieties. The Caribbean is well represented among the bottles, but there are also unexpected varieties from places like France, Florida, and Spain. The experience includes a rum specialist who will guide you through the tasting, making suggestions and explaining the complexities of each spirit. 

SIGNATURE DRINK: Rum Flight Tasting — The best way to explore is with a flight. Each flight has 3 ½ ounce shots. Choose three of your favorites or ask the rum specialist for suggestions. The flavor notes of black cherry, tobacco, cocoa and spice of the rum specialist’s choices from Guatemala, Barbados, and St. Petersburg went perfectly with the restaurant’s decadent Banana Bread Pudding.

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Velvet Bar at Hard Rock Hotel 

Velvet Bar Bartender

The Hard Rock Hotel is a staple at Universal, but the recently updated Velvet Bar has breathed new life into this location. On the hotel’s lobby level, the renovated bar has all the makings of a top-notch lounge. Live music and outdoor seating overlooking the hotel’s veranda makes this the perfect place to see and be seen. The music-inspired cocktails are fun and hand-crafted. 

SIGNATURE DRINK: Indoggo Strawberry Gin – Made with smashed strawberries, lemon juice and elderflower tonic, this cocktail is as chill as its namesake. 

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The Thirsty Fish at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Casual and cool is what the Thirsty Fish is all about. It’s the ideal place for a romantic night cap if you’re staying on the property, or a destination if you’re riding the Water Taxi from CityWalk. Grab a seat at the bar for a perfect way to unwind after a day at the park overlooking the water.

SIGNATURE DRINK: The Thirsty Fish has a great selection of wines. From red, to white and sparkling, you will find a flavor profile just for you on this menu. Try the Pinot Grigio grown in Northern Italy, it is known for its abundant sunshine and mineral rich soil producing flavorful wine.

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Orchid Court Lounge and Sushi Bar at Loews Royal Pacific Resort 

Orchid Court Cocktails

Breathtaking sights and an impressive whiskey and sake menu make Orchid Court Lounge a Universal standout. The lounge’s seating area features a theater-in-the-round design with views of Loews Royal Pacific Resort.

SIGNATURE DRINK: Cucumber Sake — Delicate and refreshing, this sake is the perfect complement to sushi. 

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Swizzle Lounge at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort 

This bar is full of retro ambiance from the 50s-inspired decor to the vintage drink cocktail menu. 

SIGNATURE DRINK: Coconut Cyclone — This drink is a menu standout because of its simple ingredients yet powerful punch. Made with coconut water rum, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar, it’s an old-school cocktail that needs to become a part of the modern day cocktail menu.

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So you see, there’s no shortage of top-of-the-line adult beverages at Universal’s theme parks and hotels. And I didn’t even get into all of the fantastic tropical drinks offered at Universal’s Volcano Bay. Next time you visit, enjoy the parks’ rides and entertainment, and then make it a point to kick back and relax with one of the many drink options.

Did we leave anything off this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages. Drink responsibly.

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