Monday, January 12, 2015

The Hopping Pot Review and Allergen Information

Part of the whole fun of Diagon alley is that the open marketplace is prime for people watching. Witches and wizards of all ages cast spells with their interactive wands and impressive costuming efforts blur the line between employees, wizards, and muggles in disguise. 

After a busy morning of shopping, I wanted to take a quick rest stop at the Hopping Pot, an outdoor bar that features an array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic brews guaranteed to please every palate.


As with my previous Wizarding World posts, here's a primer on the literary roots of the Hopping Pot. It is an wizard fable that first appeared in the seventh and final novel and the accompanying book The Tales of Beetle the Bard. The moral of the tale is that magic should always be used for good, not evil.

The menu is pretty straightforward and features all of the exclusive drinks created for the expansion of the Wizarding World (only the butterbeer can be found at the original Hogsmeade portion of the park). For further explanation and description of the various drinks, check out my WWoHP drink primer here.



Stepping up to place my order, I informed the staff that I had food allergies and was given a laminated "allergen cheat sheet" to look over. When comparing the gluten and dairy safe drinks, I was bummed to find the confirmation that Butterbeer was, in fact, not safe for because it contained dairy (but it is gluten-free). 

Wanting to try something new for the spirit of the blog, I decided to go with the Otters Fizzy Orange which sounded fun, fruity, and somewhat familiar. 



When it was served up, I was impressed with the presentation of the drink. The slightly carbonated orange drink was quite beautiful as the tangerine hue was more concentrated near the bottom and lighter towards the top. An orange was carefully balanced on the rim which was coated in a cinnamon-sugar coating.

The drink itself is definitely orange-y without being too sweet or too artificial as most orange sodas are. I'd describe it as an orange drink that perfectly balances the tartness of orange juice and sweetness of orange soda. This flavor is enhanced and enriched by the cinnamon sugar rim coating which made for a delicious duo that was irresistible and quite addicting. The carbonation is perfectly subtle to provide a fizzy texture that's not too overwhelming and the accompanying orange makes for a refreshing finishing touch that's oh, so good with the cinnamon.




I really, really enjoyed Otters Fizzy Orange- far more than I had expected to. Completely making up for my inability to drink butterbeer, I dare say that I like this drink more than that brew because it's not so sugar paralyzing and is completely refreshing and unique. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, the drink is flexible and perfect for any time of day and would be especially perfect on a hot afternoon. I look forward to future visits to Diagon Alley because I often find myself craving the fizzy, orange-y drink.

As I sample some of the other gluten and dairy free drinks served up at the Hopping Pot, I'll definitely update this review.


Update (1/19/15): On a return visit, I sampled the Tongue Tying Lemon Squash which can only be described as a farmers' market-style fresh-squeezed lemonade. It arrived with a halved lemon submerged in it, which provided a splash of color. More sour than sweet, the drink was refreshing and would be divine on a hot day. However, the sour acidity of of the citrus was a little too much for my taste, and I'll stick with the Otters Fizzy Orange as my drink of choice in Diagon Alley. 




The Basics

Address: Universal Studios Islands of Adventure: Diagon Alley
Website: (none)
Cuisine: Beverages and brews from the world of Harry Potter 
Ideal For: Drinks
Price: Drinks below $5 each
Accessibility: Easily wheelchair accessible 
Special Features: There is a passholder discount for those with a premiere or preferred annual pass.

Disclaimer: Restaurant reviews are based upon the information I have at the time of the review and do not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the restaurant directly for up-to-date information and feel free to to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.

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