Tag Archives: Wall Street Plaza

Refreshing Mexican Flavors are Savored during MargaritaFest By Sandra Carr

Tequila was flowing while the summer rain showers held off during the ninth annual MargaritaFest at the Wall Street Plaza last Saturday, Aug. 25.

Partygoers were cooling off with marvelous margaritas and relaxing to the reggae beats. VIP attendees took advantage of the Tequila Terrace’s offerings, which included access to the Monkey Bar, a high-end tequila tasting, complimentary Corona beers and full-sized tequila drinks.

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My husband Dan and I enjoyed experiencing the margarita madness during the annual fete!

Dan and Sandra at MargaritaFest

Bottoms up! Dan and I are sipping margaritas at the Wall Street Plaza.

The margarita tour began by tasting the Wall Street Cantina’s Te-Kill-Ya-Rita. The Orlando Pub Crawl’s crew were dressed as sorcerers while serving the margarita and promoting its A Wizard’s World Pub Crawl on Saturday, Sept. 15. Bonus points for creativity! The Te-Kill-Ya-Rita was my hands-down favorite during the festival! The delicious and refreshing margarita tasted fruity and pleased my palate. Plus, you couldn’t taste the tequila, which in my book that means the margarita was mixed to perfection.

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The Wall Street Cantina’s Te-Kill-Ya-Rita was served by sorcerers!

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The Heritage Square’s alligator gives the Te-Kill-Ya-Rita five chomps!

The Wall Street Cantina also served its Cantina Rita during the festivities. I could taste the tequila, but it was fruity and mixed well.

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The Wall Street Cantina’s Cantina Rita.

The next sample was Don Julio Tequila’s Paloma margarita. I could taste the tequila and grapefruit and lime juices, but the tequila didn’t overpower the other ingredients. Find out for yourself by creating the Paloma margarita with Don Julio’s recipe.

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The Don Julio Tequila’s Paloma margarita.

Casa Noble’s The Tommy margarita was very strong and you could definitely taste the tequila. Unfortunately, the margarita was hard to enjoy, especially since I couldn’t taste the other ingredients in the drink recipe.

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Casa Noble’s The Tommy margarita.

Casamigos, which means house of friends, was launched by actor George Clooney, nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber and property developer Mike Meldman five years ago. The tequila brand served its Spicy Cucumber Jalapeño margarita during the festival. The cucumber and jalapeño drink elements were prominent in this clear and refreshing margarita. Make the Spicy Cucumber Jalapeño margarita at home with Casamigos’ recipe.

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Casamigos’ Spicy Cucumber Jalapeño margarita.

I experienced the best of both worlds with Tijuana Sweet Heat’s Sweet & Spicy margarita. The recipe included tequila, cranberry and sour mix. The concoction was mixed well and one ingredient didn’t overpower the other, which was a huge plus.

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Tijuana Sweet Heat’s Sweet & Spicy margarita.

Blue Nectar Tequila’s Cherry Latino margarita was refreshing to drink on a hot and humid day. The cherry-tasting margarita was delicious with a slight bite.

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Blue Nectar Tequila’s Cherry Latino margarita.

Jose Cuervo, one of the MargaritaFest sponsors, served its classic margarita. You can’t go wrong with a traditional margarita!

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Jose Cuervo’s classic margarita.

Another favorite margarita that I sampled was the 1800 Tequila’s Coco Loco margarita. I would enjoy sipping this yummy margarita while sitting in a cabana on the beach! The mixture included 1800 Tequila Coconut mixed with cranberry and pineapple juices.

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1800 Tequila’s Coco Loco margarita.

Maestro Dobel Tequila went the extra mile with its Black Diamond margarita. The original recipe features agave syrup, but the tequila brand served its concoction with  black cherry syrup instead. The drink was topped with a black cherry, which was a nice touch. Try the Black Diamond margarita for yourself with agave or black cherry syrup.

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Maestro Dobel Tequila’s Black Diamond margarita.

The fan favorite was probably Patrón since the tequila company had the longest line during MargaritaFest this year. Patrón served its pineapple daiquiri instead of a margarita. The bold choice paid off! The smooth and tasty cocktail wasn’t a margarita, but it was worth the wait. Keep the summer vibes going all year long by making the pineapple daiquiri at home with Patrón’s recipe.

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Patrón’s pineapple daiquiri.

Would you like wine with your tequila? Absolutely! Tequila Cazadores served its Mexican Chardonnay, which was a unique twist on the margarita. The tequila, agave and chardonnay wine actually tasted well together. Wine connoisseurs may want to give this margarita a shot. Make the Mexican Chardonnay with this recipe.

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Tequila Cazadores’ Mexican Chardonnay margarita.

Dulce Vida, an organic tequila, provided MargaritaFest attendees with samples of its Pineapple Jalapeño margarita. The pineapple, jalapeño and tequila were stirred well. You could smell the jalapeños, but there was just a veiled hint of the chili peppers existence in the margarita.

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Dulce Vida’s Pineapple Jalapeño margarita.

el Jimador joined forces with the energy drink Red Bull to create its margarita. The mixture was simply tequila and orange Red Bull. The concoction was delish! Bravo for thinking outside of the box!

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The el Jimador margarita with orange Red Bull.

Suerte tequila took a different spin on the classic Tom Collins cocktail with its Juan Collins margarita. I had an ah and Zen moment when I was sipping Suerte’s Juan Collins margarita. The grapefruit seltzer ingredient made the margarita more flavorful. Find out for yourself with the Juan Collins recipe.

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Suerte’s Juan Collins margarita.

Cenote Tequila’s Watermelon Mint margarita was disappointing. It was watered down and you could only taste the tequila. Hopefully, this was an off day for the tequila brand.

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Cenote Tequila’s Watermelon Mint margarita.

MargaritaFest provides tequila fans with a chance to try an array of margaritas without having to travel south of the border. The annual margarita festival happens in August or September, so get your taste buds ready for next year’s event.

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RumFest Brings Tropical Spirit to Orlando By Sandra Carr

The rain couldn’t keep revelers away as they quenched their tropical thirst during the 14th Annual RumFest at the Wall Street Plaza last Saturday.

The festival featured more than 20 different rums, live music by local reggae band Hor!zen and DJ RED i spinning the island beats. Attendees sipped concoctions, played with beach balls and had a passport stamped by the rum company representatives for a chance at winning a year’s supply of rum during a drawing.

VIP ticket holders experienced the Red Stripe Terrace at the Monkey Bar, which included complimentary Red Stripe beer, select rum cocktails and Caribbean-style snacks along with RumFest sampling.

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My husband Dan and I have been attending RumFest since the very beginning and look forward to our rum rendezvous every year!

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Dan and I are striking a pose during the 14th Annual RumFest at the Wall Street Plaza.

The first stop was one of our faves Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. The retro-inspired rum brand served its Cherry Jerry and handed out buttons and koozies. The delicious cocktail tasted like a cherry-flavored drink and was mixed just right with rum, pineapple juice and grenadine ingredients.

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Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum’s Cherry Jerry cocktail.

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Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum’s Cherry Jerry recipe.

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum poured its Cephalopunch, which features the same ingredients as Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum’s Cherry Jerry, but with less grenadine. For those of you who aren’t anatomy aficionados, the drink’s name refers to a human’s head.

The tasty concoction made me want to sit back and relax while enjoying the tiki vibes. Create your own cocktail with this rum recipe.

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The Kraken Black Spiced Rum’s Cephalopunch.

RumChata never disappoints with its Dirty Banana. The creamy and tasty cocktail is always popular during RumFest and worth the wait. Ingredients include two parts RumChata and one part banana liqueur shaken and poured over ice.

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RumChata’s Dirty Banana cocktail.

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RumChata girls served the Dirty Banana cocktail.

The Dos Maderas’ Pineapple Smash didn’t make a big splash. The cocktail tasted watered down with hardly any rum.

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Dos Maderas’ Pineapple Smash cocktail.

The rum excursion continued with Bayou Rum. The Louisiana rum company presented its Gator Bite during the festival. This flavorful and perfectly blended cocktail contained its silver, spiced and satsuma rums mixed with pineapple, orange, cranberry and lime juices. If there was a rum concoction competition during the festival, then this drink would have won hands down. Create your own Gator Bite with Bayou Rum’s recipe.

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Bayou Rum’s Gator Bite cocktail.

Bacardi, one of the RumFest sponsors, had not one, but three cocktails this year. The options included the Coconut Colada, Limonade and Rum Punch. Dan and I sampled the Coconut Colada, which was a refreshing cocktail that urged me to hang out in a beach cabana. The ingredients included Bacardi coconut rum mixed with pineapple juice and served over ice.

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Barcardi’s Coconut Colada, Limonade and Rum Punch cocktails.

Captain Morgan has provided festivalgoers with unique cocktails in the past, but decided to keep it simple with just Captain and Coke this year.

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Captain Morgan’s Captain and Coke cocktail.

Country musician Kenny Chesney wanted to give back to his island adventures by launching Blue Chair Bay Rum five years ago. The Caribbean rum presented its Pineapple Paradise during the festival. The concoction was creamy like RumChata’s Dirty Banana, but didn’t make its mark since you couldn’t taste the pineapple or any other tropical ingredients. However, I was impressed that the rum company’s representatives provided attendees with mini Caribbean cocktail recipe books, so they can create their own drinks at home.

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Blue Chair Bay Rum’s Pineapple Paradise cocktail.

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Blue Chair Bay Rum’s Caribbean cocktail recipes.

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Blue Chair Bay Rum’s Caribbean cocktail recipes.

Bounty Saint Lucia Rum’s Spirit of Saint Lucia and Don Q’s Pina Fizz cocktails were uber popular during the festival because both rum companies ran out of their mixtures before Dan and I could sample their cocktails.

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Bounty Saint Lucia Rum’s Spirit of Saint Lucia cocktail.

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Don Q’s Pina Fizz cocktail.

RumFest is a wonderful opportunity to sample new rum brands and cocktails and experience the Caribbean in the heart of downtown Orlando. The annual rum festival occurs in June or July, so add the event to your summer calendar next year.

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