Product Review Special: Sodas, Club Cool, Disney’s Epcot, Orlando

For those of us completely disinterested in visiting the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, GA, Disney’s Epcot offers the only aspect of the flagship museum that might have piqued my curiosity. Namely, Club Cool, in the Future World section of Epcot, offers samples of beverages marketed by Coca Cola around the world. And best of all? The samples are free! (Well, as long as you have a ticket to get into the park, anyway.)

We were stunned that this place wasn’t completely mobbed when we stepped in. Perhaps late afternoon is a great time to stop in for refreshment. The beverages are dispensed self-service style and there’s nothing to stop you from taking as many samples as you please of whatever beverages appeal to you. I can almost guarantee you that something will appeal–and something else will not.

I don’t know if they swap out the choices periodically, but I tasted most of what was on offer in the interest of reporting back here. My personal favorite is a sentimental one–I drank tons of Kinley lemon soda when I was in Israel at age 15, and I’ve never stopped loving this zingy citrus soda. It’s like what Sprite wishes it could be when it grows up. I even have a glass Kinley bottle I filled with sand from the Mediterranean and stoppered with candle wax when I was a kid, and it remains on my windowsill above my kitchen sink as a fond memento from that trip. Kinley is just as good as I remember it being.

There was also Beverly, an Italian soda marketed as an aperitif. It seemed like a nonalcoholic, sweeter, carbonated version of Campari, so you know I had to like it. (Though I did wish I could spike it with something alcoholic to really grease the wheels–I love bitter alcoholic drinks.)

From Mozambique, there was Krest ginger ale, which didn’t seem all that different to me from other ginger ales. A Japanese noncarbonated drink, Vegitabeta, was a strange fruit-and-vegetables beverage that I didn’t especially like. Unfortunately, they were out of the Chinese watermelon soda, and because I have an orange allergy I decided to pass on the German Mezzo Mix.

If you happen to be in Epcot and interested in something to drink (that would be everybody in Epcot, ever), it’s worth stopping in. They also sell Slurpee-type beverages if you want something you can take with you, but these were not offered in unusual international varieties and therefore did not appeal to me. Happy sipping!

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