Ghirardelli Soda Fountain
One of the long-time favorites of many Disney fans for dessert at Downtown Disney is the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shoppe and Soda Fountain in Orlando. Luckily — a new location just opened in Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort as well!
This spot serves some truly incredible sundaes and ice cream treats, but sometimes the dessert drinks get overlooked by guests (myself included) in favor of the more substantial menu items.
Over the past week I’ve sampled two Ghiaradelli dessert drinks that are Out. Of. This. World!! They are definitely now on my must-have (and go back and get again!) list…
Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa
On a recent visit to the Downtown Disney Ghirardelli location, I decided to forego the ice cream and instead order the Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa that I’d been hearing so much about…
You can see this dreamy indulgence on the menu under chocolate drinks here:
Basically, the drink is a creamy, silky hot cocoa topped with real whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel, and a sprinkle of chunky sea salt.
I wondered if the sea salt and caramel was incorporated throughout the drink, and I found out quickly that it wasn’t. The caramel and salt are just on top, so the best thing to do is swirl the whipped cream, caramel, and salt throughout the drink to get the most even distribution.
The cocoa itself is very reminiscent of homemade hot chocolate — the kind you make in the battered pan on your stove with real cocoa and real sugar. It brought me right back to when I was a kid.
I’d highly recommend this treat, especially on a chilly or rainy night in Downtown Disney!
Ghirardelli Drinking Chocolate
Next up, I wanted to share my favorite find from this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Ghiarardelli Drinking Chocolate!
You can find this at Ghirardelli Soda Shoppe locations, but this year it’s also at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Exhibit at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Center.
One question I’ve been getting a lot is “what’s drinking chocolate, and how is it different from hot cocoa?” Well, it’s described here on the menu as “a liquid candy bar.” And I have to agree.
It’s much thicker than hot cocoa, and does taste and feel more like a melted candy bar in a cup. The chocolate is extremely rich (which is why it’s served in relatively small portions) and almost slightly bitter. It compares best to a Spanish or Mexican hot chocolate — very thick and semi-sweet using very dark chocolate.
The machine used to make and pour the drinking chocolate is constantly stirring, very much like you would if you were actually melting chocolate for candy dipping.
I finally got my cup and I was 100% sold. This stuff is ah-maz-ing! Like I said, it’s intense, so if you’re not a chocolate fan or if you don’t like strong flavors, it may be best to sample a small amount before getting a whole cup.
But for me? Perfect. This is one of the only items at the festival that I’ve been dreaming about getting again! Go figure (and go GET some)! Of course, this is also available at Ghirardelli locations in Downtown Disney Orlando and Disney California Adventure…
Sometimes ya gotta have ice cream, but when you’re ready for something a bit different, I can highly recommend the Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa or the Drinking Chocolate at Ghirardelli.
Both are taking dessert in a new direction, and both offer some truly decadent and rich flavors. In fact, I had a very difficult time finishing that sea salt caramel hot cocoa due to its sweetness! (FYI — no problem finishing that drinking chocolate. ;-D)
Now, if you’re headed to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year, don’t forget to check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus for more pictures of all the new and favorite dishes at this year’s booths!
Also, check out our DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book for a full schedule of events, touring strategies, tips and tricks, and a full section on the World Showcase booths this year! Use code countdown for $3 off today!
Have you tried any of the liquid desserts at Ghirardelli? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!