REVIEW: The Horror Icons Bar Serves Up Glittering Drinks, Skull Souvenir Cups, and Halloween Horror Nights Decor at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Happy Halloween from Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort! If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a little bit of HHN outside of the park, Cabana Bay is offering the Jack’d Up Experience and the Horror Icons Bar. Swizzle Lounge has gotten an overlay and transformed into the Horror Icons Bar for the Halloween season with a spooky menu full of creepy cocktails. We were just dying to try all of these new drinks, so we made our way over to Cabana Bay to haunt the Horror Icons Bar for the weekend.
Swizzle Lounge is the bar located in the lobby of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. The fun, retro vibe here is one of the main reasons we keep coming back. Now, the Icons have been unleashed and have taken over this 1960s style bar with Halloween Horror Nights banners, costumes, and props on display.
A few small displays along the bar pay tribute to some of our favorite Icons.
Two display cabinets are set up in the bar with costumes and props for the Caretaker, the Director, the Storyteller, and more.
Icon banners hang behind the bar and just above the seating area.
Instead of pre-mixed drinks like the Ghoul Juice and Bog Slime inside the park, the Horror Icons Bar will mix up a fresh drink just for you. The menu offers a few iconic drinks as well as a variety of other themed drinks. They’ve even put a Halloween spin on the names of some of their Swizzle classics. You can get any of the drinks served in a spooky souvenir skull mug for an additional $3.50. Read on to find out which of these drinks are scary good and which ones will give you nightmares.
Bacardi Superior Rum, Aperol, Orange Bitters & Soda with Orange
The Chance was rum forward with a hint of citrus flavor. It was good and strong, but not particularly well-balanced. We still suggest you take a chance on this one, if you dare.
The Director – $12.78
Ketel One Vodka, Kahlua, Amaretto & Cream
The rather psychotic Paulo Ravinski, a.k.a. The Director, serves as inspiration for this next cocktail. His character is both brutal and iconic for Halloween Horror Nights. However, his cocktail’s flavor goes down gently.
The heavy cream makes this drink deceptively delicious and easy to drink. Some may want to avoid ordering a double, as the regular drink will likely be enough to relax you.
Vampire Repellent – $14.85
Absolute Vodka, House Bloody Mary Mix, FL Man’s Lunacy Roasted Garlic Hot Sauce Pearls
Vampire Repellent is appropriately named because it will definitely keep away all vampires, and possibly your friends, so proceed with caution! We visited the bar two days in a row and both days they did not have the garlic balls, so we might have to grab a wooden stake for the road just in case. Even without the garlic balls, this is one spicy, garlic-heavy drink, but we loved it. We even considered ordering a second one. Fans of spicy bloody Marys should not miss out on this one.
Black Magic – $12.78
360 Vanilla Vodka, Grand Marnier, Fanta Orange, Edible Black Glitter
This drink comes with a bit of a show as it’s mixed for you and changes color from orange to black. That’s why they call it Black Magic.
Look at that glitter!
We expected something like a creamsicle taste, but we really couldn’t decipher what we were tasting at first sip. The Grand Marnier comes through strong but the vanilla vodka starts to stand out more as you continue to drink. It wasn’t anything we would return for, but it was drinkable and got the job done. The color-changing effect and edible glitter does give this drink a few bonus points, though. That edible glitter really does shine like magic!
The Temptress – $13.32
Tanteo Habanero Tequila, House Made Cucumber Juice, Agave Nectar, Fresh Lime Juice with a Tajin Dusted Lime Wedge
We absolutely hated the Passholder Appreciation Kickin’ Berry drink from Swizzle Lounge, so we were slightly nervous reading that this incorporated the same tequila. This might not have been our favorite drink on the menu, but it was far better than the Kickin’ Berry.
Perhaps the allure of this temptress is the spicy pickle juice taste. It’s strange and unusual, but that isn’t a bad thing. If you like pickled jalapenos or sipping on pickle juice, this drink will satisfy all your cravings. Proceed with caution.
The Grinder – $12.78
Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liquor, Grapefruit Juice, Agave Nectar, Lime, Edible Black Glitter
The Grinder was slightly painful and was one of the only drinks we couldn’t manage to get through. The grapefruit taste was too strong and the drink was just slightly bitter. This was the least favorite of all the drinks on the menu. This cocktail features edible black glitter also, but if you’re looking for a sparkly beverage, we suggest going with the Black Magic instead.
Skeleton Key – $13.32
Maker’s Mark Whiskey, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Agave Nectar, Fresh Lemon Juice, Q Ginger Beer, Angostura Aromatic Bitters
The lemon and elderflower are the most notable flavors with the Skeleton Key. The lemon was just a little too strong and overpowering, which made this drink difficult to get through.
Creature of the Night – $13.32
Waterloo Antique Gin, Bittermens Burlesque Bitters, Fresh FL Orange, Monin Blackberry Syrup, Sugar Cube, & a Bourbon Soaked Blackberry
The Creature of the Night is a strong, potent drink with a slight citrus and berry twist. The woodsy flavor of the gin takes over this cocktail with subtle hints of orange and blackberry.
The bourbon soaked blackberry was one of the few unique garnishes, but it was not very good and almost inedible, unfortunately. The drink, on the other hand, was one of our favorites.
Swizzle Lounge is open daily, but hours can vary. Unlike the Jack’d Up Experience, you don’t need to be a resort guest to visit the Horror Icons Bar. If you’re looking to add a little more iconic fun to the Halloween season, be sure to stop by Cabana Bay for the Horror Icons Bar while you have a chance.
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