Dollywood Mosaicultures

What’s better than traveling with loved ones? Probably not much, but the amazing food and cocktails we experienced during our travels certainly come close! Hi! I’m Jason, and I recently decided to visit my aunt, Susan—who just so happens to be the wonderful creator of this blog and an excellent bartender—to take a break from the cold north and explore some of the warmer, southern regions of the US. We embarked on a journey full of surprises, nature, and, of course, a bevy of food and drink!

Dollywood Pigeon Forge, TN

Dollywood 70
Dollywood 70
Dollywood Umbrellas
Dollywood Umbrellas

The biggest surprise of the trip was a drive up to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! I love to hike, and we had discussed the Great Smoky Mountains as an option for our outing, but I was surprised to find out about a side trip to Dollywood! This place was just as you probably pictured it: an array of roller coasters and rides nestled into the mountains, adorned with local flora, with a heaping portion of Appalachian charm.

Wild Bears, oh my!
Wild Bears, oh my!
Dollywood Grist Mill
Dollywood Grist Mill

Dollywood delivers the rustic flavor of this region of the world in spades. There is much to discuss about Pigeon Forge, but I’ll try to contain my excitement and focus on the food and drink since this blog is about cocktails!

But wait a minute—if you’ve ever been to Dollywood, you may be thinking, “Dollywood doesn’t serve alcohol!” and you would be correct (much to the chagrin of my aunt!). However, this blog also celebrates mocktails for those who cannot or choose not, to imbibe in spirits. Also, it’s Dollywood—how can you not mention it in a post about Tennessee?!

Dollywood BBQ Pulled Pork Rinds
Dollywood BBQ Pulled Pork Rinds
Dollywood's The Grove Cookie Dough
Dollywood’s The Grove Cookie Dough

Thankfully, the drinks we had were wonderfully refreshing. The “Raspberry Hibiscus Tea” contained green tea, cranberry juice, raspberries, lemon, hibiscus syrup, and a hint of mint! However, my favorite was the “Dragonfly Lemonade,” which had mango, dragon fruit, lemon, and mint in addition to popping boba pearls! So pretty and yummy!

Dollywood's 25 lb Apple Pie
Dollywood’s 25 lb Apple Pie
Dollywood's Famous Cinnamon Bread
Dollywood’s Famous Cinnamon Bread

Do you want to know the secrets to mixing the best cocktails EVER? Get my free printable guide, ‘Mix, Mingle & Marvel: 5 Essential Secrets to Crafting Cocktails That Wow!’ just for joining my mailing list. In a tan background

These were some of the special drinks that Dollywood served during its Flower and Food Festival—a must-see if you are in the area. The festival featured beautiful, floral “sculptures” named “mosaicultures.”

Dollywood Mosaicultures
Dollywood Mosaicultures
Dollywood Mosaicultures
Dollywood Mosaicultures

The Local Goat Pigeon Forge, TN

The Local Goat, apparently a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, was a great addition to our trip. Make a reservation if you can; this restaurant gets busy! The greasy bar food hit the spot, with locally sourced ingredients and many varied options. Why am I still craving those French fries?? We were not disappointed when we tried the Spring Fling.

Local Goat's Spring Fling
Local Goat’s Spring Fling

If you want to make a Spring Fling, check out the recipe here

Here are awesome products to help YOU make the most incredible drinks. Impress your family and friends and be the BEST Cocktail Barista in your neighborhood.

Need a great Cocktail Shaker but don’t know which one to buy? Look no further.

Martini or cocktail, a good shake makes all the difference in the world so buying a cocktail shaker can seriously step up your at-home drink game. Think about it: no more settling for boring mixed drinks when you can whip up bar-quality cocktails in your kitchen. It’s not just about the fancy presentation (although that’s a fun bonus) but also about how it makes mixing drinks easier and more fun. 

I have at least a dozen shakers, but one favorite. The shaker doesn’t leak; you won’t have to hit the shaker against the sink to get the top off, and the cap will measure from 1/2 to 1.5 ounces with clearly marked labels. Measure the perfect amount every time. And it is dishwasher safe!

Plus, once you get the hang of shaking, you’ll feel like a total pro, impressing your friends and yourself with your newfound bartending skills. So why not add a little shake, shake, shake to your life and upgrade your happy hour?

Citrus Juicer
Citrus Juicer

Another handy bar tool is the citrus juicer. Unless you free pour and don’t measure, this citrus juicer makes measuring citrus juices like limes and lemons, a breeze.

Gatlinburg, TN

Downtown Gatlinburg was a fun and kitschy tourist spot with everything from arcades to adventure parks to moonshine and mini golf! Some of the highlights for us included a hearty breakfast at Crocket’s Breakfast Camp, including massive pancakes and giant DEEP FRIED cinnamon rolls, breathtaking views at Anakeesta Sky Park, and a stop at Sugarland’s Moonshine Distillery for a private tour of the inner workings of the business of crafting ‘shine.

Crockett's Breakfast Camp
Crockett’s Breakfast Camp
Crockett's Breakfast with the Fried Cinnamon Roll covered in whipped cream
Crockett’s Breakfast with the Fried Cinnamon Roll covered in whipped cream
Crockett's Breakfast
Crockett’s Breakfast

Sugarlands Distillery

We also got to sample several of Sugarland’s ‘shine cocktails, including Peach on the Beach and Cinamon Toast Cold Brew, which you can watch being made in the video below.  There were several other distilleries and alcohol tastings on the main drag.

Sugarlands Moonshine Peach on the Beach
Sugarlands Moonshine Peach on the Beach
Kass from Sugarlands Distilling Gatlinburg, TN
Kass from Sugarlands Distilling Gatlinburg, TN YouTube How to make Cinamon Toast Cold Brew
Dianna Sugarlands Distilling
Dianna Sugarlands Distilling Gatlinburg, TN YouTube Sugarlands Tour

How to Make Peach on the Beach

To make Peach on the Beach fill a cocktail shaker half full of ice. Add the following to the shaker:

  • .75 oz Pina Colada Moonshine
  • .75 oz Mark Rogers’ American Peach Moonshine
  • 1.75 oz Orange Juice
  • 1.75 oz Pineapple Juice
  • .25 oz Grenadine

Shake well for 15 seconds and pour the strained ingredients into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of orange, optional.

More Gatlinburg

We stopped at Tennessee Stud and Savannah Bee Company, where we tasted an array of ciders (blackberry and PMG won the day) and meads (Savannah Heat was a nice blend of sweet and spicy). My mouth was VERY happy that afternoon. I highly recommend Hill Billy Mini Golf (yes, that’s what it’s actually called!) before or, better yet, AFTER sampling some local ‘shine!

Mix, Mingle & Marvel: 5 Essential Secrets to Crafting Cocktails That Wow! This free printable guide is my gift to you; all you have to do is subscribe to my mailing list.

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Dancing Bear Townsend, TN

Dancing Bear Townsend, TN
Dancing Bear Townsend, TN
Dancing Bear Townsend, TN
Dancing Bear Townsend, TN

Dinner that night was out of the way over in Townsend, TN, but the food and cocktails awaiting us were worth the drive. Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro was every bit as good as I hoped it would be! Wow!

Lamb Ribs and Meatballs, Dancing Bear
Lamb Ribs and Meatballs, Dancing Bear
Crispy Duck Breast, Dancing Bear
Crispy Duck Breast, Dancing Bear

From our passionate and very knowledgeable server, Delaney, to the fantastic farm-to-table cuisine and the cocktails and desserts—my expectations of this place were met, and THEN SOME! I can’t recommend the Lamb Ribs and Meatballs enough, and the Crispy Duck with local mushrooms was divine.

For cocktails, we had the classic Espresso Martini with Cold Foam and a Pecan Pie Martini. One of the bartenders even gave us a sneak preview of an upcoming specialty drink Bitter Orange Margarita—watch the video below!

Our server Delaney (the best) and Michele the bartender (wow drinks)
Our server Delaney left (the best) and Michele the bartender (wow drinks)
Michele Bartender, Dancing Bear
Michele Bartender, Dancing Bear – YouTube how to make a Bitter Orange Margarita
A Zesty Twist: The Best Bitter Orange Margarita You Can Make at Home
A Zesty Twist: The Best Bitter Orange Margarita You Can Make at Home

Clingman’s Dome

No trip to this region of the world would be complete without some hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains. We even trekked to the top of Clingman’s Dome, the highest vantage point in the mountains where you can view vistas from 7 different states—if it weren’t such a foggy day! Nevertheless, we managed to get some great shots that can hopefully convey at least some of the grandeur and majesty of these gorgeous mountains!

Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome
View from Clingmans Dome
View from Clingmans Dome

I’ll sign off by saying that while we sampled many local establishments’ cuisine and cocktails, some of the best drinks I had during the trip were those made by my aunt! I couldn’t count how many cocktails we sampled in her home bar, but they were all amazing! Her “La Vie en Rouge” may be my new favorite. If you try one of her recipes, I can confidently say that you will be very pleased! Aunt made; nephew approved!

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