This Is Disney's Worst Drink, And Everyone Is Obsessed

EPCOT’s "Beverly" soft drink is a rite of passage for die-hard Walt Disney World fans.

Walking into Club Cool, you can always tell who's in for the surprise. Anyone who has already visited the soda shop in Walt Disney World's EPCOT park strolls in confidently, often with a little smirk on their faces, because they know what's coming. Their unwitting companions follow along, expressions blank. They don't know what they're about to experience.

Club Cool doesn't require a membership, but it does require an initiation. Once you face down Beverly, you'll never forget it.

Club Cool, located in EPCOT's Future World, is actually a Coca-Cola Store, a tiny version of the multi-floor Coke Store in Disney Springs that sells every flavor of soda-themed merchandise you could ever dream of owning. But unlike the open-air soda bar on the rooftop of the Coke Store, Club Cool offers a totally unique experience: You can walk up to soda fountains and drink your fill of different soft drinks from around the world.

The selection can vary, but I had the opportunity to taste Viva Raspberry from Moldova, Smart Sour Plum from China, Sprite from Russia, Minute Maid Joy Apple Lychee from Korea, Country Club Merengue from Dominican Republic, and Bon Bon Anglais from Madagascar. Last and very much least: Beverly, from Italy.

Coca-Cola’s Beverly soft drink, explained

I had heard bad things about Beverly. A lot of them. Even the description on the machine doesn't seem convinced that anyone should drink it. "Beverly, with its bitter flavor, is a popular non-alcoholic aperitif that is a traditional part of Italian refreshment culture," it reads.


Delaying the inevitable, I pulled a tiny tasting cup out of the dispenser and started at the opposite end of the soda fountain machine, working my way toward my eventual demise.

The raspberry soda from Moldova had a strong saccharine flavor, and not much raspberry. The Chinese sour plum tea was delicious: full of sweet plum notes, but not too sweet. It's something I'd drink on purpose, and not just on days I'm subjecting myself to frightening foods in the name of journalism.

My third sip was of Russian Sprite, which to my shock was a huge upgrade from American Sprite. It was lightly cucumber flavored, so it tasted like subtly sweet, carbonated spa water. So, so good. The Korean apple lychee juice was also fantastic; the lychee flavor came forward and worked nicely with the apple.


Things headed downhill when I got to the Dominican Country Club Merengue, which tasted like orange soda that had several packs of Fruit Stripe gum macerating in there. The tropical fruit-flavored Bon Bon Anglais from Madagascar was okay, but too sweet for me.

As I was steeling myself to pour the Beverly, a couple walked up to the machine next to me.

"Do I have to do the Beverly?" she asked her partner warily.

"You have to do it first and get it over with," he said, pouring one each for them. "Okay, here we go." He took a sip and immediately recoiled. Once he recovered, he said, "That ... ain't ... it."

I dispensed a sample of Beverly for myself and then stood there, staring down into that tiny cup of horrors. Another woman walked up, clearly ready to do the same thing, and poured herself a cup.

"I'm trying to try Beverly too," I said, "but I can't seem to make myself do it."

We decided to try it at the same time, counting down from three and knocking it back.

The appearance of the clear, sparkling soda didn't betray what was inside. It was so, so bitter. I've tasted my way through some bitter amaro in my day, like the artichoke-based Cynar and, of course, Campari that tastes like angry oranges. But Beverly was worse than I had imagined. The bitterness hit every taste bud I never knew I had, and it lingered there. All I could think was that experiencing Beverly was like having a hangover from a Negroni, but not the Negroni itself.


"They do this on purpose?" I asked through my twisted expression.

"They do," she said. "But why?"

I couldn't answer. I had no idea. Internet wisdom dictates that you should taste Beverly with the underside of your tongue, not the top, and I did that next. It tasted less bitter this way, allowing me to experience a tiny bit of botanical flavor, but not nearly enough to try a third sip. (If you want to recreate this experience without buying a park ticket, Beverly is also available at World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.)

Before I left Club Cool, I poured myself another cup of Russian Sprite and let myself be carried away by its spa-like flavor. As I walked out of the store, I knew I'd be back—but next time, with an unsuspecting victim in tow.