What’s your airplane drink? Some suggestions….

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What’s your airplane drink? Some suggestions
(Photo Credit: Esquire.com)

Do you have a drink you consistently order on every flight? I don’t have a go-to airplane cocktail, but I do notice the huz never orders beer on board (too warm). Flipping through the May, 2014 issue of Bon Appétit magazine, I came across some great suggestions for in-flight cocktails. These hacks might just transform air travel for you, especially if you’re flying coach.

airplane drink hacks

Faux Caipirinha

It’s unlikely airlines (except for South American ones) would have Cachaça (sugar cane brandy) on hand, but you can make a fun drink out of rum or vodka that’s similar in taste to the Brazilian national cocktail. Smash one raw sugar cub in a cup and add as many lime wedges as you can pilfer. Use your mini airplane bottle of rum or vodka as a muddler before filling with ice and topping with the alcohol.

Pink Gin

All the necessary ingredients are available to make a delightful G&T: gin, tonic, limes, ice, but why not amp it up?  Score yourself a mini set of Bitter Truth’s Old Time Aromatic Bitters and tote in your carry-on. Simply pour gin over ice and add a few dashes of bitters. Some like to garnish with a lemon wedge and traditionalists are likely to frown upon the ice, but who cares? A good rule of thumb is 3 drops of bitters to 2 ounces of gin (Plymouth or London Dry gin preferred).

Tom Collins

Continuing on the gin front, combine sugar, lemon juice and ice. Top with gin and club soda. Omit the sugar and swap out the lemon for lime juice and you’ve made yourself a Gin Rickey.

Old Fashioned

You’ll need those travel-size bitters to make Mad Men’s favourite cocktail. Add a sugar cube to your glass and wet with a few dashes of Bitters and a splash of Club Soda (or plain water). Mash with a spoon, end of a blush brush or whatever you have on hand, before adding ice. Top with 2-ounces of rye whiskey (or bourbon, if that’s your bailiwick).

Bloody Beers

On Canadian flights you’ll find Clamato juice, but it’s Bloody Mary Mix on U.S. flights. Pour these tomato-based juices half way into an ice-filled cup and top with beer. Solves the warm beer issue and the juice ensures you don’t get too tipsy too fast. Be sure to snag a lime wedge and break out a 3-ounce bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce if so inclined.

Make it Sour

You can easily make a brandy, rum or whisky sour while hunkering down in coach class. Melt sugar with a a few lemon wedges before adding ice. Top with the brown booze of your choice.

Hail Caesar

A proper Caesar combines vodka, Clamato juice, a few dashes of Worcestershire, Tabasco, lime juice and a salted rim. You’ll likely have to forgo the garnish that ranges from a stalk of celery, candied bacon, pickled green bean, etc…. but hey, you’re not on a private jet, now are you? You can procure limes and salt from the in-flight attendant and mini-bottles of Tabasco that meet the liquid requirements can be brought on board. Worcestershire is going to be your issue, but if they serve spicy Clamato juice, you’ll find it’s an adequate substitute for the tamarind-infused condiment.

Do you have a go-to airplane drink? I’d love to hear what it is.

Image via Esquire.com


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23 thoughts on “What’s your airplane drink? Some suggestions….”

  1. What a clever post! I never would have thought to bring along supplies to make favorite cocktails. I also love your suggestions to use the end of a blush brush to mull the ingredients. So cool!

    1. I know, right? I wish I could take credit for it, but it was that article in Bon Appetit that lit the fire.

  2. I guess I am just pretty simple and my go to drink on a plane is a coke, that said it is sometimes wine. I know it isn’t the best wine, but on those long international flights it does the trick. Some of these look pretty good.

    1. I’m with you. Wine on an international flight often does the trick (of putting me to sleep)

  3. Wow! Clever suggestions. Who’d have thought? I’d probably sneak in some Worcestershire sauce for my next Atlantic flight. Thanks for this imaginative piece.

  4. Would you believe, I don’t actually drink on flights!! LOVE my wine normally, and I’ll have a few cocktails in the airline lounge before hand (Qantas lounge made this fab vodka pink lemonade last week), but once I get on the flight itself I seem to favor apple juice. Lol don’t ask me why!!

    These are great suggestions for inflight drinks though, I may have to break my juice cycle and try one or two!!

  5. Jody – these are great. The note about bringing a mini bitters on-board as carry on is genius. As a whiskey lover I think the Old Fashioned and Make it Sour hacks are my faves. Who knew a lemon and a bit of sugar could be so versatile?

  6. Mine is definitely just water and I never trust that the flight attendants will come around often enough to quench my thirst so I always purchase a large bottle before getting on board. I’d love to have a cocktail when jetting off to a great vacation but air travel is so miserable these days that I don’t want to make it worse with dehydration or a headache that would happen if I drank on board.

  7. I don’t drink alcohol, so cranberry juice with ginger ale is about as exciting as it gets for me on a plane. However, I do appreciate out-of-the-box ideas that may make a flight more comfortable.

  8. I typically stick to water on airplanes (shocking, I know!). Alcohol dehydrates me and adds to my motion sickness usually. I make an exception for red-eyes and quick flights, though, and order my standard – chardonnay.

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