Let’s be honest. By the time you rush to the airport, get mildly violated by security, and finally squeeze past the first 30 rows to make it to your seat, you’re going to need a drink. Throw in a screaming baby or a little bit of turbulence, and we’re going to bet you’ll need another. Flying coach may be missing the glamour it once had, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save a little of the fun.
Enter the in-flight cocktail. While we’re all familiar with the usual onboard offerings — you know, Coke, cran-apple juice, tomato juice, orange juice, etc. — there are some pretty spectacular cocktails you can whip up by ordering (or bringing along) a few mini bottles of booze and then acting as your own bartender.
These cocktails cut tons of corners, so if you’re a purist, you’re not going to be happy with the butchery that happens below. But remember that these cocktails are made in-flight with limited resources, and we swear they are still better than anything you can purchase on the flight.
So without further ado, here are the 10 best and easiest cocktails you can make on your next flight.
1. Bloody Mary
Most airlines stock actual Bloody Mary mix, making your job much easier — just add vodka and voila! When pre-made mix isn’t available, ask for basic tomato juice. If you’re serious about your inflight cocktails, you may even consider bringing mini bottles of hot sauce for some spice.
To make real sangria, you would obviously need fresh chopped fruit, but at 30,000 ft. it’s okay to get creative. To make an onboard sangria, you’ll need to mix red wine with orange juice, cranberry juice, or a blend of both. Enjoy over ice.
If you’re really going for it, you can always purchase a fruit and cheese plate and use the fruit for this greater cause. Then you can snack on the cheese while you sip your sangria — now that is high flying.
With only two ingredients, the mimosa is an easy cocktail to pull off whether you’re at brunch or onboard an aircraft. Simply mix together orange juice and champagne.
4. Gin and Tonic
A basic G&T is also possible on nearly any flight. Mix gin and tonic (duh), and ask your flight attendant for a lime wedge. It’s a long shot, but sometimes on longer flights you’ll luck out.
No, you’re not likely to find a giant frozen margarita on your flight’s drink menu, but you can whip up a simpler version. Throw together tequila, sprite, and orange juice (or tequila, sprite and lemonade). If you have the time, you can even line the cup with salt and a lime wedge (if available).
This one is easy, and it’s a guarantee you’ll find the required ingredients on just about any flight. Just mix orange juice and vodka to enjoy this classic cocktail.
7. White Russian
With just a few tweaks, you can enjoy a White Russian that’s almost as good as the original. Pour vodka and Kahlua (or any available coffee liqueur) over ice, then add a splash or two of half & half.
8. Whiskey Ginger or Whiskey Coke
This one is a no-brainer. Whiskey with your choice of ginger ale or Coke. It’s an easy bar drink that can travel with you anywhere.
9. Irish Coffee
A real Irish coffee would require fresh cream, but on an airplane, you’re going to have to be flexible. Order a cup of coffee with several creamers. Add some whiskey to the coffee and stir, then pour in the creamers to taste.
Liquor not your thing? Try this beer-based “cocktail.” Order a lager or wheat beer and pour it into a cup about half way. Then fill the rest of the cup with ginger ale. Add a splash of lemonade or pineapple juice if you can.