8 Airlines Offer First Class Cocktail Culture

Enjoy classic and curated drinks with these carriers.

Sooner or later any popular trend in the food and beverage industry has a trickle down effect on businesses offering meal and drink services for customers. Take, for example, the current renaissance of classic and curated cocktails. Many major airlines are now offering these for their first-class customers on selected flights and/or in their flagship lounges.

The Makena Cocktail

The Makena Cocktail

Virgin America offers craft cocktails to first class travelers on flights to Hawaii such as the Makena, which includes rum, soda and passion-orange-guava juices.

Photo by: Virgin America, www.virginamerica.com

Virgin America, www.virginamerica.com

Airlines have traditionally carried beer, wine and brand-name alcohol for their passengers but the curated cocktail is a relatively new collaboration between famous mixologists and bar brands for major carriers like Delta and American Airlines. Here is a brief rundown on what first class passengers can sample through these major carriers.

Blue Chair Bay Island Punch

Blue Chair Bay Island Punch

A signature cocktail created by Delta Air Lines, the Blue Chair Bay Island Punch features coconut rum.

Photo by: Delta Air Lines, www.delta.com

Delta Air Lines, www.delta.com

1. Delta Air Lines

On select flights from Atlanta to Europe, fliers can sample signature cocktails created by Atlanta chef Linton Hopkins (Holeman & Finch, Restaurant Eugene) from a rotating seasonal menu. Previous favorites include Southern Lemonade (Firefly vodka & lemonade) and Blue Chair Bay Island Punch (pictured above). From June 1st through Aug. 31, 2017, you can try Hopkins’ Holeman & Finch Public House Sureno Fruta (featuring Tequila Avion and sparkling grapefruit with a rosemary and habanero pepper kick).

Lychee Vodka Martini

Lychee Vodka Martini

Hawaiian Airlines, in a partnership with On The Rocks, offers several craft cocktails for first class travelers such as the Lychee Vodka Martini and the Li Hing Vodka Gimlet.

Photo by: Hawaiian Airlines, www.hawaiianairlines.com

Hawaiian Airlines, www.hawaiianairlines.com

2. Hawaiian Airlines

After partnering with On the Rocks Specialty Cocktails, Hawaiian Airlines is now offering a selection of curated drinks on flights to Hawaii with a fresh fruit garnish. These include the Lychee Vodka Martini (featured above) with lychee and lime notes, the Li Hing Vodka Gimlet featuring preserved plum, lime and a touch of orange and the classic Tiki bar favorite, Mai Tai, which combines rum with pineapple and coconut juices.

In-flight Appetizer and Cocktail options

In-flight Appetizer and Cocktail options

Virgin America offers first class travelers a choice of craft cocktail creations such as the POG mimosa (passion-orange-guava juices and rum) on flights to Hawaii.

Photo by: Virgin America, www.virginamerica.com

Virgin America, www.virginamerica.com

3. Virgin America

On non-stop flights to and from Hawaii on Virgin America you can order crafted cocktails such as the POG (Passion Fruit-Orange-Guava juices) and a mimosa (shown above). In the first class cabin, you can sample the Makena, a Virgin America creation which combines rum, club soda, grenadine and POG juices with a lime garnish (pictured at top of article). 

The Mint Signature RefreshMint cocktail

The Mint Signature RefreshMint cocktail

MINT Priority Passengers traveling on JetBlue are offered a specialty drink prior to takeoff called the Mint Signature RefreshMint cocktail which is a honey-infused limeade with fresh mint and vodka (optional).

Photo by: JetBlue, www.jetblue.com

JetBlue, www.jetblue.com

4. JetBlue

MINT, the new premium class service offered on JetBlue, will serve you (prior to takeoff) their Mint Signature RefreshMint, a honey-infused limeade with fresh mint with or without vodka at your request.

Happy Hour on Lufthansa Airlines

Happy Hour on Lufthansa Airlines

This is one of several classic and specialty cocktails available for first class travelers on Lufthansa.

Photo by: Jens Goerlich, Lufthansa.com

Jens Goerlich, Lufthansa.com

5. Lufthansa

The Lufthansa Group carries their own licensed “Lufthansa Cocktail” brand which comes in six pre-mixed flavors including a Pear Gimlet, a White Manhattan, an Old-Fashioned and the Negroni. These signature cocktails are also available in their first class terminal lounges in Germany.

6. British Airways

If you are flying first class on British Airways, you can choose from a variety of champagne cocktails such as the Kir Royale featuring Creme de Cassis and Buck’s Fizz (dry champagne and orange juice).

Pisco Sour

Pisco Sour

The Pisco Sour is one of several classic and crafted cocktails served to first class travelers in the JFK flagship lounge of American Airlines.

Photo by: American Airlines, www.aa.com

American Airlines, www.aa.com

7. American Airlines

Taking a different approach to curated cocktail culture is American Airlines which has begun a new initiative to offer fine dining and  specialty cocktails in their first class flagship lounges starting with New York’s JFK terminal. Their current menu includes locally sourced ingredients for entrees such as artisanal cheeses and grass-fed beef, wines from master sommelier Desmond Echavarrie and specialty cocktails from New York mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer (Seamstress) such as Spiced Tequila or a Pisco Sour (featured above).

Rum-Rita cocktail

Rum-Rita cocktail

The Rum-Rita is one of several classic cocktails served on flights with Southwest Airlines.

Photo by: Southwest Airlines, southwest.com

Southwest Airlines, southwest.com

8. Southwest Airlines

Although Southwest Airlines has not initiated a line of curated cocktails yet, they do offer a nice range of classic cocktails including the traditional gin and tonic, Baileys and coffee, Bloody Mary, Jack and Coke and the Rum-Rita (pictured above).

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