From luxurious first class bar lounges to pre-bottled booze, these airlines go above and beyond with their in-flight alcohol service.
Your taste buds do not work as well at 30,000 feet, hence why it’s even more important to get the good stuff. Here’s 7 airlines with the best booze on board:
1. Air France
They’re the only airline that serves complimentary French champagne in every cabin, so even the economy class gets the taste of luxury. If you’re on a long-haul flight, you might want to switch your wine for a complimentary cocktail, or even your coffee or tea for a digestive liquer to go with a gourmet meal of your choice.
You could choose from the collection personally selected by Paolo Basso, Best Sommelier of the World ASI 2013. Renowned labels such as Médoc Château Rollan de is an incredibly versatile wine that goes great with classic French meat dishes (ever tried it with duck? You totally should!), rich fish dishes and definitely cheese.
Image from: The Finest Bubble
Krug Grande Cuvée is a champagne to die for especially during your flight. It has wonderfully rich notes of hazelnut, honey and freshly toasted bread without being harsh or overpowering as you do get subtle fruity notes as well.
With aged Parmesan or any truffle dish, you’re in for an experience you’d never expect to have on a plane.
2. Hawaiian Airlines
If you’re into something more vibrant with a variety of unique flavours, you’re in for a real treat. Hawaiian airlines proudly serves up their cocktail collection by On The Rocks featuring the Mai Tai, Li Hing Vodka Gimlet and Lychee Vodka Martini. All of them sell for ONLY $8 in economy class, but is complimentary for business and first class.
Image from: Hawaiian Airlines
Made from a blend of dark rum with toasted coconut and pineapple, this Mai Tai cocktail provided by Hawaiian Airlines delivers a slightly rich, vanilla-y, caramel flavour with gentle notes of toasted coconut, then the pineapple punches through it all leaving a citrusy sweetness at the very end. Have that with your barbecue chicken burger with roasted pineapple for the ultimate pairing!
Image from: Hawaiian Airlines
For those who like their drinks on the sweet side, this cocktail is for you. Made with orgeats and kumquats as well, the Lychee Vodka Martini delivers a harmonious floral-fruity note with some grapefruit undertone. We wouldn’t recommend to have this with meals, but it’ll go well as your after-dinner drink on board.
3. Japan Airlines
Besides the usual offerings, they stay true to their roots. Complimentary Japanese whisky, umeshu (sweet plum wine) and sake are offered in ALL CABINS. There’s also Ayataka tea for those who need to drive after the flight, as driving under the influence of alcohol is a major offence in Japan and they enforce that strictly.
The Salon 2006 is some of the best champagne on board. Delightfully fruity and citrusy with hints of melon on the finish, it has a good balance of sweetness. With meats, you’d get a slightly more distinct apple undertone. You’ll have to try it for yourself the next time you fly with Japan Airlines to be sure!
Want to try something different? They’d recommend Kusuda Martinborough Syrah 2014. This New Zealand-based Japanese wine combines the thick core of plums and blackberry with peppery, dried herb accents to provide an intellectually stimulating experience. Pair that with a steak to for the ultimate dinner in the air.
4. Emirates Airline
You could enjoy a wide array of cocktails made by their in-flight bartender on the yacht cabin inspired Cocktail Bar if you need a place to relax and have a chat.
Fancy champagne? Ask the flight attendant for the collection of Dom Pérignon Champagne on board. With that much prestige behind the vintage champagne brand, is there any lead to elaborate? Get a bottle and enjoy the complexity of sheer luxury for the rest of the flight.
The Sauvignon Blanc by Cloudy Bay is a New Zealand white wine that has the core of intense gooseberries and green pepper. With the floral bouquet and fruity notes, it goes brilliantly well with cheese and seafood dishes. Perhaps you could order this the next time you fly with Emirates!
5. Virgin Atlantic
They serve up a wide array of cocktails in their swanky-looking bar, you could ask for snack recommendations to go with your drinks as well. For harder drinks, try their collection of Aberfeldy and Grey Goose.
For those who are unfamiliar, Grey Goose is a French vodka producer known for their fruitier selection of flavoured vodkas. If you want to entertain your palate, this is highly recommended. While you get the strength of a vodka, you’d be able to enjoy the crisp fruitiness of the drink as well.
A true gentleman knows his single malt whisky. Aberfeldy Scotch Whisky delivers a rich, sumptuous malt, toffee notes with a gentle honey finish and subtle apricot undertone, it’s truly the drink of choice to relax with on a long flight. Do not have it with a meal, enjoy the drink on its own for maximum enjoyment!
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