A decent list of spirits, wine, and beer is mostly standard, with a few craft brands like Tito’s and Anchor Steam. While the sugary cocktail mixers sound like a passport to Hangover City, it's still nice to have the option to indulge in Funkin margaritas, because there's no judgment above 35,000ft. The real points here come from being able to order your drinks from the screen in front of your seat, with the option to send drinks and snacks to other passengers… there's nothing like breaking the ice on a continental flight with a surprise glass of prosecco. This is where an airplane meets a singles bar… right down to the mood lighting and catchy music.
Delta recently upped its wine and beer game by working with a high-profile Master of Wine to consult on the selections, which is great for beer fans. Cocktail fans, well… hey, it has a few, one of which was the winner of a flight attendant/bartender competition and includes Irish cream and honey whiskey… so, um, maybe go with beer. Or straight spirits, which include a weirdly well-stocked whiskey roster. Be aware, there's no liquor on flights less than 250 miles, but that's like half an hour, so... yeah, we don't get it either.
The two specialty cocktails -- Moscow mule and Ginger Sunrise -- are designed to please any weary passenger. The straight-liquor list is bare bones, but covers all the major categories. It's refreshing to see stuff like hazelnut espresso vodka that actually mixes well with the complimentary Starbucks. The Washington State wine list is very hipster, and the beer selection (free on select flights, which helps if you're on a puddle jumper going across the Pacific Northwest) features Alaskan beer, plus selections from the country of your destination. Alaska: the new frontier of airline booze.
These guys understand that people want easy toss-back options. The wide array of no-brainer cocktails -- bourbon & ginger, classic screwdriver, Baileys & coffee, vodka cran-apple, and more -- is a nod to your favorite college dive in the best possible way. Oh, and more importantly, all drinks are $5, including the beer and wine. That isn't exactly breaking any new ground, but hey, $5 for a Fat Tire or a Jack & ginger is cheaper than most bars outside the airport and about half the price of a drink in the terminal. Southwest is basically a mile-high happy hour, but with considerably more discomfort and longer bathroom lines. Just mind your step when you're de-boarding. Alcohol and vertigo can be a terrible pair.
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