Best Airplane Cocktail Recipes

by Gerald Oppugne about a year ago in cocktails

Unless it's in the early AM, I tend to always grab a mini bottle or two on a flight; but if you're really adventurous, try some of these best airplane cocktail recipes.

Best Airplane Cocktail Recipes

If you're 30,000 feet in the air without a glass in your hand, something's not right. I know your nerves are bubbly (not all of us are like this, but flying is nerve wracking, after all). I suggest buying at least one of their massive amounts of mini bottles. Why not? You may not be in Rome, but it's also not everyday you're flying over the world. That's just how I picture it, though.

There are also people who are a little bit more loosey-goosey than me, which isn't a bad thing at all; it's just that I'm no avid mixed drinks drinker (but, I gotta say, I do love me a mixed drink every now and then). You may not be so akin to the in-flight beverage services provided by airplane staff, but some of the best airplane cocktail recipes deserve some notoriety.


The Shandygaff is a rather unique one among airplane cocktail recipes, but I believe you'll all enjoy this one. This requires beer instead of spirits or hard liquor, so if you aren't the type who likes the hoppy goodness of an old brew, you might want to skip this addition.

To make this in-flight, ask for a large wheat beer from your flight attendant, then mix it with some ginger ale, a splash of either pineapple juice (my personal favorite), or lemonade. Get in for the new season with some of the best craft brews for spring and make your own in-flight concoction.


While it may be among the most screwed up of cocktails you have been making wrong, Sangria is still a delicacy of a beverage and one you can't wait to make when flying somewhere. It's also simple to make (if you do it right, of course).

To make it in-flight, mix red wine with some orange or cranberry juice over some ice cubes. Sit back, relax, and enjoy one of the best airplane cocktail recipes with sangria among the clouds.

Wine Cocktail

Or even the wine spritzer, wine cocktails are a delight even for non-wine drinkers. You can pair red wine with white, or a combination of blends in the red or white family; it all comes down to preference (and what the plane provides).

It may not be among the best champagne cocktails for any event, but it's still sure to warm every on-flight occasion. You can even get crafty with it by mixing orange curacao or triple sec and adding a splash of soda on top. You may want a lime wedge, but you don't need one.

White Russian

Not quite a Moscow Mule, but a White Russian will do the job. It's among the easiest mixes in airplane cocktail recipes, since all you need is Kahlua (or Bailey's, whatever coffee liqueur you prefer) and vodka, of course.

The White Russian may not be the best go-to for every flight, but it's definitely one to try at least once. Pour half and half of vodka and the coffee liqueur and you're soon to be making flight attendants jealous.


If it's an earlier flight, a Mimosa might make that trip ten, maybe even twenty times better. Even better still is if you're flying around brunch time, since the Mimosa can make for one of the best airplane cocktails.

Grab a nice champagne that isn't too fruity or sweet and blend it with the desired amount of orange juice. Most people do half and half, but I prefer blending them in a way that allows the champagne to compliment the OJ. Simply pour alcohol and OJ at the same time in a chilled cup until full.

Bloody Mary

Another constantly messed up beverage is the Bloody Mary. No one gets this right, not even the people who think they're the most correct, but that's the whole point of airplane cocktail recipes. They don't have to (and certainly won't) be perfect.

To make a Bloody Mary 30,000 feet in the air, simply ask flight attendants for a mini bottle of vodka, some tomato juice, and a glass of ice. You may have to pack a few of the necessities (horseradish paste, celery, and even lemon), but they're not essential. As I said before, a Bloody Mary doesn't have to be perfect. You can try what some call the "Red Eye," if you're a beer person. Swap vodka for beer and you'll be up and at 'em in no time.


On your way to New York? The Manhattan may not be a favorite amongst frequent fliers, but it's still one of the best airplane cocktail recipes simply because it's simple to make!

You'll need Canadian whiskey, like Jameson per se, and some bitters. Add red vermouth and a garnish of a cherry or two and it's off to New York for you. If you want (I prefer not to), you can ask for an extra glass so as to strain your chilled beverage before garnishing.

Moscow Mule

You may not have the right glass for it, but a Moscow Mule is definitely nice on a trip through the skies. Have one with ginger beer if the flight actually has it (that is, after all, a classic Moscow Mule), but don't worry. Ginger ale also works.

Grab some vodka, splash some lime juice in with a blend of ginger ale or ginger beer and you're somehow transported to Moscow. I'm not huge on lime wedges (or garnish additions in general), but if your flight attendant has them, use them.

Juan Collins

May sound a little bit too complex, but you have nothing to fear. The Juan Collins is so good, too; that's why I love it as one of those little known airplane cocktail recipes that no one knows how to make right.

Good thing for you, I know the right flavor. You need not make it too fancy, but let's not forget it is a Juan Collins, after all. You'll need a lemon or lime wedge, but you squeeze this into the cup add tequila and club soda, maybe a dash of sugar if you want it, then your Juan Collins is ready to go.


Not the easiest of choices, but a Mojito will always do you right on the slow bumpy ride of descent (especially if you're landing in Miami). To make this classic of a drink and one of the best airplane cocktail recipes, grab both white rum and club soda from your honorable flight attendant.

You'll need two cups, one with ice and the other empty. You'll had to have packed a muddler or spoon, in addition to some mint leaves, both of which aren't difficult to get on the plane. Muddle sugar, mint, and lime juice in the empty glass, then add ice and rum with the club soda.

Irish Coffee

I've saved the best for last, easily one of my favorite concoctions yet, and not all that too difficult to pursue. You'll need a mini bottle of Jameson, of course, and a cup of coffee while you're at it. Add some brown sugar, whiskey (Jack Daniels is good, too), and slowly pour as you add creamer.

Voila, you have made one of the best airplane cocktail recipes in all the skies; perfect for red eyes and early morning flights that just take the worst of you. Luckily, as all Irish creations should, the Irish coffee airplane mixture will reset your clock back to warm and flavorful.

Pack your own drinks and make your own airplane cocktails with W&P Design's sweet carry-on kit, which makes cocktail creation that much simpler. Since it's made with stainless steel you don't have to worry about it getting broken or destroyed en route.

Whether you like beer, wine, or spirits mid-air, it's safe to say this carry-on cocktail maker will ensure you're not only making the best drinks in-flight, but utilize the most necessary ingredients, all of which made readily available from predetermined thought. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with frequent flyer miles.

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Gerald Oppugne

I have no idea why I'm here, but let's make the best of it shall we? I like to drink and smoke, so I'll keep you up to date on those worlds if you like em as much as me.

See all posts by Gerald Oppugne