Cheers to the Skies: A Comprehensive Guide to Airplane Drink Options

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Stay hydrated on your next flight with these top airplane drink options!

Flying can be a daunting experience for some, but it can also be a time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the perks of air travel. One way to make your flight more enjoyable is by exploring the various airplane drink options available. However, with so many choices, it can be tough to decide what to order. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the world of inflight beverages, explore some popular choices, and share some tips to make your drinking experience at 35,000 feet a memorable one.

TL;DR: Key Takeaways

  • Beer, wine, and spirits are the most popular alcoholic beverages on airplanes.
  • The altitude and dry air in the cabin can affect your taste buds, making drinks taste different than they do on the ground.
  • Non-alcoholic options, such as sodas, juices, and water, are also widely available on flights.
  • Stay hydrated and drink responsibly to avoid negative effects of alcohol at high altitudes.
  • Some airlines offer signature cocktails and regional specialties to enhance your inflight experience.

You should also check out: Airplane legroom guide

The Popularity of Beer, Wine, and Spirits in the Air

According to a survey conducted by UpgradedPoints, beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage ordered on airplanes, followed by wine and then spirits. This preference for beer could be attributed to its relatively lower alcohol content, making it a more suitable choice for those looking to enjoy a drink without feeling too tipsy at high altitudes. Wine, another popular choice, is often available in red, white, and occasionally sparkling varieties.

How Altitude Affects Your Taste Buds

As Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, points out, “The altitude and dry air in the cabin can affect your taste buds and make drinks taste different than they do on the ground.” This phenomenon can make some flavors more intense, while others may become muted. To compensate for this, some airlines specifically select wines that taste better at high altitudes or offer unique cocktails designed to be enjoyed in the air.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages: A Wide Range of Options

For those who prefer to avoid alcohol, there are plenty of non-alcoholic options available on flights. Delta Air Lines, for example, served over 73 million drinks in 2019, including 18 million cans of soda, 5 million bottles of water, and a wide range of juices. Other non-alcoholic options may include coffee, tea, and mocktails, ensuring there’s something for everyone’s taste.

Drinking Responsibly at 35,000 Feet

While enjoying a drink on your flight can be a fun way to pass the time, it’s essential to drink responsibly and stay hydrated. The combination of altitude and dry cabin air can exacerbate the effects of alcohol, leading to dehydration and a heightened risk of a hangover. To avoid this, alternate your alcoholic beverages with water or other hydrating drinks and consume food to help absorb the alcohol.

Airlines’ Signature Cocktails and Regional Specialties

Many airlines have stepped up their inflight beverage game by offering signature cocktails and regional specialties to provide passengers with a unique and memorable experience. Here are some examples of airlines that have crafted their own signature drinks and regional specialties:

1. Singapore Airlines: Singapore Sling

One of the most iconic airline cocktails, the Singapore Sling is a classic gin-based cocktail that originated at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Singapore Airlines offers a version of this fruity and refreshing drink to passengers on their flights, allowing them to enjoy a taste of Singaporean culture at 35,000 feet.

2. Emirates: Arabic Coffee and Dates

Emirates provides a taste of Middle Eastern hospitality with traditional Arabic coffee and dates. This combination is often served to guests as a welcoming gesture in Arab homes and reflects the airline’s commitment to sharing their culture with passengers.

3. Hawaiian Airlines: Pau Hana Rum Punch

Hawaiian Airlines offers a unique twist on the traditional rum punch with their Pau Hana Rum Punch. This fruity cocktail blends dark rum, guava, orange, and pineapple juices to create a refreshing and tropical drink that embodies the spirit of the islands.

4. British Airways: Gin and Tonic

British Airways celebrates its heritage by serving a classic Gin and Tonic. With a selection of premium gins and tonic water on board, passengers can customize their G&T to suit their taste preferences, making for a quintessentially British inflight experience.

5. Japan Airlines: Sake and Shochu

Japan Airlines offers passengers a taste of traditional Japanese beverages by serving sake and shochu. Sake, a rice wine, and shochu, a distilled spirit, provide passengers with the opportunity to sample authentic Japanese flavors while traveling to or from the Land of the Rising Sun.

So, when planning your next flight, consider exploring the unique signature cocktails and regional specialties offered by various airlines. It’s a fun way to immerse yourself in the local culture and create memorable inflight experiences.

Kevin’s Insider Tips: Making the Most of Your Inflight Beverage Experience

As an experienced travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to sample various airplane drink options across numerous airlines. Here are some of my personal tips to elevate your inflight drinking experience:

  • Check the inflight magazine or menu for a list of available drinks and any special promotions or limited-time offerings.
  • When flying internationally, consider trying a regional specialty from your destination to get a taste of the local culture.
  • If you have a long layover, explore the airport’s bars and lounges for unique drink options and a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • For a touch of luxury, splurge on a premium cabin ticket, which often includes complimentary premium beverages and personalized service.
  • Don’t be shy about asking your flight attendant for recommendations or their personal favorites – they might have some insider knowledge on the best drinks available.

Conclusion: Savor the Journey with Airplane Drink Options

Whether you prefer a cold beer, a glass of wine, or a flavorful mocktail, exploring the various airplane drink options can make your flying experience more enjoyable. Remember to drink responsibly, stay hydrated, and don’t be afraid to try new and unique beverages while cruising at 35,000 feet. Cheers to the skies!


What are some popular alcoholic beverages on airplanes?

Beer, wine, and spirits are the most popular alcoholic beverages ordered on airplanes. Some airlines also offer signature cocktails and regional specialties.

How does altitude affect the taste of drinks on a flight?

The altitude and dry air in the cabin can affect your taste buds, making drinks taste different than they do on the ground. Some flavors may become more intense, while others may become muted.

What non-alcoholic beverages are available on airplanes?

Non-alcoholic options on flights include sodas, juices, water, coffee, tea, and mocktails.

How can I drink responsibly on a flight?

To drink responsibly on a flight, alternate your alcoholic beverages with water or other hydrating drinks, consume food to help absorb the alcohol, and avoid overindulging.

How can I make the most of my inflight drinking experience?

To elevate your inflight drinking experience, consult the inflight magazine or menu for drink options, try regional specialties, ask your flight attendant for recommendations, and consider splurging on a premium cabin ticket for complimentary premium beverages.


  1. UpgradedPoints
  2. Association of Flight Attendants
  3. Delta Air Lines

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