Carry On Cocktails
So, you’re on a flight you booked last minute and you got stuck sitting in the middle seat in regular economy. It’s not that bad of a scenario – we’ve all been in this situation and made it through unscathed. But this flight is different. You’re seated in budget economy, the flight time is 3.5 hours, there’s an unruly kid behind you (one who thinks the tray table is a fun game and not a tool for holding things), the gentleman to your right has forgotten about common courtesy and the etiquette of an armrest. The woman to your left is sick, coughing uncontrollably and sharing stories of her “wonderful” grandchildren. COME ON! All you wanted to do was hop on a flight, visit your buddy from college and indulge in a weekend of moderate debauchery. NOT SO FAST!
If you have anxiety from reading this, you’ve probably experienced something horrifyingly similar and know how to ease the pain – alcohol. But you just looked at the menu and are even more horrified to see a domestic beer is $8.00 and a small bottle of liquor (plus a mixer) is $10.00. If you’re out at a bar with some friends then these prices are tolerable, but not right now, not on this godforsaken Pontiac Aztek of the sky. And they don’t have ginger beer, bitters or your favorite hot sauce. Because, let’s face it, you’ve become a drink snob (and that’s a very good thing) after reading Punch.
The scenario we described earlier is nothing close to a good time AND this is a Savvy Saturday post. It’s supposed to be about cost efficiency, self reliance and good ‘ol know how. So, what do we do in the future?
Well, if you want to look like you know what you are doing and look really trendy while doing it – check out W&P Designs’ drink kit collaboration with Punch. Each awesome and super handy kit comes packed with all the essentials needed to make two tasty cocktails. And W&P even offers the kits in two aptly named variants: the Round Trip (two drinks) at $24.00 and the Frequent Flyer (4 drinks) at $40.00. I highly recommend you bring your own mini bottles of alcohol (see the DIY section) to make this a more affordable option.
These kits make amazing gifts or stocking stuffers for the traveler in your life. You’ll be saving your giftee from the depressing feeling of a life devoid of a 30,000 ft Moscow Mule. However, if you have a little creativity, prefer concocting your own drinks, have specific tastes and want to drink on an airplane as cheap as possible – read on!
DIY, TSA-friendly, Carry On Bloody Mary
First, you’ll need the most important ingredient of your cocktail: alcohol.
I bought the bottles in the picture above for $1.00 each. Typically, I like to drink craft vodkas (because I’m a snob) but to be savvy, I’ll buy these for $1.00. You can pick up these mini bottles at almost every liquor store.
Second, you’ll need your mixer of choice. If you’re flying a major airline like Delta, American or United then you will likely have access to a selection of free beverages: water, coffee, sodas, tomato juice, bloody mary mix, juices, etc. Here’s a link to the offerings from Delta. It’s a great list to check out in preparation for your Carry On Cocktail. One of my favorite Vodka drinks is a Bloody Mary. They’re especially delicious mid-morning. Delta offers Mr. and Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary Mix, which is fine for me – it’s FREE!
Thirdly, we need a special accompaniment to “spice up” the cocktail. If you’re like me, you like your Bloody Mary extra spicy. My father’s family is originally from Northern India and East Africa so I grew up eating spicy foods. At my wedding, my father-in-law jokingly said I put hot sauce on everything, including ice cream. At the moment, my favorite, readily available hot sauce is Cholula. You can pick up a 12-pack of 2-oz bottles on Amazon for $26. Ya, I know, who needs 12 mini bottles of hot sauce? Me. I like hot sauce on everything.
Fourthly, we need a (or some) nice garnishment(s). With my Bloody Mary, I like a lime wedge and celery. Thankfully, as promised, both of these items are TSA-friendly. The only thing you’ll need to grab post security is a plastic knife to cut your lime (not a big deal).
Finally, you’ll need a resealable quart-sized bag. If you’ve never seen one of these then I can’t help you anymore.
Recap and Cost Comparison
Airline Prepared Drink ($10.00-$15.00/drink):
- Nothing extra to carry
- Not self-reliant
- Not creative
- Limited selection
Premade Kit ($11.00-13.00+/drink):
- Great conversation piece
- Convenient packaging
- Unique drink options
- Can be more expensive if you don’t carry mini bottles
- Limited selection
DIY Carry On (as low as $1.00):
- Most cost efficient method
- Use items already found in your house
- Most creative
- Great conversation starter
- Need to purchase items if you don’t have them handy
- Extra bag within your carry on
- Can get a little messier on the plane