DIY Airplane Cocktail Kits make a perfect holiday gift for your jet-setting friends. Learn how to make each versatile kit, which can make two kinds of cocktails — an easy Old-Fashioned or a fancy Champagne Cocktail.
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Let’s all agree: Airplane hosts and hostesses are not bartenders. Usually. I’m sure there are some wonderful exceptions, but most of the time, the airplane bar cart is pretty limited.
There’s only so many rum-and-cokes a girl can take.
Solution? Little pre-made airplane cocktail kits you can take on your next trip.
I’ve seen, tried and liked store-bought airplane cocktail kits. I’ve always thought they would make fantastic gifts, but the ones I’ve seen have been pretty pricy — and you still have to buy your booze on the plane.
So, I decided to see if I could make my own! What I discovered is that it’s pretty easy. You’ll need to buy in bulk and spend an hour or so putting them together, but you’ll wind up with a bunch of DIY airplane cocktail kits that you can give as presents to your most travel-savvy friends.
Or, you know, make a ton of these for yourself and take one on each trip with you. (I’ll probably do the same now!)
Each kit comes with a cute carrying case filled with sugar cubes, bitters, a napkin and a makeshift muddler. Each kit can make either 2 champagne cocktails or 2 old-fashioned cocktails, or one of each. Both require similar ingredients but different spirits.
For a champagne cocktail, the kit-user will want to purchase brandy or vodka and champagne or prosecco.
For an old-fashioned, they’ll want their favorite bourbon or whiskey.
The kits, however, do not come with a glass, ice or booze! They’ll need to get that on the plane and mix the cocktails themselves. The small, airplane-sized bottles of spirits may be small enough to fit in carry-on liquids bags, but the FAA doesn’t allow you to bring your own alcohol. So, if you’re giving a kit as a gift, you could always slip in a little cash to pay for your friend’s booze on the plane!
For the bitters, you’ll need to decant some cocktail bitters into a small glass bottle. You can use any bitters you like. I used my favorite orange and fig bitters from local, craft-made Crude Bitters. Angostura bitters is always classic too.
With that, you’ve got the perfect holiday gift for yourself or your best traveling friend! Or both! Bon voyage and bon appetit to you! // susannah
Here’s what you need to make one of these DIY Airplane Cocktail Kits:
- 1 metal hinge containers
- 1 piece of cotton fabric (cut into an 8 in. x 8 in. piece) or 1-2 cocktail napkins
- 1 2-milliliter glass bottle
- 2 milliliters cocktail bitters
- 2 food-safe popsicle sticks
- 4 sugar cubes
- cash (optional)
- paper and pen or marker (optional)
- ribbon or string
To make the kits, fold the napkin and place it in the bottom of the tin. Fill bottle with bitters. Over top, add bitters bottle, popsicle sticks, sugar cubes and cash, if including. If you like, enclose a note with directions, including the recipe below. Close tin. Tie with a ribbon or string.
5 minPrep Time
5 minTotal Time
- To make airplane champagne cocktail, place sugar cube(s) in bottom of cup. Top with 1-2 dashes bitters. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Top with brandy, then champagne.
- To make airplane old-fashioned cocktail, place sugar cube(s) in bottom of cup. Top with 1-2 dashes bitters. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Top with bourbon or whiskey. Add ice.