Believe it or not, some of the most remarkable spirits I’ve had have been consumed at 30,000 feet in the air. Though cocktails may be an entitlement that’s mostly reserved for first class, on international flights the airline staple known as the mini bottle, a 50-milliliter vessel, is ideal for sampling indigenous liquor brands in the economy seats. On LOT Polish Airlines, I sampled 1. Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka, with notes of vanilla and mint; mixed with apple juice, it tasted uncannily like apple pie. 2. Jameson Irish Whiskey, a 234-year-old brand with a toffee and leather profile, has held me over aboard Ireland’s Aer Lingus. My go-to nips, with a squeeze of lime, on Caribbean Airlines are Jamaica’s rich amber 3. Appleton Estate Reserve Rum and its 4. Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum, a potent, fruity spirit. I’ve also whiled away hours on Hawaiian Airlines with smooth Kaua’ian 5. Koloa White Rum, as well as organic 6. Ocean Vodka, a clean, sweet liquor diluted with “deep-ocean” water from 3,000 feet below the seas of Big Island. Even in the cramped back of the plane, I appreciate the room to luxuriate in the world’s regional spirits.
International flights are the perfect time to sample indigenous mini bottles