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Carry-on Cocktails

Not that long ago flying was a relatively civilized way to travel. (We’re talking about a constant supply of free booze and cocktails served in actual glasses.) But thanks to stiff TSA regulations and cutbacks your in-flight drink options are now pretty sad. It’s time to take matters into your own hands.

While it wouldn’t hurt to pack a mini-shaker, with a little MacGyver-like ingenuity you can make great drinks with what’s available from the flight attendant. We asked expert bartender and frequent flyer Kathy Casey for her tips on mixing cocktails at 35,000 feet. (Not only does she fly more than 100,000 miles a year, she also owns the two Dish D’Lish cafes in the Seattle airport.) Even stuck in coach “you can mix up all kinds of good stuff,” she says. “You can get really creative.”


First you’ll need some tools. Ask the flight attendant for the largest cup they have, a second cup filled with ice, a plastic spoon or coffee stirrer, a couple of sugar packets and as many lime or lemon slices as you can get. (If you’re really serious “you should travel with citrus,” says Casey, who sometimes even packs Bloody Mary mix.) The hardest part may be convincing the flight attendant to give you more than a couple of items. But with a little strategy it’s possible.

To get you started, try Casey’s two simple drink recipes. The sky’s the limit.


Sky High Sling

Contributed by: Kathy Casey


  • Half a cup lemon or lime wedges
  • Half a sugar packet
  • Mini-bottle of gin or vodka
  • 1 oz (big splash) Cranberry juice
  • 1 oz (big splash) Orange juice
  • Small splash tonic water


Pour half a sugar packet into a cup. Squeeze a big handful of lemon or lime wedges right into the cup. Stir. Add one mini-bottle of vodka or gin, a big splash of cranberry juice, a big splash of orange juice and ice. Stir. Top off the drink with a small splash of tonic water.


International No-Groni

Contributed by: Kathy Casey


  • Mini-bottle Campari
  • Mini-bottle gin
  • 1 oz (big splash) Cranberry juice
  • 1 oz (big splash) Orange juice
  • Small splash club soda


Add all the ingredients to a cup and fill with ice. Stir and drink.

Brands: Campari
Series & Type: Trends

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