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We tried Delta's new onboard cocktails — here's what we thought

April 29, 2021
3 min read
We tried Delta's new onboard cocktails — here's what we thought
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Here's something to toast: Travel is starting to show signs of returning to normal.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is still very much a concern, of course, but the success of the vaccine campaign here in the U.S. has meant things can start getting back to the way they were in the "before" days.

One thing that's meant — aside from fuller flights — is that airlines are resuming onboard food and beverage service, which had been suspended for much of the pandemic in order to minimize interactions between customers and flight attendants.

Some carriers are using this as an opportunity to tweak their inflight offerings. Delta, for instance, rolled out several new items, including canned, ready-to-drink cocktails made by Atlanta-based Tip Top Proper Cocktails.

I'm no mixologist, but I consider myself to be a bit of a cocktail aficionado (I even say so in my TPG bio). So, naturally, I wanted to see how the canned concoctions stacked up.

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Tip Top makes a wide variety of cocktails, although Delta offers only the Old-Fashioned and the margarita. So, TPG asked the airline for a few samples and held a taste test, comparing the canned cocktails to the real thing. For the sake of standardization, we followed the recipes posted on The New York Times' website. We also tried each of the canned cocktails on the rocks.

The short version is: the drinks are good. Very good.

The Old-Fashioned hit the spot, with a nice boozy bite coming through at the front, offset nicely by the sweetness of sugar and complemented by a hint of orange bitters. My only complaint was that I usually prefer a bit more bitters in my Old-Fashioned.

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But when we followed the recipe from the Times to the letter, it was quite similar. I suppose when I make them myself, I add an extra dash or two. I do hope Delta finds a way to add a dried or candied orange as a garnish when serving the cocktail, but I can certainly live without it.

Related: Inflight service is back — here’s what food and drinks you can expect on your next flight

While we enjoyed the Old-Fashioned, we're not sure it can beat the margarita.

These are dangerous. At once tangy and sweet, I can imagine downing one of these in about three seconds when I'm feeling parched at 35,000 feet. While it's a bit juicier and sourer than the ones we made following the recipe from the Times, it was nevertheless just about perfect and I'm certain I'll be ordering one (or a few) of these this summer.

Related: The FAA doubles down on fines — again — for bringing booze on board and messing with flight attendants

Overall, I'm quite pleased to have these options available on Delta, especially since, as a Platinum Medallion, I have drink vouchers waiting to be spent. I've enjoyed the Old-Fashioned on United, and it's great to see the trend spreading.

Just remember not to bring your own alcohol and drink it on a plane, and definitely don't have too many and become disruptive, or you could face tens of thousands of dollars in fines from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Cheers!

Featured image by Mia Yakel
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.