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

Apr 29, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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.

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).


Featured image by Mia Yakel courtesy of Tip Top Proper Cocktails

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.