aviation cocktail in SFO

Travel is all about being resourceful. Great deals on flights, savings on hotels, you get the gist. But what about controlling your own cocktail destiny? You shouldn’t be chained to the boring array of beverages offered in most lounges! No, you should get creative and unlock your inner mixologist. You’ll sleep better on the plane, guaranteed. By guarantee, we actually take no responsibility.

two glasses of coffee with a brown liquid

The Airport Espresso Martini

This one is fun because it’s certainly more palatable for AM flights than others. The feelings of caffeine and alcohol, simultaneously? Yes please. Most lounges have an espresso machine, some vodka and either some kahlua, cream or baileys (ideally both), so let’s get started.

1) Head to espresso machine with a coffee cup full of ice. Grab yourself a double espresso. 

2) Pour two shots of vodka into a cocktail glass with ice. Stir. Add in the double espresso.

3) Pour shot each of Kahlua and Baileys. If no Baileys, sub cream. If no Kahlua, no big deal. 

4) Grab a second glass, pour your mixture between two glasses until mixed. Enjoy. 

a close up of a drink

The Airport French 75

A champagne cocktail is a celebration and there are few better than a French 75. A mix of herbal gin notes with wonderful crisp refreshment and mineral tastes from champagne create a heavenly mix, with a wonderful twist. Assuming you can find champagne, this one is easy, and yes, prosecco would do just fine.

1) Grab a tea cup, pour two packs of sugar in and then pour a tiny amount of hot water. Stir.

2) Once dissolved, add sugar syrup to cup with ice. Next, squeeze a healthy dose of lemon in.

3) Add more ice, add in one shot of gin. Stir or pour between cups until very cold. 

4) Add mix to a champagne flute, pour champagne over, OR just add champagne, leave ice.

a glass with a drink and a slice of lemon

The Airport Old Pal…

For the seasoned-frequent traveler, a complex and boozy cocktail might be just the first class ticket during an airport wait. The old pal is a classic combination of herbal, candied notes from campari, mixed with smooth whiskey and some vermouth to sweeten the deal. It’s a winner,  quite similar to a Negroni and easy to make…

1) Grab some whiskey, preferably rye, but something like Jack Daniels will be fine. 

2) Squeeze a hint of lemon into a glass with ice. Pour in equal whiskey, then Campari and stir.

3) Once cold, add equal vermouth. If no vermouth, grab a sweet white wine, it’ll do the trick.

4) Continue stirring. If you can scrounge up an orange, fold peel in half, run it along rim. 

In case you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of making cocktails. What’s your favorite?!

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation


  1. great, got some new way to have fun in the lounges on a layover

    any suggestion on making something good with the snacks they seem to have on hand in most lounges?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *