October 20 2017  |  People

Virgin Atlantic and Bacardi kick off Flying Bartender program

By Rick Lundstrom

Mixologist Max Venning of the Three Sheets bar in London rocks Bombay Sapphire gin and Fever-Tree tonic in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

To celebrate International Gin and Tonic Day October 19 Bacardi Global Travel Retail and Virgin Atlantic marked the occasion with the official launch of the new ‘Flying Bartender’ program.

Bombay Sapphire® gin took to the skies today on flight VS045 from London to New York, Virgin Atlantic flight VS005 London to Miami, flight VS206 London to Hong Kong, flight VS019 London to San Francisco and Flight VS023 London to Los Angeles. All passengers were offered a complimentary Bombay Sapphire and Fever-Tree Indian tonic®.

Upper Class passengers on the flight to New York were offered a personally prepared 'Bombay Sapphire Gin + Damson,' a special gin and tonic twist experience featuring Fever-Tree Indian Tonic® with home made plum cordial in a recipe created by award-winning mixologist Max Venning, co-owner of Three Sheets bar in London.

Venning was on the flight to personally prepare and serve Upper Class passengers. The cordial was made by resting Damson Plums on sugar and a touch of salt for 10 days, then cold pressing to extract the juice and balanced with a little citric acid. Venning is well known for his personal laboratory style of creating and evolving drink concepts. The Gin and Damson also be added to the menu at Three Sheets.

Throughout the day on the five participating flights, passengers in all cabins were with a Bombay Sapphire and Fever-Tree gin and tonic kit, composed of the essential ingredients to mix their own gin and tonic. They will also receive an International Gin and Tonic Day commemorative recipe booklet, including Bombay Sapphire and Fever-Tree with three flavor pairings, including mint and ginger, orange and pink peppercorn, lemon and thyme.

Through Spring 2018, selected Virgin Atlantic flights each month will focus on one of the brands in the Bacardi portfolio as the feature spirit in a travel-inspired cocktail, presented as part of an unforgettable inflight experience with a world-renowned bartender. The next flying bartender will take flight over the holiday season for Christmas and New Year, with Grey Goose® vodka.

“We are happy to share a truly creative partnership with Virgin Atlantic, rooted in our joint passion to give customers an unforgettable experience with our brands,” said Aude Bourdier-Rocourt, Regional Director Europe, Bacardi Global Travel Retail, in yesterday’s announcement of the promotion. “For Bacardi, what’s especially exciting about the projects we are working on together this year – Flying Bartender and the Digital 360 (also running in several Virgin clubhouses) - is how we are building even greater connections between the brand experiences our consumers enjoy on the ground, thanks to our relationships with leading bartenders in iconic city venues, as well as in the air with Virgin Atlantic’s renowned inflight service.”

“We’re known for our unrivalled flying experience and are delighted to partner with Bacardi to bring back the popular ‘Flying Bartender’ between now and spring 2018. We’ve invited one of the UK’s leading bartenders to create bespoke cocktails on five special flights to help our customers celebrate key dates such as Christmas,” said Mark Anderson, Executive Vice President of Customer, Virgin Atlantic Airways. “We’re looking forward to working with Bacardi to surprise our customers across all three cabins, and encourage everyone on board to enjoy their specially crafted drink responsibly.”

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