June 7 2022  |  Food & Beverage

A spirited return for inflight beverages

By Rick Lundstrom

This is a special feature from PAX International's 2022 WTCE Hamburg edition, on page 66.

Finnair worked with Danish Mikropolis Cocktails to develop its onboard offering

While it cannot accommodate throngs of passengers, the vertiport designed by Urban-Air Port Ltd. that opened at the end of April had room for a few bottles of upscale Prosecco that landed by drone.

The Coventry, England vertiport is designed for air taxis and delivery drones. The small startup was built to reduce the amount of road traffic and has a limited number of shops. Bottega oversaw the delivery of its Gold Prosecco Doc which arrived from the sky to help open the facility.

Sandro Bottega, Chairman of the company, called the vertiport “a leap into the future under the banner of sustainability.”

Bottega’s Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Rosé DOC is made from Glera and Pinot Nero grapes

On the go consumption has been part of Bottega’s strategy for years, with products sold on several airlines and a line of Prosecco Bars that have opened at airports. The most recent at Venice Marco Polo International Airport. In addition to the new bar the company has added a new Prosecco to its line in a 20-centiliter format.

The Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Rosé DOC is made from Glera and Pinot Nero grapes. It is colored mother-of-pearl pink and designed for those people who enjoy a fruity drive that is fragrant and delicate and paired best with cold and light dishes.

Two releases this spring give evidence that the craft cocktail trend shows little sign of abating, and this instance is also centered around Italy. On flights from Chicago to Milan and Newark to Rome, United Airlines is reviving an Italian traditional drink known as the spritz. On the routes and in the lounges, the Spritz Society drinks will be available in blood orange, pineapple, lemon and grapefruit.


Spritz Society cocktails can be purchased for US$2 at Chicago O’Hare and Newark lounges of United Airlines

A spritz is a wine-based cocktail made with prosecco, a bitter liqueur such as Aperol, Campari, or Cynar, and sparkling soda water. The bitter liqueurs are what give this drink its signature orange color, as well as its bitter orange taste.

Traditional craft cocktails are enjoying a revival. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States recently reported that the pre-mixed spritz cocktails have seen a 43.3 percent increase in year over year sales.

In addition to a flashy new Business Class cabin, Finnair in May debuted its partnership with Danish Mikropolis Cocktails with beverages made with gin, orange peel and Scandinavian lingonberries on long-haul flights. Other options team the spirits with cloudberries and pine and birch.

“Cocktails are a growing trend and have become a part of the meal service,” said Lauri Ahonen, Concept and Category Manager at Finnair Kitchen. The airline is seeing more passengers consuming cocktails during meal service.

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