By Shaun Melady

When you think of your favorite cocktail or wine selection, what comes to mind? Is it the subtle notes of cedar and banana? Maybe the fruity forwardness with a sweet finish. There is something that makes your drink of choice soar above the rest.

Well … you will have a different opinion when you try your ideal drink 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) above the ground. Especially when you experience it on Emirates Airline. The difference is, it will be much sweeter and felt like it is being enjoyed out of a golden chalice.

When you are on-board and getting cozy in your seat, members of the cabin crew greet you and present a menu with a variety of in-flight three course meals and, most importantly for longer flights, a spirits and cocktail selection.

The beverage menu consists of over 30 spirits, aperitifs and rich liqueurs including: 10 whiskeys, five cognacs, five liqueurs, three rum choices, three gin brands, three vodka options and three aperitifs. Of these selections, the most prized (and expensive option) is the Hennessy Paradis Impérial, which is exclusive to Emirates Airlines and is a part of the $10.5M investment into the spirits, cocktail and beer program.

Other selections that are most commonly ordered on-board are Jack Daniel’s (whiskey), Sipsmith (gin) and Chivas Royal Salute (whiskey). These luxe beverages can be ordered straight or mixed in the 14 cocktail concoctions found on-board.

Some of the in-flight drinks include:

  • Classic Champagne Cocktail
    • Champagne with Sugar, Hennessy X.O., Angostura Bitters, Slice of Orange and a Cherry
  • Cosmopolitan
    • Belvedere Vodka, Cointreau, Fresh Lime and Cranberry Juice
  • Manhattan (Dry, Perfect or Sweet)
    • Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Angostura Bitters and Vermouth
  • Breakfast Martini
    • Sipsmith London Dry Gin with Marmalade, Cointreau, Orange and Lemon Juice
  • Mojito
    • Barcardi Rum muddled with Fresh Lime, Mint, Sugar-Topped and a splash of Soda
  • Negroni
    • Sipsmith London Dry Gin on the rocks, Martini Rosso and Campari

Not only are there great cocktails on an Emirates flight, the journey to new destinations and spirits are just around the corner.

The newest hot-spot travel destination is Athens, Greece. This historical landmark contains some of the most breathtaking sights in the world, including the Acropolis containing the Parthenon, Temple of Zeus and the notorious Mars Hill. Not only are the ancient sights a spectacle to see, the local bars, wineries and speakeasies are nothing to scoff at. In fact, some are top contenders in the new world; namely The Clumsies. This spot has been ranked the seventh best bar in the world by World’s Best 50 Bars.

A featured beverage that can be enjoyed at this dimly lit masterpiece is called the Iona’s Regalia.

Iona’s Regalia Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Skinos Mastiha
  • 1 oz. Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whiskey
  • ½ oz. Aquafaba (the seed from a chickpea to add protein to foam topping)
  • 1 oz. Almond Milk
  • 1 oz. Pumpkin Cordial

This exquisite beverage has a pleasant texture that resembles that of a cold cappuccino. It starts with a soothing touch on the palate then moves to a sweet, yet spicy undertone to finish. Since the temperature during the Winter season in Athens remains quite mild and comfortable, this is a perfect concoction for any evening.

Additional drinks that are found at The Clumsies include:

  • Fortified Baklava Wine:
    • Mead, Barcardi 8, Anos Rum, Beurre Noisette and Baklava Spices
  • La Capilla Te:
    • Cazadores Reposado Tequila, Nuestra Soledad Mezcal, Kombucha Cola and Lime
  • Green House Sour:
    • Star of Bombay Gin, Ancho Reyes Verde Liqueur, Sauerkraut Syrup, Aquafaba and Lemon
  • Clumsy Smash:
    • Zubrowka Vodka, Otto’s Athens Vermouth, White Chocolate, Matcha Ninja Tea and Dill

A full list cocktail list of The Clumsies can be found at

Another must-do while exploring Greece’s beverage scene is a fine-dining wine tasting. Not only is Greece’s wine selection overlooked by popular Italian reserves and whites, the history behind these wines are not nearly mulled over enough.

A good portion of people know snippets of the ever-popular Greek Mythology characters; one that may not come to mind at first, other than Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hermes, etc. is the god of wine and wine-harvest, Dionysos.

This is crucial in Greek history and can still be found very present in today’s society with the various wine tastings that are available in Downtown Athens. One in-particular is located at Oinoscent, which is the first exclusive wine bar in Athens and has been up-and-running for 11 years.

This venue holds over 700 labels of fine-wine from around the world, including those that are distinctive to Greece. Oinoscent also boasts in the fact that they employ the 2016 champion of the Best Greek Sommelier competition, Sklavenitis Aris.

Aris has not only proven his skill in competition and will yet again represent Greece in the 2019 International Sommelier Competition held in Antwerp this September, he also holds a degree in Oenology, which is the study of wine and winemaking along with the science behind it.

Some of the featured Grecian wines that Aris can present at Oinoscent include:

  • PLANO Malagousia (white wine)
  • Santorini (white wine)
  • Xinomavro Thymiopoulos (red wine)
  • Grande Cuvée (red wine)

It is easy to get lost in your favorite beverage if you do not know where to look and how high to reach; however, it is always recommended to reach for the skies to find something new, or old, that may be on the horizons.

To learn more about Emirates Airline and the various menus, seating and entertainment options, visit their website at

Follow Shaun Melady on Instagram at @ShaunMelady.