The sky’s (not) the limit as Bacardi and Virgin unveil Flying Bartender programme

It’s International Gin & Tonic Day (19 October) and to celebrate it Bacardi Global Travel Retail and Virgin Atlantic are today officially launching the new Flying Bartender’ programme.

Both companies said the inflight service, which offers expertly crafted cocktails at 35,000 feet, builds on their long-standing partnership of creating ‘unforgettable’ experiences for Virgin Atlantic customers with the Bacardi portfolio of brands. The programme will run to spring 2018.

“We’re looking forward to working with Bacardi to surprise our customers across all three cabins” – Virgin Atlantic Airways Executive Vice President – Customer Mark Anderson

Bombay Sapphire gin takes to the skies today on flight VS045 from London to New York (with The Moodie Davitt Report onboard*); VS005 London to Miami; VS206 London to Hong Kong; VS019 London to San Francisco; and VS023 London to Los Angeles. All passengers will enjoy a complimentary Bombay Sapphire and Fever-Tree Indian tonic.

Venning’s cordial is made by resting Damson Plums on sugar and a touch of salt for ten days, then cold pressing to extract the juice and balanced with a little citric acid

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Flying high in First Class with Bombay Sapphire and Virgin
While my G&T (not just any G&T but an Earl Grey Gin & Tonic) is being curated, I take a virtual visit to the White Lyan bar in London – where my cocktail originates from
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Upper Class customers on the flight to New York will be offered a personally prepared serve of theBombay Sapphire Gin + Damson’. This gin and tonic twist experience features Fever-Tree Indian Tonic with homemade plum cordial in a recipe created by award-winning mixologist Max Venning, co-owner of Three Sheets bar in London. Venning will be on the flight to personally prepare and serve Upper Class customers, who will have the chance to taste his cordial.

Venning is renowned in the bar industry 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, customers in all cabins will be presented with a Bombay Sapphire and Fever-Tree gin and tonic kit, comprising all the ingredients to mix their own G&T. They will also receive an International Gin and Tonic Day commemorative recipe booklet, including Bombay Sapphire and Fever-Tree with three flavour pairings, including mint and ginger, orange and pink peppercorn, lemon and thyme.

Selected Virgin Atlantic flights each month will focus on one of the brands from Bacardi’s portfolio as the feature spirit in a travel-inspired cocktail. They will be presented as part of an inflight experience with a world-renowned bartender. The next flying bartender will be introduced for Christmas and New Year holiday celebrations with Grey Goose vodka.

The Digital 360 Drinks Experience invites travellers to go on a virtual visit to some of the best bars in the world

Bacardi Global Travel Retail Regional Director Europe Aude Bourdier-Rocourt said: “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. 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.”

Virgin Atlantic Airways Executive Vice President – Customer Mark Anderson added: “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. We’re looking forward to working with Bacardi to surprise our customers across all three cabins, and encourage everyone onboard to enjoy their specially crafted drink responsibly.”

*NOTE: The Moodie Davitt Report, ably represented by Brands Editor and gin aficionado Helen Pawson, will be the sole travel retail media onboard flight VS045 to New York later today. We’ll bring you exclusive pictures and coverage soon.

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