Gin & Tonic Day - today

To celebrate International Gin and Tonic Day (October 19), Bacardi Global Travel Retail and Virgin Atlantic are marking the occasion with the official launch of its new ‘Flying Bartender’ programme.

The inflight service is descried as "building on their long-standing partnership of creating great experiences for Virgin Atlantic customers with Bacardi’s brands".  

Bombay Sapphire gin takes 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 will get a complimentary Bombay Sapphire and Fever-Tree Indian tonic.   

Upper Class customers on the flight to New York will be offered a personally prepared serve of the 'Bombay Sapphire gin and damson', a 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 (pictured), 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, made by resting damson plums on sugar and a little salt, for 10 days. Then cold pressing to extract the juice and balanced with a little citric acid.  Venning is known 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 offereded a Bombay Sapphire and Fever-Tree gin and tonic kit, comprising all the ingredients to mix their own G&T and join the promotion at 35,000 feet.  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.

Bacardi Global Travel Retail says starting today and running 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 the inflight experience with a world-renowned bartender. The next flying bartender will take flight for Christmas and New Year holiday celebrations with Grey Goose vodka.

Bacardi Global Travel Retail's regional director Europe, Aude Bourdier-Rocourt said: “For Bacardi, what is 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 of customer, Mark Anderson said: “We 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 on board to enjoy their specially crafted drink responsibly.”