The Best Drink to Order at a Crappy Airport Bar

Sometimes, through no fault of your own, you find yourself with some hours to kill in an airport. You really only have three options:

  1. Read

  2. Spend money on things you don’t need (or even want)

  3. Drink.

I usually partake in at least two, if not all three, but the drinking can be hard to derive joy from if the only alcohol is offered by a Chili’s, too.

Actually, even if there happens to be a wine bar with overpriced cheese plates, it can be hard to get a truly good drink at an airport.

Ordering a “something and soda” is always a safe route, particularly if you can pick the brand of your spirit, but the most airport friendly drink, in my not excessively humble opinion, is the kalimotxo.

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Think about it—a 50/50 mixture of red wine and Coke is perfect here for a lot of reasons, which I will list now:

Reason one: it doesn’t matter if the wine is crappy; you’re going to be mixing it with Coca-Cola, which will obscure the more nuanced flavors. In fact, it makes the sense to choose the cheapest red the bar offers.

Reason two: It’s low-proof, which is actually a good thing, considering you are probably going to be getting on a plane soon, and you don’t want to be too wasted—or worse—dehydrated.

Reason three: it’s cheap. Half a glass of wine with Coke is cheaper than a whole glass of wine (this is math), and if the bar doesn’t do half pours, you can always order a full glass, plus a Coke, and then mix it yourself in a glass of ice. (Is this slightly high maintenance? Yes, but you are in a an airport, which is a truly lawless place; just make sure you tip well.)

You’ll stretch one glass of vino into two whole drinks, which is good for both your ABV and your bank account. Also, if you’re in an airport with an exciting regional soda—such as Cheerwine—give that a whirl. We have to make your own fun in the airport.