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Virgin is First to Introduce Inflight Mixology

Virgin Atlantic is delighted to announce the introduction of a specialist cocktail service for its Upper Class passengers onboard its flights, launching today on the airline’s inaugural flight from London to Sydney via Hong Kong.  Following a successful trial, a Bombay Sapphire mixologist will be onboard selected flights, offering a choice of five cocktails for passengers at the Upper Class Suite onboard bar.The cocktail menu will feature Bombay Sapphire Martini, the Jade Garden, the Eastern Soul, Breakfast Martini, Hedgerow Sling and a signature cocktail ‘The RedHead’ which has been created especially for Virgin Atlantic - a delicious blend of fresh raspberries and framboise shaken with Bombay Sapphire and lemon juice, served in a flute, topped with champagne and garnished with a signature twist.

Lysette Gauna, Head of Media, commented:

“We are very pleased to be the first airline to offer this unique service to our Upper Class passengers with Bombay Sapphire.  We trialled this service earlier this year and passengers clearly loved being able to enjoy a delicious cocktail onboard.  We are now offering the service on selected flights to a number of destinations around the world.

“The new Upper Class Suite bar is the perfect venue to enjoy a cocktail - a newly designed private bar in an area separated from the cabin, which has a welcoming atmosphere.”

Marshall Dawson, Bombay Sapphire Global Brand Director, added:


“We are delighted to be the chosen spirit partner by Virgin Atlantic for such an innovative venture and for today’s historic inaugural flight.  Bombay Sapphire consumers appreciate and enjoy the best things in life, with luxury travel rating very highly in their everyday lifestyle.

“Bombay Sapphire is the perfect premium spirit to use for the
discerning passengers travelling in Upper Class with Virgin Atlantic and it is an ideal, extremely versatile spirit for use in cocktails.”

Passengers are given a cocktail menu during the first drinks service.  The cocktail barman will be stationed at the onboard bar creating the cocktails.  The cabin crew will serve the cocktails to Upper Class passengers in their suites or if they choose, they are welcome to come and sit at the bar and make their choice.  It is intended for the service to be offered for the first three hours of the flight and consumption will be monitored and limited. 

The mixologist team that will be operating the service will be Giles Looker and Michael Butt, who are Directors of specialist bartender service - Soulshakers.  Giles took part in the successful onboard trial in July and has also set up cocktail services at Matchbar, The Player, Milk and Honey, Brass Monkey and The Saint Bar.  Giles and Michael were handpicked by Bombay Sapphire for their excellent skills and expertise in cocktail shaking and their friendly and engaging personalities. 

The mixologist will be in a Bombay Sapphire uniform and therefore be clearly distinguishable from the Virgin Atlantic cabin crew.  Mixologists will receive extensive safety procedure training to enable them to work onboard an aircraft and will not perform any additional duties throughout the flight.