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Airplane!

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Airplane

Image credit: Airplane!, 1980

Since air travel is a distant memory for most of us these days, there’s no better time to watch a 90-minute joke about flying. Airplane! (Disc/Download), the classic parody film inspired by disaster flicks of the 1970s, makes me nostalgic and nauseated all at once. Two words you never want to hear on an airplane: Stomach. Virus.

To be honest, flying was always my least favorite part about travel. The seats are tiny, the air is either too hot or too cold, I distrust the ice in my cocktail, and I always end up next to a man-spreader. Now add virus anxiety, and you’ve got a situation that’s even more nightmarish. Somehow, the writers of Airplane! managed to turn all our air complaints into comedy gold, delivering a steady stream of one-liners and deadpan jokes—some of which land, and some of which fall pretty flat. Luckily Leslie Nielsen is on board to provide his dry sense of humor, almost single-handedly keeping this movie aloft.

I talk a lot about what I don’t like about air travel, but here’s something I do like: BISCOFF COOKIES. Day or night, I always look forward to my Biscoff and Ginger Ale. It’s the perfect snack, and the only thing that can distract me from the annoying person behind me watching YouTube videos on their ipad, without headphones. Yes, we can ALL hear you. While watching Airplane!, mimic the feeling of being airborne with this Biscoff Highball (recipe adapted from TheKitchn).

Biscoff Highball

1 ½ oz Bourbon

½ oz Biscoff Syrup (recipe below)

8 oz Ginger Ale

Combine Bourbon, Biscoff Syrup, and Ginger Ale in a glass over ice. Stir gently to combine.

Biscoff Highball

Biscoff Syrup

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

2 Biscoff Cookies, loosely crumbled

Boil sugar and water together, until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Add cookie crumbles to a jar, then pour in the cooled syrup. Let the cookies dissolve and infuse the syrup, 4-6 hours. Strain to remove solid pieces, and keep syrup refrigerated in an air-tight container.

Airplane! is one of those movies where the more you drink, the funnier it gets. If you’re in the mood to watch one million Hare Krishna jokes and a blow-up “Otto” pilot, then by all means, stock up on bourbon. Surely, that’s all of us by now. But don’t worry- I won’t call you Shirley. Cheers!

Up in the Air

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up-in-the-air

Image credit: Up in the Air, 2009.

When summer break seems too far away, and spring break is oh so short (and expensive), sometimes you have to turn to the movies.  To sooth my wanderlust, all month long on Cinema Sips I’ll be enjoying some travel-focused films. Kicking things off is the George Clooney tragicomedy Up in the Air (DVD/Download). As an HR exec who spends 322 days on the road, he knows a thing or two about air travel. Let’s prepare for takeoff.

Up in the Air does a great job of showing the perks and pitfalls of business travel, from slow moving senior citizens setting off the airport metal detectors, to quiet, perhaps lonely drinks in a hotel bar. Only Clooney could pull off a character whose main purpose is to be the ultimate jerk. He flies in to Omaha or Tulsa or any other nondescript white-collar business town to lay off employees, but he’s just so charming that they almost thank him for the pleasure. When a young whippersnapper played by Anna Kendrick waltzes in to extol the virtues of firing by videoconference, he has to prove his worth on the road. With an “empty bag” devoid of commitment, attachment, or anything of meaning, he’s free to rack up airline miles and casual sex. But is that really living?

I used to dread airline cocktails, until the magical Carry-on Cocktail Kit was released by the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Although they have many varieties, I like to stay loyal to the Gin & Tonic kit. It truly does make flying much more civilized, with a linen napkin and tiny metal jigger. Sure, I get funny looks when I VERY SPECIFICALLY order a can of club soda, a separate glass of ice, a tiny bottle of gin, and a lime, but I figure my annoying order for the flight attendant is revenge for the miniscule bag of peanuts I’m about to be given. Nobody likes peanuts. While watching Up in the Air, I recommend drinking a Carry On Gin & Tonic.

Carry On Gin & Tonic

1 can club soda

1 mini bottle gin

1/2 oz tonic syrup (from Carry On Cocktail Kit)

Wedge of lime

Glass of ice

Pour gin and tonic syrup over ice, then top with club soda. Stir gently to combine, and squeeze/drop the lime in.

carry-on-cocktail-kit

Honestly, I am extremely jealous of anyone who gets to travel for business. Your company sends you on a free trip, puts you up in a hotel where you don’t have to make your own bed or do your own dishes, you get to eat out every night, AND you can put your accumulated frequent flier miles into your own personal account? All without spending a dime of your own money? What’s not to love? Sure, there are lonely nights on the road, and missing your family, but it’s a sacrifice I’d be willing to make for all those miles. Cheers!