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If you had visited Josh Williams and Eric Prum's college dorm at the University of Virginia, you would have found shelves of Mason jars filled with peach-infused bourbon. The jars, shoved between books on product design and cooking, weren't for their own party, but for their catering company. After Josh took a year off to attend a culinary school in Italy, he and Eric spent their senior year catering and bartending for weddings. Flash forward several years and one successful Kickstarter campaign later, and their "catering company" has evolved into W&P Design, now a team of eight people dedicated to creating original food- and drink-related products.
This week, W&P Design launched a Carry-On Cocktail Kit with Spiced Travel Nuts exclusively for Food52, with everything you need to mix your own Old Fashioned at 30,000 feet. Just order your alcohol of choice during beverage service (as long as it's bourbon) then use the included muddler, bitters, and sugar to transform your mini bottle into a professional cocktail—the kit makes two, so feel free to get comfortable or make a friend. Sip your concoction while you snack on peanuts that are paired to the drink (including Coconut Curry Peanuts, Spiced Cocoa Peanuts, and Coffee Stout Cashews). To celebrate the launch, we asked three members of the Food52 team to take the kits with them on their upcoming flights (who said traveling for business isn't fun?):
"I don't usually order a drink on planes, but having the Old Fashioned kit on hand corrupted me in the most civilized way. A stash of airline drink tickets from my future father-in-law made it that much easier (a good tip if you're gifting kits!)."
"The Carry-On Cocktail Kit was a conversation starter for me! An Old Fashioned is a perfect cocktail for this—minimal effort and flavorful from bitters and a little cane sugar. One of the cabin crew who was serving drinks asked me all about it and then gave me a free bottle of bourbon, too!"
Gabriella Mangino, our Senior Manager of Brand Experience, started out trepidatious, then loved the kit:
"I'll start by saying that I am not an in-flight drinker, so I was a little nervous about the assignment to mix an Old Fashioned on my afternoon flight from Seattle to New York. My nerves only got worse when I discovered there was a two-year-old sitting next to me with his mom. So when the bottle of whiskey (my airline didn't offer bourbon) and cup of ice arrived, I immediately turned toward my neighbors, smiled, and said, 'I have to do this for work!'
After carefully reading the instructions, requesting a second empty cup for muddling, reclaiming various items from the cocktail kit from the wandering hands of my neighbor (the two-year old, not his mom), I was pretty satisfied with the scene on my tray table. And when my neighbors took a trip to the restroom, I decided I should probably taste the result and proceeded to slowly sip down the whole drink. Turns out a cocktail in the air is a pretty great thing."
Eric Prum, the co-founder of W&P Designs, says:
"People are always totally entertained by it! Sometimes we even add citrus slices, which people love and take pictures of. People always ask about it because it looks like such a science experiment on the plane. There was one time when the person next to me actually logged into the plane's wifi and ordered one as we were flying!"
That's what we call a bon voyage. Buy your in-flight cocktail kit here.
Top photo by Bobbi Lin; bottom photos by Eric Prum; all others by Food52 in-flight beverage researchers.