If you’ve visited a Delta Sky Club lately (especially one with a premium or staffed bar), you might have seen this advertisement:
Sky Clubs’ complimentary beers, wines, and liquors generally suit me just fine. Most of them aren’t fantastic but certainly decent. (Delta does offer some interesting premium drinks — both straight up and cocktails.) The Strawberry Rye Spire is one of Delta’s specialty cocktails made with upper-shelf alcohol — so you have to pay for it.
So, I found myself in the LAX T2 Delta Sky Club last week — and eager to try one of these bad boys. You know, for science. And the blog. Unfortunately, my excuse to buy a cocktail turned into a disappointment.
Delta Sky Club Strawberry Rye Spire Cocktail Review
I’m not a huge rye fan. (Bourbon is my poison.) That said, I’ve had a few decent Old Fashioneds with rye.
I also love strawberries. And I enjoy adding lemons to water and some sodas. So, I figured while this drink wasn’t up my alley, it certainly was in the same neighborhood.
The LAX Sky Club features one bar. Two barkeeps worked that particular evening.
A gentleman took my order and asked his colleague how to make the drink. Turns out, this was his first day on the job. She gave him a quick rundown and he set about making the drink unsupervised.
You know where this is going, don’t you?
He measured a shot of Woodford Rye and poured it into the glass. Then he added the bottled strawberry puree.
So far, so good!
But the next step is where things got interesting.
Instead of adding lemon, he squeezed a lime wedge into the whiskey and strawberry juice concoction. I pointed that out and he apologized — but kept making the drink. He didn’t pour it out and start from scratch. Then he squeezed four lemon wedges worth of juice into the cocktail. He asked me if I wanted one more.
I told him no, four was plenty.
I paid with my Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, opting for the $6 retail price over the SkyMiles redemption cost (400 SkyMiles). Truthfully, I wanted to see how the charge would code so that I could report back to you. Unfortunately, it turned out not to be a Delta purchase. It showed up on my American Express account as “LAX SKYCLUB CAFE 477LOS ANGELES CA.” (A premium drink purchase at the Austin Sky Club, however, did code as a Delta purchase and I earned 3X bonus points on the card.)
I returned to my table and took a sip of the below drink.
Either the drink is awful by design or the young bartender’s first attempt failed.
So, I returned to the bar and found the more experienced bartender. She took one look at the drink and apologized.
I asked if she would please make me a new one.
She added a courtesy extra half-shot of rye (so I had about two ounces of whiskey in there) and poured about the same amount of strawberry puree. Then she squeezed one lemon wedge’s juice into the drink and sent me on my merry way.
Here’s what the correct pour looks like:
As expected, this drink was better than the first one I received. It was smooth with a mild strawberry undertone. (My wife isn’t a huge whiskey fan; she took a sip and wondered if I somehow was poured jet fuel.)
But, overall, it’s an underwhelming cocktail. It didn’t pop with flavor. Never once did I think, Wow, this is great! I’d pay for this again! Now that I think about it, $6 (or 400 SkyMiles) for a drink is relatively cheap. So, I guess I got what I paid for.
Delta Sky Club Premium Drinks
My wife and I absolutely love Delta’s Flower District Margarita. We found that the Austin Sky Club makes the best one.
We usually opt for complimentary beer, wine, or liquor when visiting Sky Clubs. But when celebrating something special (holidays, birthdays, an especially successful month professionally, etc.), we’ll treat ourselves to a Flower District Margarita — and have no problem doing so.
Yes, the complimentary booze is a perk. But there are some tasty signature cocktails that Delta offers.
Have you tried the Delta Sky Club’s Strawberry Rye Spire? What are your impressions? Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!
To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
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