The Story Behind The Air Mail
Whether you call it a supercharged Daiquiri or a tropical twist on a French 75, the Air Mail is a blend of gold rum (preferably Cuban), lime juice, and honey syrup topped off with Champagne or sparkling wine.
The Air Mail first appeared in a Bacardí promotional pamphlet in the 1930s, “Bacardi and its Many Uses,” with no explanation for its name, though it seems like more than a mere coincidence that Cuba’s airmail services also launched that year. Bacardí’s recipe even calls for a postage stamp as the drink’s garnish, which is to be stuck on the outer rim of the glass.
Unsurprisingly, the “airmail” theme sparked an onslaught of puns and grabs at low-hanging fruit regarding the cocktail’s ability to make drinkers take flight — i.e., its desired effects set in quickly. Author W.C. Whitfield wrote that the Air Mail “ought to make you fly high” in his plywood-bound 1941 book “Here’s How.” Whitfield’s recipe also recommends serving the cocktail in a highball glass, as “misguided folk who serve it straight-up in a coupe or flute are taking a flight of fancy.”
To that, we ask: “What’s wrong with being a little fancy?” and suggest serving it in a flute as a nod to its French 75 ancestry. As for the choice of gold rum, reach for Bacardí as per the original recipe.