I spent £8 while on a Ryanair flight and felt like I'd been lied to

Photo shows hand pouring Capri Sun into plastic cup on Ryanair flight
-Credit: (Image: Emily Chaplin/BirminghamLive)

I won't lie to you. When I learned that Ryanair had launched its own cocktail menu, I wasn't overly excited.

A few years ago, we booked the cheapest all inclusive holiday we could find online and their cocktail list featured the likes of a 'vodka and orange juice' and a 'gin and tonic'. Given that we'd only spent £20 each on our plane tickets, I was expecting a similar standard - or something resembling those sickly-sweet cocktails you get at Wetherspoons. Ryanair is probably the Wetherspoons of airlines, after all.

I was pleasantly surprised when we boarded our flight to Pisa and pulled up the in-flight magazine on our phones to find a section filled with pictures of fancy-looking beverages with fun names - a Flying Iced Tea, a Tennessee Surfer and a Dublin Lemonade - with prices starting from €9.50 (£8).

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Without looking into what was in them, we decided to order the first two on the menu, then work our way down the list if we had time for another. When we asked the cabin crew pushing the drinks trolley for a Dublin Lemonade and a Fruit Snack, one of them looked at us like we'd just ordered a Kobe steak, cooked medium-rare. Thankfully, the other guy knew what we were talking about and whipped out the menu to double check the ingredients.

Knowing Ryanair's reputation for additional fees, like for cabin bags and sitting next to your mates, I was half expecting to have to pay extra for the glass and ice. But it turned out we were offered neither.

Photo shows the drinks laid out on the tray table
Adding Capri Sun to gin just felt wrong -Credit:Emily Chaplin/BirminghamLive

Despite the pictures on the menu showing the drinks served ice cold, in a tall glass or tumbler and garnished with a wedge of fruit, ours came deconstructed - the spirit and mixers plonked in our hands along with a flimsy plastic cup. These were Ryanair's cocktail inventions but we were the volunteer bartenders, apparently.

We laid the components for each drink out on our tray tables and couldn't help but laugh. The Fruit Snack that looked so refreshing on the menu was, in reality, a mini bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin, a full-sized can of Sprite Zero and a Capri Sun Orange. A CAPRI SUN.

The Dublin Lemonade comprised a travel-sized whiskey (they were out of Jameson so we ended up with the slightly fancier Teeling), another can of Sprite Zero and a bottle of sparkling water. No ice or garnish in sight.

Photo shows drinks laid out on tray table
A "Dublin Lemonade" -Credit:Emily Chaplin/BirminghamLive

With no advice offered on the perfect ratios and no prior mixology training, we improvised and then took a sip of our rather depressing-looking creations. The Fruit Snack was far from fruity and just about drinkable. The unthinkable mixture of Capri Sun and gin made the Sprite go flat and the fact that it was room-temperature made a bad flavour combination taste even worse.

As for the boozy lemonade, people in Dublin must be absolutely solid. The sparkling water seemed like a strange addition to the already-fizzy drink and only diluted the flavour. Perhaps we added too much whiskey, but it tasted pretty dreadful.

I couldn't finish mine so sipped the rest of the sparkling water while my husband reluctantly downed the rest. When we took a closer look at the menu, we noticed that one of the other so-called cocktails, the French 75, contained just Prosecco and gin. It almost gave me a hangover just thinking about it.

Photo shows two drinks in plastic cups on a Ryanair flight
Our so-called cocktails looked nothing like those pictured on the menu -Credit:Emily Chaplin/BirminghamLive

When the trolley came back down the aisle, we were put off from ordering a second Ryanair special and instead stuck to a safe and reliable can of Birra Moretti. However, when we did the maths, we realised that our first round had actually saved us €7 compared to ordering all of the listed components separately - so, if you look at it as more of a drinks deal than a cocktail, then it seems like good value.

Still, I couldn't help but feel like I'd been lied to. Our drinks had been a far cry from those tempting cocktails pictured on the menu. If you want my honest advice, just stick to beer.