The One Alcoholic Drink That Actually Tastes Better On A Plane

Bland airplane food has been the subject of so many comedic observations that it's now the go-to cliché for making fun of bad stand-up. Being on a plane is scientifically proven to mess with our sense of taste, so the muted flavor is not entirely to blame on the food itself. According to Honey, studies have verified that an abundance of sound, like the constant whirring of jet engines, can change how things taste. Specifically, sweetness is largely reduced, while savory umami flavors are boosted. One of the best examples of umami flavor is the tomato, so it's no surprise that the tomato-based bloody mary will actually taste better on a flight.

It's not just the sound to blame, though, for why your airline chicken dinner doesn't taste like much. A combination of the low pressure and dry conditions within an airplane cabin also has an effect on the sensitivity of tastebuds when detecting sweet and salty flavors. Again, this all enhances the flavors of umami-rich foods like tomatoes, mushrooms, and soup broth.

Bloody Marys are extremely savory

According to Travel & Leisure, the bloody mary is mostly associated with brunch, a hearty counterpart to the light, fizzy mimosa. A bloody mary is a popular drink that's quite unique among cocktails, offering a spicy, savory experience that is sometimes closer to a meal than a beverage. Besides the requisite tomato juice and vodka, it can be filled with olives, celery, peppers, and even bacon; one Vancouver restaurant went so far as to serve it with an entire rotisserie chicken.

The drink is the most well-known way to combine traditional umami flavors, like the tomato juice, with the tang of alcohol. It's been a traditional in-flight order for decades, but now the science behind it proves that it really does taste better on an airplane, where the unique flavors of the cocktail are really allowed to shine in the special conditions of the flight cabin. All those lame comedians criticizing airline food have the science to back them up, with the glaring exception of the bloody mary.