If you had Jet Blue all you can fly pass......
and you thought one fun benefit might be to use it to enhance your knowledge, enjoyment, and/or collection of spirits, where might you go? I do have one and thought it'd be useful to get the creative and insightful ideas of the members of this board. The pass allows for unlimited flights for one month, anywhere JB flies -- the sky is the limit so to speak. So, for instance I could go to the Carribean and buy rum. But which ones? I could pop in to various cities to try the cocktails of the best bartenders. Who should I try? Great small distilleries or local brews? (although I know that is a different board). I'm sure you get the idea. Not sure how much I can really pull off but thought this might be a fun topic nonetheless. Thanks in advance.
Jet Blue services Cancun, and the duty free store at the international terminal there sells Havana Club 7 year rum in liters at a better price than most area retailers who carry 750 ml bottles. You can buy 2 bottles of liquor per adult at the duty free and they hand it to you as carry on when you board. If you buy any Cuban rum, declare it only as "liquor" on your customs form as it is technically subject to confiscation.
On my most recent trip I also brought back a nice bottle of anejo Mezcal that I don't think is available in the states. Xtabentun is a pleasant anise-honey liqueur made in the Yucatan, and is surprisingly inexpensive. A couple brands of it are sold in the states but it's hard to find.
If you are thinking high end tequilas, make a list of which ones you can buy in the states to make sure you don't buy them there. Mexico still has a luxury tax on high end items including premium tequilas, and some cost more there than here.
I would focus on small batch mezcal and Cuban rum. So many of the caribbean island rums are sold in the states now, the shelf space for rum in good American stores is amazing. I brought a yummy, vanilla nosed bottle of 1 Barrel rum back from Belize, only to find it locally. The crappy rum from Turks & Caicos should not be allowed to leave the island.
I have brought back and declared as many as 6 assorted bottles in checked luggage and never had a hassle with customs or paid a duty.
If you head to Cancun, chill a few days in Playa del Carmen and visit Grecko's Martini Bar, and have a mojito at Babe's and a chilada at Zenzi's.
Over to Puerto Rico, have some tostones, and pickup a bottle of Bacardi Reserve...Get one for me too!
Fly to Jamaica and pick up a bottle of Appleton Estate Limited Edition 30yr old Rum (21yr if not available)
For cocktails I would stop off in NYC (Milk and Honey), Seattle (Zig Zag), Boston (Drink), LA (The Varnish), SF (Rye).
All of that would make me very happy!
It'd be hard to pass going to NYC and SF. You could go to White Plains and drive to Gardiner to visit Tuthilltown spirits. In SF, you could go across the bay and check out Hanger One (or just about anywhere north for wine/beer/spirits). Portland for beer, but there's also Clear Creek, too.
I don't get out of the country much, but the ideas on duty free are great. I generally haven't seen great deals on liquor when I have been, except in the USVI. Not sure if the same applies for Puerto Rico as a US protectorate, and this was a long time ago. In a lot of cases, esp. for stuff that had higher proof, the price was about half (Booker's, e.g.). So that might be a good idea just to save a few bucks, if you could work in some fun, too.
Fly to Oakland, drive 15 minutes to Berkeley's gourmet ghetto, and pig out. Chez Panisse, the Cheeseboard Collective, Cheeseboard pizza, Vik's Chaat, pretzel croissants, Fatted Calf -- you could find so much wonderful food so easily.
Then fly to Long Beach, drive 20 minutes south, and find yourself in little saigon. Banh mi sandwiches, pho, guanabana smoothies, jackfruit -- the list is endless. Then drive north into LA, where you can eat any food in the world. it's better than NYC in that way.
Then fly to NYC and eat all the way from JFK into Manhattan.
I got stuck in Louisville one night (Morris Day was on the same flight and got the attention of all the women at the hotel, every last one) but if I had a day I'd swing over to Maker's Mark Lounge.
first stop...if they flew to Brazil I would stop there for a suitcase full of cachaca. Probably spend all of $30 tops.
Definetley hit Mexico for Mezcal and artisanal tequila. Then take distillery tours in Jamaica, Bahams and Barbados. Hit up new orleans to get some New Orleans Rum and do a 24 hr bar crawl. On the way back stop in New York for a bar tour
FYI...if you take jetBlue to Cancún, there is NO mezcal or xtabentún in the Terminal 3 duty-free, at least as of last June. I know, I asked. You will instead be presented with a limited selection of tequilas owned by big enough corporate interests to be subsidized for sale by the duty free shop behemoth that runs the show at CUN. Some of the tequilas are pretty good, mind you, especially some not for sale yet in the US.
Fly to New Orleans, stop by The Pierre Marquette Bar, and have Chris Mc Millen perform his magic. A Mint Julep, and Last Word for me please.