Check out Amtrak’s First Class beverage menu. It’s better than what’s served on airlines.

US domestic based airlines offer complimentary alcoholic beverages to First Class passengers, and in the case of American Airlines, also to Executive Platinum passengers seated in the Main Cabin.

It’s no surprise that domestic airlines don’t offer as extensive of a beverage selection as their international counterparts, offering the bare minimum to make the most basic of drinks. For the purposes of this post, I won’t be talking about what’s onboard transcontinental or premium routes, as that is a different market and product.

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Surprisingly, Amtrak has a fairly decent drink menu that would be able to compete with a good number of international premium product offerings. Onboard their Acela Express service – which is their “high speed” train from Washington DC to Boston – they served a complimentary meal, and offer full drink service.


Let’s take a look at their offerings:



Crown Royal Canadian whisky, Knob Creek Kentucky bourbon, Dewar’s 12 year scotch, Ketel One vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Myers’s Platinum White rum


Bailey’s Irish Cream, Courvoisier cognac, Grand Marnier


Freshly made bloody mary, screwdriver, mimosa


Bud Light, Coors Light, Corona Extra, Heineken, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA


Our selection of white wine includes, but is not limited to varietals such as: Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. We feature both domestic and international wines in the Acela First Class program. Please ask your server for today’s featured selection


Our selection of red wine includes, but is not limited to varietals such as: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Malbec. We feature both domestic and international wines in the Acela First Class program. Please ask your server for today’s featured selection

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Korbel Brut
Martini & Rossi Prosecco


Fresh brewed regular or decaffeinated coffee, Mighty Leaf teas (Organic Breakfast, Green Tea Tropical, Organic Earl Grey, Chamomile Citrus), hot chocolate, chilled sodas, unsweetened iced tea, spring or sparkling water


While their champagne isn’t Krug, and their Prosecco doesn’t come from the south of France, they do put on a good showing for a train service…especially considering that they’re loosing money.

On a recent trip, I had a very good Bloody Mary – sure, tomato juice tastes better in the sky, but I think they did a nice job, especially with presentation on the train.


Here’s what I find especially nice about their beverage menu:

  • They offer champagne and prosecco – this is few and far between on traditional First Class service (with the exception of premium transcontinental routes, such as American’s A321T)
  • In addition to an international beer, they offer local beer specific to the Northeast corridor.
  • They specifically mention the offer of cocktails. Look in the back of your inflight magazine and tell me if you see that. Sure, a screwdriver is easy to come up with off of the ingredients on hand, but it’s nice to have a specific section that mentions that they’re “willing” to make it.
  • Compared to other US domestic First markets, they’re wine program is more expansive – offering both domestic and international varieties, as well as 3 different kinds per color.

What do you think of Amtrak’s beverage menu onboard the Acela Express?

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  1. Naresh Punwani says

    Yes but the service sucks! trying to get a second beverage taking a lot of waving and beckoning! Sometimes even the first one is not done right or they are out of selections! And then the palm extended expectation of a tip by the attendants even after a sorry service is appalling.

    FWIW I travel extensively on Amtrak so I get upgraded very frequently (which is the good part compared to airlines since I don’t get trampled by the suits in Business class) but not the service!

  2. says

    I can’t say the scotch selection is anything to shout about as there is nothing lower than Dewars which is the go to scotch for a lot of airlines. I’m a single malt drinker and have only seen Glenlivet on United. When faced with Dewars I prefer a glass of red wine.


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    Check out Amtrak’s First Class beverage menu. It’s better than what’s served on airlines. – The Forward Cabin

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