Make your connection a little less harried and a bit merrier.

You’re Having: A Georgia Brown with rum, toasted anise, and honey syrup, topped with Sweetwater 420 beer

 

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport/Terminal E; oneflewsouthatl.com

 

Photo: Robbie Caponetto

There are many methods for calming yourself during a crazy connection at the airport this holiday season, such as your meditation app, treating yourself to a print magazine (wink wink), or zoning out with the New York Times Crossword on your iPad. There’s also something to be said for the power of some liquid courage.

But airport bars prices and choices might not bring you the holiday cheer you’re searching for if you don’t know what to look for. Here are our guidelines:

First, darker spirits versus clear ones will increase your chances of a hangover, so go easy if you’re a fan of bourbon or rum. Two, while a shot or a neat glass of whiskey might seem like a good idea, opt for a cocktail so their power is diluted a bit. The plane will only increase your dehydration levels. Three, a bunch of ingredients doesn’t necessarily justify a high price point, especially if you’re at a Chili’s Express, Samuel Adams bar, or any other chain spot. Look for fresh components like citrus juice or herbs instead of bitters and liqueurs.

This is why we advocate for the Gin and Tonic as your airport cocktail of choice, and if you happen to be passing through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, (Who isn’t?) you might also happen upon our favorite airport variation of it. Just head for Concourse E to find One Flew South, which pioneered the fine dining experience at airports with its thoughtful, farm-to-table dishes and sushi bar. It can be crowded with travelers, even ones who might have a departure on the other side of the airport, but finding a seat at the bar is more than worth cutting it close with boarding time.

WATCH: 6 Secrets of Southern Women Who Look Good at the Airport

We love the simple King Street G&T with botanical gin, Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Elderflower Tonic, and lemon. Bright and breezy instead of heavy and boozy, it always gives us the will and fortitude to face the crowds ahead.