What Are Your Favorite Purchases in the Duty Free Shop?


[Photograph: Neil Bird on Flickr]

After removing your belt and shoes, then right back on they go, you have survived the airport security checkpoint (phew) and deserve what awaits you around the corner: the Duty-Free Shop. Even if you don't intend to purchase a single thing, it's only right to pop your nose in and take a gander at the are-you-kidding-me-cheap prices for Swedish vodka or the special-edition Book of Kells release from Jameson.

It's like the Epcot of liquor stores—so many shiny bottles in one place from places you've probably never traveled to before. And so much cheaper than whatever you're paying at home (well, usually—the duty-free savings really varies by product and country). Plus there's the added excitement of finding booze that isn't available in the U.S., which means every time you pour it, you get to say: "you can't buy this in the States." And we all know this de-facto makes it taste better.

On a recent trip to Iceland we hit up Keflavik airport's duty-free shop and it didn't take long for my boyfriend to zero in on the Japanese single malts from Nikka Whisky. "You can't buy this at home. I've never even seen it for sale." He just stared at the bottle sitting on the shelf, spellbound, then touched it quietly.

So in addition to our new Icelandic wool blankets, we have the great country of Iceland to thank for this Japanese whisky souvenir. What are your favorite duty-free buys? Any surprising finds in the spirits aisle?