Cocktail Hour: In a Flask
Traveling with a cocktail is a bit tricky, what with open beverage laws and such. However, a lovely flask cocktail can certainly grease the social wheels on such occasions as summer picnics, sporting events, bonfires, or your in-laws’ backyard barbeque. Even though this Cocktail Hour may not help you on an airplane (though there are some airplane-safe travel bitters to doctor up those mini bottles on the plane, and I can share with you another time), here are some of my favorite flasks and flask accoutrements, as well as a tasty cocktail that is perfect in a flask.
Mixing a cocktail for a flask requires a little bit of forethought. First, you should know how much liquid your flask holds. If you’re not sure, you can always fill your flask with water and then pour that liquid into a measuring cup to get an accurate reading of ounces. Most flasks are either 6oz or 8oz, but sometimes hold slightly less due to the shape. Most classic stirred cocktails (sans citrus), are in the 3oz to 4oz range, so if you do the math, will usually fit 2-2.5 cocktails into the flask. A martini is usually 2oz of any spirit–vodka, gin, etc.– which is ordinarily what fills a flask: straight-up booze.
To mix it up a bit, we’re going to add more ingredients than just one single spirit. There are many schools of thought on the kind of cocktails you can put in a flask. Some bartenders don’t have any qualms about putting citrus in their flask, but I think the acid reacts with the metal, leaving a bit of a metallic taste, so I try to avoid it. Serious Eats and The Times-Picayune for New Orleans have a few recipes that they recommend, but this is one that I have found to be delicious in a flask. It is a riff on The Independent, but simplified with ingredients that are easier to find, however if you can get the ingredients, (or are in Boston), be sure to try the original.
Independent Flask Cocktail
.5 oz Cointreau
.5 oz Punt e Mes (Sweet Vermouth)
.5 oz Cocchi Americano
2 dashes orange bitters
Carefully pour into your flask.
This makes 3oz of liquid,
so it can be doubled for a 6oz flask.
You’ll have to do some math.
Some Final Tips
- Use high quality spirits. You’ll be drinking it lukewarm, so you don’t want cheap liquor in there. It will taste awful.
- Sometimes you’ll need a little bit of water. Most cocktails are stirred with ice which adds a little bit of dilution which is important to the taste and flavor of the overall drink, so taste your cocktail before you pour it into your flask and see if it just needs a little tinge of water to help open it up.
- Avoid a cocktail that requires eggs or cream. Again, it will be at room temp or warmer most of the day, so those ingredients could make you sick.
As summer begins, we’re sharing adventures near and far. We invite you to experience the transformative power of travel with us.