Category Archives: Holidays

Hot Alcoholic Beverages to Warm Up Your Holidays

hot drink

It’s December, which means one thing: it’s cold outside! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t put together a few warm ingredients and create your own hot alcoholic beverage. A fireplace might
warm you up, but a hot whiskey will make you feel good as well.

Here are 5 awesome hot alcoholic beverages to bolster your winter cheer:

Peppery Ginger Cider

This is a great drink because it has a sweet but sharp kick to it. Spiked with bourbon and ginger liquor, it has a potent taste of flavor. Start by mixing apple cider with regular bourbon, and pour them into a small saucepan. Then slowly start to pour in and stir the ginger liquer and lemon juice. In terms of liquid, that is all you need. If you want to get more authentic, you can add in a few Luxardo cherries, cracked black pepper, and a slice of ginger. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces apple cider
  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 3 ounces ginger liqueur
  • Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Luxardo cherries
  • Cracked black pepper

Tequila Mint Hot Chocolate

Who says that Tequila is only meant for raucous drunktequila nights out on the town? It can also be used for a soothing Christmasy hot drink. Take a medium saucepan, and mix ¼ cup of cocoa powder with sugar and a pinch of salt. Then pour in milk, milk chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate. Heat this up over a medium flame, while constantly stirring it.

Once the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is a full liquid, add in tequila and peppermint schnapps. Mix further, then feel free to add either whipped cream, mint, or both! Now this is what a professional hot chocolate should taste like!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon  sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces peppermint schnapps
  • Whipped cream and/or mint leaf garnish

Scotch Hotty Toddy

No hot winter beverage list would be complete without scotch! Hotty Toddy’s are known for being both an enjoyable drink as well as a potential cute for cold-like remedies. Looking for the best recipe? Than look no further. Flasks.com has just what you need:

Take any scotch (save the good stuff for straight drinking), and mix it with honey syrup (even regular honey works), lemon juice, and water. Add to a pot and cook over a medium flame until it boils. Then add a cinnamon stick, star anise, allspice berries, and an orange peel.

Make sure you sip this slowly so that you enjoy the taste and don’t burn yourself either! And if you’re in a hurry but you just made a huge pot, then let the hotty toddy cool off a bit to warm/room temperature, and add it to a huge flask for on-the-go.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces of Scotch
  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup
  • Lemon wedge
  • 1.5 ounces hot water
  • Cinnamon stick, star anise, allspice berries
  • Orange peel

Flasks.com hopes that you enjoy your hot beverages in the warmth of your homes. Happy Holidays!

Flasks.com’s Veteran’s Day Drinks Recommendations

vets day

Veteran’s Day is an important day in America, and was actually established on November 12th, 1919, by President Woodrow Wilson. Originally referring to it as Armistice day, Wilson stated the following:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

In honor of our veterans, the one thing we can always do is offer up a drink. Flasks.com gives you the three best drinks to have in honor of Veteran’s Day:

Perhaps the most fitting drink in name is called the Army Ranger. The recipe is pretty simple, and might appear to younger vets. Jagermeister, Rum, and Red Bull is all you need to swig an Army Ranger.vets day 2

The exact ingredients are .5 oz of Rum, 1 oz of Jagermeister, and 8 oz of Red Bull (or depending how much your heart can handle). Mix all of these together with crushed ice in a glass. For the best appearance, you can garnish it with mint leaves.

The Forget Me Not drink is a source of pride for vets, and is drank to remember all vets – both fallen and living. The recipe for this is for those with a sweet tooth, and can handle hard drinks. This particular drink has 2 variations: One version contains 1 oz of apple Schnapps mixed with .75 oz of cherry liquer. The other version is a bit more bombastic, and contains: 2 shots of absinthe, 2 shots of black Sambuca, and 2 shots of Baileys. Wow! You might need a really large flask to carry all that. That latter version is no small beans, and should you drink it, you will likely forget what happened for the night. Ironic, isn’t it?

beer 2The final drink is interesting because it only came to be known after the Navy Seal who shot Osama Bin Laden was interviewed by Esquire Magazine, and mentioned off hand that he and some mates were drinking Commando Ale. Here is the original article in which he mentions the mysterious brew.

Unfortunately there is no recipe available for it, but it is said to be a very strong homebrew beer, with a young kick but very tasty. The original recipe is said to originate from Scotland, where Commando Ale is served in various pubs. If any readers can find more information about Commando Ale – definitely let us know and message us on our Facebook page!

Flasks New Year’s Resolutions for 2015

The start of a new year is the time for reflection and introspection. If you have a flask and appreciate good quality alcohol, here are some New Year’s Resolutions you could consider for 2015.

Claive Vidiz whisky collection by Biker Jun, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Biker Jun

Don’t Be Intimidated by the Opinions of Others
When it comes to whisky, there are hundreds and hundreds of different types. People have very different tastes and preferences. Don’t be afraid to like something that isn’t a household name and don’t be afraid to like something that is. Whisky can create whisky snobs who feel as though their opinion is gospel. Whisky snobs love nothing more than to tell you their opinions, especially when you didn’t ask. If they like single malts, that’s all you should drink. If they like blended malts, that’s all you should drink. Forget about their experiences and copying theirs– focus on creating your own.

The only way you can know what you like and what you don’t like is by tasting a lot. The more you drink that you don’t like, the better grasp you have of what you do like.

Having said that, there is nothing wrong with listening to what others have to say before making a decision. If a number of people all independently tell you that a certain type of whisky is good or bad, there could be something in that.

Finding an Occasion
Don’t be the person who buys whisky and then never touches it. If you are saving a bottle for a special occasion, don’t wait and wait and wait for some occasion that never happens. Instead turn a nice occasion into a very special and memorable one by opening it. It is the spontaneity of it that makes it special. You finish the special bottle and then go out and get a new one. That is far better than gathering dust.

The tasting by humbert15, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  humbert15

Go on a Whisky Tour
If you have never been on a whisky tour, this is the year you should go to one. Visiting a whisky distillery (and/or any other kind of distillery) just isn’t a great thing to do, but the knowledge of the process gives you an increased appreciation and understanding of whisky. It’s incredible how many people who drink whisky have no familiarity of the process.

Start a Tasting Club
If you and your friends like whisky and/or other alcohols, there is no reason why you can’t set up a tasting club. Be in touch with the distributors and set up a tasting. You could also find yourself the beneficiary of some good prices. If membership to the tasting club comes with your own personalized flask, we know people who could help you.

Why the Flask is your ultimate New Year’s Eve Accessory

No sooner are the Christmas presents and the tree put away, then the focus turns to New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Eve is a great way to unwind and celebrate. It’s a time to reflect and look back on the accomplishments of the past 12 months.

The thing about New Year’s Eve more than any other kind of event is that how it pans out can often bear little resemblance to how you thought it would.

nye1

New Year’s Eve is also well known for parties that are overhyped and flatter than champagne that has been opened four hours ago. As this is happening, you hear of a party that is looming as the party of the year. The presence of social media and WhatsApp facilitates party hopping like never before.

It is because of this that the New Year’s Eve flask comes in so useful. First of all, it’s nice to have something to drink while you are in transit and secondly, you have no idea what the alcohol situation is going to be at the party you’re going to. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed-man is king and if you go to a party where the drinks are ridiculous overpriced and/or of a horrendous quality, your flask is going to be incredibly handy.

nye2
Tens of thousands think it’s fun to stand outside in the subzero temperatures to watch a ball drop, a ball that they can barely see. This is an experience, but it’s significantly less fun than people would have you think. First of all, to stand outside in the cold and be so cramped that you can’t even swing your elbows isn’t that much fun. Secondly, if you need the bathroom, you risk losing your place and lastly, the ball isn’t that visible.

If you are freezing, the flask is going to help a great deal, but then you have to deal with going to the bathroom.

Sydney New Year’s Eve by HerryLawford, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  HerryLawford

This isn’t the only outdoor experience on New Year’s Eve. All over the world there are New Year’s Eve fireworks. In the southern hemisphere, where it is summer the cold isn’t as much of an issue, but you still have to deal with standing around.

New Year’s Eve is associated with big parties, but it doesn’t have to be. You may prefer a quiet night of reminiscing and introspection, where with the accompaniment of your flask you look back on the last 12 months. As New Year’s Eve turns into New Year’s Day you have your New Year’s Day flask ready and by your side.

Whisky from the Rest of the World to Buy for Christmas 2014

In recent blog posts we have looked at the best whisky and spirits to buy as a present for Christmas 2014. The whisky post contained one from Japan and the rest were from Scotland. This got us thinking about whisky from other parts of the world.

After a bit of research and conversation, we discovered that one can certainly acquire some fantastic whisky that doesn’t hail from Scotland.

sulli
Sullivans Cove French Oak
This whisky comes from Tasmania, Australia, and has won a large number of awards including the Best Single Malt Whisky gong at the 2014 World Whisky Awards. The French Oak Port Casks are just part of the reason why this whisky is so popular. The nose contains traces of orange peel, coconut, and hazelnut, and the finish ensures that it goes down smoothly.

This whisky is very reasonably priced, and you are still going to get great value for the money. Many people may be skeptical of whisky that hails from Australia, but this changes the second one is able to taste some of it. Pouring this into your Christmas flask is sure to give you a very merry Christmas.

PikeCrk-Oct12-lg
Pike Creek 10 Years Old

Leaving the Southern Hemisphere and heading towards Canada, we have Pike Creek. It is spicy yet creamy. It has elements of citrus and toffee. Again, people may approach it with low expectations due its place of origin, but likely will be blown away by the quality of the finish. While this may make a great Christmas gift, it is a great drink any day of the year. A significantly better present than socks.

jack
Jack Daniel’s
It may be a cliché to buy Jack but there is nothing wrong with buying something that is comfortingly familiar and well-loved. Old No. 7 is the original Jack Daniel’s and it tastes as good now as it did in the 19th century when it all began. Obviously, Tennessee whiskey or bourbon whiskey isn’t the same thing as malt whisky, but we are including Jack because it tastes so good. What Christmas isn’t going to benefit from his presence? Christmas is about having family together and reminiscing about times past, and nothing aids reminiscing like a bottle of Jack.
And if Christmas at home with the family is going that well, having your Christmas flask filled with Jack is going to make it all the more better.

As Christmas 2014 approaches, we want to take this opportunity to wish you and your families our compliments of the season.

Best Spirits to Buy as a Christmas Present for 2014

Last week our blog post was about the best whisky to buy as a Christmas present. In this post we want to look at other spirits and alcohol you can put in your flask.

kauff

Kauffman Luxury Vintage Vodka
When it comes down to buying a Christmas present, if you want to spoil someone you should consider the Kauffman Luxury Vintage Vodka. As with some of the whiskies documented last week, this isn’t just a drink but an experience. It is produced in specific quantities and comes with a vintage so you know that each bottle is unique. No more than 20,000 bottles are produced in a single year, and it may not be produced at all if the wheat harvest is considered inferior.
It is distilled 14 times and then filtered through both coal and quartz sand.

Given the difficulties that come with buying this, it may be too late to buy one for Christmas 2014. If, however, you are able to find one, it is a present that will be hard to top.

courv
Courvoisier Brandy
It may feel a bit like back to the future because this could be the brandy that your dad or granddad liked, but this classic French brandy is making a comeback. Established in the early 19th century in Paris, it was the cognac of choice for Napoleon Bonaparte. Any drink that has been around for this long knows what it’s doing. Giving this as a Christmas present just isn’t a special gift but shows you have your finger on the pulse. They are releasing four rare cognacs for Christmas, but buyer-beware – their prices will seriously break the bank.

jinzu
Jinzu Gin
Last week we mentioned the massive Diageo conglomerate – and now they are releasing a gin called Jinzu. It has been in development for over a year and will go up against their more established gin lines in terms of Gordon’s and Tanqueray. Created by Dee Davies, it has juniper berries from Tuscany and other ingredients from Eastern Europe and Japan. No Christmas party is complete without gin, so if your hosts are short, this will come in very handy.

Appleton Estate VX RumAppleton-Estate-V_2FX-Label
This is the oldest and most well-known rum making estate in Jamaica. It has been in business since the late 17th century. It is now owned by Gruppo Campari who purchased from previous owners, J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. The great thing about giving rum as a Christmas present is that it is an instant replacement – given that rum is generally used toward baking a Christmas cake. Nothing like a ready-made replacement.

Giving any of these drinks as a Christmas present is sure way to supply some Christmas cheer. Any of these is your Christmas flask is bound to make it a great Christmas!

Best Whisky to Buy as a Christmas Present for 2014

We all know that a flask is the best present one can buy someone for Christmas. The real question is, what whisky belongs inside the Christmas flask? What are the best whiskies you can buy for Christmas 2014?

Highland Park 21 year old Whisky

Highland Park 21 year old
When you buy anything from Highland Park, you know you are in for a treat. They are one of the very few distilleries to malt some of their own barley which gives them extra input into the process. They are located in Kirkwall, which is in the Orkney Islands. These islands are situated just north of Scotland, about 10 miles from Caithness. Situated between the Atlantic Ocean, North Sea and Norwegian Sea, there is something in the Kirkwall water that makes it taste incredible.

Highland Park makes whisky from 12 years of age all the way up to 40. The 21 year old liquid contains traces of citrus, dried fruit with a little bit of vanilla thrown in. A whisky for those with a mature palate, it is a Christmas gift that won’t be re-gifted.

Clynelish 23 yo 1989/2012 The Perfect Dram

Image courtesy of http://www.dramming.com/2013/04/28/clynelish-23-yo-19892012-the-perfect-dram/

Clynelish 1989/2012 The Perfect Dram

Clynelish is situated near Brora, which is towards the northern end of Scotland. It pumps out over 4.5 million litres of pure alcohol a year, which makes it one of the most prolific. It is owned by massive conglomerate Diageo which also owns Johnnie Walker, White Horse, Haig and the Dimple Pinch as well as Smirnoff, Baileys and Guinness.

This 23 year old has fruity elements of apples, banana and lemon and you will also be able to detect ginger and nutmeg.

Give this to your father/father-in law for Christmas and you are definitely going to be his favorite son.

Glenfarclas 105 20 year old

Glenfarclas 105 20 year old

Situated in the North East pocket of Scotland, Glenfarclas translates to valley of the green grass.
The distillery was purchased by John Grant in 1865 and his family has been operating it ever since. In 1973, it was one of the first distilleries to open a visitor center and if you visit Scotland, be sure to visit.

This 105 Cask Strength is a whisky you should be saving for very special occasions. It isn’t cheap so be sure to buy it only for someone you want to spoil and you know appreciates whisky. This isn’t a drink but rather an experience!

Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old

The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old

Located in Dufftown, Balvenie is also in the north east pocket of Scotland.

Established by William Grant, this is a sister whisky to other whiskies such as Glenfiddich, Grant’s and Tullamore Dew that are all operated by William Grant & Sons.

If you like your whisky smoky then this is the drink for you. The sherry casks make a real difference to the flavor!

Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013

Image courtesy of http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/04/business/japanese-whisky-yamazaki-named-worlds-finest-dram/

Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013

If you are making whisky and you aren’t in Scotland, you better be special and Yamazaki is. This is the first commercial whisky distillery in Japan, and Suntory who owns Yamazaki knows how to make the good stuff.

The Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 was named whisky of the year in the 2015 Whisky Bible. No attention to detail was spared with the sherry casks coming from oak that hail from northern Spain. The water comes from Mt Tenno in Kyoto.

Only 18,000 bottles were made, so it’s bound to become a collector’s item.

With its deep range of flavors, this isn’t just a drink but rather an adventure. Purchase for a very special friend or family member. It is so special that they may not want to drink it. You could return to them in 12 months’ time only to find it hasn’t been drunk yet.

The great thing about buying whisky as a Christmas present is that it’s something that is going to have a lot of practical value. Whether it’s happy or sad times, people turn to whisky. Hopefully there will be lots of happy events in 2015 worth celebrating with a drink.

Why a Flask Makes a Great Christmas Gift

Last week we wrote about Christmas food and drinks, this week continuing with our Christmas theme, we want to discuss Christmas or “Xmas” flasks.

A big part of Christmas is gifts – buying a practical, but cost affective Christmas gift for a lot of people is a delicate task, especially for those with a big family and a lot of friends.

This is where Christmas flasks come in. In many ways, the value for money they provide makes them just about the perfect Christmas gift. The great thing about a flask is that it can be a gift for both men and women. There are not too many gifts about which you could say this.

As one gets older, all of the Christmases blur into one another. With Flasks.com’s ability to customize and personalize the drinking flask, you can engrave the year onto the flask. This will allow you to distinguish one year from the next.

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One of Flasks.com’s more popular Christmas flasks is the “Happy Holidays” Custom 8oz Christmas Flask. Nothing conveys the feeling of Christmas like the Christmas trees and the snowflakes.

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The Red “Merry Christmas” Holiday 8oz Hip Flask is a classy design featuring snow, trees and a snowflake. The black font on the red background gives it a real Christmas flavor.

6oz-naughty-or-nice-pin-up-hip-flasks-228x228
For girls, the 6oz “Naughty or Nice” Pin-Up Girl Flask is a very popular gift especially with females in their 20’s.
We have flasks with other Christmas themes such as snowmen and the Holy Cross.

Just like there are Christmas foods, drinks, music, movies, televisions shows and the like, the Christmas flask could become one of those things you integrate into your Christmas routine that makes it feel like Christmas.

When it comes to a seasonal product such as a Christmas flask – can you use it the rest of the year or is it only applicable for December? This comes to personal preference. Obviously you can use the flask all throughout the year- if it’s the only flask you have, you would continue to use it. If you are using your flask discretely and no-one else is going to see it, it makes no difference. If you are a person who likes to show off your flask, people may question why you are using a Christmas flask in May. If you have multiple flasks, you may switch to one of your other flasks once Christmas is over. Again, this comes down to personal preference.

Should you have any questions regarding Christmas flasks, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Drinking the Christmas Spirits

The moment the last bit of Thanksgiving turkey is eaten and last drop of apple cider has been drunk, attention immediately turns to Christmas. You may have seen the colors red and green previously, but now there is no escaping them.

At this time of year, the weeks roll by very quickly and before you know it the whole family will be assembled again for Christmas.

When it is below zero outside and you are covered head to toe in layers of clothing, the contents of a flask have medicinal value!

Eggnog ingredients by rvacapinta, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  rvacapinta

Christmas is heavily associated with eggnog. The beverage that consists of milk, sugar, eggs and spices has a connection with Christmas that goes back 250 years.

In the 21st century, there are many variants to the recipe – elements as varied as vanilla, bourbon, soy, brandy or rum can all feature. The soy is for those who are lactose intolerant and isn’t the only milk substitute that can be used.

While there are those who are happy to buy their own ready-made eggnog, there are other options. For instance, one could purchase a derivative-mixture, or one can make it from scratch – the effort will be worth it.

For those who like their caffeine, it’s possible to get into the festive spirit with an Eggnog Latte. On top of this, there are other lattes that feature seasonal elements as toffee, peppermint and white chocolate.
Eggnog isn’t the only beverage associated with Christmas, there also is hot buttered rum and mulled wine. Hot buttered rum is a drink that has a rich history in the USA and is very popular at this time of year.

mulled wine by chatirygirl, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  chatirygirl

Mulled wine is especially in Europe. Red wine will be complemented with ingredients such as cloves, aniseed, sugar and cinnamon to develop a drink with a rich textured flavor. As is the case with traditions going back thousands of years, each region of Europe makes this a different way.

The Dutch use oranges, Hungarians add Amaretto and Moldovans flavor it with black pepper.

Not surprisingly Canadians add maple syrup to their mulled wine.

Drinks play a big part in contributing to the feel of this time of year and providing for a sense of nostalgia. When people come home to a house filled with the smell of eggnog or mulled wine, it takes them back to the Christmases of years gone by.

We have a wide range of flasks relating to Christmas. We can get into more detail of our Christmas flasks next week.

How You Like Them Apples?

It’s the end of November, which can only mean one thing in America: It’s Thanksgiving! Get ready to eat turkey, turkey stuffing, cranberry, corn, and pumpkin. Get ready to drink beer and apple cider.

Apple Cider has a strong seasonal feel to it. There are many who wouldn’t think of drinking it if it wasn’t this time of year. Why should this be the case? Cider is a great drink with a great taste and a rich history.

The early American settlers really loved their cider which is one of the reasons why it’s connected to Thanksgiving. As we saw in an earlier post, from an early time, people realized they could ferment basic fruits, vegetables and grains and turn them into an alcoholic beverage. Apples were no different.

Apple cider was popular in Roman times and its popularity spread across Europe. Then those on the Mayflower brought the affinity across with them. It was the premier drink in North America for a while, but it has been surpassed by beer and spirits.

For a long time, there was somewhat of a stigma against cider but it is making a comeback. There is no backlash – people appreciate apple cider for what it is, don’t criticize it for what it isn’t.

As it becomes more accepted and prominent, what you will find is that it only becomes more popular. The reason for this is as sweet as a juicy apple. Many people who drink beer don’t actually like the taste of it and this is the case with other drinks such as vodka, whiskey and rum.

When it comes to apple cider you get the best of both worlds – a drink that takes the edge off, and one that also tastes good.

The fact that it was sweet may be a reason that its consumption dropped in the 20th century. That it was sweet could have seen it to be labelled by detractors as a “girl’s drink”. Judging by the amount of men who drink Breezers and the like, this is no longer a concern.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! by InaFrenzy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  InaFrenzy

Thanksgiving means the family getting together and getting together for a couple of days. After being under the same roof for a while, drinking something from a flask could be a very attractive option. We have three flasks with a Thanksgiving related theme.

There is the Happy Thanksgiving “Turkey Day” Mirror Polished Hip Flask6oz Happy Thanksgiving Cat Versus Turkey Hip Flask and 6oz Happy Thanksgiving Cornucopia Hip Flask.

From all of us here at Flasks.com, wishing you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving!