Category Archives: Drinking Culture

History of The Hip Flask

History and Origin

Hip flasks began to appear in the form that we recognize today during thecocktail shaker 18th century, and were initially used by members of the gentry. But there have been less compact versions of flasks in use for several centuries. They say that in the Middle Ages, they would cut out the insides of certain fruits, and fill the fruit with liquor.

During the 18th century, women would take pig’s bladders, fill them with gin, and hide them under their petticoats, to smuggle them onto British warships. When prohibition started in America, in the 1920s, the state of Indiana banned the sale of hip flasks and cocktail shakers.

Why Are Hip Flasks Curved?

Hip flasks have traditionally been thin, with a curve and size whose shape alludes to the human kidney. The reason for this curve is simple: so that it can easily be pressed against one’s body so that it is better concealed. A curved flask fits better in a front or back pocket as it will press against one’s leg or thigh. Even a flask that is kept in someone’s boot or sock can be pressed against the leg well.

Why Is It Called a Hip Flask?

The name is pretty understandable – most people would conceal them alongside their hips, either in their pockets, belts, or waistbands. As such, they can vary greatly in shape, and size, although they are usually contoured to match the curve of the wearer’s hip or thigh, for comfort and discretion (as alluded to above).

Some flasks also have a “captive top” which is a small arm that attaches the top to the flask to prevent the top from getting lost when it is removed. Some flasks also have a small compartment on the front of back where you might keep some cigarettes, or rolling papers, like the one below from 🙂

Hip flasks were traditionally made out of pewter, silver, or even glass, although today, most modern top-quality hip flasks are made from 100% stainless steel. Some modern flasks are also made out of plastic so the user can avoid detection by metal detectors.

Laws & Regulations

Throughout many places in the USA, it is illegal to carry a hip flask, due to the “open container” laws which prohibit possession of an unsealed container of alcohol in a public place.

In terms of flying and hand luggage rules, it is permissible to carry a flask which is empty, because it is illegal for travelers to transport alcohol in an unsealed contained.

U.S. laws don’t explicitly mention anything about flasks. However, UK laws are much more explicit, with two alcohol-related laws that pertain to flasks including the Licensing Act of 2003 and Road Traffic Act 1930.

Hip Flask Defense Act

The Road Traffic act of 1930 was revised in 1988 and is known in some circles as the Hip Flask Defense Act. The primary facet of this law pertains to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating a vehicle.

However, in section 15, this Act states that the level of alcohol found on the driver was the same as when he was operating the vehicle. The obvious and interesting loophole defense here is that a driver could hypothetically drink alcohol AFTER he or she is questioned by authorities, and therefore claim that they were not inebriated at the time of arrest/questioning.

The hip flask defense possibly originated with a driver stepping out of his car (after being stopped by police) and taking a swig of alcohol from his hip flask. It would obviously be hard to prove whether or not this person drank to relieve his nerves or to confuse the police.

Disclaimer: is not a legal authority and this article should not be used for legal advice. For official legal advice on drinking and driving please contact a law firm.

The Future of Flasks

It does not seem likely that governments will bar the sales of flasks in the near future. Though many establishments bar them, and it is illegal in many places to drink publically, flasks are still popular and useful in certain situations.

Of course, if flasks are ever outlawed, folks can resort to old school tactics of hiding their alcohol:

For the last hundred years, flasks have become a very common, traditional gift for a man who is about to marry, to give to his best man and groomsmen, as gifts, on his wedding day. Today, many brides also give flasks to their maids of honor, as well as the bridesmaids, as gifts. The mother and father of the bride, and of the groom, also receive these gifts quite often, as the flasks can now be customized, personalized, engraved in a very impressive manner, making the flask a nice memento of the wedding day.’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. 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!

When China Invented Sunglasses & Baijiu


They say that in the year 1200, China invented sunglasses. Documents seem to indicate that the first sunglasses were worn in July, when the sun bore down the hardest. The first sunglasses wearers may have actually been judges: they were given smoke colored quartz lenses to wear over their faces in order to conceal their emotions while questioning witnesses.

quartz chinese judge sunglasses 1200

Now, I know what you’re thinking. A poor judge, sitting under the hot July sun, wearing uncomfortable quartz glasses while trying to decide whether or not someone is guilty of something. Quick, somebody get this man a DRINK!

The question is, what drink would you offer a Chinese judge? Look no further than Baijiu, perhaps one of the most interesting beverages in the world. Baijiu has been around China for over 5000 years, and is unique in the sense that it is considered to be a wine, but is available more generally as a strong distilled spirit. It tastes as strong as vodka, and is produced in upwards of 50% alcohol.

I’m no lawyer, but a cold Baijiu sounds like the perfect drink for a judge on a hot summer day – he gets to cool off and get a pretty decent buzz.

honey baijiu chinese alcoholic drink in tumblrThis Chinese alcoholic beverage has been traditionally referred to as white wine or rice wine, and is made from grains. Baijiu literally means “white liquor”. Baijiu is usually sold in ceramic or glass bottles. It seems that it used to be consumed in small, tumbler-like cups, but lately is drunk from shot glasses. It is also often consumed with food rather than on its own.

The interesting thing about Baijiu is that it is classified according to fragrance, which is a unique classifier for a beverage. And because Baijiu has such distinct fragrances, fans and experts really enjoy grouping them as such:


  • Sauce – It tastes similar to Chinese fermented bean pastes and soy sauce. It is said to go well with fine and pickled foods.
  • Thick – Sweet tasting, oily, and mellow, with a long lasting fragrance.
  • Light – Delicate and dry, with a cleansing like taste to one’s mouth.
  • Rice – This is the most traditional type of Baijiu, distilled from rice and has a long lasting aromatic flavor to it.
  • Honey – Very subtle flavor, sweet and tastes like honey.
  • Layered – These are very thick and saucy, therefore have different flavors and aromas.

You’re probably wondering “we’ve got 6 Baijius to choose from, which should we give to the judge sitting in the sun with his quartz shades on?”

The answer is most likely the Rice fragrance. This is because this is the most traditional of them all, and because it is distilled from Rice, probably also offers some nutritional value to whomever is drinking it. And if I were to recommend a flask for the judge, I’d say to go with a flask with rhinestones – this way we can match the shine from his dope quartz sunglasses.

Check out our alcohol resources section for more fun and interesting history lessons.

Were King Louis XI’s Mail Carriers the First Flask Drinkers?

They say that on June 19, 1461, King Louis XI created the first ever postal service, by creating royal postal roads to deliver official parcels and packages at higher speeds. If 1464 was the first year that mail carriers started work, I’d bet 100 Francs that France started selling a lot of flasks around that same time.

Imagine having to be a French mail carrier in 1464? This would have been the first time that mail was ever delivered. That whole “don’t shoot the messenger” quote? I reckon it started here. This is because in the olden times, it used to be that a messenger was more of a representative of the message or package he or she was delivering, whether it was a scroll, food, or someone’s head. horse and carriage mail man france

With the introduction of mail, however, mail carriers started to shift from representatives of the item they were delivering and more toward neutral delivery messengers. Of course, there was probably a rough transition period, as the receivers of packages likely didn’t quite catch on as quickly. As a result, mail carriers probably had to start dealing with a lot of unhappy customers.

I could just imagine this heated conversation taking place:

“You delivered me an Extra Large robe?? I distinctly asked for a Medium! Now how am I going to attend the masquerade and look normal! I want my Francs back and I want them back right now!”.

“Now, now, I’m just the messenger – here to deliver mail and be on my way!, says the mail carrier as he nervously chuckles, runs back into his horse & carriage, and likely takes a swig from his flask.

Can you imagine the pressures that mailmen dealt with on the backroads of France in 1464? It was probably a very stressful job!

That is why I have no doubt that flasks were definitely purchased, used, and abused by many French mailmen in the mid to late 1400’s.

The question is, what sort of flasks did they carry on route? Because drinking and driving rules were probably lax back then, there was probably no issue with the amount of alcohol one consumed.

I reckon that the French mailmen carried pretty big flasks back then. What, you thought that 64 oz flasks were big? Considering that they probably had a lot of spare room in their horse and carriage, mailmen probably had pouch flasks that carried upwards of 100 oz.

The content of the flasks is likely not a matter of debate: Sure the French loved wine, but these mailmen needed liquid courage and relief at a much faster pace than wine. Their flasks were definitely filled with unfiltered whiskey: harsh, strong, but gets the job done. And the one alcohol they stayed away from was probably Absynthe. Because no one wants a hallucinating mailman.

Celebrate New Orleans with Cocktails & Mixed Drinks

La Nouvelle-Orléans, now known as New Orleans, was founded on May 7, 1718. The original inhabitants were French, under the helm of Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.

new orleans - mardis gras

After 297 years, New Orleans is continually mentioned as one of the party capitals of America. This means one thing: The history of The Big Easy involves alcohol on a serious level, and not just during Mardis Gras.

To celebrate the anniversary of New Orleans, here are three classic Nawlins drinks that everyone should try:

The Hurricane

While many locals will roll their eyes at the mention of The Hurricane simply because it is a classic tourists’ favorite, there is no denying its place in history. Started in the 1940’s, the Hurricane started as a rum and passion fruit mixture, but now is often offered up as a powder mixed with rum and juice. Proper variations include both light and dark rum, real passion fruit, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, with an orange slice on the side. Best served ice cold.

The Sazerac

Would you believe us if we told you that this is the Official State Cocktail of Louisiana? Considered to be America’s first cocktail, this drink was created in a French Quarter bar and named after a brandy of a similar name. Nowadays the drink consists of a crushed sugar cube, 1.5 oz of Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Herbsaint, 2-4 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters, lemon oil, and a lemon peel. For the most authentic version of this drink, be sure to check out The Sazerac Bar, in downtown New Orleans.

Classic Vieux Carré

Named after the French Quarter, this mixed drink was created in the 1930’s by Walter Bergeron in Hotel Monteleone. The ingredients include half an ounce of Benedictine liqueur, rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, as well as a few dashes of Peychaud and angostura bitters. The ingredients might look funny, but when mixed together, form a deliciously potent cocktail.

Cajun Bloody Mary

What would a proper New Orleans party be without a modified Bloody Mary? Leave it to the Big Easy to take an already intense drink and make it spicy. Super spicy. This version of the Bloody Mary involves a heavy amount of tomato juice, sprinkled with some variation of the following: lime juice, lemon juice, garlic powder, fresh black pepper, tabasco sauce, okra, and of course, a lot of vodka. Garnish with a celery stick if you must.

These four mixed drinks epitomize the various elements of New Orleans: ranging from the fruity, the historic, the potent, and the heavy, all combine together to give one a taste of both the history and the richness of New Orleans. Incorporate one of these drinks in your drinking games when you celebrate! Cheers, and happy anniversary to The Big Easy!

30 Years On From New Coke

On this day in 1985, Coca-Cola introduced New Coke. The backlash to it was so strong that 30 years later, people are mindful of it and nervous of experiencing the same fate. Notwithstanding, innovation is an essential component in becoming and staying a successful company.

Coke II by akeg, on Flickr
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Any company that is still in business and older than 100 years is only around because it adapted with the changing times. And New Coke didn’t spell the end of all Coke product launches. Coke Zero, Coke with Lime, Coke with Lemon and Coca-Cola Life all came after New Coke. So why was New Coke such an unmitigated disaster?

Because consumers were so attached to the original taste that New Coke was too much of a deviation for them. New Coke may have even been a superior product to the original drink, but it wasn’t what they were used to. Consumers don’t buy what is defined as the absolute best, they buy what is their best.

When Coca-Cola scrapped New Coke and reverted back to the original one, sales of Classic Coke skyrocketed. So much so that many skeptics felt the whole thing from start to finish was planned.

Making alcohol is a time-honored process going back hundreds of years and while technology aids the process, today’s end product is very similar to what you were finding in flasks hundreds of years ago.

Learning from New Coke, if makers of alcohol are going to change anything, instead of the new replacing the old, the new needs to complement the old. In this regard, Johnnie Walker has Red Label, Black Label, Blue Label and the like.

Maker’s Mark by Sam Howzit, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Sam Howzit

It’s the changing of the status quo that upsets people. When Maker’s Mark announced in February 2013 that it was reducing the alcoholic strength of its bourbon whiskey from 45% to 42%, there was a massive backlash. 8 days later, the feedback and outrage from customers was so strong that Maker’s Mark had no choice other than to restore the alcohol levels to what they were. Many couldn’t help but make the comparisons to New Coke.

Similarly the decision was made in 2002 to reduce the proof of Jack Daniel’s black label from 90 to 80. Social media wasn’t as sophisticated then, so while there was somewhat of a backlash to it, it wasn’t to the same degree. One doesn’t drink Coke like one sips bourbon whiskey and therefore a change in taste due to a reduction in proof won’t be that noticeable, especially for casual drinkers.

Taste is a very personal thing. If you asked 100 people what they had in their flasks, you may be surprised by what the answers are. Different people like different things.

And a person’s attachment to a particular brand isn’t solely due to taste – it can also be due to drinking it at a very special time and so one develops an attachment and fondness to it.

The more of the story is that whatever their favorite it, you don’t want to mess with it!

Hamburgers and Alcohol – A Match Made in Heaven

On this day 60 years ago, Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald’s as we know it. Of course McDonald’s existed previously – it was created in 1940 by the McDonald brothers, but the McDonald’s we know today has its roots with what Kroc created on April 15, 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois.

oldest operating McDonald’s in Downey, C by singamelodie, on Flickr
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Kroc wanted to take control of the company as he didn’t feel as though the brothers sufficiently recognized the potential of the restaurant. They only wanted to have a small number of branches, while Kroc wanted to conquer the world and conquer it he did!

Now it is impossible to imagine a world without an omnipresent McDonald’s. They have 35,000 branches in over 100 countries.

If one was going to have a barbeque and make their own hamburgers, what would be the drinks to accompany it? Fast food restaurants have been serving alcohol for a while and if you go to any pub they are likely to have food to go with the drinks.

Beer is choice of many especially during the hot summer months, but what if you wanted something a bit more sophisticated?

New York Sour – this whiskey sour with red wine on top is great because it looks like a combination of mustard and ketchup. Like many other drinks, this has existed under a number of different names, but whatever you call it is tastes delicious.

Margarita by Maëlick, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Maëlick

Margarita – this is a great drink to have at any time of the day. The combination of tequila, lime juice and Cointreau results in a magical mixture of sweet and salty that is great for getting the party started or washing the meal down. The drink’s merit seems so obvious that it would have invented itself and as such there is a debate about the origins of it.

BBQ by Jun Seita, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Jun Seita

Whiskey – When it comes to steak, it’s traditional to pair red wine with it, but 21st century drinkers aren’t so wedded to outdated and ancient traditions. There is nothing wrong with kicking back at a barbecue with a flask. In fact, nothing washes steak and whatever else you may consume at your barbecue than a single malt. It will put the finishing touches on a great meal.

With the family values at McDonald’s don’t expect to see whiskey or cocktails on their menu, although in some of European countries they serve beer. Given Ray Kroc’s family comes near Plzeň in the Czech Republic he would definitely approve of this.

Flasks and Golf – A Masterful Combination

Although the PGA golf tour has been happening since January, there is something about the US Masters, the first major of the year to make it feel as though it’s arriving. The US Masters signals the fact that spring is here and the spring weather is far more conducive to playing golf.

Royal Links Golf Clubhouse by, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by

Golf and flasks have a rich association. Part of this is due to golf and whisky both having their roots in Scotland – they share a relationship that is hundreds of years old. When you are spending a day on the links and it’s cold and windy, you definitely want to have a flask in your golf bag for medicinal purposes.

Drinking on the golf course is mostly saved for the 19th hole. After a long day on the course, there is nothing like kicking back and discussing the round. The hyperbole and exaggeration revolving the great shots only increases over time as does the agony over the tight misses.

We have a number of flasks with a golfing theme, so if you have any family or friends who are avid golfers, these would make a great gift.

flask2The 6oz Plaid Flask for Golfers is one such flask. The plaid really contributes to the golfing feel. There is a space there to engrave so you could commemorate a very special round or shot.

Then there are the 6oz Plaid Cloth and Faux Leather Hip Flask and 6oz Plaid Golf Flask with Faux Leather Accents. Both of these flasks also allow for engraving.

If you want to pay homage to the Scottish roots of the game you can do so with the 6oz Plaid Golf Hip Flask with Faux Leather Trim. The plaid here has a tartan theme that looks very much at home on the golf course.
For those who love their golf and their flasks, the 8oz Golf Theme Drinking Flask is very popular. If you would like to tweak the design, this flask is a custom flask and so the print and the background can be changed as per your modifications.

Whether you want a flask for yourself, your golfing partner or all of your golfing buddies, we are here to help.

On The Rocks – A Guide to Drinking Whisky With Ice

There is nothing like a swig from a flask when it is freezing outside. It will warm you up and help shake out the coldness that runs along you from head to toe. It will make the cold weather a bit more palatable.

Once it starts to get warmer and you no longer need 4 layers of clothes in order to head outside, the benefits of having a drink won’t dissolve along with the snow. They will still be there.

Whisky by PandamauT, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  PandamauT

Whisky though, isn’t a drink one drinks because one is hot. When one is parched and looking for a drink to cool down, one typically doesn’t grab the Scotch. But once you have cooled down and relaxed, you may find yourself looking for it.

Speaking of dissolving, is the much-debated question regarding the adding of ice to your whisky. Should you or shouldn’t you? Is it ok to do so? For many devout whisky aficionados, this is as close to heresy as one can get. They wouldn’t want to contaminate their whisky with anything let alone ice. To people of this mindset, ice is going to dilute and numb the flavor of the whisky.

Just like single or double malt, whisky drinkers have opinions and aren’t afraid to share them. In their palate, their way is the right way so don’t be intimidated by those who question the sanity of drinking whisky with ice.

Whisky already has water added to it. It is part of the manufacturing process called cutting. This is done to bring down the ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of it otherwise it just wouldn’t be drinkable. The ABV of Beer is around 5%, wine around 14% and whisky is in the 40s. If it wasn’t for the water, the ABV would be significantly higher.

 by mtch3l, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  mtch3l

If there is any impact on adding ice to whisky, it is going to be negligible

People do drink it with ice otherwise the delightful expression on the rocks wouldn’t exist. And then is something exciting about the phrase – the way it conjures up the notion of whisky with ice.

The irony of this is that you can drink your whisky with ice in it even when it is freezing and snowing outside. If you want to drink it with ice you should feel comfortable about this decision and do so without fear of ridicule.

Of course the whiskey in your flask is going to stay at room temperature. If you want to put some ice-cubes in your flask, make sure they are narrow enough to fit!

Why Flasks Are the Perfect March Madness Accessory

March means March Madness which means 63 incredible games of College Basketball. The NCAA Tournament is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and the 2015 version of it is about to get under way.

Part of the reason for the massive popularity for the tournament is it reconnects people to their college days. Cheering for their alum takes them back to the days when they were college students.

What better way to support your favorite school than a college themed flask? We have a wide range of them.

Our 8oz Custom Engraved College Fraternity Hip Flask is a very popular flask and would provide a great accessory to watching the games. Instead of a fraternity featuring on it, you can have the logo of your college engraved onto it.

A big part of March Madness is color. The uniforms, the mascots, the cheerleaders, the T-shirts of the supporters, will cause the stadium to be divided into two colors. Some schools are well known for their association with certain colors; the blue of Duke, Kentucky and Kansas, the red of Arkansas, Ohio State and St Johns and the like.

What this means is that you can buy a flask of color that provides a strong association with your school of choice.

texas flask

Syracuse isn’t there this year, but this Orange Hip Flask is great for those who have a strong connection to the color. Texas are competing, but will struggle to go far in the tournament.

The great thing about a flask is that regardless of the result it is going to provide you good company. If your team wins, then what could be better than celebrating with a drink? And if unfortunately your team gets beat than a drink is a great way to drown your sorrows.