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Cocktail 101: How to Make Cocktails for a Flask

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[Photograph: Michael Dietsch]

If there's anything for which 'tis the season, 'tis the season for drinking in unusual places. In a one-horse open sleigh? Check. At your SO's office party? Yup. At the home of teetotaling relatives? Been there, my friend, been there. At the mall while finishing your shopping? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmaybe.

'Tis also, unfortunately, the season for badly made drinks, poorly prepared punches, and lukewarm beer. Office parties are probably the worst offenders, where even a cash-bar request for Jack on the rocks gets you a quizzical look from the rent-a-tender.

What to do? Carry your own cocktail.

It's easy and quick to mix up a flask cocktail. Yes, a flask full of whisk(e)y will smartly keep the chill off you as you're caroling from house to house. Yes, any fool can premix gin and tonic into a flask. But I'm going to urge you to get a little more creative. Now, don't panic. "Creative" doesn't need to mean "elaborate." You can carry around a great-tasting flask cocktail without much work or effort. Lazy drinking—isn't that the best kind?

Todd Price, a writer for the Times-Picayune wrote a couple of years ago about a trend among New Orleans bartenders of carryings flasks filled with cocktails to NOLA music festivals. Price's article contains tips and recipes, and I thought it offered good advice not just for summertime festival tippling, but also for wintertime holiday festivities.

Now, as Price and the NOLA bartenders make clear, flask cocktails are great for many purposes, and not just holiday tippling. But one great advantage to using them in the winter is that because they're usually sipped at room temperature, they're quite effective at warming you up on a cold day.

Just watch out. NOLA's open-container laws allow people to carry and drink booze in public places. Most locales aren't so forgiving. Be prepared to nip surreptitiously or only in private settings. But I suspect most of you have some experience with this already.

A Few Tips to Get You Started

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Recipes?

Recipes are hard to provide for something like this, although Price offers several that sound like good places to start. Here's the sticking point on providing recipes: I have no idea how big your flask is. I have two of my own that are close to hand, and a couple of others in storage. Both have about a five-ounce capacity, although one's just over five ounces and the other is just under five ounces. Yours may be a dainty three-ouncer or a hefty six-bagger.

What I can provide is a basic procedure, which goes as follows:

  1. Measure a few ounces of base spirit into a bowl or measuring cup.
  2. Add mixers or modifiers
  3. Transfer to a flask using a funnel.

And I can offer general guidelines:

Have you ever carried cocktails in a flask? Got any tips for drinking in unusual or less-than-ideal circumstances?

About the author: Michael Dietsch approaches life with a hefty dash of bitters. He and his family live in Brooklyn. You can find him on twitter at @dietsch.

Printed from http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/12/mix-cocktails-carry-in-a-flask-cocktail-101.html

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