The Dos and Don’ts of Using a Hip Flask
In days gone by, every well dress gentlemen (and even some of the ladies) carried a hip flask. After all, they were a classier equivalent to carrying around a canteen and held just enough sustenance to go through a couple of days. The flasks might be elaborate with jewels and etchings or basic and unenhanced, but it was about function more than fanciful.
It should also be pointed out that the carrying of a flask does not an alcoholic make! In fact, the flask was not designed to carry enough of a beverage to intoxicate. (This conception, that a flask equals a drunk, is traced back to Edwardian England times where temperance movements were common.) Rather, these hip flasks were designed to allow a person to always be prepared- whether it was by sharing in drinks with friends or even being used to revive a lady friend. Today, we have many other options for quenching one’s thirst or reviving a friend, but that in no way lessens the interest and revival of carrying a hip flask. In fact, hip flasks have become favorite gift items for the groomsmen.
However, should you be the proud owner, or perhaps recipient of a hip flask, then there are some basic rules of etiquette you will want to adhere to. Some of these “rules” date back to bygone years, others are a bit more modern. So, to ensure you are properly enjoying your hip flask, take a moment to peruse these Do’s and Don’ts:
Hip Flask Usage Do’s
- Carry your hip flask in a blazer or coat pocket. If it is carried in an actual hip pocket, the beverage will get warm; besides that might be a bit uncomfortable.
- If you do take out your flask in a group, remember your manners, and offer to share.
- Be sure you are aware of any local driving laws! You should also be aware of any local customs, not all cultures are okay with public consumption of alcohol.
- If possible, finish the contents of the hip flask the day you fill it.
- Do be sure to wash it out after each use with warm soapy water. Then let it set a few minutes followed by rinsing with cold water. To be sure it is clean, a pipe cleaner can be used to “scrub” the inside.
- Do not fill your flask with anything other than whisky; some spirits can actually cause damage to your flask.
- Do not leave the contents of your flask there for more than 3 days, as this, too can cause damage.
- Taking small sips is not recommended as the design of a flask actually limits the ability of the aroma to release, thus taking away from the pleasure.
- Do not fill it with overly sweet or strong fragrant whiskeys. Flasks are meant to be discreet.
Hip Flask Usage Don’ts
There are other hip flask rules of etiquette, but the simple answer is to use your hip flask, and its contents, responsibly. These beautiful containers have been around for years and offer one an elegant way to enjoy a discrete drink in a crowded room or a quick toast with friends. So, if you are looking for a great groomsmen’s gift or just want something special for yourself, a hip flask is the perfect item.