Flask Cocktails for the Traveler

Flask Cocktails for the Traveler

| 03.28.24

Simplicity is key for the peripatetic who knows that traveling light is an easy way to see much of what the world has to offer. 

Anyone can tuck away a favorite tipple for the train or a soft landing after an afternoon's hike, but fortune favors the well-prepared, and these easy, make-ahead drinks will ensure that you're covered in case of delays. In mixing them, keep in mind whether they're meant to be consumed as-is or poured over ice. If you don't foresee yourself being able to procure a cup of ice to handle chilling and dilution duties, you’ll have to do two things: pre-dilute the drink by about 30% of the base ingredients, and keep it cold in a vacuum flask until it's time to pour one out. A few flask cocktails are designed to be consumed at room temperature, but they're something of an acquired taste — thankfully, these roadies quaff just as easily as they pour.


Boulevardier - (Image by Liquor.com)

Bourbon's take on a negroni, this modern classic is perfect for any journey, with a 90- or 100-proof whiskey suggested to hold up to the bitters and vermouth. Campari is the defining aperitivo for this cocktail, but many other producers make examples that are drier or more botanically complex. As regards vermouth, the Boulevardier calls for a lighter and more sprightly dram such as a Torino. Lastly, using a Manhattan-derived recipe for the negroni rather than the traditional equal parts leaves us with a strong, supple drink that will make a fine traveling companion.

Ingredients (single serving):

2oz high-rye bourbon

.75oz Italian bitter liqueur

.75oz Vermouth di Torino

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Directions: Add ingredients to a mixing glass and then decant into your flask or thermos. If pre-diluting and chilling, add 1 oz water per serving and chill in freezer until it reaches about 30 degrees F.

Gin & It

Gin & It - (Image by The Educated Barfly)

Somewhere between an inverted Martinez and a club cocktail, the Gin & It is a well-rounded refresher perfectly suited to an afternoon or evening excursion with picnic blankets and a small crowd. The "It" here is an antica-style vermouth such as Carpano Antica, with its rich body notes of vanilla that tie the whole drink together. Scaling up to a full thermos of chilled, diluted cocktail is suggested, so all the presentation needs is a quick twist from a lemon. (You do keep a pocket lemon handy, don't you?)

Ingredients (Single serving): 

1.75 oz London Dry gin

.75oz Italian vermouth

1 dash orange bitters

Directions: Dilute with .75 oz water and chill. Serve neat with a twist of lemon.


Reynar Cocktail - (Image by Punch)

A more contemporary addition to the cocktail cannon, "ryenar" is a portmanteau of a name — and also of two sipping traditions. Cynar is an herbaceous amaro, a northern Italian bitter liqueur; rye is a bright, spicy whiskey that compliments the former's deep and syrupy notes. This tipple doesn't need to be diluted to be properly enjoyed, but we do suggest keeping the flask from getting too warm — the bite from the alcohol and the viscosity of the liqueur need to be kept in a fairly tight pas-de-deux for maximum enjoyment.

Ingredients (Single serving): 

1 oz rye whiskey (100-pf. bottled-in-bond suggested)

1 oz Cynar

Directions: Combine and keep chilled. No garnish.