Some people find it handy to have a flask to carry a small amount of alcohol around to certain types of events. Keep in mind that carrying a flask is in violation of the open carry laws in some states, however. When you first purchase a personalised leather hip flask or get one as a gift, understanding a few tips will make it less likely you’ll damage the flask.
Beware of Rust
Leather hip flasks are typically made of stainless steel and covered in a leather coating. The stainless steel can rust if certain liquids are used in the flask, especially acidic liquids like orange juice, or very alkaline beverages. This typically means that only alcohol, and not mixed drinks, should be poured into flasks.
Not Good for Long-Term Storage
Most flasks say not to leave any alcohol in the flask for more than three days. There are a few potential reasons for this, including the alcohol starting to corrode the metal after this time, the alcohol developing a metallic taste, and the potential for the metallic compounds to leach into the alcohol.
Care directions vary, but most say to wash about every two uses or every time a different alcohol will be used in the flask. You’ll also want to wash the flask if it has been shared with other people, although the alcohol is likely to kill off most bacteria. A rinse of vinegar or lemon juice is sometimes recommended, followed by hot water. Some people find using soap causes an aftertaste. Purchasing a bottle brush can help make it easier to thoroughly clean out the flask, but pipe cleaners can be used in a pinch. Be sure to dry upside down to remove any remaining liquid from the cleaning process.
Where to Carry
Some people recommend carrying only in the hip pocket to warm whiskey up, others recommend a jacket pocket. Some people carry their flasks in their boots or even just in their waistbands. Don’t carry in a back pocket because it will be uncomfortable to sit on and could get dented and damaged.
Be sure to use a funnel to fill the flask to avoid spilling and wasting any alcohol.