Let’s face it, the criteria for spirits changes considerably when you pour it into a flask and take it to a football game. A flask full of Green Chartreuse would be awesome but it would be extremely painful if it got confiscated, and not everyone loves sipping extremely intense high proof liqueurs.
What you drink sitting out in the elements watching the game has a very different purpose than when you are sitting in the comfort of your own home watching a football game on your widescreen HD TV from your warm, fluffy couch. We’ve pulled together a list of spirits that we think are perfect for a flask at the game to keep you warm and are perfect for sharing. For our list we’ve tried to pick spirits that can be found at or under the $20 a bottle price point.
Bacardi 8 Year Rum – good enough to be sipped straight and not too fancy to put in your coke, Bacardi 8 is our top pick for what you should put in your flask for a football game. While many people grab the Bacardi Superior white rum, the Bacardi 8 Year is a significant step up without a huge leap in price and can often be found under $20 a bottle. Bacardi 8 is delicous and will surprise and delight your friends as you pass them your flask.
Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky – people get so hung up on single malts that they tend to overlook great options in the blended scotch whisky. The truth is you don’t want to put The Macallan 12 or 18 in your flask and take it with you to a football game (talk about a painful confiscation scenario). With a good blend you can get a lot of the great flavors you love in scotch without paying an arm and a leg. Famous Grouse Scotch actually HAS both The Macallan and Highland Park Whisky in the mix with a price well under $20. Famous Grouse is also terrific in ginger ale, an easy drink to make while you’re in the stands cheering your team.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey – flasks are a great opportunity to break out the guilty pleasures, and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is definitely one of our favorite guilty pleasures. During a chilly game it’s hard to think of something more comforting than the sweet whiskey taste of this liqueur. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is great blend of sweet and strong and accessible enough to share, even with your friends who don’t typically drink hard spirits.
Wild Turkey 101 – perhaps the most misunderstood whiskey, Wild Turkey 101 is stronger than many of the other traditional bourbons on the market, but part of that is due to the fact that it has more alcohol (50.5% vs 40%). Even though Wild Turkey has more alcohol it still is extremely drinkable with nice cinnamon spice, thick caramel and nice oak. While it has bold flavors, Wild Turkey 101 isn’t harsh, it’s one of our favorite dive bar drinks and something we frequently put in our flask. Often found under $20 a bottle Wild Turkey 101 is a hell of a deal for an exceptional whiskey, and are you really going to complain about getting more booze for your buck?!
Cruzan Black Strap Rum – Flasks and rum go together like peanut butter and chocolate and for the real cold game days you’ll want a heavier rum than Bacardi 8 in your flask. When you are freezing your ass off, there’s nothing like the thick molasses, chocolate and brown sugar tastes of the Cruzan Black Strap Rum. It’s a great paring with a soda for an easy Rum and Coke and absolutely divine when added to hot chocolate. The price point (around $17) will blow you away, too – how can such goodness be so affordable?!
Lunazul Blanco Tequila – While we’d love to put Tequila Avion or even Don Julio Blanco in our flask, both far exceed our $20 or under a bottle price target. Lunazul Blanco may not be our top tequila, but it is made from 100% agave and it is delicious, especially from your flask. Tequila is one of the only spirits that has been shown to elevate your mood and so it’s a perfect one to bring to a game. Lunazul Blanco is very smooth and easy to drink, guaranteed to warm you up and stick with you. It’s a fraction of the price of many other tequilas (we’ve seen it as low as $15 a bottle!) but from a flask no one will ever know the difference.
Cynar Liqueur – if you’ve tailgated a little too hard before the game, you’re going to want something in your flask that is going to help settle your stomach and keep you feeling good as you sit for hours cheering on your favorite team. Cynar, an Italian bitter liqueur, has saved our bacon and settled our stomaches numerous times and is out go-to spirit for when we’re feeling less than fresh. Even if all those hot dogs and burgers you cooked up before the game aren’t churning in your stomach, Cynar makes a delicious sipping spirit that isn’t too bitter and isn’t too strong. At around $20 a bottle, Cynar is a lot cheaper than many of our other favorite bitter liqueurs, and while we love Fernet Branca, Cynar is much more friendly to sip and pass.
Paul Masson VSOP Brandy – For one reason or another people often skip over the brandy category entirely when looking at spirits. This is a huge mistake, brandy is a delicious spirit made from grapes and doesn’t have to be drank from some gigantic snifter glass (actually we recommend you NEVER use these big glasses to drink brandy). There’s also a misconception that less expensive American brandy is only really good for cooking, again completely wrong. Paul Masson Brandy VSOP, has won numerous medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition against spirits four times its price. It’s tasty sipped right out of the flask or can be poured into soda water, 7up or ginger ale for an easy and delicious drink. The shocking thing, it can often be found as low as $10 a bottle!
Sobieski Vodka – some people only really drink vodka, which is fine, but putting Grey Goose or Ketel One in your flask is kind of silly. The odds of your flask getting snagged at security are high enough you don’t want to bring a premium vodka. Sobieski is the perfect alternative, priced absurdly low (often $12 a bottle), Sobieski is a delightful vodka, slightly sweet and clean and it’s good for sipping or for dumping in your soda or hot chocolate.
Fireball Cinnamon Whisky – Putting a spirit in a flask is like reading a book on a Kindle, no one really needs to know what you’re reading/drinking (why do you think Fifty Shade of Grey got to be so huge?) Fireball Cinnamon Whisky is one of those really guilty pleasures that only a flask would allow you to drink in public. Fireball isn’t a great whiskey, it’s really liquid red hots, but on a cold day, when you are freezing your buns off and just want something that is going to be pure sweet comfort, Fireball is it.
What do you put in your flask? Give us your thoughts and suggestions by posting your comments below.