It’s September, and tailgating season is officially upon us. Just this past weekend, my alma mater, the University of Oregon, hosted a stadium parking lot filled with the usual Duck fans swilling the usual swill: cheap beer in cans, craft beer in bottles and kegs, and all manner of highballs splashed from plastic into plastic cups. If that parking lot is anything like it was when I was in school, this was a big weekend for Canadian whiskey and vodka sales.

I get it, I really do. Sometimes I, too, want to be able to enjoy a well-made drink without having to bring all of my bar tools to a game like some sort of fancy mixologist. But let’s face it, the parking lot is mainly full of alumni, so why are some of us still drinking like we’re in college? (On second thought, let’s not try to answer that (much deeper) question here today). Instead, I have a solution.

These days, I take a time-honored tradition and build a drink that I can transport to the party in a flask. When I arrive, all I need is a few cups of ice, and within seconds my friends and I are sipping an excellent cocktail before we’re relegated to the eventual cans and plastic cups full of beer.

Pre-made cocktails aren’t a recent development. They appeared all the way back in Jerry Thomas’s Bar-Tender’s Guide, and were either the sort of thing that could be whipped up at home or prepared as a to-go tipple by a bar looking to pinch an extra couple of coins from a homeward-bound patron. The Heublein company even sold bottled cocktails as far back as the late 19th century.

I find the Old Fashioned to be a natural choice for popping in a flask. It’s strong enough to maximize every last drop in a small package, and since I’m going to share with friends, an eight-ounce flask will suit two to four people just fine. I’m a big fan of the classic Stanley model; It’s rugged enough to weather a rowdy parking lot and brings me far fewer glares than whipping out a fancy silver monogrammed model.

I opt for the Oaxacan Old Fashioned in the late summer, but I save the whiskey version for when the air has a little bite to it.

Oaxacan Old Fashioned

Serves 2-4


• 7 oz reposado tequila
• .5 - .75 oz 2:1 agave syrup, to preferred sweetness
• 2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters
• 4 grapefruit peels, oils expressed into the drink


Combine ingredients and strain into a, eight-ounce flask. To serve, pour over ice.