The History & Etiquette of the Hip Flask

Silver hip flasks or pocket flasks seem to have first appeared in Georgian times and became very popular in the Victorian era. Previously, personal flasks like this were made from glass or leather and their origins date back to medieval times when the pilgrim bottle, was associated with religious pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Like their modern counterparts, these were flat on one side and rounded on the other. However, they often had rings at the base of the neck through which a chain, rope or leather thong could be threaded through allowing the flask to be worn around the body or hung from a saddle.

By about 1800, hip flasks were made in solid silver and in combination with other materials such as glass, through which the level of remaining alcohol could be seen, or covered partly in leather. Often they had a slide off base that could be used as a tumbler substitute, or a screw on cap that could be used like a modern shot glass.

A gentleman would require his hip flask to be filled with his favourite tipple to keep him warm while hunting, fishing or shooting and unlike cheaper hip flasks made from inferior metals, a solid silver hip flask will not impart a metallic taste to the contents. In fact many people believe that their drink tastes better due to the well-known cleansing properties of silver that ionizes liquids.

Most hip flasks only contain the equivalent of four or five pub measures of a spirit, so it would be difficult to get drunk on the contents of the hip flask and therefore they shouldn’t be seen as a drunkard’s accessory. On the contrary, the contents of the hip flask are for sharing along with a suitable toast.

Many people are put off using hip flasks simply because they dislike the taste of neat spirits. If that is the case, substitute the usual filling of whisky, whiskey or brandy with a combination such as Sloe Gin, or on really cold days, Whisky Mac (Scotch & Ginger Wine), Port & Brandy, or equal parts whisky and cherry brandy.

Sterling Silver Hip Flask

Our hip flask is made to a classic design and is hand-made to the highest standard in our workshops. It measures 75mm x 130mm (3 inches by 5 inches) and will hold 114ml (4 fluid ounces) of your favourite drink. The screw on stopper is fixed firmly to the hip flask so can’t be mislaid and has a cork insert to prevent drips into your pocket. We also supply it with a solid silver funnel so that you can fill the hip flask without loosing any of your precious brew.

Hallmarked by the London Assay Office, we can engrave the hip flask with a name, initials, a special message or a toast. It is also large enough to take the engraving of a large, or discreet, company logo or other image; simply email your artwork to us.


Shop Engravable Silver Hip Flasks from Hersey & Son >

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