My outdoor adventures combine a love of innovative equipment, and a desire to have the most fun possible outside. That’s why we go outside, right? On most of hiking, biking, camping and paddling trips, I like to bring a little liquor to the toast the pleasures of a day spent outside. But, an ordinary, heavy flask isn’t a good fit for me. I like newer, cooler gear, and I don’t like anything I carry to be heavy. If this sounds like you—you’ll want to check out the ultimate cocktail accessory—a flask made from titanium.
Titanium is amazing for many outdoor gear applications. It shines especially in the world of flasks. It’s non-reactive, so it won’t add unwelcome flavor to an expensive single malt scotch. It also has an otherworldly grey luster that casually whispers, “I am cool.”
Here’s a primer to buying the best titanium flasks.
What is titanium?
Titanium is technically a “transition metal” that was discovered in 1722. It has an atomic number of 22.
Why is titanium awesome for Flasks?
Titanium is uber-strong.
Better than simply light-weight, titanium has incredible strength-to-weight ratio. This material is so strong, in fact, that it’s used to shield and protect the pilots of many military aircraft!
Titanium is non-reactive.
Titanium doesn’t rust, and doesn’t react with even the most acidic foods. Acids as weak as tomato sauce can discolor even stainless steel or un-coated aluminum cookware. Since titanium is non-reactive, it won’t leach anything into your food or drink—even if you’re boiling an acidic liquid in it for a prolonged period of time.
Titanium won’t leach.
Many people worry about plastic, lined, or aluminum water bottles leaching chemicals (like BPA) into their booze. Since titanium is non-reactive, it won’t leach anything into your booze. Just as important, titanium won’t impart any off-flavors to liquor. An expensive single-malt will retain the rich, unique flavor you paid for—and won’t taste rusty or synthetic.
Titanium looks awesome.
Titanium has a futuristic, dull gray sheen. Even to my jaded eyes, this material just screams “cool.”
How Does Titanium Compare to Other Metals?
|Aluminum||1220.58 °F||237 W/(m·K)||70 GPa||2.75||2.70 g/cm³||$|
|Titanium||3034 °F||21.9 W/(m·K)||116 GPa||6.0||4.506 g/cm³||$$$|
|Stainless Steel*||2552 °F||16.2 W/(m·K)||193 – 200 GPa||4||8g/cm³||$$|
*All stainless steel characteristics are approximate, since there are so many alloys in use.
Information sourced from Wikipedia
Features to Look For in A Titanium Flask
Titanium Screw-Top: Why bother getting a titanium flask if it has a plastic closure? For the lightest-weight flask that won’t leach off-flavors or chemicals into your liquor, look for a product that features a pure titanium screw-top closure.
A flask with a rectangular profile holds booze, but it doesn’t fit easily in your pocket or pack. Look for a flaks with a gentle anatomic curve. Such a curve means the flask will wrap comfortably around your leg, or slip easily into a pack pocket without creating an unsightly bulge.
Flasks make awesome gifts for bachelor parties, weddings, graduations, promotions and more. Make sure to find a flask that’s thick enough, and has a large enough surface area to permit engraving. Customizing flasks with a simple engraving makes it all the more special as a gift, or simply make sure your friends know whose booze they’re enjoying!
Silicone Filling/Pouring Funnel
If you thought a flask was just a container with no room for innovation, you’re wrong. The newest innovation in titanium flasks is a reversible silicone funnel. These innovative funnels flip up so that you fill the flaks without spilling a drop. The fold down, out of the way for easy storage, but also include a flexible “beak” for emptying the flask back into a bottle. Make sure your next titanium flasks features this innovation, so you won’t waste a drop!
Note: This unique funnel is a patented feature ONLY available on Vargo Titanium flasks.
Look for a flask that can hold at least 8oz of delicious booze. Smaller flasks don’t have enough storage capacity, and larger flasks can tempt overconsumption.
Best Cocktail Recipes for Your Titanium Flask
Light, strong and corrosion resistant, a titanium flask is the ideal way to bring some booze into the backcountry. Here are a few outdoor inspired cocktail concepts to show off your titanium flask on hiking, camping, or canoeing trips. Each recipe is based on a standard 8oz size flask, and none of them includes any mixers or ingredients that are difficult to remove.
The Smokey Campfire
This cocktail pairs perfectly with the smoky scent of a campfire.
- Start with 5oz light, neutral whiskey—for example, a light, inexpensive Canadian whiskey.
- Add 3 parts of the smokiest Islay Whiskey you can find—the more pungent, the better.
- Add a few dashes of spicy bitters to add a little fire to the smoke.
The Coniferous Negroni
This cocktail starts with the naturally pine-like flavor gin, and amplifies with a pine-flavored liquor. The strong piney aroma pairs perfectly with the scent of a pine forest
- Start with 2oz Oude Jenever gin. This is a strong Dutch gin with lots of juniper, and is often packaged in a stone jar.
- Add 2oz pine liquor and shake vigorously to suspend.
- Add 2oz Campari
- Add 2oz sweet, red Vermouth and shake gently.
The Type II Fun
Type 1 fun is pure and undiluted fun—like riding a rollercoaster or eating cotton candy. Then, there’s type II fun, which is the fun of relating an absolutely miserable outdoor adventure that only seems fun in retrospect. Like the epic outdoor journey that’s only fun in the telling, the initial experience of the “Type II Fun” is all about the mouth-destroying bitterness of the Malort. The aftertaste showcases the more mild bitterness of the Campari.
- Add 4ozs of Malort, which is an exceptionally bitter liquor flavored with Wormwood.
- Add 4oz Campari. Shake, and imbibe cautiously.
Caring for your Titanium Flask
Titanium is a durable, impermeable, and non-reactive metal that’s really hard to wreck. Nonetheless, you’ll want to take care of your investment with a few common sense guidelines:
Be Cautious About Sugar
Be very cautious storing spirits that include sugar into your flask. If the alcohol evaporates, you can be left gummy, sticky mess. If you do put a flavored spirit into your flask, consume it within a few days and rinse it with warm water immediately after it’s emptied.
Warm Water and Mild Soap
Your flask doesn’t take much effort to maintain. After each use, simply rinse it out with warm water and a scant drop of mild soap. Don’t use more than the tiniest drop of soap, otherwise some soap residue could remain in your flask.
Skip the Dishwasher
Though a dishwasher won’t harm your flask, none of the heated, soapy water will get into the small hole. Handwashing is key!
Qualities to Look For in Good Titanium Flasks
Titanium is a relatively uncommon metal, and it’s so hard, durable, and non-reactive that it’s uniquely difficult to work with. Manufacturers need special techniques and experience to make the best of this material. Here are a few things to look for to make sure you get the best possible titanium flask.
Titanium is a fundamentally different material than steel or aluminum—so you want to look for producers that design with the characteristics of this metal in mind. If you’re buying the titanium versions of a product that was originally designed as a aluminum product, ask yourself if you’re getting a product that uses this unique material to the max.
You don’t learn to work with titanium overnight. Look for a manufacturer that has a wide variety of titanium products, and has been working with the material for a long time.
Titanium is tricky to weld. Look for welds that don’t have a huge, bulky bead, are even, and don’t significantly discolor the material. Manufacturers that machine-weld get especially durable, consistent results with titanium.
Expect to pay more for titanium products. This material is harder to work with, costs more to source, and lasts longer. If you’re considering the purchase of a titanium stove that costs suspiciously little, think again!