I was given a Celtic hip flask for my 21st birthday, and I reckon that they’re a hugely popular birthday gift for young and old men and women alike.
In case you’re not sure what they are:
Hip flasks are vessels used to carry a small amount of liquid on ones person. They are usually made from pewter or stainless steel and are traditionally designed to carry alcoholic spirits such as whisky, rum, Scotch or whatever takes the owner’s fancy!
They come in a range of sizes, the most popular of which is the 6oz size which carries enough for a few shots of your favourite tipple. Small flasks are great for sliding in the top pocket of a jacket or blazer, or for squeezing into small purses or bags. Larger flasks have the obvious advantage of holding more liquid and therefore can provide greater utility to the drinker! Some even come with nip cups built into the flask to provide the perfect accessory for bringing in the bells come Hogmanay!
They also come in a range of shapes which are designed for different uses. The classic curved shape with square corners is the ‘Hip Flask‘ or ‘Kidney flask’ shape. A flattened out version with rounder corners is known as a ‘Pocket Flask’ as it slides in and out of pockets easier. Smaller flasks are often tall and slim to slip into top pockets or ladies purses. And of course, like anything else, there are a multitude of special shapes including round flasks, grip shaped flasks, heart shaped flasks and many more.
They are generally made from Pewter, in Sheffield, England – the home of pewter. Pewter is an alloy of tin and a few other materials. It’s very lightweight and gives a good shine with fairly little effort. It’s perfectly safe to drink from as today’s pewter is lead-free. Some flasks are also made in Stainless steel – particularly leather bound hip flasks.