When I spoke with Joe Derochowski, a home industry adviser at the market research firm NPD Group, he pointed out another advantage of the flask I hadn’t thought to consider. When the pandemic hit, sales of margarita glasses went up 191 percent industrywide — presumably for virtual happy hours. “This time around, people might be looking for closed containers that won’t spill on their laptops,” he said.
In the end I bought two flasks, both from Stanley, one for myself, one for whomever deigns to join me. I like how the Classic Easy Fill, in Hammertone green, conjures can-do campfires and my father’s Vietnam-era Army fatigues — perfect for my apocalypse go bag. Stanley’s Master Unbreakable Hip Flask 8oz ($40) is slightly contoured, to match the curve of the wearer’s hip or thigh, and though slightly shorter and squatter than the Classic Easy Fill, weighs 0.17 ounces more, giving it the pleasing heft of a heavy-bottomed cocktail glass. For this one, I chose urban-chic matte black.
I invited my friend Apoorva to come by on a Tuesday evening. That afternoon, I mixed the equivalent of four Manhattans, decanted them (sans maraschino cherries, which didn’t fit) into my new portable containers, and stuck them in the freezer. When she buzzed her arrival, voilà.
Today public drinking remains banned in all but 11 states. But in New York, at least, the open-container law has relaxed (depending on the neighborhood, and who’s doing the drinking). In 2016, the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced it would no longer prosecute the low-level offense of drinking in public unless there’s a demonstrated public safety reason to do so. This March, the state’s liquor authority allowed drinks to go, though there have been subsequent crackdowns against congregation.
Nothing can replace the cozy pleasure of intimate conversation at a dimly lit bar. But from our bench on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Lower Manhattan twinkling before us, I hardly felt put out. I liked not risking the health of essential workers just so I could drink with a friend. When the wind gusted, yellow leaves from the beech trees we sat beneath blew into our hair, like shooting stars. None of this is a silver lining, exactly, but in this grim moment I’ll settle for stainless steel.