Seems we at T+L aren’t the only ones on a constant search for the perfect carry-on bag. Enter New York mixologist Jim Meehan, the brains behind PDT—a hidden lounge attached to a hot dog joint in Manhattan’s East Village, serving classically and seasonally inspired drinks (recently named the World’s Best Cocktail Bar by Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Award '09, with Meehan as American Bartender of the Year).
While mixing drinks at international trade shows, Meehan noticed that he and his fellow globe-trotting tradesmen would tote around makeshift toolboxes—repurposed camera lens cases, knife bags, doctor kits and the like—for their culinary tools. There just wasn’t anything else out there. And so, with the help of leather company Moore & Giles, Meehan set out to create his ideal utility bag, designed with special pockets for everything—absinthe spoons, ice picks, mixing glasses, muddlers, strainers, a bottle (or six) of wine—a traveling bartender might need.
The best part? It doesn’t look like a bartender bag. With its durable waxed canvas body and leather lining, it could pass for something out of Filson or Jack Spade. Plus, with an exterior pocket for your keys, PDA, and business cards, a padded slot designed to hold your cutting board or laptop, partitions that can be removed to make room for other, perhaps more mundane essentials (e.g. clothes), and a waterproof interior (for chardonnay or shampoo spills), it also makes a great duffel. $660, mooreandgilesinc.com/bags, 800/737-0169.
Christine Ajudua is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.