Introduction: How to Sneak Booze Into the Kentucky Derby (or a Concert)

Buying drinks at huge outdoor concerts, or the Kentucky Derby, can get expensive. You'll be there all day, and at $8 a drink... well they might as well be using a gun. So why not sneak in your own supply of delicious whiskey, vodka, mixed drinks, wine or... whatever else you want?*

This is how you sneak booze into the Derby infield or any other concert venue that allows you to bring in a cooler. Simple, easy, and MacGyver-approved. 

What you'll need:
- Rolling cooler
- Soldering iron or a stove and a large nail
- Utility knife or exacto blade
- Ziploc bags (quart and gallon size)
- Up to (approximately) half a gallon of your favorite adult beverage

*This is for the fun and enjoyable sneaking of booze into a place where people are already drinking.
If you use this instructable for evil, like smuggling meth, or trying to hurt people in a public place, then you're a bad person and I hope you trip and fall on a pile of razor blades. 

Step 1: 1 - Find a Cooler!

Step 1 - find a cooler! 

The easiest way to do this is to find a cheap rolling cooler in a friend's garage or on craigslist. I found an igloo polar express (or some stupid name) for $15. 

Yes, the first google image search that comes up is from a police auction site... 

Step 2: The Honey Hole

The best part about buying a cooler used is that the bottom is already scratched up. This does you a favor in camouflaging the cuts you'll make in the bottom of the cooler. 

Flip the cooler over and note the most scratched up parts.

Using an exacto blade, utility knife, or other razor blade with a handle, cut into the outer shell through about the middle of the scratched parts. If you just use a knife the gap might be just a little too big. 

A) Be careful not to cut your finger off. If you cut your finger off you're gonna have a bad time. 
B) The cut doesn't have to be deep, but try to make the cut straight.
C) Have patience. Go slow. Be careful. Win. 

Step 3: Hollow Man...

Pull the bottom part off (it should pop up easily) and behold the glory of spray foam insulation! 

Using a wide-blade knife, chunk of metal with a flat bottom.... or something spatula-like, start taking chunks of the foam out of the bottom of the cooler. Be careful how much gusto you put into this- eventually you'll hit the inside liner of the cooler. If you break the inside liner you're gonna have a bad time.

To boost space, carve as far into the space between the inner liner and outside shell as you can, around corners or whatever. 

Chances are you're going to have a cavity that is 1" deep. That's not going to look like a lot, but 1"X12"X12" = 144 cubic inches = 2.3 liters, more than a handle of your favorite brown liquor, or a growler of beer, or 3 bottles of wine. Math is badass. 

At this point you can test how much room you have by filling a ziploc with water. Using an empy wine bottle (0.75L, the same size as a regular bottle of liquor from the store) see how many bottles you can fit in there and still fit the lid on easily. 

The ziplocs will let your beverage conform to the room available. Science!

Step 4: Load It Up

Next, pour your favorite adult beverage into several quart-sized ziploc bags. Fill them each about 1/3 full and place 2 or 3 inside a gallon sized ziploc. 

Why? If you make your whole day depend on one single ziploc bag, there's a very real possibility that you'll wind up with a cooler dripping bourbon out on the ground when you open it up, and friends that don't want to talk to you ever again. 

If you divide your supply into quarts, and one of the quarts leak, then it's still in the gallon bag. It also makes it easier to shift the liquor around to get the best fit. 

If you're attempting this with beer... ugh... well first, why are you drinking beer like a little girl? Whiskey is for men with hairy chests, and it's refreshing on a hot day with some ice, which you need for the cooler, remember?

Second, if you think you're going to do this with beer, you have to do everything from this step onwards within about an hour of expecting to open the bags again. And at that, I'm just guessing. Chances are beer will end in diaster. Just sayin'.

Step 5: Cute Baby Seal

At this point you can, if you want, put a layer of wax paper over the ziploc bags and try to superglue the bottom piece back in a few spots before you melt it back on. I didn't try this, but if your cooler has very thin walls or it's making your nervous, then feel free to do this. The paper will help keep you from having glue seepage mess up your ziplocs. But, not completely necessary, either. 

Next set the piece you cut out back into the hole.

Take your soldering iron on low (or repeatedly heating a large nail over a stove or something), and melt the plastic around where you cut back together. This is going to be a pretty superficial seal, but should still work. 

Using just the soldering iron alone worked just fine for us, and there wasn't any plastic stickage. BUT, in case you end up having problems you might be able to use waxpaper or parchment paper as a non-stick barrier to melt the plastic back. But honestly, just a soldering iron worked just fine. 

Do this in a well-ventilated area.... or get cancer, it's up to you, really. 

BE SURE leave one corner open, even if just a 1/4" gap. It won't be enough to notice, and makes getting your bounty out again very easy. 

Step 6: Test and Go

Load your cooler up and give it a couple shakes. Make sure the whole bottom part isn't going to pop out. Be a little rough on it- you'd rather fix this at home now than when you're 4th in line to get in and a rent-a-cop is standing right there. 

If you don't have any problems, you're good to go. Throw in your ice and head to the event.

Don't forget your vodka-soaked iceberg lettuce.... or I guess a watermelon injected with vodka would work much better. 

Step 7: Like a Boss

Walk up to the rent-a-cop like a boss. Chat with him or her, looking them in the eye and being cordial. After all, this kind person is going to save you $60 on booze, remember? They're part of the game. Open your cooler for them - offer them a sandwich! Why not?

The last place they're going to want to look is underneath your cooler, and even if they did, it will take the trained eye of someone making more than $12/hr to see the seal now that you've gently scuffed the bottom up a bit on the walk to the gates. 

Find you and your friends a spot to set up camp. Get out your chairs and blankets and sunblock. Get comfy, you're going to be there all day. 

...and when the mood strikes, get a friend to help you lift the cooler up and have another person use a car key to pop the bottom open.  Your cooler will pay out like a slot machine and everyone sitting around you will probably get a lot friendlier. But hey, you have a whole handle to drink, what's the rush? 

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