The Flip

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Another classic style of drink, the Flip is an drink that revolves around the use of a whole egg.  Similar to an eggnog, the flip is a creamy, rich and robust cocktail with a lot of flavor which comes from the spirit.


The Flip is “any wine or liquor shaken up with sugar and a whole egg” (Embury 249).  This definition would make it rather similar to any eggnog drinks, but in reality, eggnog, save for General Harrison’s Eggnog, has a difference: eggnog quite often includes a creamer such as cream.  Like other classic drinks, the Flip uses cracked or crushed ice as the method for chilling it, which also helps with dilution and breaking up the egg, in order to create a smoother drink.  And also like most other classic drinks, the garnish is nutmeg, freshly grated, which makes for a rather spice and savory component added to the aroma of the cocktail.

Embury notes that the most common Flips are the brandy, gin, and sherry and port variations, though there are quite a few variations using other spirits or wines, which is the case with quite a few other classic drinks (Embury 249).  The two classic variation of note which is rather unique is the Chocolate Flip and the Coffee Flip: the Chocolate flip is made with equal parts cognac and sloe gin, whilst the Coffee Flip is made with equal proportions of cognac and port (Embury 250).

Wondrich writes how the Flip was originally, in the colonial period, a drink that had been made of quarts of ale and rum, using eggs and sugar to thicken it and make it more palatable (Wondrich 128).  Yet, over time, like many drinks, it eventually got smaller.  This is a general trend among drinks, yet, we see now a lot of stuff that comes out and becomes bigger, mainly because we have in our society an idea that abundance and excess is a sign of luxury.  The current movement in craft cocktails, and vintage cocktails for that matter, has been trying to reverse this process.  It is the same as if you were in a fine dining establishment, where most of the food serves to be small bites, and give you a sample of a bunch of different flavors, rather than one large portion that serves little use other than to dull your palate and fill you up.

In a lot of drink manuals, there are notes that if you want to make the drink warm, heat the spirit or ale, and do a dry shake rather than shake with ice.  This makes for a completely different experience, but one that has quite a bit of fervent potential otherwise.  They also note the that garnish is optional, but really, the drink is completed once you add in a little bit of spice notes to complement the aroma.

The Flip:

2 ounces of a spirit or wine
1 whole egg
1/2 ounce simple syrup or 2 teaspoons sugar

Dry shake the egg, the spirit or wine and the sweetener to get it emulsified.  Then add in cracked or crushed ice, shake until chilled, and strain into a cocktail glass. Optionally garnish with nutmeg.

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Craddock, Henry.  1999.  The Savoy Cocktail Book.  Originally published 1930.  London: Pavilion Books. 

Embury, David A.  2009.  The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.  Originally published 1948.  New York: Mud Puddle Books, Inc.

Meier, Frank.  1936.  The Artistry of Mixing Drinks.  Reprint of original.  Paris: Fryam Press.

Thomas, Jerry.  1887.  Bartender’s Guide.  Reprint of original.  New York: Dick and Fitzgerald.

Wondrich, David. 2007. Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar. New York: Penguin Group.