What’s in a flip?

Answered by Michael Weatherspoon

The flip is a classic cocktail that has a long and interesting history. It originated as a warm, frothy made with a mixture of , molasses, a whole egg, and warmed . This combination of ingredients created a rich and creamy drink with a touch of sweetness.

Over time, the recipe for the flip has evolved, and the ale has been omitted from the mix. Nowadays, the most common version of the flip involves a base spirit or fortified such as or port, sugar, and a whole egg. This combination still creates a velvety texture and a delightful frothiness.

Let's break down the ingredients in a flip:

1. Base Spirit or Fortified Wine: The choice of spirit or fortified wine is a crucial element in creating a flavorful flip. Popular options include , , rum, sherry, and port. Each spirit or wine brings its unique characteristics to the cocktail, adding depth and complexity.

2. Sugar: Sugar is used to sweeten the flip and balance out the flavors. The amount of sugar can vary depending on personal preference and the sweetness of the chosen spirit or wine. Simple syrup or granulated sugar can be used, and it is important to ensure that the sugar is fully dissolved in the drink.

3. Whole Egg: The whole egg is a key component in creating the signature texture of a flip. It adds a creamy mouthfeel and helps to create a frothy top layer. When using a whole egg, it's essential to shake or mix the cocktail vigorously to emulsify the egg and create a smooth consistency.

4. Optional Ingredients: While the base ingredients mentioned above form the core of a flip, there are additional ingredients that can be incorporated to enhance the flavor profile. For example, spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, or cloves can be sprinkled on top for added aroma. Some recipes also call for a splash of cream or milk to make the flip even creamier.

Now that we've covered the ingredients, let me share a personal experience with flips. I remember visiting a cozy tavern in Edinburgh, Scotland, where I had the opportunity to try a traditional Scottish flip. The bartender used a smoky whiskey as the base spirit, along with a touch of honey instead of sugar. The result was a beautifully balanced cocktail with a rich, smoky flavor that was complemented by the creamy texture of the egg. It was a truly memorable experience, and it showcased the versatility of the flip, as it can be adapted to suit different taste preferences and regional variations.

A flip is a delightful cocktail that has evolved over the years. Although its original form included rum, molasses, a whole egg, and warmed ale, the modern version typically consists of a base spirit or fortified wine, sugar, and a whole egg. The flip's creamy texture and frothy top layer are achieved by vigorously shaking or mixing the ingredients. With the ability to customize the choice of spirit, sweetener, and optional ingredients, the flip offers endless possibilities for creating a unique and enjoyable drinking experience.