For some, ’tis the season of thick, rich, lactose-forward eggnog. Then there’s the rest of us. Whether you land in the nog camp or not, a festive, boozy, neutral ground can be found in the flip.
The winding road to the flip as we know it today starts in 17th century England, where a flip was a warm winter drink made with beer, rum and sugar. In early America, an innovation changed it — a hot iron was plunged into the finished drink, causing it to froth, or “flip.” Eventually, the flip lost both the beer and the red-hot poker, picked up a whole egg and became, like revenge, best served cold.
Although traditionally made without cream, flips are decidedly creamy in texture — rich and sweet-leaning, with a thick, impressively frothy head. The secret to achieving these holiday-friendly attributes at home lies in the dry shake. Since ice inhibits foam, this technique relies on a vigorous shake sans ice to facilitate foaming first, then adds cubes for a second shake to chill and dilute. This approach is effective but can get messy — egg proteins expand and raise the pressure inside the tin — so keep a towel nearby and a firm grip on your shaker.
Choose your flip based on your love of — or aversion to — eggnog. The Noggy Flip is more nog-leaning, combining aged rum, sherry and warming spices. The Not So Noggy Flip, shaken with the nog-avoidant in mind, pulls together aromatic Amaro, sweet vermouth and a maraschino cherry.
Your reward either way is a seasonally appropriate cocktail in both look and flavor that will impress as folks come through the door or that is served alongside — or in place of — dessert.
- 2 ounces dark rum
- ¾ ounce amontillado sherry or oloroso sherry
- ¾ ounce 1:1 brown sugar simple syrup*
- 1 large egg
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Cinnamon stick
In a cocktail shaker, combine the rum, sherry, simple syrup and egg. Cover and shake vigorously without ice for 20 seconds. Add ice, cover and shake again for 30 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a chilled coupe, small wine or tulip glass and grate nutmeg and cinnamon overtop.
Not So Noggy Flip
- 1½ ounces medium Amaro, such as China-China Amer or Averna
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- ¼ ounce 1:1 simple syrup*
- 1 large egg
- 1 maraschino cherry
In a cocktail shaker, combine the Amaro, sweet vermouth, simple syrup and egg. Cover and shake vigorously without ice for 20 seconds. Add the ice, cover and shake again for 30 seconds. Place a cherry in the bottom of a chilled coupe, small wine or tulip glass and strain the cocktail through a fine mesh sieve overtop. Serve immediately.
* To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar (brown or granulated) and water. Heat in a saucepan over medium-low heat just to dissolve the sugar.