Friday, 29 April 2011

The Art of the 'Flip"

I love the looks on people's faces when they see you cracking a raw egg into a shaker as you prepare their cocktail.  A look of disgust mixed with fear of what they are about to drink. But once the drink is complete and they slowly and reluctantly take that first sip, they are soon hooked on the smooth fluffy texture mixed with the sweetness of the liqueurs and spirits added.  In case you haven't already worked it out yet, a flip drink is a drink that contains a raw egg. There are many cocktails around that contain egg white but they are not considered a 'flip'. A 'flip' is the whole egg, yolk and all. I remember when i first began learning about cocktails and i came across the idea of adding a whole raw egg to a drink, at the time i thought it was so unheard of, but after learning more about 'flips', i realised that this technique has been around for hundreds of years.

The idea of the 'flip' began in the late 1600's, but the original idea was not with an egg, but with beer. The idea of the original drink was a mixture of rum, sugar and beer. This cocktail was heated up either over a fire or with a hot iron. The beer would froth up and give the drink the fluffy texture that we now get from using an egg. Over time the beer was eliminated and replaced with eggs and it was served chilled as opposed to hot.  Modern day flips now contain things like grated nut-meg or cinnamon. Other herbs and spices like coriander and ginger are also found in many modern flips.

There are literally hundreds of different flip recipes out there. I'll go over one of the simple classics, the classic brandy flip. Start with a cocktail shaker half filled with ice (you don't need to much ice when making flips because the ice is used to just chill the drink, whereas many of the other classics, ice is important because it's used to dilute the cocktail). Next add 60ml of your favourite brandy, 1 whole egg, 30ml sugar syrup and a pinch of grated nut-meg. If you want, you can also add a dash of thickened cream, but this is optional.  Shake the drink hard and fast. It's important to mix the egg up well. You need the egg to froth before you serve so spend a good 30 seconds shaking. Now simply strain your mixture into your glass. I like to use a wine glass, but any glass will do. Finally, garnish with some more grated nut meg on top.  Using this technique, you can make tons of variations simply by substituting the brandy for what ever other spirit you'd like. As mentioned earlier, no don't need to use nut-meg either. Try cinnamon or ginger if you wish to give your flip some extra flavour.

In a previous post i talked about the 'snickers bar' cocktail. This is a great drink to turn into a flip. 15ml of butterscotch schnapps, Baileys Irish cream, creme de cacao and frangelico with a whole egg and a spoon of peanut butter, shake well and serve. I guarantee that's a winner every time.

It's important to understand that the egg in these drinks has no flavour, so it doesn't effect the taste in anyway. I think that's what scares people off the most, is the idea that they'll taste the raw egg. The egg simply gives the drink texture. Having said that, have to many of these and they will fill your stomach up. They are eggs after all. Usually one or two is usually enough.

I urge everyone to try a flip cocktail. You won't be disappointed. Like many classics, drinking a flip drink is an experience. I hope it's an enjoyable one.

Classic Brandy Flip:
In a Shaker:
Half fill with ice
Add 60ml Brandy
30ml Sugar syrup
1 whole egg
pinch of grated nutmeg
(thickened cream optional)
Shake well and strain into a glass.

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