I've long been amused by people's culinary prejudices. Earlier this week, I had a discussion of the finer points of using raw egg in cocktails. As it so often happens, the people who hadn't experienced egg-inclusive cocktails met the idea with a revulsed shudder.
As anyone who has experienced a well-made Ramos Gin Fizz can attest, egg white in a drink has an almost magical effect. It makes a drink a little thicker than your average cocktail, giving a lush, velvety texture.
While egg white is drinks has become an easy sell in most any cocktail lounge worth its shakers, the poor yolks get short shrift. I think it may have something to do with that infamous scene in the movie Rocky.
There's long-standing historical precedent for using an entire raw egg in a cocktail. It goes way, way back to late 17th Century colonial America. A common drink back then was called flip. It was beer and rum, with a little bit of sugar added. The drink was heated by sticking in a red-hot poker. When the poker is put into the drink, the mixture bubbles quite impressively, almost as if the drink was flipping around on its own.
As with so many other drinks, the flip changed quite a bit over time. The beer dropped out, an egg was introduced, and it stopped being a hot drink. Even though the reason for the name dropped off the drink, the name stuck.
The flip's use of a whole egg works in a multitude of ways. First, the egg white contributes the velvety texture we already discussed. Then, the yolk adds a richness to the drink that heavy cream just can't match.
A little sugar is necessary to balance out the strength of the booze and the richness of the egg. All together, it creates a drink that's full-bodied bordering on decadence, perfect for an after-dinner tipple. It's about as far from Rocky Balboa chugging raw eggs as you can get.
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Use this recipe as a basic guideline; change the base spirit and liqueur to your personal taste and come up with your own signature flip. I find that brown spirits tend to fit the flip's style better than white spirits do, but maybe I haven't found the right liqueur to do for a gin-based flip. Let me know if you discover something.
As with other egg-based drinks, the flip starts out with a dry shake (all of the liquid ingredients together in the shaker, without ice). Shake the living daylights out of the drink for a good 30 seconds to get the egg fully emulsified and frothy. Or do what I do and cheat: Whiz everything together for a few seconds with a milkshake machine or a hand blender. The drink will come out even better, and you can save the bicep workout for the gym.
Cherry Flip 1-1/2 ounces gold rum 3/4 ounce Cherry Heering liqueur 1/2 ounce simple syrup 1 egg Shake very vigorously without ice, then add ice and shake hard to chill. Strain into a small glass.