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Spirit/Wine + sweetener (+ egg and/or cream), shaken well and served hot or cold, garnished with nutmeg

Dating back to apparently the 1600's, a flip was originally always a hot drink. They would have been made with Brandy or Rum (for strength), Beer (for volume), and a sweetener (for flavor). This would be very quickly heated by plunging a red-hot "Loggerhead" (poker heated in the fire) into it, and then poured back and forth between two pitchers to mix it well. It is suspected that the name "Flip" comes from the fairly aggressive frothing that occurs when the hot poker is used.

The basic recipe evolved over time, and eventually an egg, as well as sometimes cream was added. One of the earliest recipes for it comes from Oxford Nightcaps (1827), where it supplies the recipe for "RUM BOOZE, OR EGG POSSET" (with a footnote that "It is sometimes denominated Egg Flip.") And a "BEER FLIP". [1]


   The yolks of eight eggs well beaten up, with some refined sugar pulverized, and a grated nutmeg; extract the juice from the rind of a lemon by rubbing loaf sugar on it; put the sugar, a piece of cinnamon, and a bottle of white wine, into a clean saucepan; when the wine boils take it off the fire; pour one glass of cold white wine into it, put it into a spouted jug, and pour it gradually among the yolks of the eggs, &c. keeping them well stirrd with a spoon as the wine is poured in; if not sweet enough, add a small quantity of loaf sugar; then pour the mixture as swift as possible from one vessel to the other until a white froth is obtained. Half a pint of rum is sometimes added, but it is then very intoxicating. Port wine is sometimes substituted for white, but it is not considered so palatable. This liquor should be drank when quite hot. If the wine is poured boiling hot among the eggs, the mixture will become curdled.

b It is sometimes denominated Egg Flip.


   Beer flip is made the same way and with the same materials as the preceding, excepting that one quart of strong home-brewed beer is substituted for the wine; a glass of gin is sometimes added, but it is better without it. This beverage is generally given to servants at Christmas, and other high festivals of our Church.

Jerry Thomas includes recipes for five Flips in his 1862 Bar-tenders guide, all of them hot, with a note that: [2]

The essential in "flips" of all sorts, is to produce the smoothness by repeated pouring back and forward between two vessels, and beating up the eggs well in the first instance; the sweetening and spices according to taste.

By 1874, we see the appearance of recipes for "cold" flips in E. A. Simmons "The American Bar-Tender or The Art and Mystery of Mixing Drinks" where he lists recipes for four different flips (Brandy, Whiskey, Gin, and Egg or Sherry Flip). The recipe for the Brandy Flip is specifically listed, while the rest just say essentially "...made the same as the Brandy Flip...". [3]


   1 egg beaten very thin; 1 tea spoonful of sugar; 1 glass of brandy. Mix with fine ice; strain in small glass. Nutmeg on top.

For an example, see:

External Links


  1. Beer Flip Oxford Nightcaps, 1827 (via EUVS Library)
  2. Flip, Negas and Shrub The Bar-Tenders Guide by Jerry Thomas (via EUVS Library)
  3. Brandy Flip "The American Bar-Tender or The Art and Mystery of Mixing Drinks" by E. A. Simmons (1874)