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Flippin’ Late

Updated: Jul 30, 2022


The next in my set of cocktail blogs is all about “The Flip”, a cocktail genre that harks back hundreds of years - some say to 17th Century England, when beer, rum and sugar were mixed to give some solace to cold souls in the depth of winter.

After decades of “recipe development” this drink-mix (I struggle to use the modern word cocktail) through a phase of being heated by a red hot poker, the somewhat dubious heating method was lost along with the beer and then strangely egg was added to the mixture. 

Nowadays we know the Flip to contain:

  1. alcohol

  2. sugar 

  3. an egg. 

  4. [Add cream to that mixture and you get a “Nog”.]

Awareness of this recipe starts to let us use some different spirits to the classic cocktail constituents that we have been looking at up to now. In particular I’m excited to start talking about sherry and port. Variety is the spice of life and certainly cocktails too. In particular this brings in new tastes - and please remember “It’s all about taste…!”

I would respectfully suggest that nowadays most households tend not to have sherry or port in the drinks cabinet / kitchen / utility room. This is truly a shame because these two drinks are of a dependably high quality, taste unique, rich and fulsome. Methinks a current association with ‘old-fashioned-ness’ and that these are drinks of a society-gone-by, are prejudices that prevent us from exploring a fantastic world of (well priced) alcoholic flavour that most of us have rarely encountered and therefore appreciated. 

However, back on track to the “Flip”.

As with many great things, simplicity is key. The recipe for a Flip is simple but as this is a different drink to those that we normally come across - richness as well as sweetness both predominate, when sweetness and fruitiness are normally the pairing of today. Indeed, some people recommend a Flip as an alternative to the sweet course of a meal. Not a bad option it would seem!

So why Sherry or Port…?

If a “light” alcohol spirit base is used that is “unaged” eg vodka/gin or a young rum, then the mixture becomes too “boozy” / alcoholic (you know what I mean!) The aged spirit adds a richness that is aided by the mouthfeel of the drink (mouthfeel is an integral feature of taste - which I hope to explore in my blog soon….!).


All sherry is aged in oak barrels. Unlike wine barrels, the sherry barrel isn’t filled full (only 4/5ths) and in doing so, this allows for the growth of a layer of yeas