Thanks to everyone who joined me last night for Food History Happy Hour live on Facebook. This week, with some trepidation, I entered into the territory of raw egg and alcohol with the Cherry Brandy Flip - made with some of my homemade cherry bounce!
Plus, we talked about bananas and banana bread, tonic water, Midwestern food, beer, and more! Special discussion of candle salad. Proceed at your own risk.
Brandy flips are quite old, and I found a reference to them in The American Bartender, or, the Art and Mystery of Mixing Drinks (1874). There are several flip recipes in there, actually. But I went with the brandy one because I wanted to use up some of my cherry bounce (which is really a cherry brandy), and also because it was requested by Food Historian fans.
The term "flip" is quite an old one, and originally referred to a mixture of ale, sugar, and spices heated with a hot iron poker, which cause the drink to froth or "flip." Later, eggs were added, and eventually, the cocktail shaker was exchanged for the hot poker. The first printed recipe was published in Jerry Thomas's 1862 Bar-Tender's Guide. Known as the father of American mixology, Thomas listed a number of variations on the flip, including the "Cold Brandy Flip."
Flips are similar to eggnog, but not quite the same as they do not contain cream, as eggnog does. But the flavor profile is similar.
Flips have fallen out of fashion in most bars, in large part because they require the use of a raw egg. Historically, eggs were not washed before being sold, and the protective coating on the shell protected them from contamination, including salmonella. Today, eggs are washed before being sold, removing the protective coating, and opening them up to the possibility of salmonella contamination. Some people claim that the alcohol "cooks" the egg, and hot water (or hot poker) in the hot flips certainly does. But please keep in mind that you proceed at your own risk if you choose to replicate this cocktail. I thoroughly washed my egg again, just to be sure, and used a pastured, free-range, local egg. But you never know.
Cherry Brandy Flip
1 whole egg
1 jigger (1 1/2 oz.) cherry brandy
1 oz. simple syrup
freshly grated nutmeg
Place the egg, brandy, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker WITHOUT ice (this is called a dry shake). Make sure to seal the shaker well. Shake thoroughly until your arms are tired. This emulsifies the egg. Add cracked ice, and shake again, until your arms are tired. Strain into a small wine glass or generous cocktail glass, and grate fresh nutmeg on top.
This was better than I expected, although it does taste a bit "eggy" - probably those lovely free range eggs I used. If I made it again, I would add the nutmeg before shaking, or stirring it in. The egg not only emulsifies into something fairly creamy, it makes a frothy head as well.
As for the Food Historian Happy Hour Livestream, we MIGHT be doing a tour of my vintage bar/liquor cabinet next week AND, I got a new, higher quality camera for livestreaming. So you can look forward to way less pixelation. Hope to see you next week!
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Sarah Wassberg Johnson has an MA in Public History from the University at Albany and studies early 20th century food history.
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