When you are combing through classic cocktail recipes, finding ones that do not focus on gin as a feature can be difficult to do. Gin was wildly popular at the time, and easy to obtain. Rye whiskey was another favorite, finding its way into many of the cocktails where gin was a star. Another thing you notice when combing through vintage cocktails is the trend of taking a basic set of mixers and adding whichever liquor you choose. Sours were lemon juice and sugar added to the base spirit. Fizzes took the sour and added soda water. Bucks were citrus, ginger beer, and liquor of your choice. Cobblers included seasonal fruit and just a little sugar to create a pleasing libation. The Flip was also a category, and there was a long path to bringing this cocktail to the single serving drink we have today.
The ingredients to the Flip started in the time of Shakespeare, and included milk, eggs, spices, wine, and beer. Once all of the ingredients were brought together, they were mixed back and forth between two pitchers until well blended. Then someone would drive a hot poker into the concoction and make it boil and spit, or flip as they would say. By the time Jerry Thomas has added the recipes to The Bon Vivant's Companion, the poker was turned into pouring boiling water into the mixture. The evolution of the cocktail showed even more simplification, removing all but one of the spirits, the egg, and the sugar. Some recipes still will add a dash of milk or cream, bringing them a little closer to as eggnog.
2 oz. sherry (or spirit of choice)
1 oz. egg
1 tsp. sugar
Garnish: Nutmeg or other ground, seasonal spices
Pour the ingredients into a mixing tin over ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the tin is very well chilled to break down the egg proteins. Strain the cocktail into the glass and sprinkle the spices over it.
"One ounce of egg?", you may wonder. Eggs in the late 19th century were much smaller than today's modern marvels. You could use just the egg white to reduce the amount of silkiness you are combining in the drink. Or just roll with the whole egg, which may means you bump up the sherry by an ounce and the sugar by an extra half teaspoon.
This is a really nice, smooth cocktail. I used Cream sherry, and I am glad I did. It added a nice balance of sweet and dry to the cocktail. An Oloroso would work well, bringing out the fruitier, dryer notes of the sherry. The egg gives an amazing mouthfeel, and it is something I could enjoy a few times in an evening.
I can't imagine what would happen to this when you added the heated element. How did it not turn into alcoholic scrambled eggs? That may be another experiment for another day.