Porto Flip

Returning to the picker-uppers, Baker brings us a variation on a very old flip formula. The port flip has been around since at least the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas’ pioneering book of drinks, The Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks; A Bon Vivant’s Companion (whose name prefigures Baker’s book, no?). A flip, of course, is a drink that contains a whole raw egg. If that weirds you out, don’t knock it ’til you try it—a well-made flip is an uncommonly rich, delicious drink that makes an excellent digestif.

Thomas’ original recipe is a model of simplicity. Baker makes it richer and considerably boozier:

  • 2 jiggers port (3 oz W. & J. Graham 10-Year Tawny Porto)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 pony thick cream (1 oz heavy whipping cream)
  • 1 pony cognac (1 oz Park Borderies Single Vineyard)
  • 2 scant tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp (green) Chartreuse
  • Grated nutmeg

Shake with ice (I did a preshake without ice), then strain into a small goblet. Float the Chartreuse on top, and dust with grated nutmeg.

This, alas, is not an especially good flip. Thanks largely to the cream, I think, it’s a mild, sweet glass of something rich that tastes vaguely like port. It’s also a much tastier drink without the Chartreuse float, which seemed out of place here (although yellow Chartreuse might’ve been better).

Like the previous picker-upper, Baker’s Porto Flip is an efficient and relatively palatable way to get a lot of alcohol into someone with a hangover, if you endorse that sort of thing. But the Chartreuse seems poorly considered and takes it down a notch from the Kilroy’s Bracer.

For comparison, I tried  Jerry Thomas’ port flip as well:

  • 1 large wine glass port (2 oz W. & J. Graham 10-Year Tawny Porto)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large tsp superfine sugar

Shake with ice (I did a preshake minus the ice). Strain into a medium-sized goblet.

Now that’s a tasty flip! Mmmm, rich, eggy port. It’s a bit of a sugar bomb, though—I’ll use less sugar the next time I make it.

The moral of the story, I think, is that simpler is sometimes better. The next time I find myself repulsed by an overly complicated Baker drink, perhaps I’ll try getting rid of an ingredient or three.

Porto Flip (Charles H. Baker, Jr.): ★★★☆☆ 

Port Flip (Jerry Thomas): ★★★★★ 

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