Cocktails: The Flip

A quick google search for “Fourth of July Cocktails” yields endless slideshows of Strawberry-Blue Curacao Pina Coladas and colorful Svedka slushies (special edition patriotic bottle required of course). And while those slushies are pretty refreshing on a 100° day in the middle of July, the best way to appreciate our founding fathers is with a colonial-era cocktail, like the Flip.

The flip can be traced back as far as the late 1600s. It was originally a sailor’s drink consisting of a mixture of ale, rum, molasses, and egg which was poured back and forth between two pitchers to mix and then heated on the stove to be served hot. When the drink was brought to colonial America, bartenders heated the drink using a fire-poker which caused the egg to froth or “flip.” Over time, the recipe continued to evolve and the beer-less, cold version of the Flip that is most popular today first appeared in writing in the 1874 publication of The American Bar-Tender or The Art and Mystery of Mixing Drinks. While the classic ale-style Flip, served warm, makes a great holiday party drink in December, the modern, cold iteration is a little more suited for July.    

Much like the sour, the flip is a broad, generic term and the drink can be made with essentially any liquor – dark rum, whiskey, brandy, gin, and sherry to name a few of the most common. I typically opt for a rye-heavy bourbon when I’m making a modern flip, but I have to say spiced-rum makes a pretty delicious flip when served hot.

*Obligatory warning: Consuming raw eggs may increase your risk of food-borne illness. If you’re not comfortable using a raw egg, try using pasteurized eggs or perhaps skip this one altogether.

Making the Drink


  • 2 oz Bourbon

  • ½ oz Simple Syrup

  • 1 whole Egg

  • Fresh Nutmeg


  1. Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice and water. Set aside to chill.
  2. Combine bourbon, simple syrup and egg in a shaker.
  3. Dry shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  4. Crack shaker tin, add ice, and shake again for 10-15 seconds.
  5. Pour over ice into chilled glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.


To make a warm Ale Flip, heat 8 oz Ale over low heat until it begins to steam. Mix one beaten egg, two ounces rum/whiskey, and a tablespoon of brown sugar in a pint glass. Slowly pour the warm beer into the mixture and using a second pint glass, pour the drink back and forth several times until blended. Garnish with freshly shaved nutmeg.


Blake Smith

Find me on Instagram and Twitter @BourbonandBrews. Have a cocktail you would like to see featured? Send me a DM on Instagram, Twitter, or via email at