They Call Me Flipper

Today I drank my first flip, specifically an ale flip. According to my calendar, almost 400 years ago some New Englander opened an ale house, so short of proclaiming this National Ale Day, it prescribes an ale flip in his honor.

As I've noted before, I'm a Budweiser man. (Not lite; yuck.) I'm not that big on Guiness or ales, but I love lagers. This afternoon I found a 6 pack of ale brewed in that beautiful shopping mecca of central Indiana, Greenwood (a southern burb of Indianapolis), and I shoved a couple bottles in my overstuffed fridge to chill. This afternoon, after most of the work for the day was done, I drank a bottle straight up. Verdict: Didn't like it. Too bitter going down the back of my throat. I began to have my doubts about trying a flip with it.

But no better man there ever was, so tonight I brewed one up. Let me digress first and flip you off. Bird not included. A flip is a type of mixed drink that usually contains egg. Eggnog is a flip. You can have a cold flip or a hot flip. I'm trying very hard not veer off into doubles entendres here. Cream is typical but not necessary. Cold flips are usually shaken and strained; hot flips are stirred. Daniel Craig is a cold flip. Damn, you, old debbil temptation. You made me do it.

My recipe calls for lemon juice, sugar, ginger, and a little of the ale warmed just enough so that the sugar melts. As usual, an unwatched pot overboils at my house. Or at least gets a little too hot. Meanwhile you beat an egg yolk, not white, into a little brandy. (Remember a few nights ago I had a cocktail with egg white; shells, why didn't I keep that yolk.)

Then you stir the hot stuff into the brandied yolk. Since I didn't want a scrambled egg cocktail, I poured the sugar syrup in slowly (tempering the brandy, as Saint Alton of Brown would say), then dumped in the rest. Next, into a tall glass it goes, with the rest of the bottle of ale (chilled) on top of it. No stirring.

Verdict: I like it. All the eye of newt etc. really softens the bitterness of the ale. The yolk certainly smooths it out. I can't taste the ginger, though; a little more of that (say, 1/2 teaspoon) would be better. I'll try another flip one of these days and let you know how that is. Cheers to that old Boston guy.