Cocktails

'Flip' out! Whole-egg cocktails make a spring splash

April 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM ET

Courtesy of Eastern Standard /
The Flip Royal features ginger liqueur with a house-made rooibos tea syrup and Angostura bitters -- along with the egg, of course.

A little known fact is that, like rhubarb and ramps, farm fresh eggs are also in season during spring, when they’re a staple of the Easter table. Besides hard-boiled pastel eggs and quiche on the buffet, flips—drinks made with whole eggs—can make fantastic holiday cocktails.

Boston’s Eastern Standard dedicates an entire “Oeuf” section of its extensive cocktail menu to eggs. “Eggs add a lot of texture,” says bar manager Kevin Martin. “They can add body and froth.”

Traditionally defined as a spirit mixed with sugar and egg, flips are taking on a more modern edge. Eastern Standard’s spicy Flip Royal blends the King’s Ginger liqueur with a house-made rooibos tea syrup and Angostura bitters. The Bourbon Derby Flip strays into eggnog territory by adding cream to the bar’s blend of five rums, sherry, egg and Four Roses bourbon from its whole barrels of the great whisky. Surprisingly, according to Martin, the hefty-sounding cocktail “drinks pretty light.”

Creating a new flip is not a foolproof endeavor. “A lot of times egg drinks can come out smelling like delicious raw cake batter,” Martin says. “They can also come out smelling like a wet dog, which why nutmeg or grated cinnamon is often put over the top—not only does it complement the drink but it sort of masks the odor.” Needless to say, fresh eggs are imperative, which is why Eastern Standard gets daily deliveries from local farms. Keeping the cocktail balanced is also important. Though eggs may seem easy to work with because of their neutral taste, they shouldn’t be thrown willy-nilly into any cocktail. “When you put an egg into something, it really expands the drink faster than you can imagine, but you’re putting volume into the drink without adding any flavor to it,” Martin warns. “You need to use intense flavors.”

Bar guide:

L’Artusi, New York: L’Artusi bartender Jorie Morales’s Triple Crown was inspired by his three favorite things: eggs, bacon and bourbon. Smoky bacon-washed bourbon is shaken with egg, a black cherry reduction, fresh lemon juice and Demerara sugar syrup and topped off with Angostura bitters.

Red Medicine, Los Angeles: Known for its whimsical Vietnamese cuisine and unusual cocktails, the Beverly Hills restaurant shakes Hennessy VS and Rittenhouse rye with orgeat (almond syrup), lemon, orange, old-fashioned bitters and an egg to make the #64, a.k.a. Whitney’s Flip.

The Highball, Austin: Along with eight lanes of bowling and private karaoke rooms, the Highball features fantastic fried chicken and a menu of old-school cocktails like a Ramos gin fizz. A lesser-known classic, the Saratoga Brace Up comes from Jerry Thomas’s 1887 Bartender’s Guide: Cognac, lemon, sugar, a dash of absinthe and a whole egg.

The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., Philadelphia: The understated subterranean bar serves a frothy and boozy Elephant Flip with amaro, rum, bourbon, Dogfish Head IPA, Demerara sugar, pomegranate molasses and a pinch of salt—finished with Angostura and Bitter Truth Xocatl Mole bitters and served with the extra beer on the side.

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