Hot English Rum Flip – Jerry Thomas

One quart 

Four ounces of moist sugar.

One teaspoonful of grated nutmeg {or ginger). 

One quart of ale. 

One gill of old rum. 

Four raw fresh eggs. 

HEAT the ale in a saucepan; beat up the eggs and sugar, add the nutmeg and rum, and put it all in a pitcher. When the ale is near to a boil, put it in another pitcher, pour it very gradually in the pitcher containing the eggs, etc., stirring all the while very briskly to prevent the eggs from curdling, then pour the contents of the two pitchers from one to the other until the mixture is as smooth as cream.

In the 1700’s, a time when beer was considered medicine, the hot ale flip was all the rage on both sides of the Atlantic. It would be a mix of molasses and Rum, or Brandy and sugar (depending on what you could afford), ale, and eggs to turn it from the ‘demon drink’ into a healthy and nutritious dinner on a cold winters day. It would be heated to order by plunging a hot poker or ‘loggerhead’ into the drink and stirring. Its this same loggerhead which coined the phrase ‘to be at loggerheads’ with someone, as if you were in a bar, and really angry with someone, a red-hot loggerhead made a very convenient argument stopper.

This is a great Sunday afternoon drink and made easy with a little technology. I used a chocolate porter I’d been saving and an electric stick blender for the eggs, this I also kept running when pouring in the hot ale to stop the eggs from cooking, and this worked beautifully. I cut down the volume to work with what I had to hand, and when I make it next time I’m going to increase the sugar a little. It was delicious. I had my first cup and was super happy that I had more to go back to, however, it was a little cold, adding not quite boiling beer to room temp bought it down to lukewarm, and I think hot would’ve been better. I made the schoolboy error of deciding to put the whole mixture back into a saucepan and onto the stove top, only to turn my beautiful creamy rum flip into lumpy scrambled egg nastiness.

This is a great drink, I can see why it was so popular. Planning on trying this with different beers to see what works best, and I think it might be a great dinner party digestif.