As the name implies, the Porto Flip contains port wine. And when you mix that with Brandy and a whole fresh egg, the resulting cocktail is very rich in taste and mouthfeel.
The foamy top with freshly grated nutmeg gives the appearance of a dessert, and it also feels a little like that when drinking the Porto Flip.
It might sound a little odd, but to some, the Porto Flip comes across as a combination of drink and snack.
To finetune this cocktail classic, you need the perfect balance of Brandy and port.
While for the Brandy part, Cognac is my favorite, the port wine part is up for debate. But regardless of your choice, it will likely result in quite an unconventional cocktail.
Ingredients for a magnificent Porto flip
The list of ingredients to make a Porto Flip is relatively short. It's Cognac, syrup, an egg, and either ruby or tawny port wine.
Nevertheless -or more because of that- the quality of each element is vital. Therefore, I recommend using a quality Cognac alongside a fine tawny port and an organic, fresh egg.
For instance, a Rémy Martin 1738 Cognac works perfectly. But, of course, there are more affordable alternatives, too.
For the port, I love the 20-year-old Sandeman Tawny. But same as for the Cognac part, this is not the most budget-friendly option. And the entry-level version, the regular Sandeman Tawny, is absolutely sufficient and makes for a delightful Porto Flip.
-I just didn't want to withhold my favorite port for this drink. So, now you know that this is Sandeman's 20-year Tawny. That goes for mixing a cocktail, but even more so when drunk neat.
To balance the drink, you can or should add a tiny bit of simple syrup. Not too much, because otherwise, the cocktail quickly gets too sweet. Just enough to balance the ingredients.
Introduction to port wine
In case you never heard of port wine before. Port is a fortified wine, just like Vermouth or Sherry. It is produced in the Douro valley in the northern part of Portugal.
Port wine is usually richer, sweeter, and also higher in alcohol when compared to regular wine.
There are many different types of ports, with ruby and tawny being the most popular ones. You can read our post about port wine to learn more about the different types.
History of the Porto Flip
The first flip cocktails got created in the late 1600s. Half a Millenium ago, the recipe included ale, sugar, eggs, and spices. The mix was heated with a red-hot iron and was served hot.
Later the recipe evolved, and fortified wine or liquor became the base of the drink.
Today the category of flips includes a whole variety of different cocktail recipes. The Porto Flip is only one member of this category, yet, probably the most famous one.
However, due to the vast amount of different flip cocktails, there is hardly any documentation. Therefore, it is impossible to tell who actually invented the Porto Flip.
What we do know, however, is that Jerry Thomas was the first one to publish the recipe in written form.
In 1862, he released his book The Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks; A Bon Vivant’s Companion. In that book, the cocktail goes under its old name Coffee Cocktail.
In the image above, you can see the original recipe and the corresponding note made by Jerry Thomas. That clearly reveals that it definitely was not him who invented the drink:
I cannot be sure why the drink is called like that: "… hence probably its name."
When made right, the drink looks similar to coffee. However, depending on your choice of ingredients, the cocktails can also have a reddish shade instead.
That, and the fact that the recipe does not include coffee, ultimately must have led to the name change.
The category of flip cocktails
Flip cocktails generally are delicious, sweet, and rich drinks. They usually contain fortified wine or liquor, a whole fresh egg, and a bit of sugar to create a rich concoction with a frothy top.
Flip cocktails can be served hot or cold, depending on the recipe. Besides the Porto Flip, there are numerous other Flip recipes like:
- Sherry Flip
- Brandy Flip
- Rum Flip
- Whiskey Flip
- Gin Flip
The category is closely related to eggnog. However, there is a significant difference between the two categories. Both have eggs as an ingredient, but only eggnog calls for cream, which leads to an even richer drink.
- 1 oz Cognac
- 1.5 oz Tawny port wine
- 1 tsp Simple syrup
- 1 Organic egg
- Grated nutmeg (garnish)
- Add Cognac, port, syrup, and egg into a cocktail and dry-shake without ice for 15 seconds.1 oz Cognac, 1.5 oz Tawny port wine, 1 tsp Simple syrup, 1 Organic egg
- Open your shaker, add ice, and shake again until the whole drink is chilled.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with freshly grated nutmeg.Grated nutmeg