As the name implies, the Porto Flip contains port wine. When you mix that sweet wine with brandy and a whole fresh egg, you get a cocktail that is 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 due to the relatively thick consistency.
Quick Facts Porto Flip
- Method: shaken
- Flavor profile: slightly sweet, creamy
- How to serve it: straight up
- Best glassware: Coupe glass, sour glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 16%, 17 grams of alcohol per serving
To fine-tune the cocktail, you need the perfect balance of brandy and port. Cognac is our favorite for the first, and the latter is up for debate. You can find more on this below. Regardless of your choice, it will result in quite an unconventional drink.
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Cocktail Shaker
- 1 Hawthorne Strainer
- 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
Ingredients for a magnificent Porto flip
The list of ingredients to make a Porto Flip is relatively short. It contains cognac, syrup, an egg, and either ruby or tawny port wine. The quality of each element is vital:
- Brandy/Cognac: I recommend using a quality cognac. For instance, a Rémy Martin 1738 Cognac works perfectly. Of course, there are more affordable alternatives, too.
- Port Wine: For the port, we personally prefer tawny over ruby. The 20-year-old Sandeman Tawny, to be precise. Yet, same as for the cognac part, this is not the most budget-friendly option. The entry-level version, the regular Sandeman Tawny, is absolutely sufficient and makes for a delightful Porto Flip, and so does a ruby. It creates a slightly less sweet version of this drink.
- Simple Syrup: 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.
- Fresh organic egg: as you consume the egg raw, you have to make sure, it is really fresh and top quality.
Tips for Mixing
First of all, you should perform a dry shake to properly foam up the egg and create that foamy, beautiful texture. Dry shaking means you shake for 10 to 15 seconds without ice in your shaker. After that, add ice cubes to the shaker to chill all ingredients and shake once more. This time, a little shorter, though. 5 to 8 seconds are sufficient.
Second, we recommend you chill the glass in the fridge or the freezer before mixing and pouring your drink. Since you serve it straight up - cold but without ice, this helps maintain a low temperature for longer. - That is also why you should use glassware with a stem: you can hold the drink without warming it up with your hand.
History of the Porto Flip
The first flip cocktails popped up in the late 1600s. Half a millennium 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 cocktail recipes. The Porto Flip is probably the best-known member of this category.
Due to the vast amount of different flip cocktails, there is hardly any documentation, making it impossible to tell who actually invented the Porto Flip.
What we do know, however, is that Jerry Thomas was the first 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: "… it looks like coffee when it has been properly concocted, and 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 rosy shade instead. That, and the fact that the recipe does not include coffee, ultimately must have led to the name change to Porto Flip.
More Flip Cocktails
Flip cocktails generally are delicious, sweet, and rich drinks. They usually contain fortified wine or liquor, a fresh egg (york and egg white), 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, for instance:
- the Sherry Flip
- the Brandy Flip
- the Rum Flip
- the Whiskey Flip
- the Gin Flip
The category is closely related to eggnog. However, there is a significant difference between the two: Both have eggs as an ingredient, but only eggnog calls for cream, which leads to an even richer drink.
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 sweeter and also higher in alcohol when compared to regular wine - usually 19 to 22% ABV.
There are many types of ports, with ruby and tawny being the most popular. You can read our post about port wine to learn more about the different types.