Flipping Out

Type of Post: 
What's in my Glass?

Making Flip with a Red-Hot Poker - photo by Richmond TalbotOn a gorgeous Friday evening in September, we went the few blocks down the street to the Harlow Old Fort House to participate in their first annual FlipFest.  

Flip is a colonial cool-weather drink. In this version, ale is fortified with molasses and rum, and then a red-hot poker is thrust into the mixture, causing it to foam up and get all sorts of really interesting caramelized molasses and malt flavors.

This can be a time-consuming process because you have to heat the poker. You can flip a mug or a pitcher of ale. Obviously the pitcher goes further, but each serving doesn't get as hot.

Pumping the Forge Bellows - photo by Richmond Talbot

And heat is the charm and the problem here. Home gas grills do not get as hot as charcoal, and certainly not as hot as this blacksmith's forge with an apprentice tending the bellows. If you plan to make more than one pitcher or mug of flip, consider setting a few irons in the fire so you don't have to wait for them to heat up again. 

Where did we get a forge and an apprentice tending bellows? This event was hosted by the Plymouth Antiquarian Society! If you want to recreate this lost beverage yourself, you may need to look to a similar local organization that may have the resources you'll need.

Paula Marcoux flips out

For other resources, we needed a colonial-style ale and rum, and molasses. The molasses is easy. For ale we used the very local Independent Fermentations Doppel-Alt, and the rum was the also very local Dirty Water Distilling What Knot Rum.

The last and most important resource was the inspiration and know-how to make this come to life. Paul Nixon, the Independent Fermentations brewer, is the creative genius behind a number of local beer-oriented foodie events, and Paula Marcoux, author of Cooking with Fire knows what to do with a red-hot poker!

There are many now-forgotten colonial winter warmers. I will try to write about those over the coming winter.