• Loggerhead and Flip {Cocktail Recipe}

    by  • March 12, 2013 • Drink, Featured, Recipes & Meals • 6 Comments

    rum flip ingredients

    There may be only a few chilly nights left this season, so I’m going to cut right to the chase: before winter ends, make a traditional flip.

    This historic cocktail was the most popular drink in taverns in Colonial America yet seems to be lost even in the current mixed drink renaissance. It combines the original American spirit, rum, stout beer, whatever local sweetener available like molasses, sorghum syrup, or maple syrup, and firey heat.

    heating rum flip with loggerhead

    To heat the drink, bartenders use a loggerhead. This wooden-handled, blunt metal tool sits in a fire until red hot and is then plunged into ingredients in a pitcher, creating a fizzy textured, warm, highly alcoholic beverage. After too many rum flips, patrons might argue and brandish the heat element against each other, hence the phrase ‘at loggerheads’.

    Alex learned of the flip while reading And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails. We had to make it at home.

    The project started by making a loggerhead from a piece of hardware-store rebar and a branch. Because we have no wood stove in the new house yet, we used a propane torch to heat our loggerhead. A wood-fire-heated element would probably contribute ashes to the drink, which would certainly uphold tradition if not modern standards of good taste. The foamy, sweet, dark drink warms us on these last snowy days of winter.

    pouring rum flip

    But what about the modern flip cocktail, you say? The one with egg whites? Historical records show price controls on taverns that made the rum flip cost the same price everywhere. To distinguish themselves, barkeeps began customizing their flip with additional spices, cream, or, as was the case at a popular place in Boston, eggs. Sometime since then, we lost the heat and yolk, leaving the modern egg white flip.

    Despite signs that spring is coming, surely there will be a cool night ahead where you wish for a strong hot drink like the flip. It could even be adapted with Irish whiskey and stout for a warming St. Patrick’s Day beverage.

    rum flip recipe

    Rum Flip
    makes one quart-sized pitcher to serve four

    heat-tolerant quart-sized or larger pitcher
    3 ounces rum (white is traditional but any rum is fine)
    2 ounces molasses, sorghum syrup, or maple syrup
    one pint stout beer, warmed to room temperature (bottle conditioned, not nitro-carbonated)
    loggerhead (fireplace poker is a reasonable substitute, as clean as you wish)
    heat source (propane torch, campfire, wood-stove)

    1. Mix rum and sweetener in pitcher, stirring well to dissolve.
    2. Pour in beer and stir again gently.
    3. Meanwhile, heat loggerhead until red-hot.
    4. Plunge loggerhead into pitcher. Have a towel handy to mop up any overflow.
    5. Pour into mugs and drink warm.

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


    I live to eat and eat to live, planning every meal to include as much local and seasonal abundance as possible. My favorite color is purple, my favorite vegetable is whatever is fresh and local, and my favorite drink is whatever you're pouring. Follow me @racheltayse


    6 Responses to Loggerhead and Flip {Cocktail Recipe}

    1. March 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      Very, very cool! I enjoyed this post. I love a good cocktail and this would prove to be a creative approach to enjoying a backyard cocktail on a cool night.


      • Carmen
        March 26, 2013 at 12:24 pm

        My boyfriend made the loggerhead for me and we tried these on St. Patrick’s Day. We put the loggerhead right in the fire pit and enjoyed the ashes in the drink. Delicious and so smooth with the molasses. Loved it and thanks for sharing!

    2. Pingback: Tackling Outdoor Chores In Bitter Cold | Harmonious HomesteadHarmonious Homestead

    3. March 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Please do NOT use random iron bits in food, standard rebar is likely to be galvanized, i.e. coated with Zinc. The Zinc will come off as vapor while heating, and probably into solution when heating and is a cumulative toxin which can lead to a most unpleasant death

    4. Alex Baillieul
      March 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm


      Thanks for your concern. You are correct that zinc oxide fumes can be dangerous. However, the rebar I was using was not galvanized and I would certainly not use anything galvanized that is going to come into contact with food. For background I have a Material Science Engineering degree and feel competent to make a determination of this sort. If you are at all in doubt as to the composition of a material, and you are concerned it might be hazardous, the safe bet is to forego using it.

    5. Greg
      November 22, 2015 at 10:42 am

      Regarding the rebar for the loggerhead, would the hardware store employees be able to properly assist in the purchase of a safe non-galvanized piece?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CommentLuv badge