How to Mix a Badass Flip for the Holidays with Ashwin Vilkhu from Saffron
The Flip is a 300-year-old category of cocktails that serve well on cold-weather drinks menus. “Flips are especially popular during the winter months because they are richer and more indulgent than egg white cocktails,” explains Ashwin Vilkhu, bar director at Saffron, NOLA’s Best New Restaurant nomination for elevated Indian cuisine. “I love using whole eggs in cocktails because it imparts a very specific taste and texture. Eggs add a certain richness to cocktails if executed correctly with the flip method.”
The flip method is the moving of liquid between two vessels, resulting in a frothy, lush, and ever-so-smooth cocktail. “At Saffron NOLA, we prefer to use the reverse dry shake—mixing all the ingredients with ice, minus the egg. Then we strain the mixture into a small tin, add the egg, and shake again. We use a whipping motion, essentially folding air into the cocktail,” explains Vilkhu.
Flips make perfect holiday cocktails by using festive spices, like nutmeg, and because of the drink’s warming effects. “The combination of the richness from the full egg combined with warming spices screams holiday to me,” agrees Vilkhu. “At Saffron, we use endless spices in our bar program and love to open guest’s eyes to new Indian (and global) spices in their food and drink. In particular, we love to add chai flavors to our flips. Our Tea & Biscuits cocktail includes not only Chai but also Cardamom. It’s inspired by the Indian household tradition of having tea and cookies after a day of work.”
Follow Vilkhu’s Best Tips for Making A Badass Flip this Holiday Season.
Technique is super important: When dry shaking or reverse dry shaking, don’t pump the shaker back and forth like you would shake with ice. Roll the shaker like you would whisk eggs for an omelet. This will ensure an elegant froth.
Use smaller glassware: No need for behemoth glasses for flips; that much egg is not appealing to guests. Think silky elegance in a petite glass. We like the Nick & Nora.
Always double strain: Generally, it’s a good idea to go with the egg first so you can monitor if any eggshells have gone into the glass; then, follow with the other ingredients. Dry shake the ingredients first to emulsify and create a smooth, creamy texture then shake with ice to dilute. We always double strain to be sure unwanted particles, ice chips, or shells are not incorporated into the cocktail.
Be patient: Flips sometimes need to be shaken a bit longer to get the perfect, silky froth.
Use quality eggs: Never, ever use a broken egg. This can increase the chance of salmonella. Be ethical. Do your due diligence and be sure your eggs are fresh, refrigerated, and undamaged.
Tea & Biscuits
- 1 1/2 oz. Cognac
- 1/4 oz. Chai Syrup*
- 1/4 oz. Lemon Juice
- 1/4 oz. Orgeat
- 3 drops Cardamom Tincture**
- 1 Whole Egg
Preparation: Shake with ice; reverse dry shake without ice; double strain into chilled Nick & Nora glass. Micro-plane Brittania biscuits on half the glass and serve with two cookies on lined plate. *Chai syrup: 1:1 simple syrup (3 cups sugar: 3 cups water)
6 cardamom pods, 1 tbsp. fennel seed, and toast in dry pan.
Steep in hot water for 5 minutes with 1 tsp. black tea and combine with sugar. **Cardamom tincture: infuse 1 oz. cardamom, 4 oz. Everclear, 4 oz. water for 5 days in sealed tight glass jar; strain and transfer into dropper bottle.