Colonial Flip

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Colonial tankard

Flip was a concoction of strong ale with a bit of sweetener and sometimes a dose of dried pumpkin. The drink was mixed in a large mug, into which was thrust a red-hot loggerhead or poker, causing it to bubble and froth, or “flip,” then finished with a healthy dose of New England rum.


  • 20 ounces barley wine or other strong, malty beer
  • 1 Tb brown sugar or molasses
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • A poker or other iron rod heated in the coals of a wood fire
  • Optional: a sprinkle of dried pumpkin or grated nutmeg


In large earthenware mugs, combine the brown sugar or molasses with the beer. The mugs should only be filled two-thirds of the way or they will overflow.

Carefully remove the poker from the fire and immerse it in the mug. Reheat and repeat. Finish with rum and the optional spices.

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