Friday, March 10, 2017

'Flipped' Mulled Wine with Eggs and Toast

Flipped Mulled Wine with Eggs and Toast
Recipe Provenance
The following recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).

The Recipe: To Mull Wine
Grate half a nutmeg in a pint of wine & sweeten to your taste with loaf sugar, set it over the fire & when it boils take it off to cool, beat the yolks of 4 eggs exceeding well, add to them a little cold wine, then mix them carefully with your hot wine, a little at a time, then pour it backwards & forwards several times ‘till it is quite hot, and pretty thick – serve it in chocolate cups, with thin pieces of toasted bread.

About the Recipe

This recipe is actually a flip. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, flips were made as far back as 1695 when beer, rum and sugar were heated with a hot iron. This caused the drink to froth. Eventually, eggs were added to hot ale, wine or spirits and the drink was frothed by flipping it back and forth from one vessel to another. Overtime, flips started to be served cold, as well.

According to Leo Engel in American and Other Drinks (1878), "the essential in Flips of all kinds is to produce the smoothness by repeated pouring backwards and forwards from one vessel to another, and beating up the eggs, two or three, well in the first instance. The sweetening and spicing according to taste." Engel's book includes recipes for rum flips, ale flips, and flips with brandy or rum. Morris's recipe is clearly a bit different because it uses wine. 

The other interesting thing I found in researching mulled wines made with eggs in the manner of a flip is that they were often recommended to give to the sick. I am guessing the egg gives the drink more nutrition and protein which would be necessary if the patient is not taking solids.
 Leo Engel, American and Other Drinks (1878)
1869, Domestic Cookery By Elizabeth E. Lea (Baltimore)

1886, Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery
by Juliet Corson (New York)

Here is a recipe that shows how the flip went from a hot drink to a cold one in the twentieth century. Note that this recipe used red wine, much like Morris's recipe.
1917, The Ideal Bartender by Thomas Bullock (St. Louis)

I was very skeptical about how good this recipe would be. I will admit I was wrong to fear this concoction. It is absolutely delicious. Good to drink if it's cold outside or if you have a cold!

Modern Recipe Adaptation: Mulled Wine
Serves 4

  • 2 1/4 Cups Red Wine, Divided
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg, or to Taste
  • Yolks of 4 Eggs
  • Slice of Toast, Cut into 4-6 Strips 
  1. Place the two cups of the wine, sugar, and nutmeg in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. While the wine is heating, place the egg yolks in a bowl and mix with the remaining 1/4 cup of cold wine.
  3. Temper the eggs: In small increments, add about 1/2 cup of the hot wine into the egg/cold wine mixture and whisk. Then, add the yolk/wine mixture to the pot of hot wine. Whisk very well.
  4. Place the wine in a large Pyrex measuring  cup or pitcher and pour it into a second pyrex measuring cup of pitcher. Do this repeatedly until about 8-10 times, or until the wine is frothy.
  5. Serve the wine in teacups along with 2-3 strips of toast.
Leo Engel, American and Other Drinks (1878)

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