Cloudberry Flip

Cloudberry Flip

Finally got round to the Cloudberry Flip! I’ve had this Finnish cloudberry liqueur sitting around for years, making its mysterious presence felt through an improvisational dash in a thrown together cocktail here and there. Mostly though, it’s been slumbering, awaiting this day.

What a wonderful whimsical name is Cloudberry Flip: light, buoyant, dreamy… Lovely as it sounds, the drink doesn’t appear to exist anywhere outside the pages of Mason & Dixon. Until now!

A flip generally is a cocktail made up of a flavoursome spirit or fortified wine sweetened with sugar syrup and shaken with a whole egg. The sherry flip is apparently the most common nowadays, although I can’t claim to have ever encountered one. Punch describes them as “liquid holdovers from the colonial era.” Those original flips were a bit different though. Starting out as a 17th century sailor’s drink, flips were a mixture of beer, rum, molasses, and egg, heated with an iron rod fresh from the fireplace.

In Mason & Dixon, we encounter a flip amidst discussion of the hollow earth. Dixon and Mason and their party are pondering the possibility of a World within the World, perhaps with its entrance at the northern pole. Stig, a Swedish lumberjack in their camp, has a tale of tavern life in those northern regions:

Tho’ I come from pret-ty far North,” Stig pts in, “Yet there’s a lot more North, North of even that,— out of which, now and then, a Sail will appear upon the Horizon, a Snow-craft approach, all the day long, and at Evening at last put in at our little Village,— Ev’ryone crowds into the Inn, by the light of bear-fat Candles, to drink Cloud-berry Flip, and listen to the Visitor’s tales of a great dark Cavity up there, mirror’d over-head, as by a Water-sky,— Funnel-shap’d, leading inside the Earth…to another World.”

Mason & Dixon, pp. 602-3.

Stig’s cloudberry flip I suppose was more likely the early ale-some variety, this being the 1760s. Were I emerging from the frozen wilds of North and/or clambering out of the Inner Earth, I’d probably appreciate a drink freshly frothed and heated by hot poker. But cloudberries are not something one comes across every day this far from their native arctic circle, and I think their flavour might shine better in something a little simpler, so I’m going with the modern flip recipe:

Cloudberry Flip
2 shots of Lakka cloudberry liqueur
1 shot of simple syrup
1 whole egg

All shaken with ice, strained into a coupe glass, and garnished with a little freshly grated nutmeg.

The result is an opaque gold colour with a frothy white top, to the eye not unlike a hazy IPA. It’s sweet and creamy—almost fluffy, cloudlike!—a touch boozy, tasting of honey with a hint of musk and rosewater. A rich warming welcome back to the outer world, even in its cool incarnation. Can’t say I feel too sure what an actual cloudberry tastes like drinking this, but perhaps one day I can visit Stig’s far northern tavern and investigate further.

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