There are those mornings when there simply isn't enough energy and hand-eye coordination at your disposal to make breakfast and a cocktail. Here's the good news: We have the drink to solve that problem. As a public service to the hungover, every week we track down the best bartenders in America and ask them to share their favorite hair-of-the-dog remedies. This week, a thick, rich, kitchen sink of a hangover cure.
HIS ELIXER: Banana Whiskey Flip
ITS HISTORY: Rocky Balboa and bodybuilders aren't the only people who drink raw eggs. Many argue that cooking eggs reduces their vitamin and mineral content, as some essential nutrients lose potency when heated. In fact, many Americans have been drinking their eggs raw for centuries. Colonists made frothy "flips" in the 1600s using ale, rum, raw eggs and sugar. Over the next few hundred years, however, the flip was surpassed by the eggnog (an egg flip with cream) due to the abundance of dairy products. These raw egg cocktails were made using strictly rum or brandy until the American Revolution, when import restrictions severed the supply of foreign spirits. Domestic whiskey has been the booze of choice for egg cocktails ever since.
ITS HEALING PROPERTIES: When McCullough wakes up woozy, he craves a thick, protein-packed shake. "If you're feeling bad, you need something rich and creamy to coat your stomach," he says. His favorite morning cocktail—a Banana Whiskey Flip—is a mix between a Bourbon Milk Punch, an Irish Coffee and a muscle-head's raw egg shooter. "All of the ingredients work perfectly together," he says. "It's just delicious."
McCullough's tropical flip includes bananas to replenish your potassium and niacin and espresso to wake you up. Bitters settle your stomach, and the protein-packed raw egg adds a viscosity that's nearly impossible to replicate. The thought of drinking bourbon in the morning may make your stomach turn, but McCullough says it's an easy sell at his bar, "In the South, we like cream and whiskey together."
PROOF THAT THE FLIP IS A GREAT WAY TO START ANY DAY: "I drank one this morning to be honest with you," McCullough says. "Then I went to play tennis."
STILL, THE OBLIGATORY WARNING: Your chances of getting sick by consuming raw eggs has drastically reduced since the salmonella hysteria of the 1980s. However, as the government so kindly reminds us, consuming raw eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illnesses. Drink with caution. Death is around every corner.
THE METHOD: Muddle the banana and brown sugar until the fruit is broken down. Combine all ingredients—banana, whiskey, egg, cream, lemon juice, bitters and coffee—in a blender. Pulse until combined. Cool the mixture down by shaking it with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a highball glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg and another dash of bitters.
Alyson Sheppard is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mental Floss, McSweeney's, National Geographic Adventure, the Boston Globe and more. Follow her on Twitter @amshep.
Photo courtesy of The Standard Pour