All right, so you probably already know I was raised in Wisconsin. There are so many ‘Sconie traditions that have carried on with our family, but none so celebratory as the Tom & Jerry Christmas cocktail.
Around this time of year, this frothy beverage has been the norm. Called the ‘Tom & Jerry’ after the Pierce Egan’s book, Life in London, or The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn Esq. and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom (1821), this drink was made popular by Jerry Thomas, the famous Occidental Hotel bartender from San Francisco.
I asked followers for ideas for recipes, and all I just got were recommendations for Domino Bar and Red Eye Brewing Company in Wausau, but neither of those places was about to part with a recipe.
So instead, I turned to the Google and found a couple of recipes — none that I was convinced would suit me. So I tweaked one recipe a little bit.
Here’s my Tom and Jerry batter recipe
This makes about 12 cups:
- 12 eggs, room temperature & separated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 pound butter, room temperature
- 3 pounds confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
I started out beating egg whites and salt in a KitchenAid mixer. Since it was stainless steel, I read this causes a chemical reaction that might affect the ability of the egg whites to hold their stiffness so I added the 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar. If you’re using a glass bowl you might be able to skip the tartar. Make sure to lift your beater or whisk straight up once in a while. If it’s ready the egg whites will form sharp peaks that holds their shape.
While that was going, I used a hand mixer to beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
Once you have those bowls done, beat together butter and confectioners’ sugar in the largest bowl you have. This made a bit of a mess and never really got light and fluffy like the original recipe said it would. In any case, I blended the whipped egg yolks and vanilla to the butter mixture. As this was happening, I also stirred in the nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and the egg whites – beat this well until you have a nice batter.
I split the batch into two tupperware containers, one to put in the fridge and the other went into the freezer (the batter can be frozen up until Christmas).
To make the actual Tom and Jerry drink, start with two tablespoons of batter in a large mug. Add 3/4 shot of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and another 3/4 shot of Korbel Brandy. Add hot water until full and stir your tasty beverage until batter is dissolved and frothy. Top off with a shake of nutmeg.
Watch out, this is a tasty drink and will sneak up on you if you’re not careful.
I fully intend to entertain our guests with this delectable batch of yumminess next game night in December. See ya there!
We are also from Wisconsin and currently live in Puerto Rico. My dad used to make these at our holiday parties and now we will try when our guests come to the tropics for Christmas this year. Thanks for the recipe.
I was also raised in Wisconsin, but left there 55 yrs ago, so have not seen a Tom & Jerry since. My folks also used to make them, and I was allowed to have a little one. I think mine may have been minus the alcohol……..
My mother’s family is from Alabama and makes something similar as an “egg nog” minus the butter and sugar and with half and half instead. Separating the eggs and beating the whites til stiff is key, so it’s quite similar. Wonder about the heritage of all of this…