What is a Tom and Jerry?

No…not the cartoon characters!

A Tom and Jerry is a traditional Christmastime cocktail in the United States. It was devised by sports writer Pierce Egan in the 1820s. It is a variant of eggnog with brandy and rum added and served hot, usually in a mug or a bowl.  Another method uses egg whites, beaten stiff, with the yolks and sugar folded back in, and vanilla extract added. A few spoonfuls are added to a mug, then hot water and rum are added, and it is topped with nutmeg.

Source: Wikipedia


Tom and Jerry Mugs

Tom and Jerry Mugs

Here’s a recipe from Esquire


  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar (some recipes recomment superfine or bar sugar)
  • 1 bottle brandy
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 bottle dark rum
  • milk
  • nutmeg

Separate the eggs.  Beat the whites until they form a stiff froth.  Whisk the yokes with the sugar gradually adding 4 ounces of brandy until it is thin as water.  Add a pinch of allspice,cinnamon and cloves to this mixture.   Fold the yolk mixture into the whites. 

Serve by putting one tablespoon of this batter into a mug.  Add one ounce of brandy and one ounce of dark rum stirring constantly to prevent curdling.  Fill to the top of the mug with hot milk and stir till you get foam. Sprinkle a little nutmeg on top.  

Variations of this recipe call for substituting hot water. or half milk and half water.  For a non-alcoholic variation, omit the rum and brandy.

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