The Tom and Jerry

The Twelve Days of Holiday Cocktails is nearing the end. 

Day 11 is here and I have saved one of the most classic cocktails for the end, the Tom and Jerry. Truthfully, I keep calling it the Ben and Jerry, so you know where my head is.  

The Tom & Jerry is a traditional cocktail that was created in the early 1820s by Pierce Egan, a Brittish publicist.  Egan had written a book and subsequent play titled, Tom and Jerry, or Life in London. In an effort to publicize his work, he created a cocktail aptly  named the Tom and Jerry. 


Tom and Jerry cocktails have Midwestern roots

Although very popular at one point in time, the Tom and Jerry now has regional notoriety in the Midwest, and is vastly unknown in many parts of the states. It’s common to come across bars and people who make this cocktail in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Upper Michigan, many of which serve them on Christmas Eve.

Tom and Jerry Drink

The Tom and Jerry recipe is similar to eggnog

Traditional Tom and Jerry cocktails are a variation of eggnog, made from eggs, sugar, and brandy. However, unlike eggnog, Tom and Jerrys are served warm.  The recipe to make Tom and Jerry “batter” is simple, and we’ll get to that in a moment. I wanted to offer an alternative, which is frozen Tom and Jerry batter, that can be found in many grocery stores in the Midwest in the month of December.  Aptly enough, these batters are also made in Wisconsin, such as this one, Mrs. Bowen’s Tom & Jerry Mix. 

Tom and Jerry Drink
Mrs. Bowen’s Tom & Jerry Mix is a frozen alternative to making the batter from scratch.

Making Tom and Jerry mix from scratch is easy

The way Tom and Jerry mix is made and served is pretty unique. The first part is making the “batter”, which includes blending eggs, sugar, spices, and brandy. When that is complete, you scoop the batter into a mug and pour warm milk and more brandy (to taste) over it. 

We found this recipe to be easy and delicious, and perfect for Christmas Eve night by the fire. If you don’t like Tom and Jerrys, we have several other cocktails on our Flavor page. 

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