The Tom and Jerry Cocktail

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The Tom and Jerry cocktail is a holiday cocktail, precisely a Christmas beverage regularly consumed in the United States. It is a variation of the more traditional rum and brandy eggnog and it was invented by a British journalist sometime during the 1820s. His name was Pierce Egan, and his recipe caught on especially in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Tom and Jerry Cocktail

This wonderful and creamy cocktail is served hot in a bowl or a mug, but basically anything goes; here are the ingredients that you have to use in order to prepare it. The quantities shown here produce 24 servings of Tom and Jerry cocktail, just enough to please your entire family:

  • 12 eggs
  • 20 ounces of brandy
  • 1 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 24 cups of milk
  • ground nutmeg

First, you separate the eggs, taking the egg whites and beating them until they become hard and foamy; throw in 3/4 cup of sugar and beat in in until they are well mixed and peaks start forming in the bowl. The next step is to beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and 4 or 5 spoons of brandy in order to bring the mixture to a lemon color. Now you can mix the egg whites with the egg yolk and putting them in the fridge to cool off. While this takes place, heat all your milk in the largest pot you have, making sure you don’t boil it. It is better to prepare the Tom and Jerry cocktail as you serve it, thus: take one pour 2 spoons of brandy in it, together with one huge spoon of the egg mixture; stir this together with some milk until you fill the cup, and then put some more egg mixture on top and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Like we mentioned before, the Tom and Jerry cocktail is mostly served in Wisconsin and Minnesota, being quite difficult to find outside that area. Besides preparing it at home, you can also find in some places ready-made batter for the cocktail, which is sold in supermarkets during Christmas season. And now you are probably wondering about the name; it is easy to suppose the cocktail was named after the very popular cartoon series Tom and Jerry, but in fact it has nothing to do with them. It has nothing to do with famous bartender Jerry Thomas either, although he was the writer of one of the first bar tending books, How to Mix Drinks from 1862.

The Tom and Jerry cocktail is nothing but a reference to one of its inventor’s books, Pierce Egan. The book in question is Life in London, or The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn Esq. and His Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom from 1821. Egan invented the cocktail in order to increase popularity for his book and for the play written after it, and named it Tom and Jerry like his characters. Thus, the popularity worked both ways, with the text drawing attention to the cocktail and the other way around.

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