While the rest of the country celebrates the holidays with thick, creamy eggnog, Midwesterners keep a different tradition alive: warm and frothy Tom and Jerrys. Though the drink's origin is still a matter of debate, it hails from the 1800s and is made by mixing a whipped, eggy batter with warmed spirits and either hot water or milk. It was wildly popular for decades until Prohibition knocked it off the mixological radar. It made a spirited comeback in the 1950s as the life of the era's Tom and Jerry parties but soon fell out of fashion again?except in the Midwest, where it's still the winter warmer of choice. Every frigid winter, the region's supermarkets stock up on tubs of the batter, but bartenders and cocktail consultants Ira Koplowitz and Nicholas Kosevich prefer to make theirs from scratch, putting an updated spin on the old-school classic. "Nearly every recipe calls for equal parts egg whites and yolks, but we found it a more enjoyable cocktail with less yolk." They also use bourbon instead of rum, to better balance the drink's sweetness.


  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 3 ounces Paul Masson brandy
  • 2 ounces Simple Syrup
  • 12 ounces whole milk, warmed
  • Batter:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ounce Paul Masson brandy
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • l/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the batter, separate the eggs, setting aside one of the yolks for another use. With an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form; set aside. In a smal bowl, whisk the egg yolk, brandy, sugar, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla until the mixture lightens in color and thickens, about 8 minutes. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture, one-quarter at a time, being careful not to deflate the whites.

For each serving, put 2 heaping tablespoons of the batter in a heated glass mug. Combine 3/4 ounce of the bourbon, 3/4 ounce of the brandy, and 1/2 ounce of the simple syrup in a metal cocktail shaker, then place the shaker in a bowl of hot water. After 30 seconds, pour the warmed spirits over the batter in the mug and top with 3 ounces of the milk. The batter will sit at the top of the mugs. Stir beneath the batter to incorporate the milk, syrup, and spirits. Garnish with a dusting of cinnamon.

Serves 4

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Submitted 10/13/11.
Source: The American Cocktail
Submitted By: b smith

Tom and Jerry