At one time, part of the American holiday celebrations such as mistletoe and roasting chestnuts was the Tom and Jerry drink. In 1880’s Manhattan fashionable bars would place an ornate punch bowl in the middle of the bar containing the Tom and Jerry “batter”. The Brass Rail bar in Port Huron, Michigan, has kept the Tom and Jerry tradition alive since it’s opening in 1937. They start serving it the week before Thanksgiving and continue until New Year’s Eve.
The drink derives its name from the two rambunctious protagonists of the hugely popular English novel “Life in London” (1821), and not from Jerry Thomas, as he would have everyone believe. The book inspired a number items named after the characters, but mostly Tom and Jerry was used to describe things drink related. This a delicious hot drink that deserves to be served not only during winter holidays, but throughout the entire fall and winter seasons.
Ladle batter into a heated mug. Pour in liquor and then fill with boiling hot water. Top with grated nutmeg. Let cool enough to be drinkable, and serve with a spoon for stirring. Tom and Jerry Batter (serves 8)
4 eggs, at room temperature separated
Cream of Tartar
¾ cup powdered sugar
Whip egg whites in a medium deep bowl with a sprinkle of cream of tartar until they are stiff. Fold in ¾ cup powdered sugar and the egg yolks. Mix until the batter is light and frothy.