Who are Tom and Jerry and why are their names on holiday punch bowls?
I have to admit that the first time I saw these names paired up was on a Saturday morning cartoon show. However, the Tom & Jerry I'm talking about today are not the adorable cat and mouse duo.
Tom & Jerry was a popular Christmas cocktail created by writer Pierce Egan in the 1820s. In order to publicize his book, Life in London, or The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn Esq. and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom (1821), and the subsequent stage play Tom and Jerry, or Life in London (also 1821), Egan introduced a variation of eggnog by adding ½ fl oz of brandy, calling it a "Tom and Jerry". The addition of liquor helped popularize the drink.
There are many recipes on the internet - here's one example.
Tom & Jerry Eggnog
For the batter:12 eggs, separated
1 pound sugar (add more if you prefer it sweeter)
2 ounces aged rum (Appleton Extra, Bacardi 8, and Cockspur are all good choices)
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
For the batter: Beat the egg yolks well, then gradually whisk in the sugar. Add the rum and spices. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the yolk mixture until well mixed. Keep batter refrigerated until serving.
For serving: For each drink, put 2 ounces of batter into a toddy mug. Add 1 ounce each of brandy and aged rum (bourbon or rye whiskey also work well), and fill with equal parts hot milk and boiling water. Top with grated nutmeg. If using a small coffee cup or classic Tom & Jerry mug, you may wish to cut the serving size in half.
There are also commercial Tom & Jerry mixes available to simplify making this traditional hot yuletime cocktail.
Please visit my stores, or simply click on the photos for vintage Tom & Jerry serving sets!