Tom and Jerry (mixed drink)

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Tom and Jerry
Tom & Jerry as served at Karl Ratzsch's, Milwaukee.jpg
A Tom & Jerry cocktail
Type Cocktail
Served Hot in a mug or bowl
Standard drinkware
Irish Coffee Glass (Mug).svg
Commonly used ingredients

eggs or egg whites, powdered sugar, brandy, rum

Preparation Separate Eggs, Beat Egg Whites until stiff. Mix Egg Yolks with Powdered Sugar, Put spoonful of yolk mixture in cup, mix with brandy and rum, Fold in some Egg White then add hot milk and top with more Egg White, stir gently to fold in the egg white. Top with Nutmeg.

A Tom and Jerry is a traditional Christmastime cocktail in the United States, devised by British journalist Pierce Egan in the 1820s. It is a variant of eggnog with brandy and rum added and served hot, usually in a mug or a bowl.

Another method uses egg whites, beaten stiff, with the yolks and sugar folded back in, and optionally vanilla extract added. A few spoonfuls are added to a mug, then hot milk and rum are added, and it is topped with nutmeg. Pre-made Tom and Jerry batter, typically produced by Wisconsin and Minnesota manufacturers, is sold in regional supermarkets during the Christmas season.[1][2]


The name is related neither to the popular MGM cartoon characters Tom and Jerry nor to the earlier Tom and Jerry cartoons by Van Beuren Studio, nor to famous bartender "Professor" Jerry Thomas, the author of one of the first bartender's guides, How to Mix Drinks (1862). Instead, it is a reference to Egan's 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).

To publicize the book and the play, Egan introduced a variation of eggnog by adding 12 US fluid ounce (15 ml) of brandy,[dubious ] calling it a "Tom and Jerry". The additional fortification helped popularize the drink.[3]

Culture references[edit]

Tom and Jerry was a favorite of President Warren G. Harding, who served it at an annual Christmas party for his closest friends.[4]

The drink features prominently in Damon Runyon's 1932 short story "Dancing Dan's Christmas", beginning with the passage

This hot Tom and Jerry is an old time drink that is once used by one and all in this country to celebrate Christmas with, and in fact it is once so popular that many people think Christmas is invented only to furnish an excuse for hot Tom and Jerry, although of course this is by no means true.[5]

It is mentioned briefly in the spoken-word portion of Yogi Yorgesson's 1949 novelty song "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas":

I look at my watch and midnight is near
I think I'll sneak off for a cold glass of beer
Down at the corner the crowd is so merry
I end up by drinking 'bout twelve Tom and Yerry

In the 1940 film Beyond Tomorrow, the characters drink Tom and Jerrys on Christmas Eve in the beginning of the film. When James Houston arrives to return Michael O'Brien's wallet, O'Brien insists that Houston "stay and have a bit of cheer with us." When O'Brien asks Houston what he'd like to drink, Houston replies, "Whatever you're having, sir." O'Brien says, "I'm having Tom and Jerry, myself" and ladles out the drink for himself, Houston, and Alan Chadwick.[6]

In the 1941 film The Great Mr. Nobody, a pair of characters are enjoying mugs of Tom and Jerrys in a bar on Christmas Eve and offer one to the protagonist, "Dreamy" Smith, when he arrives. A big sign by the door advertises the drink as a special Yuletide treat.

The drink is also mentioned in the 1960 film The Apartment, with C.C. Baxter – preparing to loan out his apartment to his boss for a Christmas Eve sexual tryst – informing him that "the Tom and Jerry mix is in the refrigerator."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Faust, Eric, Tom and Jerry batter is seasonally available in the Jamestown, NY area, where a strong Swedish influence is prominent. "Connolly's Tom and Jerry Batter from Superior, WI," Heavy Table, 2009; See also Mrs. Bowen's Tom and Jerry Mix.
  2. ^ One example of the Batter mix is produced by Flaherty's Happy Tyme Company (P.O. Box 11472 - Mpls./St. Paul, MN 55111).
    Its listed ingredients include: Eggs, Sugar, Vegetable Stabilizer, Cream of Tartar and Vanilla. {14 oz. tub: Bar code: 0-27356-12345-0}
  3. ^ Block, Stephen. "The History of Egg Nog". Food History. The Kitchen Project. Retrieved 2006-12-16. 
  4. ^ Russell, Francis (1968). The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding In His Times. Easton Press. p. 141. ISBN 0-07-054338-0. 
  5. ^ Runyon, Damon (1880-1946). Dancing Dan’s Christmas. The Damon Runyon Society. Retrieved 2006-12-27.
  6. ^ Jnpickens (20 December 2010). "Island of misfit Christmas movies".