Tom & Jerry


One account of the origins of the Tom and Jerry comes from the 1821 book, Life in London; or, The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn, Esq., and his elegant friend, Corinthian Tom, by Pierce Egan. This book was very popular and to further publicize it, Egan named a version of Egg Nog, the "Tom and Jerry". Pubs were even called "Tom and Jerries" for a while during this period. The most popular theory, however points to Professor Jerry Thomas of pre-prohibition fame, and bartender at San Francisco's Occidental Hotel in the 1860's, as being credited with the creation of the Tom & Jerry. He also created the Blue Blazer and the Martinez, (which may or may not be the first Martini). The Professor traveled and put on exhibitions throughout the major cities in the US and Europe, performing on stage and as a celebrity bartender. This was probably to sell his book, published in 1862, The Bartender's Companion and later, The Bon Vivant's CompanionThe Bartender's Companion is considered the first standard guide to mixing cocktails. 

How the Tom & Jerry became a holiday tradition is not quite known. In earlier days however, it was quite popular and by old time standards, not to be served before the first snow. It was mixed in Tom & Jerry bowls and served in mugs of the same name. 


This version of the recipe calls for one egg per serving, so you can adjust servings accordingly. 

  • Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a Tom & Jerry or mixing bowl.
  • Beat egg whites until firm peaks begin to form.
  • Beat the yolks until they are very thin.
  • Fold whites into the yolks.
  • Add one teaspoon to one tablespoon of sugar (according to taste and consistency) for each egg.
  • Add a touch of cinnamon, allspice, and ground cloves.

This is now your batter. 

  • Preheat your mugs with hot water.
  • Put one tablespoon of the batter, 1 oz. Brandy, 1 oz. Rum into the mug.
  • Fill to top with very hot milk or boiling water, stirring gently.
  • Sprinkle with nutmeg.