This is our favorite classic wintertime Christmas cocktail – the Tom & Jerry cocktail. We first had this cocktail at the The Aviary in Chicago with our friends Ty and Kelley, and it’s quickly become a favorite cold weather indulgence.
Like many classic cocktails, the origin of the Tom & Jerry cocktail is somewhat unclear, but there are a few things we know for sure. First, it’s basically a dessert. Second, it’s better than eggnog. Third, it has a special status among cocktails in that it has it’s own unique serveware (special mugs and ceramic punch bowls were created specifically for this cocktail in different styles like this or this).
Most of the recipes you’ll find online seem a little laborious for a cocktail. You need to make an egg-based batter with tons of powdered sugar. One recipe required beating the eggs for 20 minutes! We’ve devised a method for making the batter in a Vitamix (on sale for Cyber Monday here). It is so easy and addictively delicious. It’s so good, our friends keep asking us to make them!
We found the Aviary recipe online, but we based our version on a mixture of that and a classic recipe that our friend Katrina was kind enough to share. We think the addition of vanilla and Angostura bitters takes the cocktail to a whole new level.
The procedure is very simple and if your blender is not a Vitamix, you may have an advantage. The Vitamix is so powerful you risk cooking the eggs, so the batter has to be made on the lowest setting. Add the egg whites to the blender, mix on the lowest setting until they are stiff, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the batter is smooth and increases in volume. Check the temperature (by touch) periodically to make sure the batter is not getting warm. It’s that simple!
To serve, add 2 ounces of batter to a mug, along with 2 ounces of your favorite combination of rum and bourbon, just rum, or try with brandy (you can experiment here). Mix in hot milk and top with freshly grated nutmeg (we used a microplane). Make sure you have a good supply of eggs on hand — your friends will want more than one!
- 6 eggs, separated
- 2 cup sugar
- ½ t allspice
- 1 t cinnamon
- ¼ t ground cloves
- 2 T vanilla
- 2 dashes bitters
- 2 oz rum
- To serve:
- 2 oz batter
- ½ oz rum
- 1 ½ oz bourbon/brandy
- Topped with hot milk and nutmeg
- BATTER: Add egg whites to blender and turn on lowest setting until the egg whites form stiff peaks, checking frequently to make sure the egg whites are not getting warm.Once the egg whites form stiff peaks, add the remaining batter ingredients and blend until the batter is smooth.
- To serve, add 2 oz of batter and the brandy/bourbon and rum to a mug.
- Top with hot milk and stir until combined.
- Grate fresh nutmeg over the top of each cocktail.