*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in the Weekly Dig.
by Pink Lady
Despite a scathing New York Times review for its caloric content, eggnog is all the rage this time of year. That’s all well and good to be sure. Before eggnog was the Xmas drink de rigeur, there was Tom & Jerry, a beverage well worth reviving as the cold weather cometh.
Tom & Jerry is famously credited to legendary sporting man and bar star, Professor Jerry Thomas. In his rendition, the Professor invented the drink in 1847 for a man who’d originally requested an egg beaten up in sugar. He went on to spike it with booze and hot water: “It was the one thing I’d been dreaming of for months,” he told a reporter. “I named the drink after myself, kinder familiarly,” choosing Tom & Jerry after his two pet white mice “as Jeremiah P. Thomas would have sounded rather heavy, and that wouldn’t have done for a beverage.”
Numerous references to the drink from the 1820s, 30s, and 40s prove this story isn’t true, but it sure makes a colorful anecdote. What we do know about the Tom & Jerry is that it hails from New England and was trotted out at every bar worth its bourbon when the temperatures dropped. Traditionally batched in a china bowl and doled out in little “shaving mugs”, the frothy beverage warmed imbibers well into the spring months.
Eventually Tom & Jerry disappeared from all but the most traditional saloons. Let’s bring it back this holiday season, shall we?
TOM & JERRY (single serving)
.5 oz simple syrup
1 oz dark rum
1 oz Cognac
Hot milk or hot water
Grated nutmeg for garnish
Separate the egg white from the egg yolk and beat them separately. Fold the beaten eggs together and place into a “shaving mug”, regular mug, or Irish coffee glass. Add the sugar or simple syrup, dark rum and brandy.