Tom & Jerry | Improved 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Tom & Jerry Batter

Tom and Jerry batter is basically an egg yolk and Christmas spice flavored mousse. It’s actually pretty good on its own and doesn’t need to be mixed into a drink. You can make it yourself or Tom and Jerry batter can be bought in stores during the holiday season in the upper midwest, where the drink is still pretty popular. I use to publish the original recipe on this site but I now use an updated one that I feel makes for a considerably better drink while still being very similar flavor wise to the original. Most modern recipe include butter, heavy cream, and as a result are much denser and almost eggnog like. Mine does not. If the recipe is true to the classic and lacks a heavy fat ingredient then the problem they are stuck with is using just warm water or milk as meringue can not be heated so violently and rapidly. These versions taste fine but I personally found this one that uses actually hot water to taste the best. The aroma is better, it sips better, and just has a more cozy feel to it. At its core, the issue Tom and Jerry Batter faces is the same issue all egg based desserts face when heated. The risk of curdling.

Most desserts try to solve this problem by cooking in a water bath so the egg doesn’t get too hot and the original 1862 recipe could only use warm water and not hot or else it too would curdle too. Most modern recipes try to fix this by adding butter or heavy cream since a cooked protein will bond to fat before bonding to another protein, or they just stick with using kinda warm water or milk. While this keeps the drink from curdling it either completely changes the flavor and texture or makes for a weak old tasting drink. The solution I am using is an old bakers technique to add small amount of thickened corn starch similar to American style custard. American custards, cream pies, cream fillings, etc are cooked at rapid high heats like any other dessert and do not curdle. This solution fixes the issue of curdling and lets the drink get heated to a proper hot drinks temperature, while maintaining the drinks original flavor and texture.

Improved Tom & Jerry Batter Recipe

I tried to change as little about the original recipe and its ratios as possible. The only changes I made were adding cornstarch as a stabilizer, and reducing the sugar to a more balanced amount. If you do not add cornstarch then DO NOT use hot water. Only use warmed water or milk as the rapid heat will curdle the egg and make the drink lumpy.

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1.5 cups (360 g) of sugar
  • 1 tbs (15 g) Cornstarch
  • 1 oz (30 mLs) gold rum
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) ground cinnamon
  1. Combine cornstarch and an ounce of hot water, stir till the cornstarch is dissolved and the mixture is thick, then set aside.
  2. Separate the egg whites and yolks into two bowls.
  3. Add the sugar to the egg whites and using an electric mixer (you would be crazy to do this by hand) beat the eggs into a medium peak meringue.
  4. Once you are done beating, still using the electric mixer, slowly add the thickened wet corn starch. The cornstarch can only be added after you are done beating the meringue. The cornstarch prevents the meringue from cooking when you add hot water and turning into poached eggs.
  5. In the second bowl with the egg yolks add the rum, ground cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Using the electric mixer again beat the yolks till they become lighter in color and runny.
  6. Add the egg yolk mixture to the meringue and fold to combine.

If you are curious check out and read the full The Improved 1860s Style Tom & Jerry Batter article and learn about the original recipe from the 1862 Bartenders Guide.

Eggnog vs. Tom & Jerry

The Tom and Jerry is often compared to a lighter eggnog but it all depends on which recipe of a Tom and Jerry you are comparing to which recipe of eggnog. If you are comparing a store bought Tom and Jerry to store bough eggnog, then yes, they do taste similar. Most eggnogs today are made with cooked eggs and heavy cream and the result is a thick boozy custard. Its a very heavy drink and a Tom and Jerry with heated milk is much lighter with a similar in flavor.

For the sake of comparing apples to apples, if you compare a mid 1800s eggnog recipe to this classic style Tom and Jerry recipe then they are completely different. This classic style Tom and Jerry is more cappuccino like than egg nog. The top has a nice foam to it similar to a cappuccino but the drink itself is light. An 1800s style, eggnog taste more like a rich milk punch than todays custard like ones. The modern version of both drinks are similar, with the Tom and Jerry being a warm thinner version of eggnog, but the older version of both drinks are very different.

History Of The Tom & Jerry

Jerry Thomas most likely invented the Tom & Jerry since there is no reference to it till Jerry Thomas published his recipe. The cocktail is often credited to being invented by him anyway. The story goes that he named the drink after his two pet mice, Thomas and Jerry, which he named after himself. Even Savoy credits him with inventing it and the Savoy is pretty on point.

While the Tom & Jerry seems to fade a bit in the 1930s its still in the larger cocktail books up through the 1970s (I try to limit this project to only published literature from 1970 and earlier). Victor Bergeron in his 1972 book even gives a single serve recipe if one needs to be made on the spot. The Tom & Jerry is a very preparation and labor intensive drink so I feel this is relegated to be more of a home holiday party cocktail and I have never once seen this at a bar ever.

When I first heard of this cocktail I wondered if the iconic MGM cat and mouse cartoon Tom and Jerry were named after it. Unfortunately no one knows if the cartoon famous Cat and Mouse duo Tom and Jerry were named after the drink, but it would be quite the coincidence. Joseph Barbara, of Hanna Barbara, wrote in his autobiography “My Life in Toons” how they came up with the names Tom and Jerry. “We left the choice of names to chance. We invited studio personnel to write down pairs of names on pieces of paper and toss them into a hat. We shook the hat and drew Tom and Jerry, which had been submitted by an animator named John Carr. He won fifty dollars.” Maybe John Carr knew the drink from a holiday party, who knows, they are all long gone now.

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Tom & Jerry – Original 1862 jerry Thomas Recipe

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

192

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Tom & Jerry Cocktail.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Drop batter into a ceramic or heat resistant mug. Batter recipe is posted above or click here to read it.
  • Add warm water and stir till the batter is completely incorporated into the water.
  • Lastly add the spirit and give a couple last stirs to finish mixing the drink.
  • Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.

Notes

Hot Toddy – Classic 18th Century Style Toddy

History Of The Hot Toddy

A lot of these old drinks that we still make today are actually really hard to find information on. Hot buttered rum, hot ale flip, buttered beer, toddies, etc. Most actual written recipes are around the mid 1800s and later. Books were mostly published for histories and stories, but skills and trades were just taught from master to apprentice. There were a few but not like there is today. One tries to piecemeal as much as they can together.

In a 1769 book “A Dissertation On The Oleum Palmae Christi” by Peter Canvane he mentions adding medicines to “warm milk punch, common punch, or toddy, in which a hot poker has been quenched.” as ways of administering medicine to those who complain about the taste. (Total side note. All the really old stuff has the long “S” character ( “ʃ” ) but I changed it to a normal “s” in the quote, it looks like kinda like an f but it’s just another symbol for s that we don’t use anymore. Thats why the Declaration of Independence looks like they spelled everything wrong.) In an 1783 fictional book “Smyth’s Tour of The United States” by J.F.D. Smyth, he notes that his character likes to “take a draught of Bumbo, or toddy, a liquor composed of water, sugar, rum and nutmeg.” There was also a kinda funny romance story from 1741 I found, where a beautiful lady walks into the kitchen and ask the lord of the house for a toddy. “Would you like it hot, or cold? warm I replied.”

All silliness aside the point I am trying to get at is, there is no actual formal recipe to make a toddy but the parts and qualities of a toddy. There are as many toddies as there are people. What matters are the parts, so based on the works I referenced lets brake those parts down.

  1. The first reference points to the colonial American way of heating up drinks. Not by using a stove but by using a hot fireplace poker often called a toddy rod or loggerhead. In a home setting a stove probably was used as it was already fired up for cooking food but in a tavern it was more efficient to simply place iron rods in the already running fireplace. Rather than having a stove run all night just to be ready for the occasional warm drink they could simply dip the toddy rod into the drinks people request warmed.
  2. The second reference give us the ingredient of the toddy. The 4 parts are water, sugar, rum, and nutmeg. Now any spice will do but it is worth noting that even in the early 1862 Bartenders guide only nutmeg is mentioned when adding spice toddies.
  3. The third reference lets us know that toddies were served both hot and cold and sometimes warm. Now I am willing to bet that a cold toddy was just not a heated one. Commercial refrigeration was not invented till the 1850s so access to blocks of ice was limited mostly to business. and while they did have ice houses that saved ice for most of the summer (some stayed in use up to the 1930s), something as special as ice was not going to be wasted on a single drink.

So for this hot toddy recipe I will stick to those points. Using only rum, water, sugar and nutmeg. Heated up with a toddy rod. Almost every recipe you find has lemon juice added it to add to its medicinal qualities but since that is not traditional to the 18th or 19th century I will leave it out and stick to the classic structure. On a fun side note, did you know the original name for the muddler was actually the toddy stick. Thats right, It was based off the pestle from the mortar and pestle but made of wood so it wouldn’t shatter glass cups. The shape was perfect for smashing together fruits, spices and sugar cubes.

Do Hot Toddies Actually Help You Feel Better When You Are Sick

So the short answer is, I guess… sure. The long answer is it depends on what ailment you hope to relieve. Western medicine has come a long way since the 18th century but there are three reasons a person makes a hot toddy today other than it just tasting good. 1). When they have a soar throat. 2). When their sinuses are congested and 3). It just feels nice to cozy up with one during the winter. The main health benefit from a hot toddy comes from honey, if you use sugar then you are missing most of the benefits of a hot toddy. Honey is actually a pretty awesome nectar and has shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In some lab studies if is found to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines, this combined with the warm steam from the drink can help reduce congestion as that is a inflammation of the sinuses. Or you can pop some Sudafed during the day and Benadryl at night as those are some of the present day gold standards of over the counter anti-inflammation medication.

Ignoring mechanical irritation of ones throat like screaming a bunch, the most common reason for a sore throat is infection and the bodies natural response to infection is inflammation. So again its honey with that anti-inflammatory response, or you could just pop an ibuprofen or naproxen as they would be a more effective treatment. And the last point is it just feels good to cozy up with one, and it does. Being cozy just makes you feel happy, but did you also know that nutmeg is a hallucinogen. The dose is so low that its hard to credit any effect on the brain to the nutmeg but it does contain myristicin which in large doses can make people trip. Maybe that good feeling is just a psychedelic nut and alcohol induced feeling. Some people are very sensitive to nutmeg and the active chemicals in it and get pounding headache from even the smallest amount. So don’t ever use too much nutmeg and don’t use it for the purpose of getting high and be careful as it can be dangerous in large doses. Make wise choices.

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Hot Toddy – Classic 18th Century Style Toddy

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

180

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a vintage style hot toddy.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Honey Syrup

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

  • 5 oz Water

  • light dusting Nutmeg

Directions

  • Combine honey and rum into heat resistant or ceramic mug.
  • Either add hot water and stir or add room temperature water and dip a hot toddy rod in. Stir with the rod as the water boils.
  • Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.

Recipe Video

Notes

Hot Buttered Rum – A Classic Early Colonial American Drink

The History Of Hot Buttered Rum

Adding butter to hot drinks was not new during colonial America, butter beer dates back to the 16th century, but hot buttered rum was an early american twist on this type of drink. In the Americas rum and molasses were plentiful and fairly cheap because of it’s close proximity to the Caribbean. In fact rum was the first real spirit of the Americas, not whiskey. I looked high and low but I was unable to find a hot buttered rum like recipe till the 1860s with Jerry Thomas’s book. I scanned drink and food recipe books and eventually just started looking for any historical book older that 1860 that might have a recipe or at least mention a hot buttered rum. Trust me I put more effort into this cocktail than any reasonable person should. I did find a mention of it in the 1826 edition of the Pennsylvanian Historical society. I mentioned how it is common at birthing for “good women” to have hot buttered rum, wines and cordial water served to guest. And if the baby be unwell or fretful a dose of spirit, water and spices could help too. I found an 1855 British book called the Practical housewife, gave a very similar recipe to the one provided but called the drink a buttered toddy. A a book from 1830 called “Three Courses and a Dessert” mentions the hot butter rum and says how its a terrible meaty drink. There were a couple times I found this referred to as a buttered toddy but not much, the much more common name was still hot buttered rum.

Lord knows I tired but the earliest I could find this drink mentioned was in the 1826 Pennsylvanian Historical society. The titles of most of the books that had hot buttered rum recipes were like, the domestic blah blah blah, housewife so and so, or friendly neighbor such and such. They all revolved around the house and made no mention of going out to a tavern, which leads me to think this was very much a home made cocktail. This ultimately means the history of it is a bit muddy and there is no single canon recipe, so take this recipe, modify it, make it your own have fun.

What Does Hot Buttered Rum Taste Like

This is an amazing drink that is spiced well with great texture and flavor. The butter doesn’t come across as heavy or greasy, it adds a nice creamy mouthfeel similar to gum syrup, egg whites or a very full bodied wine. This drink is not weak either. You can really feel the warm rum but the light creamy butter and pumpkin pie spices make it pleasant and not too strong. When I was younger I use to think of this drink as more of an overly sweet almost milk shake like drink but it doesn’t have to be. And again since there is no real single canon recipe for this, the recipe I have here is an amalgamation of older recipes I liked. The sweetness and spice toned down a bit with a little bit more rum. The 2 ounces of rum helps keep the drink from feeling flat and the sugar and spice level make it so the drink taste like a cocktail and not a dessert. The hot buttered rum batter is great on anything. I sometimes add it to coffee, on toast, biscuits, pancakes, etc. Add a little more sugar, spice or butter if you feel the drink needs it. Here is the recipe for the batter but feel free to check out my article on Spiced Butter Batter.

Spiced Butter Batter Recipe

  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Ground Clove
  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Ground Allspice (or 1/2 tbs: Allspice dram)
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) Vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) Unsalted butter
  1. On very low heat or using a double boiler, just melt the butter and then turn off the heat. Don’t cook and separate the butter, just melt it.
  2. Next simply add all the other ingredients to the melted butter.
  3. Stir till the brown sugar has fully mixed in. Cover spiced butter batter and refrigerate.

This recipe will make about a cup (240 grams) of spiced butter batter mix which is about 12 drinks. This is really good on biscuits too and my kids love this spread on toast.

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Hot Buttered Rum – A Classic Early Colonial American Drink

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

220

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Hot Buttered Rum.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Spiced Butter Batter

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

  • 6 oz Hot Water

Directions

  • Drop spiced butter batter into a ceramic or heat resistant mug.
  • Add hot water and stir till the butter is completely melted and incorporated into the water.
  • Lastly add the rum and give a couple last stirs to finish mixing the drink.

Notes

Eggnog | Easy Traditional 1862 Recipe

Eggnog Variations

There are countless eggnog recipes and they all range from thick custard like dairy drinks to non-alcoholic almond milk drinks, and from really good store bought to really bad store bought. During the holiday season a typical grocery store may sell well over a dozen different eggnogs. although, where you can really have fun with eggnog is when its homemade. Common homemade variations of eggnog are:

  1. Traditional no cook eggnog. Like this recipe most of your traditional eggnogs are not cooked but either shaken or beaten and drank right there on the spot or stored in the fridge for several days to develop more flavor.
  2. Modern cooked eggnog. Eggnogs started to get cooked due to the worry of food poisonings from consuming raw eggs. These tend to be very thick and custard like and the majority of most recipes today.
  3. Dairy free eggnog. Typically made for a lactose intolerance, these will replace the dairy with either coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, oat milk or some other kind of alternative milk. They also usually don’t have eggs and most are also vegan.
  4. Egg free eggnog. Typically made for allergies, dietary or just because some folks are grossed out by drinking eggs. Egg free eggnogs just exclude the eggs altogether and use heavy cream to provide a thicker texture.
  5. Vegan eggnog. Made for dietary and lifestyle choices, most of your dairy free egg nogs are also vegan.
  6. Alcohol free eggnog. Almost all store bough eggnogs are alcohol free, unless they are sold at liquor stores. Typically bought for their convenience, the option of adding alcohol or not, and so children can join in too.

I love eggnog and have drank a ton of the every kind listed above. That being said this 1862 Jerry Thomas recipe is the best eggnog I have ever had. THE BEST. This is not a super sweet and thick recipe, it taste like a slightly thicker milk punch. This recipe is ripped right from the 1862 Bartender’s guide. The only change I made is the addition of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The original recipe did not have those ingredients, but I added them because they do make the drink taste better and more inline with what someone expects eggnog to taste like. To me what makes this recipe outstanding is it taste exactly like you would expect eggnog to taste but the texture is thinner, and more like a normal cocktail. It may sound gross to just crack an egg into your shaker, shake it up and drink it, but you will be blown away once you try this eggnog. Keep in mind, these are the original recipes that made eggnog famous to begin with.

To Cook Or Not To Cook Eggnog

Most eggnogs are cooked at low heat for a bit, refrigerated for a few days, and taste like custard or melted ice cream. This is done to ensure that all the germs are killed that could potentially cause food poisoning and because most people are super grossed out at the idea of drinking a raw egg. Cooking also adds quite a bit of time to making eggnog, and it can be difficult to prevent clumping from the egg whites cooking. Hence why most just buy it these days. Although if you add thickened cornstarch to the eggs before cooking it prevents the egg whites from forming large cooked groups. Most recipes say the cornstarch is to add thickness but its really to prevent the proteins from forming large bonds and making the eggnog chunky.

This is not that kind of recipe. This one is fast and easy to make. No cooking, just a bunch of shaking. Most of the really old recipes I found are not the cooked custard kinds but recipes like this one. If you want you can let this drink sit in the fridge for a few days to develop more flavor or just drink it right away.

As a word of warning use pasteurized eggs if you can. Pasteurized eggs are still raw like a normal egg but with all the germs killed off. Pasteurized eggs don’t make big foamy egg white heads like non-pasteurized eggs do but you can be sure they won’t get you sick. The FDA guesstimates that 1 in every 40,000 eggs has salmonella. Which is super rare. Pasteurized eggs are kinda hard to find so you can pasteurizing them yourself or just roll the dice. If you have one of those fancy sous vide devices it’s really easy to do. As someone who has had Salmonella poisoning before, without going into detail, I will say it is one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. Again 1 in every 40,000. So super rare, and if you get Salmonella you’re much more likely to get it the same way I did. Eating dirty food prepared by someone who didn’t wash their hands. I’ve eaten countless raw eggs and have never gotten sick from eggs once.

History Of Eggnog

There is no definitive answer to where eggnog came from. Many guess it is a descendant of a medieval drink called posset, which is a milk and beer drink that would sometimes have an egg added for extra creamy-ness and flavor. The Oxford English Dictionary canonized the word nog in the late 1600s to mean a strong ale. It was probably used by the general population much earlier than that but that’s when it was officially recorded. The first use of the word Eggnog started popping up in the United States in the late 1700s. England had a similar drink but it was called an Egg Flip. Over time it became linked to Christmas and is not made much outside of the winter holiday season.

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Eggnog | Easy Traditional 1862 Recipe

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

584

kcal
ABV

11%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Eggnog.

Ingredients

  • 1 dash Vanilla Extract

  • 1 Whole Egg White

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 6 oz Half & Half

  • 1.5 oz Brandy

  • 1.5 oz Bourbon

Directions

  • Simply combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards and garnish with ground nutmeg.

Notes