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Tom and Jerry – A Brandy Cocktail

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Last Updated on April 23, 2022 by The Noms

This is a family tradition cocktail, the Tom and Jerry drink, one that we have every year! Cheers!


Every year after the turkey and trimmings have been consumed and about the time everyone starts to get hungry for pie, someone will break out the mixer and the hot water and make up a big batch of hot drinks called the Tom and Jerry. For us, breaking out the Tom and Jerry drink is officially the start of the Christmas season! Likewise, our tradition is to start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving, and the Tom and Jerry’s will keep flowing at family events until after the New Year.


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Tom and Jerry Cocktails in glass coffee mugsWooden Spoons / Jigger


Tom & Jerry

Originally created back in the 1850’s as a winter cocktail at St. Louis’s Planter House Hotel by Jerry Thomas. Thomas authored the first cocktail book Bar-Tender’s Guide, How to Mix Drinks back in 1862 and who was considered the godfather of American mixology.


The Tom and Jerry is a steamy sweet drink spiked with brandy and rum and topped with a big aromatic burst of nutmeg. It was likely inspired by a boozy version of English eggnog that is commonly served around the Holidays. The warm drink full of spices and aromatics is perfect sipping on a cold winter’s night. The Tom and Jerry quickly gained favor at saloons and bars with drinkers who wanted a warming tipple.


Tom and Jerry Cocktails with eggs, jigger, wooden spoon and cinnamon sticks

Cinnamon Sticks / Microplane


What is a Tom & Jerry?

In our family, the Tom and Jerry was one of Mr. Nom’s grandparents favorite holiday drinks (they even had the little white china mugs that said Tom and Jerry on them!) The Grandparents were always the ones who made the batter, and at family gatherings at their house meant that at some point Tom and Jerry’s would be served for all (virgin drinks for the kids of course!).


When we started hosting family gatherings, we decided that we needed to keep up this tradition and serve mugs of Tom and Jerry to our family.


Tom and Jerry Cocktail in glass mugs, cinnamon sticks, wood spoons, eggs, milk bottle and fir branch in background

Glass Coffee Mugs


What Ingredients are Needed for the Tom & Jerry Cocktail?

  • Brandy or Rum
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Cloves, Cinnamon and Nutmeg
  • Eggs
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Water
  • Milk


We could have used the recipe that the grandparents used. But, as is our typical path when looking at drinks for the blog, we do a little research in finding the right recipe. While we have always enjoyed the Tom and Jerry‘s served at family gatherings, one commonly heard complaint was that the drink was way too sweet.


We were looking in our copy of the Bar-Tender’s Guide and the original recipe sounded delicious. Likewise, it was definitely not nearly as sweet. Since we are big on trying out the classic cocktails, we decided to serve our version of the original recipe this year. We did a taste test at our Thanksgiving gathering versus the sweet recipe that had been served for many years.


Tom and Jerry Cocktail in glass coffee mugs, cinnamon sticks, eggs, and milk bottle in background

Standing Mixer / Hand Mixer


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The original recipe calls for a a somewhat laborious process to make the batter. It consists of separating the eggs and fluffing the whites into a pillowy foam like a meringue while also foaming milk on the stove. While this sounds like a pain, the results are well worth it. Especially when you are sipping your deliciously steaming mug of rich boozy foam!


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Using brandy and rum to add in a big boozy base, the rich fluffy batter and frothy milk is like a spicy aromatic version of an eggnog latte!  When we served our version to our guests, they all responded that they liked our version! They liked how much more balanced and rich our version was.




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Tom and Jerry Brandy Cocktails in glass mugs, wooden spoons and cinnamon sticks. White jar, eggs and evergreen behind
Yield: 1

Tom and Jerry - A Brandy Cocktail

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A family favorite, this cocktail is perfect for chilly winter nights, and to be enjoyed with a crowd.


Tom & Jerry Cocktail

  • hot water
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch each of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg
  • brandy, rum or a combination of both
  • hot milk


Separate eggs. Whites and yolks in different bowls.

Whip whites in a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer.

When thickened slightly, add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1 spoonful at a time. Continue whipping whites until stiff peaks form.

Mix yolks and remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

When whites are stiffened, add yolk mix to whites and fold to combine. Add in vanilla extract.

When making cocktails, add batter to cup, around 1/4 cup, and then add brandy and rum (1.50 oz total).

We used 1 oz brandy and .50 oz rum, but you can use whatever combination you like the best. Add at least 4 oz hot milk, then top off mug with hot water if desired.

You can add as much milk as you like, more makes it creamier.

Add grated nutmeg on top for a garnish.

Stir slightly to combine.


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 2.2gSaturated Fat: 0.7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 10.2gFiber: 0gSugar: 10.1gProtein: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Tom and Jerry Brandy Cocktails, white frothy cocktails in glass mugs with cinnamon sticks and wooden spoons, eggs, evergreen and white jar in background


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Saturday 21st of November 2020

You awesome individuals were too busy writing your entire life story and forgot to say where the vanilla extract goes.

The 'Noms.

Saturday 21st of November 2020

Hey, thanks for pointing it out! We have missed that step on there for 4 years and you are the first to catch it, so thank you! Cheers!

Paige Layno Winn

Saturday 6th of January 2018

I’m going to make this for a party January 20. Any chance you’ve used cream of tartar to help with separating? Debating whether to use it.

The 'Noms.

Wednesday 17th of January 2018

Sorry, I am just now seeing this comment. We didn't use cream of tartar. If it separates a bit, just scoop both sections that separate into the mugs. It will still turn out. Enjoy!


Tuesday 6th of December 2016

Yum, this sounds delicious! Love your little family tradition :) I may have to try a virgin version this year (pregnant), but the boozy version sounds delicious!

The 'Noms.

Friday 9th of December 2016

Thank you! We think they are great! Cheers!


Monday 5th of December 2016

What a fun drink! This sounds so perfect for the holiday season!


Sunday 4th of December 2016

I bet the nutmeg in this is wonderful! Love the styling of your pics!

The 'Noms.

Sunday 4th of December 2016

Thanks so much! Cheers!

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