This warming holiday cocktail is said to have been concocted in the 1850s by famed Manhattan bartender Jerry Thomas. The drink re-emerged in the 1950s and gained popularity among the party crowd. This cocktail can be difficult to perfect, so you may find yourself “experimenting” with it throughout the holidays.

Tom and Jerry Tom and Jerry
Experiencing the Tom and Jerry is like sipping a hot toddy through a brandy-laced, nutmeg-dusted froth.
Yield: serves 10


  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 4 tbsp. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 10 12 oz. brandy
  • 10 oz. bourbon or dark rum
  • 8 cups milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Whisk egg whites in a large bowl until foamy, then while whisking, gradually add 2 tbsp. sugar until stiff peaks form. Whisk egg yolks together with remaining 2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tbsp. brandy in small bowl until thick and pale yellow. Fold whites into yolks, and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 30 minutes.
  2. Heat milk in a large saucepan over medium heat until bubbles appear around edge of pan. Reduce heat and keep milk hot but not simmering. Heat 8-oz. mugs with boiling water, then pour water out. To each mug add 1 oz. (about 1 tbsp.) brandy, 1 oz. bourbon, and a dollop of batter and stir well. Fill with hot milk, then float a dollop of batter with a dusting of nutmeg on top.