I'd like to think that I survived two East Coast winters because of my introduction to the Tom & Jerry. Although this drink is popular in the Midwest, I love it so much that I still crave it during mild California winters. For those not familiar with this seasonal hot milk punch, it's a creamy spiced batter swirled with Cognac, rum, and hot milk. Basically, a Tom & Jerry tastes like a fluffy, sweet, boozy cloud that you'd want to take a nap in. And if you can make meringue or whipped cream, you too can enjoy this delicious winter cocktail!
It's All in the Batter
The Tom & Jerry starts with spiced egg batter: Egg yolks are whisked with sugar, rum, and sweet spices, and then folded together with beaten egg whites into a fragrant, creamy cloud.
After the batter's made, you can hold it in the refrigerator for up to two hours and make drinks to order, or throw it into a punch bowl if you're immediately serving it to a thirsty crowd. In fact, if you've got one of those iconic Tom & Jerry punch bowls, pull it out! Stir some Cognac and aged rum into the batter, top off with hot milk, and let everything mingle together into a deliciously rich and sweet after-dinner drink that will warm you to the core.
Tom & Jerry
For the batter:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 ounce aged rum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch ground cloves
3 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the punch:
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) Cognac or brandy
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) aged rum
2 1/2 cups (20 ounces) hot whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
Make the batter: Place the sugar, egg yolks, rum, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a large bowl and whisk until the sugar is mostly dissolved; set aside. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium bowl and whisk or beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add the beaten egg whites to the bowl of egg yolks and gently fold until combined.
For a single serving: Place 1/2 cup of the batter in a heated mug. Add 1 ounce of Cognac or brandy and 1 ounce of rum and stir gently to just combine but not deflate the batter. Add 2 ounces of hot milk, stir gently to combine, and garnish with grated nutmeg.
For punch: Place all the batter in a 3-quart punch or serving bowl. Slowly pour in the Cognac and rum and stir gently to combine, being careful not to deflate the batter. Slowly pour in the milk and stir gently to combine. Garnish with grated nutmeg and serve immediately.
- Make ahead: The batter can be refrigerated 2 hours. If you have cold batter, heat up the Cognac and rum with the milk before adding in the batter and stirring.