Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (2024)

Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (1)

Tom and Jerry Batter

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American

An Improved version of the original Jerry Thomas Tom and Jerry recipe that maintains the spirit of the original.


  • Tom & Jerry Batter Recipe
  • 6 whole 6 whole Eggs

  • 1.5 cups 300 g Granulated Sugar

  • 1 tbs 8 g Corn Starch (as an egg white stabilizer)

  • 1 oz 30 ml Gold Rum

  • 1/2 tsp 1 g Ground Cloves

  • 1/2 tsp 1 g Ground Allspice

  • 1/2 tsp 1 g Ground Cinnamon

  • Tom & Jerry Drink Recipe:
  • 1 oz 30 ml Tom and Jerry Batter

  • 1.5 oz 45 ml Brandy

  • 4 oz 120 ml Hot Water


  • Tom & Jerry Batter Directions:
  • Combine the spices and rum in a bowl and set aside to bloom the flavors.Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (2)
  • Combine cornstarch and a little cold water, stir till the cornstarch is dissolved, then set aside.Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (3)
  • Separate the egg whites and yolks into two bowls.Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (4)
  • 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 soft or medium peak meringue.Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (5)
  • 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 turn into poached eggs.Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (6)
  • In the second bowl with the egg yolks add the rum and spice mix. Using the electric mixer again beat the yolks till they are mixed and runny.Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (7)
  • Add the egg yolk mixture to the meringue and fold to combine.Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (8)Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (9)
  • Tom & Jerry Drink Directions:
  • Drop the batter into a ceramic or heat resistant mug. Batter recipe is posted above or click here to read it.Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (10)
  • Add the spirit and mix it with the batter.Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (11)
  • Lastly, add hot water and give a couple of last stirs to finish mixing the drink.Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (12)
  • Note: The order the ingredients are added matters. The order protects the egg whites from curdling. Granish with ground nutmegTom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (13)

Recipe Video


What Is The Original 1860s Tom & Jerry Batter Recipe by Jerry Thomas?

For knowledge and posterity, this is the Original 1860s Jerry Thomas recipe for the Tom and Jerry from his 1862 Edition of The Bartenders Guide.

  • 12 Eggs
  • 8 cups (2 kg) of sugar
  • 2 oz (60 mLs) gold rum
  • 1 tsp (2.5 g) ground cloves
  • 1 tsp (2.5 g) ground allspice
  • 1 tsp (2.5 g) ground cinnamon

Separate the egg whites and yolks. Add the spices and sugar to the egg whites and beat the whites to a stiff meringue. Beat the egg yolks to thin them out and then mix them with the meringue.

What Is The Difference Between The Original Tom And Jerry Bater Recipe And This Improved One?

The only difference between the original Tom & Jerry recipe and this one is that I halved the sugar and added cornstarch to the meringue. My goal was to maintain the original flavor and spirit of the drink while using a little science to stabilize it. I did quite a few experiments, and the issue with the original recipe is that you can not use hot water or hot milk because it will cook the egg whites and curdle the meringue—only warm water will work. This is a common issue for desserts like flan and soufflé and why they are cooked in water baths to prevent them from getting too hot or tempered and constantly whisked like Hollandaise. The trick to maintaining the original Tom and Jerry flavor and making it so that the drink does not curdle when hot water is added is to make this like a custard. Adding a small amount of thickened cornstarch will not change the drink’s flavor or texture and prevents the egg proteins from binding into scrambled eggs. This is specifically a technique for stabilizing Boston Cream fillings.

Cornstarch is a stabilizer in the dextrin family. One of the properties of dextrins is that they stabilize proteins from denaturing and binding together in high heat and acidic environments. It is also flavor neutral (unlike other dextrins like all-purpose flour) and does not need to be cooked before use. By adding a small cornstarch slurry, this improved version is true to the original’s flavor and texture while being able to be rapidly heated without issue. I also reduced the sugar, as it was just too sweet, in my opinion. That all comes down to personal preference, though.

Should I Make A Tom & Jerry With Butter or Heavy Cream?

Most modern Tom and Jerry recipes have butter, or heavy cream added, but that was not part of the original recipe. These recipes are good, but they are a bit too thick. Too close to egg nog in texture and taste. What makes the classic recipe so nice is its flavorful and light. Not too thin and not too thick. Like the addition of warm milk instead of water, the idea of using butter and heavy cream is to add extra creaminess to the drink. And don’t get me wrong, these recipes are good too, but the appeal of a Tom And Jerry is its mousse-like texture.

Should You Buy Tom & Jerry Batter Or Make It?

A jar or bucket of Tom & Jerry batter is oddly expensive, considering these are ingredients you probably have in your fridge right now. It’s mostly a midwest drink too, so it’s hard to find if you don’t live in the midwest. Making Tom and Jerry Batter does require some baking skills, too, as the meringue is not the easiest ingredient to make right, and you will need an electric mixer of some sort (a hand mixer is fine, it doesn’t have to be one of those larger KitchenAid ones). Do not try and make this by hand with a balloon whisk. Making meringue with a whisk is almost impossible. It would help if you had an egg beater or electric mixer; otherwise, your forearms will be on fire.

Again, if you do not live in the midwest, you are forced to make this yourself, but even if you do, a homemade Tom and Jerry Batter is worth it. Better product, you know what you put in it, easily adjust the sweetness to your taste, much cheaper to make it than buy it, and it only takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Recipe Resources

NOTE: If what you are looking for is the Also, the video attached to this recipe below provides simple step-by-step instructions to make the batter and drink.

Tools Used:

Tom & Jerry Batter - Classic Recipe & History - Vintage American co*cktails (2024)


What is the history of the Tom and Jerry co*cktail? ›

A Tom and Jerry is a traditional Christmas-time co*cktail in the United States, sometimes attributed to British writer and professional boxing journalist Pierce Egan in the 1820s. It is a variant of eggnog with brandy and rum added and served hot, usually in a mug or a bowl.

What is Tom and Jerry batter made of? ›

Made with eggs, sugar, and vanilla to give you a rich foamy batter. Just add your favorite rum and brandy.

What's the difference between eggnog and Tom and Jerry batter? ›

The biggest difference between the two is that the Tom and Jerry is served warm; secondly, the Tom and Jerry has a whipped, silky texture that doesn't weigh you down like thick eggnog. According to Harris, the Tom and Jerry first appeared in the 1820s. It was created by London sportswriter Pierce Eagan.

How do you keep Tom and Jerry batter from separating? ›

David Wondrich's Tom & Jerry

“Years ago, Audrey Saunders convinced me to not be such a stickler for the old recipe and use milk instead of water, so I use milk—it's just better,” he admits. To keep the batter from separating (thus, necessitating constant stirring), he adds half a teaspoon of cream of tartar.

How did the Tom and Jerry co*cktail get its name? ›

I named the drink after myself, kinder familiarly: I had two small white mice in those days, one of them I called Tom and the other Jerry, so I combined the abbreviations in the drink, as Jeremiah P. Thomas would have sounded rather heavy, and that wouldn't have done for a beverage.

What did Tom and Jerry used to be called? ›

Tom & Jerry were originally named "Jasper & Jinx" by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Only Tom was ever identified on-screen by his original name ("Jasper"). The name Jinx was used by H&B in their television cartoon about the mice Pixie and Dixie and their adversary the feline Mr. Jinx.

Where did Tom and Jerry batter originate? ›

The Tom and Jerry's origins are frequently traced back to a clever publicity stunt orchestrated by the British journalist Pierce Egan. The story goes that Egan added brandy to eggnog to create a signature co*cktail to promote his 1821 book, Life in London, or The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn Esq.

How do you make Tom and Jerry? ›

  1. Boiling water, to rinse.
  2. 1 ounce dark rum.
  3. 1 ounce cognac.
  4. 1 tablespoon Tom & Jerry batter (recipe below)
  5. Whole milk, hot, to top.
  6. Garnish: nutmeg, freshly grated.
  7. Garnish: ground cloves.
  8. Garnish: ground allspice.

Does Tom and Jerry batter expire? ›

Store the Tom and Jerry batter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week. If you go ahead and mix in alcohol (such as rum or brandy), it will keep for a bit longer. You can freeze the Tom and Jerry mix for up to two months.

What is the old name for eggnog? ›

"While culinary historians debate its exact lineage, most agree eggnog originated from the early medieval" British drink called posset, which was made with hot milk that was curdled with wine or ale and flavored with spices. In the Middle Ages, posset was used as a cold and flu remedy.

What do you call eggnog with alcohol? ›

“I used to do an eggnog with a little bit of sherry and a little bit of añejo tequila,” a mixture I like to call 'Añeggnog. ' Sure, maybe it's not traditional, but what could be more appropriate for a classic holiday co*cktail than a groan-worthy dad joke? Ready to drink some eggs 'n' cream?:

What alcohol is most commonly used in eggnog? ›

While brandy is the most traditional alcohol to pair with eggnog, according to traditional recipes, you can also use a mixture of dark rum and Cognac. If you like your eggnog with more of a kick you can also add bourbon, but we recommend sticking to rum and Cognac to preserve the 'nog's flavors.

Is Tom and Jerry batter safe? ›

Avoid Raw Eggs

Crafted co*cktails like Eggnog or Tom & Jerry, require adding whipped raw eggs to give the co*cktails their creamy, frothy texture. Consumption of raw shell eggs is associated with Salmonella, Campylobacter and other pathogenic organisms.

Why is my batter falling apart in the fryer? ›

First, the oil might not have been hot enough. If the oil isn't at the correct temperature, your fish will absorb the oil while it's frying, causing some of the batter to drop off. To prevent this, your oil should be around 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should batter mix be kept in the fridge? ›

The cold temperature of the refrigerator slows down the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, helping to keep the batter fresh for a longer duration. Properly refrigerated, the batter can last for 1 to 2 days. Always prepare the batter with fresh and good-quality ingredients.

Is Tom and Jerry a Wisconsin drink? ›

The Tom and Jerry was invented in London, but 200 years later, it's Wisconsin and Minnesota that carry the torch for this sweet and rich drink. The hot-batter co*cktail remains a regional obsession.

What's the difference between Tom and Jerry and hot buttered rum? ›

While both are hot, alcoholic beverages, their ingredients differ. Tom and Jerrys are also often made with rum, though they can also be made with whiskey or vodka. Both are also spiced. However, a batter instead of butter (see what we did there?) is used to make a Tom and Jerry rich and creamy.

Who invented the Tom Collins co*cktail? ›

The History Behind the Tom Collins co*cktail

The original creation of the co*cktail is credited to John Collins, a bartender that worked at Limmer's Hotel in London. Collins possessed charisma and a friendly personality that made him well known in the London bar scene.

Why did they name it co*cktail? ›

Some claim that the phrase “co*cktail” originated in New Orleans, where the creator of a well-known bitters by the name of Peychaud was known to serve a mixed brandy drink in a French egg cup called a 'coquetier. ' Over time, fans of the beverage would westernize the pronunciation, eventually landing on 'co*cktail. '

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