FROM OUR RECIPE ARCHIVES: Joe Wilfer’s Tom & Jerry

The Tom & Jerry–a frothy, rich Christmas-time drink akin to eggnog–was, according to cocktail historian David Wondrich, created in the early 1850s by famed mixologist Jerry Thomas. As legend goes, Thomas refused to make them until after the first snowfall. It may not be Christmas yet, but the snow has fallen, people, so ready your mixers!

The Tom & Jerry–a frothy, rich Christmas-time drink akin to eggnog–was, according to cocktail historian David Wondrich, created in the early 1850s by famed mixologist Jerry Thomas.  As legend goes, Thomas refused to make them until after the first snowfall.  It may not be Christmas yet, but the snow has fallen, people, so ready your mixers! 

Below is a recipe from Joe Wilfer, a Wisconsin native and longtime friend of the three co-owners of the East Village bar Tom & Jerry’s.  Read the story for more on the bar that brings a little warmth and a little bit of the Midwest to the city.

Joe Wilfer’s Tom & Jerry

Serves 30 or more

1 dozen large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
2½ quarts brandy
1¼ quarts rum
Boiling water
Freshly grated nutmeg

Mix egg yolks with cloves, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 15–20 minutes. Add cream of tartar and blend in sugar. Fold yolk mixture into whites.

Scoop a dollop of batter into each cup, and stir in brandy, rum and hot water. Top with grated nutmeg, and toast to Joe Wilfer.

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