Tom and Jerry

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Historical Recipes

"Bartenders Guide", by Jerry Thomas, 1862

(Use punch-bowl for the mixture.)

  • Take 12 fresh eggs.
  • 1/2 small bar-glass of Jamaica rum.
  • 1 1/2 tea-spoonful of ground cinnamon.
  • 1/2 tea-spoonful of ground cloves.
  • 1/2 tea-spoonful of ground allspice.
  • Sufficient fine white sugar.

Beat the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth, and the yolks until they are thin as water, then mix together and add the spice and rum, stir up thoroughly, and thicken with sugar until the mixture attains the consistence of a light batter. A larger or smaller quantity of this mixture may be made by increasing or diminishing the proportions of the ingredients given in the above recipe. N. B.—A tea-spoonful of cream of tartar, or about as much carbonate of soda as you can get on a dime, will prevent the sugar from settling to the bottom of the mixture.

How to Serve Tom and Jerry.

(Use small bar-glass.)

  • Take 1 table-spoonful of the above mixture.
  • 1 wine-glass of brandy.

Fill the glass with boiling water, grate a little nutmeg on top, and serve with a spoon. Adepts at the bar, in serving Tom and Jerry sometimes employ the following mixture :—one-half brandy, one-quarter Jamaica rum, one-quarter Santa Cruz rum. For convenience, these proportions are mixed and kept in a bottle, and a wine-glassful is used to each tumbler of Tom and Jerry, instead of brandy plain.

Historical References

The Times, London, 22nd March 1833

"...describing the manner in which the heavy duty on malt operated in driving the farmers' labourers to the Tom and Jerry shops by preventing them from brewing for themselves,..."

"Formerly every farmer brewed wholesome beer in his house, and gave it to the servants whom he kept about him; but the expenses of brewing were now so great that the farmer could no longer afford to give his servants this wholesome beverage; and the consequence was that they were driven to pass their time at a Tom and Jerry shop. He did not think that the rural population, in being forced to leave the company of their old friend Sir John Barleycorn, for the near acquaintance of Tom and Jerry., had gained anything by the exchange."

The Rambler in North America, by Charles Joseph La Trobe, 1836

" go on drinking and stimulating with mint-julep, mint-sling, bitters, hail-stone, snow-storm, apple-toddy, punch, Tom and Jerry, egg-nogg..."

Bangor Daily Whig And Courier, 15th July 1841


  • Death chose him out nine able friends,
  • His murderous work to do,
  • He sent them far o'er sea and land,
  • And swift on their errand they flew,
  • There was Brandy and Cordial and Rum and Gin,
  • And Wine of the rosy hue,
  • And Punch and Flip, all courting the lip,
  • And Whiskey called "Mountain dew.'
  • And some sipped Cordial,
  • Add some Swigged Brandy,
  • And some drank Toddy,
    Some Tom and Jerry,
  • Others Rum or the Mountain dew,
  • Ah! who can tell the countless graves -
  • They filled with deluded slaves

Wisconsin Democrat, 14th March 1846

  • "Ye 'hail storms,' mint juleps, and cobblers of sherry,
  • Egg-noggs, Roman punch, and ye spiced Tom and Jerry,
  • Ye toddies, and slings, ye potations of 'swells,'
  • "I have taken the water;" and receive your farewells."

Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel, 4th December 1882

"Billy Linderman's 'Tom and Jerry" is pronounced by all "the best a goin." Call around and try it."

The Marion Daily Star, 11th January 1887

"How did it get the name of 'Tom and Jerry?"' said the bartender as The Press man wiped the egg out of his delicate blonde mustache. "Well, there are several stories about the origin of this popular winter drink. One story is that a couple of young bloods named Tom and Jerry, in a Jersey town went out on a lark one night. They agreed between themselves to try every drink known to the barkeepers in the place. They got through with their scheme along toward daylight the next morning. Their heads were as large as cotton bales and their hair pulled like a team of street-car mules. They went into one more place before going home and asked the bartender to give them a new drink of some kind. The liquor juggler went to work in a careless, don't-care sort of way. He beat some eggs to a froth, put in some sugar, a little hot water, a thimbleful of whisky and some nutmeg. Tom and Jerry swallowed the drinks and smacked their lips. They asked the name of the drink. The barkeeper said it was nameless. 'Then call it Tom and Jerry,' said the bloods, and it was a go. It has since grown in favor as a winter beverage, and the bloods are immortalized. There is still another story: In the good old antebullem days it was the custom of South Carolinians to keep a big bowl of egg-nog on hand for visitors on Christmas day. Back from Charleston a score of miles there was a wayside hostlery kept by two brothers named Tom and Jerry Winston or Wilson, I have forgotten which. Anyway their names were Tom and Jerry. These boys were famous for the egg-nog they made. It was more like syrup than to be obtained anywhere else in the State, and it was given tone by the purest and best of whisky. When winter calls the drinkers of Charleston and other towns near by made frequent trips 'to see Tom and Jerry,' for no other purpose than to get some good egg-nog. Tom and Jerry became famous in the State, and just, about the time the war broke out the name of egg-nog had dropped out of sight in Carolina, and in its stead appeared what is known as 'Tom and Jerry.' Some Union soldiers stopped at the wayside inn during the late unpleasantness, about the time Charleston was burned, and obtained some of the drink. Returning North they spread the fame. The result you see before you in every saloon and hotel barroom this side of Masons and Dixon's line. Let's see, did you pay me for your's ? Oh, yes; well, so long.""

Warren Ledger, 29th October 1886

"The Agitator is the name of a Jamestown temperance paper just out for September. The name is very pat. We have plagerized it to engrave on the handle of our tom-and-jerry spoon."

Historical Mentions

Nevada State Journal, 22nd December 1879

"Tom and Jerry" (alcohol advert).

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