Amer A. Vargas Mixology Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2020, Let’s Talk about Mixology

Amer A. VargasLet’s Talk about Mixology, Part 61

by Amer A. Vargas


Tom & Jerry as pictured in Profileplan’s Pinterest

With Christmas just around the corner, it is time for a Christmassy brew again!

Perhaps you remember that this time last year, we tried out a variation of the traditional Eggnog punch, the White Chocolate Eggnog Punch. This year, we will be having seconds! However this time, we have a proper name for it: the Tom & Jerry. And this delectable hot cocktail celebrates its Second Century Anniversary!

The name probably rings a bell. The famous cat and mouse TV characters got their name from a book by Pierce Egan named Life in London, or The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn Esq. and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom and the subsequent theater play Tom and Jerry, or Life in London. Both works narrate the riotous adventures of Tom and Jerry in the English capital city, and many years later the cat and the mouse started their own riotous cartoon relationship based on this story.

Egan Pierce himself invented this variation of the regular Eggnog Punch by adding brandy to the recipe, and started calling it Tom & Jerry to advertise both his book and the stage play. The additional fortification helped popularize the drink in London and subsequently quickly crossed the Atlantic during the days of the US Prohibition, because the mix looked more like what we would now call a smoothie than a cocktail. The added alcohol also increased the heating qualities of an already hot brew.

Nowadays, the Tom & Jerry includes not only brandy, as did the original, but also rum.

This is the list of ingredients you need to make 12 to 15 servings of the “batter” needed for the hot cocktail (as this brew is normally best enjoyed in the good company of family and friends):

  • 6 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar (or ¼ teaspoon salt)
  • ¼ cup butter (softened)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 oz. / 30 ml. dark rum

Then, for each serving, you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon batter
  • 1 oz. / 30 ml. dark rum
  • 1 oz. / 30 ml. brandy
  • 4 oz. / 120 ml. hot milk, hot water or a mix
  • Garnish: grated nutmeg and/or cinnamon powder/stick.

Start by preparing the batter. First, separate the egg whites from the egg yolks and place them in separate bowls. Add the cream of tartar or salt to the egg whites and whip until you get stiff peaks.

Then add the softened butter and sugar to the egg yolks and whip until the mix is completely homogeneous. Next, incorporate the egg white mix into the egg yolk 1/3 at a time, folding gently so as to not to break the air bubbles in the egg white froth. When all ingredients are perfectly mixed, stir in the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla extract and the rum.

If you prepare the batter well ahead of its consumption, store it in the refrigerator.

And now, it’s time to put the brew together. Since this cocktail is to be enjoyed hot, preheating the mugs before serving will ensure a longer-lasting experience.

Add 1 heaping tablespoon of batter, then 1 oz. / 30 ml. each of dark rum and brandy to the mug. Fill the mug with hot milk (or hot water or a combination of the two), stirring gently so as to mix the batter with the rest of ingredients. Top up with a dollop of batter and garnish with grated nutmeg, a cinnamon stick and/or cinnamon powder.

We, at the International Institute of Modern Butlers, wish you a Happy Holiday Season and a smooth entry into 2021.

To a great New Year, cheers!

Mr. Vargas is the Institute’s President—feel free to contact him via email, AmerVargas @

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.