How to Make the Classic Tom & Jerry Cocktail Recipe

A cocktail that’s made with batter? Be honest. This is what you’ve been looking for all your life. And the soothing warm Tom & Jerry cocktail is the answer.

The Tom and Jerry cocktail is a classic winter drink that has stood the test of time. With its rich flavors and warm, comforting qualities, it has become a regional staple during the holiday season.

Tom & Jerry cocktail in short glass mug

Origins of the Tom and Jerry Cocktail

The origins of the Tom and Jerry cocktail can be traced back to the early 19th century. Its creation is often attributed to British journalist Pierce Egan in his book “Life in London” in 1821.

The name “Tom and Jerry” was possibly inspired by two characters from Egan’s book, Tom and Jerry Hawthorn, who were known for their love of festive celebrations.

Lighter Eggnog

This drink has been described as a lighter version of eggnog, and that’s a reasonable description. It’s also a drink that requires a lot of preparation and makes more sense as a cocktail you make in big batches rather than one at a time..

And that makes it a terrific winter holiday drink that’s perfect for any get-together.

Serving Suggestions

The Tom and Jerry cocktail is best enjoyed in a cozy setting during the winter season, or anytime it’s cold and you want a warming drink.

Try serving it in festive mugs or glasses adorned with holiday-themed decorations. You could also accompany it with traditional holiday treats such as gingerbread cookies or warm apple pie.

It really doesn’t need any garnish – it’s almost a light meal as it is – but you can always add sprinkled of cinnamon or nutmeg, or whipped cream on top.

Making the Cocktail

This drink takes two stages. First, you make the batter ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Then you make the cocktails later, using the batter.

You’ll find the recipe for the batter below the cocktail recipe.

Tom & Jerry cocktail in glass mug on table with cinnamon sticks

Tom & Jerry Cocktail Recipe

Yield: 1 drinks
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A cocktail that's made with batter? Be honest. This is what you've been looking for all your life. And the soothing warm Tom & Jerry cocktail is the answer.


  • 1 tablespoon batter (see recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 ounces dark rum
  • 1 1/2 ounces cognac
  • Hot whole milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, allspice and/or cinnamon


  1. In a warmed mug or glass, add 1 tablespoon of batter.
  2. Add the dark rum and cognac to the mug.
  3. Fill the remainder of the mug with hot milk, leaving some space at the top for garnish.
  4. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg on top as a garnish.
  6. Serve immediately while still hot.

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Making the Batter

The key to a successful Tom and Jerry cocktail lies in the preparation of the batter. Ingredients can curdle if you don’t follow the recipe exactly.

Safety Note

Be sure to store this in the fridge until you’re ready to pour. It contains raw eggs and shouldn’t be left sitting out.

Also note that raw or undercooked eggs in any recipe pose a risk of food-borne illness.


  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites, placing them in separate bowls.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  3. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until they become thick and pale yellow.
  4. Gradually add the sugar to the egg yolks, beating continuously until well combined.
  5. Add the cream of tartar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and salt to the egg yolk mixture. Mix well.
  6. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites until fully incorporated.
  7. Your batter is now ready to be used in the cocktail.

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Last Updated:

December 22, 2023