Food & Drink

The Tasty Midwest Holiday Drink That's So Much Better Than Eggnog

It's like drinking a sugar cookie.

While most of us sip eggnog to get through the holidays, our friends in the Upper Midwest swear by a different drink: the Tom and Jerry.

This beverage is unrelated to the cartoon cat and mouse. And better yet, it tastes like a fresh-baked Christmas sugar cookie:

The Tom and Jerry often comes in&nbsp;a special, <a href="" target="_blank">festive mug</a>.
The Tom and Jerry often comes in a special, festive mug.

As with many cult recipes, the Tom and Jerry’s origins are uncertain. According to The Atlantic, the most popular story holds that a British author invented the drink in the late 1800s as a marketing stunt for his book, whose main characters were Tom and Jerry.

The drink gained a following in the U.S., where it’s best known in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Enjoyed mainly by generations past, the Tom and Jerry has made a small comeback in the last decade or so, popping up in trendy bars beyond its Midwestern base.

The once-a-year kind of drink is labor intensive: Recipes vary, but they always start with a traditional “batter” of whipped egg whites folded in with a mixture of egg yolks and ingredients like spices, sugar, vanilla and/or rum. The New York Times’ recipe involves pouring a blend of rum, Cognac and hot milk over the batter, then dusting the top with nutmeg.

Frothy and rich, the resulting drink “combines the childlike pleasure of a just-baked Christmas cookie with the distinctly adult perk of booze,” according to The Kitchn.

We’re so onboard with that. Cheers!