Recipe: Classic Tom & Jerry Holiday Cocktail

During the holidays, everyone knows Tom & Jerry at The Brass Rail


• THE BRASS RAIL BAR in Port Huron has been in business since 1937, when the former ice-cream parlor became a liquor-serving establishment. Helen David was the proprietor until her death in 2006. The Brass Rail still continues a tradition she started some 60 years ago: serving Tom & Jerry (interpreted at right by Dave Kwiatkowski of the Sugar House in Detroit), the traditional holiday drink that has nothing to do with cartoon characters, but originated from names in a 19th-century novel, Life in London. The Brass Rail serves hundreds of them each year, starting the week of Thanksgiving and continuing until Jan 1. Helen’s nephew Tony Abou-Ganim, who began at the Brass Rail as a bartender, is now the owner. He’s also the author of Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails. (Agate-Surrey, 2010).

> Tom & Jerry

(Serves 12)


8 jumbo eggs
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Freshly grated nutmeg
Very hot water

Separate egg whites and yolks. In a large mixer, beat yolks until creamy, then transfer them to another bowl. Clean mixer thoroughly and add the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat until stiff. Add powdered sugar and fold in creamed yolks. Mix until batter is light and fluffy.

For each drink:

3/4 ounce of your favorite light rum
3/4 ounce of your favorite cognac

In a preheated mug, add two heaping ladles of batter. Add rum and cognac. Slowly pour in hot water and dust with nutmeg. Serve with a paddle or spoon.

photograph by joe vaughn

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