Tom and Jerry Christmas Drink Recipe : Journaling

My grandfather would have turned 99 years old on Christmas morning. One of his greatest legacies in our family came every Christmas Eve when he made a hot, spiked batch of Tom and Jerrys for everyone. I have no idea how this drink became so iconic in our family. (It is a very popular Christmas cocktail in the US that could best described as a hot, spiked eggnog.)

It’s been on my mind a lot this season.

If I close my eyes, I can be back in my grandparents’ house 20 years ago. I can imagine my grandfather (and later one of my uncles) mixing up the Tom and Jerry batter in the kitchen. I can smell the pine scent of the biggest Christmas trees I’d ever seen. One of my uncles would come into the living room with a little tray of handmade pottery mugs made by my grandma. Each mug would be filled to the brim with an alcohol-free Tom and Jerry for my cousins and me. Later the alcoholic ones would start coming out for all our older cousins and relatives. “Don’t spill it,” we’d be told over and over. And we never did. The mugs in our hands were just too sacred. They made us feel like we were a part of something really special: this family.

I recently pulled out the recipe from an old family cookbook and distributed it to a bunch of cousins. We’ve decided to recreate the Tom and Jerry tradition in our homes. I suppose it could never be exactly the same. Memories never are. But we can recapture and recreate traditions in our own ways. Future generations can celebrate and love with mugs of Tom and Jerry, too.

So you know me. I had to document this piece of holiday tradition in my Christmas journal.

I used the tag that comes with the Joy to the World Christmas journal at Gadanke. I taped on scraps of red and green paper cut like pennants. Then I wrote my grandfather’s recipe. (Later, I added a red ribbon on the top, as shown on the first photo.)

I wrote the story of Tom and Jerrys on the back and tucked the tag into my journal.

I think I’d like to tell more of this story later in this book. And of course, I can’t wait for sipping some.

Here’s my grandpa’s recipe if you’re interested. It’s not a sweet drink, which can be a nice change.

Tom and Jerry

1. Heat mugs by filling each with hot water.
2. While mugs are heating, mix 1 quart dry milk with hot water.
3. Place 2-3 eggs into mixer and beat; add sugar until white and fluffy.
4. Empty hot water from mugs.
5. Into each mug add 1 jigger brandy; 1/2 jigger rum; 2 tbsp egg and sugar mix.
6. Fill mug with hot milk. Relish with nutmeg, spoon and serve.

Tell us about a Christmas memory from your childhood. Tell us about your grandparents at Christmastime.