Tom & Jerry

Not the cat and mouse.

According to my calendar, the Tom and Jerry is one of our older cocktails. It was invented in the 1850s at the Planter's House Hotel in St. Louis. This is one of those libations where you can make a basic 'batter' and lubricate large crowds, mixing individual drinks as they're ordered.

Now, this does call for raw eggs, so remember all the usual admonitions about raw eggs.

You whisk together an egg yolk, dark rum (Internet Cocktail Database calls for light rum), and brandy (ICD says to stir this in last).

Then, the hard part, you have to whip an egg white. I bought a Wolfgang Puck stick blender on HSN last summer, which comes with a whisk attachment. (I lost, accidentally threw out, I think, the blade for the chopper bowl attachment about the first time I used it - which is what I'd bought the set for to begin with.) That whipped up the egg white in no time flat (i.e., less than a minute). I'd always shied away from recipes calling for whipped egg whites, but this was really easy and quick. I'll be making souffles before you know it.

My calendar says to mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves (not too much), and allspice with the white. IDB says to mix the spices and sugar with the yolk and liqueur, which I think might work better.

Fold (aka, a gentle stir) the whites into the yolk and liqueur, and top with hot water.

This is one of my favorite of the hot winter drinks I've made lately (though the Mexican chocolate egg nog was probably the best). It sneaks up on you. I didn't think the first mug had much of a kick, but by the time I finished the second, I was feeling black and blue. This drink sounds complicated, but it comes together in 5 minutes tops. And it's healthy too. (raw egg admonitions repeated, etc.)