Egg Nog and the Tom and Jerry
With the two feet of snow in the Washington D.C. area and southern Connecticut getting hit with somewhat of a blizzard today, I thought some yuletide history of one of my favorite holiday drinks – the Tom and Jerry.
The history of eggnog is debated, and likely a combination of all the stories. This milk and egg drink is typically served during the holiday season, and has become associated with Christmas tradition. However, eggnog was historically known as a winter beverage, and often served with alcohol.
The first theory on eggnog’s history places the drink in a small carved wooden mug called a “noggin,” used for serving alcohol. Drinks made with egg would then be combined with “nog,” eventually becoming “eggnog.”
Another theory speculates that eggnog was derived from posset, a Medieval European drink made with hot milk, eggs, and ale or wine. Posset was used for a cold remedy and to help people with illnesses sleep more soundly (thus the possible origin of warm milk before bed).
A colonial term for rum was “egg and grog,” which could have easily be shortened to “eggnog” over the years. Since milk and eggs were scarce to all but the aristocracy in Europe, there’s a chance that eggnog didn’t gain its full popularity until it hit the United States, where dairy farms were more plentiful and milk was accessible to a greater portion of the populace. In addition, rum was more popular in the United States due to heavy taxation on European wines, so eggnog as we know it was developed, more or less, right here in the colonies.
During the 1820’s an authour named Pierce Egan created a version of eggnog named “Tom and Jerry.” The recipe called for brandy to be added to the basic recipe of eggs, milk, spices, and rum. The result was very popular, and eggnog was well on its way to being a social drink.
The cups are unique – and festive looking.
Tom and Jerry
1 oz. Dark Rum
1 oz. Brandy
1 tsp. Sugar
6 oz. Hot water milk, or coffee
Seperate egg in two bowls. Add Rum & Brandy to the yolk and beat together until frothy. In th other bowl beat the egg white until it peaks then add sugar and bet until stiff. Fold into the liqour mixture. Pour into a coffee mug and top with the water, milk or coffee. It will absolutely warm your toes.