Arnaud's Tom and Jerry

Tom and Jerry cocktail at Arnaud's French 75
The Tom and Jerry, a classic holiday season drink, requires a little up-front labor — but the end result is well worth it. (Photo: Paul G. Tuennerman)

The classic Tom and Jerry, a beloved Christmas drink that's essentially a hot variation on eggnog, dates back to the 19th century, when writer Pierce Egan created the drink to promote his book and stage play. Here, bartender Chris Hannah shares the version he serves during the holiday season at one of New Orleans' most iconic cocktail bars, Arnaud's French 75. Hannah pre-batches the batter before service, beating egg whites into a meringue that, once ordered by a guest, only needs the addition of hot water and whiskey or Cognac and a sprinkle of nutmeg.


  • 3 ounces hot water
  • 112 ounce whiskey or fine Cognac
  • 2 ounces Tom and Jerry batter (recipe below)


In a coffee mug, add hot water and whiskey or fine Cognac. Ladle the Tom and Jerry Batter on top, sprinkle grated nutmeg on top and serve.

To make the Tom & Jerry batter:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tea Vanilla extract
  • 1 shaker of Ground Nutmeg
Separate the yolks from the egg-whites and set aside. In a mixing bowl beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until peaks begin to form, then add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until the peaks form again. Add the yolks and beat them in as well. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat. Stir in the half and half. Store in a container with a lid and hold in the refridgerator until ready to be ladled into the Tom and Jerry cups.