Monday, December 28, 2009

Tom and Jerry

Not the loveable cartoon characters. Rather, the even more lovable winter sipper (or gulper, at times).

But first, two non-related items:

1) Today, Caroline on Crack identified my cocktail, the Superstizione as one of her top 10 favorite cocktails of 2009. Thanks for the compliment, Caroline. The Superstizione can be experienced in all its Caroline-approved glory at Drago Centro.

2) On Christmas day, I was able to taste the ("double?") Russian Imperial Stout that my brother in law brewed last year in honor of his son's birth. It'll be aged for 21 years and enjoyed by family and friends each year until then. This year, in honor of the newly toddling Iain, we tasted the concoction after it's first year of resting. W. T. F. That stuff was CRAZY good. I don't even like stout, but the flavors were so intriguing, so well-balanced, that I gave it a 97/100. It's possible that I'm a little biased, and it's not that I'm some world-renowned expert on beer, but I have a decent background in the stuff and I feel pretty confident in saying that it's one of the better-made beers I've had in my life. I only wish he had made more bottles. Maybe he'll go along with my idea of re-brewing every year with the same recipe so we can have side-by-side vertical tastings of a sort.

On to the drink...

There are a great many of drinks with very strict ingredient lists. I often get called a cocktail snob for berating the use of the word "Martini" to refer to anything other than a concoction of gin, vermouth (sweet or dry depending on the type of Martini), and bitters, garnished with a lemon twist, or if you absolutely must, an olive. Though even that's a somewhat loose definition in my eyes. Anyway, the Tom and Jerry doesn't have to follow such strict rules. There are many great recipes out there... and many not so great. In order to introduce you to this tasty warm beverage, or to add another recipe to your binderful of Tom and Jerry variations, I'd like to share my own version, frankensteined together from the recipes of some folks I respect from the blogosphere, and then adapted to my own tastes and style. And even though Christmas is over with, the winter is young, and a nice Tom and Jerry hits the spot just right after dinner on a cold night, or even to slowly wake up with in the late morning of a lazy day.

Tom and Jerry batter:

6 eggs (separated)
1 cup sugar
1 oz rum
1/4 tsp ground clove (preferrably freshly ground)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (VERY preferrably freshly grated)
1/4 tsp ground allspice (preferrably freshly ground)

Beat the egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Beat in the rum, spices, and slowly, the sugar. In a different mixing bowl, beat the crap out of the egg whites until they form those magical stiff peaks. Mix everything together until it has about the consistency of a pancake batter. The batter should remain tasty for 1-2 days. After that though, definitely think about throwing it out. Remember, there's raw egg in there.

Tom and Jerry:

3 oz Tom and Jerry batter
1.25 oz rum
1.25 oz brandy
hot milk
hot water

To a mug, add the batter and liquors. Top with the hot milk and hot water at a 2:1 ratio respectively (or higher, if you're not using whole milk). Stir. Grate a little nutmeg on top, and serve.

As I said before, this is a great drink to experiment with, so feel free to try adding or substituting some cinnamon or orange peel. Or maybe substitute in some rye. Have fun.