'Tis the season for Tom & Jerrys
Illustration by JP Thimot
We've waxed poetic about Tom & Jerry's before—you know, the popular Midwestern holiday drink that Buffalonians have adopted as their own? If you're interested, you can learn the history of the sweet, frothy, and potent beverage here.
But who needs a history lesson when, thanks to the holidays, there are ample opportunities to justify a little day drinking? Here's our list of Buffalo joints offering Tom & Jerrys...
Rumor has it that Boomerang’s was the lucky recipient of The Place’s (see below) trademark Tom & Jerry recipe during the few years that The Place was shuttered. In my opinion, Boomerang’s offers the most refined Tom & Jerry in town—it’s a little less potent and the batter is a little less tooth-achingly sweet: all in all the batter and booze seem to blend better and it is a more satisfying, well-balanced drink than the other versions I’ve had (which is all but one of those listed below).
995 Niagara St., Buffalo, 883-0408
(New for 2015!) These T&Js aren't nearly as sweet as other offerings, but they're delicious!
333 Franklin St. Buffalo, 783-8699
Central Park Grill
CPG's Tom & Jerry features Jim Beam or Meyer's dark rum, and as I prefer, a bit of steamed milk. Check it out.
2519 Main St. Buffalo, 836-9466
Another long-time champion of the great Tom & Jerry, Coles remains one of Buffalo's favorite locations to swill this holiday treat.
1104 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, 886-1449
This restaurant, located in Cheektowaga, has hardly changed in the 50+ years it’s been open. The homemade pies are sure to recall a visit to Grandma’s, so be sure to ask for the special pie menu and grab a slice while you’re enjoying your Tom & Jerry.
669 Wehrle Dr., Cheektowaga, 632-9896
In city central, few bars like The Place remain, and it is treasured by its longtime clientle and residents of Elmwood Village for its neighborhood vibe, filling pub food, and signature Tom & Jerrys.
229 Lexington Ave., Buffalo, 881-1178
Credited with offering its somewhat minty take on the classic Tom & Jerry longer than any other WNY bar.
789 Center Rd., West Seneca, 675-2333
If you haven’t been to Rohall’s yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. A classic tavern, cleaned up and tailored to meet not only the needs of its blue collar neighborhood, but also of the increasing population of hip young folk who find themselves at nearby galleries and restaurants in this emerging district. I haven't had Rohall's Tom & Jerry yet, but I sure am looking forward to it.
540 Amherst St., Buffalo, 939-2087
Glen Park Tavern
It’s no surprise that a restaurant like GPT—with a reputation for serving traditional, hearty WNY fare—also offers Tom & Jerrys during the holiday season.
5507 Main St., Williamsville, 626-9333
And, for those of you who will be entertaining this holiday season (or maybe just up into the wee hours wrapping gifts), I offer my recipe, with variations. The most widely available recipe calls for the addition of warm water to the frothy batter. But after some well-tested experimentation I’ve found that most people prefer the version available here, which uses warm milk, coffee, or a combination of both. I suggest that each person play around a little with the ratios to find a recipe that best suits their taste.
As with traditional eggnog, Tom & Jerrys require the use of raw eggs. Please be advised that many organizations, including the FDA, advise against the consumption of raw eggs. To be on the safe side, exercise caution. Buy your eggs fresh from a local farm, and don’t allow the Tom & Jerry meringue batter to sit around at room temperature for extended periods of time. Grab the closest Christmas cookie for dunking, sit back, and enjoy.
Tom & Jerry
5 eggs, separated
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup brandy, warmed
1 cup dark rum, warmed
1 tsp quality vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Whole milk or coffee, warm (I suggest a blend of milk and coffee)
In a large, very clean bowl beat the egg whites. Add the powdered sugar gradually, beating until the whites begin to form stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, beat the yolks, vanilla, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined. Carefully fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites.
Serve each drink by placing half a shot of brandy, half a shot of rum, and as much warm milk or coffee into the mug as you like. Top liberally with the yummy, frothy egg batter and serve.
Former Spree food editor, Christa Glennie Seychew, contributed these articles from 2011 and 2014. We have combined and (slightly) updated them.