As the weather in Southern Arizona cools off, I think about the holiday traditions that families have.  Once the weather cooled off, my great grandpa would make a batch of Tom and Jerry batter.  As kids, you could just have a small one fixed in a shot glass; but as adults, I looked forward to making a batch of batter myself and enjoying them all throughout the holidays.

The drink is often mistaken for eggnog - but eggnog it is not. A Tom and Jerry is light and spicy, with a sweet foamy crown that forms when hot water is stirred into the batter. Once you’ve sprinkled the top with nutmeg, it is ready to drink. For the children in your family, just leave out the alcohol.

You may cringe at the ingredients and yes there are raw eggs; but I think the spiced rum does something to the eggs.  

In Minnesota, the weather would get pretty cold; but they still taste great in the desert too.  It’s all about tradition for me when the holidays roll around.  

You may just want to have one, as they are a bit sweet.  Or you may want to have two if you need warming up. 

To me it tastes like a really good Starbucks coffee.

Happy Holidays!


Tom and Jerry Batter

What You’ll Need:

6 eggs, separated

¼ tsp. salt

½ pound softened real butter

1 ½ pounds powdered sugar

1tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. of nutmeg, cloves and allspice

1 tsp. cinnamon

Dark Rum

Hot water



Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, set aside.  Beat together the egg yolks, butter , spices and vanilla, gradually add in the powdered sugar.  When combined, fold in the egg whites, mix until all combined.  

This will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks; usually it doesn’t last that long. 


To make a Tom and Jerry – 

Place 2T. or so of batter in the bottom of a coffee mug.  Fill ¾ of the way with hot water, then add a shot or two of dark spiced rum.  Stir well and serve.

(Editors Note: Kathy Bullerman is a personal chef in Oro Valley. To reach Bullerman, visit her website at

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