There are few holiday traditions more classic than the enjoyment of a Tom & Jerry, eggnog's sexy, spicy, warming cousin.
And there are few places better to enjoy one (or two) than at Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, 1579 S. 9th St., which has been serving up the cocktail regularly for the past five years around the holidays.
In recent years, the tradition has gotten even sweeter. Beginning last year, Bryant’s owner John Dye hired local artist Pete Klockau to design a commemorative milk glass mug especially for the occasion. And the bar began hosting regular Tom & Jerry nights upstairs in the Velvet Lounge.
This year, the official launch of the Tom & Jerry Room will kick off on Friday, Dec. 6 with cocktails offered from 7 p.m. to midnight.
The Bryant’s version of the warm, creamy cocktail – which tastes a bit like boozy spiced custard – employs both brandy and rum, along with a batter containing eggs, vanilla, powdered sugar, butter and the classic spices: nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
"I always tell people that this is the quintessential holiday drink in Wisconsin," says Dye. "If it’s done right, it’s a process; so serving these is a labor of love."
The Tom & Jerry room is open every Friday and Saturday in December from 7 p.m. to midnight (or until cocktails run out), plus Sunday, Dec. 22 and Thursday Dec. 26.
Tom & Jerrys are $10; but you can get the drink complete with a commemorative mug for just $16. Mugs are also available for purchase separately at $9.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.