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 is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.