After I posted a link to Saveur’s Tom and Jerry recipe, I couldn’t get it out of my head. It just seemed so elegant and warm for the holidays, especially as we were having Christmas breakfast with two friends, so I decided to give the recipe a whirl. I think the drinks turned out exactly right, but not without a lot of effort.
First, separating eggs: I don’t find this that difficult (I just do what my mom taught me, which is to plunk the yellow back and forth between the shell halves while the white drains into a bowl) but I did that classic thing where you accidentally drop the yellow into the white, and it breaks, and then you start over.
Second, reading comprehension: All my ingredients are measured out, add the two cups of rum to the batter….hmm, that’s not thickening as promised. Oh, you said two TABLESPOONS of rum? My mistake. Dump the batter, and start over with the egg separating thing… Read on, if you dare.
Third, experimenting with a non-alcoholic version: I decided to try one without the rum and cognac. This was pure experimentation, so I ended up using a bit of almond extract. Okay, way too much of it. Which required adding more egg. And more sugar. A lot more sugar. I have to say, the final drink wasn’t so bad, but it sure was sweet.
Finally, the actual drinking: After carefully folding together the white and yellow batters as directed, I let the concoction chill overnight. When I went to prepare the drinks, all of it had separated, so I had to mix the whole thing up again. That didn’t end up mattering — the drinks still turned out frothy. The warm milk (The Saveur photo is beautiful, but how are they serving it that way when you’re supposed to add warm milk? Is that punchbowl on a warmer?) and additional booze made them tasty, and the nutmeg really did make them look festive. But they cooled down pretty quickly, and after that all I could think was, “I’m drinking a room temperature drink that contains raw egg.” Happy holidays! — Mary T.