The L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Drinking Guide

A set of five Tom and Jerry mugs listed on EBay as Buy It Now for $20.

Note: This is a repost from 2013.

We don’t keep a bottle of Scotch in our desk in the city room of the L.A. Daily Mirror. In fact, we are something of a wet blanket when it comes to imbibing.

However, we can’t resist a nod to drinks of the past during this time of year.

Our first is the Tom and Jerry (we still have grandma’s dozens of Tom and Jerry mugs stashed away somewhere or other). The Tom and Jerry was a seasonal favorite back in 1940s, but I can’t say I have seen them at a party or ever tasted one.

If you’re planning some retro holiday celebrating (you know who you are), here’s how to make them.

You will need:

1 cup of brandy
1 cup of rum
6 eggs, separated
1 pound of powdered sugar (remember that sugar was still rationed even after the end of World War II)
Boiling water

Here’s a 1945 recipe:

This recipe served six in the 1940s,  but there’s no telling how far it would go today.

Whip the egg whites until they (not you) are stiff.

Helpful tip: Do not wash the beater.

Then beat the yolks (you did remember to separate the eggs, right?) until they are thick and “lemon-colored,” according to our recipe.

Beat the sugar into the yolks (you are modern and have a Sunbeam Mixmaster, don’t you, dearie?) until it is thoroughly dissolved.

Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. This makes the batter.

Combine the cup of brandy and the cup of rum. Ix-nay on the ippling-tay.

Depending on the size of your cups (those are mugs, dearie) put 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each cup. Add one jigger of the combined rum and brandy and then the hot water, stirring constantly.

Top with that nutmeg I mentioned earlier.

If you want to go the punchbowl route, stir the rum and brandy mix into the batter, add a teaspoon of nutmeg and slowly add three cups of that boiling water I mentioned, stirring all the way.

Now drink a toast to the Greatest Generation and thank them for doing such a fine job on the P-38s.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1945, Food and Drink and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Drinking Guide

  1. Earl Boebert says:

    Hey, no snark about Tom and Jerries . Those suckers got me through 25 Christmas Seasons in Minneapolis.

    Plus ippling-tay 🙂

    Earl (Not so much a Grinch anymore) Boebert


  2. Lee Ann, Megan and Thom says:

    I love the old Tom and Jerry sets with the matching punch bowls I see at antique malls all over the midwest–haven’t bought a set, though, because we’d have to build an auxiliary dining room on to the house. It’s a shame because they are sooo evocative of that holiday time of 50 years ago in the United States. Like your grandmother with her set of mugs, my grandfather was always ready to treat family, friends, and neighbors to “a little nip” in the spirit of the season.


    • lmharnisch says:

      I have still never had a Tom and Jerry. I suppose one of these days I should break down and try one just to see what they were all about.

      Come back tomorrow for a brief history of the Tom and Jerry.


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