Cocktails & Interiors: Tom & Jerry

A few years ago, I found myself in London…in the winter…and it was COLD! Need I remind you that this girl is from Kuwait (where it averages 70 degrees in the dead of January) relocated to LA, in part because of the similar climate?! Ahhh…sunshine!

Anyway, while traveling, I happened upon a new cocktail one night…and when I read the name, I just knew I had to try it (no matter what was in it)…a Tom & Jerry. I mean, c’mon! How fun and nostalgic, am I right?!

To my surprise it was delicious. One sip, and I was hooked. Landing somewhere between a hot buttered rum and a perfectly spiced eggnog, the Tom & Jerry turned out to be this idyllic holiday drink that elicited warm fuzzy feelings…and left me in a comfortable happy place on that chilly, damp, wintry London night.

Having experienced this magical warming elixir myself, I completely understand why the Tom & Jerry has been around for 200 years…and continues to be a holiday beverage of choice in the Midwest. If I lived in MN or WI, I’d need to drink to survive (I mean, stay warm), too!

Enough chit chat, for now…are you ready to try it yourself?!

Fair warning, though…this isn’t the simplest drink to craft, but I promise the time and effort are worth the end result. Creamy, delicious, and basically Thanksgiving or Christmas in a glass…here’s the deets for a large batch of this classic cocktail (don’t worry…you’ll thank me later that you have all of the components prepped and ready to go what you hit the bottom of that first drink):

MAKE THE TOM & JERRY BATTER.

1. Prep your ingredients…

  • 12 eggs (separated)

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (softened)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 ounces rum (dark)

2. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks and place them in separate bowls.

3. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whip with a mixer until you have a meringue-like texture with stiff peaks.

4. Add the softened butter and sugar to the bowl of egg yolks and whip until it is fully incorporated into a liquid.

5. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites.

6. Stir in the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, and rum. Cover and store the batter in the refrigerator until it’s time to make the drink.

CRAFT THE DRINK ITSELF.

1. Prep your ingredients (those listed below make 1 serving)…

  • 1 tablespoon Tom & Jerry batter

  • 1 ounce rum (dark)

  • 1 ounce cognac (or brandy)

  • 4 ounces milk (hot; or hot water, or both)

  • Grated nutmeg

2. Preheat the mugs you will use for serving.

3. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter, along with 1 ounce each of dark rum and cognac (or brandy) to every mug.

4. Fill with hot milk or water (or a combination of the two), stirring constantly until the drink is foamy.

5. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

6. Serve and enjoy!

Whew! Told you it wasn’t easy. But savor that very first taste…doesn’t it simply warm you from the inside out?! Talk about heavenly, don’t you think?! Totally worth every second spent, in my opinion.

Alright, while you’re slowly sipping that hard-earned and carefully crafted beverage, let’s talk interiors. After all, a drink this good inspires a myriad of design ideas…I’m thinking dark and moody, seductively cozy rooms with smooth finishes and a hint of the unexpected that leaves a lasting impression.

Wondering what those interiors might look like? Let me share a number of my faves…

#BestSippedWith: Deep, Dark, Cozy Comfort

At first glance, this space is a bit on the dark side…but as your eyes roam around the room, you notice just how cozy this moody interior truly is. The colors, hues, and textures have such depth…the plush upholstery promises such comfort…I find myself yearning to cuddle up with a blanket on that beautiful black and gold sofa (with a Tom & Jerry in hand, of course).

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#BestSippedWith: Haute Holiday Hues

When I look at this room, I see Thanksgiving in a box. The warm, golden sofa conjures up nutty flavors of pumpkin spice. The red color blocking in the far corner adds cranberry notes to the overall display. The colors, textures, and layout of the space define festive holiday decor, prime for gathering…begging you to pour a drink, stay a while, and enjoy the company of those you hold most dear.

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#BestSippedWith: Rooms Prime for Reminiscing

During this, our most unconventional holiday season to date (thanks, COVID!), why not think outside the box and gather for a non-traditional Thanksgiving with girlfriends…drinking high-end wine, laughing the night away, and reliving memories from days (and years) gone by. This space craves just that…cozy, intimate get-togethers with close friends and flowing cocktails. I want to join in the fun being had in this room that perfectly sets the mood.

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#BestSippedWith: The Brilliant, Bold, and Unexpected

Comparable to the unexpected complexity of the spices when you first touch that Tom & Jerry to your lips, the pop of color in this otherwise neutral space is bold and equally unexpected. The brilliantly fun pink velvet addition to this sitting room instantly sparks joy, no matter who you are! And the multifaceted array of decor in this room…well, I’d say it is the definition of eclectic luxury. Image Source

 

#BestSippedWith: Celebratory Charm

If there is a duo that knows how to celebrate, it is Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, so it should come as no surprise that their kitchen is full of sparkling, warm metallic tones and a kitchen island that invites you to join in the festivities. Ever since I first laid eyes on this kitchen fit for a good time, I haven’t been able to get it off my mind…everything about it is celebratory, chic, and simply dripping with charm.

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#BestSippedWith: Trendy, Non-Traditional Tables

Just as the Tom & Jerry is an unconventional holiday drink, lesser known than it’s popular cousin, spiked eggnog, so is this Thanksgiving table setting…unexpected, non-traditional, and yet completely on-trend. Interiors that break tradition for the holidays inspire me. This stunning display of artistic genius by Kelly Wearstler is not only gorgeous, but also quite the conversation piece. Yes to the checkerboard statue in the background. Yes to the mismatched, mid-century modern collection of seating. Yes to the glass table. Yes to the metal accessories throughout. Yes to EVERYTHING in this masterpiece of holiday dinner perfection.

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Now it’s your turn…

Alright, alright, so I have shown you some seriously deep and dark, comfy and cozy, modern and moody spaces perfect for both your intimate holiday gatherings and the unexpected moments of relaxation you find throughout the season. But now it’s YOUR turn. Because this time of year YOU deserve a space that elicits the joy, peace, comfort, and calm that these spaces bring to me.

So in that spirit, I have put together my top picks for a haute, happy, holiday-inspired bar area in your own home…each of them, no doubt, additions to your wish list this year…

 

#BestSippedWith: Bar Cart Essentials

 

  1. This Restoration Hardware luxury Porthole Bar is the coolest bar cabinet around. From the subdued colors to the metallic tones, this cabinet elicits trendy and moody vibes that will spice up your home-bar and transport you to the 1800s, when the Tom & Jerry was invented! (Image Source)
  2. A masterpiece for your floors, this “Smoke” rug by Adam Hunter has everything you need for the perfectly moody, idyllically cozy space. The name…the aesthetics…it all gives me the warm fuzzies, and it will do the same for your home cocktail lounge…guaranteed! (Image Source)
  3. The unique copper details on this Bodum Chambord Coffee Glass are a fun contrast to the clear glass, which allows you to showcase the various layers of any carefully crafted beverage…whether that is a peppermint mocha, true to the season, or a Tom & Jerry. And yes, I can personally attest that these are fun to drink out of. I may own a few. 😉 (Image Source)
  4. Equally chic and moody, this high-gloss, high-contrast marble Canaan Tray by Jonathan Adler is the perfect complement to any bar decor. It is bold and glamorous, providing the ideal servingware for those gorgeous, warm-toned wintry cocktails. I’m in love! (Image Source)
  5. This trio of stitched leather trees, a CB2 Exclusive, is one part festive and one part unexpected. A non-traditional variation of that beloved pine (or spruce…or fir…) these would make a perfect centerpiece for your cocktail tables, or look absolutely stunning on your bar-top all winter long. (Image Source)
  6. Reminiscent of the grated nutmeg garnish on your new favorite holiday cocktail, this white onyx polar bear, also a CB2 Exclusive, would be the perfect finishing touch for your holiday home bar decor. Slightly understated, yet completely luxurious, this little guy is cute and cozy and totally trendy. Aww! (Image Source)

The Tom & Jerry – although not connected in any way to our beloved childhood cartoon characters (bummer!) – boasts depth, inspires comfort, warms, welcomes, and surprises us in unexpected ways. It reminds us that moodiness, complexity, and a bit of spice are nothing to shy away from, whether in craft cocktails or interior design.

If you’re ready to break tradition with a holiday style all your own, let’s chat. I’m eager to help you reinvent the definition of festive as we create an unexpected home full of depth, comfort, and eccentric pieces that are not easily forgotten.

Let’s manifest a holiday fantasy together.

Cheers,

rydhima brar principal rterior studio west hollywood LA bold eclectic interior design firm