Winter, and particularly the holiday season, deserves a warm, inviting and festive drink to accompany it. Enter the Tom & Jerry.
A traditional Christmastime cocktail, Tom & Jerry is a hot alternative to the classic eggnog with brandy and rum, usually served in a mug or a bowl. Perhaps thought of as an olde-time drink, Tom & Jerry’s have never left Buffalo. People of all ages (over 21, of course) can find common ground with this frothy beverage, sharing yuletide joy and reconnecting with friends and loved ones near and far while home for the holidays. There is no shortage of establishments ready to offer their own interpretation of this wintery beverage to warm bellies around Buffalo.
Indulging in this sweet drink has become a favorite holiday tradition, with each establishment having their own unique flavor, size and perks to ordering this sticky, boozy, sweet drink. So see if you can check off a visit to each of these pubs, bars and restaurants to see what makes a T&J shine.
The Place, 229 Lexington Avenue, Buffalo
Perhaps the most well-known of the Buffalo Tom & Jerry hotspots, The Place is usually packed to the gills around the holidays, but you can also grab a seat around their outdoor fire pits for the ultimate cozy vibe. A benefit of ordering T&Js here is that you get to keep the mug when you’ve had your fill!
Cole’s, 1104 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo
Ever been to Cole’s around the holidays? It’s an experience. Wall to wall decorations (and thirsty locals) fill the space with holiday cheer. Their Tom and Jerry stands out from the crowd as their meringue is more frothy than thick.
Mes Que, 1420 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo
Ok, all you soccer hooligans – you’ve found heaven. A futbol bar might not sound like the typical place to grab a Tom & Jerry, but the bartenders at this Hertel hangout have added a bit of extra spice into the traditional beverage. And check out Craving down the street, as we’ve heard they’ve whipped up something special, too!
Glen Park Tavern, 5507 Main Street, Williamsville
As I did on a recent trip to Glen Park Tavern, pair your traditionally made Tom & Jerry with an order of their famous wings. You won’t regret it. Side note: Rumor has it that Creekview, right down the street, is serving Tom & Jerry’s for your Round Two.
McPartlan’s Corner, 669 Wehrle Drive, Cheektowaga
The folks at McPartlan’s do Buffalo-style food right. Wings, battered fish fry and cheese-capped crocks of French onion soup are on the menu. The perfect food to soak up their particularly strong Tom & Jerry.
Schwabl’s, 789 Center Road, West Seneca
This place is timeless. You’ll be transported back to the 1930s in this classic Buffalo eatery – where each customer is treated like family, your beef on weck is carved fresh and your Tom & Jerry served in an original T&J-adorned mug.
Rohall’s Corner, 540 Amherst Street, Buffalo
Looking for the Tom & Jerry underground? You’ll find it at Rohall’s. This long-standing neighborhood tavern uses simple, fresh meringue to ensure the perfect sticky, sweet drink.
Resurgence Brewing Company, 1250 Niagara Street, Buffalo
This is not your father’s Tom & Jerry. Unveiled in recent years, Resurgence’s ‘Tom & Beery’ swaps out the brandy and combines the rum with a dose of their very own Sponge Candy Stout. It’s a warm holiday remix with the slightly sweet addition of one of Buffalo’s traditional treats – in beer form.
The Delaware, 3410 Delaware Avenue, Kenmore
While you peruse the huge menu of grain bowls, burgers and entrees of The Delaware, be sure to add a Tom & Jerry to your order. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
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And if you’re interested in making your own Tom & Jerry at home, here’s the recipe you’ll need to impress friends and loved ones!
Tom & Jerry
• your favorite mug
• one ladle-full of batter (recipe here)
• 1 oz. rum (some use bourbon)
• 1 oz. brandy or cognac
• fill with hot water until the batter brims over
• garnish with nutmeg or your favorite holiday spice