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Five Holiday Cocktails to Boost Holiday Spirits

Helen's Tom & Jerry Batter

For mixologist Tony Abou-Gamin, featured on "Iron Chef" as Mario Batali's bartender, his favorite holiday cocktail is all about tradition. He goes back to where he honed his craft, to Port Huron, Mich., just outside of Detroit, and to The Brass Rail, where his cousin Helen David presided over this town fixture until her death in 2006.

For over 60 years, hot, sweet, eggy Tom & Jerry's have been the custom there, as family members pack into the bar to enjoy the holiday treat. One rule: You must wait until the first snowfall to mix up the season's first batch.

"At Helen's bar, you check your troubles at the door," says Abou-Gamin. "Three generations of family come together, as the youth have their first Tom & Jerry with their folks and grandparents. It wouldn't be Christmas at the Brass Rail without it."

Here's Helen's take on the drink:

Helen's Tom & Jerry Batter Recipe
Serves 12 or "4 friends, 3 each"

  • 8 jumbo eggs
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Hot water
Separate egg whites and yolks. In a large mixer, beat yolks until thin, transfer to another bowl. Clean mixer and add the egg whites and cream of tartar, and beat until stiff. Add powdered sugar and fold in yolks. Mix until batter is thick but light.

For each drink:

  • 1 ounce Mount Gay Rum
  • 1 ounce Remy Martin VSOP
In a pre-heated mug, add 1 heaping ladle of batter. Add rum and brandy. Top with hot water and dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Serve with a paddle or spoon.

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