The Tom and Jerry. Photo: Serious Eats

In case you missed the news reports, Twitter talk, elevator chitchat and actual contact with the outdoor air, let me bring you up to speed: It’s cold outside. And we are teetering dangerously close to the holiday season, which means hot, boozy drinks are totally acceptable, or downright encouraged. There’s always the storied eggnog over at Sun Liquor. Or a good hot toddy (just try to avoid heaving one in your companion’s face).

Delve further into the cocktail canon (with a lower-case "C") and you’ll find the Tom and Jerry. It’s a 19th century drink that was once a holiday staple but faded into obscurity about four decades back. Vito’s is resurrecting this eggnoglike concoction and will be serving it from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. Bar manager Justin Gerardy says inspiration struck when a bunch of Tom and Jerry mugs were recently unearthed in the restaurant’s basement.

Tom and Jerry mugs, for the record, usually look something like this (and not at all like this).

The version Gerardy is serving at Vito’s uses a batter made by whipping egg whites and egg yolks separately, and folding them back together with cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Oh, and a bit of Smith and Cross Jamaica rum. He adds steamed milk, more rum (Appleton Estate this time) and a bit of rye whiskey. The result, says Gerardy, is garnished with a bit of nutmeg and has the consistency of a properly made cappuccino. He promises the result is “goddamned delicious.”

I didn’t utter any profanity when I sampled the vin brule at Mike Easton’s pasta spot Il Corvo at lunch today (hey, he’s only open at lunch…I went in the name of research). But it was still mighty enjoyable. Vin brule is the Italian term for mulled wine, also known as gluhwein or glogg. Easton’s an aperitivo and digestif guy, so he livens up his vin brule with a splash of Cocchi Americano, an Italian aperitif. And if you order one from him, you should follow suit.

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