Weekly Feature



2014-12-03 / Lifestyles

Tom and Jerry:

Fill your mug with holiday warmth
by ANNA WALTERS
Reporter


Wayne Shanley prepares a Tom and Jerry for customers at Schwabl’s, 789 Center Road in West Seneca, and serves it in a vintage carnival peach lustre glass. Schwabl’s sells its glass, made by Anchor Hocking, for $15 at the restaurant. Wayne Shanley prepares a Tom and Jerry for customers at Schwabl’s, 789 Center Road in West Seneca, and serves it in a vintage carnival peach lustre glass. Schwabl’s sells its glass, made by Anchor Hocking, for $15 at the restaurant. When snow clings to the ground and string lights outline shop windows, a classic wintertime drink called a Tom and Jerry reappears behind the bar. “As soon as the nights get chilly and damp, people want them,” said Cheryl Staychock, owner of Schwabl’s.

Whether a Tom and Jerry is being served in a Christmas tree mug or vintage carnival glass, the light, frothy and sweet mixture has become a favorite holiday tradition.

During this festive time of year, guests anticipate the well-known Tom and Jerry bowl at Schwabl’s, located at 789 Center Road in West Seneca, or fill The Place’s parking lot, located at 229 Lexington Ave. in Buffalo, for one of their warm mugs.

“I always say it started with a lightly sweetened egg batter; it looks like pancake batter,” Staychock said. “And then we add a dark rum and brandy mixture to it. Fill it with hot water to make it hot. And the top is finished off with a little bit of nutmeg.”


Photos by Dan Nesselbush. Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Photos by Dan Nesselbush. Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com

According to Staychock, the process to make a Tom and Jerry is labor-intensive and the egg batter needs to be whipped repeatedly. “It’s almost kind of like candy making, you have to add everything at the precise time,” she said. Staychock said Schwabl’s used to start selling the holiday drink on Thanksgiving Eve. Since customers wanted them sooner, Schwabl’s now begins selling Tom and Jerrys on Columbus Day and they’re available until St. Patrick’s Day.

Schwabl’s uses pasteurized eggs where the yolks and whites come in separate containers. Staychock noted that a lot of people think the drink includes milk or cream but it does not.

According to Staychock, they first heat the glass, then get a scoop of egg batter and then add the liquor and hot water. Lastly, the nutmeg is sprinkled on top.

“It gives them that warm and fuzzy feeling, and it’s great for our cold Buffalo winters,” she said. “I always tell people they won’t feel the cold when they go back outside after a Tom and Jerry.”

Schwabl’s is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 1 to 8:30 p.m. Sundays.

The Place started selling its Tom and Jerrys on Nov. 20 and will serve them until Jan. 5.

Owner Ken Moriarity said he’s been at The Place for 50 years and it’s been a tradition as long as he can remember.


The Place, at 229 Lexington Ave. in Buffalo, is serving Tom and Jerrys in Christmas mugs until Jan. 5. The Place, at 229 Lexington Ave. in Buffalo, is serving Tom and Jerrys in Christmas mugs until Jan. 5.

According to Moriarity, they typically begin selling the week before Thanksgiving.

“We’re known for them — we’re a holiday place,” he said. “People just come in and enjoy them.”

Moriarity said The Place creates a demand for Tom and Jerrys because they are served only for a certain length of time. He noted that on the last day, around 70 guests may fill the parking lot to get their last Tom and Jerry of the season.

“It’s a hot drink on a cold night ... a time-honored tradition,” he said.

The Place is open from 3:30 to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 3:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

On The Rox Liquors, located at 4382 Bailey Ave. in Buffalo, sells other popular holiday spirits, such as eggnog, gingerbread spice and a pumpkin spice cream liqueur. The eggnog that is available at the store includes Evan Williams, Admiral Nelson and Christian Brothers. The bottles sell below $10. Owner Tom Zoratti says that around 14 years ago the store started with two eggnogs and now there are six.

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