Saturday, December 23, 2017

negroni & jerry, and the tom & jerry alexander

With the first snowfall of the year two Saturdays ago, Tom & Jerry season was officially on. There was a tradition started pre-2008 at No. 9 Park that Tom & Jerrys ought to only be served on snow evenings, and John Gertsen became the spokesperson to give the thumbs up as to whether it was time to whip up this old 19th century drink. John took that right with him to Drink and broadcasted the message on Facebook (people would seek his approval to see if was time), but alas, he had to relinquish that role when he ventured West to San Francisco.

Every year, I try different spirits or combinations to mix with the batter and hot milk that can range from seemingly normal like a blend of aged Calvados and dark rum to the absurd such as the all Angostura Bitters Tobago & Jerry. While Scott Holliday introduced us to the Fernet & Jerry, I came up with the Cynar & Jerry on the same night that I tinkered with Smith & Cross rum in the mix.
For this snow squall, I brainstormed up a half dozen ideas, and Andrea voted on which two she preferred the most: the Tom & Jerry Alexander (left) and the Negroni & Jerry (right).
Tom & Jerry
• 1 oz Batter (see this post on how to assemble with eggs, rum, sugar, and spices)
• 1 oz Spirit Mix (see the two mixes below)
• 2 oz Hot Milk
Build in a pre-warmed small mug, stir to mix, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Tom & Jerry Alexander (spirit mix)
• 3/4 oz Beefeater Gin
• 1/4 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
• 1 dash Bittermens Molé Bitters

Negroni & Jerry (spirit mix)
• 1/3 oz Beefeater Gin
• 1/3 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
• 1/3 oz Campari
The Alexander version gave forth a rather chocolatey aroma accented by nutmeg spice. Next, a creamy and rich sip shared some dark notes from the cacao, and the swallow showcased pine, chocolate, nutmeg, vanilla, and allspice flavors. The Negroni version, on the other hand, was mostly nutmeg spice on the nose. Next, the creamy rich sip had a hint of grape, and the swallow displayed the Campari's bitter orange along with juniper-pine, clove, and other spice notes. Between the two, the Alexander one was the clear winner. The Negroni one was tasty, but it did not fully capture the essence of the drink but instead muted and transformed it; then again, my original thought was to use all Campari before I tempered it down to the three equal parts recipe.

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