Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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A longstanding North Country tradition

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: A longstanding North Country tradition
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Most people wouldn't think to mix alcohol with egg batter, hot water and spices. It's a holiday drink that our Elizabeth Jeneault tells us is actually a huge hit in the North Country.

WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- Four years ago, Johnny D’s restaurant in the Paddock Arcade began serving the North Country’s most talked about beverage, the Tom and Jerry.

“It kind of brings everybody together during the holiday season. We have people that sometimes you don’t normally see come in for their annual Tom and Jerry," said Dave Bartlett, co-owner of the restaurant.

The drink is only sold to thirsty customers during the holiday season. People say it's a beverage like no other.

“It’s just the flavor, like I say the mixture is just Christmassy. It’s just a good drink. It tastes good," said customer George Ashcraft.

Johnny D’s says they have to give credit to the Crystal restaurant for starting it all. They began serving up the drinks over a hundred years ago.

"We start them as soon as the first person asks for them, usually around 11 a.m. and up until usually we close at 9:30 p.m., but if people are still in here, we'll still serve them Tom and Jerrys," said restaurant server Amy Horton.

The Crystal may get credit for first bringing the beverage to the North Country. But for a drink that's had success all across the globe, it's bound to stir up some local competition.

Just this year, Johnny D's began selling large batches of their egg batter to those who wanted to make the drinks at home.

"I give them instructions on how to prepare the drink and so far, I’m very surprised at the interest," said Bartlett.

And for those who've yet to have their Tom and Jerry fix this year, you should know restaurants will stop selling them after the New Year.

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