I’ve told you all about the MBIP December traditions on here, but I’ll list them again in order of appearance: December Forearm Tattoo, the Holiday Drink Contest at The Fish House, The Pause with Mr. Claus at the Northwoods Mall, The Amber Anniversary Evening at Last Chance, The Annual Nathalie and Marty Holiday Dinner and Christmas Eve at Chili’s. Whew!
Well, there’s another December tradition that’s been going on for almost 90 years here in Peoria that I just found out about last week! It happens at one of my favorite Peoria restaurants, Agatucci’s! Let’s go over there and you’ll see what this yearly Christmas/New Year’s tradition is all about!
Here we are at Agatucci’s, one of Peoria’s oldest and most beloved restaurants.
I came here after work and it’s near closing time, so the place is somewhat empty. Check out the Christmas Tree of cork! I see a fellow down at the end of the bar that might be able to explain this Christmas tradition at Agatucci’s. Let’s go down and say hi to Tony Agatucci!
The History of Agatucci’s Tom & Jerry Christmas Drinks by Tony Agatucci
I asked Tony Agatucci to explain the yearly Tom and Jerry Agatucci’s Christmas tradition and below is Tony detailing the history of this special holiday cocktail. Take it away Tony!
“The recipe came from our great grandfather. I’m not sure where he got it from but that’s the recipe we still use today.
The Tom and Jerry’s were first served at Aggie’s in the late ‘30’s, and seven of the original eight gold-trimmed mugs still survive, not bad for almost 90 years of use! That’s why we only serve the drinks in the original mugs to bar customers only—we need to keep an eye on them and keep them safe! We have another set of vintage mugs that are not quite as old that we serve to our friends dining at tables.
We start serving this classic holiday cocktail the week before Christmas and up until the first of the year. As restaurant owners, Danny and myself genuinely enjoy the happiness this tradition brings to our many friends that come in to share the Christmas joy! We love sharing the tradition with the our regulars that know and look forward to the annual Christmas Tom and Jerry’s. Another aspect is the large number of patrons that have never heard of the drinks. It’s always fun sharing the history and the Tom and Jerry’s to newbies!
There are commercial batters available for purchase at local stores, but they are nowhere close to our classic homemade version—don’t waste your time with that stuff!
These drinks have been a Peoria tradition for almost 90 years...think about that, 90 years! That’s an amazing tribute to so many generations of countless friends through so many years. There’s nothing like the perfect holiday drink shared with our true friends to celebrate the best time of year.
It’s our way of saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in a personal way to the many friends of Agatucci’s!”
What a great story and a slice of Peoria history! Thanks, Tony, now let’s try the Agatucci’s Tom and Jerry!
The Agatucci’s Tom and Jerry Made By Danny Agatucci!
Since Tony supplied the history, Danny said he’d whip up a batch of Tom and Jerry’s utilizing the almost 90-year-old family recipe! He starts off with the homemade batter that’s the base for the drink and it’s what gives it the special flavor you can only find at Agatucci’s! Since we’re drinking at the bar, he’s making them in the original Tom and Jerry vintage mugs from the ‘30’s! Then rum, whiskey and hot water are added in specific incremental amounts and it’s topped off with a generous dash of nutmeg! Even before you drink this, the smell is fantastic! It actually smells like Christmas!
I couldn’t wait any longer and I had to dive in to the Tom and Jerry and it is so delicious and puts even a Grinch like myself in a festive holiday mood!
Tony and Danny joined me in this Tom and Jerry cocktail hour! I had asked Tony earlier if he was Tom or Jerry and which one was Danny and he didn’t know, so I had an idea and this idea led me to an official MBIP presentation behind the bar!
I gave the MBIP Camera to Bob and he’s going to document this blessed event!
The Official MBIP Tom and Jerry Presentation Behind The Bar!
Here we are and I have a couple of items in the bag for Tony and Danny! Note that Danny is holding their hand-made MBIP Twelve-Timer’s” award!
I decided that Danny would be Tom and Tony is Jerry and got them these hand-lettered t-shirts for the occasion!
Here they are, Peoria’s very own Tom and Jerry!
If you haven’t tried the Tom and Jerry at Agatucci’s you can still get them for about a week. Danny and Tony said they serve them up to and including January 1st. They’re open tonight at 5PM, so I suggest you high-tail it over there and try a Tom and Jerry! It’s Peoria’s oldest Christmas signature cocktail, so stop in and have a delicious sip of history in a vintage mug, you won’t be disappointed!