Friday Happy Hour: Hot Buttered Rum

You wouldn’t know it by looking out the window in most of this country, but it’s winter out there.  Here’s a drink that will warm you right up on a cold winter’s night, but is still pretty delicious even if your winter has been as mild as ours: hot buttered rum.

Read below for the full recipe!

Hot Buttered Rum

2 oz Dark Rum
4-6 oz Hot Water or Hot Apple Cider
1/4 – 1/2 oz Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Unsalted Butter*
Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Etc, to Taste

In a small sauce pan, combine the butter, honey, and water or cider.  Toss in some spices: a few whole cloves, some ground cinnamon, whatever tickles your fancy (it’s hard to praise enough the impact of freshly grated nutmeg on a drink like this).  Heat slowly until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot.  Pour the pan’s contents and the rum in a mug, garnish with a cinnamon stick, and enjoy.


Here’s what you’ll get: a drink that’s sweet and spicy (in a fantastic way that brings to mind the ghost of Christmas past), complex and rich, rich, rich.  The use of butter in drinks goes back centuries and it’s easy to see why when you sip one of these: a hot buttered rum is smooth, rich, and will warm you up like few other things can.  Just be warned: this drink is not for anyone on a low-fat or low-calorie diet.

Water works fine in this drink, but in The Joy of Mixology, Gary Regan advises hot apple cider instead and I strongly suggest you follow his advice.  I’ve also seen suggestions that you first clarify the butter by heating it and separating out the milk solids, which should give you a smoother and better blended drink, but I’ve so far been too impatient to wait for clarified butter.


* According to Jerry Thomas’ 1862 recipe, you should use “1 piece of butter as large as half a chestnut.”  In other words, add butter, as with all these ingredients, to taste.

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

  1. Pingback: Hot Buttered Rum | Be A Strainer
    • Maggie, if it gets cold again, I’ll make you one of these. Even if it doesn’t get cold again, I’ll make some of these for you guys. I don’t need excuses.

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