How to Make Hot Buttered Rum

By TBSP Angela
Created March 10, 2017
Whether you're looking for a spicy cocktail to warm you up on a winter night or just a drink that packs a sophisticated punch, why not try a hot buttered rum? MORE+ LESS-

This classic drink involves rum, butter, and spices, and can easily be customized to fit your personal tastes.

Whether you're looking for a spicy cocktail to warm you up on a winter night or just a drink that packs a sophisticated punch, why not try a hot buttered rum?

Buttered rum originated in colonial days, when people would sip it around the hearth on cold fall and winter nights. It's still a popular drink today, and can easily be prepared at home. We'll take a look at how to make a buttered rum, as well as tips and tricks for updating this cold-weather classic.

What is a Buttered Rum?

A buttered rum is a mixed drink that involves rum, butter, hot water (or for more flavor, hot cider), spices (see suggestions below) and sweeteners. It's a robust drink meant to keep you warm on cold autumn and winter nights, and is a holiday favorite. But really, who is going to stop you from enjoying this year-round?

The Technique

Traditionally, the drink is made with a stick of butter, two cups of sugar (brown sugar works great!), spices (around a teaspoon and a half all together), a bottle of the rum of your choosing, and hot water or cider. Cream the butter, sugar and spices together, and then drop roughly two tablespoons of the mixture into a mug. Add about three ounces of rum to each glass. Then, heat your cider or water on the stove-top until hot and pour into glasses. Give a stir and then serve it up! This recipe makes about twelve servings, so it's a real party drink.

Choosing Your Rum

Ahh, rum. Rum is actually the product of sugarcane juice or molasses, meaning that it often plays very well in sweeter cocktails. Rum is aged in oak barrels, giving it a warm quality that plays perfectly off of spices.

There are a few different kinds of rum you can choose from, and the one you pick largely depends on your personal tastes. Light rums are fairly traditional in cocktails, as their mild flavor tends to not overwhelm other ingredients. Darker and golden rums are generally enjoyed straight, with the intention of savoring the aged, smokey flavors. On top of that, there are spiced rums, which are mixed with cinnamon, aniseed, pepper and sometimes even rosemary. And, of course, you've also got the option of flavored rums, such as vanilla or coconut, which can add a smoother edge to your buttered rum.

Choosing Your Spices

There's no tried-and-true recipe for hot buttered rum, meaning that you can easily add the spices you like and customize the drink to your liking. Traditional spices are cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, but I find the addition of a little allspice to be absolutely fantastic.

Alternative Varieties

Sure, the drink might be traditionally called a "hot buttered rum" but that shouldn't stop you from experimenting with it. What could you add to make such a good drink even better?

If you're still going to serve the drink warm, try zesting an orange or lemon into the drink and letting it "bloom," like in this hot orange spiced cider recipe (just remember to add the rum!). This gives a sweet citrus and floral addition, which plays very well with the spices.

If it's good hot, it's probably fantastic cold. Use a slightly warm buttered rum and blend it in with vanilla ice cream. This is a sweet adult treat, which can be a great way to end a dinner party.

So there you have it, all the tips and tricks you need to bring this old-fashioned mixed drink into your very own holiday tradition. Of course, if you want to sip it around the bonfire in the middle of summer, I doubt anyone will try to stop you.


What beverages help you stay nice and warm?