Sipping on this cozy hot buttered rum is just what you need on a cold winter's night. Made with rum, butter, spices, and ice cream.
If we ever needed a good drink to close out a year, now is the time. That's why this week, I bring you the Hot Buttered Rum. Warm, indulgent, and boozy, this is what we need as we cope with the tragedy this year has brought upon the world, and we look forward to better days ahead.
Hot Buttered Rum History
Hot Buttered Rum dates back to America's Colonial days when rum was New England's most lucrative industry. At the time, recipes for Hot Buttered Rum varied from one home to another. Though the essential ingredients likely remained the same: rum, butter, sugar, and spices.
The drink later saw a revival at tiki bars in the 1940s, where they served Hot Buttered Rum and other rum-based drinks in ceramic skull mugs. If you liked a show, your glass might be served aflame, too. I went to my first tiki bar in Seattle last year, Hotel Albatross, and everything from the menu to the décor was complete fun.
The first time I made this drink, I made just a single serving on a whim. The result was what you might expect, a layer of butter floating atop my mug. But I liked the taste and idea behind the drink. After more research and testing, I've found the better approach is to make a batter.
Hot Buttered Rum Ingredients
A batter for a mixed drink? Yeah, you read that correctly. The old tiki bar chain, Trader Vic, included a Hot Buttered Rum batter recipe in their 1948 book Bartender's Guide. The idea is that you cream together the butter, sugar, and spices in a large batch, kind of like what you do when making cookies. Then, to make an individual serving, you scoop some batter into a mug and dissolve it in your hot water and rum. You keep the batter in the fridge or freezer and use it as needed.
Besides convenience, part of the idea behind making a batter is that it helps to dissolve the butter into the liquid and prevent it from sitting on top of the drink. Another idea I found to help mitigate that challenge is to add ice cream to the batter. I liked that concept because I felt the beverage needed a little more depth after my initial testing. After all, most of the liquid in a Hot Buttered Rum is water, so adding some cream to that mix improves the consistency while also helping to incorporate the butter. In other words, the more dairy, the better.
Ideas for customizing
I've made my last few Hot Buttered Rum drinks using Mad River Distillers' First Run Rum, and I think that's an excellent choice for this drink. The bourbon and caramel flavors of their rum fit in just right here. But any good dark or spiced rum works.
You can also try using hot apple cider (not hard) in place of the water. My wife found the drink too rummy when made with just water. Apple cider was the better choice for her. I could go either way. If you like cider and don't want to imbibe in alcohol, you could leave out the rum and make this into a hot buttered cider.
Since we're going out with a bang, you'll want to top your mug with plenty of whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg. There's already butter and ice cream involved, so why not?
I'll leave you with a quote from Trader Vic, “Made right and served piping hot, a hot drink is the most soothing and comforting libation known to man. Weariness and worry slink away after the first swallow, and the world soon seems warm and welcoming once more."
Here’s to a happy holiday and a new year. Cheers!
For another warm beverage to enjoy on a cold evening, try my Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail.Print