Hot Buttered Rum Revival!*
Marty Martindale


Hot Buttered Rum, the drink, like a cake, starts with a batter! 

Originally a get-well drink for sea-battered sailors, Hot Buttered Rum over the years has become a sociable beverage for skiers, skaters, hikers, ice fishermen, sleigh riders and any group looking for fun on a cold winter’s day or night. 

There is no hard, set recipe for Hot Buttered Rum except it contains at least a goodly amount of rum, melted butter and fragrant spices. Adjustments vary in sweetness, spiciness and creaminess. 

The hot toddy cocktails we know and love today have their roots in the old days, when druggists might have prescribed them for relief against the aches and pains the bitterly-cold winters brought. Butter has been used in hot drinks since the days of Henry VIII. After molasses began being imported to Colonial America from Jamaica, and distilleries opened in New England in the 1650s, colonists began adding distilled rum to hot recreational beverages such as toddies and nogs. Here is a Hot Buttered Rum recipe borrowed from Wayne Curtis, author of “And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in 10 Cocktails” (Broadway Books, 2007). 


  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

Hot Buttered Rum

  • 1.5 ounces rum
  • 1 tablespoon frozen hot buttered rum batter 
  • Boiling water
  • Cinnamon stick, star anise for garnish


To make the batter, in a bowl, combine the butter, sugars and spices and mix thoroughly. Stir in the ice cream and mix until thoroughly combined. Transfer the batter to a container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the freezer.

To make the hot buttered rum, pour the rum into a mug and add the batter. Fill with boiling water and stir. Garnish with the cinnamon stick or star anise.

They drank it hot. They drank it cold. They drank it straight. They drank it mixed — “with water, lemon juice, orange juice, apple juice, baked apple, sugar (always sugar), maple sugar, maple syrup, molasses, brandy, gin, ale, port, madeira, nutmeg, cloves, and all the Christmas spices …”

Here are some other additional considerations for different flavorings:

  • Habanero Spiced Sugar 
  • Anise
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cranberries
  • Peanut butter

Enjoy Hot Buttered Rum your way!


Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

Comments are closed.