On cold winter evenings, everybody could use somebody – or something – to cozy up with at the end of the day. Which is probably at 4pm. Although we can’t really help you with a “somebody,” we can definitely introduce you to the ultimate winter cocktail: hot buttered rum.
And trust us, this drink is better than any cuffing season partner. It will warm you up instead of stealing all the blankets. It will make your heart feel all fuzzy instead of turning into a ghost of Christmas past.
Also, it’s made from rum, butter, and brown sugar. Hinge could never provide like that.
What Is Hot Buttered Rum?
Classically, the hot buttered rum cocktail is made with rum, butter, sugar, and spices. The butter makes it creamy and smooth, and you can also add a touch of maple syrup to add some more sweetness. And make it a worthy drink for Buddy the Elf. Who knew he was a mixologist!
The origin of the drink dates back to Colonial America. Some believe it came about when Jamaica started importing molasses to the United States, but the exact details of its invention are a little murky. We can’t imagine why they weren’t keeping immaculate records after a few rounds of these.
Does it use dark rum or light rum?
It’s time for us to reignite the age old debate: dark rum vs. light rum. This controversy is right in line with the whole chicken and the egg thing. Or the color of “the dress.” Or if there was enough room for Jack on the floating door. We’ll be tackling all of those in our next TED Talk.
For hot buttered rum, it’s best to go with a dark rum. These are aged and have stronger flavors than light ones, so it adds more complexity to the recipe.
Since you – or your bartender – will add sugar and spices to the drink, it’s fine to prepare it with a less expensive dark rum, instead of your pricey sipping rum. Or ours. We’ve never been thrilled by the whole “sharing” thing.
How to Make Hot Buttered Rum
Hot Buttered Rum Ingredients
- 1 tbsp salted butter, melted
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- A dash of ground cinnamon
- 2 oz. dark rum
- Hot water (200 to 220 degrees)
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Beat well until you have a batter-like mixture.
- Add the batter and rum to a standard 8 oz. mug and top it off with hot water.
- Stir well and steep for 2-3 minutes.
- Use a cinnamon stick for garnish and enjoy!
Hot Buttered Rum Variations
1. Modify the batter
When you prepare hot buttered rum by beating the ingredients together, you’ll get a floating butter layer on top of the drink. We think it’s worth the extra few minutes. Plus, you can totally say you’ve been baking whenever your mom gives you a hard time about only ever ordering take out.
But if you’re looking for a simpler take, you can modify the batter. For this version, you’ll only use brown sugar, butter, spiced rum, and hot water. Combine it all together and stir well so the sugar and butter melts. It won’t be as frothy, but it’ll still be tasty. And nothing is wrong with take out, anyway.
2. Swap out the spices
We went light on spices in the recipe above, but many people use a dash of just about everything to add subtle notes and flavors. If you want to get fancy, try a combination of the following:
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
3. Use a different sweetener
When it comes to winter recipes, you can never go wrong with using maple syrup. But you’ll also find hot buttered rum variations with honey, vanilla ice cream, and even whipped cream. We haven’t seen a recipe with Peeps yet, but never say never!
There are also recipes that replace the hot water with hot apple cider. Sometimes that’s called a rum-spiked apple cider. We call it apple pie in a cup that makes us happy.
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