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Hot Buttered Rum

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Hot Buttered Rum is a soul warming winter cocktail! Rich and buttery, this delicious batter with butter, sugar, ice cream, nutmeg, and cinnamon is a classic American drink.

On a chilly night, you won’t be sorry you have this batter on hand. Combine some batter with your favorite rum and top with boiling water or go alcohol free and use hot cider.

If you enjoy seasonal drinks, give these others a try: Chai Latte, Cranberry Spritzer, Cranberry Lemon Drop Martini!

Glass mug filled with creamy hot buttered rum drink topped with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.

What is Hot Buttered Rum?

Hot buttered rum is a mixed drink containing rum, butter, hot water (or cider), sugar and warm spices (typically cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves).

It has a revered history in the United States, dating back to colonial days. Just like today, many families had their own unique recipes.

Gloved hand holding glass mug filled with hot buttered rum topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.

This recipe comes to you from an old Jackson Hole cookbook I’ve had for awhile, now out of print.

The original recipe made a ton, enough for an entire ski season, I halved the recipe, but it will easily double if you need to warm an army this winter!

Copper mug filled with creamy hot buttered rum topped with whipped cream.

How to Make Hot Buttered Rum Batter

Instead of making these drinks individually, we will make a batter that hangs out in the freezer, just waiting for a chilly day when you need something to warm you from the inside out.

Hot buttered rum batter in glass container with black spoon scooping some out.

Simple Ingredients for Hot Buttered Rum

The batter is a simple recipe, like a cookie batter without the flour:

  • Butter |salted or unsalted, room temp
  • Powdered sugar
  • Light brown sugar | lightly packed
  • Nutmeg | fresh grated is amazing!
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Cloves | these are optional, but I love their warm flavor!
  • vanilla ice cream | slightly softened, use a quality vanilla ice cream
Process shots for hot buttered rum. 1. ingredients ice cream, brown sugar, butter, nutmeg, powdered sugar and cinnamon. 2. pouring sugars into mixer. 3. pouring brown sugar into mixer. 4. adding spices.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), whip butter, sugars and spices together until creamy and light.

Process shots for hot buttered rum batter. 1. Adding ice cream to mixture. 2. mixing in ice cream. 3. Pouring batter into freezer bowl. 4. scooping out batter mixture

Add softened ice cream and blend until smooth (though there might be some lumps, that’s ok).

Place batter in lidded freezer container and freeze. Freeze up to 3 months (or longer).

Assembling a Classic American Cocktail

  • Spoon a tablespoon of butter batter (say that 3 times fast) into a mug
  • Pour in 1-1 ½ ounces of dark rum
  • Fill mug with hot water (or hot cider), stirring gently to mix batter. If desired, top with a dollop of whipped cream
Process shots for making hot buttered rum. 1. Add batter to mug. 2. add rum 3. pour in hot water. 4. add whipped cream.

Non-Alcoholic Hot Buttered Apple Cider

I guess it would no longer be called a hot buttered rum, but instead we could call it a hot buttered cider, perhaps.

If omitting the rum, replace the hot water instead with hot apple cider to give it a bit more depth. Equally delicious and non-alcoholic!

A terrific drink for celebrating the holidays, an apres ski or skating drink, or anytime you need a drink to warm you from the inside out.

Buttered Rum Makes a Great Gift

This traditional hot buttered rum recipe batter makes a great Christmas, Valentine’s, or neighbor gift.

Simply place a portion of the batter in a plastic or glass container, tie with ribbon or string along with a couple of small bottles of rum and the instructions to make a Hot Buttered Rum, you might print out one of these cute Christmas Gift Tags to go with it!

Copper mug with hot buttered rum, topped with a generous dollop of fluffy whipped cream.

Tools for Traditional Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

Pinterest image for hot buttered rum, with glass mug of hot buttered rum with cinnamon stick on top.

Host an apres skating party (or skiing, sledding, snowman making), invite some friends over, start a roaring fire and make everyone a warm Hot Buttered Rum and serve with some chewy chocolate chip cookies.

Pinterest image with glass mug filled with hot buttered rum topped with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below the recipe!

Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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  1. This sounds amazing, Kathleen. I am wondering if the batter could be made, and adding the rum, freeze the whole thing, needing only the boiling water to finish it when ready to serve.

    1. Hi Paula, I have never tried that before. Since alcohol doesn’t freeze, I’m not sure how it would mix. I might suggest that you pull a small amount out, mix in the rum and do a test batch with it freezing. Let me know how it works if you try it!

  2. 5 stars
    I had no idea how hot buttered rum was made until now. I love that this can be stashed in the freezer for anytime or to impress friends that happen to swing by! lol