Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

A warming libation for a cold Winter's day. Learn how to make the Hot Buttered Rum recipe with our expert mixologists.
The Hot Buttered Rum recipe on a winter background with sprigs of holly, pine cones, and dried fruit




Glass Mug



Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail Recipe Ingredients

35ml Aged Rum
1 Tablespoon Butter
10ml Vanilla Sugar Syrup
1 pinch of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice
Hot Water

How to make the Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

Add the spices, butter and sugar syrup into a glass mug and muddle using a muddler.

Bring water to the boil.

Pour in the rum and top with hot water.

Stir gently until combined and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Tell us about the Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

This drink screams cold winter afternoons sitting by the fireside.

Taking a sip transports you to a winter wonderland; it would make a great Après-ski drink.

The combination of warming rum, with creamy butter proves to be a winning combination; it literally melts on the tongue.

The spices add flavour and aroma, for a delicate aftertaste.

In David Wondrich’s Imbibe! the origins of butter in hot beverages are traced back to the reign of Henry VIII.

Alcohol arrived on the scene much later, but it’s not known exactly when.

One strong candidate has to be mid-19th century America.

In the book Rum: The Epic Story of the Drink that Conquered the World, Charles Coulombe notes that rum has always been an important component of American holiday celebrations.

Molasses, a key ingredient in the making of rum, was in ample supply in colonial-era America. Compared to other types of drink like tea, rum was easy to produce.

Combine this abundance of rum, with the cold New England winter weather and it’s no wonder the spirit was used in many iconic cocktails from this era.

In fact, 1862’s How to Mix Drinks: Or, The Bon-vivant’s Companion by esteemed bartender Jerry Thomas lists not one, but two recipes for warming rum cocktails.

The first, Hot Spiced Rum is made from hot water mixed with cloves, sugar, Jamaican rum, allspice, and butter.

The second is called simply Hot Rum, which removes the spices, but does call for a bit of nutmeg sprinkled on top.

In creating our take on the Hot Buttered Rum recipe, we’ve taken the best from both takes.

Later in cocktail history the Hot Buttered Rum recipe gained a new life after World War II with the introduction of Tiki drinks culture.

Famous bartender Trader Vic lists a version of the drink in his Bartender’s Guide.

In it, he warns that though the cocktail has its good points, if made incorrectly it can become “a weak little noggin with bits of butter floating on top which look good stuck on the customer’s upper lip.”

Vic urged the use of a batter in order to make a finely textured drink.

The adaption of the drink to Tiki culture led to its traditional glass changing for a while to that of a ceramic skull mug.

One variation on the drink adds coffee and cream to the mix to create the Coffee Grog recipe.

Jumping into the 1950s brings new variations on the recipe, with the Volcano House Hot Buttered Rum adding maraschino liqueur and Earl Grey tea.

The Pub and Prow Hot Buttered Rum (bonus points if you can guess the restaurant it’s named after) adds créme de cacao to the original recipe.

Did You Know?

National Hot Buttered Rum Day is celebrated each year on January 17th.

Expert Tip

Some recipes call for ice cream to be added into the cocktail. Think of it as an alcoholic coke float.

Try it and thank us later.

What to Drink Next

If you enjoyed the warming winter cocktail recipe, then why not try our Christmas Pudding Martini. Containing chocolate infused brandy, it can be served cold, or served warm as brandy traditionally is.

Fair warning, the Hot Buttered Rum recipe is stacked full of calories. Sugar and butter will do that, you know.

If you’re looking for a lighter option, check out our tips on reducing calories in cocktails.