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Hot Buttered Rum – drink recipe

By Miguel Figueredo

Over 150 distilleries were around in New England in the mid 1600’s, and molasses was already being imported to British Colonies in America from Jamaica. Colonists made their variations to the beverages they used to have with whisky, by switching it to rum and adding it to hot beverages like noggs and toddies.

Nowadays, spiced drinks with a spirit kick (mostly rum) are especially popular during the winter in the US and the UK. Charles Coulombe, in his “Rum: The Epic Story of the Drink that Conquered the World”, writes that rum has always been an “important component of American holiday celebrations”, and given the Puritanical ban on outright celebration of religious holidays, hot toddies and spiced rum drinks share an association with American pagan holidays (i.e. New Year and Thanksgiving).

Recipes for Buttered Rum Batter date as far back as to 1917, in the publication of the “The Ideal Bartender”, and include butter, nutmeg and sugar as a base. In essence, the following is a simple mulled rum drink with the addition of butter, which gives it some extra richness. “It’s the perfect indulgence for a chilly winter evening”, as Ben Reed puts it and many of us agree.

Some recipes call for a batter preparation taking from several hours up to several months before using it to actually make the drink. I don’t think we have to take it that far and this is a simple, easy to accomplish, version of it.


            30 ml Caribbean dark rum

            2 cloves

            1 lemon slice

            1 teaspoon unrefined caster sugar

            ½ cup just-boiled water

            1 tablespoon unsalted butter

            1 cinnamon stick


Directions: Combine the rum, the cloves, lemon slice and sugar into a heatproof glass. Top up with boiling water, add the butter and the cinnamon stick, serve immediately and enjoy it cosily while you face a winter evening (or day).

Nevertheless, If you prefer to do the more complex version, you can prepare a buttered rum batter first (mixing the following and putting it in a fridge in an airtight container for up to a month) and then add boiling water, rum and a cinnamon stick to it:


            1 lb. light brown sugar

            1/2 lb. unsalted butter, softened

            2 tsp. ground cinnamon

            2 tsp. ground nutmeg

            1/2 tsp. ground allspice

            2 tsp. vanilla extract

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