Living the good life at any age

Hot Buttered Rum Warms Up the Holidays

by Linda Stewart

During the holidays, there is nothing cozier than sipping a favorite warm drink around a glowing fireplace. As the chill of winter settles in (yes, even we Southern Californians experience cool mornings and evenings), the thought of a hot spicy toddy brings much comfort. 

Hot Buttered Rum is one of those popular, warm, spiced drinks that definitely fits the bill.  The traditional buttered rum drink was made fashionable when rum moved into the American Colonies from the Caribbean. This drink consisted of dark rum, butter, and spices.  I prefer the more contemporary “batter” version, which makes a richer, creamier toddy and doesn’t separate.  The batter keeps well in the freezer.  I like to add a little more complexity to the drink by adding some cardamom, but this is an optional spice.  I have spent some time this last year perfecting the following recipe – I wanted something luscious, but not too sweet.  Melting the butter first brings out the aromatics of the spices.

(Photo to the right is of a gathering with friends a few years ago as we savored Hot Buttered Rum. Left to Right: The author, Linda Stewart; Bob MIller; Terri Miller; Caralee Taylor.  Back: Bill Taylor)


Hot Buttered Rum


1 cup butter (2 cubes)

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 quart vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

1 Tbs. cinnamon

2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cloves

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. salt

Optional: ½ tsp. cardamom

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  When butter is half melted, whisk in spices.  When butter is completely melted, whisk in sugars.  Cook for about 1 minute; whisk in cream and then remove from heat.  Add vanilla and salt.

Cool to room temperature (about 30 to 45 minutes).  Add two heaping tablespoons of ice cream into the butter mixture and stir to blend (this will help temper the mixture for a well-blended batter).    Place the rest of ice cream in a mixer and slowly beat in the butter mixture.  Continue beating for one or two minutes until batter in fully blended.  Freeze batter in a covered container until ready to use.

To make one mug of hot buttered rum:

Pour 1 to 1 ½ ounces of dark rum in a large mug.  Add two heaping tablespoons of batter and fill with boiling water. Stir well.  Grate fresh nutmeg on top and add a cinnamon stick for garnish; enjoy.


Posted by Susan Montgomery on Dec 24, 2020