Food & Cooking Blog

Winter Cocktail Recipe: Making Hot Buttered Rum

‘Tis the season for a warming winter cocktail recipe! Wouldn’t you agree?

As the weather changes so does our cocktail routine. What was once cold and fruity is now warm and soothing. Winter cocktails can be just as exciting as the summer varieties. Here’s a classic recipes for hot buttered rum that’ll heat you up from head to toe!

Hot Buttered Rum

One of the tell tale signs of a changing season for me is the shift from cold to warm drinks. The day I first order an iced coffee is the sign of months of sunshine and warmth. It’s hopeful and new and feels as if I’m shedding my winter coat with the first chilling sip. When I then make the switch back to coffee served warm in a mug, I immediately am comforted with knowing that the months of hunkering down with a stack of good books, crisp evenings and dark mornings are here.

I’ve taken this concept and have applied it to our evening cocktails as well. It’s one thing to finish the day with a cup of tea or a bit of hot chocolate, but it is a bit special when that tea becomes a toddy and that hot chocolate is only suitable for adults.

Hot Buttered Rum

Warm cocktails are the perfect way to begin or end a holiday party. They are a bit unexpected, completely comforting and really simple to make in large quantities, so you’ll find no need to be bartending all evening.

This Hot Buttered Rum is one of the most classic and iconic warm cocktails. For decades, I only thought of it as that one strange yet addictive Life Savers flavor. Turns out the real Hot Buttered Rum tastes very much like the candy only much, much better.

The recipe below is written for a crowd or to last you through the season. The butter block freezes beautiful or can be rolled into a slender log, wrapped and refrigerated then it’s ready on a whim when the urge arises.

Hot Buttered Rum

Butter, warming spices, dark brown sugar and a pinch of salt make up the base of the cocktail. Rum, although I imagine bourbon wouldn’t be so bad either, is added then the whole thing is topped with hot water so the butter melts as does the sugar, and the spices waft from the glass to your nose giving you no doubt whatsoever that the season of hunkering is upon us.

Hot Buttered Rum

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse


1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, soft

2 cup dark brown sugar


1. Cream together the butter, spices and sugar. At this point you can roll up the mixture with parchment into a log. Cover well and refrigerate or freeze for later use. In the fridge, the mixture will keep for two weeks, in the freezer a couple of months.

2. In a mug add a tablespoon of the butter and sugar mixture (the original recipe called for 2 tablespoons but we found 1 was great). Top with a couple ounces of rum and roughly 1/2 cup of hot water. The ratio of the ingredients is really preference.

3. If possible, enjoy this cocktail near an open fire.

Hot Buttered Rum

For more great cocktail ideas check out this stunning list of 12 of the best cocktails for fall. I’m sure some are eager to satisfy in the winter as well.

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