Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail Recipe

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Hot Buttered Rum Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Hot Buttered Rum is a warm, comforting cocktail with a rich history dating back to the colonial days in America. It was a popular drink among sailors and merchants who would enjoy it after a long day of work. The cocktail has evolved over the years, but its core ingredients and warming qualities remain the same.

  • Originated in colonial America
  • Popular among sailors and merchants
  • Has evolved over the years, but remains a classic winter cocktail

How Hot Buttered Rum Tastes?

Hot Buttered Rum has a rich, creamy, and buttery taste with a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar and a warming sensation from the spices and rum. The flavors are well-balanced, making it a perfect winter cocktail.

Interesting facts about Hot Buttered Rum

  • Hot Buttered Rum is traditionally enjoyed during the winter months and holidays
  • The cocktail can be customized with various spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice
  • Hot Buttered Rum is often served in a mug or heatproof glass to maintain its warmth


  • Unsalted butter: 2 tbsp
  • Brown sugar: 2 tbsp
  • Ground cinnamon: 1/4 tsp
  • Ground nutmeg: 1/4 tsp
  • Ground allspice: 1/4 tsp
  • Dark rum: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Boiling water: 3/4 cup
  • Whipped cream: optional
  • Cinnamon stick: 1 for garnish

Unsalted Butter

Butter adds a creamy, rich base to the cocktail, creating a velvety texture that's simply irresistible. Its unsalted nature lets you control the sweetness without overpowering the other flavors. Omit the butter, and you lose the 'Hot Buttered' part of your rum - a cardinal sin in this concoction.

Mary Mitkina

Brown Sugar

This sweet soul brings a deep molasses-kissed sweetness, adding depth and a caramel note which harmonizes with the dark rum. Too much of it, and your cocktail becomes a sugary tidal wave; too little, and it's like a pirate without his treasure - missing the richness it deserves.

Mary Mitkina

Ground Cinnamon

Cinnamon is the captain of the spice armada in this drink, offering warm, spicy tones that evoke festive feelings. If you left cinnamon out, it would be like sailing without wind - possible, but nowhere near as exhilarating.

Alex Green

Ground Nutmeg

A little nutmeg goes a long way, offering a subtle woodiness that complements the cocktail's warmth. Neglect it, and you're denying your taste buds a layer of complexity akin to skipping a chapter in a great novel.

Mary Mitkina

Ground Allspice

The allspice is akin to the finishing spice on a gourmet dish; it ties the previous flavors together with its pepper-like, clove-y essence. Without it, the cocktail is still good, but with it, it's like the grand finale in a symphony of tastes.

Mary Mitkina

Dark Rum

The star of the show, dark rum bestows a rich, molasses-heavy robustness emboldened by time spent in charred oak barrels. The right amount lifts the concoction; too much, and the drink stumbles into a boozy fog; too little, and it's a ship lost at sea without its sails.

Alex Green

Boiling Water

It disperses the butter and spices evenly while also diluting the strength of the rum to a pleasurable potency. It's the unsung hero of the payload - a transformative agent that turns a mixture into magic.

Mary Mitkina

Whipped Cream (Optional)

A cloud-like topping that adds a touch of indulgence and a visual contrast to the rich amber liquid beneath. Skip it for a less decadent experience or add a dollop and watch your drink dress to impress.

Mary Mitkina

Cinnamon Stick (Garnish)

This elegantly understated garnish is both an aromatic accessory and a stirring implement. It's the exclamation point at the end of a well-crafted sentence – not entirely necessary, but certainly pleasing.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Hot Buttered Rum Drink

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the unsalted butter, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice until well combined
  2. In a heatproof mug or glass, add the dark rum
  3. Pour the boiling water into the mug, stirring to combine
  4. Add the butter and spice mixture to the mug, stirring until the butter is melted and the ingredients are well incorporated
  5. Top with whipped cream if desired
  6. Garnish with a cinnamon stick

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality dark rum for the best flavor
  • Freshly ground spices will give a more intense flavor
  • Whipped cream is optional but adds a nice creamy texture

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese plates: The creamy texture of cheese complements the rich and spicy flavors of the cocktail. Hard cheeses like aged cheddar or gouda would be particularly enjoyable.

  • Roasted nuts: A bowl of mixed roasted nuts, especially those with a touch of seasoning, can accentuate the warm spice notes in the Hot Buttered Rum.


  • Apple pie: The classic flavors of apple and cinnamon will pair beautifully with the spicy notes of the cocktail.

  • Pumpkin desserts: Pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread would create a harmonious blend with the allspice and nutmeg in the drink.


  • Dark chocolate: A few pieces of dark chocolate can counterbalance the sweetness and add a level of sophistication to the sipping experience.

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What you could change in Hot Buttered Rum

  • Dark rum can be replaced with bourbon or brandy
  • Brown sugar can be substituted with maple syrup or honey
  • Unsalted butter can be replaced with vegan butter for a dairy-free option

Explore all drinks starting with H here

And of course - twists🍹

Hazelnut Hot Buttered Rum

  • Substitute 1 oz of dark rum with hazelnut liqueur. The nutty flavor of the liqueur will play off the rich butter and add a delicious depth that's akin to a warm hug on a cold day. This variation will taste like autumn in a mug, with the hazelnut adding a sweet and nutty profile.

Pumpkin Spice Hot Buttered Rum

  • Enhance the spice mixture with 1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice and replace the dark rum with spiced rum. This gives the already cozy cocktail an extra kick of fall flavors, making it perfect for sipping while carving pumpkins or giving thanks.

Caramel Apple Hot Buttered Rum

  • Add caramel sauce to the butter mixture, and toss in a slice of fresh apple into the mug before adding the boiling water. This will bring a twist to the original with sweet caramel notes, and the apple's freshness will add a crisp contrast, reminiscent of biting into a caramel-dipped apple on a festive night.

In case you forgot basics how to make Hot Buttered Rum

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Hot Buttered Rum

Is there a non-alcoholic version of Hot Buttered Rum?

Yes, you can easily make a non-alcoholic version by substituting the rum with apple juice or another non-alcoholic beverage.

Is Hot Buttered Rum a good cocktail choice for big gatherings?

Hot Buttered Rum can be made in batches, making it a great choice for large gatherings like holiday parties.

What is the ideal food pairing for the Hot Buttered Rum cocktail?

Hot Buttered Rum pairs well with sweet or spicy foods like curry, cinnamon buns, or apple pie.

How should I store leftover Hot Buttered Rum mix?

You can store leftover Hot Buttered Rum mix in the refrigerator. Heat it up before serving.

Which type of dark rum should I use for Hot Buttered Rum?

You can use any dark rum you prefer. A smoother, aged rum may provide a more rounded and flavorful cocktail.

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