Beverages, Recipes

Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

It’s hard to beat Hot Buttered Rum in the cooler months of the year. This drink is warm, rich, sweetly spiced, and incredibly flavorful. 

It’s a classic cold-weather drink that’s hard for anyone to turn down. 

Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe featuring rich Sweetly Spiced Taste Hot Buttered Rum in a glass Mug with cinnamon and nutmeg

As one of the many famous “warming beverages,” Hot Buttered Rum has a rich history in the States. In fact, it dates all the way back to our colonial ancestors. 


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They used it to warm their bellies and keep the chill at bay. And honestly, that’s still how we mostly use it today. 

Now, let’s talk about how to make Hot Buttered Rum.

What Does Hot Buttered Rum Taste Like? 

The first question people often have about this drink is, “What does it taste like?” And what most of them really want to know is, “Does it taste like butter?” 

Because, let’s be honest, the idea of drinking butter is a bit strange. 

Don’t worry, though. Hot Buttered Rum doesn’t taste like you’re drinking butter. Instead, it has a super rich, sweetly spiced taste with hints of vanilla. 

The butter also gives the drink a phenomenal texture. It’s smooth and velvety, a genuine delight to the senses. It’s a complex drink with hidden depths. 

You’ll love its aromatic spices and gently sweet flavor. And the pleasant, boozy feeling it leaves you with is nothing to sneer at. 

Two Mug Glasses of Sweet Spiced Hot Buttered Rum on a Wooden Tray with whole nutmeg and pinecones on the tray


Before mixing the cocktail, prepare the spiced butter batter. 

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for that: 

  • Butter- This isn’t one of those recipes where you can substitute margarine for butter. I mean, the name IS Hot Buttered Rum. Butter – real butter – is pretty essential. Set it out before making the batter to give it time to soften. 
  • Brown Sugar- Some recipes call for powdered sugar instead of brown sugar. However, the molasses- and caramel-like flavor of brown sugar is, hands down, the best. I don’t recommend substituting powdered sugar. 
  • Honey- Honey adds another layer of depth and sweetness to the drink. It’s also very soothing, especially if you have a sore throat. 
  • Spices- The unique blend of spices lends itself well to this drink. It’s a delicious mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. They make the drink smell as good as it tastes. 

For the cocktail itself, you’ll need the butter batter (above) and a few other things: 

  • Dark rum- I like the rich, complex flavor of dark rum. You can use aged or spiced rum if you prefer. 
  • Hot water- Top the drink with hot water. It needs to be HOT. Warm water is not hot enough, but it shouldn’t be boiling. Just hot. 
  • Cinnamon Stick- Though the cinnamon stick is optional, it makes the drink look fantastic. It also imparts more cinnamon flavor into the drink the longer it sits in the glass.
Two Mug Glasses of Hot Buttered Rum with a cinnamon Stick Garnish on a Wooden Board

How to Make Hot Buttered Rum 

Follow these steps to make your Hot Buttered Rum: 

1. Make the batter. Beat the butter, brown sugar, honey, and spices with an electric mixer until creamy. 


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2. Prepare the drink. Add 2 tablespoons of batter to a heat-proof mug. Then, add in the rum and top the cocktail with hot water. 

3. Stir. Continue stirring until the batter dissolves in the drink. 

4. Garnish and serve. Add the cinnamon stick garnish, serve, and enjoy! 

What Type of Rum is Best? 

I prefer to use dark rum in my Hot Buttered Rum recipes. Many people use spiced rum instead. 

Since spiced rum is just dark rum with added spices, that’s an okay choice, too. 

However, with dark rum, I have absolute control over the types and amounts of spices I add.

If you go with spiced rum instead, you may want to adjust the spice ratio in the batter.

Two glasses of hot Buttered Rum with  a Cinnamon Stick Garnish on a Wooden Tray

How to Make Hot Buttered Rum For a Crowd 

You can absolutely make Hot Buttered Rum for a crowd! And doing so isn’t difficult. 

Just follow these steps: 

  1. Dig out your slow cooker and clean it out if it needs it.
  2. Multiply the batter ingredients by a factor of X – however much you need to increase it by*.
  3. Add the batter ingredients to the slow cooker. 
  4. Cook for 1 hour on high power. 
  5. Multiply the water and rum by a factor of X*. 
  6. Add the water and rum to the slow cooker. 
  7. Set the slow cooker to “warm.” 
  8. Place glasses and garnishes on the table around the slow cooker. 

Then, let your guests dip their drinks and garnish them however they like. Try adding extra garnishes like whipped cream or freshly grated nutmeg.

*Note: As written, the batter recipe already makes about 12 servings. With that in mind, you may not need to increase the ingredients by much (if at all). 

However, the drink ingredients only make enough for one drink. So, even if you don’t increase the batter recipe, you may still have to increase the amount of rum and water you add. 

Storing and Freezing the Butter Batter

This recipe makes more butter batter than you may need at one time. Luckily, it keeps very well!


The spiced butter batter recipe makes about 12 servings. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.


You can also freeze the batter for up to 3 months. Roll it into a 2-inch thick log using a plastic wrap. Store it in a Ziplock bag and freeze.

Ready to enjoy a Hot Buttered Rum? Slice a chunk and drop it into a mug with rum and hot water. Mix until dissolved.

Hot Buttered Rum