Hot Buttered Rum

Hot buttered rum
The Spruce
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

Hot buttered rum is a favorite winter drink and it's irresistible. It is both sweet and warm, which is just the kind of comfort you want on the coldest days of the year. There are a number of ways to make this popular drink and two are included here for you to choose from.

The main recipe is very simple and can be used to quickly mix up one or two hot buttered rums at a moment's notice. If you're a big fan of the cocktail or plan to serve it at a party, you can also make up a big batch of the batter. That can be stored in the refrigerator so all you have to do is pour, stir, and drink!


Click Play to See This Hot Buttered Rum Recipe Come Together


  • 1 tablespoon butter (soft)
  • 1 teaspoon ​brown sugar
  • 1 dash ​​cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 dash ​nutmeg (ground)
  • 1 dash ​allspice (ground)
  • 1 splash vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces ​​rum (dark)
  • 5 ounces water (hot)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    hot buttered rum ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Place the butter, sugar, and spices into the bottom of an Irish coffee glass or mug and mix well or muddle.

    Muddling butter and spices.
     The Spruce
  3. Pour in the rum and top it with hot water.

    Hot buttered rum.
     The Spruce
  4. Stir.

    Hot buttered rum with cinnamon stick.
     The Spruce
  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • Make sure that your water is hot, but not boiling. If the water is too hot it can ruin the flavors of the drink. Think of it like making tea and heat your water as if you're brewing a cup of Earl Grey.
  • Use a little more or less butter if you like. A tablespoon is common, though you might enjoy it just a little richer with 1 1/2 tablespoons.
  • Adjust the spices to suit your taste. Some people prefer more cinnamon or nutmeg while others don't enjoy allspice, so be sure to customize it.

How Strong Is Hot Buttered Rum?

Hot buttered rum is a gently spiked drink. Its alcohol content is ultimately going to be determined by how much water you pour. If you're precise in measuring 5 ounces of hot water and pour an 80-proof rum, the drink weighs in around 10 percent ABV (20 proof). No matter what, it's always going to be in the same range as wines.

Recipe Variations

  • Make a Batch of Batter: Mix together 3 cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon rum extract (or 1/2 tablespoon dark rum), 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon using an electric mixer until everything is blended together. This will make enough batter for about 25 servings.
  • Store the batter in a well-sealed jar in the refrigerator until needed. It will be ready for the first drink after about one hour and keeps well for a few weeks.
  • To make a drink, pour a shot (1 1/2 ounces) of rum into a mug, add a heaping spoonful of the batter, then top it with hot water.
  • Many hot buttered rum fans prefer to form their batter into a log. This makes it easy to slice off one piece at a time whenever you want a drink. To do this, place the batter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use it to shape a long roll that's about 2 inches thick. Wrap it up tight, place it in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag and store it in the refrigerator.
  • If you prefer whiskey, make the switch and mix up a hot buttered whiskey.
  • The big-batch batter mix is fantastic on its own when topped with hot water. Skip the liquor entirely, add a little cream if you like, and you'll have a warm, soothing mocktail. For the single-serve version, create nonalcoholic hot buttered "rum" by adding 2 teaspoons of rum extract.

Red Hot Poker Mixing Method

If you're looking for a fun way to mix your hot buttered rum, try using a red hot poker. The heat naturally melds all the flavors together, creating a luscious, steaming drink. It is great for camping and can be used for caramelizing dark beer, too.

It takes some patience, so go slow and take care not to burn yourself. Also, the thicker the glass, the better; heftier beer mugs with handles are perfect.

  1. Choose a clean, thick rod and let it sit in the fire until it is red hot.

  2. Shake off any ashes and slowly put it into the finished drink, being careful not to touch the glass with the rod or it will shatter.

  3. Leave it in for 10 or 15 seconds, remove the rod, and enjoy your hot drink.