Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

Hot buttered rum with foam layer on top, garnished with a cinnamon stick in a glass cup

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
270 Calories
12g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 270
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 44mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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. In the United States, the drink dates back to colonial times, but warming beverages, in general, have a longer and broader history. There are a number of ways to make this popular drink, and it's perfect to enjoy during the holiday season.

This hot buttered rum recipe is very simple and can be used to quickly mix up one or two drinks 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 that can be stored in the refrigerator so all you have to do is pour, stir, and drink.

When it's time to pour, make sure the water isn't boiling hot because that may ruin the flavors of the drink. Approach the water as though you were making a pot of Earl Grey tea. Otherwise, feel free to customize this recipe by using more or less butter if you like; a tablespoon is common, and it's in the recipe here, but it's a little richer with 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Adjust the spices to taste.

Just one note: If you prefer whiskey, make the switch and mix up a hot buttered whiskey.


Click Play to See This Hot Buttered Rum Recipe Come Together

"To be honest, I find traditional Hot Buttered Rum to be a little bland, which is why this recipe with spiced butter rocks. Baking spices support and enhance the rum and build a satisfying bridge between the booze and the rich butter. Sugar amounts are relative. I like to use 2 teaspoons of brown sugar." —Tom Macy

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for hot buttered rum recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Place the sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and spices into the bottom of an Irish coffee glass or mug and mix well or muddle.

    Butter, spices, and vanilla being muddled with a wooden muddler in a glass cup

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Pour in the rum and top it with hot water.

    Water added to hot buttered rum with foam layer forming on top

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Stir and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serve and enjoy.

    Hot buttered rum with foam layer on top in a glass cup, garnished with a cinnamon stick

    The Spruce Eats

Make a Batch of Batter

  • Mix together 2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg and allspice using an electric mixer until everything is blended together. You'll have enough batter for about 24 drinks.
  • To make a drink, pour a shot (1 1/2 ounces) of dark rum into a mug, add a tablespoon of the batter, then top it with hot water. For a slightly sweeter drink, add a teaspoon of honey.
  • Store the batter in a well-sealed jar in the refrigerator until needed. It will be ready for the first drink after about an hour and keeps well for a few weeks. 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 tightly, place it in an airtight container or plastic zip-close bag, and store it in the refrigerator; it will also freeze for up to three months.
  • 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 2 teaspoons of rum extract to one serving, and you'll have a warm, soothing mocktail.

Alternate 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 slowly and take care not to burn yourself. Also, the thicker the glass, the better; heftier beer mugs with handles are perfect.

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

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

How Strong Is Hot Buttered Rum?

Hot buttered rum is a gently spiked drink. Its alcohol content will 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.