Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe—For You or a Crowd | Wholefully (2024)

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It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas until I’ve curled up in front of the fireplace with Bing Crosby on the record player and a cozy mug of Hot Buttered Rum in my hand.

Hot Buttered Rum dates back to the colonial days in the United States, and the recipe (and flavor!) hasn’t changed much in the past few centuries—it’s sweet, creamy, buttery, and packed with holiday spice. Let us show you how to make this delicious Christmas co*cktail!

Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe—For You or a Crowd | Wholefully (1)

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What does hot buttered rum taste like?

To the uninitiated, buttered rum may not sound like a super appealing drink—butter mixed with alcohol? Sounds like a pass. But trust me. Hot buttered rum is sweetly spiced, and full of buttery vanilla flavor. It’s kinda like a really good Christmas cookie in a mug!

What’s in it?

The magic of this drink comes from the hot buttered rum batter. A batter for a co*cktail? Yup! To make this spiced butter mixture, you’ll need to warm and mix together:

  • Brown sugar and honey for sweetness.
  • Unsalted butter for (you guessed it!) butteriness.
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for some spiciness that warms you from the inside out.
  • A pinch of salt to bring out the flavor.
  • Vanilla extract for flavor.

Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe—For You or a Crowd | Wholefully (2)

When you’re ready to serve, you’ll just stir the batter with some hot water. Then pour in the rum, and top with whipped cream and nutmeg. Easy as that!

And lest you are thinking of skipping the whipped cream—don’t! As it melts into the drink, it makes the whole thing dreamy creamy.

Wholefully Protip

The recipe below makes enough batter for about four co*cktails. If you’re not using it all right now, the extra batter can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe—For You or a Crowd | Wholefully (3)

What kind of rum should I use?

You can use spiced rum or dark rum here. Spiced rum is typically a dark rum that has been flavored with caramel and other spices. We prefer dark rum so we can control the spices, but a good quality spiced rum will also do the trick!

How do I warm the rum?

You actually don’t need to warm the rum separately in our hot buttered rum recipe. Since we are using boiling water to whisk with the batter, it will do the work of heating the batter and the rum through. So go ahead and use room temperature rum!

Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe—For You or a Crowd | Wholefully (4)

How strong is hot buttered rum?

Each drink has 2 ounces of rum, which is just over a standard shot. Be careful, though—hot buttered rum goes down smooth, and is tasty enough to catch up to you quickly! Feel free to add more or less rum to taste.

Can I make it non-alcoholic?

You sure can! Just drop the rum, and keep everything else. You’ll still have a delicious and festive drink.

Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe—For You or a Crowd | Wholefully (5)

How can I make hot buttered rum for a crowd?

The slow cooker is your friend when you want to make hot buttered rum for a group. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Put all the batter ingredients in the slow cooker on high for an hour. No need to make the batter separately in advance!
  2. Add some water and rum, and set the slow cooker to warm.
  3. Keep the whipped cream and some nutmeg off to the side, and add them right as you serve each individual glass.

Looking for more festive drinks?

We have a collection of over a dozen Christmas co*cktails for you, including:

  • Eggnog Martini
  • Jingle Juice Holiday Punch
  • Cranberry Gin Fizz
  • Butterscotch Bourbon Eggnog
Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe—For You or a Crowd | Wholefully (6)

Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

You can almost hear the sleigh bells when you sip on Hot Buttered Rum! This old-fashioned co*cktail is creamy, sweet, and warms you from the inside out.


For the Batter:

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Each co*cktail

  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) batter, plus more to taste
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • Sweetened whipped cream and ground nutmeg, for garnish


  1. To make the batter: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Heat, stirring frequently, until the butter is completely melted and the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  2. To make each co*cktail, combine the hot water with about a quarter of the batter in a mug, and then stir vigorously to combine.
  3. Add in the rum and stir to combine. Taste, and add additional batter if you like it a bit sweeter or spicier.
  4. Top with a large dollop of whipped cream and fresh grated nutmeg.


  • Don’t be tempted to skip the whipped cream! As it melts into the drink, it makes it dreamy creamy.
  • The batter can stash in the fridge until you are ready to make your next co*cktail.
  • To make this in a slow cooker for a crowd, add all batter ingredients to the slow cooker and set to high for an hour, or until the mixture is melted and combined. Add in 2 1/2 cups of hot water and 1 cup of rum and stir vigorously to combine. Set on warm. Serve anytime topped with whipped cream and nutmeg.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 4Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 239Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 56mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 1gSugar: 47gProtein: 0g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe—For You or a Crowd | Wholefully (2024)


What brand of rum is best for hot buttered rum? ›

The Demerara rums from El Dorado work wonders, as does a robust Jamaican rum like Coruba, or something dark and mellow like Zaya or Zacapa.

Is hot buttered rum good for a cold? ›

From hot toddies to buttered rums, these warming winter co*cktails can remedy everything from a sore throat and runny nose to a bout of seasonal depression.

What is the history of hot buttered rum? ›

It was in the 1650s when Jamaica began importing molasses to Colonial America. New England started opening distilleries where the colonists then began adding distilled rum to hot beverages such as toddies and nogs, creating hot buttered rum, eggnog and others.

What does buttered rum taste like? ›

Hot buttered rum is creamy, sweet, and spiced with warming undertones of rum that goes down smooth. Sipping a mug of this hot treat is kind of like a salted caramel latte and some spiced rum had a baby, and it's the perfect drink to warm up to during winter.

Is Captain Morgan good for hot buttered rum? ›

It's good over just about anything--YUM!! Use a good dark rum such as Myers or Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, and don't skip the fresh squeezed lime juice, which makes this sauce pop! I hope you enjoy!"

What alcohol goes in hot buttered rum? ›

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.

What is the difference between hot buttered rum and hot Tottie? ›

Simply put Hot Buttered Run is the butter-rich cousin of a Rum Hot Toddy. The Hot Toddy basically refers to an alcoholic beverage with made with hot water, alcohol, sugar, and spices.

Is hot rum good for cough? ›

Word of caution! Please be aware that rum cannot be your go-to solution to get rid of a cold every time. Since cold and cough is a symptom of several diseases, it is best to talk to your doctor before you refute it as a mere cold and drink rum to alleviate it. Plus, you need to know if it's suitable for you or not!

Does rum make you feel better when sick? ›

Alcohol is not a treatment or cure for colds, and it does not act as a decongestant. Generally, health authorities do not recommend consuming alcohol during a cold.

What is a fun fact about hot buttered rum? ›

Hot Buttered Rum dates back to America's Colonial days when rum was New England's most lucrative industry. At the time, recipes for Hot Buttered Rum varied from one home to another. Though the essential ingredients likely remained the same: rum, butter, sugar, and spices.

Is a Tom and Jerry the same as hot buttered rum? ›

The Tom & Jerry is much like making a Hot Buttered Rum. It all begins with mixing the spiced batter, which can be refrigerated or frozen until it's time for a drink. Once that is done, it's as simple as pouring warm milk over your liquor and batter.

When was hot buttered rum popular? ›

In the time before the American Revolution, no holiday celebration was complete without revelers lifting up glasses of hot buttered rum, or some similar rum concoction, and toasting the night away. Such was the tradition. Today, the drink is less popular, due, in part to, its high caloric content.

Is Hot butter rum good for you? ›

I'll be the first to admit that this Hot Buttered Rum mixture is FAR from healthy. The ingredients may make you either laugh nervously or think, “Nope!”, but I promise this delicious beverage is worth it. And keep in mind that you're only using a tiny spoonful for each drink!

Is butter rum the same as butterscotch? ›

Butterscotch has a similar flavor to caramel, but is made with brown sugar instead of white sugar. The molasses in the brown sugar adds deep, warm flavor, with some subtle smoky notes. Butter rum has buttery, sweet, and caramelly flavor with vanilla notes that complement the rum flavor.

What rum tastes like coffee? ›

The queen of all rums unlocks the subtle, complex flavours of distillation giving you a blend of coffee and rum that defines your smooth character.

Is Myers rum good for hot buttered rum? ›

Of all the rums we tried for this recipe, we liked Myers's best. But Oronoco, a new white rum from Brazil, also made a beautifully balanced drink.

Is Kraken good for hot buttered rum? ›

I like Kraken, you could also use Meyer's or a spiced rum like Captain Morgan. Boiling water. Cinnamon sticks: This will be a built in stirrer and add aroma.

What is the best rum to cook with? ›

Aged and dark are ideal when cooking dishes with strong flavors such as beef stews or pork, while white rums are often used for cooking seafood or poultry,” says Angel Roque, the executive chef of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar in Washington, D.C. Cuba Libre.

Which rum for spiced rum? ›

Spiced rum can be made using any type of rum as a base, so you can find white, gold, and dark spiced rums on the market. One of the most popular products in the UK is the Dead Mans Fingers Spiced Rum as it's a versatile classic, perfect for sipping on its own or as part of a co*cktail.

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