During this holiday season I make plenty of cocktails. Some are simple and some are a little more complicated. While some are cold, most of my cocktail choices during this chilly time of year are hot. After all, there’s nothing better on a snowy evening than Hot Chocolate with Baileys or a big steaming cup of Spiced Cider. It’s just not the holidays unless you’re curled up in front of the fire with a piping hot cocktail. And you’d be amazed how many options there are. There are even a few of which I hadn’t heard until recently (the Tom & Jerry being one). Hot Buttered Rum however, is not one of them.
I’ve been hearing about hot buttered rum my whole life as it’s my father’s cold-weather-drink of choice. But I only recently discovered it was a classic. One of my favorite Christmas movies of all time is White Christmas. Bing Crosby crooning, Rosemary Clooney’s amazing voice, and Danny Kaye making crazy faces while dancing insanely… it’s just the quintessential Christmas movie. You’re probably wondering what this movie has to do with hot buttered rum. Well, early on in the film Bing is talking about Vermont and the snow and how he likes “hot buttered rum, light on the butter”. Well since that movie’s from 1954, I knew the cocktail had to be older than that. But I had no idea how old.
Turns out the cocktail has been around almost as long as the United States. After molasses began being imported from Jamaica, and distilleries opened in New England in the 1650’s, colonists began adding distilled rum to hot beverages such as toddies and nogs, creating beverages like hot buttered rum. Although the first recipe for the buttered rum batter (which is what makes hot buttered rum, hot buttered rum) wasn’t published until 1917, people have been mixing their own spices together to add to the hot alcohol for centuries.
So this year, instead of the same old cocoa or eggnog (which are both awesome choices) why not open up presents on Christmas Eve with a cup of hot buttered rum? Not only will you feel warm and cozy inside, you’ll definitely have sugarplum fairies dancing in your head.
Buttered Rum Batter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 oz unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg or mace
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp salt
- In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly. Refrigerate in an sealed air-tight container for up to two months or freeze for up to a year.
To make the cocktail:
- 2 Tbsp refrigerated buttered rum batter
- 6 oz boiling water
- 1 1/2 oz dark rum
- nutmeg for garnish
- In a hot beverage mug, combine hot buttered rum batter with boiling water, stirring well until dissolved. Pour in rum. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.