How to Make a Classic Hot Buttered Rum

A hot buttered rum is very similar to a hot toddy, but what sets it apart is the addition of butter — which, in all honesty, is what makes this warm cocktail so special. Comprised of dark rum, brown sugar, butter and a few spices this cold weather beverage is a go-to for cocktail connoisseurs as soon as the temperatures drop. Over the years, this drink has encountered some lovely modifications, and the introduction of lemon zest and whipped cream only makes it more delicious. If you want to try a more classic version of this drink, simply omit the lemon zest and whipped cream. Since the weather is cooling down, now is the time to make this drink and enjoy a cozy night indoors.

(Image: Kristan Raines)

Things You'll Need

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1/4 ground nutmeg 
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, optional
  • Spiced rum
  • 4 cups boiling water 
  • Whipped cream, optional garnish 


  • This recipe makes four drinks.

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Step 1

Place the stick of butter in a small bowl along with the brown sugar, all the spices, lemon zest and salt. Mash the butter with a fork until all the ingredients are well combined and a smooth paste-like texture is achieved. Store the spiced butter in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to use.

(Image: Kristan Raines)


  • The spiced butter can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Step 2

Add 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the spiced butter to a cup, followed by 1 1/2 oz of spiced rum and 3/4 cup of boiling water. Use a fork or a spoon to mix the drink until the butter has completely melted.

(Image: Kristan Raines)

Step 3

Taste and add any additional hot water or sugar, if desired. Top with whipped cream and enjoy while warm.

(Image: Kristan Raines)
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