Classic winter warmer Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

by Mama Loves A Drink

A classic recipe for hot buttered rum, the perfect winter warmer for the coldest months.

Hot buttered rum is an irresistibly sweet and warming beverage that brings us comfort on the coldest days of the year.

A type of hot toddy, hot buttered rum tends to be a classical Christmas favourite so we’ve given it its own recipe, plus tips on how to make this an enjoyable mocktail too.

This recipe is part of our favourite Christmas Cocktails series. You may also like to check out our non-alcoholic drinks collection for perfect Christmas Mocktails.

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Tools you will need for making a single cup of Hot Buttered Rum

  • Muddler
  • Jigger
  • Stirring spoon
  • Irish coffee cup or your favourite mug

Find all our favourite tools for your home cocktail bar here.

Yield: 1 serve

Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

Hot buttered Rum

A wonderful warming winter sip, perfect for cold nights with a sweet finish, best served in an Irish coffee cup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • A dash of ground cinnamon
  • A dash of ground nutmeg
  • A dash of ground allspice
  • A dash of vanilla extract
  • 60ml dark rum
  • 150ml hot water
  • Garnish 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Place the sugar, butter and spices into your cup or mug and muddle
  2. Pour the rum over and top up with hot water
  3. Stir and serve with a cinnamon stick (optional)

Hot buttered rum for a crowd – make ahead

Our simple recipe is for making a single-serve straight in your cup.

However, if you are hosting a party, you can easily make a “batter” in advance ready for serving (or if you want a drink every night without too much elbow grease, you can make it ahead!).

You simply need to multiple out the ingredients and you can use your mixer or electric hand beater rather than muddling in the cup.

We suggest for 24 serves using:

  • 3 cups of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

You can keep your batter in a well-sealed jar in the fridge and it can last at least a week, taking a heaped tablespoon from the jar when you are ready to serve, then add the rum and hot water.

The other option is to roll the batter you’ve made into a log, about 2 inches thick.

Wrap it up airtight before placing in the fridge (or even the freezer) then when you need it, take a slice off the batter log and place in your cup before adding the rum & hot water.

Variations of hot rum

As we mentioned at the outset, sometimes the name hot toddy and buttered rum are used a little interchangeably. Whilst buttered rum is in some ways a variation on the hot toddy, it is certainly unique, albeit a little more complex!

You can really play with the flavourings you have to hand.

A hot toddy uses honey & lemon for its sweet & sour qualities.

You can replace the sugar in this recipe for honey, albeit we add it after the hot water or its too sticky to muddle. We’d suggest sticking with a dark rum rather than our usual go-to spiced rum as the spices are already incorporated in the recipe.

Mocktail hot buttered rum

The only alcoholic ingredient is the rum, which you could look to replace with a dash of rum extract and add more water. A rum extract made from real rum has about 30% ABV but as you are using such a small amount in the drink, the alcohol level is trace.

There are artificially flavoured rum essence products that are completely alcohol-free.

Salted v Unsalted butter in buttered rum

Does the type of butter matter? Having tried it both ways and I’ll admit I’m terrible at picking the difference in these things.

I think this is a personal taste preference – some recipes we reviewed when coming up with our favourite combination recommended unsalted butter but then added a pinch of salt! Whatever you do, just don’t try and replace the butter with margarine.

If you don’t like things overly sweet though, you can try cutting down on the sugars, the spices give the recipe plenty of excitement as it is without it needing to be overbearingly sweet.

On the flip side, another variation is to serve it with a generous dose of whipped cream on top – it’s your choice!

Accept this drink is a little on the naughty side if you’re watching your cholesterol – I’ve not been brave enough to try the keto version yet!

More Christmas drinks ideas

As well as checking out our complete guide to Christmas cocktails, you may also be interested in our Christmas gift guides for drink-lovers. We cover everything from stylish glassware for your drinks cabinet to our favourite gifts for wine-lovers.

If you’re still seeking out that perfect gift idea or stocking stuffer, pop on over for some inspiration here >>

Mama Loves A Drink advocates quality over quantity. Always drink responsibly!

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