Classic Hot Buttered Rum Recipe – a delicious and indulgent winter warmer

by Mama Loves A Drink

A classic recipe for hot buttered rum, the perfect winter warmer for the coldest months, plus tips for a non-alcoholic version.

Hot buttered rum is hot drink made with rum, hot water, butter and spices popular as a winter warmer or festive drink.

Similar to hot toddy, hot buttered rum tends to be a classical Christmas favourite for cozy night at home or friends gatherings and also works well in non-alcoholic form.

Today, we share the classic recipe for hot buttered room, a couple of suggested variations we like and an idea for an alcohol free hot buttered rum mocktail.


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

You can find all our suggested staple supplies and tools for your home cocktail bar here.

Yield: 1 serve

Hot Buttered Rum Recipe (Single Serve)

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!).

Once ready, you can keep your batter in a jar or roll it into a log, like your would do with herbed butter, and keep it in the fridge.

You can use it all together or take portions of it as needed, replacing the rest in the fridge each time. If well preserved, it lasts about one week.

In terms of dosage, if making hot buttered rum for a crowd, you need to multiply out the ingredients. If making it for more than a few guests, we like to use our mixer or electric hand beater rather than muddling in the cup. Much easier!

We suggest for 24 serves using:

  • 3 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 180ml tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

Mocktail hot buttered rum – Hot buttered rum with no alcohol

The only alcoholic ingredient is the rum, so you could easily make an alcohol-free hot buttered rum, opting for a zero-alcohol rum.

Depending on the brand you find, you may use it as is or may find you like adding a touch more of vanilla and grape juice to taste.

As a low-alcohol alternative, you can also consider replacing the rum with a dash of rum extract and adding more water. A rum extract made from real rum has about 30% ABV: as you use such a small amount in the drink, the alcohol level is trace. However, this may still be an issue depending on the needs you may be catering to.

Always check the alcohol percentages on all products before serving, even if labelled alcohol-free, especially if going alcohol-free for health reasons.

We share with you with an alternative alcohol-free version of hot buttered rum over here.

Hot buttered rum ingredient alternatives

Salted vs. Unsalted butter in buttered rum

The traditional hot buttered run recipe calls for unsalted butter; however, we also tried it with the salted version. While we didn’t find the difference significant, the result was pleasing to the palate.

One of us even preferred it with salted butter! If you have it in your fridge, it is worth trying!

Margarine and dairy spread, on the other hand, did not work for us at all. Consistency and taste were just off.

Hot buttered room toppings

Consider adding a generous serving of not-too-sweet whipped cream and a small dusting of cinnamon for an indulgent finish!

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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