Every week or so, when Mark and I get together to try drinks, I tell him I’m going to start posting about cocktails, or booze in general. I tell him he should get an account and join me, and then he waffles. Hopefully this will end soon.

Mark and I entered a cocktail crafting competition a few weeks ago, for pear cocktails. After mixing the cocktail I was working on dozens of times, in full and half batches, I felt a little burned out on booze.

Then Mark showed me his hot buttered rum recipe. Cue the Godfather quote.

One nice thing about hot buttered rum, when done right, is that it is very forgiving. If you check the crowded field of cocktail blogs out there, you’ll find a recipe or two. The key to remember is that any recipe that tells you to put the butter in at the end, leaving a disgusting later of fat on top of hot rum water, is to be avoided.

Another nice thing is that most of the prep can be done in one batch, way ahead of time. Why is that? It’s because you are going to be making batter.

Yes, batter.

The batter is as follows:

  • 1 part butter
    2 parts light brown sugar
    various spices
  • Simple, no? Unsurprisingly, it refrigerates very well. I use cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and just a touch of chili. I was out of allspice. The batch I have now makes hot buttered rum that reminds me of pumpkin pie.

    You want to add just enough spices that you smell each of them over the butter, but you can still smell the butter. The hot water is going to bring out the spice flavor, so it’s easy to add too much. It’s easier to judge before adding the sugar, but you’ll have to soften the butter first to do that.

    Once you have that, all you need to do is assemble.

  • 1 1/2 oz gold rum
    a spoonful of batter
    1 lemon slice
  • Put the rum and the batter in a mug and pour the hot water over it. Stir, then add the lemon slice.

    Obviously it’s going to be stronger with less water. I generally go with about four or five oz of water, but it’s done by eye. The rum you use will matter, so going high end isn’t going to hurt. But with all those spices, you can get away with the cheaper stuff. I haven’t tried Flor de Cana or Cruzan with this, but they should work well.