Binny's Home Bartender: Spiced Hot Buttered Rum

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Coffee, tea, hot chocolate – great starting points when a hot, soothing alcoholic beverage is in order. Perhaps the kids wanted to build a snowman, go sledding or ice skating. Perhaps they thought it would be fun to pelt their poor defenseless parents with snowballs. Perhaps you found yourself on a sleigh ride, blanket on lap, or took a moonlit walk through the snow, or engaged in a marathon shopping trip at an outdoor mall. Whatever led you to the sorry, slightly bedraggled, frozen toed and frozen nosed state of being matters not. What is paramount is the desire for, indeed the inescapable requirement for, a warming restorative.

Binny’s Home Bartender has warming winter recipes for hot toddies, Irish coffee, spiked hot chocolate, Tom and Jerry and glögg but few things get the job done like Hot Buttered Rum. HBR checks all the boxes if you have done the advanced prep of making and storing the butter batter. It’s fast, it’s hot, it’s boozy, it’s guaranteed to bring near hypothermic body temps skyrocketing back to 98.6, it’s pleasingly spicy in a very fall/winter kind of way and it has butter! Yes, good old fashioned rich and creamy butter to stoke the metabolism and keep that internal furnace burning brightly for hours to come. What more could one ask of a cocktail that can be had in the time it takes to heat a few ounces of water in the microwave or tea kettle?

Just mix up your sweetened and spiced butter in advance, keep it in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on your pace of consumption and you are in perfect shape for any cold weather emergencies that require the timely deployment of a Hot Buttered Rum. If you are finding that there are too few occasions to break out the butter, start making up excuses to spend time out in the cold. Take the dog for a long walk, if you don’t have a dog, do as Norma Tanega did and walk your cat named dog or get one of those crazy clown dog leashes that make it appear as if you have an invisible dog. Shovel every hour on the hour whether it’s snowing or not, make adult sized snow angels in all your neighbors’ yards, sit in the street in your parking dibs chair for hours on end or stop playing games with yourself and just admit that you want one, whether you have suffered the cold or not.

Americans have been knocking these back since colonial times, so you are really justkeeping a tradition alive, no other reason needed. Thank you for your service.

Spiced Hot Buttered Rum


Butter for about 16 drinks -

  • ½ lb. butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup demerara sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves

To complete 1 drink


  1. Add butter, sugar, and spices to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until well combined.
  2. Add 2 tbsp. of butter mixture and 2 oz. of rum to a heat-proof glass or ceramic mug. Top with 6 oz. of hot water and stir until butter has melted and ingredients are well combined. Garnish with cinnamon stick.
  3. Repeat for a crowd or store the remaining butter mixture refrigerated or frozen for future use.


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