Hot Buttered Rum
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About this Cocktail

Colonial America (mid-17th century)

Hot rum drinks like this were common in Colonial America, but I suspect it took Middle America to perfect it with a decadent sweet-and-spiced butter/ice cream batter. There are countless recipe variations on Hot Buttered Rum – this one comes from my mother-in-law, who used to make it in Seattle (and, by chance, this is very close to the version made at Seattle’s Zig Zag Café). Stick with a good-quality, flavorful, dark rum like Myers’s or Coruba (don’t be tempted to use a spiced rum, it’ll become a spice bomb). For the bold and adventurous, take it a level up by using Smith & Cross “Navy Strength” 114-proof Jamaican rum – all those toffee & butterscotch flavors in Smith & Cross’s beloved funky hogo really shine in this.

  • Batter
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 lb brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Hot Buttered Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz dark rum
  • 2 tbl batter
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Long cinnamon stick garnish

In a standing mixer (or by hand) cream together:
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 lb brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Mix until well-blended, then freeze in an airtight container. Batter will keep a long time – I have some from a year ago that’s just fine.

Pre-warm a ceramic or glass mug with boiling water while you’re assembling the ingredients. Discard the water, then combine in the mug:
1 1/2 oz dark rum
2 tbl hot buttered rum batter (leave frozen, it’ll melt as you stir)
1/2 cup boiling water (use the plastic measuring cup)
Stir to blend. Garnish with a long cinnamon stick.


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