Hot Buttered Rum

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Tis the season for Hot Buttered Rum! Dark rum is mixed with butter, warming spices, and apple cider for a comforting drink that will warm you up. This drink is perfect for winter, fall, or anytime you want to cozy up by the fireplace.

The origins of hot buttered rum are unknown, but the drink has been around for centuries. It is thought to have originated in England, where it was popular among sailors. The drink was a way to warm up and ward off scurvy on long voyages.

There are many different ways to make hot buttered rum. Although this drink is traditionally made with water, we used sweet apple cider to replace the water to add extra comforting fall and winter flavors. Feel free to use water, apple cider, or even freshly squeezed orange juice!

Side view of apple cider and rum in two glass coffee mugs.

How To Make Hot Buttered Rum

This recipe is split into 2 easy steps. First, you’ll mix the batter which contains the butter and spices. Then, you’ll portion it out and add the apple cider and rum, stir it up and enjoy!

For the Batter:

  1. Combine the batter ingredients: In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves. Whisk or stir until the mixture is light and fluffy.

For the Cocktails:

  1. Portion the batter: Add 2 tablespoons of the prepared batter to 4 cocktail glasses.
  2. Add the cider and rum: To the batter-filled glasses, add 3/4 cup of hot apple cider and 1 1/2 ounces of rum each. Stir to fully combine ensuring that the batter is mixed well with the liquid.
Collage showing how to make hot buttered rum.

Recipe Tips

  1. Make sure you prepare your batter separately. This will ensure all of the seasonings and spices are evenly distributed throughout the drink.
  2. To make sure the batter mixture is light and fluffy, use a whisk to combine.
  3. If you’re serving cold, do not heat the apple cider. Shake or whisk the batter with the liquid, then pour over ice.
  4. Use unsalted butter to ensure this drink does not get overly salty.


  • If you like your drink a bit sweeter, add some more brown sugar.
  • Feel free to change up the amount of the spices used based on your personal tastes.
  • Dark, gold, and spiced rum can be used interchangeably. They have slightly different flavors, and the spiced rum will add a touch more spice to the drink.
  • If you don’t have dark rum on hand, feel free to use spiced or vanilla rum to change up the flavor. 
  • For a festive touch, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg before serving.
  • If you want to make this recipe non-alcoholic, replace the alcohol with apple cider or orange juice.
Top down view of two mugs of hot buttered rum.

Storing Instructions

The batter can be made ahead of time and placed in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will hold for 4-5 days if properly sealed. Let it come to room temperature before whisking with the additional ingredients.

This drink is best served immediately therefore freezing is not recommended.

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Two glasses of hot buttered rum with cinnamon sticks on top.

Hot Buttered Rum

5 from 2 votes
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Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings



  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoon ground cloves


  • 3 cups hot apple cider, or water
  • 6 ounces dark rum


For the Batter:

  • In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves until well combined and fluffy.
    ½ cup unsalted butter
    ½ cup light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

For the Cocktails:

  • Divide the batter into 2 tablespoon portions and place each portion into 4 separate glasses.
  • Add ¾ cup hot cider and 1 ½ ounces of rum to each glass. Stir to combine, making sure that the batter is well incorporated. 
    3 cups hot apple cider
    6 ounces dark rum
  • Enjoy immediately.


Serving: 1drink | Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 713IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 hot buttered rum. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
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