Hot buttered rum is part of an American colonial tradition in which flavorful ingredients, such as molasses, were added to soften the harsher rum available in years past. This is an adaptation of a recipe that appears in Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide (Doubleday, 1972).

Hot Buttered Rum Hot Buttered Rum
Sweet and soothing with a nice little kick, this drink is sure to warm many a heart.
Yield: serves About 16


  • 34 lb. softened butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 14 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 14 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 14 tsp. ground cloves
  • Salt
  • 24 oz. aged rum (rhum vieux)


  1. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and a pinch of salt and beat again to combine. Chill buttered rum base until ready to use, up to 2 weeks.
  2. To make 1 hot buttered rum, put 2 heaping tbsp. of the buttered rum base and 1 1⁄2 oz. of the rum into an 8-oz. mug and fill with boiling water. Stir to melt and mix; serve at once.