Hot Buttered Rum

Filled with your favorite holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, this Hot Buttered Rum is a cocktail you will want to enjoy all season long!

Hot Buttered Rum in a clear glass mug with whipped cream


There is nothing better on a chilly evening during the holiday season than a hot drink. That is, unless you throw in some warm spices and dark rum, That’s where this festive drink comes in.

I would describe Hot Buttered Rum as being creamy and comforting with a toasty caramel flavor. It is literally a seasoned butter mixed with spiced rum and hot water.

In fact, if you’ve ever been to Universal Studios in Orlando, the flavor is quite similar to Harry Potter’s “butterbeer!” Without the spiced rum for kiddos, of course.

This cocktail originated in the early settlement of America, colonial times. Which means it’s been around for a long time for people to enjoy! It is said that early Americans believed that rum was nutritious and had body strengthening properties.

Rum originated in the New World and has become a favorite even in the 21st century. It is created when molasses is fermented and distilled. DELICIOUS! Spiced rum has additional spices.

I have been making this cocktail for years. I made it for a Christmas party one year, and it has been requested at every single one since! And because it’s so easy to make and can be made ahead, it’s ideal.

Water pouring into hot buttered rum cups

Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

When not making it for parties, Hot Buttered Rum is easily enjoyed at any time of the day, although I prefer it in the evening after a long day of work.

A picturesque roaring fireplace with a faux fur rug, pine cones, garland… and hot butter rum. YUM!

Whether you serve it at an elegant dinner party, or even just as a warm cocktail while you have everyone over to make Christmas cookies, this cocktail is sure to be a hit.

Consider making a larger batch than you think you’ll need. In addition to possibly wanting seconds, it can be stored in the fridge and reheated when those unexpected guests arrive.

To start making this Hot Buttered Rum, you will need to make the butter mixture. Simply combine the softened butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl.

Once the butter mixture is made, add a heaping spoonful to your mug. Next, add in your rum and boiling water. Stir until the butter mixture is completely melted and dissolved.

Now on to the toppings! If you want to be really festive or if you are serving this Hot Buttered Rum at a holiday party, garnish with a cinnamon stick.

If you are just indulging in an evening cocktail after dinner, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Of course, a dollop of whipped cream is always good too.

As I mentioned before, this is a great cocktail to serve at holiday parties, and you can certainly make it up ahead of time. You can store just the butter mixture or the whole beverage. But butter alone will last longer than the mixed beverage.

Cups of hot buttered rum and cinnamon sticks

Hot Buttered Rum Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter – I always opt for unsalted butter so I can control the salt content. A good quality butter is worth using for this warm drink. Make sure it is room temperature.
  • Brown sugar – Use dark brown sugar for a bolder flavor. But you can also use light brown and still get that delicious spice flavor.
  • Spices – I use a blend of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground cloves for my holiday spice. You can also use pumpkin spice or star anise to change it up a bit.
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla adds another layer of warmth to this boozy drink.
  • Fine sea salt – If you used salted butter, you can omit this completely. No one wants their classic winter cocktail to be salty!
  • Spiced rum – I like to use Captain Morgan, but you can use any type of rum that you prefer.
Close up of hot buttered rum

How to Make Hot Buttered Rum

  1. Make hot buttered rum batter. In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla extract and salt until well combined.
  2. Add to mug. Add a heaping tablespoon of the butter mixture to your mug.
  3. Pour rum and water. Add rum and boiling water, stir until butter mixture dissolves and well combined
  4. Serve. Serve hot with cinnamon stick, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
Hot buttered rum mixed in a bowl


  • Change up the alcohol – You can also make Hot Buttered Whiskey. Use the same recipe, just substitute whiskey for rum.
  • Use cider – If you want to add even more flavor, you can certainly use cider. Simply swap out the hot water for hot cider, and your hot buttered rum will be bursting with cinnamon flavor!
  • Make a large batch – I prefer to make a large batch of the spiced butter and then prepare each cup individually. It tends to mix better this way.
  • Make in the crock pot – You can put hot buttered rum in a slow cooker for a party and serve with a ladle. However, I would caution that you need to stir it every so often so the spices don’t settle.
  • Give as a gift – Hot buttered rum mix also makes a great gift. Just make a batch of batter and keep it in a sealable container. Package it up with a bottle of rum and tie it with a bow!
cup of hot buttered rum

Storage, Reheating and Freezing

Storage: Store any of your leftover hot buttered rum recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Reheating: Reheat it over low heat in a saucepan. Putting it over too high of heat will cause the spices to separate and kill off alcohol from spiced rum. Then remove from heat and pour into your glasses.

You can also add a small amount of boiling water to cold glasses, but not too much otherwise it will dilute all of the delicious flavors.

Freezing: You can freeze the spiced butter mixture, but I do not recommend trying to freeze the made beverage. Alcohol doesn’t freeze.

Easy Hot Buttered Rum for Pinterest

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Hot buttered rum with whipped cream for Pinterest
cup of hot buttered rum

Hot Buttered Rum

4.48 from 46 votes
Are you looking for a hot cocktail that’s perfect for the colder weather heading our way? Hot Buttered Rum can be prepared right in your own home with ingredients you can grab from the kitchen.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6


For Garnish:


  • In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla extract and salt until well combined.
  • Add a heaping tablespoon of the butter mixture to your mug.
  • Add rum and boiling water, stir until butter mixture dissolves and well combined
  • Serve hot with cinnamon stick, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.


Calories: 277 kcal, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Protein: 1 g, Fat: 15 g, Saturated Fat: 10 g, Cholesterol: 41 mg, Sodium: 60 mg, Potassium: 24 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 18 g, Vitamin A: 473 IU, Calcium: 22 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Calories: 277
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butterbeer, hot buttered rum
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Oh boy! This is EXACTLY what I need right now. Today is the first major snow storm and I just spent 1 1/2 hours shoveling heavy wet snow. It’s time to get warm and cozy with this rum cocktail!

  2. 5 stars
    I love hot buttered rum but I never made it from scratch. I thought it would be too complicated, but it’s not! This recipe is as easy as it is delicious.

    1. Hi Teresa! It does not burn all the way off, most of it will, but not all of it. For instance, if I was serving this to my kids, I’d probably omit the rum and add a tablespoon of rum extract and substitute with water.
      Now if you WANT the alcohol, add boiling water, but wait to add rum until after you’ve let the butter melt.