Hot Buttered Rum

3 mins read

This classic hot buttered rum recipe mixes a make-ahead buttered rum batter—made with ice cream—with hot water and light rum to make mugs of wintery cozy drinks.


There are plenty of hot drinks to hunker down with during winter — my favorite Irish cream in a cup of coffee is definitely one of them — especially alongside a plate of homemade fudge or sweetly spiced cookies. So when the temps start to drop and those magical snow flurries begin to fall, all I want to do is sit in front of the fire with a glass of hot buttered rum. It’s sweet, creamy, and ultra-comforting.

This recipe is from my aunt Shelley who years ago made it to add cheer and cheers to our holiday. In fact, these are my mom’s same glass mugs we used to toast our holiday traditions (here are some similar ones). This cocktail starts with a fluffy hot buttered rum batter of whipped butter, sugars, and spices for those classically warm flavors. The surprise ingredient is the addition of softened vanilla ice cream—essentially eggs, vanilla, and cream. The mixture goes into the freezer and later gets mixed with light rum and boiling water swirled together with a cinnamon stick and topped with a dollop of whip cream.

What Does Hot Buttered Rum Taste Like

Hot buttered rum is creamy, sweet, and spiced with warming undertones of rum that goes down smooth. Sipping a mug of this hot treat is kind of like a salted caramel latte and some spiced rum had a baby, and it’s the perfect drink to warm up to during winter.


What’s In This Hot Buttered Rum

This old-fashioned hot buttered rum recipe is made with simple ingredients you likely already have, plus one special ingredient — vanilla ice cream to deliver a creamy richness to the drink.

The recipe makes enough for a party, so feel free to cut the recipe in half if making a smaller batch.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this hot buttered rum:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Light rum (or use dark rum if you like)
  • Hot water
  • Cinnamon sticks (I find extra long sticks at Costco)
  • Whipped cream

How Do You Make Hot Buttered Rum

Soften your favorite vanilla ice cream. Set the ice cream out to soften for about 10 minutes.

Make your spiced butter mixture. While the ice cream softens, use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the room temperature butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg until fluffy.

Mix in the ice cream and then freeze. Add the softened ice cream and beat until mixed. Transfer to an airtight container with a lid and pop it into the freezer. Depending on what type of ice cream you use, the batter may not freeze hard. I like Tillamook ice cream which has fewer stabilizers and is already pretty soft when frozen.

Thaw slightly, mix, and serve. To serve, thaw the butter mixture slightly. Place 3 tablespoons of the mix into a glass mug with 1 1/2 ounces rum (1 large jigger) and fill the rest of the glass with hot boiled water. Stir well until the batter dissolves. Top with whip cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, and garnish with a cinnamon stick swizzle.


Substitutions and Additions to Hot Buttered Rum

  • Skip the alcohol and serve this as a mocktail. It’s still sooooo delicious!
  • Add a tablespoon or two to a cup of coffee for breakfast or brunch.
  • Instead of light rum, use dark rum, whiskey, or bourbon. I wouldn’t use spiced rum since the spices are already in the batter.
  • Instead of a cinnamon stick swizzle, use a candy cane to add holiday cheer.

What to Serve With Hot Buttered Rum

Hot buttered rum is certainly a treat in itself, but it would definitely get along just fine with a cookie or piece of fudge.


More Holiday Treats to Try

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