There’s a chill in the air that begs for festive cocktails around the bonfire with big cozy blankets. With leaves the most vibrant shade of yellows, oranges, and reds, and pumpkins are ready to be picked, apples ready to be baked.

Mug of hot buttered rum next to greenery and cinnamon sticks.

Or maybe it’s the Christmas lights hanging from houses, smells of cinnamon wafting through the air, and songs of joy echoing everywhere you go.

And Spiced Hot Buttered Rum is ready to be sipped. Preferably in front of a hot fire, wrapped in a cozy sweater and blanket with loved ones around.

If you’re a fan of warm holiday cocktails like Homemade Mulled Wine, then this rum drink is absolutely going to be your go-to comfort cocktail this season.

It’s creamy and bursting with warm spices to give ALL the festive holiday vibes. You’ll love all the cinnamon spice flavors and how absolutely easy it is to make!

overhead look into mug with hot buttered rum  with cinnamon sticks

What is Spiced Hot Buttered Rum?

Before we dive into the details of the recipe, you might be wondering, what is hot buttered rum?

Hot Buttered Rum is a warm cocktail consisting of butter that’s been mixed with spices, rum, and hot water. It dates way back to colonial times, and lucky for us, it’s still popular to this day, especially around the winter holidays.

Some variations of the cocktail include ice cream, but we’re sticking with the traditional way, without modern-day ice cream, and using the best butter we can find to add the utmost creaminess to the drink.

Other recipes also use apple cider in place of hot water. This is a variation I’m totally down with, too. If you’re in the mood for a fall vibe, go ahead and give it a try! For now, we’re sticking with water to let the spices shine through on their own.

What does it taste like?

It tastes like a warm, cozy hug from your favorite person just when you need it. It’s spiced with cinnamon coming through most vibrantly, with sweet vanilla flavor throughout and creaminess from the butter. Which — ok — butter in a cocktail? Trust me, it works.

The butter gives the cocktail a luxurious texture and adds richness to the cocktail, almost like a butter cookie in a mug. It’s just what you need while you’re gathered around the fire with family. Or around the board games. Or after dinner cozied in blankets watching a movie. There’s really no wrong time to enjoy the indulgence of this beverage.

glass mug of spiced hot buttered rum with cinnamon stick

Hot Buttered Rum Ingredients

You’ll need just a few simple ingredients to make this homemade cocktail – most of which you likely already have in your pantry, cupboard, or fridge.

And you know I love easy recipes we can just throw together (and make ahead of time!)… let’s get to it!

spices, brown sugar, butter, rum, and vanilla extract laid on wood serving tray

Ok, gather up these ingredients for the hot buttered rum batter:

  • Butter: high-quality, high-fat-content butter will give you the most luxurious, creamy, and indulgent cocktail! Don’t skimp on this very important ingredient, especially since this version doesn’t use any ice cream.
  • The Spices: you’ll need a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The batter is cinnamon heavy, with the others complimenting the flavors. Feel free to adjust to your preferences, too, it’s very adaptable!
  • Vanilla Extract: oh so warm and delicious, rounding out all of the flavors.
  • Brown Sugar: adds a rich sweetness to the batter, feel free to adjust this to your preferences too, although I do recommend trying it and adjusting from there, as it’s not overly sweet to begin with.

I also like adding a pinch of salt here to help bring out the flavors and add another element of depth. It’s optional but recommended. Alternatively, you could use salted butter, however, I like the control of adding my own salt.

What is the Best Rum for Hot Buttered Rum?

Once the homemade hot-buttered rum mix is ready, it’s time to think about the rum.

I recommend using dark rum in this recipe for its bolder flavor. Plantation (5-year) is a great all-around, price-conscious rum option if you’re looking for a specific brand.

Of course, it all comes down to what you like to drink.

If you’re a lover of spice, you might want to go with spiced rum for even more spice flavor throughout the drink.

How to Make Hot Buttered Rum

This recipe could not be easier to make. In fact, it’s the perfect cocktail to make ahead of time.

Whether it’s for one (or two, just for yourself), or a crowd, it’s quick to assemble and will be ready to have on hand just when you need it.

Mix up the Batter

The main part of this cocktail is the hot buttered rum batter, which is essentially a flavor mixture that can be made ahead of time and is then ready for you to assemble the cocktail whenever you’re ready, be it immediately or a few days later.

mixing bowl with butter, brown sugar, and spices

To make the batter, use an electric mixer to beat together room-temperature butter with the spices.

It’s important the butter is at room temperature so it will be fully incorporated with the spices and sugar. No one wants a lumpy butter mess (womp, womp).

Once the mixture is combined, it’s then used to create each drink, making approximately 4 cocktails for each batch of batter.

mixing bowl with spiced hot buttered rum batter mixed with beaters

I could spread the batter on toast, or cinnamon rolls, or eat it by the spoonful (ok, I may have also licked it off the beaters…no shame.). It’s just so, so good with the wholesome, creamy butter and warm spices. 

One of the beauties of this recipe is that once the batter is made, you can store it in the fridge to use whenever a cozy Hot Buttered Rum craving hits. From there on out, it’s easy peasy! 

Having the batter on hand also makes it easy to make a single-serving cocktail, or it means being ready to serve several. Win, win!

Turn the Batter into a Cocktail!

The only ingredient we haven’t talked about is the hot water, which is how you take the batter and turn it into an actual hot buttered rum cocktail.

I recommend heating the water to just before a boil to ensure the flavors of the spices and rum continue to shine through. Think of it like a properly brewed tea: boiling hot water may ruin the flavors. 

With the batter made, the rum on hand, and the hot water not quite boiling, it’s time to assemble the drink.

For a single cocktail, place about 2 tablespoons of the hot buttered rum spice batter into a glass. Then add the rum, and the hot water. Use a small whisk or spoon to mix it all together until smooth.

Really, it’s that easy. 

three photos showing the progression of making a hot buttered rum: the batter, rum, and hot water

And if you’re feeling extra festive and indulgent? Go ahead and top it with a whole lot of whipped cream (homemade whip anyone?!), an extra sprinkle of cinnamon, and some star anise for cuteness (because let’s be honest, those stars are SO CUTE).

glass mug of spiced hot buttered rum next to cinnamon sticks and pine trees

There you have it… you are now prepared to have the coziest winter ever.

How to Make this Cocktail for a Crowd

This is an excellent holiday cocktail to make for a crowd! You can make the hot rum batter ahead of time and make drinks as needed using an electric tea kettle to easily heat the water.

You can also warm the batter and water in a crockpot, over high heat for 30-60 minutes until heated through and combined, then add the rum, turning it to warm, and letting guests serve it up as they’re ready.

Make a Non-Alcoholic Version

This cocktail is so easy to turn into a mocktail! Simply omit the rum for a creamy, comforting, spiced beverage anyone can enjoy!

How Strong is Hot Buttered Rum?

With 2 ounces of rum per cocktail, each drink is the typical strength. It will depend on how much hot water you add to your mug. Generally speaking, with approximately 3/4 cup of water, or about 6 ounces, the drink will be about as strong as a glass of wine, around 10% ABV.

Do I need to heat the Rum?

No, you shouldn’t need to warm the rum, unless it’s exceptionally cold. Room-temperature rum will work just fine in this drink.

How long does the Batter Keep?

The batter will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for quite a while. I would recommend checking it once it’s been stored in the fridge for about a week to make sure it still looks and smells fine. If making the batter in advance, like for a party or the weekend, do so 1-3 days in advance.

hands holding spiced hot buttered rum mug

More Holiday Cocktails to Love

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

mug of hot buttered rum next to greenery and cinnamon sticks
4.92 (12 ratings)

Get the Recipe Spiced Homemade Hot Buttered Rum

You've got to make this homemade cocktail as the weather cools, trust me! It starts with creating a hot buttered rum batter using butter, spices, vanilla extract, and brown sugar. Next, combine the mixed batter with hot water and dark rum to create the ultimate luxurious and satisfying cocktail (made without ice cream). It will keep you warm all winter long!



  • For the Hot Buttered Rum Batter: In a mixing bowl, add the room temperature butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Using an electric hand mixer, beat together until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to assemble the cocktails.
  • For one cocktail: add 2 tablespoons of the spice batter to a mug. Add 2 oz of dark rum and top with ¾ cup hot water. Stir until combined. Garnish with a cinnamon stick as desired and serve immediately. Repeat with additional mugs as needed.


  • The batter makes enough for 4 cocktails. 
  • You can prepare the spice batter ahead of time and store it in the fridge until ready to use for up to 10 days.
  • Variations: replace the hot water with hot apple cider or top with whipped cream.
  • The mugs in the photos have 1 ½ serving each.
Serving: 1cocktail, Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 84mg, Potassium: 52mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 712IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

This post was sponsored by Minerva Dairy. All opinions & thoughts are my own.