Rum is already a classic drink in it’s own right, but when described as hot and buttered, it speaks volume of a reputable mixed drink – Hot Buttered Rum.
Hot buttered rum is a sweet and creamy mixed drink made with rum, butter, a sweetener, hot water or cider, and spices (usually cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg). It is traditionally associated with the Christmas holiday period in the US. This is most especially because it keeps you warm in the midst of the cold, frigid snowy weather.
History of Hot Buttered Rum
The story behind the emergence of hot buttered rum is a bit muddled. In the United States, the history of hot buttered rum dates back to the colonial period. It is said to have been invented in the 1650s when molasses were being imported to America from Jamaica. Distilleries opened up in New England where colonists then began adding distilled rum to hot beverages such as toddies and nogs, creating hot buttered rum, eggnog and others.
Another American legend credits the invention of hot buttered rum to the time of George Washington and the American independence. As recorded in The American Heritage Cookbook, hot buttered rum “found its way into domestic politics.” It speaks about a drink that was used to influence constituents and sway votes.
Another account holds that hot buttered rum originated from Europe at a time when water was contaminated, thus making drinking alcohol a safer alternative. During the winter months, warming drinks became antidotes to the poorly insulated buildings in Europe. At the time, everyone searched for creative ways to make their warm drinks, and that is how hot buttered rum became a thing.
According to another story, hot buttered rum is the creation of mariners who needed to stay warm on the high sea while making voyages.
Hot Buttered Rum in Popular Culture
Widely regarded as a holiday cocktail in America, hot buttered rum is a major feature during the Christmas season. Many lovers of the drink believe it bears the very taste of Christmas on the palate – sweet, loving, comfortable and warm.
The popularity of the drink inspired the name of a San Francisco Bay Area – Hot Buttered Rum. The band who have been performing since 2002 got national attention in the US when it song, “Right Between Your Eyes” made the theme music for Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen, a PBS television show. Hot Buttered Rum is a five-piece progressive bluegrass act with resounding performances at music festivals such as Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo Music Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, High Sierra, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and South by Southwest. The band has also performed with the likes of Ben Harper, Bela Fleck and Peter Rowan.
Hot Buttered Rum is celebrated annually in the US on January 17th, and the rest of the world are quickly joining in the tradition for the sheer love of the drink.
Hot Buttered Rum Recipe
The recipe of hot buttered rum varies according to individual choices. The debate about how best to make the drink is unending and continues to brew much like the making of it. While some recipes prefer homemade caramel to be melted into hot rum, others choose to cream butter with sugar and let it melt over a warm stove. Easily, some people decide to use Dutch Caramel Vodka in place of caramel or cream butter and sugar.
You are free to go for any of the preferred recipes you find, and which suits your style. However, here is our preferred hot buttered rum recipe.
What you need
- 2 oz of Bacardi Gold Rum
- 1 tsp. Powdered Sugar
- 1 Piece of Butter, the size of half a chestnut
- Boiling water
- Cinnamon stick and freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
How to make
- Dissolve the sugar in a little boiling water.
- Add the rum and butter.
- Fill the glass (pre-warmed) two-thirds full of boiling water, stir to combine.
- Grate a little nutmeg on top and garnish with cinnamon stick.
Serve as a nightcap or as dessert after dinner. Can as well be taken in the afternoon.