Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rum Cocktails

Hot Buttered Fun

Hot Buttered Fun cocktail in an Irish Coffee mug with a spoon in the glass

Bryan Galligos

When the weather turns cold, it’s natural to crave hot cocktails, like the Irish Coffee, Hot Toddy and Hot Buttered Rum. They warm the body quickly and taste far better than a sweater.

“There’s something so comforting about a good ol’ Hot Buttered Rum—the spices, the rich mouthfeel and a good barrel-aged rum,” says Portland, Oregon bartender Bryan Galligos. The classic version is made with rum, boiling water and a batter composed of butter, sugar and spices. Galligos follows the general template with his version, dubbed the Hot Buttered Fun, but takes a couple liberties that add extra flavor and depth to the cocktail.

He starts with Plantation five-year-old rum, which hails from Barbados and is aged first in American oak barrels before moving into French oak. Lemon juice adds balance, while the sweetener is a DIY syrup made from apple tea and demerara sugar. But the pièce de résistance? A pat of butter studded with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, star anise, cardamom, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and brown sugar. It’s floated on the hot surface, so the spices melt into the liquid and the flavor develops as you drink.

“You can’t beat butter,” says Galligos. No arguments here.


  • 2 ounces Plantation five-year-old rum

  • 3/4 ounce spiced apple demerara syrup*

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • Hot water, to top

  • Garnish: spiced butter pat**


  1. Add the rum, spiced apple demerara syrup and lemon juice into an Irish Coffee mug.

  2. Top with hot water.

  3. Garnish with a pat of spiced butter.

*Spiced apple demerara syrup: Combine brewed spiced apple tea (your choice of tea bag) and demerara sugar in a 1:2 ratio in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer on the stove until sugar dissolves, then remove from heat. Store syrup in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

**Spiced butter pat: Mix 1 room-temperature stick of butter with 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp nutmeg, 2 tsp ground cloves, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 ground star anise pod, 4 ground cardamom pods, 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 heavy pinch each of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Mix well, then form into a log, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze until ready to use.