Well before caffeine addicts were boosting brain function and powering their day with Bulletproof coffee, tipplers were mixing up Hot Buttered Rum. Sure, both are topped with a pat or two of butter, which adds a silky texture, but only one is the spirited creamy, dreamy concoction sure to keep the winter blahs at bay. Alas, we have the seven hottest Hot Buttered Rum cocktails to drink in bars now.
Can't make it to any of the bars serving these great Hot Buttered Rums? Try making the Hot Buttered Fun from this list at home.
Parisian-inspired luxury hotel The NoMad in New York has had its version on the bar menu every winter since 2012. Its Diplomático-rum-based warm bevvy seems pretty simple, but its secret is a house-made mix that uses both an immersion and Vitamix blender to emulsify unsalted butter, water, demerara sugar, grated nutmeg and xanthan gum, a stabilizer that prevents the other ingredients from separating and gives it its silky smooth texture. Follow up some winter weekend shopping with the frothy elixir, served in a mug garnished with more grated nutmeg.
“There’s something so comforting about a good ol’ Hot Buttered Rum—the spices, the rich mouthfeel and a good barrel-aged rum,” says lead bartender Bryan Galligos. He adds Plantation five-year-old rum, lemon juice, hot water and a syrup made from apple tea and demerara sugar. But the pièce de résistance? A pat of butter filled with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, star anise, cardamom, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and brown sugar, floated so the spices melt into the drink and the flavor develops as you drink it down. “You can’t beat butter,” he says. Um, nope.
Of course, the HBR riff at this island-inspired bar (which boasts more than 100 bottles of rum) would have a tropical slant. Beverage director Dwayne Allen combines Gosling’s Black Seal rum from Bermuda with house-made coconut liqueur (he says Kalani is a perfectly acceptable commercially made substitute, though), unsalted butter, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon, topped with hot water. It’s garnished with freshly made whipped cream and a sprinkle of grated nutmeg.
It makes sense to have a Hot Buttered Rum on the menu at this modern brasserie in Beantown, as it’s a veritable New England tradition. Bartender Diego Pena adds Old Monk rum (which hails from India) and hot water to a rum batter made with unsalted butter, light brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt, stirs it well and garnishes it with freshly grated nutmeg. On the menu every winter for the first six or seven years that the restaurant was open, the drink was eventually phased out, but it has become a cult favorite and quite the requested cocktail during those frigid Boston winters.
Head bartender Mike Jones uses chocolate bitters and spiced butter to enhance the richness and sweetness of dark gold rum. He shakes Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva rum with cinnamon and honey syrups and both Regan’s orange bitters and chocolate bitters, adds hot water and garnishes it with softened butter that has been mixed with cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg and ground cloves. “It allows you to enjoy the richness of a spirit like rum, while also providing the warmth and baking spices that comfort during the colder months.”
Chad Robinson, the brand ambassador for Virginia craft distillery and cocktail bar Catoctin Creek, modifies the colonial-era drink to use Roundstone rye instead of rum. He makes a batter in a mug with softened butter, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove and ginger, adds boiling water and stirs until it becomes frothy, then dumps in the rye and stirs again with a cinnamon stick garnish. “It's good to put on the winter pounds you'd need to keep warm in the colonies during a hard American winter,” says co-owner Scott Harris.
This warm and creamy take on a Boulevardier does take a few liberties, but it’s sweet, bitter, complex and silky all at once. Maven bartender Kate Bolton adds Russell’s Reserve bourbon, Campari liqueur, Cinzano 1757 vermouth, vanilla extract and a pat of house-made maple butter to a footed glass, pours hot water on top and stirs briskly until the butter mixture is dissolved and well-integrated. She garnishes the drink with a clove-studded half orange wheel and a star anise pod.
Mixing your cocktail