Hot buttered rum is delicious, but it's the type of drink that makes you say "How on Earth was this invented?" Well, long story short, we have no idea. We do however, have some ideas. So make yourself the honorary drink of the day (see recipes below), sit back, and learn some history while you sip.
It all started in Europe. In the mid-16th century, Jamaica was captured by the British Royal Navy, which ultimately led to rum replacing bourbon for sailor's rations (and becoming popular across the pond). Around that time,17th century homes had terrible insulation, meaning winters were hella cold and the Europeans drank hot everything. Water quality was also shoddy, so alcohol was used to kill germs. Thus, hot rum cocktails were birthed. The most puzzling aspect was how butter got involved, which no one seems to know. The first recipe for hot buttered rum appears in the book Gun Club Drink Book by Charles Browne. We also don't know who thought of making it a national day, but we aren't complaining.
A traditional version mixes up butter, rum, sugar, spices, and hot water. The secret is starting with a butter batter, which can be made and frozen for up to a month. We've found a basic recipe for the stuff from Drinks Mixer:
1 lb brown sugar
1/2 lb salted butter
1 tspground nutmeg
1 tspground cinnamon
1 tspground cloves
1 tspground cardamom
1 tsp vanilla
You mix this up, store it, and serve it with a dark rum and hot water (for exact measurements on the cocktail visit the recipe site). Though some purists say it's a no-no to add milk, we like the idea of serving it with a scoop of ice cream or topping it with whipped cream.
Like all good drinks, hot buttered rum has inspired foodies to make their own versions. Check out these delicious variations:
This drink is apple cider first, rum second, which means it's great for holiday parties with the fam. Make it sans alcohol so kids can enjoy it, and let adults add their own rum.
Pretty close to a classic recipe, the Burnt Sugar Hot Buttered Rum has you making more of a caramel than a batter to start off. With a stronger, je-ne-sais-quoi flavor, this is an awesome recipe that's just a touch different.
For those people who cannot get enough of pumpkin (you know who we're talking about), this variation is a clear winner. It calls for a splash of Kahlua Pumpkin Spice and traditional pumpkin pie spices in the batter.