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David Lissner
for restaurants

Drink this! Sweet, hot and rummy

Hot buttered rum

Hot buttered rum

What it is: The chilly December weather calls for a warming drink: Hot buttered rum starts with a spiced, buttery “batter” blended with rum and hot water.

Where it comes from: Hot buttered rum and similar rum toddies were created in Colonial America, and was a favorite tipple of 18th-century politicians, who reportedly plied prospective voters with the hot, spicy beverage. The drink experienced a revival in popularity in the late 1930s, after novelist Kenneth Roberts mentioned it in his bestseller “Northwest Passage.”

What to do with it: Make the batter up ahead of time and refrigerate till serving time. At Benny’s Chop House in River North, they make the drink with Michigan craft-distilled rum.

Hot buttered rum

This is an approximation of Benny’s recipe — they didn’t part with the details of their batter formula, so we improvised.

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 pound butter
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
2 cups heavy cream, lightly whipped

Per drink:
1/4 cup batter
1/2 ounce Journeyman Rum
3/4 cup boiling water
Whipped cream sweetened with maple syrup to taste
1 cinnamon stick

Batter: Combine the sugars, butter and spice in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until melted. Fold into the whipped cream and beat 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze up to a month. Makes enough batter for 10 servings.

To make each drink: Combine batter, rum and water in a mug. Stir till smooth. Top with whipped cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

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