» News

Hot Buttered Yum

Home - by - December 20, 2012 - 17:00 America/New_York - 19 Comments

from The Daily Gazette

Hot buttered rum has roots dating before American Revolution

In the time before the American Revolution, no holiday celebration was complete without revelers lifting up glasses of hot buttered rum, or some similar rum concoction, and toasting the night away. Such was the tradition.

Today, the drink is less popular, due, in part to, its high caloric content. Properly made, one glass of hot buttered contains 300 calories or more. Another factor may be that the drink is laborious to make. Once again, properly made, the drink uses a batter prepared often a month in advance.

The drink is found mostly in homes, said Dan Batto, owner of the Northeast Bartender School. “In my 30 years in business, I never made a hot buttered rum. It is not a popular bar drink. It would be a drink you would make at home,” he said.

His school does not even teach how to make the drink. “It is not on our list. It is nothing you ask a bartender to make,” he said.

People in early America loved to drink, often to excess, and rum was the drink of choice, said Scott Haefner, caretaker of Fort Johnson, the historic home of Sir William Johnson.

“Alcohol consumption in Colonial America by our measures was staggering,” Haefner said. “People drank rum as we drink milk. It was the standard everywhere. Americans drank from the crack of dawn to dusk. Everyone drank it: children, women, men.”

In his book, “Rum: The Epic Story of the Drink that Conquered the World,” Charles Coulombe said rum was an “important component of American holiday celebrations.”


“Tea was kept in locked boxes but the poorest farmer would offer you his rum bottle when you visited,” Haefner said. “It was common to break out the bottle during a transaction. No transaction was complete without a drink, usually involving rum.”

The molasses came to America and was turned into rum. Rum composed one-fifth of the Colonial economy, Haefner said. “That and hard cider made up the principal beverages of 18th century America,” he said. “Beer became bigger after the Revolution when our trade to the Caribbean was cut off,” he said. America moved toward grain-based alcohol after the Revolution.

Rum was also the perfect lubricant to help people vote, according to the American Heritage Cookbook. When George Washington was in a race for the legislature in 1758, his agents supplied the Frederick County voters with 160 gallons of rum, beer, wine and ciders, equaling 1 quarts per vote, the cookbook said.

{ more }


I escaped the soaking rain last weekend and went across the pass to Eastern Washington to play in the snow. I also had my first Hot Buttered Rum-where has this been all my life!?! Yum! New holiday tradition!!! Is there a winter family favorite food or drink that you’ve been eagerly anticipating to consuming on (or before) Christmas Day?



  1. Plain Jane

    December 20th, 2012

    Am making 4 Solo Poppy Seed cakes today. Have to have them for Christmas and Easter.

    I didn’t make the pierogi this year.

    I’d love to move back to the Italian Christmas Eve tradition of 7 fish. Am close this year. So far have 5 different sea critters in the freezer. Can’t find chestnuts though.

    Thumb up +6

  2. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    December 20th, 2012

    *kicks in door*
    I brought my mug!!!!

    Thumb up +6

  3. illustr8r

    December 20th, 2012

    Cheers @MJA! *clink*

    Thumb up +8

  4. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    December 20th, 2012

    Cheers, illustr8r! :D

    Thumb up +6

  5. Unruly Refugee

    December 20th, 2012

    I learned today that Sam Adams beer goes great with surgical anesthesia. Just one will do it. My first beer in years.

    Thumb up +4

  6. Unruly Refugee

    December 20th, 2012

    The handles are in the wrong place on those cups. Top heavy.

    Thumb up +3

  7. joe6pak

    December 20th, 2012

    A hot-buttered Crown Royal is pretty good too.

    Thumb up +4

  8. Stranded in Sonoma

    December 20th, 2012

    Here’s a recipe from DrinkNation.com

    4 oz. Rum, dark
    fill measuring cup Water
    1/4 tsp. Allspice
    1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
    1-1/2 cups Sugar, brown
    1/4 lb. Butter
    3 tbsp. Vanilla Extract

    Add all ingredients but rum, butter and water to 2-cup measuring cup. Melt butter and pour onto mixture. Place about 6 tbsp. of mixture in coffee mug. Add 4 oz. Dark Rum. Fill with boiling water. Stir until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Serve.

    Thumb up +5

  9. RosalindJ

    December 20th, 2012

    It sounds wonderful. I would like to know more about the recipe that requires a month of preparation/steeping time.

    Thumb up +3

  10. 99th Squad Leader

    December 20th, 2012

    A family friend was not a fan of rum. He would say, “Rum makes you numb, so you don’t need none”
    Despite that I liked rum-in moderation. Never tried Hot Butter Rum. Sounds delicious.

    Thumb up +3

  11. Edith McCrotch

    December 20th, 2012

    This article reminds me of the Whiskey Rebellion….

    The Whiskey Rebellion’, or Whiskey Insurrection, was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791, during the presidency of George Washington.

    The tax was a part of treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton’s program to increase central government power, in particular to fund his policy of assuming the war debt of those states which had failed to pay.

    Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise.

    With 13,000 militia provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, (George)Washington rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency.

    The Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new national government had the willingness and ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws.

    The whiskey excise remained difficult to collect, however. sic(There was no income tax)

    The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already underway.

    The whiskey tax was repealed after Thomas Jefferson’s Republican Party, which opposed Hamilton’s Federalist Party, came to power in 1800.


    Thumb up +2

  12. Edith McCrotch

    December 20th, 2012

    I say we break away from the Republican Party and form a new conservative party named The Hot Buttered Rum Party…

    Thumb up +4

  13. old_oaks

    December 20th, 2012

    The only rum I’ll drink is made by Sailors Jerry, stuff absofreakinlutely blows Cap’n’Morgan out of the water… The buzz is superior-ly different too!

    It is the best!

    Other than that, the old lady and I were making (probably spelled wrong) Romp-e-Cabezas after staying at The Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne (we had daily bar tabs that cost more than the room!) The concoction was a combination of 3 different Myer’s Rum, I think cheap rum (clear) and good rum (bronze) were in the mix that included pineapple and orange juice and coconut cream with a shot of Myer’s Dark Rum poured down the straw over ice in a tall glass. YUM! I need to re look up the exact concoction it’s been a few years.

    As for holiday favorites… I’m all about hors d’oeuvres and love water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, funky Campbell’s shrimp dip with black olives and Fritos Scoops, etc. and I always down at least 2 gallons of EGG NOG between early December and mid January!

    Thumb up +4

  14. Claudia

    December 20th, 2012

    Whenever I’d go home for Christmas I made Chex mix. Dad loved it. One year he put some in a plastic tub and hid it away. Found it months later all fuzzy with mold! After that, I always made extra for him.

    Thumb up +4

  15. mossberg12gal

    December 20th, 2012

    That Pennsylvania Dutch brand of eggnog is great…in liquor stores, already has rum, brandy and whiskey in the mix…just dash with nutmeg!

    also getting ready to make rum cakes, using a butter cake mix and Myers dark rum…then the glaze, wrap in foil…every day, spritz a little more rum, and a little more rum…a sure winner!

    Thumb up +3

  16. Geoff C. The Saltine

    December 20th, 2012

    You don’t need to make your own Hot Buttered Rum mix. Just buy it at the store it will last all year. Harvey’s is great. If you don’t use it all, put it in the freezer till next year. 1 oz of Rum is enough per drink, 4 oz per drink as per Stranded will knock you on your butt. No one here ski’s in the snow? Hot drinks are great after a day on the slopes. For you history buff’s English Sailor’s got a ration of rum (8 oz) every day while at sea. They kept cutting back the amount every now and then
    It ended in 1970.
    Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle of Rum

    Thumb up +1

  17. Tuesday

    December 21st, 2012

    Someday, before I die, I want to try one.

    Thumb up +2

  18. Chip Kale

    December 21st, 2012

    I never really developed a taste for rum, except in Planters Punch: dark rum and O.J., (or mandarin tangerine if you can find it), mixed so it is about the color of a brown paper bag. I like mine poured over cracked ice in one of those 60′s style aluminum tumblers. A couple of those on a hot afternoon will bring out the Lazy in you!

    But I digress.

    On a cold, blustery night, I like a hot coffee, with some Kahlua, tequila and Bailey’s (or Carolans.) If you’re trying to impress visitors, you can squirt some whipped cream on top, and sprinkle some cinnamon on top of that. Three or four of those, and the world will take on a nice, rosy glow. Enjoy!

    Have a great Holiday season, everyone, and Merry CHRISTMAS!

    Thumb up 0

  19. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    December 21st, 2012

    “The only rum I’ll drink is made by Sailors Jerry,”

    Heh. My friend has a tattoo of the small hula girl from the bottle label. lol.

    Thumb up 0