Name a classic cold-weather drink you’d probably never make yourself (let alone even tried), but would be intrigued to sip on if given the option. I bet hot buttered rum was at least one of your answers. And that makes sense, because really, what even is hot buttered rum? Not-so-spoiler alert, it really is hot rum with butter. In the classic preparation, spiced rum and warming spices like cinnamon and ginger get whisked together with a stick—yes, a whole stick—of butter. Is it a weird drink? Sure, but it’s also very satisfying. I recommend a very cozy nap after finishing a mugful.
Use a whisk or an electric mixer to beat 1 stick of room-temperature butter in a large bowl with ⅓ cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and allspice, and a pinch each of ground cloves and fine sea salt.
To make hot buttered rum ahead of time, combine all the ingredients for the butter mixture in a small saucepan over the stove and heat over medium until the butter is just melted. Take the mixture off the heat and let cool it slightly. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays—silicone is more forgiving when it comes to heat. Freeze the butter for as long as you’d like, then complete the recipe as follows, making up the drink in individual portions (1 butter cube per serving) if you’d prefer.
Pour in ½ cup spiced rum and stir the mixture together with a whisk or wooden spoon. Finally, add in 2 cups of boiling water (or apple cider, to sweeten and flavor the mixture a bit more) and continue to mix until the butter mixture and liquid are completely combined.
Pour the hot buttered rum into 3 mugs and finish each glass with a squeeze of fresh orange or lemon.