November 22, 2021

Will’s Hot Buttered Rum

Will's Hot Buttered Rum

Will’s Hot Buttered Rum, created by one of my good friends and best mixologist I know, is the perfect drink to cozy up to on the couch, next to a lit fire and welcome in the wintery weather. So take a break from your typical eggnog and spiked hot chocolate and give this version of an American Classic a try.

So. What is Hot Buttered Rum?

Hot buttered rum, is just that. Rum that is heated by the addition of boiling water and emulsified with butter to give it a nice creamy texture and mouthfeel.

It's a rum classic that is perfect for cozying up on the couch next to the fire on a chilly winter day. The addition of butter that has been infused with fresh ginger, orange, lemon, brown sugar and honey, thickens the rum and smooths out potency of the high-proof rum. The addition of the delicate ginger liqueur gives this cozy yet complex winter drink a level of flavor and comfort that can rival even the best spiked hot chocolate or eggnog.

And, Who is Will?

My first true experience with “craft cocktails” and truly admiring spirits and liqueurs, happened when I was studying abroad in Italy in the summer of 2014. The way some of the bartenders and mixologists there treated the ingredients and even “plated” their drinks was like nothing I had ever experienced. Needless to say, when I came back home and went back to work at the restaurant where I was working as the Sous Chef, I had every intention of learning more about mixology and even improving the drink menu.

On my first day back feeling fresh with my Italian David Beckham haircut I walked into work and was immediately greeted by a large, burly, but extremely well kept guy who had the same haircut I was proud to show off, but even better (I am man enough to admit). Needless to say, I was a little apprehensive knowing I had just surrendered my title of "best hair in the restaurant". While I lost that title, what that guy, who eventually became one of my closest friends (and is to this day), was able to show and teach me about drinks was incomparable.

That guy, as I’m sure you have imagined by now, was Will, the creator of this version of this drink.

The Importance of Mixology

Working with Will was a revelation to me because he approached drinks and mixology in the same way that chefs and cooks approached food. And why wouldn’t he? When we got fresh produce in straight out of the fields of a local farm, Will was right there with us admiring the ingredients and sampling it, brainstorming ideas for drinks as he did. If he was stumped, he did what we did, pulled out the Flavor Bible and sampled some combinations.

Will did everything from Liquor Infusions, to using various fresh ingredients and preserving fresh ingredients for drinks. When a new liquor came in, he would get giddy and talk about it with the same excitement us cooks had when we got to use luxury ingredients like foie gras or fresh truffles. He brought what we in the kitchen referred to as "balance to the force".

Will changed the way cocktails were done at that restaurant and the way I viewed alcohol in general. For that reason, I knew that when we were crafting recipes for cocktails, that I had to defer to the expert and see what he had in the vault.

Origins of this Hot Cocktail

Hot buttered rum’s origin dates back to Colonial times. When sugar, molasses, and of course, rum, started coming into the colonies from Jamaica and the Caribeans in bulk. As rum distilleries started to pop up, rum became readily available throughout the colonies. Seeing how it was being drunk during all times of the years, variations were created for the colder months. Hot buttered rum was one of those variations!

Ingredients for Hot Buttered Rum

  • Butter Flavorings: The combination of fresh ginger, citrus zest, and varieties of sweeteners bring tons of pop to this drink! While many hot buttered rum recipes call for the addition of dried spices to the butter mixture, Will prefers to let the spice come from the rum and instead focuses on putting complementary ingredients that elevate and highlight the flavors already present in the rum.
  • Rum: The rum we use for this drink is Dos Maderas Triple Aged Rum. This rum, which is made in the Caribbean, Guyana & Barbados and sent to Jerez, Spain to be aged in sherry casks for 5 years, brings the perfect balance of spice and alcoholic heat to the drink. While you can certainly use another dark rum, this is the rum Will recommends and from my experience, you roll with what Will recommends. He hasn’t steered me wrong yet! Well, except for a few times with start-or-sit fantasy football advice!
  • Ginger Liqueur: Aside from the rum, this is the ingredient that truly separates this hot buttered rum recipe from all others! The ginger really rounds out the drink and gives it a sophisticated pop. The Ginger Liqueur, Domaine de Canton, we use, is a traditional French liqueur. While you can use other ginger liqueurs, we know we have a keeper with Domaine de Canton, so rarely ever deviate from it.
  • Base: While some people elect to use hot cider for the base of this drink, we like to use boiling water so that we can showcase all of the other ingredients.

Get ready to drink this hot cocktail all winter long! We hope you enjoy this recipe from our great friend Will.


Will’s Hot Buttered Rum

Will’s Hot Buttered Rum is the perfect drink to cozy up to on the couch, next to a lit fire. So take a break from your typical eggnog and spiked hot chocolate and give this version of an American Classic a try.















Infused Butter (Makes 4 drinks)

  • 4 ounces of unsalted butter (softened)
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • The zest of 1 lemon
  • The zest of 1 orange
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (peeled)
  • 2 pinches of salt

To Finish the Drink (Per Drink)

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of infused butter
  • 2 ounces of Dos Maderas 5x5 rum
  • ½ ounce of ginger liqueur
  • 6 ounces of boiling water or cider

Note: The butter makes enough for 4 drinks but the drink finish is for 1 drink.


  1. In a mixing bowl or in your stand mixer add the softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla, honey, and salt and mix thoroughly to combine. Make sure all the sugar granules are fully incorporated into the butter.
  2. Using a microplane or fine box grate, zest the lemon, orange and peeled ginger into the butter and mix to combine.
  3. In a heat-proof glass or mug, add 6 ounces of boiling water or cider, followed by the infused butter. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the rum and ginger liqueur and stir to incorporate. Garnish with a cinnamon stick if you prefer.


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