Marine News from the Great Lakes

Hot Buttered Rum for the Holidays

Published: Friday, December 18, 2015
By: Carolyn Shearlock of The Boat Galley Cookbook

My husband, Dave, teases me about being a Michigan girl and tells me I’m not supposed to get cold in the winter. I reply that it’s not that we don’t get cold, we just know how to warm up!

I first had Hot Buttered Rum after the end-of-year regatta at the Indianapolis Sailing Club, where I crewed on a friend’s boat. Instantly, it was my favorite winter warm-up, reserved for special times with friends.

When Dave and I were invited to try ice boating close to twenty years ago, I brought along the makings for Hot Buttered Rum. It was a huge hit, and every time the lake freezes solidly and smoothly enough, we get a call inviting us to join in—“oh, and can you bring the Hot Buttered Rum?”

Even when it's not sub-freezing, it’s still the perfect warm-up drink after a chilly day on the water!

Hot Buttered Rum

Time: 15 minutes prep anytime; 5 minutes at serving time

Serves: 10

Hot Buttered Rum mix:

½ cup real butter (do not use margarine or butter with oil), softened

1-1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1-1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups (1 pint) vanilla ice cream, softened

For each 12-ounce mug of Hot Buttered Rum:

boiling water

1/3 cup Hot Buttered Rum mix, above

1 to 2 ounces (2 tablespoons to ¼ cup) dark rum

ground nutmeg or cinnamon stick for garnish

To make the mix, cream the butter, brown sugar, powdered sugar and spices until well blended. Add the soft (not-quite-liquid) ice cream and thoroughly mix it in.

The mixing is easiest with an electric mixer, but can be done fairly easily by hand if you let the butter and ice cream get very soft.

The mixture can be kept up to two days in the refrigerator or on ice in a cooler. For longer storage, put it in the freezer.

To serve, use standard 12-ounce mugs. Warm the mugs by filling with boiling water and letting sit for a minute, then pour the water back into the kettle and reheat to boiling while adding the mix to the mugs.

Place the mix and rum in each mug and blend with a spoon. Fill with boiling water and stir to completely mix. Garnish with a dash of ground nutmeg or a cinnamon stick.

For children and those who don’t drink alcohol, this is also great with the rum omitted (we call it a “Hot Buttered”).

Hot Buttered Rum is a very rich drink, and pairs best with simple cookies or snacks. Our favorite is Ginger Snaps (Great Lakes Scuttlebutt, Summer 2014)

Author bio: Carolyn Shearlock is the author (with Jan Irons) of The Boat Galley Cookbook with over 800 boat-friendly recipes. Her web site,, has hundreds of galley and provisioning tips, insights and equipment recommendations.


tags: Recipes

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