Hot Buttered Rum

For years I was aware of Hot Buttered Rum partly because of the film Northwest Passage1 and partly due to repeated mentions on the Ian Anderson radio programme, but I had never drunk it nor made it. After a recent viewing of the film I was determined to give it a try, and for your delectation I now present my recipe (cobbled together from various others found on the Internet).

Spencer Tracy as the character Major Rogers about to make hot buttered rum in the the 1940 film Northwest Passage

Spencer Tracy as the character Major Rogers about to make hot buttered rum in the the 1940 film Northwest Passage

If you are reading this in the northern hemisphere you are probably thinking it is a bit unseasonal presenting this recipe in May, and you'd be correct. Hot buttered rum is more at home in the autumn and winter along with other warming alcoholic drinks like Glühwein. However, I was prompted to write this today as I made it for our visitor, Christine, and I wanted to give her a copy of the recipe.

I doubt this recipe is authentic but I can guarantee it is really tasty and very easy to make.


Ingredients Quantity
Demerara sugar 75g
Butter 60g
Sugar syrup (or honey) 30ml
Cinnamon, ground 1/4tsp
Nutmeg, ground 1/8tsp
Cloves, ground 15g
Salt pinch
Dark rum 90ml
Boiling water 240ml

Equipment required

  • Electric hand mixer
  • Heatproof jug (1 litre)
  • Mugs, 2 (300ml)


Ideally, you should have all of your ingredients sitting out in a warm room before starting, as this way everything will mix much easier and the finished drink will be much warmer. It is also a good idea to use a heatproof glass jug for mixing and to pre-warm the mugs.

  1. Using the electric mixer beat together the butter, sugar, syrup and spices in the jug until the ingredients are light and fluffy.
  2. Quickly add the hot water and continue to mix until all the sugar mix is dissolved.
  3. Add the rum and mix again.
  4. Pour the hot buttered rum into the pre-warmed mugs and start drinking straight away.




  1. In the film it isn't described as hot buttered rum but the Spencer Tracy character, Major Robert Rogers, calls out to the tavern keeper: "Flint! Bring some hot water, rum, sugar and butter."


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