Hot Buttered Rum and Cider


Welcome to the one time of year when it’s totally acceptable (encouraged even) that we coat our throats with a hearty dose of booze and butter.  That’s right, my friends… it’s totally time to drink butter.  Call your mom, call your friends, text your ex-boyfriend from three ex-boyfriends ago (awesome excuse), and let everyone know that it’s time to get on this drinkable butter bandwagon.  Hallelujah, this is fun/dangerous/delicious/ridiculous/whaaaat!?

This post is brought to you by:  there’s a bottle of spiced rum ‘decorating’ my desk (and something must be done about it).

rum and such


Let’s start with our spices. Cinnamon sticks are stellar.  Freshly grated nutmeg is so fragrant it’s bonkers.  Fresh cloves are in-your-face holiday.  This is a solid trio.  Should you want to spice things up for real, you might try a few dried anise seeds, too.  Just a few!

I find that it’s important to use whole spices for this recipe. The whole cinnamon sticks and cloves will be steeped in our liquid.  The one small exception is the nutmeg… we don’t throw the whole nutmeg pod in, we simply fresh grate a few good pinches into the liquid.  Cool?


We’re using a spiced apple cider as our base liquid.  I just used a bottled, unfiltered apple cider… the kind of apple cider you’d want to chug cold, straight from the jar (not that I did that, or anything).


Cider is brought to a simmer and the essence of spices are infused into the liquid.  If you place your face over the steaming cider… it’s like a cider facial (which probably costs about three hundred dollars in Beverly Hills).

A bit of butter is added as well.  Butter is melted and whisked into the steaming cider.  What could be bad about this!?  Absolutely nothing (unless you’re vegan or allergic to butter).


 To finish the cider we add a hearty dose of black spiced rum, round sliced apples, and a splash of fresh lemon juice.


This Hot Buttered Rum and Cider is my new go-to holiday cocktail situation.  I’m going to keep in warm in a dutch oven on the stove top when I know people will be stopping by.  I made a batch and actually placed it back in the apple cider jar or future holiday-drop-in circumstances.  I appear to be clever… but I might just drink it all myself.

Feel free to adapt this recipe in any way you see fit.  If you don’t have rum, try bourbon.  If you’re vegan, leave out the butter.  If you’re not into booze at all… well heck, just leave it out!  The heart of this dish lies in the warm and spiced apple cider.  Rum and butter just make it go down all the easier.

It’s a holidaaaaayyy!


Hot Buttered Rum and Cider

serves 4

adapted from Epicurious

Print this Recipe!

3 cups spiced apple cider

1/2 cup water

2 cinnamon sticks

10 whole cloves

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter

3/4 cup dark spiced rum

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

sliced apples and cinnamon sticks for serving

In a medium saucepan, combine cider, water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.

Uncover, return to medium heat, and add butter.  Stir until melted.  Remove from heat, stir in bourbon and lemon juice.  Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves.  Add sliced apples before serving.  I like to serve the cider in mugs with cinnamon sticks for garnish.  

79 thoughts on “Hot Buttered Rum and Cider

  1. Ha ! It seems to be SO good !!
    I want to drink this thing right now !
    In france, we’re making something called “vin chaud” : it’s hot red wine and spices like yours.
    I admit that for many years I didn’t want to taste it, because hot wine …. beurk !
    But last year, I’ve tried and this is excellent too ! If one day, you’ve got the possibility to taste one, just don’t hesitate. :)

  2. Okay – I’m feeling the alcohol pressure. Listening to you and Tracy wax lovingly about bourbon week after week, I gotta get me some for my holiday liquor cabinet.!!
    Key question: what kinds do you recommend for the bourbon novice?
    Love what you do, but moreover, the positive way in which ya do it!

    1. Diana – I like bourbon a lot but didn’t know what kind to buy. I went to the liquor store and bought small sizes of several kinds, including Knob Creek, Maker’s Mark, Jack Daniels and Woodford Reserve. Then I did a blind taste test to figure out which brand I liked best. (Had someone else pour the bourbon into cups labeled a, b, c) You should try this! I will tell you that bourbon is more of an acquired taste and not something that everyone will like…

  3. Not a big fan of mulled wine because I’m not big into wine but I’d love to try the flavours with cider or rum!

    Bought the book online. Love it. Wondering why you use granulated sugar in your recipes rather than caster sugar as we would here in Ireland/UK? Maybe it just what you use in the US?

    Deirdre @

      1. Oh cool, thanks for getting back to me- I thought there might be additives in caster sugar that aren’t good for you or something…

        I’m so starstruck because I love the blog and the podcast and the book! I have a blog too but I need to get a good camera- I’m saving up! Your passion is totally infectious, it makes me want to try new things when I bake and always be passionate.

        Totally converted by the Spinach and Kale smoothie, I was very sceptical when I saw it but I drink it every morning and it makes me feel great!


        Deirdre @

  4. Nice. Thanks. I wonder what the point of the butter was, when this was first concocted. The rum I get. The spices and apple cider, I get. Wait. I get to drink butter? Ah, got it. Never mind.

  5. That looks and sounds fabulous. I have seen many recipes for buttered rum cider but never really pay much attention but you have definitely caught my attention. I like your pour back into container/make-ahead idea. I hope you are able to forget that you stashed it in there – I don’t think I could!

  6. Im gonna drink this in the shower. With 5 straws attached to each other going from the shower caddy to my mouth. I know you dont judge me.

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