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blog-hot buttered rum

New England is still getting pounded by one heck of a blizzard, but New Yorkers are experiencing their own DeflateGate: Although conditions are serious out on Long Island, a measly five and a half inches or so of snow was measured in Central Park.

What a bust. A couple of respected computer models certainly looked dire, with predictions of more than 30 inches of snow for Manhattan, but what meteorologists and newscasters neglected to hammer home was that the storm was a complicated one, and the forecast should have been more obviously presented as a range of possibilities.

Even if that had happened, you can’t mess with Mother Nature—or human nature, for that matter. Speaking as someone who grew up thinking “hurricane season” was an official division of the year that came between summer and fall, I laid in supplies with a zeal my mother would’ve recognized. While taking inventory of a pantry shelf or two, I discovered a dusty bottle of dark rum that had escaped being corralled with the rest of the booze, and knew we were ready for whatever the “Blizzard of 2015” could throw at us. Or not.

Most recipes for Hot Buttered Rum say to make a compound butter with the spices, then stir a pat of the butter into each mug of rum and hot water until it melts. The method below calls for simmering everything except the rum together for ten minutes, which gives the spices the chance to lose their rawness and release their flavors and aromas, making for a more mellow, well-rounded drink. Cradle a mug in your hands, inhale, and you will feel very après-ski, even if your aching muscles and glow of accomplishment come from nothing more glamorous than shoveling the sidewalk.

Hot Buttered Rum

From Gourmet Today: More Than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen (Houghton Mifflin, 2009)

Makes 4 drinks

2 cups water

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

5 1/3 ounces (2/3 cup) dark rum such as Myer’s

Combine water, butter, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a 1- to 2-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes to blend flavors. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in rum. Pour into mugs.

blog-hot buttered rum2

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