Recipe: Hot Spiced Buttered Rum – in an instant

When your toes need warming, and your mood needs turning, there is absolutely nothing better than a glass (or *small* mug!) of hot spicy buttered rum. It is sweet and smooth, and full of gorgeous hints of spice and butterscotch, which speak of good cheer, and all sorts of coziness (think roaring fires, woolly socks, drawn curtains, toasted crumpets…).

Buttered rum header

You can buy spiced rum to make this – but, frankly, I don’t recommend it – the spicing and/or the rum are often not the best. Another option is to infuse a bottle of great quality rum with your own spices. This can give you fantastic results, and is great to play around with to create your own flavours, but it can take from 24 hours to 5-6 weeks, depending on which method you choose, and what to do if you want buttered rum right NOW?

My solution is to make a quick spiced syrup (which takes minutes rather than days) to add to rum and butter. Even better, the syrup will keep in the fridge for up to a week, so gratification will be almost instant!

Buttered rum 1

Instant Hot Spiced Buttered Rum

  • Servings: enough syrup for about 8-10
  • Print

For the syrup:


  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • About 1/3 of a nutmeg (break it with a hammer or nutcracker)
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 4 finely pared pieces of orange rind
  • 250 ml water
  • 200g granulated sugar (or a little less if you’d prefer a less sweet toddy)


Put all the ingredients in a pan and bring slowly to the simmer, stirring now and then. When the sugar has dissolved, simmer extremely gently for a couple of minutes, then turn off the heat and leave the spices to infuse for anywhere between 5 minutes to half an hour. The strain the syrup into a clip top jar or jam jar.  The syrup will keep for up to a week in the fridge.


For one serving of spiced rum:


  • 30ml golden rum
  • 45ml spiced syrup
  • 15g butter (most recipes suggest unsalted, but I rather like it with salted butter – it gives the drink a real salted caramel flavour)


Put the ingredients in a small pan and bring slowly to a simmer, whisking to combine. Turn off the heat as soon as the drink reaches simmering point. Pour into a heatproof glass or mug, add a little grated nutmeg or orange zest and drink appreciatively, smiling all the while.

Buttered rum 2

For more recipes do visit my directory of Very Berry recipes.

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