Hot Buttered Rum

Nicole Lebedevitch, The Hawthorne | Boston, MA

Hot. Buttered. Rum. Is there anything sexier than a glass of melted butter mixed with warm golden spirits? No, we think not. Americans have been whipping up a spiced butter batter and dousing it with rum and hot water since before they were Americans. This fancified version, created at Boston cocktail bar The Hawthorne, brings the winter warmer to its full velvety potential. With the crucial addition of ice cream and black tea, this variant closes the disappointing gap between expectation (decadent) and reality (greasy, watery) that often taints the hot buttered rum experience.



  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon, ground
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons nutmeg, ground
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons clove, ground
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons allspice, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • rum, dark (preferably Old Monk and English Harbour)
  • black tea, hot (preferably lapsang souchong)

Garnish: star anise (a PUNCH addition)

  1. Add first ten ingredients to a mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer.
  2. Refrigerate batter until ready to use.
  3. When ready to serve, prep mugs by filling with hot water to warm them. Let stand for a minute or two, and discard.
  4. Add one tablespoon of batter to prepped mug.
  5. Top with two ounces hot tea, and stir to mix.
  6. Add one ounce of each rum, and then top with two more ounces hot tea.
  7. Rum will form a 1/4 inch cream over the top of the drink.
  8. Garnish with a whole star anise.