Hot Buttered Rum


Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book

The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book

By Downton Abbey

Published 2019

  • About

This sweet, spice-laced, spiked beverage—also known as a hot toddy— has its origin in colonial America, where New England distillers were turning molasses imported from Jamaica into rum as early as the 1650s. The steaming-hot mix of the strong local spirit and rich butter provided a welcome defense against the bitter-cold Northeast winter. Don’t be tempted to stir the melted butter into the drink. It should float on top.


  • 2 fl oz (60 ml) dark rum
  • ½ fl oz (15 ml) simple syrup (see note)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) long
  • ½–⅔ cup (120–160 ml) boiling water
  • 1 barspoon (about 1 pat) unsalted butter (see note)
  • Ground or freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish


Pour the rum and simple syrup into a heatproof mug or an Irish coffee glass. Add the cloves and the cinnamon stick. Pour in the boiling water almost to fill the glass. Float the butter on top (so it will melt slowly), then sprinkle with the nutmeg.