Hot Natured


There’s no scientific proof, but personal experience tells me guests are always more at ease when served a warm drink.

Hot buttered rum, otherwise known as the hot toddy, has been a standard since Colonial days for good reason, with its comforting blend of buttered rum batter combined with the deep molasses flavor of dark rum.

For hot toddies, Bill Hull of The Vine recommends Barbancourt Reserve Speciale, a Haitian rum aged eight years in oak with notes of vanilla and pepper (also a great sipping rum, in my opinion). “Another interesting way to go is spiced rum from Corsair,” says Hull of the small-batch spiced rum from Nashville’s Corsair Artisan Distillery, which spices up hot buttered rum and adds hints of vanilla bean and citrus peel to the classic cool-weather drink.


Barbancourt Rum

Hot Buttered Rum

  • 1 16-ounce package dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Dash of salt
  • Dark or spiced rum
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Lemon slices (optional)

Combine sugar, butter and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until well-mixed. Store batter in a covered container in the refrigerator. To serve, place 1-2 tablespoons of the batter, 1 jigger (1 ½ ounces) rum and a cinnamon stick into a mug. Fill the mug with boiling water (about 6 ounces), stir well and add a lemon slice if you wish. Refrigerated in an airtight container, the batter will last up to two months, and can be frozen for up to a year before use.

Black Orchid

If you have leftover rum or prefer a cool drink, try a Black Orchid, which is served poured directly into a glass filled with ice.

  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
  • 2 ounces dark rum (the Barbancourt is great for this drink)
  • Slice of kiwi to garnish