Hot buttered rum reminds me of ski chalets and thawing icy scarves on radiators – something to drink when one has exerted oneself out in the cold. But then I realized that to simplify our complicated lives, we could remove the exertion part of this ritual entirely and head straight for the curled-up-on-the-couch part with a hot, boozy beverage. This aromatic drink is creamy, rich and warming, and the best part is that you can make the spiced butter in advance and store it in the fridge, ready to serve a drop-in crowd or to enjoy yourself, one cozy night at a time.
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin-spice mix
1 and 1/4 ounces dark rum
3/4 cups of water
1) For the spiced butter: In a medium bowl combine 1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons) at room temperature, 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin-spice mix (use 1/2 teaspoon for a stronger flavour) and the zest of half an orange. (Pumpkin-spice mix – cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice – is available at most grocery spice racks or bulk stores but you can use individual spices instead to suit your taste.)
2) Blend with a hand mixer until combined.
3) To serve: Add 1 heaped tablespoon of the spiced butter into a mug, with 1 and 1/4 ounces good-quality dark rum and top with 3/4 cups boiling water. Mix till combined and creamy. Top with a dollop of whipped cream (optional). Makes about 8 servings.