Here's the best thing about hot buttered rum: It's perfect for whichever sort of cold day you're having. If you've somehow captured one of those magazine cover-esque, snowman-building, ski slope-frolicking, fireplace-burning kinda days, a warm mug of hot buttered rum is practically a requirement to complete your (lucky bastard) wintertime fantasy scenario.
If you're trapped in reality with the rest of us (that would be the steel-wool sky, frozen car engine, late for your appointment, wet feet and running nose version), then hot buttered rum might be the only thing standing between you and a bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Either way, it's a drink that can only make things better.
The traditional (as in, how the colonists made it) way of getting the "hot" in your "hot buttered rum" is to stab it with a fireplace poker, fresh from the flames. It's a fun spectacle for a party or a campfire crowd, but hot water from a tea kettle will do just fine for anyone fresh out of hot iron implements.
HBR for the Masses
This recipe, intended for a crowd, starts off with a hot buttered rum "batter," which is added to the mugs before the liquor and hot water. Once you've made the batter, you can keep it in an air-tight container and use it on any number of wintertime drinks, including hot chocolate or hot cider. Bonus: Banana-lovers should consider adding 1 teaspoon or two of mashed banana into the mix.
1 bottle dark rum
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pinch cloves
1 pinch salt
In a bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt into a cream. Refrigerate for up to an hour. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each mug (the recipe will make about a dozen). Fill each mug half-way with rum, and the rest of the way with boiling water. Stir and serve.
Vanilla Hot Buttered Rum
1/2 cup White sugar
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1 cup Unsalted butter
2 cups Vanilla ice cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch grated nutmeg
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the two sugars and butter and simmer until melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the butter and sugar paste with the ice cream, then refrigerate. When you're ready to serve, fill each mug with 1 cup of the vanilla mixture and 1 oz of light rum. Top with boiling water and stir.