A Hot Buttered Rum Recipe from our Bartender of the Year

A warm and merry recipe from Jeff Savage of Botanist.

Who needs a fireplace when you have a mug of something warm, rich, sweet and boozy? This rum-based cocktail from Vanmag’s 2022 Bartender of the Year, Jeff Savage of Botanist, brings the holiday spirit with winter spice and seasonal citrus—and it’s a merry alternative to the classic mulled wine or rum-soaked eggnog. Don’t be frightened by the addition of butter: it dates back to the 1600s and it’s the secret weapon for making the coziest cocktail of the season.

Botanist hot buttered rum
Courtesy Botanist Fairmont Pacific Rim


Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

Hot Buttered Rum
Serves 1

45 ml spiced rum 100 ml hot water (plus more for heating mug)
30 g spiced buttered sugar (recipe follows)
1 orange peel
1 dehydrated lemon wheel (optional)
Cinnamon stick


  1. Pre-heat a coffee mug with hot water.
  2. Discard the water, then build the rum, 100 ml hot water and buttered sugar into the mug.
  3. Express the oils from the orange peel over the drink.
  4. Stir with cinnamon stick, then top with dehydrated lemon wheel. Drink up.

Spiced Buttered Sugar

200 g butter
400 g demerara sugar
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch clove


  1. Bring butter to room temperature.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, then cover and refrigerate.
  3. Makes enough for around 20 cocktails.