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Hot Browned Buttered Rum

My mom has made hot buttered rum a bit of a Christmas tradition. While I didn’t get around to sharing it during the holidays, tomorrow is National Hot Buttered Rum Day (no, I’m not making that up.)

Hot buttered rum is a sip of American history. Hot toddies, mulled wine, and nog had been circulating though Europe for generations. Those European traditions were brought to the Americas but new world products created new drinks.

Rum is a uniquely Western Hemisphere product. While the dubious history is dark spot (it was a direct part of the triangle slave trade of rum, molasses, and slavery.) Molasses, a byproduct of sugar refining, is what gives rum the smoothness and sweetness you won’t find in many other spirits.

While classic recipes call only for hot water, rum, and butter modern versions incorporate cream or ice cream. This addition makes it easier to incorporate the butter into the rum, preventing the “oil slick” phenomena.

I’ve made some tweaks to her original recipe and scaled it down, as the full recipe always makes more than you need. I also browned half of the butter for a more nutty flavor. It does freeze well though, so feel free to scale up. Also, my mom included the following note: “The cheap ice cream doesn’t make it taste as good as if you use quality ice cream ~ seriously! Happy National Hot Buttered Rum Day!!!”

Also, while the recipe calls for spiced rum, I went ahead and used my chai infused rum for a little something special.

Hot Brown Buttered Rum

Ingredients for butter mixture*:

1/4 lb. unsalted butter, divided
4 oz. brown sugar
2 oz. superfine or castor sugar
1 cup vanilla ice cream, divided

*Note: This makes enough for about 30 drinks but freezes well.

Ingredients for drink:

1 tablespoon butter mixture
1 shot spiced rum
8 oz. hot water

Directions: In heavy bottomed pan, over medium-low heat, brown half the butter. Turn heat as low as possible and add the remaining butter. Stir in sugar. Dissolve as much as possible, stirring consistently for 5-10 minutes. Stir in half of the vanilla ice cream until completely combined. Stir in remaining vanilla ice cream, again until completely combined.

To make hot buttered rum, use a heaping tablespoon of sugar and butter mixture. Add a shot of spiced rum and fill mug completely with hot water. Add more sugar or rum to taste.

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