Sunday, 2 March 2014

Recipe: Hot Buttered Rum (or Whisky...)

I have had one of those low level colds for a couple of weeks, and it is refusing to budge. You know the type - you don't feel 'well' but you're not poorly enough to be off work, so you spend most of your time wandering around the office feeling tired and being a little bit cranky. Anyway - as someone who doesn't get ill very often, I am rubbish at knowing what to do to make it go away faster. I have been downing hot Ribena during the day (my boss swears it had magical properties) but frankly on an evening I want something more substantial.

I have been a firm believer in a hot toddy in the past. Maybe it's the booze that sends me to sleep. Maybe it's the honey and lemon which have antibacterial properties. I don't know. But - in the last couple of weeks I just havn't managed to make them "right". And so, I turned to an alternative.  

I've called this Hot Buttered Rum, but I made it with Irish whiskey, because there wasn't any rum in the house and obtaining some would have meant going outside. It was delicious. It's also a bit of a cheat's version of the American recipes I found online, in that it has fewer ingredients. After all, if you're poorly, you want something quick and comforting without a load of random ingredients that you have to go outside for.
Hot Butter Spice Mix
Makes about 30 portions

100g unsalted butter
200g dark brown (muscovado) sugar
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, ground or bashed up
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk or wooden spoon, then beat in the other ingredients. It's easiest if you use room temperature butter cut into cubes.
Spread the mix out into a rough line in greaseproof paper, leaving a couple of inches at either end of the paper.
Roll the mix into a sausage, twist the two ends in opposite directions so that it looks like a cracker, and roll again.

To Serve

10g of butter mix
25g rum, whisky or Irish whiskey
75ml boiled water
lemon to taste

Layer up your ingredients in a cup or heatproof glass. Sip while hot.

The mix will keep in the freezer in a tupperware, still in the greaseproof paper, for around six months - just slice off a cm or so (about 10g) with a sharp knife whenever you're in need of comfort. Don't bother using posh booze, and feel free to experiment by using hot apple juice or a dash of lemon to taste.


  1. this sounds absolutely delicious, I'll ask J to fix me something like this next weekend (no drink on a school night). I know exactly the kind of cold you describe Gwen, it's the worst kind. although I find that taking just one day off and staying in bed for the entire day helps.

    1. if a duvet day is a doctor's suggestion then it shall be done!

  2. Wow - alcohol and butter, what a perfect hug of a combination! I want to try this...!


    1. The butter is somehow creamy and light at the same time, it's wierd but it works!

  3. Wow - I do not tend to have alcohol when poorly as it is an immuno-suppressant and I like to get better soon, but I know they work well for others. I've had one of those colds too - it turned into a full blown one after we walked to (and up) Arthur's Seat on Saturday but it gave me a good excuse to curl up in bed for the afternoon which helped massively. Hope you feel better soon x

    1. I didn't know that about booze - you learn a new thing every day! I tend to find that a hot toddy or similar stops my throat from getting sore, shall have to make sure I stop at one!

  4. I have a cold just now, this is very timely! And it sounds frickin amazing!