My “people” are Southern. That means we use weird words for things and we have a lot of family recipes that start with a pound of butter. I used to bring friends home from school for the weekend and they’d ask what my mom was cooking. I’d look, see that she had a pound of butter and the cast iron skillet, and answer, “Could be dessert, could be a salad. Too early to tell.”

This recipe for Hot Buttered Rum has been in my family for a long while and if it does nothing else, it’ll make you the most popular person at the party when you show up with it. We’re sharing it here because you can make the mix, throw it in the bottom of a cooler under a bag of ice, and have a FANTASTIC campfire drink for those nights when you need a hot beverage while you set your gear out for the morning hunt. Hot rum, cold ice cream. Does it really get much better?

The star of the show is a mix that looks a little like ice cream because it starts with some French Vanilla. This mix is added to rum and hot water to make a uniquely creamy, sweet and cozy drink.

Small scoops of an ice cream mixture used to make Hot Buttered Rum, presented in a glass dish
Hot Buttered Rum Mix in its final presentation

Generally by the time I make my way home from the store and get everything put away, the ice cream is melted enough to put it in a big disposable lidded container (I use these). Why disposable? Because after a couple of these drinks you’re not going to remember your dishes. Or much else.

Dump the ice cream into the dish and spread it out sort of evenly. Melt the butter and get all the other ingredients ready to add. Pour everything else in and mix. This is going to seem super weird, because the cold ice cream is going to chunk up the butter and keep the mix from being smooth. You want it to do that. Once everything is combined, put the lid on and put the mix in the freezer. I recommend freezing at least overnight.

A disposable plastic container 2/3 full of an ice cream mix that has melted slightly
Hot Buttered Rum Mix before it goes into the freezer

Once you’re ready to serve, use a cookie scoop to drop two scoops of the frozen mix into the bottom of a standard (not giant) mug. Top with one ounce of rum (I use Myers Dark) and then finish with boiling water. Stir until the mix is melted into the drink.

Like my Grammie used to say, “This stuff will knock you on your butt”, so go slow. If you really want to light up your night (or cold morning), finish the drink with a dark roast coffee instead of water. I do this without the rum sometimes, too. Any way you do it, though, enjoy my little taste of the buttery South.




Hot Buttered Rum

A warm, spicy, creamy Southern drink that goes down so smooth you won’t even know it’s alcoholic. Coffee variations for fun!

  • Author: Morgan


1 Pound Light Brown Sugar

1 Pound Powdered Sugar

1 Pound Salted Butter

1/2 Gallon French Vanilla Ice Cream

1 Tbsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Nutmeg


Let ice cream soften until it slides out of the container and can be stirred easily.

Melt butter and mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl or container with lid.

Butter will chunk up as it gets cold in the ice cream. That’s okay!

Freeze mixture overnight.

To serve, put two cookie scoops of mix in a standard mug, add one ounce of rum, finish with boiling water. Stir until mix melts in. Enjoy!


For a delicious, caffeinated variation, finish with dark roast coffee instead of water. This mix does not store well for more than a week to 10 days.