UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
Hot Buttered Rum

We're a couple weeks into 2011 and many of you are still hopeful about staying true to your resolutions. Although last year I did my best to aid you in detoxing from the holiday gluttony, this year my intentions aren't so pure. Rather than fortify your resolve, I'm here to steer your ship back to the harbor of iniquity.

How you ask? Three words my friends. Hot. Buttered. Rum.

It is a classic wintertime potion that soothes the soul and warms the physical faculties, while adding a layer or two of insulation to your frame. Sure you can have a Hot Toddy to fight the frost, and I love those as well. But sometimes you simply want some butter in your drink. In those times, a Hot Buttered Rum is where it's at.

Truth be told I wrote about this drink last year but somehow that piece got lost in cyberspace, never to be found again. I was dumbfounded, but interpreted it as a sign and decided to hold off for another year. So here's take two of the Hot Buttered Rum, and the timing is especially fortuitous if you live in one of the snowed in cities on the Eastern seaboard like I do.

Hot Buttered Rum
2 oz aged rum (or a good spiced rum, ie not Captain Morgan)
3/4 oz demerara syrup (raw sugar dissolved in equal part water)
1 tbsp (or more) spiced compound butter (will get to that in a minute)
Hot apple cider to top
Cinnamon stick as garnish (optional)

Glass: any mug or glass appropriate for hot drinks

Pour the syrup in the glass along with the compound butter and a little hot cider. Stir to dissolve the syrup and melt the butter. Add the rum and more cider to fill, then give it a light stir. Add the cinnamon stick (or not) and enjoy.

It's not a Hot Buttered Rum without the butter, and although you can use plain butter in a pinch, the compound butter adds nice depth if you have the time to make it. This recipe comes from Dale Degroff, and I liked it enough to use as is, but you're certainly encouraged to get creative and spice it up as you wish.

Spiced Compound Butter
1 lb softened butter (I recommended unsalted sweet cream butter)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup dark brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Place the compound on wax paper and roll it into logs. Set in refrigerator or freezer to set. Though you can use it immediately, it's best to give the flavors some time in the fridge to marry. Once set you can use as needed by cutting pieces as you would a stick of butter.

It makes much more sense to make more than single portions since the effort is the same, and the recipe above should give you enough for a sizable group of folks. I usually make a supply that'll last me the winter, freeze half and keep half in the fridge. Then a few minutes before I want to use it, I set it out to get it to room temperature. Just as you wouldn't want to add any hot components to a cold drink, you don't want to add a cold component to a hot one.

Cheers, and good luck on those resolutions. You'll need it even more now.

*Got a cocktail question? Hit me on twitter @paystyle, email me at payman(at)lifesacocktail(dot)com, or simply drop me a comment below!