Hot Buttered Rum

This recipe is from Louisiana Cookery by Mary Land (yes); thanks for my Christmas present, sister!

The lady is a New Orleanian, and her 1954 book opens with a preface from the owner of one of the dynasty restaurants in town. It’s one of those collections of older recipes that gives you the outline: put these things together and cook. The ‘beverages’ chapter is priceless: many punches, cordials, tomato wine, acadian mead–including a recipe that calls for 2:1 rum and absinthe over pineapple juice. The lady is also, as you could guess, a character: “Most fathers believe that their mission in parenthood is financing the necessary feminine “froufrou.” My Dad was different. He had wanted his only child to be a boy, and when I came along, he simply did the best with what he had.”


After a long, cold morning in the duck blind, muddle one teaspoon of brown sugar, two juggers of rum, a few cloves, and one nutmeg. Muddle with a cinnamon stick. Add one teaspoon of butter and fill mug with boiling water. (Serves one.)

My own version: I hate anything that tastes like potpourri, but this did not. She means a whole nutmeg, I reckon. I used Rougaroux Dark Rum, from a relatively new distillery in Thibodeaux, LA; another crucial element in not tasting like fancy lady gift shop. My butter was from north of Lake Pontchartrain, and salted. (Ever had Mongolian salty buttery tea? I like salty drinks…) Also, to respond the purported Maine-buttered-rum-hegemony, I’ll just say that damp cold is cold, particularly when your house is 1.5 feet off the ground, and LA has as much a claim to rum as New England? No need for any butter-whipping. The crucial difference from Mary Land: I used a teaspoon of Steen’s Cane Syrup instead of brown sugar; melts quicker and cuts any harsh rum-ness. Fill the mug with boiling water!

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