Hot Buttered Rum with Cider

The sugar-free hot buttered rum code has been broken! Can you guess  the key? Spoiler alert: apple cider’s the answer!

 3-ingredient Hot Buttered Rum with Cider

The holidays have a way of jettisoning life into perspective. They break us from our routines, they remind us of the past,  and through spending time with friends and family, we remember how pleasurable the little things can be. Little things like baking and playing games with the people we love with a hot boozy mugs of holiday cheer.

I was making, drinking, and photographing this hot buttered rum in the dead center of the bloomin day yesterday, and thought to myself, “It’s Monday. I’m drinking on the job and I’m not even going to get fired for it. Roodeehootyrahrahwoopwoop life is wonderful, I’m so buzzed on butter, it ain’t even funny.” And allofasudden, all of my preoccupations just meeeeeelted away. What was left was a sense of peace and a brave belly.

And I realized: Life is good.

We’ve got butter. We’ve got rum. Allowing worries and fears to eat away at us changes nothing. It accomplishes nothing. And everything works out the way it’s meant to. There is beauty all around, and the times we’re lucky enough to relinquish control and embrace it are the memories that stay with us.  We choose a path and we give it hell, man. We give unexpected opportunities a fighting chance abd we bear in mind that what will be will be. We’ve got butter, we’ve got rum.

And then I may have staged a flashmob to Ella Henderson’s Ghost in my living room prior to pulling my shit together lickety split. Because although getting buzzed on butter rum with zero preoccupations followed by a one-person dance off is the best Monday I’ve heard of, work doesn’t do itself and we have some hell to raise.

These moments of clarity? They’re there for the taking. Our eyes need to be open just enough to snag them and feel the beauty of release. And when these moments aren’t easily accessible? We’ve got butter, and we’ve got rum.

 3-ingredient Hot Buttered Rum with Cider

Let’s just address the most important question I could possibly think of right now: Have you ever drank butter?

This isn’t my first milk fat slurp down. In point of fact, I’ve been drinking butter most mornings for the last couple of months in the form of bulletproof coffee (I’ll share a recipe with you soon). All’s I can tell you is you haven’t lived until you’ve sipped on butter.

Let’s talk deets because this three-ingredient beverage is legit the easiest hot buttered rum recipe you will ever see.  Hot buttered rum is typically made by stewing water, spices and brown sugar. I found myself a wonky wonderful loophole to this fancy concoction, which involved cutting out some of the work and all of the sugar. It’s the apple cider, folks. It takes care of both the flavor and sweetness while keeping the cocktail sugar-free. And now I feel like I need to make up for lost time, because have you ever freaking tasted hot buttered rum? It’s like the cocktail version of Chris Evans making out with your mouth.

3-ingredient Hot Buttered Rum with Cider

For this recipe, I used R.W. Knudsen’s Cider n Spice and Diplomatico Reserva Rum. I recommend using high-quality (preferably grass-fed) salted butter for the best results. All you do is heat and whisk the cider on the stove with butter until it gets all frothy-like. You then add the booze and BOOM, done and done: hot buttered rum.

#ProTip: Hot liquid and butter whizzed up in a blender turns into a froth fest. So if you want to do one extra step and pour the hot buttered rum in your blender, you’ll end up with a freaking hot buttered rum latte. Can you even? You can. I used the whisk setting on my Blendtec Blender and simply left the center insert of the lid cracked just slightly. Do not (I repeat: DO NOT) add hot liquid to a sealed single-serving blender. These blenders are not designed for hot liquid.

If you’re looking for more lightened up holiday beverages, hop over to Cooking Light and check out their fabulous list of Healthy Holiday Cocktails.

Get buzzed on butter.

3-ingredient Hot Buttered Rum with Cider

Hot Buttered Rum with Cider

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Servings: 6 drinks
Author: Julia


  • 3 cups unsweetened spiced apple cider*
  • 4 tablespoons salted grass-fed butter or more to taste
  • 1-¼ cups dark golden rum


  1. Add the apple cider, butter and cinnamon stick to a medium-sized pot and bring to a full boil. Whisk vigorously until frothy.
  2. Remove from heat, add the rum, and serve hot.
  3. Note: Once the cider mixture has come to a boil, you can skip the whisking and add all of the liquid (including the rum) to a blender, and blend until frothy. Just make sure the steam can escape by leaving the center hole of your blender’s cover open.

Recipe Notes

*You can also use 100% pure apple juice + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

For a sweeter beverage, you can add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the hot buttered rum (or to taste).


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    1. Julia Post author

      Sadly, I have zero experience with vegan butter, but coconut oil would definitely work! If you try it with coconut oil, I would definitely blend the hot liquid in a blender in order to give it the creamy/frothy consistency. Just be sure you let the steam escape from the top of the blender! xo

  1. tina

    hi julia!
    what kind of rum? dark? light? spiced? coconut? too many rums, i dont have the time or the stamina (anymore!) to try them all!
    happy holidays! xo tina

    1. Julia Post author

      So glad you asked that question! I should have been more specific. I used Diplomatico Reserva Rum, which is a dark golden rum. I believe in general one uses dark rum for hot buttered rum 😉 Let me know if you try the recipe!!

    1. Julia Post author

      Thanks, Leanne!! Random story about the cups: they came from a thrift store buy from my grandmother in a tiny little town in California, haha! I get the impression they’re pretty old, so I’m not sure which company originally made them 😀


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