Hot Buttered Rum

Every year on the 5th of November here in the UK we set off fireworks and burn an effigy of a man who tried to overthrow a king who enforced religious oppression against Catholics living in England. To an outsider, Guy Fawkes night looks like an insane, cult-like pagan ritual, but really it’s just about merriment, the partaking of yummy winter cocktails, and watching fireworks in awe and wonderment with their loud noises and pretty colours (we’re easily amused).

For the unofficial Master of Malt 2011 Firework Awards (the MOMFAs), we’d like to announce the winner as the town of Oban in Scotland. Due to an electronic failure, their £6,000 show (which was supposed to last 20 minutes) was over in 50 seconds. It was nearly as amazing as the time someone at Lockheed Martin confused metric and imperial measurements. In a show of good sportsmanship, the organisers of the Oban fireworks show are putting on a second night which will run for the allotted time. Good show!

Now, let’s get back to talking about booze…

Every year I make up a big batch of delicious cocktails before I head down to the local fireworks night, and this year I invested my accumulated pennies in the largest, finest Thermos flask money could buy, as well as sneakily “borrowing” a bottle of Rumbullion! from the office and some Christmas Bitters. At the behest of my other half I also had to buy a set of paper cups which were red with polkadots, but let’s not go into that…

Polkadot Paper Cups

Emasculating and, at £1.50 for 6, an utter rip off.

After considering my options, Hot Buttered Rum was a clear winner. For a start, simply try saying “hot buttered rum” aloud. You’ll notice you’re now salivating like a Labrador in Summer in a car with all of the windows shut.

Here’s how I made it…

Hot Buttered Rum (makes enough to fill a one litre Thermos)


– A bottle of Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Rumbullion!

– 100g unsalted butter

– All the peel (but none of the pith) from 2 Oranges

– 2 dessert spoons cloves

– 1tspn grated nutmeg

– 1tspn allspice

– 6 Cinnamon sticks

– Christmas Bitters

– A whole mess of sugar

– Water

Winter Spices



Le Method

Add around 500ml water to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the orange peel, the cloves, the nutmeg, the allspice and the cinnamon sticks and simmer for about an hour. Hopefully the water should have reduced by around half.

Now, it’s time to add 100g (two thirds of a pack) of butter. Mmm butter. This recipe proves you can butter anything… even drinks. Stir the butter ‘til it’s nicely melted , then add a whole mess of sugar (to taste). If you have a sweet tooth like me, you’ll want to add a good 300g. You can add less or more depending on how you like it.

Finally, heat the mixture until it starts to bubble, and then pour it into your Thermos, along with the rum.

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Yum

The Hot Buttered Rum is now complete. Just remember to give the Thermos a good shake before you go to drink any. This will ensure the butter is evenly mixed throughout the drink, mitigating gulping down a full mouthful of butter.



It’s vulcanised rubber, which means it won’t perish.

I took my Thermos down to the fireworks, and the designated non-drinking driver (#DrinkAware) parked the car on a road leading to the town where the fireworks were to be held.

We marvelled at the loud noises and the pretty colours, and all of us except the #DrinkAware designated driver enjoyed the rum. We then headed back to the car, only to find two of the side windows had been smashed in by rapscallions. On closer inspection, the hoodlums had also kindly relieved us of our worldly possessions, which was nice of them. We waited for the local fuzz to turn up, though they sadly didn’t.

Two days later the police called us to say they’d found all of our items, including my gentleman’s toiletries bag, the only item of mine that was taken. It turns out that ruffians are too good for my badger brush and Chanel Allure. What is the world coming to?

Badger Brush

Not good enough for the UK’s underclasses.