On cold winter days, Hot Buttered Rum goes down a treat

On cold winter days, Hot Buttered Rum goes down a treat

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

One of the joys of a largely gray and gloomy German winter is a break for a steaming glass of glühwein, or mulled wine, particularly around the holiday season. But sometimes we crave something a bit different…

When I mused to a friend I was looking for a new hot drink to serve my guests before our holiday dinner, she sent me a recipe for Hot Buttered Rum from The Roasted Root website. It sounded different and delicious, and most importantly, I had all the ingredients on hand.

The day before my guests were to join us for dinner, I decided to give the recipe a trial run in the company of a single friend. When she saw me melting the generous knob of butter called for in the recipe, she recoiled, convinced the end product would be a greasy, unappealing mess. But I stuck to the recipe as written, and we deemed the sweet, savory and perfectly spiced beverage that resulted a keeper.

I decided to tweak the next batch ever so slightly, using spiced rum and adding vanilla sugar, nutmeg and lemon to create a more nuanced flavor profile. While the original recipe suggests cider might hold the edge over apple juice, I thought the natural unfiltered version of one of Germany’s favorite nonalcoholic drinks, Apfelsaft, worked wonderfully in this recipe. Should you want your drink a bit sweeter, add a tablespoon or two or melted honey.

Hot Buttered Rum

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Serves: this recipe is enough to fill three to four mugs

4 Tablespoons butter

1 Liter (4¼ cups) unfiltered apple juice (naturtrüb Apfelsaft)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 packet (8 grams) vanilla sugar; alternately 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup of rum; preferably spiced, but any will do

¼ lemon, juiced

Place the butter in the saucepan and whisk until melted. Add the apple juice and heat just until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the remaining spices. Add the amount of rum called for in its entirety, or less, if you prefer a less potent drink. Add the juice from a quarter of a fresh, squeezed lemon. Pour the drink into sturdy mugs, head outside and enjoy on a cold frosty night beneath the twinkling stars.

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