Comfort and Joy

You know what was really fabulous about this Christmas?


We spent the holiday at Lake Tahoe.  Good-bye, soggy Seattle!  Hello, piles of snow and blue skies!   The sunshine alone might have been enough to induce euphoria.  But there were also the joys of good company, good food, and time enough to really rest.

We went on outings in the sparkling sunshine and thin air to marvel at the lake, and sipped hot drinks while watching skiers whiz by the lodge.  We crunched over frozen snow in the still, starry night to attend midnight mass.  There was a giant puzzle laid out on the coffee table, which eventually drew everyone in.

And Christmas movies.  It’s just not Christmas without watching A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart.  There was plenty of snuggling on the couch in front of the fire with a book.  I fell asleep at night under a fluffy heap of warm comforter, with fresh cold air flowing in the open window.  I made it a personal goal to eat as much chocolate and cheese as I possibly could, and I succeeded admirably, if I do say so.

We went out for Christmas dinner, and during the pleasant pre-dinner cocktail interlude, I had a Hot Buttered Rum.  It seems to me that hot alcoholic drinks are too often overlooked, languishing in the shadows while the icy martini-glassed cocktails get all the love.  Irish Coffee, a hot Whisky Mac, even just a cup of hot cocoa with a slug of spiced rum—whatever your fancy, a hot drink on a cold day is one of life’s simple pleasures to be savored.

To my way of thinking, the Hot Buttered Rum is the pinnacle of hot drinks.  I still remember the first time I had one, and how surprised I was that it tasted exactly like a Butter Rum Lifesaver. I am still delighted by that comparison, every single time.    It is sweet and rich and decadent.  You can wrap chilly hands around the hot mug and the drink will warm you inside and out, with a kick of rum and spices to put a little color in your cheeks.

You could probably buy hot buttered rum batter, but it is so easy to make, either in big batches that will keep in the freezer indefinitely or just a mug or two at a time, and the ingredients are of the common sort that almost everyone has on hand without a special trip to the store.

Just lay in an emergency bottle of rum, and you will be prepared for whatever weather this winter throws your way.

Hot Buttered Rum For One

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Dash each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves
  • 6 oz boiling water
  • 2 oz dark rum

Combine butter, sugar, and spices in a tall hot beverage mug.  Add boiling water, and stir until dissolved.  Add rum.

Hot Buttered Rum For a Crowd


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 oz butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg or mace
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly. Refrigerate in a sealed air-tight container for up to two months. This mixture can also be frozen for up to one year before using. Makes eight servings.


  • 2 Tbsp refrigerated hot buttered rum batter
  • 6 oz boiling water
  • 1 1/2 oz dark rum
  • 1 Tbsp light cream (optional)

In a hot beverage mug, combine hot buttered rum batter with boiling water, stirring well until dissolved. Add in rum and cream, if using.

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6 thoughts on “Comfort and Joy

  1. tea_austen

    Sounds like you had a perfect Christmas (and no soggy Seattle damp grey).

    I had to pop over when I saw your name on the comments today–Rowdy Chowgirl is the best. Thanks for making me smile!

    Here’s to a wonderful 2011. Even here in sog city:-)

    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      I’m so glad you stopped by, Tara. I really enjoy your blog and it’s fun to hear from a fellow resident of sog city! :)

  2. Natalie

    Wow, how amazing Lake Tahoe looks. I love the Patrick Stewart version too (but I love him in anything to be honest) but my favourite has to be the muppet version! He he he!.

    Happy New Year to you and all your readers, here is to a 2011 filled with food, love and more food and maybe other little things if we are lucky xx

  3. Monet

    Oh what a lovely holiday. Isn’t Lake Tahoe just stunning? What a great place to spend the holidays. I’m jealous (but very happy for you!) I just got back from a long day of traveling, and I could use some of this comfort! Thank you for sharing another great drink recipe. Many blessings tomorrow and in the days to come!

  4. Cristina

    It sounds like you’re having some well-deserved R&R. I have a brand new bottle of rum (for rum cake, of course) and I’m looking fwd to trying your Hot Buttered Rum drink this weekend…maybe I’ll whip one up tomorrow night!

    I make it a point to watch Christmas Carol every holiday season…Patrick Stewart’s version is by far my favorite too. The newer Jim Carrey one is interesting and well done, but still – PS is my fav.

    Happy New Year’s to you! ;)

    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      Every year I get a kick out of the first “bah humbug”!

      Looks like the snow is coming down today–it’s a good thing you’ve got that rum on hand! Happy New Year to you too!


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