There is a soft spot in my heart for hot toddies, the classic winter beverage that blends sweet, smooth and soothing in a single warm gulp. When winter freezes your breath and numbs your toes, it is only right to defrost by a fire, then get warm on the inside too. On New Year’s Eve the spirit is strong.
It began in college, when my whole family took up skiing. I preferred toe shoes to mountain tops and opted for a Christmas gift of a dance supplies instead of skis. And anyway, my ballet teacher would faint to think of his dancers schussing (falling, breaking bones) down the slopes.
We had a vacation cabin across from a local ski hill (picture north woods A-frame not grand mountain lodge) and I would watch my father, in his trademark orange cap, gliding down the hill. When the runs stopped that was my cue—over to the lodge for drinks.
I’d sit at the bar, where the fire was warm and conversation jovial. And here I learned the delights of spiked hot cocoas and hot buttered rums.
My cousin provided the following recipe one year at the family Christmas party. I did the math and cut it down (it still makes about a quart) to avoid having leftovers when spring brings a different magic to the world.
Hot Buttered Rum
- 1 c brown sugar
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 2 sticks butter, softened or melted
- 1 pint premium vanilla ice cream, softened
- Rum (ideally spiced rum)
- Boiling Water
- Nutmeg (optional)
To make batter:
1. Mix sugar, cinnamon and cloves until well combined.
2. Cream butter with sugar mixture until smooth
3. Mix in softened ice cream. Batter will be a bit lumpy. Store in freezer.
To make a drink: Add a shot of rum along with a heaping tablespoon of batter to a mug. Top with boiling water. Stir until combined and top with nutmeg (optional).