As the year winds down and snow piles up at my door, my drink choices tend toward hot, spiced, and spiked. The hot buttered rum recipe I share in my Flathead Beacon column this week fits all of those criteria. The recipe comes together in two stages: the batter that takes just minutes to make and the hot, rum-spiked cocktail. One batch of homemade batter will last months in the fridge and can fill many mugs on cold winter evenings. To mix the cocktail after a long day playing or working in the snow, simply to boil some water, stir in the butter batter, and splash in some rum. Ready, set, done.
Learn to make Hot Buttered Rum
Every year, when nights start to crackle with cold and I’m cozying up to the woodstove, my alcohol tastes shift. Instead of a gin and tonic, I order an old-fashioned. We buy more bottles of whiskey and fewer bottles of tequila. And I even find space for the occasional rich milk-and-egg drinks like eggnog and its warm cousin, tom and jerry.
I’ve made many variations on eggnog over the years before settling on a quick recipe that makes a pair of drinks at a time, perfect for an evening in. You’ll note it uses raw egg. I always recommend fresh eggs from a well-kept flock, but I became even more confident in the recipe when I learned that a scientist at Rockefeller University found bacteria can’t stand up to a mixture of raw eggs and 20 percent alcohol.
Learn to make Homemade Eggnog and Homemade Tom & Jerry
With the holiday season on your doorstep, you’re likely planning meals and buying and making gifts. If you’re like me, you’re preparing to give the gift of food. It may not sound as sexy as an Apple AirPod or gravity blanket, but when you’ve taken the time to make it, package it, and set it aside with a specific person in mind, it carries far more love.
Still, giving and receiving food has its challenges. I’m not talking about the effort you put into preparing it, which you’ve likely already planned into your schedule and budget. I’m talking about ensuring your hard work will truly be appreciated by the receiver—and about how you, when you’re the receiver, can value what’s been created for you. With a little thought, you can make your food gifts the highlight of someone’s holiday season—and of yours.
Read more about gifting food
It may sound odd to have childhood memories of hot cocktails, but the scents of warm spiced rum and wine mingle with those of a freshly cut tree in my mind. My dad in particular is a fan of hot buttered rum, and for years my mom’s homemade mix was a holiday staple. Mulled wine was another family tradition, but I associate it with New Year’s Day, when my sister and I would go with my mom to a puzzle party. Several tables of complicated jigsaw puzzles would fill the living room, but the boxes showing the finished picture were always hidden away. We would spend hours linking together pieces, often the only kids amid a roomful of adults. The scent of warm spices hit you the moment the hostess opened the front door.
Now that I’m old enough to enjoy not just the smell but also the taste of winter warmers, I’ve adapted the family recipes to suit my tastes: less sugar and more spice. Don’t hesitate to adapt these recipes yet again until you decide they’re filled with everything nice. Learn to make Hot Buttered Rum and Gløgg