There was one holiday season of my childhood where my dad took me–just me!–to a performance put on by the Anderson Symphony. I remember three things of that night: 1) I finally got to wear one of my good party dresses, 2) it was too late for my little self and I fell asleep not long after the performance began, 3) my dad let me sip the hot buttered rum he got at intermission.
I was no stranger to the taste of rum even at that precocious time, since my parents were very fond of their holiday rum cake, but that drink was memorable for how awful it was. It was watered down rum with an oily slick of butter on the surface. Blech! No wonder Dad pawned it off on me!
Fast forward some 20 years, and I’m spending the 2012 Yule with my friend V. and her family. The Yule day was a flurry of frenzied cooking for an enormous pig roast that was to be that evening, and V. started it off by whipping up a batch of her late father’s hot buttered rum batter. This stuff is transcendental. The batter tastes very much like chocolate chip cookie dough batter, but without the flour. You take a serving tablespoon and drop a dollop or two of the frozen batter into a mug, throw in a shot or two of dark or golden rum, stir it into a slurry, and fill the glass up with hot water. Stir to combine and drink the ambrosia. Now this is what hot buttered rum should taste like!
I think I’ve found a new Yuletide tradition, but V. won’t share her father’s exact recipe for any bribe I can imagine. However, I did see most of the ingredients that went into the mix, and I’m fairly certain that this recipe will come close. I don’t think there’s any cinnamon in V.’s though.
Hot Buttered Rum Batter
- 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened till very liquidy
- 1 pound butter, softened
- 1 pound dark brown sugar
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (or one whole nutmeg, grated)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Place the softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on a medium speed until it is light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sugars by cupful until they are completely incorporated. Add the spices and beat until they are incorporated, too. Add the ice cream and incorporate, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides as needed. The finished batter will be smooth and silky.
Transfer the batter to a freezer-safe container and freeze. To make a serving of hot buttered rum, put a soup spoon’s worth of batter into a mug with a shot of golden or dark rum. Stir to combine, top the mug with hot water, and stir again. Top with whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg if desired.
The batter will last at least a month in the freezer, though it will likely store for up to 3 months if you still have any left after a big party.