The Best Hot Rum Toddy Recipe Ever

If you like rum and only try one new recipe for the holidays, make it this one.  This little beauty will make you tolerant of discarded wrapping paper, glasses off their coasters and uncovered goodies littering the shelves of the refrigerator.  Let me put it this way: A rum toddy or two can be positively medicinal during the holidays -- in the nicest possible way.

I've made this concoction many times, adding my own refinements to a basic recipe I discovered online.  It's my favorite. If you try it, I'm pretty sure it'll be your favorite, too.  When you consider your aching feet and the incipient headache that always comes with a surfeit of family fun, is it too much to ask for one beverage that puts a twinkle back in your eye?  Absolutely not!

So here's to a good night's sleep and the lingering aroma of butter and spices on the air.

Hot Rum Toddy Recipe


  • 1/2 lb. brown sugar (I like light because that's what I usually have lying around.)
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom (This one's important - but it's so worth it)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch allspice
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 stick of butter (salted is best)
  • Rum (Dark rum adds flavor, but I usually serve light.  Hey, why not try both?)
The idea here is to make a butter batter you can use later.

Combine brown sugar and spices. Stir to incorporate.

Add butter and honey. Blend well.  I usually do this with my hands.  

Place the mixture in the fridge (in a resealable container because you'll be dipping into it often). It'll have the consistency of clay or a stiff dough.

The honey and sugar are both preservatives, so the batter will last until Valentine's Day. And isn't that a nice bonus.

To Serve:

Put two rounded tablespoons of batter in a 12 + oz. mug.

Add 6 ounces of boiling water (It really has to be boiling.)

Add 1 1/2 to 2-1/2 jiggers of rum (depending on how strong you like your beverages)

Stir thoroughly (until the sugar dissolves).

Serve with a cinnamon stick for quick DIY stirrer. A dollop of whipped cream is a nice touch, too.

This recipe will make about 8 servings

Special note: Last year I was fooling around and added hot apple cider instead of water.  It was delicious.


  1. Anonymous7:29:00 AM

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  2. Anonymous7:34:00 AM

    I am looking for a way to plant the creeping Rosemary, and my yard is all flat. Scented plant gardener here, in the sticks of South Texas.

  3. I'm so sorry about the problems you're experiencing with the blog layout. In some browsers it's fine and in others the lines are skewed. I'm currently working on changing the look of my blog and finding a solution. Please stick with me.


  4. Sara, I love reading your blog and have enjoyed so many of your tips and recipes. Thank you for all your hard work. I hope you have a very happy Christmas. Blessed be.

  5. And a happy Christmas to you too, Kelly.

    Blessed be.

  6. I came upon your blog by searching about propagating an aloe plant. I'll let you know she fares ;-).

    I love your recipe above. It sounds out of this world. I happen to not be a fan of rum. I have a very limited taste for alcohol! Amaretto sour is my speed.

    Any substitute suggestions ;-) ?


  7. Hi Dennis,

    I'm glad you asked. I posted a recipe for vanilla vodka that tastes great in a toddy. You can purchase flavored (vanilla) vodka, too.

    I've also tried butterscotch schnapps -- which was interesting.

    Winter's getting fierce, so stay warm.


  8. Cannot stop making this stuff. I don't think my waistline will thank me, but my tastebuds sure do!

    1. It's delicious! I'll be making a batch in the next week or so for the holiday. Can't wait.

  9. Hi Sara -
    I have a question for you - I plan on making your Hot Toddy Recipe as Christmas Gifts - accompanied with a bottle of rum. A half pound of brown sugar? Seems like ...a lot, but I could be wrong.
    I love your blog - Thanks, Jan

    1. Hi Viola,

      I agree with you, it is a lot . . . but it's the holidays! The proportions are correct. I make batches as gifts, too, but omit the honey and let the recipient add the butter and mix (sugar and spice mixture only. I'll often quadruple the recipe (one pound of butter and two pounds of brown sugar) for family use from Thanksgiving through New Year's. Good luck and enjoy.



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