Hot Buttered Apple Cider

hot buttered cider with whipped cream

Hot Buttered Apple Cider is hot buttered rum meets fresh apple cider (you can make it boozy or not.) It’s perfect for winter celebrations, or just curling up, solo, by the fire. 

hot buttered cider in front of the fire

Hot buttered cider is a delicious riff on hot buttered rum

We’re celebrating the shorter days by the fire with mugs of hot buttered cider. We’ll probably also have a batch warming in the slow cooker on Thanksgiving so everybody can help themselves. The drink is aromatic and absolutely delicious on a chilly evening. Don’t be jealous, you can have some too, it’s so easy to make.

Hot buttered rum originated with the American colonists

A cocktail that’s lasted that long just has to be good 🙂

  • Rum was the spirit of choice for the colonies because it was made in the nearby Caribbean, with fermented molasses which is a by product of early sugar cane farms.
  • Hot buttered rum is a cocktail made with rum (you can substitute whiskey) butter, a sweetener, and spices, which makes it perfect for the holidays.

holding a hot buttered cider with gloved hands

What’s the difference between a toddy, a nog, and a hot buttered drink?

All these historic cocktails date back to colonial times or earlier.

a toddy: a drink made from alcohol, water, sugar (or honey,) and spices

a nog: (short for eggnog) is made with milk or cream, sugar, raw eggs, one or more alcoholic spirits, and spices. It is mostly served chilled, but can be warmed.

a hot buttered drink: the addition of butter makes this sweetened and spiced hot drink unique.

Hot buttered cider paste in a glass jar

What you’ll need to make hot buttered cider

  • apple cider ~cider is basically raw unfiltered apple juice. It has a cloudier appearance and a more robust flavor than apple juice.
  • butter
  • brown sugar
  • spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
  • rum (leave out for a non-alcoholic drink) Use a golden or dark rum. You can also use spiced rum if you like.
  • whipped cream, also optional

cider in a measuring cup

How to make hot buttered cider

  • Blend the butter, sugar, and spices in a bowl until well combined into a paste or ‘batter’, as it’s called.
  • Heat up the apple cider in a saucepan, just until it comes to a simmer, and stir in the butter/spice mixture until completely dissolved.
  • Pour into mugs, and add an ounce of rum or whiskey to each glass.
  • Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg.

making hot buttered apple cider

Keep your hot buttered cider warm in a crock pot

I love to pour the whole lot into a slow cooker on the keep warm setting. Guests can serve themselves, and spike it or not, as they choose. One benefit of this method is that the house will smell wonderful.

ladling hot buttered cider into a mug

Some thoughts on variations

  • You might use maple sugar, or maple syrup instead of the brown sugar. You can also add a bit of molasses.
  • Whiskey works well in place of rum.
  • You might try it with hard cider, and in that case leave out the rum (or not!)
  • For a vegan version, substitute coconut oil for the butter.

To make a non alcoholic hot buttered cider

Just leave out the rum, everything else stays the same.

To make a single serving of hot buttered cider

Heat a cup of cider on the stove or in the microwave, and stir in a heaping tablespoon of your spiced batter. Add an ounce of rum (or more to taste.) The batter will keep for a week or more in the refrigerator if you want to use it this way. You can even roll it into a log and wrap in plastic; then you can slice off what you need.

hot buttered apple cider in glass mugs with whipped cream and nutmeg

cozy fall and winter drinks

hot buttered cider with whipped cream
5 from 5 votes

Hot Buttered Apple Cider

Hot Buttered Apple Cider is hot buttered rum meets fresh apple cider (make it boozy or not.) It's perfect for winter celebrations, or just curling up, solo, by the fire. 
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • pinch salt
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 4 ounces rum (optional)
  • whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg for serving (optional)


  • To make the butter mixture, combine the room temperature butter with the brown sugar, spices, and salt in a bowl.
    making hot buttered cider
  • Mash the ingredients together with a fork or spoon until they become a smooth paste.
    hot buttered cider paste in a jar
  • Heat the cider in a saucepan and, when hot, add the butter mixture and whisk or stir until the butter mixture is melted.
    making hot buttered cider
  • Pour into heat proof glasses or mugs and add an ounce of whiskey or rum to each serving (optional) and top with whipped cream and a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.
    hot buttered cider with whipped cream

Cook's notes

To make ahead:

  • Make the butter/spice mixture (you can double or triple the recipe) 
  • Roll it into a log, just like cookie dough, and wrap tightly in plastic. 
  • When ready to use, just slice off the amount you need: allow approximately 1 tablespoon per serving.
  • The log will keep for a week in the refrigerator.


You can buy my double walled glass bistro mugs here.

The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Natalie Egherman
    January 10, 2022 at 10:13 am

    5 stars
    Made this for my family on New Years Eve, loved it! Used a quarter cup brown sugar instead, added a half cup of heavy cream, and used plain old apple juice (it was all we had on hand). Decided to try it without booze first and it was so yummy we ate it all before we could even try it with rum! Extremely underrated recipe, I’ve been recommending it to all my coworkers since 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathleen Mann
    November 17, 2020 at 7:08 am

    5 stars
    looks delish, and I cant wait to try! Is there any way possible you could make a recipe for my very favorite, Frozen White Russian with vanilla ice cream?! My neighbor use to make them, and they were to die for. She cant remember the recipe now, scoops of ice crm, ratio. I would be eternally grateful. Also, maybe more up your ally, there use to be in the ’80’sa delish Hot Butter Rum recipe where you mixed box of ice crm, butter, brn sugar maybe and then added the mixture to hot water. I cant remember that recipe either. Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      November 17, 2020 at 7:43 am

      That sounds soooo good. I’m getting ready to remake and re-post another favorite frozen cocktail, my Frozen Turkey, which has a butter pecan ice cream base. If I have time this year I’ll check into the Frozen White Russian, because that is definitely up my alley 😉

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