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Whiskey Cocktail Hour: Hot Buttered Rye

Tis’ the season for hot cocktails! I was at my favorite Portland bar recently, Rum Club, and they had a hot buttered rum they were serving. It was cold and wet outside, and nothing sounded better than a hot drink filled with rum and spices. I had actually never had one before, which I was quick to rectify. The velvety texture of the butter complimented the spice notes from the batter mixture and the rum warmed me up as soon as it hit my lips. I have clearly been missing out on this delicious seasonal bev and decided it was time to make a batch of batter for home.

When I think of holiday spices, I often think of rye, and I wondered if it would make a good compliment to add some butter batter to it for a fun whiskey variation on the classic. I am happy to report that it was a match made in heaven, and with the addition of a bit of cognac, it had quite a nice roundness of flavor and made me quite happy on a cold winter’s night. I hope you’ll give it a try this holiday season, and that it will be a recipe to keep you merry and bright for the remainder of the year. Cheers!

Hot Buttered Rye
Hot Buttered Rye (image via Emily Ross-Johnson/The Whiskey Wash)

Hot Buttered Rye

  • 1 1/2 oz Russell’s Reserve Rye
  • 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac 1840
  • 1 oz Butter Batter*
  • 4 oz Hot Water

Whisk all ingredients together in a mug with a milk frother and garnish with grated nutmeg or cinnamon.

*Butter Batter*

Soften 1 stick of unsalted butter. You want your butter to be soft but not too warm. Combine with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg,  1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, 1/8 tsp ground clove, 1/8 tsp vanilla extract. Cream the butter with the spices using an electric mixer or a spatula and some elbow grease. Wrap batter in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before using. Store in the fridge for up to a month.

Emily Ross-Johnson

Emily is a bit of a Jane of All Trades. She started her career as an opera singer in NYC, and over time gravitated to the Food & Beverage Industry. Over the span of her professional life she has performed at Carnegie Hall, founded her own Whiskey Society, represented numerous spirit brands and managed multiple successful bar programs. She loves creating and photographing beautiful drinks and sharing them with others.

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