In New England, where winters are bitterly cold, hot buttered rum is more than a holiday treat – it’s a mug of cheer to warm bones and souls all brutal season long. Back in colonial days, the popular toddy (i.e. a cocktail made with hot water) started as a simple concoction of rum, sugar and water, warmed in its vessel with a red-hot poker. Then someone figured out that a dollop of butter smoothed the rum’s rough edges and added a touch of fatty richness. Nowadays, mixologists like Cotton & Copper owner Sean Traynor avoid the oil slick that would otherwise sit on the drink’s surface by creating a batter, made with softened ice cream, that offers up yet another layer of sweet seduction when mixed with the rum. Better still, the batter can be made ahead in large batches and stored in the freezer, so that whipping up this creamy, comforting and ultimately sexy cocktail is as quick and easy as boiling water.
To make the batter: Mix one quart of softened vanilla ice cream (Traynor uses local Danzeisen Dairy) with 1 lb. granulated sugar, 1 lb. brown sugar, 1 lb. butter, 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground clove and 1½ tsp. ground nutmeg.
To make the cocktail: In an 8½-ounce footed mug, mix 2 oz. Appleton 12-year rum with 2 tbsp. batter, fill with hot water and stir to incorporate. Garnish with grated nutmeg and let the warming begin.
Cotton & Copper
1006 E. Warner Rd., Tempe,