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Peter Vestinos Shares His Recipe for Hot Buttered Rum

The Sparrow’s bar manager shows us how to make the perfect beverage to keep warm this winter.

Photos: Jeff Marini

Here’s a recipe for a hot spiced drink from Sparrow’s Peter Vestinos that’ll keep the good cheer flowing all season long. The trick? A dough-like base — made with butter, brown sugar, and baking spices — that you can prep ahead of time and keep in the fridge for the many holiday cocktail gatherings to come. “It’s a bit of work initially,” says Vestinos, “but not much more than making cookies.”

Peter Vestino’s Hot Buttered Rum

Makes enough for 16 cocktails

For the butter base

1 Stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup Lightly packed light brown sugar, broken up to remove clumps
2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1½ tsp. Ground nutmeg
1½ tsp. Ground allspice
¾ tsp. Ground ginger
1½ tsp. Vanilla extract
¾ tsp. Molasses
Pinch Salt

For the drink

1 heaping Tbsp. Butter base, brought to room temperature
1½ oz. Aged dark rum, like Appleton Estate Reserve
5 oz. Hot water
1 piece Star anise


Butter base

Mix all the butter base ingredients in a standing mixer until well creamed.

Pack the butter base into a container, cover tightly, and refrigerate. (It will keep for up to three months.)


Combining the butter base with rum

Combine butter base, rum, and hot water in a heatproof mug.

Stir until butter base is fully dissolved.

Garnish with star anise.


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