Hot Buttered Apple Cider with Rum

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This hot buttered cider with rum is festive and ideal for a crowd.

Cinnamon stick in a glass of hot buttered apple cider with rum.

Originally, I was planning to share a basic spiked cider recipe with you but when I made it for my husband to taste, he said it reminded him of his college days when he and his fraternity brothers would spike apple cider with grain alcohol for drunken Halloween parties. Not exactly what I was going for! I found a way to take it up a notch by combining ordinary spiked cider with hot buttered rum, a classic holiday cocktail. It’s ideal for a crowd because it sits on the stove in a big pot for everyone to help themselves. Enjoy!

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Hot Buttered Cider with Rum

This hot buttered cider with rum is festive and ideal for a crowd.

Servings: 8


  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Half-gallon (64 ounces) all natural apple cider
  • 12 oz. Rum (or apple brandy)
  • Cinnamon sticks (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Mash with a spoon until evenly combined.
  2. Bring the apple cider to a simmer over medium heat in a large pot, then turn the heat down to low. Gradually add the butter mixture, whisking until the butter is melted.
  3. Ladle the buttered cider into mugs. Top each drink off with a shot of rum and garnish with a cinnamon stick, if desired. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 drink
  • Calories: 324
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Sugar: 26 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Sodium: 49 mg
  • Cholesterol: 31 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Highly recommend using an immersion blender for a minute or two prior to serving into mugs. This almost guarantees that the butter emulsifies into the juice and prevents a greasy butter slick from forming at the top of your drinks.

    • — Charles on December 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • I am looking for a hot cider without the alcohol. Would you have to adjust the ingredients if you opt to not add alcohol?

    • — Tammy on October 31, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Tammy, I’ve never tried this without rum, but I think it would work. I’d reduce the sugar to 2 tablespoons. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on October 31, 2022
      • Reply
  • Made this for guests at our Christmas party and it was delicious! Everyone loved it, kids (sans rum) and adults alike. Thank you for this easy and fantastic drink.

  • Delicious topped with a squirt of whipped cream!

    • — Melanie Berger
    • Reply
  • This was delicious! Made it with some local apple brandy and was happy that I couldn’t even really taste the alcohol. It was fall in a mug!
    I did have an issue with my spices clumping a bit in the mixture. I just poured it through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of the clumps.
    Any guesses as to what happened with my spices?

    • Hi Lauren, Glady you enjoyed this but I’m sorry you had a problem with the spices clumping! I haven’t made this in a while so I’m going to retest it to see if I can replicate the problem. Stay tuned!

  • Autumn in a mug, wonderful 🍁🎃🍂

  • This recipe looks amazing. Would like to serve this to the kids as well. Would it taste just as fine without the alcohol?

    • I’ve never tried this without rum, but I think that would work. I’d reduce the sugar to 2 tablespoons. Please LMK how it turns out!

  • This is one of the best mulled cider recipes I’ve tried. I used apple brandy (after some research it appeared that apple brandy was the better choice over rum or other alcohol types). I used a very good quality brand of apple brandy and I believe that this made a difference in the quality of the mulled cider, as well. Everyone enjoyed this warm drink – and it keeps the house smelling so “fall” like while it sits and keeps warm on the stove. The only change I made was that I added three cinnamon sticks and many orange slices to the mulled beverage while it stayed warm on the stove.

  • We hated it. We have had many apple cider rum recipes and wanted to try this one. The stuff did settle to the top and the ground spices separated to the top of the drink even if you stirred it before pouring. Had to skim the top off multiple times to salvage it.

  • Can I use apple juice instead?

    • Sharon, for best results, I’d stick with cider here.

  • Salted or unsalted butter?

    • Hi Chris – definitely unsalted. Enjoy!

  • Hi ,I love your recipes. Could you tell me what kind of dark rum you use. I don’t know what is a good brand. I don’t have any idea of what to buy. Also, thank you for the recipe for the red lentil soup with the smoked paprika and chickpeas.I love it so much, that I always double the recipe !

    • Thanks, Katie! I use Myers’s Jamaican Dark Rum – it should be easy to find.

  • I used Captain Morgan’s spiced rum and made one batch without butter. Both great ??.

  • Jenn—

    First of all I love your site. I use it all the time. Kelly is my neighbor and we are always talking about what to make for dinner and she turned me on to Once Upon a Chef.

    I am having a client party/open house tomorrow and I was going to make this drink. I really only drink wine so when it comes to liquor I am clueless. Do I need to get clear rum or dark rum? This may be the dumbest question ever. Any help would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!

    • Hi Stacie! I just saw Kelly yesterday 🙂 Not a silly question at all! You can use either but dark rum is best.

      • Thanks so much! I made this for the party– it was a huge HIT!!! Thank you!

  • Any suggestions for a cold version? I was going to serve this on Halloween but now realize it will be a warm night here in N. Carolina.

    • Hi Mindy, If you want to serve it cold, I would omit the butter. Happy Halloween!

  • If this recipe is processed/sealed in mason jars, how long could it safely before stored? And do the mason jars need to be refrigerated?

    • — Patricia Hendewich
    • Reply
    • Hi Patricia, I know very little about canning and not sure that storing the cider this way would be advisable. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  • This recipe looks great! I have one question: since you add sugar, do you try to buy unsweetened apple cider?

    Thank you!

    • I think you could buy either regular or unsweetened cider and have a tasty finished product. Hope you enjoy!

  • Will the butter separate and look greasy in this mixture?

    • No Ruth, the butter should not separate from the mixture, but if you see any signs of that, just stir it before serving. Enjoy!

      • I’m leaving it in the crockpot for company to serve them selves so I should be stirring it throughout my party? How much rum can I add to this ahead if time instead if adding it to their drinks after poured?

        • I don’t think you’ll need to “babysit” it during the party. When people ladle the cider into their cups, that will likely help to mix in any butter that potentially settles on top. And if you’re using the 64 ounces of cider that the recipe calls for, you can add 12 ounces of rum to the mix. Hope your guests enjoy!

  • Doubled this recipe for a pre-trick-or-treating Halloween Block Party. I brought out an extension cord and served it, un-spiked, in a hot-drink dispenser, with the rum safely tucked under the table, for those who wanted it. After the party ended, friends kept popping in for refills, so kids weren’t my only trick-or-treaters this year! Such a great warmer-upper… Thanks Jenn!

    • Love that story, Connie 🙂

  • The perfect Fall beverage on a cold, chilly night. I’ve tried swapping the rum for Calvados (apple brandy) and it was just as delicious.

  • Delicious!!! Having my family over after trick-or-treating and this is going to warm everyone up. The butter makes this especially wonderful. Another fantastic recipe from Jenn. You will be famous!

    • — Jennifer Rickwood
    • Reply
  • once you get it warm-you could probably put it in a crockpot? has anyone done that?

    • Yes that’s the only way I make it!

  • Has anyone ever used a crock pot for this recipe?

  • This recipe inspired me a few weeks ago… pretty much, all I had was apple cider, a stick of butter, some rum and cinnamon sticks… I was still able to make a really good spiked apple cider with just those four ingredients. The butter made the drink really smooth, and just the addition of the cinnamon sticks added a flair of autumn. I highly recommend making this recipe, because I expect all the other spices would add a lot of depth to the flavors. But if all you have are just a few ingredients, it’s still yummy!

  • I made this for a party tonight and everyone loved it! It has been requested for Thanksgiving & Christmas dinner.

  • i made thiss for my halloween party last night! it was all gone in ten seconds! everyone loved it 🙂

  • Mmmmmm! Can’t wait for it to get cold here to try this fantastic sounding drink!

    • — Mandy Burkhart
    • Reply
  • Great summer recipe! I’ll serve this at a family BBQ.

    • I mean, the cold version. LOL

  • Sounds yummy, can’t wait to make this for Christmas Eve…might even need to do a trial run this weekend.

  • This is what I was looking for! Thanks for this post. “Top with rum or apple brandy if desired”…please, must you even suppose??!!! It’s on!

  • I just found this recipe through a google search and I’m hooked! It is so yummy. i chose the grown-up version to help deal with this unusually snowy weekend before Halloween. It makes the miserable weather a little more enjoyable. I think I am also hooked on the rest of your blog and can’t wait to try some of the other recipes you have posted!

  • im having a get together this friday.. ill let you know howit goes over. it sounds great though!

  • wow i love t hat SO much… can i cut and paste it into my blog?? but give u credit, of course???

  • Every Wednesday for Wordless {Wordful} Wednesday, I write a post called “Adult Beverage of the Week”. I love this drink and am going to link to it for tomorrow’s version!!

  • mmm yummy. thanks for the tip!

  • I made this last night for about 14 ladies (doubled the recipe). Offered the rum if they wanted it. Simple and fantastic recipe. Also makes the kitchen smell wonderful!! Thanks and looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  • I made this w/o the booze and my kids loved it. It’s almost like dessert. Can’t wait to try the grown-up version!

  • Jenn!

    I’m just stumbling on this recipe now. I am absolutely having my girlfriends over this weekend so we can chill out and celebrate the chilly weather with this decadent cocktail.

    We’ll drink to you and your college days!

    • — Danielle Foster
    • Reply
  • This sounds fantastic! I’ll surely make this more than once this fall.

  • It sounds wonderful! I will try it tonight for our Girls Night out and again for Halloween!

  • Woah! Yes please.

    • — parsnips aplenty
    • Reply

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