May 5th, 2009

September 19, 2007

I always know it’s fall when theĀ  summer breeze starts for the first time to feel like the tiniest of chills and I excavate a scarf from under the pile of coats that’s been threatening to topple my coat rack for the last six months.

Either then or the first time of the season my AWFUL next-door neighbor gives me that ghastly leer of his and says, “Cold, Annabelle?” I know that son of a you-know-what-kind-of-bitch isn’t asking because he thinks he should offer me a sweater.

So, scarf or nasty neighbor’s nipple-observations, whichever comes first–that’s what really tells me autumn’s in the air. And you know what that means for an insomniac? If you guessed cold-induced shaking fits no number of blankets will put a stop to, you guessed right. The point, however, is: at Magothy Treats, fall is for hot toddies!

In celebration of this, my favorite time of the year, here are my most stalwart recipes for drinks to take the chill off the first bite of the season. And many of them involve boiling water, which, in conjunction with a capably-wielded teakettle, can be a formidable way of discouraging the nasty man next door from commenting on the physical manifestations of cold weather on your person.

Buttered Toddies have the same charm for me as truffles; you can accomplish almost endless variations by changing one or more of the primary ingredients: in this case the liquor, the spices, and the butter. Or, more precisely, what goes into the butter.

The basic technique here, if you can call it that, will be the same for the variations that follow. With a flavored butter, you change the drink. I make up half-sticks of each kind of butter and use about one tablespoon for each drink.

Equipment you’ll need for all these variations:

A teakettle

Heat-proof glasses or mugs for serving (although glasses are prettier for presenting)

A small wooden spoon (or use metal, just be careful not to break the glass)

Honey-Buttered Rum

Delicious, delicious. Honey and rum were meant to go together.


1 tbsp brown sugar

3 oz dark rum

3 white cardamom pods

boiling water

1 tbsp honey butter (see below)

To make honey butter:

*Soften 4 tbsp (half a stick) of butter to room temperature

*Blend with one tablespoon honey.

Cool to solid in refrigerator (I form it into a rough rectangle and wrap it in wax paper, gift-wrap style)

To make buttered rum:

*Boil water, then pour some in to warm the glass. Pour it out again.

*Put brown sugar and cardamom pods into glass. Add water, stir to dissolve sugar. Add rum. Fill rest of glass with boiling water. Stir. Top with a tbsp of honey butter.

Orange-Clove Buttered Rum

This is a good one for the holidays. Oranges and clove always make me think of Christmas.

Follow the recipe above, substituting Orange-Clove butter and a slice of orange peel studded with three whole cloves for the garnish. Also for this recipe I use gold rum rather than dark rum. It’s a personal preference, and you can really use either one.

To make Orange-Clove butter:

*Soften half a stick of butter to room temperature.

*Stir in the zest from half an orange and one large pinch of ground cloves. Cool to solid in refrigerator.

Rumrunner’s Breakfast

Not a buttered toddy, but another hot rum drink that I couldn’t I couldn’t survive the fall and winter without. Because when you add coffee, rum really doesn’t seem so inappropriate earlier in the day. Especially if you sleep late, like I did today.


Fresh-ground coffee

White cardamom pods

Milk or cream to taste

Dark, gold or spiced rum

Vanilla extract (I prefer double-strength)

*Brew a pot of coffee as you like it, and add one cardamom pod for every two cups you brew–so if your pot is a twelve-cup coffeepot and you fill it up, you should add six cardamom pods. By the way, if you don’t have fresh ground, you won’t spoil anything by using a decent pre-ground coffee.

*Pour coffee, add milk to taste, and add 1/2 oz rum and 1/4 tsp vanilla to each cup.

Variations and Notes on Flavoring Coffee

Adding flavors to the brew basket is a nice, subtle way of flavoring coffee; you’ll get just the hint of whatever you add. So, obviously, you can use this technique to flavor coffee even if (perish the thought) you’re not planning on adding rum.

The variations on this recipe are just about as endless as the things you can throw into the basket to flavor coffee as it brews. Orange zest is fantastic, and if I’d had any this morning, I’d probably have thrown it in there right along with the cardamom. In fact, one of my favorite gifts to give is a pound of coffee beans flavored this way–you just throw the flavoring in with the beans (do this in advance, though, so the spices can sit in with the beans for a while before the coffee is to be used), make sure it’s all nicely mixed up, and voila! Just throw the flavorings right in along with the beans when it’s time to grind.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 11:23 pm and is filed under Recipes, Toddies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Autumn Sweaters and Buttered Rums”

SweaterChick Says:

Oh that sounds sooooo GOOD! Sweaters and Hot Toddies, what an awesome combination.

admin Says:

And big fuzzy socks!! We are having our first really good cold week of the fall in Bayside, and I think it’s time to hunt down a bottle of port and some nutmeg and go crazy. Starting…possibly…yes, I think starting right now. I know I have a bottle around here somewhere.

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