Hot Buttered Bourbon

Someone should write a Christmas carol about butter. I’m not volunteering per se, but after a few Hot Buttered Bourbon cider cocktails, I may burst into song.

Hot Buttered Bourbon
I’m not sure how a holiday without butter would go down, but I don’t think I want to be a part of it. While I do make a point to eat healthy, butter is still a staple in my refrigerator. Whether I’m adding softness to my healthy Trail Mix Cookies, flakiness to the brown sugar crust in my Mini Quiches with Caramelized Pears and Gorgonzola, or toasting nuts for my mom’s Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Whiskey Pecans, butter is the MVP of my holiday spread. If ever an ingredient deserved a theme song, it would be butter.

Hot Buttered Bourbon

The inspiration for my Hot Buttered Bourbon cocktails came from a classic winter warmer, hot buttered rum. I updated the typical buttered rum recipe to include two of my favorite cold weather ingredients, bourbon and apple cider. I also kept the recipe easy to make—no need to prep and chill the spiced butter ahead of time.
Hot Buttered BourbonIf you have never tried a hot buttered cocktail, prepare for warm, cinnamon, buttery romance. The butter melts into the apple cider and spices, adding creaminess and depth to every sip, while the smooth bourbon keeps the drink from being overly sweet. Hot Buttered Bourbon is guaranteed to keep you toasty and happy on the inside, even if the weather is drizzly and chilly on the outside.

The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate with a big glass of Hot Buttered Bourbon, but they are also an important time to remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves. While I have a snug home and food on my table (buttery and otherwise), I know that many right here in our country are not so lucky. To help feed those in need this season, I’m teaming up with 12 fellow bloggers, the American Dairy Association Mideast, and Feeding America for the Big Holiday Potluck. Here’s the best part: you can help raise money for Feeding America with nothing but a click of your mouse!
Feeding America
For every “like,” comment, or share my recipe and other Big Holiday Potluck recipes receive on the ADA’s Facebook page between December 6th and December 13th, the ADA Mideast will donate $1 to Feeding America.

All you have to do is visit the ADA’s Facebook page, then “like,” comment on, or share any of the Big Holiday Potluck recipes, including this recipe for Hot Buttered Bourbon. With every click of your mouse, you will be providing nine meals to families in need. That’s right—Feeding America can donate NINE meals for every $1 they receive! By participating in the ADA’s Feeding America campaign, you can help provide a balanced meal to families in need this season. Dairy is an essential ingredient for a balanced diet, but it represents only 5.3 percent of the food available in food pantries. Organizations like the ADA and Feeding America are committed to helping families have access to a wider variety of nutritious foods, dairy included.

As you’re clicking up a storm over on the ADA’s page, don’t forget to check out the other Big Holiday Potluck recipes, all of which use dairy in some way. While I’m all about the butter today, it’s not the only important dairy ingredient my refrigerator. In addition to butter for my personal baking, those who read my blog regularly know I also love to use Greek yogurt to keep treats like these Cranberry Apricot Bars and Mini Lemon Cheesecakes healthier without sacrificing taste.


Whether you’re baking it into Caramel Stuffed Brownies, slathering it atop Apple Butter Biscuits, or whipping it into Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting, butter deserves recognition at the holidays. Let’s raise our glasses of Hot Buttered Bourbon in appreciation.

Hot Buttered Bourbon

If the spirit should move you to write butter a little holiday jingle, please do share it. I think this whole butter-themed carol has some serious chart-topping potential. Butter for the next Michael Bublé Christmas album perhaps?  I know I’d buy a copy.

Hot Buttered Bourbon

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time:
4 mins
Cook Time:
6 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
A twist on classic hot buttered rum, this bourbon cocktail will keep you warm all winter. Spiced butter and apple cider make this mixed drink comforting and delectable!


  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, — softened
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup bourbon — (4 ounces)
  • Cinnamon sticks — for garnish


  1. In a small sauce pan over low heat, bring cider to a gentle simmer. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, honey, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger with a spoon until combined. Add the butter mixture to the cider, whisking just until it melts.
  2. Remove pan from heat, whisk in the bourbon and serve immediately. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.

Recipe Notes

The drink may separate a little as it cools. It will still taste delicious, but if this bothers you, simply stir it back together with a spoon or cinnamon stick. I use Bulleit brand bourbon (my favorite!), but feel free to substitute your bourbon of choice. A rye whiskey would be wonderful as well.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Cocktail Recipe, Hot Buttered Bourbon

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

The American Dairy Association Mideast compensated me for my time to create this recipe post. All opinions are my own. As always, thanks for supporting the brands and companies who make it possible for me to continue to provide quality content to you!

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. Mmmmmm, reminds me of Harry Potter and Butterbeer. Bourbon is always my first choice when it comes to cocktails, so this sounds like it was made for me. And a great cause too!

  2. Oh my gosh!! This sounds so good! I think I might be going to the liquor store today to get me some bourbon!

  3. I have family who would really enjoy this! I think I would enjoy the song you’re writing (right?!:) even more!

  4. consuelohoneyandfigs Reply

    Butter is a staple in my kitchen as well! And a must for the Holidays! This drink sounds so comforting. Oh, I love it!
    Have a wonderful weekend :D

  5. I have definitely never tried a hot buttered bourbon drink..I generally stick to tropical fruity thangs. However, I am loving all the seasonal flavours in this bad boy…andddd it has booze. That is always a good thing.

  6. Haha, like Meg above, this reminded me of Harry Potter lore’s butterbeer as well! I imagine this must smell divine.

  7. Yeah, HI. GET IN MY FACE. I’ve been not super happy with my bourbon sippin’ cocktails lately. And now I know why: because it’s not had butter in it. I’m doin’ this tonight!

  8. Oh I will love to be all over this. And so very wintery and wizardy!! I will go ahead and dream all day long now. Thanks for making my morning. (PS: You may have very many harry potter fan readers!!)

  9. This winter I have been all about warm cocktails. It is cold outside, and beer and wine don’t seem to have the same appeal that they do in the summer. However, this looks amazing and delicious, and most importantly, WARM, and I really want to make this as soon as possible. Is it too early to start drinking, yet?

  10. Send some my way! Perfect for this FREEZING day we are having! Yum!

  11. I’ve never had a buttered drink! Can’t wait to try it. Kind of reminds me of Butterbeer from Harry Potter, ha! I’ll make this and pretend I’m in Diagon Alley : )

  12. This looks like a great winter drink!

  13. And here I thought I was happy with just hot buttered rum and then you DO THIS!!! How utterly fabulous!! Drink up!

  14. Oh WOW. That looks absolutely delicious and comforting!
    I saw this on a menu once and when I went to order they didn’t have it.. now I know what it is! Will try and give it a go, I’ll let you know how it turns out =)

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

  15. This drink looks fabulous! Perfect for a cold night, can’t wait to try it out!

  16. I agree Erin. A Christmas without butter would be quite sad. At least at my house! This drink looks just delicious!

  17. I drank my fair share of mulled wine and spiced cider over the holidays and loved it! This sounds wonderful!

  18. We just started appreciating bourbon. We’ll have to try this recipe!

  19. This sounds like a great drink to have over the holidays. The “hot buttered” sounds scrumptious :) I’m thinking about what holiday get together I want to have this at.

  20. Ok, seriously, i need someone to pay me to write about my love for butter. Also cheese. Basically all dairy products.

    Pass the butter, will ya?

  21. This looks incredible! And like the perfect way to keep away the winter chill :)

  22. Sooo I’ve never had a hot buttered drink … I kinda feel like I’ve been missing out! This looks and sounds delicious!

  23. Now this is the kind of cocktail that will make me sing Christmas carols after the third one because they are so good, I can’t stop!

  24. Haha, I would be all for a song dedicated to butter! I’ve never had a hot buttered bourbon before, but it sounds insanely cozy and decadent. Yum!

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  35. Marlene E Altman Reply

    Oh.My.God. This is superb! I let the WHOLE spices marinate in the cider sinmering for about an hour till my Christmas guests finally appeared… magic! The air smelled so nice and added humidity too! The cider was infused with spicy deliciousness. Then at serving time, I added the butter mixed with some powdered cinnamon to the cider in the stove pot. Put bourbon in each mug, adding the spiced cider w/butter last. To die for. Took the third, or was it fourth? round, when we couldn’t drink anymore for being too soused, (BTW recipe makes 1 healthy serving in a favorite mug) and put the remainder in a jar in the fridge to be nuked later, adding bourbon after heating. Works for me! Got a cold after Christmas and this makes the PERFECT Hot Toddy for whatever ails you! THX for the recipe!

    • Marlene, I am overjoyed to hear this! You are making me crave a cup (or three) myself now. I hope they keep you warm all winter long! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and letting me know how it turned out for you.

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  38. Are the cloves whole or ground?

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