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

Hot Buttered Bourbon

5 from 1 vote
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!

Prep: 4 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 10 mins

Servings: 2 servings


  • 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


  • 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.
  • Remove pan from heat, whisk in the bourbon and serve immediately. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.


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.

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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!

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!5 stars

    1. 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.

    1. Hi Jen! I haven’t tried the recipe this way, but from what I can find online, it should work fine. You could try adding all the ingredients except the bourbon, covering and cooking on LOW for about 4 hours, then switching the slow cooker to WARM and stirring in the bourbon. If you decide to experiment with this method, I’d love to hear how it goes!

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