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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.

Festive 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. If ever an ingredient deserved a holiday theme song, butter might be it!

Or bourbon might be it.

We can debate over our second round of this warm bourbon cocktail!

This hot buttered bourbon is warm, cinnamony, buttery romance. It sips like a special occasion.

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.

5 Star Review

“OMG. This is superb! The air smelled so nice! Thanks for the recipe!”

— Marlene —

How to Make 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.

The Ingredients

  • Apple Cider. A classic ingredient for a fall cocktail. I love how apple cider tastes with the spices, butter, and bourbon. (If you do too, you’ll also love this Apple Cider Cocktail.)
  • Butter. This cocktail isn’t greasy or heavy; rather, the butter makes it smooth, creamy, and utterly delightful.
  • Honey. For a touch of warmth and sweetness.
  • Spices. Cloves, cinnamon, and ginger come together to make this drink taste truly cozy.
  • Bourbon. Hot bourbon drinks are a true treat! Bourbon is a treat in my Gold Rush Cocktail as well.

Choosing a Bourbon

Choose any smooth bourbon that you enjoy drinking. I recommend something mid-range in price (I mean, we are drinking it, so we want it to taste yummy) but not so expensive that it’s meant to be sipped and appreciated on its own.

Good bourbons for cocktails include Bulleit, Maker’s Mark, and Buffalo Trace. I also love Four Roses and Basil Hayden’s. Basil Hayden’s is the lightest, so if you are new to bourbon, it’s a good entry point.

If you’d prefer a hot buttered whiskey, try using a rye whiskey instead (Bulleit Rye, High West, and Redemption Rye are all excellent optoins).

  • Cinnamon Sticks. A fun and flavorful garnish.

The Directions

  1. Simmer the cider. Mix the butter, honey, and spices together. Whisk the butter mixture into the cider.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the bourbon. Serve with cinnamon sticks and ENJOY! This might be the easiest fall cocktail ever!

Recipe Tip

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.

Two glasses of festive cocktails and cinnamon

Storage Tips

While this drink is best enjoyed the day it is made, you can enjoy the leftovers the next day.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm hot buttered bourbon in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat until hot. Stir frequently.
A glass of hot buttered bourbon
  • Saucepan. An essential tool for every kitchen.
  • Ladle. Perfect for serving your hot buttered bourbon cocktails.
  • Measuring Spoons. Double-sided spoons = fewer dishes to wash.

Cheers! I hope this warm bourbon apple cider cocktail warms your spirits (and your belly too!).

More Festive Cocktails

Hot Buttered Bourbon

5 from 7 votes
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 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 10 minutes

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.


Serving: 1(of 2)Calories: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 30mgPotassium: 119mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 350IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg

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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!

Learn more about Erin

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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!

      1. I made this with jim beam the first time, bulliet the second. There is definitely a difference, quality of liquor matters even in this. Cocktail went for a 5/10 to a 10/105 stars

  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!

  5. Very tasty and easy to make. I had never made a cocktail with butter before and was a little skeptical but turned out really good! Perfect drink for a cold windy night in the Northeast.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe! Marc5 stars

  6. Worst recipe ever. This site does not tell how to make the hot buttered bourbon. Lists the ingredients but, as best as I can tell, has a whole lot of useless babble but never lists directions or measurements of spices to use.

    1. Uhm, Hi John. I’m so confused, because I see it on my end. The ingredients and directions are located in the recipe card, right above the area where you commented. You can also use the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the screen to take you there. Could you please check again?

  7. Girlfriend and I thought we had apple cider, we did not. Substituted with some strongish ginger beer ( Bundaberg, I think ) and it was very, very good.5 stars

  8. Easy & delicious! The first time I didn’t have ginger but it was still very good. It is my new winter favorite!5 stars

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