Concoct Historic Hot Buttered Rum

When Trader Vic’s closed in 1996 after almost 40 years in business downtown, at the Benson Hotel, many a regular mourned the loss of the Polynesian palace’s famous Hot Buttered Rum. But hark. Mark Joseph, the bar manager at El Gaucho steak house—in the same hallowed space once occupied by the tiki-inspired restaurant—has revived the classic cocktail in all its sticky, cinnamony splendor. The barman uses the original Trader Vic’s recipe (see below) to whip up a batch most winter evenings. He says, “It’s the kind of drink where people drop in off the street, throw one back, then disappear into the night.” 319 SW Broadway; elgaucho.com
-Nino Padova

Hot Buttered Rum Batter
(1 batch = 20 drinks)

  • 1 lb brown sugar
  • ¼ lb soft butter
  • ¼ to ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ to ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ to ½ tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt

Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt, and continue beating.

Trader Vic’s Hot Buttered Rum

  • 1 tsp Hot Buttered Rum batter
  • 1 ½ oz light Puerto Rican rum

Preheat mug with boiling water. Dump water, place batter in mug, add rum. Fill mug with hot water, stir well, and garnish with a stick of cinnamon. Drink quickly and finish shopping.