A cocktail made with boiling water, sugar and spices is traditionally referred to as a “toddy,” and made with whiskey or sherry. Warm alcoholic beverages, like toddies, have their origins in Europe where wines and ciders were mulled with spices to take the chill off cold winter days.
History of Hot Buttered Rum
After molasses began being imported to Colonial America from Jamaica, and distilleries opened in New England in the 1650’s, colonists began adding distilled rum to hot beverages such as toddies and nogs, creating beverages such as hot buttered rum and eggnog, among others. In the contemporary United States, the term “hot toddy” and “hot buttered rum” can be used interchangeably, although variations of each will occur regionally.
Spiced rum drinks are especially popular during the winter months. Charles Coulombe, author of Rum: The Epic Story of the Drink that Conquered the World, writes that rum has always been an “important component of American holiday celebrations”, and given the Puritanical ban on outright celebration of religious holidays, hot toddies and spiced rum drinks share an association with American civic holidays, such with New Years and Thanksgiving.
Read more at Suite101: Hot Buttered Rum Recipes and History: Hot Toddy, Colonial Buttered Rum Drinks and Spiced Winter Cocktails http://cocktails.suite101.com/article.cfm/hot_buttered_rum_recipe_and_history#ixzz0ecvuu4P6