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Hot Sage-Buttered Rum

Mike Wolf
Add this delicious hot sage-buttered rum to your winter cocktail arsenal!
5 from 1 vote
Course Cocktail, Alcohol
Cuisine American


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 to 10 sage leaves plus some sage “trees” for garnish
  • 5 dashes angostura or other aromatic bitters divided
  • 6 tablespoons Kerrygold salted butter or any good European-style butter, softened
  • 1 black tea bag or a homemade bouquet garni of dried herbs
  • 1 lemon at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey syrup 2 parts honey to 1 part water
  • 1 teaspoon St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram or other Allspice Liqueur
  • 1 to 2 ounces good Jamaican rum like Appleton Estate 12 year
  • Star anise pods for garnish


At least 4 hours ahead:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the water with four dashes of the bitters and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the sage leaves and cook for five to 10 minutes, until it’s nice and fragrant, being careful not to let all the liquid evaporate. Remove from the heat and let your sage “tea” cool down for 15 minutes. Strain out the cooked sage leaves through a tea strainer or cheesecloth and discard.
  • Combine the sage tea and butter in a mixing bowl and mix, by hand using a wooden spoon or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until incorporated. Set out a sheet of plastic wrap on your counter and use a spatula to carefully transfer the butter mix onto the wrap. After you’ve gotten every bit of that delicious, aromatic butter out of the mixing bowl, roll and shape it into the shape of a stick of butter. Place it in the refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight to firm back up a little, to make it easy to slice into your hot-buttered rum.

When ready to drink:

  • In a teapot, boil enough water for two drinks. While your water is boiling, get the sage butter out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature to soften a bit. Fill up your mug with the freshly boiled water and place a plate on top to seal in the heat. After a few minutes, discard the tempering water and fill the mug a little more than halfway with more of the freshly boiled water. Add the tea bag or herbs, and put the plate back on top of the mug to seal in the heat and get a nice infusion going. While the tea is infusing, cut some wedges of lemon, removing the seeds. After three minutes, remove the tea bag and lift the plate off your mug and squeeze in about 1/2 ounce of lemon juice. Add the honey syrup, allspice liqueur, the remaining dash of bitters, and the rum to taste, depending on how strong you like your drink. Warm a spoon under the faucet and stir all the ingredients together in the mug. Slice two small pats of sage butter and add them to your drink, slowly stirring to incorporate the butter (I know you’re thirsty, but don’t spill your precious creation by stirring too aggressively!). Garnish with a big sprig of sage (or even rosemary, as shown), and star anise pods and use the sprig to stir in the butter as needed. Be warm, be merry—you are enjoying a drink so delicious, it doesn’t matter how cold it is outside.
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