Home » Cocktail Recipes » Mock Hot Buttered Rum – Zero Proof Holiday Cocktail

Mock Hot Buttered Rum – Zero Proof Holiday Cocktail

No ratings yet

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Hot Buttered Cider in a mug topped with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick
Hot Butterd Rum Mocktail

This post about a Hot Buttered Rum Mocktail will be short and sweet. This is a delicious and easy recipe to make for the kids, your friends who aren’t drinking, and any family members who have to stay away from the strong stuff. You can read about my favorite hot buttered tum (with rum) at the All Hot ‘n Buttered post.

(Post may contain affiliate links.)

Not drinking at parties, gatherings, or just at home is becoming more and more popular as people join the #sobercurious movement for health or preference reasons. And I want to make sure those people also have something delicious in their hands.

If you’re curious, I’m written an entire post about Whiskey Mocktails. I even tried 4 different whiskey substitutes to test out their flavors and the best ways to use them in a cocktail. They’re not made for sipping neat – even their manufacturers advise that they’re best consumed in cocktail form.

What is a Hot Buttered Rum?

Indian Hot Buttered Rum - Kamala's Birthright - Adding butter mix to glass mug filled with cocktail.
Indian Hot Buttered Rum – Kamala’s Birthright

A Hot Buttered Rum has a fairly long history in terms of cocktails. It originated in the 17th and 18th centuries when it was popular to add a bit of butter to a glass with hot water and rum. Add a touch of sugar and you have the basis of today’s hot buttered rum.

But we’re going to improve on the basics and make a kick-ass spirit-free version of the traditional hot buttered rum. So I’ll call it a Mock Buttered Rum!

How Do You Make the Hot Buttered Rum Mix for a Mocktail?

Because the butter mix that’s added to the drink doesn’t contain any alcohol, nothing needs to change with my favorite buttered rum mix. I love to add baking spices to my hot buttered rum mix, to make the flavor more complex and appealing.

It doesn’t add any more time than it takes to locate these spices in your pantry.

First, let the butter get to room temperature. You absolutely do not want it to be melted when you mix it, and if it’s not softened, it’s hard to get it to cream with the sugar.

Once the butter is a room temperature, cream it with the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla until well-combined. Then take the butter mix and store it in the fridge. Pull it out to soften just a bit before you mix up the Hot Buttered Rum mocktail so it doesn’t drop the temperature of the drink too much when it’s added in.

Ingredients in this Mock Buttered Rum Alcohol-Free Cocktail

One of the things that makes this Mock Buttered Rum cocktail so delicious even without alcohol is the fact that we use apple cider instead of water as the base.

Usually, the bulk of the warm Hot Buttered Rum is piping hot water, but in this case, we’re swapping that out with apple cider.

Be sure to buy apple cider and not apple juice for this mocktail. Apple juice is more processed and has less flavor to it than an apple cider fresh from the orchard.

To that base of hot apple cider, we’ll add a touch of salted caramel syrup and just a touch of rum extract. While you can make this without the rum extract, that does provide a touch of the rum flavors that are missing from this mocktail.

All of this can be heated up on the stove or in a mug in the microwave. Or you can batch it in a crockpot. More on that in a minute. Crazy, I know!

How to Garnish a Zero Proof Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Cider in a mug topped with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick
Hot Buttered Rum Mocktail

It’s easy to garnish something this delicious. I add a healthy dose of whipped cream, a cinnamon stick, a bit of fresh nutmeg. If I’m feeling saucy I’ll drizzle a little salted caramel on top.

But really, the only thing I consider essential is a cinnamon stick. Once warm, as it floats on the top of the mug, it makes that smell of cinnamon really pop.

How to Batch this Rum Mocktail in a Slow Cooker

Image via Canva

Fortunately for us, when making a mocktail, we don’t have to worry about the heat from a spirit being kept warm causing the alcohol to evaporate. It just makes it more delicious as all the spices and flavors meld together.

To batch this heavenly winter mocktail, add the following to a large crockpot:

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1 cups salted caramel (the kind added to coffees and beverages, not the kind for ice cream)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (this cuts down on the sweetness of the mocktail)
  • 1.5 tablespoons rum extract
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract

Let it steep on low for about 3 hours or until everything is warm, fragrant and the spices are even throughout.

To serve, pour into a warm mug, top with whipped cream, a cinnamon stick and a dash of fresh-grated nutmeg.

Other Mocktails You Might Enjoy

Recommended Bar Tools

You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:

You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:

Hot Buttered Cider in a mug topped with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick

Mock Buttered Rum – Hot Buttered Rum Mocktail

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Make a cocktail for everyone with this delicious spin on a Hot Buttered Rum. Even the kids will be clamoring for this one once you top it with whipped cream, fresh nutmeg and a drizzle of caramel.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mocktail
Servings 1


  • 2 tablespoons hot buttered rum mix
  • 1 oz salted caramel syrup the kind for coffee, not ice cream
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract
  • a drop or two of almond extract
  • 8-10 oz hot apple cider
  • Garnish: whipped cream, cinnamon stick, salted caramel drizzle,


  • Add butter mix, steaming apple cider, salted caramel and extracts to a warmed heat-proof mug. Stir until the butter has melted and everything is combined. Garnish.


*Hot Buttered Rum Mix:
  • 1 stick butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
Cream together the ingredients with a mixer or mix well by hand. Store in a small jar in the fridge.
Keyword alcohol-free, apple cider, butter, cinnamon, crockpot, hot buttered rum, mocktail, zero proof
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

By on December 2nd, 2021
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey and cocktail author (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.

More posts by this author.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating