I don’t know why I haven’t reviewed cookbooks or any book related to food on my blog yet, especially considering my addiction to these types of books. Welcome to a new kind of post on Cake ‘n’ Knife! 

The Essential Bar Book Review & Hot Buttered Rum | cakenknife.com

When I received The Essential Bar Book: An A-to-Z Guide to Spirits, Cocktails, and Wine with 115 Recipes for the World’s Greatest Drinks, I immediately tore into it out of the selfish desire to learn how to stock my home bar which currently resides in 2 cardboard boxes (terrible I know!). It was literally within the first few pages that I found myself immersed in a wealth of information on everything you need to know that has anything to do with alcohol in any form. This perfectly sized book, which fits wonderfully into any bar, is the ultimate reference guide for anyone, particularly beginners. 

The Essential Bar Book Review & Hot Buttered Rum | cakenknife.com

The tone of the book is what really won me over. For example, let’s say you open up to the first entry under “M” which happens to be madeira. I am not only learning that madeira is a fortified wine, I am learning where it originated, how it is aged, and how it tastes. It is so much more than an average bar dictionary, it’s a history lesson that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Of course this is only the tip of the iceberg. This book includes ingredients, preparations, barware, and recipes so you can actually see how some of these ingredients can be used. I am sure some would say it is over the top, but I would completely disagree. It has just the right balance of information, history, and recipes that include stories with just the right amount of humor to hook you right in.

The Essential Bar Book Review & Hot Buttered Rum | cakenknife.com

This is the exact reason that I made the hot buttered rum recipe from the book and the reason I am sharing this excerpt with you! As the recipe says “Is there anything sexier than a glass of melted butter mixed with warm golden spirits?” No, no there absolutely is NOT. I tried the book’s Hot Buttered Rum recipe and it is everything I wanted it to be. Warm, rich, subtly sweet and there’s a tiny hint of spice that makes you swoon with every sip. I highly recommend this book! It’s a great addition to anyone’s collection.

If you’d like to purchase The Essential Bar Book: An A-to-Z Guide to Spirits, Cocktails, and Wine with 115 Recipes for the World’s Greatest Drinks, you can do so here on Amazon or here on Barnes & Noble.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

The Essential Bar Book Review & Hot Buttered Rum | cakenknife.com

The Essential Bar Book Hot Buttered Rum

The Essential Bar Book Hot Buttered Rum

Yield: 18 to 20 cocktails

Is there anything sexier than a glass of melted butter mixed with warm golden spirits? Gout be damned, this hot lipid–laden drink is a cold-weather panacea that resulted from colonial New Englanders’ penchant for putting rum in everything. Americans have been whip­ping up a spiced butter batter and dousing it with rum and hot water since before they were Americans. This fancified version, created at the Boston cocktail bar the Hawthorne, brings the winter warmer to its full velvety potential with the crucial addition of ice cream and black tea.

Garnish: star anise, optional

Glassware: mug or rocks

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1½ tablespoons cinnamon, ground
  • 1½ tablespoons nutmeg, ground
  • 1½ tablespoons clove, ground
  • 1½ tablespoons allspice, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dark rum
  • Black tea, hot

Instructions

Add first ten ingredients to a mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer. Refrigerate until ready to use. When ready to serve, warm the mugs by filling with hot water. Let stand for a minute or two and discard. Add 1 tablespoon of batter to each mug. Top with 2 ounces hot tea and stir to mix. Add 1 ounce of each rum and then top with 2 ounces more hot tea. Rum will form a ¼-inch cream over the top of the drink. Garnish with a whole star anise.