Why you should care

Because whipped cream and butter.

From our family to yours, OZY staff share their favorite time-honored holiday recipes to keep you warm, stuffed and slightly buzzed all season.

It’s Christmas Eve, and the bar is nearly empty — most people are at home snuggling (or drinking) with their loved ones. But if, like me, you have a family that lives an expensive plane ticket away and hates Christmas, then the holiday season is prime bar-hopping time: You never have to wait for a drink, nearly everything comes adorned with whipped cream and the bartenders are filled with extra cheer.

It’s also a time when you get free cocktails — and the secrets of the trade. After delivering me a mug of creamy hot buttered rum, which the bartender “fat-washed” himself, Johnny was kind enough to share his recipe. I stowed that recipe in the back of my mind for years, always meaning to break it out, until one year, when train delays and weather left me stranded alone on Christmas Eve. I decided to walk to the corner store, which had everything I needed; when I got back to my place, I fried up the spices, simmered the sugar and eventually toasted myself with a deliciously decadent cocktail. Fuck Shane Co.; now that’s a gift that will last a lifetime.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter
Assorted spices (I use cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and star anise)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water
Rum
Whipped cream

Directions

Throw butter into a saucepan and add large dashes of spices. Continue to let butter melt over medium heat and add vanilla, sugar and water. Stir until sugar dissolves into spices and then simmer mixture over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour through a strainer into mason jars and refrigerate for a few hours. Using a spoon, scoop out butter solids collected at top of jars (it leaves the flavor of the butter without the grease). To drink, heat buttered broth, add 2 ounces (or more) of rum and top with whipped cream.

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