Butter Us Up


A roll should be buttered. A drink should not be. That sage reasoning has
always guided us away from buttered rums and ciders. We envisioned imprudent
concoctions of oily water with globules of greasy fat congealing at the
sides. Sure, call it hot buttered rum. It’s clearly the same noxious fluid
hot-dog vendors float day-old wieners in.

Until, on a chilly evening, we find ourselves at Clinton Street Baking
for supper—attempting to avoid the award-winning wait that
accompanies award-winning brunches. Clinton Street’s dinner entrees may not
yet be on par with the breakfast offerings, but its cocktail menu certainly
warrants more accolades. The classic old-fashioned is properly stiff, the
delicately-spiced jalapeño blood orange margarita arrives not in a glorified
wine glass but in a generous tumbler—spiked with Cabo Wabo tequila, Sammy
Hagar’s sole contribution to society.

We decide to take a chance with the hot buttered cider.

Jesus Christ. One sip, and we push aside the accompanying dessert, a hearty,
delectable peach cobbler in favor of the cider. Imagine our surprise: This
was life-altering, planetary-alignment changing cider, inspiring a love that
can move mountains, the kind of love of which only Celine Dion can truly
sing. Where were the lines for this ambrosia in a beverage, holy elixir of
the apple gods, whomever we’re imagining the apple gods to be? We’d call it
the cocktail of 2006 if it hadn’t quietly sat on the menu for two years

We hunt down the relatively simple recipe, which co-owner DeDe Lahman kindly
provides. The secret ingredient turns out to be Clinton Street’s famed maple
butter, the same maple butter they serve on their wild Maine blueberry
pancakes, the same maple butter that moved one elated customer to scrawl
across the cash register: “I want to wipe that warm maple butter all over my

Clinton Street Baking Co.’s Hot Buttered Cider

2 shots maple butter, fresh maple syrup with melted butter whisked in

1 1/2 shots of Bacardi Gold rum

Fresh apple cider (Clinton uses Samascott Orchards from upstate New

Cinnamon stick