Everything Nice (Spiced-Rum Coffee With Butterscotch Whipped Cream)

In this variation on a classic Irish coffee, spiced rum takes the place of whiskey.

Spiced rum coffee with butterscotch whipped cream in a glass mug. There is a silver spoon to the right of the mug, and a small glass vessel of rum on the lefthand side of the image.

Serious Eats / Mariel De La Cruz

Why This Recipe Works

  • Swapping out the booze in a traditional Irish coffee opens up a world of flavor combinations.

This is part of a series on Irish coffee variations, including this adventurous version with fernet, and a classic chocolate-hazelnut combo. Hot coffee, different liqueurs, and flavored whipped cream can yield surprising results and add some intrigue to your after-dinner drinks.


Spiced rum slips into a hot cup of coffee like a Jamaican bobsled team sliding down an icy track...which is to say, more smoothly than Irish whiskey. Its spiced flavor and sugarcane sweetness play off the coffee's roasted, bitter bite. On top, a heaping dollop of butterscotch whipped cream, which riffs a little bit on the rum, caramel, and dairy flavors of a classic rum raisin ice cream. To finish, a little fresh nutmeg grated on top plays up those spice notes.

My only challenge was making the butterscotch whipped cream. Thank god I work with Stella Parks, because she had an answer ready and waiting: Just whip some malted milk powder (such as Carnation, available everywhere) and dark brown sugar into the cream to simulate butterscotch's slow-cooked, sweet dairy flavor (a trick Stella uses in her quick butterscotch pudding recipe). It works like a charm, and it couldn't be easier. That whipped cream alone is so good, you'll want to put it on everything.

February 2017

Recipe Details

Everything Nice (Spiced-Rum Coffee With Butterscotch Whipped Cream)

Active 5 mins
Total 5 mins
Serves 1 serving

In this variation on a classic Irish coffee, spiced rum takes the place of whiskey.


  • 3/4 cup (175ml) heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (10g) malted milk powder, such as Carnation

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (15gdark brown sugar

  • Tiny pinch kosher salt

  • 6 ounces (175ml) hot black coffee

  • 2 ounces (60ml) spiced rum

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) 2:1 simple syrup (see note)

  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish (optional)


  1. Combine heavy cream, malted milk powder, brown sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Beat, using the whisk attachment, electric beaters, or a whisk, until dry ingredients are evenly incorporated and cream forms soft peaks.

    A two-image collage. The top image shows a glass bowl holding the heavy cream, sugar, and spices. The bottom image shows the ingredients fully incorporated into the cream, which is now whipped.

    Serious Eats / Mariel De La Cruz

  2. Combine hot coffee, spiced rum, and simple syrup in a prewarmed mug. (You can prewarm it by pouring hot water into it, letting it stand for 1 minute, then draining.) Using a spoon, dollop whipped cream on top of coffee and top with freshly grated nutmeg, if using. Serve right away. (You may have more whipped cream than the mug can accommodate; feel free to add more as you drink, or use some for the next round.)

    A four-image collage. The top left image shows a glass mug filled with hot water, which warms it in anticipation of the drink being added. The top right image shows the coffee and rum now added to the warmed mug. The bottom left image shows the coffee and rum being topped with the spiced whipped cream. The bottom right image shows nutmeg being grated over the top of the drink.

    Serious Eats / Mariel De La Cruz


To make a 2:1 simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup (120g) granulated sugar with 1/4 cup (60ml) water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is fully dissolved. You can add the syrup hot, since the drink is hot; any extra can be stored in the refrigerator up to three months, and often longer.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
999 Calories
21g Fat
173g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 999
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 14g 68%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Sodium 111mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 173g 63%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 167g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 172mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)