Vandaag's V.O.C. Grog Recipe

Vandaag's V.O.C. Grog Recipe

Photos: Alice Gao

Martim Smith-Mattsson of Vandaag wanted the richness of a hot buttered rum, but went a totally different direction by making use of coconut, pumpkin, and garam masala. That blended spice mixture, mixed together with butter to form the base of drink, contributes cardamom, cloves, mace, cinnamon, cumin, and more, for a balance of earthy, warming flavors. "When I think of rum, I think of coconut," said Smith-Mattsson. "So I thought I could make those flavors work in a way that wasn't a piña colada."

Coconut milk serves as the structure, while the butter creates a rich canvas for spice, pumpkin, and rhum agricole; the result is something like a pumpkin spice muffin, but in rich, comforting drinkable form.

  • Yield:1 drink
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:10 minutes


  • Garam Masala "Batter"
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • For the drink:
  • 4 ounces coconut milk, such as Silk Coconut
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin purée*
  • 1 ounce rhum agricole blanc


  1. 1.

    For the "batter": In a small bowl, blend garam masala, slightly softened butter, and brown sugar together until well-combined.

  2. 2.

    For each drink: In saucepan over medium heat, stir garam masala "batter," coconut milk, and pumpkin purée together until warm. Take off heat, pour into cup, and add rhum agricole blanc.

  3. 3.

    *To make your own pumpkin purée, optional: Roast pumpkin at 350° until soft. Let cool and then dice. For every 2 cups diced pumpkin, add 1/4 cup cream and pinch of salt and purée in blender or food processer until smooth.