Comic Shots #24 with Ryan Haupt: Hot Buttered Rum and ‘Conan The Barbarian’

Each week the iFanStaff passes along a tasty drink recipe and an even tastier comic book recommendation. The cocktail (or beer, or wine, or booze) and the comic can both be enjoyed independently, but they have a common theme and when served together they can make for the perfect reading experience.

It’s time for the final installment of our hot drink series on comic shots, and not a moment too soon as temperatures soar in the 70s here in the middle Tennessee. Not sure why the only southern correspondent was given the latest date, but these things are beyond my control! However, it did snow a bit this winter (nothing stuck) which was enough to inspire a wintery drink to curl up to a good book with and thus I have chosen… the Hot-Buttered Rum!

The hot-buttered rum is a classic cocktail for a cold day. Modern drinkers may associate rum with warmer climates and bright fruit mixers, but rum is also popular in the great white north. Sailors from Canada used to trade their fish to Caribbean plantations in exchange for rum. Fish fed the slaves, slaves grew the sugarcane, sugarcane made the rum. Some rum travelled far and wide, become friend to many tavern dweller on a cold night around the hearth.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of a hot-buttered rum, don’t let the name intimidate, while this is certainly not a ‘diet’ drink (more likely to put you in a diabetic coma) it is much more than rum, butter, and hot water. My personal recipe comes from the great (non-comics) history book, And A Bottle of Rum. It’s intended to make a batch of batter to get you through an entire winter, or maybe one especially good party, so strap in and start mixing!

The Batter

  •         1 lb Butter, at room temperature
  •         1 lb Brown sugar
  •         1 lb Sugar
  •         1 tbsp Ground cinnamon
  •         1 tsp Ground cloves
  •         1 tsp Ground nutmeg
  •         1 qt Vanilla ice crea, softened slightly

In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the ice cream. Then add the ice cream and mix again. Put in a container and keep it in the freezer.

When ready to actually have a drink:

  •         1.5 oz Rum
  •         1 tbsp frozen batter
  •         Boiling water

Add the rum and batter to a mug then pour in the boiling water. Stir and enjoy (and feel free to adjust rum and batter amounts to taste). I tend to favor a darker rum for this drink because I think it blends better with the batter and gives the drink a bit more character, but play around and find your favorite.


Conan The Barbarian
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Becky Cloonan
Published by Dark Horse Comics

Now I knew from the start that I wanted to feature this particular drink but I was having a really hard time actually decided which book to pair with it, but I think I eventually settled on a winner: Conan. My photo above features the cover of the new Brian Wood and Beckly Cloonan Conan The Barbarian book, but I submit that just about any Conan book will do, and winter can last a long time so you might need all the reading material you can get.

I think Conan is the right book/character for this drink because like rum, Conan can be very rough and abrasive, but given time he can also be silky smooth and even a little sweet. They’re both the type of spirit to leave home in search of adventure, crossing cultural boundaries but always seeming to be stuck on the lower levels of society, scoffed at by the more civilized but ultimately more ignorant and ignoble. Like rum, Conan often ignores rules, but holds fast to certain principles all the same. Flexible, versatile, and always ready to party, rum and Conan seem readymade to be mates, and assuming someone in the world of Hyboria has figured out distillation, I suspect they already know each other quite well.

As far as the specific book, I was excited to see Brian Wood’s take on the character after loving all he’s done on Northlanders. Conan The Barbarian is certainly a different book than Northlanders, which is only occasionally a character study, and Conan has more fun than those dour vikings ever seemed to. Cloonan is, as expected, brilliant on art, giving us a more lithe and nimble Conan than the more hulking brawniness of Cary Nord’s rendition. I think both work, especially since their take seems to be a younger, but still formidable, Conan. The book is only two issues in but I’m excited to see what paths our hero goes down, and fortunately I’ve got enough batter in my freezer and enough rum in my bottle to sup with him every step of the way.


Ryan Haupt drinks coffee most of the day, until he isn’t. Hear him drink other things on the podcast Science… sort of.

Please obey the law and only drink if you are of age. Drink responsibly and never drink and drive. Buy the comics that make you happy. Smile more.


  1. Some rum travelled far and wide, become friend to many tavern dweller on a cold night around the hearth.