First of all, let’s give a big Thank You to Teresa Capone, an Italian immigrant who’s son was born on this day in Brooklyn in 1899. Wow, that was a long, long time ago! Gabriele and Teresa Capone had nine children, Alphonse would become the most famous.
Why give thanks to the father of Bootleg Booze? Say what you will about Al Capone, and there is plenty to say about a ruthless mob-man, without him we’d never have National Bootlegger’s Day celebrated on his birthday. We might not even have Hot Buttered Rum Day, another National Day observed on January 17th each year.
The term bootlegger dates back long before Prohibition. It was a term used in the Midwest during the 1880s, understood to mean flasks of liquor concealed in the boot tops of traders dealing with Native Americans. This way of hiding a flask became popular among flappers, finding their garter belts were good for more than just keeping their stockings in place.
By the 1920s, it was understood that a bootlegger was someone smuggling illicit brews from Canada and Mexico or the distilleries in backwoods to quench the thirst of Americans. It’s interesting to note that Prohibition went into effect on January 17, 1920, on Al Capone’s 21st birthday.
On that same day, many of the residents of a small town in Iowa became outlaws by producing a high caliber whisky known as Templeton Rye. For those of you celebrating National Bootlegger Day, raise a glass of The Good Stuff – Cheers!
I’ve never been one to swallow liquor straight from a glass. It makes me cringe, clench my fist and stomp my foot as the liquid fire burns all the way to my toes. But a Hot Buttered Rum, count me in. If that Hot Buttered Rum includes coffee, count me double!
Hot Buttered Rum Laced Coffee
8 tablespoons Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 cup Heavy Cream
4 oz Dark Rum
4 cups freshly brewed Coffee
Nutmeg to taste
Place a bowl and beaters into the freezer to chill. Let a stick of butter soften at room temperature.
In a small bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg together until smooth. Chill for 20-30 minutes or until firm.
Whip chilled heavy cream in the chilled bowl with chilled beaters to form soft peaks. Do not sweeten the cream for this drink.
Once the butter has chilled, brew a pot of strong coffee.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the spiced butter into each of four coffee mug. Pour 1 ounce rum over butter and top with 1 cup of coffee. Stir to combine.
Dollop with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg if desired. Serve immediately.