When the weekends roll around I take on a second job. And that job is pretty much being an errand boy for my wife. Eh, it's not as bad as I make it sound - usually just grabbing a coffee when I'm already out and about or stopping into the store to grab a needed item or two for dinner. All is good in the world of Errand Boy - except for when it becomes a pain in the backside like it did on Friday.

I was headed out of the house and my wife asked if I could grab some hot buttered rum mix and a bottle of rum while I was out. It seemed like an easy task. I grabbed rum and asked the liquor store if they had the mix. A quick check of the computer and the lady working the checkout said they didn't have it this year. I popped over to Walmart on the advice of the liquor store lady.........after talking to two employees and having one of them radio a third - the word was that Walmart gets their hot buttered rum mix from a third party supplier and they didn't stock it this year. Now 0-2, off to Albertsons I went. Long story short the lady at customer service and a guy in line were both thrown off by the term hot buttered rum and assured me that I was looking for Tom & Jerry mix. So I settled for that and my wife said it was basically the same thing (although, there are some differences as you'll see below.)

What's the point of that story? Just the fact that you would think a place or two would have some hot buttered rum mix if it's being labeled Montana's favorite drink of the season. Alcohol.org just released their list of the Most Popular Christmas Drinks for every state. Based on survey answers, Montana was one of 6 states to list the hot, buttery, and rummy deliciousness as their favorite drink.

Eemerging victorious at the very top of Montana's list this season is … hot buttered rum! This hearty holiday classic combines warming, spicy flavors: rum, sugar, butter, hot cider or water and cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg and/or cloves. Serve hot in your favorite mug!

It appears Montanans love a classic old fashioned as second on the list was good ol’ whiskey. Considering the US is home to over 2,000 whiskey distilleries across the country, it’s perhaps no wonder we are partial to this fermented spirit.

Third on the list was found to be the iconic Hot Toddy – ward off the winter blues with this holiday staple consisting of a spirit (such as whiskey or dark rum), lemon, hot water, honey and warming spices like cinnamon, clove or star anise – served hot. A true ode to the holiday season!

In case you were wondering - the overall winner was eggnog. You can see all the rankings and findings of that survey here.

Getting back to the difference between hot buttered rum and a Tom & Jerry - here's a couple takes on how to make the two different (but similar) drinks for the season. Happy holidays and cheers to you with whatever you're drinking this time of year.

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