Millionaire Cocktail // Rum Buttermilk Cupcakes with Sloe Gin, Lime and Cream Cheese Icing


A couple of years ago I had a pretty epic drinking day. I went from afternoon drinking champagne at a friend's art exhibition launch, to drinking margaritas at Mexican dinner, to going on a cocktail bar crawl to all the 'secret' bars in Melbourne's CBD. By the time it got to 11pm, I was nearly falling asleep at Eau De Vie, but spotted the Versailles Experience - aka an absinthe cocktail for four people - on the menu, which I immediately suggested we try. That turned Eau De Vie into one of the bars I always take interstate friends to. It was on one of these visits that I asked Steve for a cocktail that was "kinda citrusy and not too sweet" and he came back with a Millionaire. Rum, sloe gin, apricot brandy and lime juice is YUM.


  • 20ml dark Jamaican rum
  • 20ml sloe gin
  • 20ml apricot brandy
  • 20ml lime juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Notes from Steve, erm, Helena (Steve got busy. Or slack. Depends how you look at it.):
So upon researching (aka typing “millionaire cocktail history” into Google), it became popular during Prohibition and there’s loads of different variations (I’m all about the sloe gin). And that’s about it… So… Story done!





Rum Buttermilk Cupcakes with Sloe Gin, Lime and Cream Cheese Icing
Makes about 24 cupcakes

Rum Buttermilk Cupcakes
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 227g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Combine the buttermilk, rum and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift and then set aside.
  4. Cream butter and sugar. Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 4 to 5 minutes).
  5. Reduce the speed to low, and add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  6. With the mixer still on low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix well.
  7. Add half of the buttermilk mixture and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Mix for a minute or two.
  8. Add another third of the dry ingredients (on low speed) and mix well.
  9. Add the remainder of the buttermilk mixture, once again scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Mix for another minute or two.
  10. Add the remainder of the dry ingredients (on low speed) and mix for a minute or two, until the batter is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that all of the flour has been incorporated.
  11. Fill the cupcake cases 3/4 of the way with batter.
  12. Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes and then test if they’re cooked by inserting a wooden skewer into the centre of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean, they’re done. If not, bake for another 5 minutes and check again.
  13. Remove cupcakes from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before poking holes in them with a skewer or toothpick. Immediately spoon the rum and sugar syrup over the warm cupcakes and let them soak it all up.
  14. Once they're completely cool, ice with the lime and rum frosting. 

Lime and Rum Icing (for 24 cupcakes)
  • 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 340g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup icing sugar (add more as needed)
  • 4 tbsp dark rum
  • Zest of 2 limes
Note: The icing should be used immediately, so make it once your cupcakes have soaked up the syrup and are cool.
  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter at high speed until it mixes together and looks a bit fluffy.
  2. Reduce the speed to low and add the icing sugar a bit at a time. If your bowl and electric hand mixer combo is anything like mine, you get giant clouds of icing sugar unless you add it in a bit at at time. Mix for a minute to incorporate the sugar and then increase the speed to high again and mix for another minute or two. The icing should be light and fluffy.
  3. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the rum and the lime zest and mix at medium speed until well incorporated.

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