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Food & Recipes

This Rum Ham Will Get Everyone in the Holiday Spirit — So Easy + Delicious!

Adding booze to the glaze makes this classic dish even more flavorful

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A juicy glazed ham is our favorite Christmas dinner staple, and this year we’re mixing things up by making a rum-infused ham. That’s right — basting a plain spiral-cut or regular bone-in ham with rum glaze boosts its flavor and gives it a lovely bronzed finish. So it looks and tastes amazing! Keep reading as our Woman’s World test kitchen shares their tricks and recipes to help you create a yummy and succulent rum ham for your holiday meal.

What is rum ham?

Making rum ham involves brushing the whole piece of meat with a rum-infused glaze as it’s baking. Cooking the glaze is a key step for evaporating the alcohol in the rum and thickening the overall mixture. Although the dish’s origins are debated, it’s a favorite for many because it’s easy to make and takes ordinary baked ham to the next level.

Why you should add rum to ham glaze

Most glaze recipes use pantry staples such as mustard, spices and/or fruit preserves to complement the richness of the smoked ham. But Woman’s World Test Kitchen Manager Susan Chiusano notes that mixing in some rum as the glaze cooks “adds another layer of flavor and complements the sweetness in the glaze.” Rum’s deep color can help create a nicely browned color on the ham as well. While the amount of rum you use may vary based on the recipe, ⅓ to ½ cup is usually the sweet spot for infusing the liquor’s bold flavor into the glaze. You can also substitute rum for an equal amount of bourbon or brandy.

Chef’s #1 secret to creating a juicy roasted ham

For an extra moist baked ham, Susan suggests keeping the meat covered for most of the roasting process. “Add a little bit of water to the bottom of the roasting pan and keep the ham covered until it’s heated through and ready to glaze,” she explains. “Then, uncover the heated ham, brush it with glaze and continue roasting for 15 minutes or so until the glaze is baked on.” Once the glazed ham is fully cooked, you can remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for the listed time in your recipe. Afterwards, it’s time to slice and serve that festive ham for all to enjoy! 

2 mouthwatering rum ham recipes

If you’re keen to put rum ham on your Christmas dinner menu, consider these two recipes from our test kitchen. Each recipe features a ham glaze that combines the rich, caramel essence of rum with sweet and fruity preserves — a match made in flavor heaven!

Peach-Rum Ham

A peach-rum ham served on a platter
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Our spiked peach preserve glaze adds a hint of sweetness to this zesty Dijon-kissed ham.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (7 to 8 lb.) spiral-sliced smoked ham
  • ½ cup peach preserves
  • ½ cup rum
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  • Active: 15 mins
  • Total time: 2½ hrs
  • Yield: 16 servings
  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line large roasting pan with foil; coat with cooking spray. Place ham, wide end down, in pan. Tightly cover pan with foil. Bake 1½ hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in pot, combine preserves, rum, brown sugar, mustard and pepper. Over medium heat, bring to simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes; let cool.
  3. Uncover ham; brush with half of glaze. Bake until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part away from bone registers 140°F, about 15 minutes. Brush with remaining glaze. Let stand 15 minutes.

Pineapple-Rum Glazed Ham

A pineapple-rum glazed ham served as part of a holiday dinner spread
Getty

Our sweet ’n’ savory spiked glaze livens up this traditional favorite that’s delicious served warm or at room temperature.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (7 to 8 lb.) bone-in smoked ham 
  • ⅓ cup pineapple preserves
  • ⅓ cup rum
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs. minced, peeled fresh ginger

Directions:

  • Active: 20 mins
  • Total time: 2½ hrs
  • Yield: 16 servings
  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line large roasting pan with foil; coat with cooking spray. Place ham, wide end down, in pan. Tightly cover pan with foil. Bake 1½ hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in pot, combine preserves, rum, sugar, vinegar and bay leaf; over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in ginger. Let cool. Remove bay leaf.
  3. Uncover ham; brush with half of glaze. Bake, uncovered, until thermometer inserted into thickest part away from bone registers 140°F, about 15 minutes. Brush with remaining glaze. Let rest 15 minutes. before carving.

Bonus: Raisin Sauce for Ham

As a nod to the classic rum raisin flavor combo, serve the sliced ham with this syrupy raisin sauce from the Betty’s Kitchen YouTube Channel. It’s a wow-worthy addition to your festive spread!


For side dishes to enjoy with your rum ham, click through for these tasty recipes:

Chef Reveals the $1 Swap That Makes Mashed Potatoes Extra-Rich and Creamy

Air-Fryer Carrots: How to Cook a Deliciously Caramelized Batch in Just 12 Minutes

Chef’s Super-Easy Trick Cooks Deliciously Tender Collard Greens in Half the Time

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