Harry Potter Cheat: Butterbeer Recipe (Simple & From Scratch)

The most iconic drink throughout the books and movies has to be Butterbeer – so of course I had to invent a simple AND a more time-consuming Butterbeer recipe! Drunk as refreshment, comfort and during the initial Dumbledore’s Army set up session, it’s as essential as round glasses, wands and familiars in the Harry Potter universe. 

Butterbeer may be based on Buttered Beer, which was a real drink. The earliest reference to Buttered Beer is from, ‘The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin’ published in London in 1588 A.D., made from beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter back in Tudor times. Another old recipe for Buttered Beer, published by Robert May in 1664 A.D., from his recipe book, ‘The Accomplisht Cook’ calls for liquorish root and aniseeds to be added. (Thank you Harry Potter Wiki). 

Now, down to the nitty gritty. One could say that having tried it in America at Universal Studios and at the Warner Brother Studios in the UK, that Mr Kiwi and I could almost be considered a connoisseur of the butterbeer beverage variety. Sadly in the muggle world you can only get it by training to Watford or flying to Universal Studios in Florida. Any excuse, right? 

Butterbeer is a popular wizarding beverage with a very slight alcohol content and a taste “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.” Quite honestly it’s sweet and delicious. Quite similar to an unexploded spider or ‘soda float’ you get the crisp butterscotch soda on the bottom with the creamy slightly vanilla head on top. Delicioso.

I wanted to include two Butterbeer Recipes so you can choose as difficult or as simple as you have time for.

A Simple Butterbeer Recipe (that’s also delicious)

Ingredients

200ml Creaming Soda (*if you can’t get creaming soda, see the below recipe) 

1tsp Butterscotch Sauce (normally for Ice Cream)

100ml Cream

2 drops Vanilla Essence

o.5 tsp Icing Sugar

Directions

  • Fill your vessel with Creaming Soda to around 2cms from the top.
  • Stir through about a teaspoon of butterscotch sauce for every 150ml or so, to taste. Stir to combine but don’t overstir as you’ll lose your bubbles.
  • In a separate mug beat the cream, a touch of sugar and and vanilla essence (I liked the ratio of about 100ml:0.5tsp:2 drops) just long enough to get air in the cream. Don’t let it thicken too much or it’ll whip. If it does begin to thicken too quickly, pause in your beating & let it relax a little before continuing.
  • Now, the magic. Get a metal tablespoon, flip it upside down and lean the handle against the glass and the tip just on the top of the soda and against the glass. Closely and slowly pour the cream. Et voila, you have floated your first Butterbeer. No flights to America strictly necessary.
  • Enjoy it shortly after pouring.

Butterbeer Recipe From Scratch – a more hands on approach 

Ingredients

1 tsp Butterscotch Sauce (scaled down from FoodPreserving)

Vanilla Simple Syrup – 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, 1 vanilla bean

200ml Sparkling Water

100ml Cream

2 drops Vanilla Essence

0.5tsp Icing Sugar

Directions

  • Make Butterscotch Sauce (sorry, cop-out but it’s not my recipe!) and let it cool
  • Make the Vanilla infused simple sugar syrup – Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise into halves and place in a heatproof jar or bottle. Pour the hot syrup over the vanilla beans, cover, and let stand for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Fill your vessel with sparkling water to around 2cms from the top.
  • Stir through about a teaspoon of butterscotch sauce & a teaspoon of vanilla simple syrup to taste. Stir to combine – but don’t overstir as you’ll lose your bubbles.
  • In a separate mug beat the cream, a touch of sugar and and vanilla essence just long enough to get air in the cream. Don’t let it thicken too much or it’ll whip. If it does begin to thicken too quickly, pause in your beating & let it relax a little before continuing.
  • Now, the magic. Get a metal tablespoon, flip it upside down and lean the handle against the glass and the tip just on the top of the soda and against the glass. Closely and slowly pour the cream. Et voila, you have floated your first Butterbeer. No trains and coaches to the Warner Brothers Studio in Watford nessecary!
  • Enjoy it shortly after pouring.

Let me know if you try one of my Butterbeer recipes – either in the comments below or on social media.

How many times have you sipped Butterbeer?

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