Ever heard of Butterbeer? I thought those butter-coffee fanatics got a hold of my beer for a second. But,….
A staple in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Butterbeer is a great way to cool down from the summer heat.
Itching to brew one yourself? It won’t even take you 10 minutes!
You don’t need to buy expensive plane tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to get your hands on the actual stuff. Read more below as I attempt to recreate this amazing treat.
A Taste Journey to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
I remember my first ever Butterbeer years ago on a cool spring day back in England. Thirsty from my day tour of the Hogwarts Castle Great Hall set, I needed something to hit the spot.
Fortunately, a Butterbeer stall was open close by. So while my sister was obsessing over Golden Snitch trinkets in the souvenir shop, I hopped on over and bought myself a taste of the golden concoction.
Sure, it wasn’t beer, but it was delightful. I cupped the plastic souvenir mug and took my first sip.
The whipped foam topping and slightly fizzy, slushie liquid married with the caramel sweetness into a delectable treat I definitely wanted to recreate on my own in the future.
And here it is!
After experimenting with one Butterbeer recipe after the other, I’ve finally made a Butterbeer recipe that’s sure to bring you the wizarding world of Harry Potter right from the comfort of your own home.
The Secret to Authentic Butterbeer
Whether you’re making a hot, chilled, or slush homemade Butterbeer, the taste you’ll have to aim for is a lot like:
- A sweet and balanced butterscotch;
- A subtle nutty taste;
- A creamy froth head, like in a good pilsner or wheat beer; and
- A slight fizzle.
The most important taste is, of course, the BUTTERSCOTCH flavor. Most easy recipes would tell you to buy butterscotch sauce off the shelf.
There’s nothing wrong with that! I like some Smuckers myself. If you want a quick Butterbeer, just grab your preferred caramel-butterscotch topping from the grocery store.
But if you want a magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter Butterbeer experience yourself, the little extra time making your base butterscotch flavoring is easy.
It also brings out the NUTTINESS that a lot of homemade Butterbeer recipes seem to lack.
The best part of this Butterbeer recipe? You can change it any way you want!
Making Your Own Butterscotch Topping
This Butterbeer recipe requires making your own butterscotch from scratch. Since the soul of Butterbeer is the butterscotch, I recommend taking the extra steps below.
I’ve made plenty of Butterbeer from different recipes, and nothing gets the taste quite right than this one. I’m sure Harry Potter would appreciate these too!
Magical Food Science!
A good butterscotch sauce takes advantage of the CARAMELIZATION process to create a syrup that’s both sweet and nutty at once [R].
That’s because the first stage of caramelization releases diacetyl compounds.
Yup, the SAME DIACETYL that yeast produces in actual beer brewing. Who says that beer has nothing in common with Butterbeer?
When married with the Maillard reactions in browned butter, you get a syrup with balanced sweetness, a hint of nuttiness, and the complexity that a simple sweet syrup won’t give you.
Caramelization and Maillard reactions are different processes in drinks, cuisine, and cooking, but they produce a flavor that’s much better than just eating a spoonful of sugar, or eating a stick of butter.
The best part? You can use this butterscotch caramel drizzle in your Butterbeer, milkshakes, or ice cream! How’s that for a well-rounded Harry Potter experience?
- 1 1//2 cups light brown sugar or toasted sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 T unsalted room temperature butter or browned butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla syrup
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
- Mix sugar, butter, corn syrup, water, and salt into a saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a SIMMER until the mixture dissolves.
- Add cream and keep your burner on medium-low heat, and keep simmering UNTIL the sauce turns into a syrupy-thick concoction.
- Mix in vanilla extract as desired.
Butterscotch Recipe Tips
- Ingredients Substitution: For a delectable gourmet touch, you can put on your mad food scientist coat and start off with toasted sugar and browned butter.
- Temperatures: For the best results, keep your mixture simmering at a MAXIMUM of 107 Celsius or 225 Fahrenheit for the best results. A candy thermometer can help you keep track.
- Texture: Don’t overdo your simmering. Switch your burner off when your syrup becomes creamy and thick. The sauce will thicken when cooled.
Assembling Your Drink: The Ultimate Butterbeer Recipe
Whether you started out with our butterscotch Butterbeer recipe or you bought one off the shelf, your beverage will still taste excellent with this recipe.
It might be Muggle-made, but it’s pretty dang close to the magic in the world of Harry Potter.
You can find the ingredients in your own pantry, but a quick run to your nearest grocery store or Amazon can get you some of these ingredients without a hitch!
For the Drink:
- 1/4 cup butterscotch
- 32 oz. cream soda
- 1 t Ground Cinnamon or Cinnamon Powder
- 1/4 t Ground Cloves
- 1/2 t Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 t salt
For the Foam:
- 1 qt. Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream
- In a blender, mix your cream soda, butterscotch syrup, and spices.
- Keep blending until the cream mixture is FROTHY.
- Scoop ice cream into your cups.
- Pour your blended cream soda/caramel syrup mixture into your mug
- Sip from your mug and enjoy!
Additional ingredients like 1 teaspoon rum extract and 1 teaspoon cider vinegar can cut the sticky sweetness of cream soda and brown sugar mixture.
To use, just blend these two ingredients with your drink.
Butterbeer Recipe Modifications
There’s no one way to make a Butterbeer recipe. The beauty of homemade treats is you get to make your drink the way you want!
After all, we’ve already covered the most important part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Butterbeer recipe: the butterscotch topping.
After that, you can change the temperature and even the soda you’re using for your butterbeer recipe There are plenty of recipes you can adopt, and you can still get the same Harry Potter magical experience.
Hot homemade butterbeer is comforting especially during wintertime. In fact, in the wizarding world itself, Harry Potter and the crew first tried out Butterbeer during Christmas in Prisoner of Azkaban!
Butter beer is originally a beverage to keep the wizarding world warm and cozy. Harry Potter described it as the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted!
To make warm butter beer:
- Mix your ingredients in low heat in a saucer.
- Just keep stirring until your drink’s warm to the touch.
Alternatively, you could also microwave your mixture.
Raising your butter beer up to room temperature should be enough to MAXIMIZE the warmth from your beverage WITHOUT burning the dairy ingredients.
And speaking of dairy, you can replace vanilla ice cream with an additional 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and heavy whipping cream, since you don’t need a cold beverage.
Frozen Butterbeer Slushie
Frozen butterbeer is an amazing summer drink. After all, who doesn’t love a summer drink? It does take a little more prep time. But the results? Worth it.
To make a frozen butterbeer with a slush consistency, make your butterbeer as usual, taking care not to put ice in it. Blend the ingredients.
At this point, you have two options for your ice cream. You can either:
- Blend your vanilla ice cream with the rest of the mixture, or
- Put ice cream on top of your slushie later on.
After that, this recipe just needs a few extra steps:
- Whip out your ice trays and pour your frozen butterbeer mix into the molds.
- Stack your ice trays in your fridge and wait for at least 3 hours or more.
- Once your ice is set, just shake the frozen goodness out of the ice molds and into a blender.
- Blend away!
The best part of this recipe is that it keeps a slushie consistency WITHOUT DILUTING your drink. That’s usually what happens with many recipes which call for a blend of ice and beverage.
If you have plenty of ice trays in stock, you can even make a large batch of frozen butterbeer for future use! This beverage recipe keeps well frozen.
Did you know that you can order a Butterbeer-based frappe from Starbucks’ secret menu?
While it’s not 100% true to the Harry Potter experience, you can order a creme-based frappe with 3 pumps of toffee and 3 pumps of caramel for a similar experience.
There are plenty of frappuccino recipes for this type of beverage, too. But if you need a homemade recipe, the process is pretty similar to the frozen recipe above.
In need of caffeine? Ask for an espresso base instead and double up on your whipped creme to keep your frappe extra creamy.
And speaking of caffeine…
If you want an alternative to pumpkin spice latte in the fall, this butterbeer latte recipe is an excellent substitution! The subtle hints of CINNAMON and NUTMEG can make your latte just as unique.
A wizard drinks coffee, too! Coffee is served every morning in Hogwarts, so the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is no stranger to that extra boost of caffeine.
Plus, the Vitamin A from your milk is a useful addition to your overall nutrition!
For this recipe, just follow these easy steps:
- Place a few teaspoons of your delicious butterscotch sauce at the bottom of your mug.
- Add a dash of whipped creme to your butterscotch.
- Pour a shot of espresso (or two!) for your caffeine.
- Add textured or steamed milk into the mug.
Now, why add your whipped creme before your coffee? Simple. If you don’t have a steam wand at home, you might have a hard time recreating the foamy latte goodness.
By having some whipped creme at the bottom, you can recreate the foam on top of your latte – and good butterbeer! – with a bit of creativity.
The butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal or the WB Studio Tour doesn’t have any alcohol in it AT. ALL.
But if you want to be under the influence at a Christmas party, there’s a way to do that, too. In fact, the bonding activities of Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione include drinking butterbeer at Three Broomsticks.
In case you missed it: Three Broomsticks is a pub.
So yes, while the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s version of Butterbeer omits the alcohol, there’s NOTHING stopping you from adding some booze for your own homemade recipes.
You can go with these options for dirtying your beverage:
- Option A: Add a shot of spirit. Choices include rum or vanilla vodka.
- Option B: Add liqueur, like Irish Cream.
- Option C: Mix it with butterscotch beer, like this Flying Cauldron beer. Talk about consistency!
This way, you can have a nightcap and share your love of Harry Potter: an alcoholic drink for you, and a safe one for your child!
Ditch The Cream Soda!
Cream soda is an important part of your basic Harry Potter Butterbeer recipe. In fact, I haven’t seen any recipe that doesn’t use cream soda!
Now, this suggestion is going to be a bit controversial, because a butterbeer isn’t really butterbeer without the cream soda.
But hear me out here: the Harry Potter book series describes Butterbeer as “less sickly butterscotch,” so it’s probably meant to taste LESS SWEET than a lot of these recipes call for.
Besides, making your homemade butterbeer less sugary is always a better idea for your nutrition, calories, and overall health.
Cream Soda Replacements
In this version, substituting cream soda with Sprite gives a citrusy-lime zing, a lot like a vibrant IPA or a Belgian witbier.
Substituting your cream soda with ginger ale can add extra-spicy notes to your butter beer.
If you’ve ever tried a ginger beer float recipe before, you’d know that it tastes like a refreshing, cold Masala chai.
Want to up the ante? Add cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. It might taste a lot like the “warmth” that Harry Potter lovingly experiences in your own homemade butterbeer.
If you want a forward butterscotch taste without any additional sweetness, soda water might do the trick. Mix soda water 50:50 with cream soda.
Soda water is like a cream soda, minus the vanilla and sweetness. In case your purpose is to reduce your drink’s sweetness, you can mix some soda water with your cream soda for a more balanced drink.
You don’t need to take a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to enjoy this magical beverage. With the right recipes, regular people like you and me can enjoy this beverage, too!
Just pick any recipe from our list and have a magical time, just like Harry Potter.
Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy. I’ve been homebrewing for +20 yrs, an aspiring pro-brewer and micro brewery owner!