“Why don’t we go and have a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, it’s a bit cold, isn’t it?” — Hermione Granger, in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”
It is a bit cold, isn’t it? I lit the first fire of the season recently. I’m constantly craving a warm drink to ward off the chill.
Very unfortunately, J.K. Rowling did not include a recipe for butterbeer with the Harry Potter books. Since she didn’t, I decided I’d have to try it out for myself.
I gathered some friends and we went to work. And by work, I mean we leaned against the counters in the kitchen and drank warm drinks. I know, I know, but someone has to do the hard jobs.
To give your butterbeer a boozy kick, I suggest adding butterscotch schnapps. Spiced rum and honey whiskey also go nicely with these, although they taste less authentic to me.
For a nice-looking finish and a bit more decadence, top any of these drinks with lightly sweetened real whipped cream and a drizzle of butterscotch syrup.
This first recipe was the favorite of the majority of our group.
Butterbeer with milk and spices
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ounce butterscotch schnapps or butterscotch syrup (or amount to taste)
- Whipped cream to garnish (optional)
Combine all ingredients (except schnapps, if using) in a pan. Warm gently on stovetop until combined. Pour into mugs, add schnapps and whipped cream if desired, and serve. Makes 2 servings.
This recipe is a bit fussier, but all the hard work can be done in advance.
Butterbeer with ice cream
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Cream soda
Blend together all the ingredients. A stand mixer makes this a snap, but a hand mixer works, too.
Refreeze the mixture. When ready to use, soften the mixture in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a large scoop to 4 large mugs and top with cream soda. Makes 4 servings.
This is the simplest of the recipes, and could be easily doubled or more to feed a crowd.
Butterbeer with cream soda
- 1/2 cup butterscotch syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- Cream soda
Melt butterscotch and butter together until smooth. Pour into 4 tall glasses. Top with cream soda. Stir gently to combine. Makes 4 servings.
Recipes adapted from multiple sources