Raise a glass to Harry Potter with 3 recipes for butterbeer

“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

More in Life

For Texas BBQ, look for the school bus at the reptile museum

This husband-and-wife team has been serving up brisket and more for a decade in Monroe.

This new Pacific Northwest history textbook is a page turner

Opportunity, growth, conflict. It all happened here, historian David Jepsen says. “Snohomish… Continue reading

The ‘Whimsical Woman’ shares what she learns on the trail

Jennifer Mabus came here from Nevada and Hawaii. She leads hikes and blogs about them.

Restored historic bungalow is featured Everett Home Tour stop

The new owners received high praise from previous inhabitants for preserving its character.

Oh, the horrors! ‘mother’ an exhausting carnival of chaos

What is “mother!”? The coy publicity for this non-capitalized movie hasn’t revealed… Continue reading

Urban trails: 10 hiking destinations close to home

You don’t have to go into the backcountry to hike through Snohomish… Continue reading

Glamping: This mom’s new fav way to do family vacations

After spending the summer searching for the perfect tent trailer, I finally… Continue reading

This father’s reflections on the joys and fears of parenthood

I loved having children. It’s been one of the high points of… Continue reading

Most Read