If you've been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, you know how magically delectable the butterbeer they serve is. Since visiting the theme park years ago, my muggle heart has not stopped dreaming about that frothy, rich mocktail — and all the butterbeer recipes I can use to make it at home. (You can turn it boozy by adding butterscotch schnapps, vanilla vodka, or a cream liqueur such as Baileys.)
What is butterbeer?
In her books, J.K Rowling refers to butterbeer as a creamy, golden-colored concoction served at pubs in Diagon Alley and near The Leaky Cauldron pub. Students of Hogwarts would often buy a pint when visiting the Three Broomsticks Inn in Hogsmeade, and it was served at special events such as the Yule Ball and Bill and Fleur’s wedding.
Despite the name, butterbeer is described as tasting “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch” — that is, not overly sweet like butterscotch candy or cookies — and mostly nonalcoholic (though it would have alcoholic effects on muggles and magical creatures such as house-elves).
If you're wondering how to whip up a delicious, wizard-worthy butterbeer at home for your next Harry Potter movie marathon or themed party, look no further. With just a few simple ingredients, you can re-create butterbeer that would meet with approval by the strictest professors at Hogwarts (ahem, Snape).
Butterbeer recipe for kids and non-drinkers:
This butterbeer recipe from Tablespoon is a good starting point for an alcohol-free version kids can enjoy. You'll need to combine brown sugar and water in a gently boiling saucepan, simmering to the right temperature with the help of a candy thermometer, and stir in butter, salt, vinegar, and heavy cream, followed by rum extract. Beat the brown sugar mixture with more heavy cream until it's just thickened. Pour about a quarter-cup of the mixture into each of four tall glasses, add cream soda, and stir to combine. A frothy whipped topping is vital; more brown sugar makes for an optional garnish.
@playpartyplan This butterbeer is magic 🪄 #themeparkfoods #copycatrecipie #butterbeers #drinksforkids #harrypotterfood ♬ Harry Potter - The Intermezzo Orchestra
Butterbeer recipe with booze:
Bring this easy boozy alternative from Liquor.com to the after-party after the kids have gone to bed. Equal amounts of vanilla vodka and butterscotch schnapps meets cream soda, topped by thick whipped cream that's been mixed with butterscotch sundae topping.
@recipehoarder Recipe 44! Alcoholic Butterbeer! I’ve had this recipe saved for ages, and I’m so glad I finally made it. This was so delicious! #harrypotter #butterbeer #homemade #recipes #drinktok #drinks #recipehoarder #harrypotterfood #harrypotterdrink #LikeAMonarch ♬ Professor Umbridge - Nicholas Hooper
How long can butterbeer last in the fridge?
Though it's best enjoyed fresh, as the mix of dairy ingredients don't typically sit well, you can store butterbeer in a well-sealed container in the fridge for up to two days.