This week really seemed to fly by. It’s already time for another Harry Potter Saturday! Today, we’re exploring one of the HP universe’s most iconic treats–butterbeer! Butterbeer is first mentioned in The Prisoner of Azkaban, the third book in the series.
Recap Time–Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This book is noteworthy for several reasons. Perhaps most notably, it’s our introduction to Hogsmeade, where Hogwarts students go on weekends to indulge in every imaginable treat from zany institutions such as the impossibly fun-sounding Zonko’s Joke Shop and Honeydukes, the most magical candy store known to wizardkind. Not to mention the Three Broomsticks, where butterbeer can be found. Weekend trips to Hogsmeade are reserved for only third year students and above, and all students must have a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian. This is an issue for poor Harry who obviously cannot get his parents’ signatures from the grave, and having his Uncle Vernon or Aunt Petunia sign is firmly out of the question given their staunch anti-magic philosophy.
Of course, Ron and Hermione bring back tons of sweets for Harry from their trip to Hogsmeade, but if we know Harry, it’ll take more than a permission slip rule to keep him away from an adventure. Fred and George Weasley gift Harry with the Marauder’s Map–a magical map that shows every detail of the Hogwarts castle and the location of everyone in it or on its grounds. Immediately after he receives the map with explanation on how to use it from the Weasley twins, he utilizes a secret passage to sneak into Hogsmeade.
After meeting up with Ron and Hermione in Honeydukes, the trio head to the Three Broomsticks. It’s here where Harry tastes butterbeer for the first time:
Ron came back five minutes later, carrying three foaming tankards of hot butterbeer.
“Merry Christmas!” he said happily, raising his tankard.
Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, pg. 201
A Brief History of (the Real) Butterbeer
According to the Harry Potter Wiki site, butterbeer may actually be inspired by a real drink that was popular during the Tudor period. The drink was made with beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves, and butter and was appropriately named “buttered beere.” I’ve found a 17 century buttered beere recipe that seems to mimic the real life Medieval version of the iconic Harry Potter brew.
The Good Stuff–Butterbeer Recipe
For our purposes of recreating butterbeer, I’ve chosen to go with a chilled recipe because it’s the version I enjoyed during our recent trip to Hogsmeade in Harry Potter World at Islands of Adventure, and I desperately wanted to relive this moment:
Here’s how it turned out!
I adapted the recipe from the one found here at Favorite Family Recipes, and it came out smooth and delicious (especially the butterscotch topping). My changes included using a full teaspoon of the extracts, and I substituted vanilla extract for the caramel extract the recipe calls for because I couldn’t track any down in time. Enjoy!
- hand mixer
- 2 liters cream soda, chilled Use the brand that you like best.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp butter extract
For the topping
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup butterscotch topping The kind you use for ice cream sundaes
- Beat the heavy whipping cream at high speed until it begins to thicken. Mix to preference. If you want a thicker texture, keep mixing until stiff peaks form. For a runnier texture, mix until desired thickness.
- Add the butterscotch topping and powdered sugar to the whipped cream, and mix until combined.
- Separately, mix in the extracts with the cream soda.
- Serve the butterbeer in your preferred drinking vessels, and top with the butterscotch whipped cream.
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