Tuesday, October 23, 2012


  What is Butterbeer? Well, as Harry Potter fans will tell you, it's a popular wizarding beverage that tastes like butterscotch. It is said to be served cold in bottles or hot in "foaming tankards".  There are apparently many recipes for it, but this one seems to be the closest to the magical brew. It's pretty simple to make, even though there are a couple steps to it.
 I suppose you could just go to the Hogshead Tavern in Hogsmead and buy a pint (if you have 2 silver sickles, that is), but their stock is "very dusty" and has probably been there for a while. It's probably a better idea go to the Three Broomsticks Inn. Then again, you can always have some at the Leaky Cauldron, if you happen to be in Diagon Alley.
 But, like I always say, it's better when YOU make it! So save yourself the time and travel and whip up a batch at home. You'll love it! Btw, if you do make it to the Three Broomsticks, tell Madam Rosmerta I said Hi!

1 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
cream soda

In a small saucepan over medium, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240 F on a candy thermometer. (Be careful not to burn it!!)
Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.
In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped.
To serve, add a tablespoon or two of the brown sugar mixture in tall glasses or mugs. Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.

As Winky the house elf can attest, the wizarding version of Butterbeer is described as being "slightly alcoholic". If you would like to add alcohol to yours, simply add some Buttershots butterscotch schnapps, as much as you like!

This is really more like a dessert than a beverage, as far as I'm concerned.
I think the next time I make it, I may cut the cream soda with a little seltzer water. It's VERY sweet. I even adjusted the recipe to reduce the amount of the butterscotch in each glass just because I think a 1/4 cup in each glass is just a little bit excessive. (which is what the original recipe called for).
To serve it cold, make sure the cream soda is well chilled and ice cold. To serve it hot, just heat the cream soda to a low simmer and serve it the same way. Personally, I prefer the cold version because I like the fizz. Of course, if you have your wand handy, you can add some fizz to the hot version as well. Just don't let any Muggles see you doing it!

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