Highly Alcoholic Butterbeer

Those who have known me for 5 minutes or more will attest that my love affair for all things Harry Potter transcends normal fandom.

This is more than just a “I-stayed-up-until-midnight-to-get-all-of-the-books-on-their-release-date,” sort of love. Sure, I’ve done all the normal fandimonium things — read all the books, saw all the movies, went to every midnight release (in costume).

No, this is much, much more.

I’ve made Harry Potter-themed baked goods. I have a memory box with trading cards, ticket stubs, and HP stationary. I am currently drinking water from a Gryffindor cup. There is a chocolate frog on my bedside table. I named my first dog after a Harry Potter character.

Padfoot, a.k.a Sirius Black

But nothing is more elusive to this muggle’s mind than the perfect pint of butterbeer.

Little is known about this magnificent beverage. HP devotees will travel far and wide to sample the J.K. Rowling approved recipe at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. Indeed, this winter I was one of them!

My best friend Amanda and I sampling the offerings at the Hog’s Head Bar

Being the natural negativo that I am, I was expecting something hokey that amounted to not much more than glorified cream soda. But oh boy, was I wrong. I mean, it was like a mild cream soda, but it was topped with this thick, rich, creamy, fluff-like topping. Oh man, it was goooooooooood.

Since I’ve recently dabbled in infusing my own vodka and crafting my own cocktails, I knew that the second I returned home from HP World (i.e., paradise), I would be finding a way to make an adult (alcoholic) version of this magical concoction.

But I quickly became dismayed while looking at recipes that involved too many ingredients (really, there’s no need to be infusing butter with cloves), were not the correct color or thickness, or frankly didn’t have enough alcohol.

More specifically, I was most interested in recreating the frothy topping, which my best friend and HP companion quickly compared to liquid fluff. Since she was with me when sampling the real deal, we made it our mission the next time she came to visit to really nail down an out-of-this-world butterbeer cocktail.

Lucky, we hit the nail on the head with our very first attempt, and in both of our humble opinions, it stands up to the official, Rowling-sanctioned virgin version. We both have slightly different tastes (Amanda loves her stuff SWEET), so the recipe gives a little wiggle room for making it your own.

I’ve now tested this recipe on a half dozen in-the-know participants and it has won top marks across the board. What really sets this recipe apart is the foam topping that makes the butterbeer look like actually frothy beer from a tap. Be careful with this one, it goes down easy, but it packs a punch!


  • 1 – 2 oz. butterscotch shnapps, depending on how sweet you want it (I prefer 1 oz.)
  • 2 oz. whipped cream flavored vodka
  • 6 oz. cream soda
  • 1 large spoonful marshmallow fluff + just a smidge of butterscotch shnapps
  1. In a tumbler, mix together the ice, schnapps, vodka, and cream soda. Strain into a chilled clear pint glass.
  2. In a small container, use a fork to whip together marshmallow fluff and a smidge of shnapps (a dab of cream soda also helps break it down really well) — keep whipping until liquid and easily pourable (2-3 minutes). Pour on top of butterbeer as the “head.” Enjoy!

11 thoughts on “Highly Alcoholic Butterbeer

  1. OH MY GOD!!! I tried this tonight and the topping tasted exactly EXACTLY like the stuff I tried at Universal. I have been looking for an alocholic version of butterbeer that is not hugely complicated but still awesome forever. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

  2. I, Amanda, the best friend and HP companion, would like to reinforce how ridiculously AMAZING this recipe is and how insanely authentic the flavor is! Seriously people, the fluff makes it. I have been dreaming about butterbeer since we made this and I am going to the liquor store tomorrow to get me the fixin’s 😀 LOVE YOU BOOSHIE!

      • Ok, finally bought the whipped cream vodka and made these tonight. They are so VERY good and like the ones at Universal…only man do they hit you! I hate to think how many calories are in them so I won’t, I will just enjoy! We ordered it frozen (it was hot) in the souvenir mug. On a side note, if you get one, you can have it refilled with ice water at any stand in the park.

      • I’m so glad you liked it! I’m sure there’s a ton of calories in them, but if you can find diet cream soda, that works just as well. It’s a pretty rich and sweet drink, so it’s hard for me to have more than one each time I make it, otherwise I’d definitely be rocking a butterbeer belly, I’m sure!

  3. Oh man! Thank you SO much for giving us this recipe. I haven’t been to Universal yet, so I don’t have anything (but my imagination) to compare this to, but it’s GOOD. The only thing I did differently was cut down the vodka, because it tends to make me sick. Good stuff!

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