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.
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!
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
- In a tumbler, mix together the ice, schnapps, vodka, and cream soda. Strain into a chilled clear pint glass.
- 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!