My first experience with the famous Butterbeer recipe from the Harry Potter novels was nothing short of magical. I grew up reading the books then watching the subsequent films, so I could not wait to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for myself. Not only was I impressed with the immersive theming of the land at Universal Orlando, but being able to enjoy the same food and drinks as my favorite characters was icing on the cake.
Raising my own "Potterheads," the affectionate nickname given to Harry Potter fans, has renewed my love of the series and encouraged me to recreate some of the magic at home. While we're annual pass holders at Universal Orlando, we can't visit as often as we like, thus the need for some at-home fun.
When I heard about The Unofficial Hogwarts Cookbook for Kids, a Harry Potter-inspired recipe collection, I couldn't wait to try the recipes inside with my budding chefs. All of the recipes were inspired by the Harry Potter books or by classic British cuisine Harry and his friends may have grown up with. As a family, we were drawn to the book's recipe for "Butterscotch Beer" because it was easy to make at home and didn't require a trip to the grocery store for extra ingredients.
Alana Al-Hatlani, author of The Unofficial Hogwarts Cookbook for Kids, says, "recipe development is a bit like potions class."
"You have a lot of different ingredients and you need to find the right amount of each to make a perfect recipe," she tells Yahoo Life. "There is a lot of trial and error, but it's a fun process."
While the exact recipe for Butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains proprietary information, many recipes have attempted to replicate this beloved beverage. Guests visiting the Wizarding World can enjoy their Butterbeer hot, cold or frozen, but Al-Hatlani's recipe calls for the drink to be cold (or frozen if one were to blend it before sipping).
After gathering the necessary ingredients, my daughter and I started by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Once it was good and melted, we added in brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream. Because we didn't want anything to burn, we spent a little less than five minutes stirring all of the ingredients until they were dissolved.
Waiting for the mixture to cool was the hardest part. We were eager to taste our hard work as soon as we were able. After about fifteen minutes, the butterscotch mixture was cool enough to add to our ice-filled glasses and top with lemon-lime soda.
Topping the ice-filled glass with the soda gives it the foamy topping that's an easily recognizable part of a traditional Butterbeer. We experimented with putting it all in a blender with a little more ice, and we were rewarded with a frozen version that tasted even better.
Want to make your own version of Butterbeer? Al-Hatlani shares her recipe for kids (and adults) to try whenever they're missing the Wizarding World.
Courtesy of Alana Al-Hatlani, author of The Unofficial Hogwarts Cookbook for Kids
A Wizarding World favorite, this "beer" recipe allows you to enjoy a cup full of butterscotch-y goodness whenever you'd like, even if you aren't at a wizarding bar.
Yield 4 glasses
Cook time 25 minutes
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
20 ounces lemon-lime soda
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter.
2. When the butter is melted, add the brown sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
3. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes, until the brown sugar is completely dissolved.
4. Whisk in the heavy whipping cream and continue to cook for 1 minute.
5. Allow this mixture to cool to room temperature, 15 minutes.
6. When cool, divide between 4 large glasses filled halfway up with ice.
7. Slowly top with soda, but be careful not to overfill, as the mixture will bubble and foam. Stir to blend and enjoy.
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