Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I’ve loved it since I first watched The Sorcerer’s Stone when the movie was released, then I devoured the books. I’ve been to midnight book releases (dressing up for one of them) and midnight movie releases. I listen to the soundtracks while I write almost daily. Tyler’s nursery was the Gryffindor Common Room when he was born, and when we moved, that became Ryan’s room. I’ve made my own wand.
Probably the “nerdiest” Harry Potter thing I’ve done, according to my family, is hosting a monthly Harry Potter Club at my house. We all wear our House colors, watch the movie, play the co-op board game, and revel in our love of all things Hogwarts. It started when a friend had some people over to watch Fantastic Beasts when it released on DVD, and we decided we should all get together to watch the movies. I decided on once a month, starting this past January, and we would watch one movie per month. We are skipping June and July since they are such busy months. It will work out that we watch the eight original movies, then Fantastic Beasts again at the start of November so we can all see Crimes of Grindelwald when it premieres.
Yes, we are a bunch of nerds. To top it off, we make Harry Potter inspired food every month to share with each other. And being July is Harry Potter month, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to share all the delicious, amazing, fantastical foods we have made over the year.
If you didn’t know, July is HP month because Harry Potter’s birthday (and author, J.K. Rowling’s birthday) is on July 31st. It’s practically a holiday for most fans!
There’s no better recipe to start the month off with than Butterbeer!
“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
Butterbeer is always mentioned as a warm drink, although if you go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, you can purchase it frozen as well. When we go to the parks, I always prefer the frozen drink, but Justin likes the regular. The recipe I make is room-temperature. I don’t chill it, but it isn’t hot either.
To make butterbeer, you have to have butterscotch syrup, the same kind you would use as an ice cream topping. I couldn’t find any at the grocery store, so I made some from home, and it tasted so much better than anything storebought. I recommend making the butterscotch syrup at least a few hours before you want the butterbeer, if not a day or two before (it keeps well in the refrigerator as long as it is sealed tight in a glass jar).
When you make butterscotch syrup, you need to make sure to have all of your ingredients measured and at hand. You have to be quick when adding things, so you don’t have time to hunt for ingredients while you are cooking.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Just as it melts, add all of the brown sugar and stir until the sugar is all wet from the butter.
Stir occasionally, until the mixture doesn’t look grainy anymore and starts to look molten. This takes about 3-5 minutes, and make sure you use the spoon to scrape all of the brown sugar from the pan as it cooks.
Once the brown sugar looks more liquid and less like sand, add the cream and use a whisk to stir. Lower the temperature to low until the mixture is combined, then turn the heat up to medium.
Use a candy thermometer to watch the temperature of the sugar and whisk every few minutes until it reaches 225F, usually about 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Transfer the butterscotch to a heatproof container, such as a glass jar and leave it out to cool to room temperature without a lid.
It takes anywhere from 1-3 hours to cool, depending on the size of the jar and the temperature in the house. Once it’s cooled, add the vanilla extract and salt and whisk until it is completely mixed in.
The butterscotch can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month, so you can make multiple batches of butterbeer, or use it as a topping for ice cream later.
When you have your syrup done and are ready to prepare the butterbeer, empty 2 liters of cream soda into a serving pitcher and whisk in 1/4 cup of the butterscotch syrup (if your syrup hardens in the refrigerator, leave it out for a few minutes to soften).
Make the cream topping by using an electric mixer or stand mixer to whisk the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Then fold in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the butter and stir until it is no longer streaky.
Pour the butterbeer into a serving glass and top with a scoop (or two) of the cream topping and enjoy!
- 4 tbsp butter (unsalted)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup butter (melted)
- 2 liters cream soda
- 1/4 cup butterscotch syrup (from recipe)
- Have all ingredients measured and ready for butterscotch
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat
- Add in brown sugar and stir until wet from butter
- Stir occasionally until the mixture looks molten, about 3-5 minutes
- Turn the heat to low and add the cream, whisking to combine
- Turn heat up to medium and cook until it reaches 225F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally
- Turn off the heat and let the syrup rest for a few minutes
- Transfer to a heat-resistant container and let cool to room temperature (anywhere from 1-3 hours)
- Once cool, add the vanilla and salt and stir to combine
- Store in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator for up to one month
- When you are ready to serve the butterbeer, whisk the heavy cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form
- Fold in the sugar and vanilla extract
- Add the butter until it is no longer streaky
- In a large serving pitcher, whisk the cream soda with 1/4 cup of the butterscotch syrup
- To serve, pour butterbeer into a serving glass and top with a scoop or two of the cream topping