Butterbeer

By • December 18, 2010 • 40 Comments

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Author Notes: Butterbeer (yes! from the magical world of harry potter!) is meant to taste "a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch." This version is nonalcoholic, so kids can have it too, but for an adult butterbeer you can replace the cider with Woodchuck hard apple cider and add a few glugs of spiced rum for good measure! arielleclementine

Food52 Review: More hot toddy than punch, this sweet concoction is inspired by Harry Potter's wizardry and will surely be enjoyed by both kids and adults. A sweet and buttery syrup combines with apple cider and vanilla to create a velvety, warm cider base. The ginger ale adds a little pep and the unsweetened whipped cream balances out the 'almost' too sweet butterbeer. Do try the adult version, add a dash of rum to cut the sweetness.jvcooks

Serves 6-8

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • whipped cream, for garnish
  1. Make the butterscotch syrup: melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, 1/4 cup cream, and sea salt. Whisk to combine. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in vanilla and cider and heat until very hot, and the butterscotch syrup has dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in ginger ale. Serve with loads of whipped cream on top.
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Comments (40) Questions (1)

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11 months ago Jeff

Hi there, is there any way to cut out some of the sweetness in the recipe? While tasting great this recipe was so rich it was hard to have more than a sip of the drink at a time

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10 months ago Rose Lewis

I bet you could bring the sugar down by choosing a natural, not-so-sweet apple cider, and replacing the ginger ale with a spicy ginger beer... I'd be wary of using less sugar to make the butterscotch, but you might be able to experiment - take out a teaspoon or soon and see ow that affects the flavor. But really, most of your sugar is coming from the liquids, the cider and the ginger ale. Wonder if you drop the ginger ale for club soda and add some fresh ground ginger instead? Looks like a great recipe, though. I know what I'll be making this Christmas!

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10 months ago Rose Lewis

Sorry, should say "a teaspoon or so, and see how that affects..."

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11 months ago Ceege

Per this recipe, up to what point can I make this "ahead" in order to take to a party? I think this would be the hit of the evening. I plan on taking along a bottle of spiced rum for those who want to imbibe.

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11 months ago seanmccoy

Tried this tonight, and gave a cup to one of my daughters who came back into the kitchen and said "I don't know what this is, but it's heaven in a cup!" I thought it was very good, but would like it to be a bit frothier and, if possible, slightly less sweet. Is the taste of the Ginger Ale critical, or do you think substituting Club Soda might work? For next time, I'm considering first beating the heavy cream a bit before adding it, and increasing the ratio of the butterscotch syrup to the cider to make it thicker. Also wondering if a little cinnamon or nutmeg might be good. And definitely a bit of rum! Thoughts, anyone?

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over 1 year ago basileorri

This is probably the most random comment ever but where can I buy that mug!
It's gorgeous!!
& also, I definitely intend upon making this during the holidays... two more seasons to go! (:

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almost 2 years ago Hollyeve

I made this twice this Thanksgiving weekend and it was a big hit. The first time I only made a single batch, the second time I doubled it. Absolutely a keeper.

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over 2 years ago Christine_K

Has anyone try this cold? Thank you!

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

Hi! I haven't intentionally served this cold, but I have had it after it had come to room temperature, and I still thought it was pretty tasty. I think it would be pretty nice over ice! Please let me know how it goes if you end up trying it!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

almost 3 years ago lapadia

Lovely recipe and photo!

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

oh thank you! i wanted to put it in a big beer stein for the photo, but i didn't have one, so i settled for one of my mom's tea cups :)

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almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I had heard of butter beer but never knew what it was, now I do. What a wonderful recipe! Tippin the hat to Mr. Potter and crew. Thanks for posting this. Very festive!

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

thanks so much! anything warm, sweet, and apple-y, with gratuitous whipped cream is ok in my book :)

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh love this - especially the two versions! I've wondered and wondered what butter beer was.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

boulangere, this is really amazing stuff!! we make it a lot. arielleclementine, might be a good contender for this week's theme!!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Great to know, mrsl. I can so see making this when the "kids" are here for Christmas.

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

thanks friends! you guys are really nice :)

Mrs._larkin_370

about 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

We've made this a few times already. It's awesome! On the menu for tomorrow's festivities, of course!

Henrykiss

about 3 years ago arielleclementine

Oh hooray! And thank you! I'm lucky to live near the Alamo drafthouse, which allows you to bring your brand new (read: scream-y) baby to special matinees of new releases! Can't wait to see it!!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

haha! isn't the alamo drafthouse the one that ejected the texting psycho lady? I want to go there! Kids are seeing it in 3-D tomorrow midnight.They will probably be scream-y too. And they're teenagers. :)

Henrykiss

about 3 years ago arielleclementine

the very same! they're so cool. also, you're hilarious :)

Cakecake

almost 4 years ago campagnes

Holy cow.. this sounds wonderful!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks so much!

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almost 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks just wonderful! I'm making this over the holidays for sure!!!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

hooray! thank you!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Funny!!! The Literal Harry Potter Trailer is really funny too: http://www.youtube.com...

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

yeeessss! love it!

Dsc_0048b

almost 4 years ago healthierkitchen

I'm sure my daughter will want to try this!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks! i hope she loves it :) i remember the first time my mom made us 'magic cookies' (what she called seven layer bars), i was captivated with the idea of them being magical. it's fun to be a kid!

Gator_cake

almost 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yummy....for an adult version I bet a rum or bourbon would be great in this!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

absolutely! this was my attempt to recreate the virgin butterbeer sold at the alamo drafthouse, the awesome theater here in austin where i saw the latest HP movie. they also sold an alchoholic one, which was made with woodchuck apple cider and sailor jerry spiced rum!

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almost 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Sounds yummy! (Even though I don't get the Harry Potter reference...am I the only person in the universe who hasn't read those books?!)

Gator_cake

almost 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

pretty much!

Newliztoqueicon-2

almost 4 years ago Lizthechef

It was the winter drink of choice for the magic students in the books ...I want to go to Hogwarts!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks, drbabs! give the books a spin if you have a chance- they're really wonderful :)

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh me too, Lizthechef! more specifically, i'd like to be at one of the Christmas feasts at Hogwarts!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Oh, yum! My kids will lurv this! Perfect to bring along in a thermos to a quidditch tournament!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks mrslarkin! oh man, did you see the quidditch world cup on the news a month or so ago? so much fun!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

yes! a blast! I loved the last movie (I got weepy at the end). Can't wait for the next one. Have you seen Potter Puppet Pals on youtube? So so funny.

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

yes! i love love those! i also love brad neely's 'wizard people' - where he narrates the entire first movie terribly (nsfw!): http://www.youtube.com...