Brown Butter Spiced Ale

December 21, 2012
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

I love hot toddies, especially hot buttered rum. This is a twist on that delicious drink using ale, a splash of brandy, browned butter and spices. I recently made it using pumpkin ale and it's wonderful. —sdebrango

Test Kitchen Notes

Flavorful and rich, creamy and warming, sweet and spiced just enough to mellow the bitterness of ale, this drink is a special treat. The splash of brandy definitely adds a wonderfully boozy touch. Sipping this drink will give you that warm cozy felling on chilly winter days. —Kukla

What You'll Need
  • 12 ounces ale of your choice (my new favorite is pumpkin ale)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Splash brandy (about 1 tablespoon) per glass
  • 1 Cinnamon stick for garnish
  1. Add butter to small saucepan and melt on medium heat. Cook until butter becomes a light brown and has a slightly nutty smell (approximately 3 minutes). Reduce heat to low and add brown sugar and spices -- cook until brown sugar is dissolved and the mixture is paste-like. Scrape into small bowl or ramekin and cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Add the ale to the same saucepan and heat on medium until hot. Spoon two tablespoonds of the spiced butter mixture in serving glass, pour hot ale into glass and add a splash of brandy (about 1 or 2 tablespoons) and stir. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Chris Van Houten
    Chris Van Houten
  • Mae
  • Nancy Charlton
    Nancy Charlton
  • MnCampCook
  • BoulderGalinTokyo
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.

11 Reviews

Chris V. December 18, 2013
Oh wow- this was rich and delicious! I used Metropolitan Brewing Company's Hibernation Ale and bourbon in place of brandy because I didn't have brandy in the cabinet. Warming and satisfying! The whole time I thought about Harry Potter and friends drinking "Butterbeer" and wondered if it tasted anything like this :)
Chris V. December 19, 2013
Oops- my bad. Hibernation Ale is from Great Divide Brewing Co, not Metropolitan! Either way, the recipe was excellent!
Mae October 26, 2013
I have to be honest, I didn't like this very much at all. It was very bitter, which was disappointing because it sounded so good! I used New Castle and E&J Brandy. The brown sugar melted into a hard sticky clump. Maybe I cooked it for too long, or maybe it's supposed to do that, and the flavor is just not for me.
Mae November 3, 2013
Ok, so I tried this again with some modifications, and it turned out great! Aside from using a different ale, I didn't brown the butter (just melted in a saucepan), and then mixed in all the sugar and spices, including a tablespoon of coco powder. Also, I didn't heat the beer. When I poured it all into the beer (along with the brandy) it did this really cool bubbly thing, before erupting like a volcano! But then it settled down, and now it tastes great.
Nancy C. October 23, 2013
Isn't this wassail? Hot mulled ale? Perhaps, though, wassail has some cider, and if served in a punch bowl, baked or roasted apples. "When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl/ And Dick the shepherd blows his nail..."
I'm glad to have a recipe and a method for making a single mug at a time. Thank you.
MnCampCook January 20, 2013
I made this with a vanilla porter, it was fabulous. Reminded me of Christmas pudding only it's in a glass. Will definitely be doing this again.
BoulderGalinTokyo January 11, 2013
Wonderful smells coming from the kitchen! Thanks for a great recipe!
inpatskitchen December 23, 2012
This looks and sounds amazing!!! Merry Christmas!
Kukla December 22, 2012
I made it Suzanne, and it was very, very tasty! My granddaughter came over yesterday and both of us enjoyed your drink. I had it with brandy but into my granddaughter’s glass I dropped a square of semisweet chocolate, while it was still hot and when it melted, I took a sip and it was even more delicious. By the way, nutmeg is mentioned in the recipe twice.
Kukla December 21, 2012
I like warm boozy drinks with spices, especially when the weather is cool. While I still have a good Indian Pale Ale and all the spices, I am going to make your drink Suzanne tonight.
hardlikearmour December 21, 2012
Nicely done! I bet the bitterness of the ale works really well with the spices and sweet.