There’s nothing like a big mug of Harry Potter Boozy Butterbeer to magically transport you right into Hogsmeade. This easy vanilla butterscotch cocktail is absolutely bewitching!
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Harry Potter Butterbeer
Every year around this time, I get a wild hair to re-read the Harry Potter books.
I’ve loved them ever since I was a kid. So much so, my dad used to take me to Barnes & Noble at midnight to pick up the next book, and he’d let me stay up late to read a little bit before bed. Then I’d spend the entire weekend reading non-stop.
Even now, my love hasn’t dwindled, and I’m proud to be a bit of a nerd, so I wanted to magic up a few Harry Potter cocktails this year for Halloween.
First up is butterbeer, of course! Let’s nerd out together, shall we?
What is butterbeer?
In the Harry Potter book series, butterbeer is a popular concoction served at pubs in the wizarding world. Students of Hogwarts would often buy it when visiting the Three Broomsticks Inn in Hogsmeade. It was also served at events like the Yule Ball and weddings such as Bill & Fleur’s.
Its flavor is butterscotch and the books indicate it was somewhat alcoholic to humans but also to magical creatures like house-elves.
The author described it as “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch,” which I assume means it wasn’t as super sweet as, say, butterscotch candy or a butterscotch skillet cookie.
Butterscotch is made from brown sugar and butter. It is similar to caramel, which is made with white sugar and butter, but the two are very different.
My friend Jenni has a post explaining all about the difference between butterscotch and caramel, but the main difference in flavor is this:
Butterscotch has notes of molasses and salt, which sets it apart from caramel.
Universal Studios Butterbeer
I first tried butterbeer on a trip to Universal Studios Orlando and their Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and also at the WB Studio Tour in London — and honestly? It was just okay.
I found it to be extremely sweet. I’ve never been a huge fan of cream soda, but that’s all I could taste when I tried Harry Potter World’s butterbeer.
My friends and I drank it all anyway because, hey, how often do you get to be in a place that’s straight out of your favorite book series sipping on the characters’ favorite drink?
Not often, but it still just wasn’t that great. I remember being disappointed in both the regular and frozen butterbeer at the park.
Another disappointing factor of Universal Studios’ butterbeer? They didn’t offer an alcoholic butterbeer for the adults. (And frankly, there are a lot of us. We’re the ones who grew up with HP!)
So I set out to make my own! In fact, I have three recipes for butterbeer on my site. This one, a frozen version and a hot version that’s more like a hot buttered rum.
Alcoholic butterbeer recipe
The butterbeer I set out to make today is much less sweet and lots boozier than the one you’ll find at the theme park.
Because this is a cocktail blog AND because the book indicates that butterbeer is likely boozy, I wanted to create an alcoholic butterbeer recipe for my fellow muggles that will make you wish your Hogwarts letter wasn’t lost in the mail.
I use butterscotch schnapps, vanilla vodka and brown sugar-flavored whipped cream, which really take regular cream soda to the next level (or next O.W.L., if you will).
Plus, the alcohol gives this Harry Potter butterbeer the warmth that the books describe. It is cheerful and honestly just so much fun to be sipping butterbeer at home!
You will need a few ingredients for butterbeer with alcohol:
Look for this in the liqueur section of your liquor store. This is a butterscotch-flavored liqueur that tastes just like real butterscotch, which is a blend of butter and brown sugar. The most famous brand is Buttershots by De Kuyper, which is made from Jamaican rum and neutral spirits and flavored with vanilla and butterscotch.
You can use any brand here, or you can make your own. I used Absolut Vanilia for mine. Feel free to use regular vodka if that’s all you have — the cream soda and butterscotch scnapps will still provide some vanilla flavor.
Cream soda is a sweet soft drink that’s flavored with vanilla and has a light golden brown color. You’ll want this to be chilled in your fridge for maximum refreshment. I used IBC brand for mine.
You can use store-bought whipped cream from a can or Cool Whip if you like, but to me homemade whipped cream makes a big difference.
I used brown sugar to give it more of a butterscotch flavor. If you have store-bought, you can stir in a little bit of butterscotch sauce, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired flavor.
You can also make it a boozy whipped cream. Follow these instructions for Baileys whipped cream and use butterscotch schnapps instead.
Making your own butterscotch sauce is always magical, but feel free to buy butterscotch topping from the store. It’s usually with the ice cream sundae toppings.
How to make alcoholic butterbeer
This boozy Harry Potter butterbeer is insanely easy. You can practically wave your wand and be done!
You will need a beer stein or pint glass, ideally chilled in the freezer for an hour or two, just like I do for my beermosa recipe.
While the glass is chilling you can make your whipped cream and get your ingredients ready for this easy butterbeer recipe.
Then follow these easy steps:
- Add butterscotch schnapps and vanilla vodka to your glass.
- Top with cold cream soda, almost all the way to the top.
- Spoon whipped cream over top and drizzle with butterscotch sauce.
Then clink glasses with your pals and say a toast to your Hogwarts house! (Go Gryffindor!)
I’m so glad I tried making this Harry Potter boozy butterbeer at home. It’s so much better than the butterbeer at Universal Studios.
Now, if only we could apparate to the real Hogsmeade and try the real deal to be sure it tastes just like this…
Harry Potter Boozy Butterbeer for a crowd
If you’re serving a group of people, you can easily multiply this recipe. These measurements will serve 12 people:
- 2 ¼ cups butterscotch schnapps
- 1 ½ cups vanilla vodka
- 4 liters cream soda
- 3 cups whipped cream
- 12 ounces butterscotch sauce
Chill the cream soda ahead of time. Then premix the butterscotch schnapps, vanilla vodka and cream soda, just before your event begins.
Then add the mixture to glasses and top with whipped cream and butterscotch syrup.
Harry Potter cocktails
Now that you’ve made this alcoholic butterbeer recipe, you can try your hand at some other magical drinks.
Made with black vodka and champagne, this Black Magic cocktail is dark and spooky.
And then there’s this Amortentia Potion Cocktail, which brings the scary love potion to life in this color-changing drink.
One sip of a Floo Powder Cocktail and hopefully you don’t wind up where you’re not supposed to be. Or worse, splinched!
This green Polyjuice Potion looks absolutely frightful and I really hope you don’t turn into a cat if you drink it.
If you’ve always wanted to try Harry Potter pumpkin juice, this grown-up version with whiskey is super fun. Or you can skip the booze and make this non-alcoholic pumpkin juice.
And this Deathly Hallows Cocktail looks absolutely haunting but I love it.
I love how creative these Harry potter cocktails are — they would be perfect for a magical Harry Potter party or themed Halloween bash!
And now a few words from Dumbledore:
Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you.
Harry Potter Boozy Butterbeer
Try your hand at this magical Harry Potter boozy butterbeer! It's better than the theme parks because you can enjoy it at home.
- 1 1/2 ounce butterscotch schnapps
- 1 ounce vanilla vodka
- 12 ounces cream soda, chilled
- 1/4 cup whipped cream
- 1 ounce butterscotch sauce
- Before making the drink, chill a beer stein in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
- In the beer stein, combine butterscotch schnapps and vanilla vodka. Top with cream soda.
- Spoon whipped cream over top and drizzle with butterscotch sauce.
If making homemade whipped cream, use brown sugar instead of powdered sugar for extra butterscotch flavor.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 cocktail
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 404Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 0gSugar: 80gProtein: 0g
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