Harry Potter Boozy Butterbeer

4.97 from 52 votes

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!

a clear mug of boozy Harry Potter butterbeer with whipped cream and butterscotch drizzle with a red and yellow scarf, map, wand and feather quill

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Harry Potter Butterbeer Cocktail Recipe

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.

a glass of boozy Harry Potter butterbeer with a long copper spoon resting in the glass

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.

Homemade butterbeer vs. original

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 at least a little 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 butterbeer the warmth that the Harry Potter movies and books describe. It is cheerful and honestly just so much fun to be sipping butterbeer at home!

top view of boozy Harry Potter butterbeer with butterscotch drizzle on top next to a map, harry potter book, wand and scarf

Ingredients

You will need a few simple ingredients for butterbeer with alcohol:

Butterscotch schnapps

Other recipes call for butter extract, but since this is a cocktail we can get the butterscotch flavor from the alcohol, butterscotch schnapps.

Look for it 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.

Vanilla vodka

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

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.

Whipped cream

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 whipped heavy whipping cream with 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 or Irish cream. No whipped cream? You can use vanilla ice cream instead.

Butterscotch sauce

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.

a pint of alcoholic harry potter butter beer with whipped cream and butterscotch sauce dripping down the glass next to a wand and a feather quill

How to make alcoholic butterbeer

This Harry Potter boozy butterbeer recipe 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 as long as you have time for (15-30 minutes or more is plenty), 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:

  1. Pour butterscotch schnapps and vanilla vodka into your glass.
  2. Top with cold cream soda, almost all the way to the top.
  3. 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…

a glass mug of alcoholic Harry Potter butterbeer with a wand, books, map, feather and gryffindor scarf on a white background

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.

top view of Harry Potter boozy butterbeer with butterscotch drizzle on top next to a map, harry potter book, wand and scarf

Harry Potter cocktails

Now that you’ve made this adult butterbeer recipe, you can try your hand at some other magical drinks. They are a great idea for Halloween, HP marathons or any event where Harry Potter fans will be in attendance.

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.

FAQ

Is there an alcoholic version of butterbeer?

The butterbeer served at Universal Studios and the Harry Potter stores do not contain alcohol. The books do not explicitly state that butterbeer contains alcohol, but the warming and cheery effect described in the book indicates they may contain at least a little bit. You can make your own butterbeer cocktail with cream soda, butterscotch schnapps and whipped cream.

Can I make non-alcoholic butterbeer?

Certainly! Combine cream soda with a warmed butterscotch sauce and top it with sweet butterscotch whipped cream.

More butterbeer recipes

a glass of boozy Harry Potter butterbeer with a long copper spoon resting in the glass

Harry Potter Boozy Butterbeer

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Try your hand at this magical Harry Potter boozy butterbeer! It's better than the theme parks because you can enjoy it at home.
4.97 from 52 votes
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ingredients

  • 1 ½ ounce butterscotch schnapps
  • 1 ounce vanilla vodka
  • 12 ounces cream soda chilled
  • ¼ cup whipped cream
  • 1 ounce butterscotch sauce

instructions

  • 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.

notes

If making homemade whipped cream, use brown sugar instead of powdered sugar for extra butterscotch flavor.

recommended products

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nutrition information

Yield: 1 cocktail

amount per serving:

Serving: 16ounces Calories: 540kcal Carbohydrates: 76g Protein: 1g Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 9g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 11mg Sodium: 68mg Potassium: 44mg Sugar: 75g Vitamin A: 103IU Vitamin C: 0.03mg Calcium: 42mg Iron: 0.2mg
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Comments

  1. Michaela Kenkel says

    My son and his wife are HP fantastic!! I made these for them last weekend and they were so excited!! Thanks for another great cocktail recipe!

  2. Kathleen Pope says

    My sons are huge Harry Potter fans and I thought I’d surprise them by making them a butter beers while we binged Harry Potter! Oh my word, they were so yummy. Made spiked version for my hubby and I!

  3. Julie says

    This was my kind of dessert beverage! I drank mine just a little too quickly lol but it will not be my last!

  4. Erin says

    5 stars
    PERFECTION! I made one of these to split with my husband… and we quickly realized I needed to make a second because sharing was going to be tough. This boozy butterbeer has the perfect amount of sweetness without being overwhelming. I’ll be making this again!

  5. Erin says

    What a BRILLIANT idea to transform butterbeer into a boozy situation! I’m excited to make this and share with my husband, who also loves HP.

  6. Kristen Norman says

    This drink was amazing, I think I miscalculated the measurements and made a very VERY strong drink.. but it tasted exactly like the butterbeer at universal studios and we could not get enough of it!!

  7. Erin says

    I know it’s been a while since this was posted but I was hoping to ask a question. I’m hosting a Harry Potter themed Friendschristmas and I would love to serve this but I’m wondering if there’s a way to premix everything in my 4 gallon insulated drink bucket with a tap for easy serving. Thank you if this is seen at all 😄🪄

    • Susannah says

      Hey Erin! For the cold butterbeer, you can definitely pre-mix some of the ingredients. The only tricky part is the cream soda — since it is carbonated, it can go flat. If you add it right before the party starts, it would probably be fine for a couple of hours. You could also pre-mix the base, and add a bit to each glass, then top with the cream soda as you serve drinks. Then top with the whipped cream.

      For 8 cocktails, you would need: 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) butterscotch schnapps, 1 cup vanilla vodka and 12 twelve-ounce bottles of cream soda (96 ounces).

      Hope this helps!
      //susannah

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