This recipe for butterbeer is pure speculation since author J.K. Rowling does not provide a recipe for this quaff in her wildly popular Harry Potter book series.
In her books, Harry Potter's butterbeer tastes of butterscotch and contains a mild intoxicant. But this creamy dessert version is completely alcohol-free and suitable for children yet tasty enough to please adults as well.
A simple Irish version of butterbeer that dates back centuries involves melting butter in a pot and then pouring in beer to warm it. Perhaps that's what Rowling had in mind.
- 1 pint real vanilla ice cream (use a brand that includes vanilla seed specks for best flavor or make your own)
- 1/4 cup real butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon butterscotch extract
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 quart apple cider
- Apple slices for garnish, optional
- In a medium bowl with a mixer set to medium speed, beat together softened vanilla ice cream, butter, butterscotch extract, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined. Pour into a container and re-freeze.
- When ready to serve, gently heat apple cider in a saucepan until steaming hot.
- Place 1 scoop of ice cream in a thick soda glass or large mug. Top with steaming apple cider. Garnish with apple slices, if desired.
More Harry Potter-esque Food
- Treacle Tart Recipe: There are many references to treacle tart being featured on the long tables in the dining hall of Hogwarts. This is a classic and quite sweet British dessert made with a black treacle (black molasses) filling baked in a pastry crust.
- Goblet of Fire Cocktail Recipe: This is an adults-only beverage but the name is inspired by one of the books (and movies) in the Harry Potter series. It features two simple liqueurs, a touch of cream and some overproof rum which is key to the flame.
- Dairy-Free Butterbeer Recipe: As the name suggests, most traditional butterbeer recipes call for both milk and butter -- far from dairy-free. But this dairy-free version (it does contain egg yolks, however) made with soy margarine and soy milk is a great substitute. It can be served warm or cold. It does contain beer but for little ones, simply simmer the beer for longer, up to 30 minutes, to cook off all the alcohol.
- Vegan Butterbeer Recipe: For those who can't tolerate eggs, this egg-free version of butterbeer is just the ticket. It's made with dark beer but, as for the dairy-free butterbeer recipe above, simply simmering the beer for longer, up to 30 minutes, will cook off all the alcohol making it fine for children.