Recipe Review: The Real Butterbeer

Recipe Review: The Real Butterbeer

Nancy Mitchell
Dec 9, 2011

I love Harry Potter. I love J.K. Rowling's creativity in creating a whole alternate world full of whimsical magical things. So when I first read about Harry and his pals sipping butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, I assumed that butterbeer was about as close to a real food item as chocolate frogs or Bertie Bott's every flavor beans. (Which are now available, thanks to the magic of Jelly Belly - just watch out for the earwax ones.) So imagine my surprise - and delight - when I discovered that butterbeer is a real thing.

The internet is stuffed with recipes for butterbeer, ranging from the fairly simple (cream soda and ice cream) to the mildly nauseating (cream soda and butter?). You can even go to Universal Studios' Wizarding World of Harry Potter and get officially sanctioned, non-alcoholic butterbeer (which, I have it on good authority, tastes like a butterscotchy cream soda). Bull all these seem like pale shadows compared to this authentic 1588 recipe, taken from a cookbook published when Elizabeth I was queen of England, The good folks over at 12 Bottle Bar have translated the recipe into modern measurements, although its ingredients may still look a little strange to our modern eyes.

I.e...butter? In beer? Well, that's weird, but you might reasonably expect it from the title. There's also the fact that the beer is served hot (very strange) and that the recipe also calls for eggs (almost paralyzingly weird). So you might be a little put off, but happily for you I can report that I have made this centuries-old recipe, and it is freakishly delicious. Like, imagine a drink that is warm, and hearty, and tastes like french toast, and also a little like beer. That's butterbeer (or buttered beere, as the ancients called it) for you. I've decided that I'm going to make this an annual drinking tradition, to be quaffed when Houston gets its two weeks of winter each year. It will certainly warm you up. And, as a little added bonus, I can also report that it will make your kitchen smell amazing.

Read the original post over at 12 Bottle Bar.

Image: 12 Bottle Bar

Nancy Mitchell loves drinking, Harry Potter, and when drinking and Harry Potter come together. You can find more of her recipes and musings on her blog, The Backyard Bartender.

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