In case you haven’t noticed it yet, I’m getting way way way too into this Harry Potter party. But that’s what happenses when you barely have a social life.
Tonight, ToG and I tried our hand at a variety of butterbeer recipes. Some of them were “hard” butterbeer, and some of them were virgins. And considering, JKR hasn’t officially spoken in support of any specific recipe for the stuff we figured we’d just let our own tastebuds do the talking. We both gave our unbiased descriptions then rated it on authenticity. All we had to go on were the descriptions in the books and what it says in the Harry Potter Lexicon . “How is butterbeer made and what does it taste like? When asked about this by “Bon Appetit” magazine, JKR responded: ‘I made it up. I imagine it to taste a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.'” Here’s our results:
1. Mugglenet Hot, Frothy Butterbeer (cream soda, butterscotch syrup, butter)
Rogue – Okay. Ew. This recipe was pretty easy to make and it looks and smells wonderful. But it was so much past the point of my sugar tolerance I almost gagged. Maybe if you adjusted this recipe with less butterscotch syrup or used butterscotch schnapps (yum!) instead it would be alright. It needs more pizzazz, more kick, more panache. And I’d have to specify it needs to be served HOT. Not lukewarm or the puke-factor is higher. I’d give the authenticity factor at 16% – looks right, but isn’t butterbeer supposed to be bubbly? When cream soda is warm, it ain’t bubbly.
That One Guy – Smells good? Yes. A little too sweet, but perfect concistency – kids would love it, but it’s too much sugar for the adults. I love everything about it except it’s way too overpoweringly sweet. And it would be nice if it had alcohol. I’d give it an authenticity factor at 75% – cuz of the smell and the consistency. If I were to order a mugful of it at Madam Rosmerta’s, this is what I’d picture getting, even if it is a little bit sweet. If you did half butterscotch syrup and half butterscotch schnapps, it might be a lot better.
2. Britta’s Butterbeer (butterscotch schnapps and cream soda)
Rogue – Mmmmmm….sometimes I wonder about Britta when I look at her site, but she’s got it right on with this recipe. First, it’s way easy to make. Second, it looks just like I pictured butterbeer to look. It’s not too sweet because of the alcohol, but it still tastes like butterscotch because of the alcohol. And I’m pretty sure I like it cold better than I like it hot. Now if only we could make this stuff virginized for the kiddies… Authenticity factor at 98% – bottle this stuff up and I’m sure Fred and George would smuggle it in the Gryffindor common room anyday. Or…I guess they’d sell it at their store since they’re no longer Hogwarts students…
That One Guy – I like it. Great taste, but it seems a little “thin.” Not sure how I like it cold. A little more spice would be nice…it just tasted like cream soda with a kick. Authenticity factor, I’d give it 80%. I just wish the consistency was more like the first one.3. Recipezaar (milk, butter, sugar, honey, cinnamon, hot cocoa powder, butterscotch schnapps) Rogue – Okay, vomit. Which I almost did out the front door when I handed the mug to ToG. This must be my fault, because the vomitousness came from the huge chunk of cinnamon I failed to completely mix in. It smells very very good, but to make this for a party would be very very time consuming. The milk gives it nice creaminess, and I’m betting if I used a handheld milk frother this would be much better. But if I have to get out a hand held milk frother to make it for 10 plus people? No, thanks. This one sucks on the Authenticity scale too…8%. It didn’t taste, smell, or look like butterbeer as I pictured it. It tasted like chai gone horribly wrong.
That One Guy – Clumps of spices? Yeah, not so much. Too spicy and a little too oily, even if you strain out the clumps. Too buttery – with 2 sticks of butter – yeah…WAY too buttery. Look, you can SEE the butter floating on the top which, honestly, is SO not cool. If I’m going to drink something unhealthy I don’t want to be reminded of how unhealthy it is when I drink it. Authenticity? 20%. Ew. Not cool.
4. Potterparties Hot, Frothy Butterbeer (milk, brown sugar, vanilla, butter)
Rogue – I like this recipe because it’s very easy to make, although I’m kind of bummed it isn’t more “fizzy.” Although, I’m assuming you’re gonna sacrifice the fizziness if you want it hot unless you really do use magic. (hmmm…hot and fizzy…my tummy is rolling at the thought…) This recipe is my perfect idea of hot butterbeer. It smells butter but not overpowering, and is sweet although not too sweet. It tastes like buttery goodness without all the fat. Not even a TB of butter! The ONLY downfall is that you would probably have to use a hand mixer to mix it or the brown sugar forms a crust on the bottom of the saucepan. I’d say this one gets my high vote on the authenticity scale – 98% for authenticity. If Madam Rosmerta handed me a mug of hot butterbeer, I’d expect this.
That One Guy – Good. I would say…excellent consistency, excellent taste…maybe a little more butterscotch but that’s a minor detail because I feel like I have to find something to complain about. And for the Authenticity scale, I’d give it 90%. Mostly because it tastes really really good and it made me smile. I’m not sure how it would taste cold, though.
5. Floo-Network Spiked Butterbeer No.1 (butter, powdered sugar, cinnamon, rum, brown sugar, nutmed, vanilla ice cream, apple cider) Rogue – Ugh. Once again, the sweet factor is unbearable. Not to mention, after the spices were well-mixed into the ice cream when melted they all clumped together during the freezing process and made tiny bombs of disgusting flavor. I like the foam and the rum gave it an amazing kick. I couldn’t really taste anything but a spicy mess, however. The cider was sweet, the spices were spicy, the ice cream was creamy, the rum was rummy nummy…maybe my tastebuds just got overwhelmed. How about a 50% for effort on the Authenticity scale.
That One Guy – These flavors didn’t blend very well. The little clumps of spices were overbearing. All in all, I didn’t like it very much. But I love the rum in it…it’s good! 50% Authenticity.
6. World Of Stuff Butterbeer (butter, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla ice cream, sparkling cider)
Rogue – I love the foam on this one! Slurping that stuff up just makes it worth it. Yet, another time intensive recipe with this one. In having to soften the ice cream, mix up the spices, refreeze it and all before assembly just makes it too complicated to even think of serving it at a party. It wasn’t really buttery and it wasn’t really spicey…it was just good. But – it was lukewarm because of the ice cream cooling down the cider. The tepidness of it just killed the flavor. I think if I made it over again, I’d *again* sacrifice the bubbles for the heat and add the rum for some more kick. (But why is the rum gone?!?!) I’ll say…80%. Smells good, tastes good…but just can’t handle the lukewarm stuff.
That One Guy – Really, really good drink! But, it’s hard to tell if it’s supposed to be hot or cold. It’d be good both ways, I guess. There are still some clumps in it but not enough so that it tastes bad. A very good drink. 85% on the Authenticity scale, I’d say.
So there you have it. Six recipes, 12 reviews…all for your pleasure. I’m not sure which ones we’ll make for you come Harry Potter day…but you can bet they’ll be good. And please don’t think we’re alcoholics just because we tended to like the ones with a little more…zing….