Butterbeer recipes tested & rated – Harry Potter fans rejoice!

Butterbeer recipes tested & rated – Harry Potter fans rejoice!

Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando is a dream come true for many Potter fans. Yet, unless you live in Central Florida, it may not be a trip you can take often — or at all. So we would like to show you how to enjoy one of the best offerings from the Wizarding World without having to buy a plane ticket.

Butterbeer in a souvenir cup from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Butterbeer in a souvenir cup from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

After considering many different butterbeer recipes, it seems there are two basic approaches when deciding on a recipe. While both approaches include directions for making a frothy head to top your butterbeer, the significant differences come in the making of the “beer” itself.

The simple approach involves adding some simple flavoring to cream soda. The more involved, but in my opinion tastier approach, involves cooking your own “flavoring” to add to the cream soda. Both approaches to the recipe have their strengths and weaknesses, as well as varying degrees of “authenticity” when compared to the Wizarding World’s original.


Butterbeer – simple recipes

The simplest approach to making butterbeer is to add some purchased flavorings to your favorite cream soda, mix it up, make the frothy topping, spoon it on top, and enjoy. My children were happy to serve as taste-testers for me while I tried two different versions of the simple butterbeer.

Here are the results:

Winner: Designdazzle.com

The prize for butterbeer most reminiscent of the butterbeer we enjoyed at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter goes to this treat from Autumn Clemons as outlined in her article at designdazzle.com. Just remember that this recipe is reminiscent of the original, not identical to it.

Butterbeer
2 liter cream soda
2 tablespoons Butter extract
2 teaspoons rum extract
*drop the extracts into the 2 liter bottle, put on cap and slowly rotate until combined.

Cream topping
1 7oz container of marshmallow creme
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon rum extract
*add all items together in an electric mixer and combine until smooth.

Pour the butterbeer into a glass,  drizzle with the cream topping, and enjoy!

 

Here’s what we liked about this one:

  • It’s easy to serve a crowd. Just add the flavorings right into a 2-liter bottle of cream soda.
  • It replicates the fizziness of the original better than any others we tried. This might have something to do with how it’s mixed up, by swirling the 2-liter of cream soda after adding the flavorings, as opposed to pouring it out and stirring it. Or maybe it’s something about the combination of this particular recipe’s beer and froth. Whatever it was, my kids were impressed that this one kept on fizzing, much like the original. It is not as sweet as the original, though.
  • If you’re serving this for a party, you can even print out butterbeer labels to cover the cream soda label.
  • Marshmallow cream and whipping cream make for a yummy froth!

The downside:

  • It makes a lot. If you’re making this for yourself, you’re going to have left overs.
  • It uses a lot of extracts. The beer itself uses both butter extract (quite a bit of it) and rum extract. Personally, I could taste the artificial quality of the extracts, and they seemed to overpower the drink. You may want to consider cutting the amount of extract used by up to half.
  • While similar to the original, it’s not as sweet, and my kids definitely missed the sweetness.

 

Runner-Up: Chicaandjo.com

The runner-up in the simple approach category is a recipe with only a few ingredients. We found it sweeter than our winner, but the basic froth of sweetened whipped cream was no match for the marshmallow cream/whipped cream/rum extract combination in the winning recipe. You can find very detailed instructions and photos on chicaandjo.com.

You will need the following to make two drinks:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
24 oz of your favorite cream soda
2 tsp vanilla butter nut flavoring

Measure the heavy whipping cream into a bowl, then add powdered sugar. Whisk briskly until whipped.

Once your cream topping is ready, add your vanilla butter nut flavoring to your cream soda and stir gently so you don’t get rid of all the carbonation in the soda.

Just like in the above recipe, pour the butterbeer into a glass,  drizzle with the cream topping, and enjoy!

Making Universal Orlando's butterbeer at home.

Making Universal Orlando’s butterbeer at home: Official tester.

 

Butterbeer – not so simple but tastier recipe

After trying the two simple versions, we tried a more involved (but not difficult) recipe courtesy of huffingtonpost.com, which calls for cooking butter and sugar and a few other ingredients to make a homemade flavoring for your butterbeer, and greatly reduces the amount of artificial extracts and flavorings in the finished product.

1 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda

In a small saucepan over medium, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240 F on a candy thermometer.

Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2 to 3 minutes.

To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 cup for each glass). Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.

 

And for the judges’ opinions – what we liked:

  • This recipe really is quite tasty. We found it to be sweeter than the simpler recipes above, and just all around yummy.
  • I liked that I could taste the butter and brown sugar flavors, and not be overwhelmed by artificial extract flavors. There is a small amount of rum extract in it, but not nearly the amount in the simple recipes.

What we didn’t like as much:

  • While tastier, adding the butter/sugar mixture to the cream soda “clouds” the soda, creating a contrast between the original butterbeer, which is a crisp, clear drink. You’ll have to make a choice between flavor and resemblance to the original.

 

Butterbeer – more recipe options

As if making three different butterbeer recipes in one weekend weren’t enough, there were more recipes we could have tried but didn’t. One frozen butterbeer recipe looks very similar to the cooked butter and sugar version that we tried, and since we liked the flavor of that one, I suspect the frozen version would be tasty as well. If you’d like to give it a try, you can find the recipe at enchantinglysweet.com.

Another recipe I really would have liked to try involved adding butterscotch flavored syrup (the kind you might add to your coffee) to some marshmallow cream, and using that to top plain cream soda. This would be an ultra simple recipe. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any butterscotch flavored syrup at any store in my area. If you try this one, be sure and leave us a comment letting us know how it tastes.

 

Butterbeer recipes at home: Final thoughts

While none of the recipes we tried were exactly like the original butterbeer, we had a fun time testing and testing some more. The next time we get a craving for butterbeer, we’ll go back to our favorite simple recipe and lessen the amount of extracts. I’d also try using the marshmallow fluff version of the froth on any of the other recipes that call for a simple sweetened whipped cream.

Try some of these recipes, or mix and match to create something better – I’d love to hear your results and your favorites!

Oh, if you’re curious about butterbeer nutritional facts, Walletpop.com had the original variety served inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter tested. They came up with 200 calories per glass.

Like this post? Then you’ll love this one: How to make butterbeer cookies

Making Universal Orlando's butterbeer at home.

Making Universal Orlando’s butterbeer at home: Official tester satisfied.

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted by June of 2012. But Jennifer completely retested and updated all the information in February of 2013.

 

Support us by sharing this story!
59 comments
Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose

I just made up a combination of a beverage to drink after dinner tonight.  Diet ginger ale with carrot juice, as soon as I tasted it I thought this tastes like something I imagined in Harry Potter- Butterbeer!  It is the healthiest version I have seen.

Ember L of Slytherin
Ember L of Slytherin

Is there something I can use instead of heavy whipping cream? That stuff tastes bad and it makes me sick, but I want to try the recipes that use it. Oh the dilemma.

Gail McLaren
Gail McLaren

I tried the 1st recipe and it was good but a little sickening sweet.  Just made the second recipe.  Its a clear winner!!  Well worth the little extra effort.

Achilles
Achilles

They should have just created a Recipe that could be mass produced in bottles (Like the one in harry Potter) So people could just order them online/at a store. I always thought of it as a Buttery Cream Soda/ Rootbeer.


The giant squid
The giant squid

There appears to be a distinct lack of cider vinegar where I live in England. Has anyone got any ideas where I could find it or what I could substitute it with. Or should I just go without?

thedoctor
thedoctor

Another super simple recipe.  95% vodka and 5% cream soda.  Does it taste like butter beer?  No, but after the first glass, who cares?


Shoresdawg
Shoresdawg

You want simple? I just made it with 2/3 cream soda, 1/3 root beer and a scoop of B&J's Scotchy Scotch ice cream. Add a little ice and blend! Tastes 90% like the original and only took 2 minutes to make. I like it frozen and didn't even bother with the cream on top....enjoy!!!!

MonoD
MonoD

Thanks for the recipe!! The first one seems just right for my son's 8th birthday party on Harry Potter theme... Just one question, can Coke be used as a substitute for cream soda??? Please do let me know... My party is in a week :)

TkRainy
TkRainy

After I read this post, I turned 21 and my bf got me "buttershots" (butterscotch flavored liquer). So, I mixed that with cream soda. We JUST went to Universal Studios in Orlando and this concoction really does taste close to the butterbeer there! I just have to figure out how to make the creme with little to no preparation. 

Sexy__Sevy
Sexy__Sevy

I have been looking for a recipe that actually works! I decided that I would surprise all my friends by bringing in some butter beer and now I've actually found a good recipe. Thanks soooooooooo much. Cant wait to see their faces

Poetic1979
Poetic1979

I just made the 1st recipe and it came out great! SOoooooooo good! thanks

Michael Aaron Futterman
Michael Aaron Futterman

guys thank you I just got back home was at the parks on Monday and Tuesday and have been craving butter beer all week but I live in dc

Sian Evans
Sian Evans

love butter beer tried it in florida universal harry potter park.its so addictive.xxxx

Rock Click
Rock Click

I'm preferring the more difficult one only because it looks like I can actually get all the ingredients for this in the uk :-) will be trying this for my hen do :-)

ACorbett24
ACorbett24

I just tried the first, simple recipe and the topping came out incredible! The trouble was that when I added the topping to the soda, the soda became very fizzy and was flat before I could even finish my glass :(. Any advice?

laurthor77
laurthor77

I live in Canada and I used a clear Cream Soda made by Fanta.  I couldn't find butter flavouring, but I found a sweet substitute.  I used Aunt Jemima's Butter Flavoured pancake syrup.  I put about an ounce of the syrup in the bottom of a glass with one drop of rum flavouring.  Then I filled the glass with the cream soda.  I stirred slowly to incorporate the syrup into the soda.  Then, I dipped the end of the spoon into the marshmallow cream and stirred again to create a frothy topping.  My girls and I just returned from Universal Studios Orlando last week and they gave me a big thumbs up!!!

gothrait
gothrait

 Simpler recipe : Melt 2 TBS of butter and 2 TBS of brown sugar, then add a coffee mug full of milk to it, 1tps of vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon and boil it. Then put it in a mug

CMJ
CMJ

Love to try this. It's hard to get the brown vanilla cream soda here in Canada though. For some reason, most cream soda here is pink, and tastes more like cough syrup.

Debi Rieser Dame
Debi Rieser Dame

We were there! Had the good fortune to meet a NBC/Universal VP who escorted us onto Forbidden Journey! What a great day!!!

Anny Mondragon
Anny Mondragon

Aww.... Remember sister Lily?!!! I'd like to be there again!!! 1 year!!! I can't believe it!!

Suzanne Torrey
Suzanne Torrey

Adored this place when we visited last December and we're going back in 2014!! Just amazing!!

Pamela Jane Gray
Pamela Jane Gray

God I remember being there the day it opened, how time flies x

Kelly Tawse Cryle
Kelly Tawse Cryle

104 days until I back there can't wait so excited are you Caitlin Tawse xxx

Marie Anglani Redonda
Marie Anglani Redonda

So fitting for the days events at my daughter's school today! Her 2nd grade class raised the most money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and were awarded a pizza party... In addition to that, her awesome teacher has read them The Sorcerer's Stone and as a treat they get to watch the movie today during their pizza party!!!!! HARRY POTTER FOREVER!!!!!!!!

blueluna86
blueluna86

@The giant squid you could replace it with regular apple cider or juice. I just made that recipe, and the cider vinegar really only adds a slight apple flavor to the syrup.

The giant squid
The giant squid

@thedoctor Why the hell comment on this if your just going to ruin it for everyone else. Clearly people come here for a specific things so you must have searched for it or chosen it from adverts. So why don't you just run along back to the dark lord or better yet to the dark forest and get beaten up by Grawp or the centaurs.

OrlandoInformer
OrlandoInformer moderator

@MonoD I wouldn't recommend this unless you absolutely cannot get cream soda, as the cream soda flavor is perhaps the most important component of the drink. 

I'm not sure it would be any good if you used plain ol' Coke.

Gail McLaren
Gail McLaren

@laurthor77 Thank you for that.  I was wondering where in the heck to find butter extract.  I also live in Canada


Hughhh
Hughhh

@The giant squid *you're

MonoD
MonoD

@OrlandoInformer Thanx a ton! I'll hv to look in other grocery stores as well since my nearest one doesn't carry it... I'm sure i'll find it somewhere....

Timeturner
Timeturner

Here we see a slytherin, a griffindor, and a ravenclaw, in that order

blueluna86
blueluna86

@Timeturner I added a little helpful hufflepuff for ya :-)

Print This Post