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Fun Food Saturday: Butterbeer

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If you have a Harry Potter fan in your house (and, let’s face it, even if you don’t), you probably know that there’s a new movie out and Harry Potter fever has been at an all-time high. Lots of young fans we know would love to fly on a broomstick or do a few sneaky spells, but even if you can’t be Harry Potter, you can eat like him. Of all of the foods mentioned in the Harry Potter books, one of the most intriguing and delicious-sounding is butterbeer.

The books never give an recipe for butterbeer and the exact concoction is left to our imagination. But that’s not to say folks haven’t tried to replicate it. (Note: Although the books hint that butterbeer may be alcoholic, almost all of the recipes we’ve seen are nonalcoholic, with a kid audience in mind.) At the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, for example, the butterbeer is one of the fastest-selling foods at the park. This top-secret recipe (which was reportedly approved by J.K.Rowling herself) is a tasty concoction that’s kind of like of a cream soda but with a little more butter and salt to cut the sugar. You can either order it cold or frozen, which is similar to a root beer float (and yes, we were there over Thanksgiving, hence the sudden interest in butterbeer).

Looking for inspiration once we got home, one of the first recipes we found for butterbeer is from the Harry Potter site known as MuggleNet, which envisions butterbeer as a warm soda with butterscotch topping and butter. However, most recipes (like the Orlando theme park) are for cold butterbeer creations. Babble’s Family Kitchen has a good recipe that looks relatively easy (you need to be willing to make your own butterscotch sauce, but you can do that ahead of time) and there are some nice step-by-step pictures to help you along the way.

We also like the approach by Darla at over at Bakingdom, who found that most of the recipes out there were either far too involved for a drink or were just glorified cream soda. She finds a nice middle ground with a whipped-cream-style concoction.

And if you’re looking for the clearest possible rundown, we like this list from Associated Content for the Top 10 Butterbeer Recipes. The recipes range from simple to complex, with a variety of different bases (cream soda, apple cider, or even ice cream). It may be too late in the season to serve frosty butterbeer floats, but a warm version could make a nice party drink for the holiday season. If that’s the case, you heard it here first: Butterbeer is the new mulled apple cider.

Fun food Saturday: Because food should be fun.

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