Harry Potter tried his first sip of butterbeer in the third Harry Potter novel, The Prisoner of Azkaban. In the fictional world, it was winter, and the drink was hot.
Fast forward two decades later, and the iconic drink has left the story pages to land in the hands of tourists at Universal Studios. At the park, guests can enjoy the drink in three different incarnations: hot, cold, and frozen—but if a trip to Universal isn’t in your near future, don’t fret! You can make the bubbly concoction at home with this incredibly easy butterbeer recipe.
A Homemade Cold Butterbeer Recipe
While butterbeer can be made in the hot and frozen versions described above, this recipe is for the cold version—in my opinion, probably the easiest of the bunch to make at home.
The drink is made up of two parts: a bubbly cream soda base, and a layer of sweetened whipped topping. Butterscotch flavor permeates the drink, both in the soda base and the topping, which we’ll get into.
Buy Store-Bought Butterscotch Syrup...
There are two ways to go about adding the butterscotch flavor in. One way is to make a butterscotch syrup from scratch, and the other way is to use pre-made bottled butterscotch syrup.
You might be surprised to find that making your own butterscotch syrup might be easier than finding a quality bottled syrup! If you do wish to purchase a pre-made bottle, I recommend Monin’s Butterscotch syrup. You can find it online, but locally, well—it’s the kind of thing that you’ll typically only find through commercial restaurant suppliers. If you have one near you, you may be in luck!
...Or Make Your Own Butterscotch Syrup!
If you choose to go with a homemade version of a butterscotch syrup, start with this sauce from Simply Recipes. However, I highly recommend you add in an 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar when you add the brown sugar into the pan (to reduce crystallization of the sugar), and only take the syrup to 250°F to help retain some liquidity.
It will thicken more as it cools and will be in an almost solid state straight from the fridge, so my suggestion is to warm it before use—or, even better, just use it right away.
If the syrup is still too “sauce” like and stiff, warm it up and mix it in the bottom of a pint glass with a few tablespoons of the cream soda. This should loosen it up enough to disperse throughout the cream soda.
Using homemade syrup will result in a “cloudy” beverage, while the bottled syrup will retain the translucent nature of the soda.
Butterbeer Whipped Topping
The other key component here is the whipped topping, which is layered on thick in the original drink, and is also very, very sweet. For this recipe I’ve dialed back the sweetness, but by all means increase your syrup amount if you want to go full power!
I also recommend taking a few minutes to whip up your own fresh cream. You’ll have more control over how thick or thin you want your whipped topping and can adjust the sweetness levels to your liking.
How to Serve Butterbeer
To serve, a well-chilled 16-ounce pint glass will fit a full 12-ounce bottle of soda, with room for a 1 inch thick layer of the cream topping. However, that portion can also be split into two smaller 6-ounce helpings that can be served in double rocks glasses or small steins. Even in the small glass, leave room for an inch of that cream topping!
This drink is served chilled, but not on ice, so make sure all components are very cold to start with. You can even chill your glasses in the freezer while you assemble the drink.
If making the butterscotch syrup from scratch, please see headnotes and use this Simply Recipes butterscotch sauce recipe. Extra butterscotch whipped cream can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Make the whipped cream topping:
In a mixing bowl, combine the heavy whipping cream, butterscotch syrup, powdered sugar, and salt.
Beat until medium peaks form (the peak will flop over when the beater is turned upside down), about 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
Make the drink:
In the chilled pint glass, combine the butterscotch syrup and cream soda, stirring to combine.
Garnish drink with whipped cream topping and serve:
Spoon about 1 inch of the butterscotch whipped cream over the top of the soda. Enjoy!
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 21g||28%|
|Saturated Fat 14g||69%|
|Total Carbohydrate 73g||26%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 73g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||3%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|