After living in Orlando for 5 years now, the Mrs. and I finally decided to get annual passes to Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure. Some of the decision had to do with our son getting older and eventually being able to ride big boy roller coasters soon… but the other huge factor was the 3 of us are HUGE Harry Potter fans, and a few years ago The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened up. In a word, amazing. So authentic. So fun, and so addicting. We’re drinkers AND nerds I guess.
So with all the rides, the recreated buildings, the characters walking around, and the accessories you can buy, I’d have to say the most impressive part about the place was how authentic the Butterbeer tasted. And by authentic, I mean it tastes every bit of amazing as you imagine it from the books descriptions. And it should, it was officially tasted and tested by J.K. Rowling herself. It’s creamy, it’s sweet, its liquid gold. Back in 2002, way before the park and the drink was created in real life, J.K. was asked what butterbeer tasted like, and she said: “I made it up, I imagine it to taste a little bit like sickly butterscotch”. That’s exactly the idea Universal took and ran with. If I had to describe it myself, it tastes like a rich cream soda, topped with butterscotch flavored whipped cream. They make two versions at the park, one frozen, and one unfrozen. I tried the Frozen one, which I have now dubbed a Crack Slushy, because it’s that addicting.
If there was one thing I was disappointed in, it was that there was no alcoholic butterbeer version sold. I know Universal is a theme park, and that means a large attraction of families with young one’s, but they do serve liquor and beer all over the park, and the books at times made it seem as though there was an “intoxicating” effect to butterbeer, so that’s how this post got started. I started searching the internet, because I wanted to see not only if anyone had created a copycat universal studious recipe, but to see if anyon had made an alcoholic version.
We searched all over the internet. There were tons of recipes, some simple, some not, some with a few ingredients, and some with way too many. And some that just tasted like crap. So I wanted to try them all so I could share a few with our readers that in my opinion were simple enough to make at home, didn’t take a lot of time, and that tasted good and similar to the one at Universal. Now that we’ve tried the real deal, we know what we’re looking for. Oh and we even found the perfect spiked recipe we were looking for too. So if you can’t fly down or drive to Orlando anytime soon, and still want to try some butterbeer at home, we’ve got you covered.
Recipe #1: This is the simplest way to make Butterbeer. We found this one a few places online. If you want something that tastes good, and only has a few simple steps then this is it. It’s not as good as the real deal, but it will still please most.
- Cream Soda
- 1 tsp Caramel Syrup
- 1 tsp Butterscotch Syrup
- Heavy Whipping Cream
Combine Butterscotch syrup with heavy whipping cream and set aside. Pour cream soda in a chilled mug, but don’t fill to top, as you’ll need space for the cream topping. Drop in a teaspoon of caramel syrup and stir. Now top with your butterscotch whipped cream.
Recipe#2: We tried this recipe from Autumn at Designdazzle. This came in large portions, so we scaled it down so we could make it in a smaller batch. It tasted amazing, and similar to the one at Universal, however it’s got a few more ingredients than the previously mentioned. It’s been picked by several to be the most authentic. It’s not as sweet as the real thing, but the cream topping is the closest we’ve tried so far. Maybe a bit more sweetener in the actual drink would do the trick.
- 2 liter cream soda
- 2 tablespoons Butter extract
- 2 teaspoons rum extract
- 1 7oz container of marshmallow creme
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
For your cream topping, Add all items together in an electric mixer and combine until smooth. Pour cream soda into a chilled mug, leaving room at the top. Add in your extracts, and then top with the cream topping.
Recipe #3: We got this from a youtube video that was pretty highly rated. It’s another one that’s creative, using jello mix, and tastes close to Universal’s recipe. Love the sweetness in this one, it’s definitely sweeter than the previously mentioned, and one of our favorites.
- Cream Soda
- 1-2 Tsp of Butterscotch Sundae Syrup
Frothy Cream Topping
- 1/2 Cup heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tsp Butterscotch flavored Jello Mix
Start with your topping. Pour your ingredients for the cream topping into a mixer and mix until a consistency of whipped cream. Next, fill a chilled mug with chilled cream soda. Leave room at the top for the froth.. Add in your 1-2 tsp of butterscotch sundae syrup (to taste) and stir. Now top with your creamy froth, and enjoy.
Recipe #4: The name of our blog is Intoxicology, so you know what we’re all about. It’s alcoholic butterbeer created by twoveggies, and it’s dangerously good. It’s how we originally envisioned it from the book, as refreshing and sweet and creamy as the one’s served at Universal, but with a slight kick in it, spiked with butterscotch schnapps.
- 1 – 2 oz. butterscotch schnapps, depending on how sweet you prefer.
- 2 oz. whipped cream flavored vodka
- 6 oz. cream soda
- 1 large spoonful marshmallow fluff
In a tumbler, mix together the ice, schnapps, vodka, and cream soda. Strain into a chilled clear pint glass. In a small container, use a fork to whip together marshmallow fluff and a bit of butterscotch schnapps. Whip together until it’s liquid and easily pour-able. Top off your drink.
Recipe #5: This final recipe is also Alcoholic, and it’s the one we created. I took what I liked about Recipe #4 that we found online and tweaked it to what I think works best. Enjoy
- 1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps [We used Dekyuper]
- 1 oz Vanilla Vodka [ I used Stolichnaya]
- 6 oz of IBC Cream Soda [ Any cream soda works, but we love the vanilla flavor in IBC best]
For the cream topping, we used the same idea from recipe #4.
Now do you feel like you’ve got everything you need to know about butterbeer to make your own? One thing we left out, was a recipe that re-created the slushy frozen version they serve at Universal. To be honest, it’s very simple. Just take any of the recipes above, and BEFORE you add the topping, put it in the freezer for a while, just long enough for it to slush up, then pour into a cup or mug, and top with your whipped cream topping. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday with family or friends or even your next Harry Potter movie night. Kids make great taste testers, just make sure it’s the non-alcoholic versions with them, and save the alcoholic version for your buddies. Don’t forget to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below and let us know which was your favorite!
*For a few more options, Jessica from BakeMeAway wrote about How to Make Butterbeer Universal Style back in 2011, OrlandoInformer.com tasted and rated several recipes as well just a few months ago. And even Fox news claims to have possibly uncovered the recipe to Universal’s recipe.