Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Confession! I was SUPER late to the Harry Potter party. When the movies first came out, I was actually kind of annoyed by all the hype. I refused to see them in theaters and avoided family movie nights once they were out on DVD. I couldn’t even put my finger on why I was so against HP because I had no idea what the story was even about. But after all the buzz died down, I watched the first one…and was hooked.

All of my siblings love Harry Potter, so watching with them was a lot of fun. There’s so much to love about the story, the characters, the entire world they created. Before I digress into all the spiritual and philosophical parallels that really get me going, I’ll skip to the part where I got to visit Universal Orlando’s “Wizarding World of Harry Potter“, and experienced the BUTTERBEER. Cue heavens opening, angels singing…

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

The Harry Potter movies send your imagination into overdrive. The plots and visuals are intense, so re-creating any of that in the real world was going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible. I knew there was a park going up in Orlando, but I didn’t have super high expectations simply because the nature of HP is so fantastic.

I was truly blown away by what I found…

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

When you first enter, you would think you were actually in Diagon Alley. It looked as close to what you see in the movies as it could have possibly been. What I loved most about it was that you could enter all the shops. Facades are fun, and sometimes it’s necessary that they’re only fronts — but this was immersive. You could walk into Ollivander’s and pick through ceiling-high stacks of boxed wands. You could go into Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes and buy chocolate frogs and Fever Fudge. We wandered with jaws dropped until we saw it — The Fountain of Fair Fortune, and they were selling Butterbeer.

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

I couldn’t wait to try it. When Butterbeer appears in the movie, all you do is wonder what in the world it must taste like. In my mind, it was sweet, salty and rich with some kind of kick. I imagined the kick to be a warm whiskey or spiced rum. The richness had to be salted butter and creamy butterscotch. The sweet had to be bubbly. It met nearly every one of my expectations. What they served was definitely a cream soda topped with butterscotch whipped cream. It was available in both regular and frozen versions. I preferred the frozen because it felt thicker, and mixed with the cream better. The body of the drink was a bit too thin and sweet. I thought it needed some salt, or some buttery richness. It was also missing alcohol, but I could definitely appreciate the deliciousness of the kid-friendly version, and was happy to save the boozy experimentation for my own recipe.

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

More on the Butterbeer later, because next we took the train. We were on the 9 3/4 platform, bound for Hogsmeade and equipped with chocolate frogs. The train station was insane. I couldn’t believe how well they designed it. There’s a mirror/brick wall situation when you’re crossing over from an authentic London train station to 9 3/4 where it actually looks like you’re walking through the brick wall. SO cool.

The train ride itself was a tiny bit of a let down, only because you weren’t actually looking out a train window, but watching a simulation on a screen that looked like a window. But even that was awesome. Of course, I would have preferred that they actually took us to Hogwarts — across the lake and everything. And I would have been thrilled with real Dementors. But, budgets…I get it.

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

When we arrived at Hogsmeade, we went straight to Three Broomsticks for lunch. Great food, more Butterbeer. Magnificent. The decor was spot on.

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Then we wandered some more. Hogsmeade was a little different from Diagon Alley, as more of the shops were just facades — but some of them were open. Like Honeydukes Candy!

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

A few of the iconic places like Gringott’s and Hogwarts Castle were actually rides. I didn’t go on any of them, but loved the exteriors. I mean, seriously.

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

All in all, if you’re any kind of Harry Potter fan, you have got to visit The Wizarding World in Universal, Orlando. It was surreal, and utterly magical.

When I got home, I had already decided on a recipe for my own version of Butterbeer. I’m the most excited to share that with you, so without further delay…

Homemade Butterbeer + A Trip to the Wizarding World - offbeat + inspired

Homemade Butterbeer

For The Butter Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. salted butter
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

For The “Beer”

8 oz. cream soda per mug (I used IBC)
1 oz. maple whiskey (optional)

You can use any mugs you want for this, but these Irish coffee mugs are very similar to the ones used in the movie!

Chill your mugs for about 15 minutes in the freezer. While they’re chilling, make the Butterbeer!

Melt butter and 2 tbsp. maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until lightly bubbling. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add heavy cream, salt and remaining tbsp. of maple syrup to a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer until a smooth cream forms. Slowly add the heated maple butter mixture to the whipped cream while continuing to mix until fully combined.

Grab your mugs from the freezer and add 1/4 cup of maple butter cream (and the whiskey if you’re going all out) to the bottom of each, then stir in enough cream soda to almost fill each glass. Skim off the soda bubbles and top with a generous dollop of maple butter cream. I topped mine off with about 1/4 cup of cream.

Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. I’ve loved the Harry Potter series since I was a kid, and I really hope someday to go and visit the theme park! (Sidenote, while the movies are great, the books are truly so worth reading. I definitely prefer them to the film adaptations). This butterbeer recipe looks divine. It’s definitely going on my to-try list!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Ohh you have to visit the park! And I really have to read the books. I’ve heard such great things about them! I do hope you try the butterbeer!! If you do, let me know how you like it! 😀

  2. We just watched HP last night! Can’t wait to try your recipe!! It sounds exactly as I imagined it…a little salty, creamy, and butterscotchy, with a kick. Mmm I want some right now!!

  3. I’m really impressed by your pictures here! I went a few years ago and I don’t know if it was just the timing of my visit but the park was PACKED. You’ve managed to get some really good shots, free of all the extra guests!
    I’m itching to try the butterbeer recipe here. 🙂

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Aww thank you so much! We really did luck out by it not being THAT packed. There were definitely a lot of people, but I was able to photograph most of the things I loved! When I couldn’t, I just shot above everybody’s heads haha! Please do try the butterbeer! I hope you like it!! 😀

  4. Love this! We just visited the Harry Potter experience in London last week and the butter beer was delicious! I’m definitely going to have to whip up a batch 🙂

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Thank youu! I would LOVE to visit the one in London! Do try the butterbeer! I hope you like it! 😀

  5. Thanks for posting this, Tiffany! I loved it!

    Like you, I also came to Harry Potter late in the game…3-4 years ago. It was during the holiday season that I decided to just purchase all 7 DVDs and see what the hype and controversy was about. OMG. I fell in love with the story; I laughed, I cried. A year later I read all the books…and laughed and cried some more. As a writer myself, I am inspired by Rowling’s ability to imagine such a tale and fill the setting with such terrific details and memorable characters AND insert valuable life lessons.

    NOW…to try out your Butterbeer recipe. It sounds lip-smacking good and perfect for the COLD winter nights. Sounds like you had a marvelous time at Universal. Thanks for taking all the pics and sharing your adventures with us. 🙂

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Oh goodness I love it. I felt the same exact way! Such a wonderful story!! Now I just have to read all the books. 😛

      I really hope you try the butterbeer recipe!! And YESS so good for winter! Let me know how you like it! 😀

  6. I am such a big Harry Potter fan. I love all the books and movies, THE BEST!! Your photos are killing me. The butter looks all kinds of incredible and The wizarding world of Harry Potter looks so perfect. Just like the movies!! I need to go!! 🙂

    Loved this post!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Yayy another HP lover! 😀 I can’t wait to read the books now. And thank you so much!! I’m so glad you like the pics! If you try the butterbeer, it would be even more magical than Harry Potter if you took a picture and shared it with me haha!! A GIRL CAN DREAM! 😀

  7. I read the first 2 books with our first daughter a number of years ago, and then about 6 months ago our entire family went on a mission to watch all the movies. Definitely entertaining. I’ve seen many posts on Harry Potter world, but yours is the first that really makes we want to go there – great post, great butterbeer!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Oh I love that. Family Harry Potter marathons are WONDERFUL. And thank you soo much! I’m so glad this post made you want to go! You would love it. It’s even more incredible in person. I hope you try the butterbeer! 😀

  8. This looks really delicious and way better than I had imagined butter beer would look like! 😀
    I can imagine this would also be a nice drink for Christmas.

  9. Fantastic recipe Tiffany! Love the references to Harry Potter! What restaurant have you had the best Butter beer? Remember to add it to your Besty List! http://www.thebesty.com/offbeatandinspired

  10. Yum. I’ll have to try your recipe. We have been to Wizarding World of Harry Potter twice. 4 years ago we were there for opening day of the Hogsmeade section. It was crazy packed and we didn’t get to see everything. We just got back last month for visiting again. And I love the new Diagon Alley. I love that there are more shops you can go in. They have done an amazing job. The Gringotts and Hogwarts rides are some of the best rides I have ever been on.

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Ohhh that’s so cool you were there for opening day! Can’t imagine how packed that must have been. So exciting!! Diagon Alley was awesome. I think that was my favorite! They really did kill it. So good. I have to go on the rides next time!! 😀

  11. I would adore going to Harry Potter world! Your photos are lovely, and really look to do it justice. My friends and I used to make our own child-version of Butterbeer: Rootbeer – warmed in the microwave slightly, and topped with a dollop of melted butter and a bit of milk or cream. It sounds atrocious but it was so delicious when we were 12! Although your recipe sounds far better and more grown up!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Ohh you should really visit! Thank you so much!! And as strange as it might sound…your childhood version is almost exactly the same as the one I made haha!! Except for warming up the soda!! Love it! 😀 I hope you try this one and enjoy!!

  12. I hate to admit this, but I have only watched one Harry Potter movie ever. But now I am intrigued and feel the need to dive into all the movies and then the books. I did watch a while back on YouTube an interview with Oprah and JK Rowling about how the books came about. Now, I feel the Universe is conspiring to have me get on board, like you have. The homemade Butterbeer recipe looks scrumptious, btw.

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      You should!! The holidays are the perfect time to marathon-watch the whole series! And try this butterbeer recipe while you’re watching! 😀

  13. Hi,
    I have to say, I’m in love with your blog! It has such a character, I found so many inspiring things and you are such a lovelu person Tiffany:) As I’m an amateur photographer (trying to become professional haha) I just adore your pictures, they are so magical! I just have moved to another city with my boyfriend (for me it’s another country as well haha) and we’re starting everything from the beginning. So like you said in one of your notes, I’m learning how to be patient in every single part of my life now. It’s very hard but your blog keeps me motivated so thank you very much!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Aww Karolina thank you so much for your sweet words and for sharing that with me! That is such an exciting time in life and I am so honored that you found inspiration and motivation here! 😀 I hope the new phase is treating you so well! <3

  14. You don’t understand how jealous I am that you got to go to Harry Potter land… Will definitely be trying out this butter bear recipe!

    The
    Velvet Black // UK Style & Beauty Blog

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Aww yay! I hope you tried it! And I hope you get to visit someday. It is a MUST!!!

  15. I just hopped on the Harry Potter wagon and I love it. I don’t know why I was so resistant in watching the movies or books when it came out, I guess I was going against what was popular. I love the imagination and creativity it takes to make HP. Will check out park hopefully soon. Check out this HP Christmas tree. Soo cool!!

    http://www.epbot.com/2014/12/harry-potter-inspired-floating.html

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      AHH yes, I think that’s what it was for me too! I didn’t want my opinions to be swayed by all the hype or something?? But yeah. HOOKED. Love it all haha!! I do hope you get to visit the park soon!! 😀

  16. My friend and I just had a HP viewing party and made various HP/British foods to eat throughout the day (Scottish rarebit, treacle tart, etc.), and I wish I had seen your recipe for butterbeer! It looks delicious–we will definitely be trying out this recipe sometime soon. Thanks for sharing …and now I have to go to Harry Potter world. Your charming pictures have got me hooked!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Awww yayy!! Have another party and make it! 😀 I LOVE that you did all those British foods. You’re inspiring my first fall gathering haha!!

  17. I am in love with your photos! They make me want to go back so badly! You are definitely right when you say the experience is magical. Some might see that as cliche, but it really is the only way to describe it. I’m also super glad I found this post because your butter beer looks amazing! I have tried so many different versions, and none of them have fit so far. This one, especially the cream on top, look perfect! I can’t wait to try it. Have you ever tried it frozen like they make in the shops?

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Thank you so much!! 😀 I did try it frozen and LOVED it, but flavor-wise, and going mainly off of what I imagined it to taste like in the movie, this kind is my favorite! I do hope you try it! I would love to hear what you think! <3

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