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This butterbeer recipe is an easy and delicious way to recreate the classic Harry Potter drink! Perfect for parties, Halloween, or anytime.

Butterbeer recipe
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Want to recreate the classic Harry Potter drink! Try this Butterbeer recipe! Our son has become obsessed with Hogwarts and this recipe is an easy way to recreate the series drink. It’s so tasty, bubbly with a butterscotch flavor and a frothy top! Many recipes are extremely sugary but our take is toned back so it lets all the flavors shine through (and you or the children you’re making it for won’t be bouncing off the walls). It’s perfect for parties, Halloween, and any occasion where you need a little magic!

What is butterbeer?

Butterbeer is a fictional drink in the Harry Potter series that’s beloved by wizards. It is first mentioned in the book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and has a level of alcohol that doesn’t affect witches and wizards. The concept is based on an actual drink called buttered beer that originated in England in the 1500’s. That drink was made with beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter (similar to something like buttered rum).

Author J.K. Rowling reportedly told Bon Appetit magazine that the taste of butterbeer should be like a “less sickly butterscotch.” In April 2010 Universal Studios announced a non-alcoholic butterbeer drink sold at their Harry Potter World, which was tasted and approved by Rowling herself!

Butterbeer recipe

Ingredients in butterbeer

No one knows the exact ingredients in the official Universal Studios butterbeer recipe (except this guy). However, the flavor of butterbeer is reminiscent of cream soda. Most copycat recipes include cream soda, butterscotch syrup and cream or ice cream for a frothy topping.

This butterbeer recipe is unique because it’s got all those classic flavors but a little less sugar to let them all shine! It’s built like an Italian soda, with soda water, flavored syrup, and cream. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butterscotch syrup, like Torani
  • Vanilla extract
  • Yellow and brown food coloring
  • Soda water
  • Heavy cream

Tips for making butterbeer

This butterbeer recipe is like a butterscotch-flavored Italian soda, a drink made of club soda and flavored syrup, often served with cream on top. The concept was invented by an Italian American couple who introduced Italian soda in San Francisco in 1925. It took off and has been popular ever since! Here are a few tips for making and serving butterbeer:

  • Whisk 2 tablespoons heavy cream until slightly thickened. Reserve this for the topping.
  • Mix a splash of soda water with 2 tablespoons butterscotch syrup in a small beer mug or glass. Add 3 drops yellow and 1 small drop brown food coloring to simulates the beer coloring (which is the main coloring agent in cream soda).
  • Add 1 cup soda water. Do this right before serving to preserve the bubbles.
  • Top with the cream to simulate the frothy top of a beer. Enjoy!
Butter beer recipe

Harry Potter themed mugs and glasses

The best way to serve butterbeer is in a small beer mug! We like these small glass beer mugs. You can also serve it in Harry Potter themed glasses. We like this set of Hogwarts crest glasses that have the crest of each of the houses, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Our son especially loves drinking anything out of these!

Of course if you’re serving butterbeer for a party, you can use disposable glasses or cups of your choice. Keep in mind the finished drink has about 1 ¼ cups volume with about 1-inch extra room needed for the foam.

Spiked variation

Want to make a spiked butterbeer? This butterbeer recipe works beautifully with rum. Add 1 oz añejo rum to each serving of butterbeer, which adds notes of vanilla and oak. We think it’s best with rum, but you could also try something like vanilla vodka if desired.

Butter beer

More fun homemade drinks

This butterbeer drink is a fun and easy homemade drink that kids and adults alike love! It’s fun for parties, as a Halloween drink, or anytime you need a fun cooking project with kids. Here are a few more homemade drinks to add to your arsenal:

This butterbeer recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


This butterbeer recipe is an easy and delicious way to recreate the classic Harry Potter drink! Perfect for parties, Halloween, or anytime.


  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) flavored butterscotch syrup, like Torani
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring 
  • 1 small drop brown food coloring
  • 1 cup (8 oz) soda water
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) heavy cream, whisked until slightly thick


  1. In a mug or glass, stir together the butterscotch syrup, vanilla extract, food colorings, and a splash of soda water. (Spiked variation: Add 1 oz añejo rum.)
  2. Top with the remaining soda water. Carefully pour cream across top and serve. 
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. mrs. diane patricia redman-heath says:

    possibility so can print and save as well as share just the recipe separately to do so as would lessen time expenses with ink use/ing/age/s please kindly conveniently consider yours most family friendly appreciatively thankfully