I offer this tale as a caution: if you like fire, by all means enjoy the "pyro butterbeer." But don't set anything on fire that you don't want to burn.
More recently, about three years ago, I went googling for a butterbeer recipe to share at my "Lunch at the Three Broomsticks" club at school. I found many ideas, (sorry! can't remember where:( ) though I couldn't bring my favorite to school. I did, however, bring all my test-batches to the annual Heiss family New Year's Eve gathering for testing.
I'm presenting here the top tasting recipe:
BRIAN'S BETTER BUTTERBEER BOOSTER (I think that night we came up with even more b's, but I disremember now:)
- Good cream soda in large quantities
- Mrs. Richardson's or other good caramel sauce
- a few cups of Butterscotch schnapps
- pure vanilla extract
- a stout sauce-pan
- jars, mugs, ice
- tasters & helpers
What you do:
- Pour a couple of cups of schnapps into the sauce pan and set to heat on medium. How much cooking you do depends on if you want to boil/burn off the alcohol so this mixture is safe for house elves & children. Even if you don't, it won't be very stong (unless you're a house elf). Buttershots is about 15 % alcohol. If you mix the booster with cream soda at 1/10 ratio, this dilutes it to about 1.5 % or less, since some of the alcohol is going to evaporate, and there are other ingredients.
- If you want to leave it a little boozy:
- warm up the schnapps, but don't boil or let it steam.
- Stir in some caramel sauce as it warms--maybe one or two overflowing, dripping tablespoons-full per cup of schnapps.
- pour in a cap-full or so of vanilla
- melt in a little butter--a very little because it hardens when chilled. You may want to leave this out unless you like your butterbeer hot; even then you can dot the top with butter.
- stir it up.
- slide the pan off the heat as soon as the caramel and butter are melted and stirred into the mixture.
- If you want it safe for house elves (almost alcohol free)
- Do everything the same, but heat to boiling.
- boil until it the mixture reduces to about 75% of it's original volume. Since alcohol vaporizes at a lower temp than water, the alcohol should be pretty much gone by now. Give it a sniff or a taste and see what you think.
- Pyro Butterbeer! If you like fire:
- Add only the vanilla to the schnapps.
- Heat it until just before boiling.
- sniff it carefully! Smell that alcohol?
- give it a good stir to get the fumes going and set it ablaze. Be careful! Use a long candle/grill lighter if you have one. Don't let your hair swing over the pot.
- Turn off the light and enjoy the blue glow.
- stir it around, taking care not to burn yourself or set your wooden spoon on fire. The burnt wood flavor is unpleasant. (use a metal spoon:)
- When it goes out, stir it up and light it again. You can keep burning it until it won't light anymore, or you're bored.
- Add the rest of the ingredients.
- boil/burn/mix until reduced to 75% of original volume.
- When you finish cooking the booster, let it cool.
I like my butterbeer cold:
- Pour a little booster into your mug. (try about 1/10 ratio and add more if you like it strong and sweet)
- gently add cream soda.
- gently stir
- put in as much ice as you like--again, gently.
- You now have a mug of rich, creamy, sweet, and foamy butterbeer!
If you want to try it warm:
- Mix to taste with warmed cream soda and serve with a dot of butter. Don't boil the soda, or it will loose its fizz entirely.
If you're of legal/moral age, and you like a little extra cheer:
- add some good rum to taste, but watch out because this is very sweet and might give you a headache in the morning! ;-)
If you have suggestions for bettering the booster, and thus the butterbeer, please comment!
Finally, enjoy your butterbeer with good friends--muggle or magic! Or alone with your favorite book or movie. And watch those house elves!