Madam Rosmerta's Butterbeer (vegan)

  reading time: 3 min

Ron came back five minutes later, carrying three foaming tankards of hot butterbeer.
“Merry Christmas!” he said happily, raising his tankard.
Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling

Besides Pumpkin Juice, which is like the OJ of the wizarding world, the most popular beverage in the Harry Potter universe is the famous "butterbeer". J. K. Rowling has described the drink as "a little bit like less sickly butterscotch". In the books it is considered a non-alcoholic, but with a slight alcoholic content (that seems to be very potent for house-elves which is illustrated when the house-elf Winky gets drunk on too much butterbeer), so this version can be drunk by children or adults.

Even Hermione enjoys a good butterbeer!

The butterbeer that Madam Rosmerta serves at the crowded Three Broomsticks inn is probably inspired by the 16th century drink called "buttered beere" that was basically an English ale that is warmed up with sugar, butter, egg yolk, and wintry spices.

However, most contemporary interpretations of the magic drink use cream soda as a base, combined with butterscotch syrup, butter, brown sugar, and heavy cream to top off. For our vegan version, we are going to use vegan butter and vegan creamer instead. And since we don't really get soda cream here in Germany, I am using malt beer as my base – which makes this drink alcohol-free. However, I have read online that apple juice, ginger beer or ginger ale work great as well.

This vegan butterbeer is creamy, spicy, and with a tinge of bitterness to it. Although I can't quite imagine myself craving this weird mix of beer, butter and whipped cream on a regular basis, it's definitely something I'd spend 2 Sickles on at the Three Broomsticks around Christmas time for a unique-tasting winter drink.

The butterbeer in Harry Potter can be served hot or cold.


Preparation time: 5 mins
Main ingredients: malt beer / cream soda / apple juice, sugar, butter
difficulty level: easy
serves: 2
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, nut-free


3 cups (750 ml) malt beer, chilled (or sub cream soda, apple juice, ginger beer or ginger ale; the taste of the butterbeer will vary depending on the beverage you choose, but they are all pretty great in their own way)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp caramel butterscotch sauce, or more
(see recipe below)

vegan whipped cream
, to serve

caramel butterscotch sauce:
2/3 cup (150 g) light brown sugar
1 tbsp water
6 tbsp (100 g) unsalted vegan butter (I use the German brand Alsan bio)
1/2 cup (125 ml) vegan creamer
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

(optional) 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
(optional) 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
optional) a few drops of butter extract and/or rum extract


To make the caramel butterscotch sauce:

In a small saucepan, add light brown sugar, and 1 tbsp of water. Heat up the mixture, stirring constantly, until the sugar starts to melt and caramelize. Be careful not to burn the sugar!!
As soon as the sugar has melted to a golden brown thick syrup, turn off the heat, then carefully add vegan butter, vegan creamer, vanilla extract, salt and optional spices. Stir vigorously until the sugar and butter have completely melted. Remove from heat, and transfer to a jar.

To assemble the butterbeer, add about 1/4 cup of the caramel butterscotch sauce in each of the two beer mugs, tankards or fancy drinking jars. (It's so fun to serve this in clear mugs where you can see the butterbeer and the whipped topping!)

Divide the malt beer (or substitute) between the two mugs, and watch the magical reaction of carbonation with butter and sugar to make a foamy frothy beer topping. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to each glass for that extra kick.

For an extra decadent treat, top off with some vegan whipped cream (to get that butterbeer moustache effect)
or a scoop or two of vegan vanilla ice cream, and perhaps some more caramel butterscotch sauce.

Accio butterbeer!

- If you don't feel like making your own caramel butterscotch sauce, you can either get store-bought butterscotch or caramel sauce or even date syrup instead.
- W
e actually used malt beer for the glass in front, and regular beer for the one in the back. The malt beer version was way better in my opinion. If you're not a fan of the malty taste of malt beer, replace 1 1/2 cups of malt beer with barista-style non-dairy milk!
- Sticking the mugs in the freezer for about 10 minutes before serving creates frosty glasses that help the butterbeer stay colder longer. Plus, it looks cool!

BTW: How do like my floating candles? As you can see, we wrapped some wire around it and secured it above the impromptu photo "studio" of ours. For the title image, I even edited the wires out to make it look more magic, like in the movies, but as you can tell I didn't do that for the rest of the pictures. I still think it looks fun that way 😊

Looking for more nerdy recipes? Check out my other Harry Potter inspired creations:
Butterbeer Fudge (vegan)


[image sources: image 1, image 2]