Hagrid’s Big Boozy Butterbeer
On a recent wintry Saturday, while reminiscing about the recently departed Robbie Coltrane, we decided to honor his character and make a big, burly boozy butterbeer recipe (it’s vegan!). The drink needed to be tough enough for Hagrid to appreciate – meaning loaded with whiskey – but also true to the bewitching butterscotch flavor that we all expect from our favorite wizarding beverage.
If this sounds good to you so far, then first things first: Go ahead and set a can of coconut cream in your refrigerator to chill overnight. You’ll need it tomorrow – if whiskey doesn’t scare you and you’re of legal drinking age. Come join me in the kitchen and see how to make Hagrid’s big boozy butterbeer. In Muggle speak, we’re talking butterscotch Manhattans. Wands out, and whisks ready!
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Choosing Your Booze
Picking your potions is an important step, but the two ingredients that proved the most tricky were the bourbon and the butterscotch liqueur.
For your whiskey, it’s very important to choose a bourbon that’s smooth, soft, and honeyed enough to mingle nicely with the sweet elements of the recipe. If your bourbon is too fiery and spicy, it won’t blend into your cocktail.
Personally, I have a very strong preference for strong drinks, so I chose a Rye that spit more fire than a Hungarian Horntail. That was a mistake. The fiery rye didn’t cooperate with the overall balance and flavor at all… resulting in a very tipsy round of testing that ultimately ended in failure (okay, and also lots of giggling and shouted spells with my equally tipsy assistant/husband). So be really sure to choose a smoother, sweeter selection – like Woodford Reserve or Knob Creek.
Next, you’ll need to hunt down a butterscotch liqueur. For vegan mixologists, keep a sharp eye on the ingredients to be sure that there’s no dairy. I had great difficulty finding one. Eventually, by the checkout line, I discovered a bottle called 99 Butterscotch that came in airplane-drink sizes. You don’t need much to mix a few drinks, so the miniature bottles are actually a great way to lower your bill.
Whisks at the Ready
For your whipped topping, you can really take some creative license. For example, you can add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg and decide how much sweetener you prefer.
Use an electric hand mixer if possible. Technically, you can whip your topping by hand, but that takes longer and feels like you took a Bludger to the arms. The following picture shows what it looks like once your whipped cream thickens enough to form peaks. That means you can set it aside in your fridge while you prepare your drinks.
Finally, when it’s time to mix your cocktail, you might wonder about the difference between a shake or a stir. Shaking your mixture will crush the ice and soften the whiskey flavor, whereas stirring for 45 seconds will retain the strongest whiskey flavor. I recommend the stir.
Be sure to choose special glassware for your big boozy butterbeer, like steins, tulip glasses, or goblets. Top with a very small teaspoon of whipped coconut cream, toast your friends, and try not to pull a Slughorn (“All hands on deck, Granger!”). For the full set of instructions, just follow the steps in our official recipe. Cheers!