Friday, November 19, 2010

Butterbeer...with special guest Pumpkin Juice!

The long awaited post is finally here! Now that many of us die-hard Harry Potter fans have already seen the movie, time to celebrate the actual day of the release! Woohooooo!!
I had a great time seeing the movie last night/this morning. It was so good. I can't even explain how much I enjoyed it. I'm still paying the consequences of staying up too late because I'm dead tired and this post won't even be well written...I'm sure.
Anyway, Butterbeer: a Harry Potter staple. People have been fascinated with this made up beverage since the beginning of the book series. I always imagined that it would be sweet and warm and taste a lot like whipped cream and melted butter. Let's see what the Harry Potter wiki says:

"Butterbeer was a popular wizarding beverage described as tasting "a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch."[1]
It had a very slight alcohol content, which could get house-elves fully drunk,[2] but seemed to have a less pronounced effect on humans.[3][4] In 1996, Harry Potter wondered what Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger might do at Professor Horace Slughorn's Christmas Party "under the influence of Butterbeer,"[3] indicating that it could lower inhibitions. Winky, a house-elf, took to getting drunk on Butterbeer after losing her job with the Crouch family[2] — an addiction from which she never fully recovered.[5]

Butterbeer was served cold in bottles and hot in "foaming tankards."[6] In Hogsmeade, it was sold at the The Three Broomsticks[6] and The Hog's Head,[7] although the fact that the latter pub's stock was described as "very dusty" suggests that it was not sold there very often. In Diagon Alley, the drink is sold at the Leaky Cauldron.

At the Hog's Head, customers were charged two sickles per Butterbeer,[7] but it is not certain whether this is a universal price for the drink, or if the price of the drink varies from location to location."


I've tried a lot of different Butterbeer recipes and none of them really tasted like how I imagined it to taste. I'm so glad I had this excuse to try more Butterbeer recipes! I decided to have a butterbeer tasting party...And I have three different recipes, here we go!

ButterBeer Recipe #1
2 1/2 cups of milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter

1. heat milk in saucepan over medium high
2. Add ingredients
3. Blend with mixer to make frothy
4. Bring to almost a boil
5. Serve.

ButterBeer Recipe #2
2 1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

1. heat milk in saucepan over medium high
2. Add ingredients
3. Blend with mixer to make frothy
4. Bring to almost a boil
5. Serve.

ButterBeer Recipe #3
1 1/2 cans of cream soda (or to taste)
1/2 cup butterscotch syrup/chips
1/2 tbsp butter

1. Heat butterscotch and butter in pan until melted
2. Stir in soda slowly.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your ingredients (some of these ingredients are for Pumpkin Juice...we'll get to that later)

Left: ButterBeer 1 Right: ButterBeer 2

This is ButterBeer 1. It was the palest of them all because it didn't contain butterscotch. It tasted a lot like slightly altered milk. If you don't want a strong flavor, but still long for sweetness, this is a good one for you.

This is ButterBeer 2. This one is significantly sweeter and is DELICIOUS warm!

These are the three butterbeers. Top of triangle: ButterBeer 3 Left: Butterbeer 2 Right: ButterBeer 1

Before we move on to the results of the taste test, let's introduce Pumpkin Juice! Pumpkin juice was another one of those fascinating drinks in Harry Potter. I always expected it to taste a little like liquid pumpkin pie but not thick. Oh how naive of me. What does Potter Wiki say about this drink?

"Pumpkin juice is a cold drink favoured by the wizarding world, and among the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is drunk at any occasion, such as breakfast, lunch, at feasts or on other occasions. It seems to have taken on the same role that orange juice has in the Muggle world.
Pumpkin juice is readily available, and can be purchased on the Hogwarts Express. Severus Snape threatened to Harry in his fourth year that he might slip Veritaserum in his morning pumpkin juice while believing that Harry stole his potion ingredients. Dolores Umbridge offered Harry Potter pumpkin juice in 1996 when she wanted to secretly administer Veritaserum to him, but he chose tea instead. Prior to a Quidditch match in his sixth year, Ron Weasley believed that Harry had slipped Felix Felicis into his morning juice to help him play perfectly."

Very interesting! So here's the deal. Pumpkin juice is not sweet. My roommate Jessica said "It tastes like you just picked up a pumpkin and put it in your mouth!"
My other roommate Tara said "It tastes kind of like baby food".
So, be the judge for yourself. It was not what i expected but it didn't taste bad by any means. I added a little sugar substitute to it but it didn't change much.

Pumpkin Juice
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup pineapple juice
2 cups apple juice
1 cup grape juice (Grape juice was too expensive so I got Cranberry Raspberry, tastes pretty similar).

The pumpkin. I realized at this point that I should have put this in the blender. I recommend you put it in the blender otherwise you will be chewing your pumpkin juice like we all did. I just told people it was "pulp" not chunks.

No matter how much you stir it, it will settle and separate. So stir often!!

Close up on the pumpkin floaties!

And on with the party! I had my roommates Sam, Tara and Jessica as well as Sam's friend whose name escapes me at the moment because I'm sleep deprived, and my friend Spencer sample all three butterbeers and the pumpkin juice

This is Spencer. He was pretty excited about the butterbeer opportunities. His favorite was number 2 because it didn't give him a sugar attack like number 3 and it had more flavor than number 1. He's such a silly man!

This is Sam and friend. They both liked the 2nd one also, for basically the same reasons. Sam's friend called it "medium froth" because he tried to froth it into submission like Butterbeer 1 and it only kind of frothed. Good times my friends...good times.

And this is Jessica! She, too, liked the 2nd one best. She was a good sport about it; she was super full when I trotted out the butterbeer.

Now, my opinion? I LOVED the third butterbeer. True it was SUPER teeth and "stay awake for days" kind of sweet but it tasted the most authentic of the three to me. Number 1 was a little too bland, but kind of malty in a weird way. Number 2 was a duller taste but still a very nice hot beverage. Number 3 won in my eyes because it was authentic; it tasted EXACTLY how I thought butterbeer should taste. However, everyone else voted for number 2.
Ironically, at the end of the night, I had to combine the three leftovers into one pot and when I heated it up the next morning, I think it tasted better than any of them did separately.

Try these out and let me know which was your favorite. =) Mischief Managed.

1 comment:

Mary J. Locke said...

I so wish I had been there! The pumpkin juice (minus the 'pulp') sounds pretty good! In your expert opinion, do you think maybe doing part club soda would fix #3's sweetness, or is it better the way it is?