Read the directions FIRST

Read them all, and read them in order, and repeat them to yourself until you have committed them to memory and would remember them even if you forgot your own name.

Tonight, I skipped the tea and made butterbeer instead.

It was delicious.

Despite being fraught with peril and poor memory, the difficult recipe from Colleen’s blog (Just Sweet and Simple, highly recommended) tasted much, much better than simply melting caramel syrup with butter and adding it to club soda. I made a few “modifications” so here’s the Harry Potter butterbeer recipe that has been floating around the internet, a la Kate.

For the syrup

1. Straight into too-large pot with 2$ candy thermometer clinging to the side*:

1 cup old stale brown sugar with a little bit of new sugar sprinkled on top just to confuse things

2 T water

2. To be added later:

6 T butter

1/2 t salt

1/2 t expired apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

For the topping

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

For the drink

Lots and lots of club soda


Tilt pot so brown sugar/water mixture actually covers thermometer bulb, because your pot is ridiculously large.

Turn on heat. Boil mixture until it reaches ~240 F by your cute but ridiculously dinky new thermometer.

Remove pot from heat.

Add butter, salt, vinegar, and cream. Stir.

Realize this is not working. Replace pot on heat. Stir like madwoman.

Wait for the last butter bit to melt. Stir again.


Add rest of cream to a medium sized bowl. Think to yourself that medium sized bowl is ridiculously large and you should know better.

Stop to eat 1/2 tiny frozen pot pie and wait for syrup to cool.

Try to get your dented tablespoon in and out of syrup more than half full. Give up and grab another cup to hold all the spoons that were in the syrup.

Try again. Give up again and think to yourself, “Self, this spoon is dented. Does it really matter?”

Stubbornly spoon out 2 T exactly of syrup into cream bowl. Notice that 1/4 of the syrup stays in the dent between measurements. Cry inside.

Whip cream for ~1 minute at varying mixer speeds and realize you have no idea what it’s supposed to look like. That information was in last year’s textbook, but you’re not about to go look it up. Stop whipping.

Realize that medium sized bowl was perfect size, and mentally apologize to unknown creator of recipe for thinking she(?) didn’t know what she was doing.


Add ~1/4 cup syrup to tall glass. At this point, brain tries to save you from noticing how much syrup stays in measuring device. It fails.

Pour in enough club soda to fill glass to top and mix with spoon. Go back, read directions. Headdesk.

Carefully measure “a tiny bit” of syrup into your mother’s glass. Add “a tiny bit” of club soda to her glass and mix. Top off with club soda as per recipe.

Top off both glasses with generous globs of whipped cream.

Drink. Shriek with delight, but only on the inside.

Take glass to mother. Play it up.

Mother has a headache and can only sip, but it’s not as bad as she expected. Oh well, all the more for you.

Thank your mother yet again for explaining to you just how sweet creme soda is and your own good sense for buying club soda instead.

Sip (gulp) butterbeer and blog.

Also, forget to take a picture of it until after you've started drinking.

Also, forget to take a picture of it until after you’ve started drinking. The moustache will probably last all night.


*This too was unintentional.


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