Butterbeer (Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Versions) *LINK*

Butterbeer (Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Versions)

This recipe for Butterbeer (or Buttered Beer) comes from a 1594 Cookbook. Since seeing Harry Potter and his chums drinking Butterbeer my kids have tried 2 recipes (using butterscotch pudding or butterscotch syrup) that they didn't desire to repeat. We drink Ginger Ale so I think that this might make a good Egg Nog substitute for the Holidays. oz


2 large egg yolks
40g sugar
1 Imperial pint (568ml) of beer — preferably an ale of some sort (OR Ginger Ale)
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (or nutmeg)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
25g unsalted butter, diced


See Notes Below.
In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until pale.
Put the beer in a saucepan and whisk in the spices.
Place over low heat and when slightly warm, add the egg and sugar mixture, whisking as you go.
Keep whisking as the temperature increases, but do not let the mixture boil or even get close to boiling.
It should be steaming but not bubbling because if it gets too hot, the eggs will cook and the mixture will look curdled.
(If you have a kitchen thermometer, try to keep the temperature around 149-158°F.)
Keep stirring while the mixture thickens slightly, which only takes a few minutes.
When it has thickened a little, take it off the heat.
Add the butter and stir it until it melts into the beer mixture completely.
Pour into the appropriate vessels and serve!

Posted by oz

Note 1: You can easily substitute the beer with ginger ale or ginger beer for a non-alcoholic version (just omit the powdered ginger or it might be a bit over the top on the ginger front).

Note 2: You can adjust the spices to taste — you might prefer more ginger and less mace/nutmeg/cloves.

Note 3: I’ve used half as much sugar as the original recipe called for. I think it’s more than sweet enough with this much, but if you want the genuine Tudor article, double the sugar amount.

Note 4: The original recipe called for a “dish” of butter to 5 pints of beer and I have no idea how much a dish was in 1594, so I’m just guessing at an appropriate amount. You can feel free to speculate too (unless you actually know how much a 1594 dish was, in which case… nice work).
Recipe and :photo by


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