Highly Alcoholic Butterbeer

Those who have known me for 5 minutes or more will attest that my love affair for all things Harry Potter transcends normal fandom.

This is more than just a “I-stayed-up-until-midnight-to-get-all-of-the-books-on-their-release-date,” sort of love. Sure, I’ve done all the normal fandimonium things — read all the books, saw all the movies, went to every midnight release (in costume).

No, this is much, much more.

I’ve made Harry Potter-themed baked goods. I have a memory box with trading cards, ticket stubs, and HP stationary. I am currently drinking water from a Gryffindor cup. There is a chocolate frog on my bedside table. I named my first dog after a Harry Potter character.

Padfoot, a.k.a Sirius Black

But nothing is more elusive to this muggle’s mind than the perfect pint of butterbeer.

Little is known about this magnificent beverage. HP devotees will travel far and wide to sample the J.K. Rowling approved recipe at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. Indeed, this winter I was one of them!

My best friend Amanda and I sampling the offerings at the Hog’s Head Bar

Being the natural negativo that I am, I was expecting something hokey that amounted to not much more than glorified cream soda. But oh boy, was I wrong. I mean, it was like a mild cream soda, but it was topped with this thick, rich, creamy, fluff-like topping. Oh man, it was goooooooooood.

Since I’ve recently dabbled in infusing my own vodka and crafting my own cocktails, I knew that the second I returned home from HP World (i.e., paradise), I would be finding a way to make an adult (alcoholic) version of this magical concoction.

But I quickly became dismayed while looking at recipes that involved too many ingredients (really, there’s no need to be infusing butter with cloves), were not the correct color or thickness, or frankly didn’t have enough alcohol.

More specifically, I was most interested in recreating the frothy topping, which my best friend and HP companion quickly compared to liquid fluff. Since she was with me when sampling the real deal, we made it our mission the next time she came to visit to really nail down an out-of-this-world butterbeer cocktail.

Lucky, we hit the nail on the head with our very first attempt, and in both of our humble opinions, it stands up to the official, Rowling-sanctioned virgin version. We both have slightly different tastes (Amanda loves her stuff SWEET), so the recipe gives a little wiggle room for making it your own.

I’ve now tested this recipe on a half dozen in-the-know participants and it has won top marks across the board. What really sets this recipe apart is the foam topping that makes the butterbeer look like actually frothy beer from a tap. Be careful with this one, it goes down easy, but it packs a punch!

Butterbeer

  • 1 – 2 oz. butterscotch shnapps, depending on how sweet you want it (I prefer 1 oz.)
  • 2 oz. whipped cream flavored vodka
  • 6 oz. cream soda
  • 1 large spoonful marshmallow fluff + just a smidge of butterscotch shnapps
  1. In a tumbler, mix together the ice, schnapps, vodka, and cream soda. Strain into a chilled clear pint glass.
  2. In a small container, use a fork to whip together marshmallow fluff and a smidge of shnapps (a dab of cream soda also helps break it down really well) — keep whipping until liquid and easily pourable (2-3 minutes). Pour on top of butterbeer as the “head.” Enjoy!

Vodka Infusions

Well, well, well… look who’s resurfaced in the blogosphere…

Yep, that’s right folks, I’m strappin’ back on my bloggin’ shoes and goin’ back in for the fight.

Major apologies for my sudden (and rude) disappearance. Some big events unfolded in this veggie’s life and things got pretty darn complicated for awhile. But I’m makin’ some big changes and I want you, dear reader, to share ‘em with me!

The first major change is that, starting today, I am officially sharing this blog with a real, live human monster. He’s been buggin’ me for nearly 6 months now to see the blog and today, which just so happens to be my 23rd birthday, I’m giving myself the gift of no longer having to put up with his relentless requests. Say hi to my friend, everyone!

His name is …well, we’ll just call him Mother Monster. He’s a cool kid. He listens to Lady G. He plays some mean guitar. He is a big big fan of Oreo cookies.

In fact, we share many of the same food passions! He let me borrow his subscription to Cook’s Illustrated. We’ve gone on an extensive hunt for the best poutine in Boston together. He introduced me to pulled pork (ummmm…what? move along…). He helped me sample these vodka infusions for the first time (more on that later).

On to the second BIG change. As you can see, Two Veggies looks a little different. New templates, new header, updated pages… I would have done new fonts too, but I’m too poor to afford font packages and ill-adept at using WordPress on my own. Speaking of which, when I changed my template, I lost all my comments… has this happened to anyone else? Any WordPress whizzes out there know how to get ‘em back?!

The last BIG change? This is a tough one…

This is no longer the tale of two veggies. Le boyfriend and I split up, so now this veggie is on her own. This obviously made life supremely complicated for awhile; chief amongst my problems was the issue of this bloggity’s name. Do you know just how hard a feat it is to come up with a good blog name?! I’m not prepared to do that sort of brainstormin’ again. Send yo’ suggestions my way.

Anyways, since the breakup, I’ve tried to bite the bullet and start a big project to take my mind off of things. I had recently acquired an excess of mason jars, so infusing vodka seemed like the most logical undertaking. If not the most exceptionally stereotypical.

Infusing vodka is super easy (and super delicious).

The recipe goes something like this:

[fruit of your choosing + mason jar + a spoonful of sugar + high quality of vodka]/a few days to a few weeks = the tastiest vodka you ever laid your tongue on.

Here are some of the combo’s I made:

Strawberry Vanilla

Blueberry Peach

Raspberry Vanilla with Gold Flakes

Mixed Berry Vanilla

Aside from being painfully easy, this little project is a great way to make some unusual, customized gifts fo’ people in your life… or an easy peasy way to impress your friends. Here’s the directions (if you couldn’t figure them out from my above formula).

Homemade Vodka Infusions

  • Fruit of your choosing
  • A mason jar or other air tight container
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (for small jars, 2 for big ones)
  • High-quality, plain vodka
  • Other additions, some recommendations
    • Cinnamon sticks
    • Whole vanilla beans
    • Spices
    • Flowers
  1. Cut and clean the fruit. Layer it nicely in the mason jar and add the sugar.
  2. Fill the rest of the jar with vodka and put the lid and ring to the jar back on. Shake well.
  3. Twice a day, agitate the jars with a few quick shakes. Store in a cool, dry place for 3-14 days (the longer, the stronger).
  4. When the vodka is finished infusing, use a cheesecloth to help drain the fruit from the jars. Discard the fruit and serve the vodka with a simple mixer like Sprite, tonic water or ginger ale.