I know it’s been a while and I promise I will be better about posting! A month! A month! What’s wrong with me?
Work has been crazy and working for two different sports teams is even crazier. Wonderfully, fantastically crazy, but crazy nonetheless.
So sometimes I like to sit back and unwind with a nice, cold butterbeer.
You read that correctly. A butterbeer.
As in the concoction that could lower the inhibitions of many a wizard, witch, and mudblood? The drink that can leave an innocent house-elf somewhat drunk upon imbibing said beverage? The longed-after beverage for many an excited Hogwarts student on a special trip outside of school grounds at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmead?
That’s the one.
Funnily enough, my boyfriend could easily be thought of as what Harry Potter would look like at the ripe old age of 29 years old and happily married to Ginny Weasely, maybe will little redheaded, bespectacled wizards and witches running around at their feet as they enjoy a life of wedded bliss.
Sure. Jack could easily be mistaken for an older Harry, minus the whole lightning-bolt-etched-into-his-forehead thing. And the whole being-in-love-with-Ginny-Weasley-thing.
I’d kick her ass.
Last week, as Jack and I were sitting at home relaxing after a long day at work, Jack exclaimed as if he had just remembered that he had a long-lost gem sitting in his bag. He reached into his leather messenger bag and from it, pulled out a folded piece of newspaper.
“Gabby gave this to me. You have to make this.” He informed me as he handed me the slightly crinkled paper.
I grabbed it from his hand, slightly inquisitive. Very often, I get handed recipes with exclamations of “You have to make this!” or “I thought you would like this!” It always gives me a bit of a warm, fuzzy feeling that someone thinks of me when they see a recipe and asks me to try it. And then I get nervous because I think I’m going to screw it up, let everyone down, and then be accused of being a culinary fraud.
Such is life.
I unfolded the piece of paper as my eye immediately jumped to a photo of a beer mug filled with a light, caramel liquid and topped with a by a frothy, whipped cloud of cream.
Then, the headline jumped out at me.
“Really?!” I exclaimed. “No way! This is awesome! I am definitely making this. Can I keep this?”
“No.” Jack answered matter-of-factly. “She wants the recipe back.”
Ah, well. You can win them all. I immediately jotted down the recipe and my excitement deflated slightly.
Butter? Heavy cream? Is this a children’s drink or a death concoction invented by Paula Deen to clog my arteries?
“I don’t know how I feel about drinking melted butter.” I told Jack.
“It’ll be delicious.” He reassured me.
It didn’t work.
After a few days of hemming and hawing, I decided to go for it. I ran to the supermarket and picked up the necessary ingredients. Heavy cream. Butter. I then reached the soda aisle and balked.
Do I go for diet cream soda or regular?
I hemmed and hawed. But the diet cream soda has no calories. The regular has 190 calories. 190 calories!
Wait. I thought to myself. You’re about to drink melted butter and heavy cream. If you’re going to do it, you may as well go all out. I picked up the regular soda.
As I returned home, I finally read through the recipe in its entirety. Ohhhh. I thought to myself. Heavy cream, butter and brown sugar. So I’m making caramel. And then drinking it. That’s better, right?
After the caramel cooled, I poured it into the beer mug and mixed it with a little bit of the cream soda. The light, tan color of the cream soda magically (like in Harry Potter! No? No?) transformed into a rich, magnificent amber. I topped it with the remainder of the soda and listened as the froth billowed above the edge of the glass. I topped it with a bit of caramel whipped cream and walked over proudly to Jack.
This is going to be SO good. I told him excitedly.
“Can I have it?” He asked confused, as I placed the glass on the floor.
“No, I have to photograph it.”
“Right. Silly me.” He answered back dryly as he went back to reading his Wall Street Journal.
After I finished photographing the beer, I handed Jack the drink and watched him as he took his first sip. He looked at me, whipped cream dotting the tip of his nose and said:
“WOW. This is SO good. It tastes like a Root Beer Float!” (Jack’s favorite dessert/drink).
Yes, this drink is pure magic.
Butterbeer adapted from The Daily Record
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
2 tsp rum
6 tbsp butter
Four 12 oz bottles cream soda
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240 on a candy thermometer
Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.
In a medium bowl, combine 2 tbsp of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixture to beat until it reaches soft peaks.
To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 cup per glass) add 1/4 cup cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped cream on top.