I was attracted to the first version because it contains sweetened condensed milk. I am compelled to make anything containing this stuff, and it has recently crossed my mind that perhaps I should sneak a can with a spoon into the movie theater as my treat. (I opted not, after having visions of operating a can opener in the dark while spilling sticky liquid all over myself) While this version is delicious, easy, and completely acceptable-I found I preferred the taste of the second version. While a little more involved, it had a deeper and more complex flavor that was how I imagined butterbeer taste. The second version also included a cream topping that made the perfect foam-but you could easily add this to the easier version. And I'm telling you that you should.
Either of these versions can be served warm or cold-in the books, the drink is warm; at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter amusement park they serve it iced.
Version 1 on the left
Butterbeer #1-Quick and Easy
Makes 4 servings in 8-10 oz. mugs, or 2 servings in the giant mugs I used
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons butterscotch ice cream topping
4 Tablespoons butter
3 cups cream soda
1/2 cup whipping cream
Combine the condensed milk, 1/2 cup butterscotch topping and butter in a heat proof bowl. Microwave 1 minute. Stir until butter melts into mixture. Divide the mixture between the mugs, and fill with the cream soda. Stir to combine.
For the creamy foam topping, beat the whipping cream with the 2 Tablespoons butterscotch topping until thickened, but not completely whipped. Top each mug with the cream, and stir to create a smooth foam.
Version 2 on the right
Butterbeer #2-More authentic in my personal opinion
4 8-10 oz. mugs, or 2 giant
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
3/4 cup cream, divided
1/2 tsp. rum extract
5 cups cream soda
In a small saucepan over medium low heat, combine the brown sugar and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer.
Stir in butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 cup of the cream. Set aside to cool to room temp.
Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.
In a medium bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream. Using an electric mixer, beat until cream has thickened, but not completely whipped-about 2-3 minutes.
To serve, divide the brown sugar among the glasses-about 1/4 cup in each. Pour in a 1/4 cup cream soda and stir to combine. Fill the rest of the glass with more cream soda. Top with the cream, and stir again. The cream will stay on top and create a foam.