Last week we toured Universal Orlando and had our share of Butterbeer. The signature drink of the Wizarding World is a refreshing beverage on a hot Florida day. However, what happens when you’re sitting at home and want another Butterbeer? What are your options besides spending another $300+ to return to the park?
Thankfully, you can get a 4-pack of the drink delivered to your door for $18 plus shipping from the official Harry Potter Shop. It takes the shop around a week to deliver. The packaging is beautiful, and it was the first time I’d ever thought about keeping a beverage case.
What I wasn’t expecting was the taste. The official Butterbeer differs from the drink available in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. It’s much maltier, with very little butterscotch flavor. As a result, this bottled Butterbeer is more like an after-dinner drink than the desert-like concoction we had at the parks.
This isn’t to say that the official brew is terrible, but it is far more complex than we expected.
The ingredients for the official Butterbeer consist of everything except for butterscotch flavoring. This bottled beverage shares more in common with a beer than anything else, from the taste to the texture. This Butterbeer is quite aromatic, with lots of hints of ginger. But, again, where’s the butterscotch?
But what if you want something that appeals to the sweetness we think of when the drink’s name is mentioned? Few butterscotch drinks are available on the market right now, except for one bottled by Virgil’s. The company makes “handcrafted” sodas of all varieties. Typically these are found in places like The Fresh Market, Sprouts, or your local produce vendor’s shop.
A few years ago, this particular soda showed up: The Flying Cauldron Non-Alcholic Butterscotch Beer. It’s precisely what I think of when someone mention’s the famous drink from the Harry Potter franchise. But, of course, it’s made for kids, so I expect it to be sugary and for the flavor to match what the name is alluding to.
It is high in sugar, like most creme sodas, and if you have a sensitivity to the sweetener or Stevia, I wouldn’t suggest this. However, notice one of the key ingredients? “Natural Butterscotch flavor.” This makes all the difference. It makes not only the Butterbeer name in taste, but the packaging is much more in line with The Wizarding World. Still, I think the official drink’s artwork is far more display-worthy.
Flying Cauldron wins in a head-to-head taste test because it appeals to my love of butterscotch candies. The official brew relies on fruit concentrates and ginger, which creates a tasty drink, but it never made me think of butterscotch.
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