Hogwarts Butterbeer (safe for kids)

written by Chris Benjamin, Food & Beverage Director at The Essex

Ah, Halloween. It’s one of the few nights of the year that reality and fantasy collide for not only the children in costumes searching for candy, but for the kids at heart. It’s also a time when we can forget about who we are and truly have fun being someone else.

With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, well… let’s just say that I’m sure there will be enough Advil, water, and Pepto-Bismol consumed the next day to keep the local pharmacies in business well into the new year.

But why should adults have all the ‘fun’? Kids deserve an interesting beverage, too! And the trend of the mocktail is hip not only for kids who want to pretend to be a little older, but they’re the perfect drinks for expecting mothers and designated drivers (highly recommended, by the way… Just a friendly little plug for the local law enforcement agencies. I drive a blue Subaru, guys.) Mocktails are also great for 18- to 20-year-olds and anyone who doesn’t feel like imbibing, but wants to have something ‘better’ than soda, juice, or water.

Since it’s Halloween I wanted to share a cocktail for kids, which means it needs to be named appropriately. I’m pretty sure most kids these days still love the story of Harry Potter, so in honor of the boy wizard (and thanks to my wife who found the recipe), please enjoy our take on Hogwarts ’ Butterbeer (first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). Make the ice cream ahead, and it’s the perfect way to warm up the kiddies after a brisk night of trick-or-treating.


Blue Ghost (NOT safe for kids)

Our second (this time, adult) libation is called a Blue Ghost. My colleague Mark and I spent a half-hour working on this, trying to figure out a way to light it on fire– but the cream didn’t cooperate. Garnish with marshmallows for a ghostly feel. To make the ‘eyes’, dip a straw in food coloring, blue Curacao or grenadine. But bewaaaaare (imagine my ‘spooky’ voice), this drink is not for the faint-hearted. With 6 ounces of liquor in a pint glass, it packs the punch of 3-4 normal drinks. It’s very tasty, but drink too much too fast and you’ll not only be blue, you could very well be a ghost.

Have a very happy and safe Halloween.

Hogwart’s Butterbeer (you know, for kids!)
Serves 8

1 pint vanilla ice cream
¼ cup butter, at room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon butterscotch extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 quarts apple cider

1. With egg beater, combine ice cream, butter and spices together and incorporate well in a bowl. Once blended, refreeze. Once it’s re-frozen, go to step two.
2. Heat apple cider to boiling.
3. Add 1 scoop of the ice cream mixture to an Irish coffee mug or a Collins glass.
4. Add the boiling cider.
5. Top with whipped cream.
6. Sip and enjoy. But be careful, kids– it’s hot!

Blue Ghost
Serves 1 (but hold on tight!)

1 ounce Blue Curacao
1 ounce Malibu Rum
1 ounce Bacardi Rum
1 ounce Triple Sec
1 ounce Creme de Cacao (See — multi-use from other recipes for all of you who made the brandy Alexander last week)
1 ounce Creme de Banana (I’ll try and make some more recipes so this doesn’t sit in your liquor cabinet for years)
10 ounces half-and-half
1 ghost marshmallow with cherry and sword pick

Combine all the liquid in a pint glass filled with ice and shake vigorously. Garnish with ghost marshmallow, and then drink. In moderation. And not on an empty stomach– no one likes the spins. Enjoy!