Skip Channel4 main Navigation
Explore Channel4
See All
Food on TV


Feasting on butterbeer

Author: Charlie - 4 Food Team|Posted: 5:43 pm on 17/03/09

Category: Food on TV, Playing with Your Food | Tags: /

Butterbeer, as Heston Blumenthal points out in his Tudor Feast, is not just Harry Potter’s favourite tipple, it’s also a bona fide Tudor recipe made from ale, sugar, egg yolks, nutmeg and butter. If you’ve always thought that beer is good but could benefit from a few more calories, then this is the drink for you.

Last weekend I spent an eye watering £80 at the dentist on damage control for my sweet tooth. Just two days later I’m whisking sugar into a steaming pot of ale and hoping my fillings don’t melt.

Beer plus butter - delicious

I heated some beer in a pan over a medium heat till it bubbled. Then I took it off the heat, added the egg, sugar and nutmeg mixture, put it back on a low heat and stirred for a couple of minutes until it went the colour of strong tea meets cloudy apple juice. By this point the kitchen smelled of mulled wine which was a more pleasant odour than you’d expect from a pot of warm eggy beer. I whisked in a little butter and the brew was complete.

Rich, caramelly and super-sweet. There’s a reason Heston serves it in tiny glasses. The dentists round Hogwarts must be raking it in.

Bottoms up

Recipe for butterbeer

500ml ale
Yolks from 2 medium eggs, whisked
60g sugar
Dash of nutmeg
15g unsalted butter

Method: How to make butterbeer
Pour the ale into a warm pan on a medium heat. When the beer begins to come to the boil take off the heat and add the whisked egg yolks, sugar and nutmeg.

Return the pot to a low heat (to stop the eggs from scrambling) and stir for 2 minutes. Take off the heat and whisk in the butter. Decant into your finest flagon and chug.

Read more on Heston’s Tudor Feast



  1. At 10:07 pm on March 17, 2009 Miles Dolding wrote:

    Wow! cant wait 2 make and try some!

  2. At 10:08 pm on March 17, 2009 kieran wrote:


  3. At 10:17 pm on March 17, 2009 Neil Tarbox wrote:

    Sounds fabulous can’t wait to try it. will tell you what I think. thanks for a brilliant program.

  4. At 1:36 pm on March 18, 2009 rory wrote:

    Should it be drank warm?

  5. At 3:20 pm on March 18, 2009 Charlie - 4 Food Team wrote:

    Rory, the 4Food team drank it warm and it slipped down a treat.

  6. At 8:04 pm on March 19, 2009 Liam wrote:

    I just made it and its declious, although i forgot to turn on the heat so the eggs in it scrambled :P

  7. At 12:07 pm on March 21, 2009 Tejas wrote:

    what ale did you use? im not sure which one to make it with?!?!?

  8. At 8:11 pm on March 22, 2009 Daniel Lacey wrote:

    does anyone know after this is made, can you bottle it for later ?? or does it have to be drank warm right after its made??

  9. At 2:32 pm on March 25, 2009 Charlie - 4 Food Team wrote:

    Hi Tejas - I used London Pride ale - you could try other ales too.

  10. At 6:58 pm on March 25, 2009 Tejas wrote:

    Thanks, i used IPA it tasted great!

  11. At 10:54 pm on March 25, 2009 Joe Burns wrote:

    My fellow ale drinking friend and I have just made our very first quart of butterbeer, following the exact instructions above.

    My my, I should say that upon first sample of our freshly brewed beverage, we were both pleasently surprised, until we noticed the large quantity of egg ‘bits’ floating round. (We took extreme care to fully whisk the mix)

    After a moment or two, we both decided we did not like the taste, due to the intense sweetness and heaviness we felt in our guts.

    We used Bishops Finger ale, and we suggest that people reduce the amount of suger when making their own butterbeer.

  12. At 9:28 pm on March 30, 2009 Mike Bridges wrote:

    I would love to add butterscotch to it aswell - probably will melt the teeth straight through my face - but it’d be tasty - definitely trying this in the next few days

  13. At 4:16 pm on March 31, 2009 toby wrote:

    i tried it with OSH and didn-t like it much
    but i think i went over the top on nutmeg.
    oh well

  14. At 6:03 pm on March 31, 2009 Kenneth Crips wrote:

    You made my whole day. I can’t wait to make some Butterbeer. Living in southern Wyoming, USA I have a bunch of excellent local micro brewed English Ale’s to use.

  15. At 6:09 pm on April 7, 2009 mel wrote:

    eeeeeeeeh how exciting! i am making this at the first opportunity i get :D

  16. At 10:47 pm on April 9, 2009 Jess wrote:

    Jus tried this, not bad!

  17. At 9:48 am on April 18, 2009 steve wrote:

    uhhh just downed my 4th pint not feeling too good used Carlton draft (Aussie brew) like eating 10 Mars Bars

  18. At 5:35 pm on July 8, 2009 Ryan wrote:

    To avoid the floating egg bits try ladling a small quantity of the warm beer into the egg mixture before pouring that back into the rest of the beer.

  19. At 1:46 pm on July 15, 2009 The Food Blog - Pumpkins, toads and Harry Potter wrote:

    [...] Not to be outdone, fans in the UK are prepping their Potter menus to include pumpkin pasties and cauldron cakes. And here at 4Food, we’re doing our bit to quash the Dark Lord by downing a pint or two of butterbeer. [...]

  20. At 11:56 pm on July 20, 2009 Scott wrote:

    made a bit with dundee’s honey brown and turned out very tasty

Leave a comment

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our Comments Policy. Your email address will not be displayed to the public.

* Required field.

Channel 4 © 2009. Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.