Recipe: Butterbeer Part 2, Tudor Style!

6 Mar

After months of empty promises, I finally bring you the post you’ve all been waiting for.

Butterbeer, Tudor Style. Yesssss.

The Tudors were an interesting culinary bunch. They ate lots of funny meats (badger, anyone?) and insisted that beaver was a fish so they could get around the “only eat fish on Fridays during Lent” thing. Inventive, or just plain stupid? I  guess that’s just up to you and your level of scientific propriety. They also used a really fascinating device called a trencher – basically a stale piece of bread used as a plate, which was either eaten with sauce or given to the poor upon completion of the meal. You heard that correctly folks, the pious Tudors gave away stale bread that they had ALREADY EATEN ON to the poor. Yum?

I was sent this recipe by a friend about six months ago. He wanted me to make it so that he could drink it, unwilling to try his hand at the recipe himself, perhaps? Either way, it reminded me of a type of butterbeer I had made back in high school when my friends and I were all cracked out on Harry Potter. (Nothing like we are now, of course). (Much…) That recipe used root beer and hot buttered rum mix-probably not very authentic, but super-delicious nonetheless.

I’m not sure if this Tudor style butterbeer is any closer to approximating the kind that Harry and his friends drank at the Three Broomsticks, but it’s entertaining.

2C LIGHT beer (I used a pale ale, and the end result was slightly bitter tasting. I would use a lager or maybe a cream ale next time, something really light, like Boddington’s or even just Miller or Coors).

1/4C sugar

Pinch of nutmeg

2 egg yolks

1TB butter

Put the beer into a large pot on the stove, and heat until the beer becomes steamy and slightly foamy.

Mix together the egg yolks, sugar and nutmeg.

Slowly add about 1/2 C of the hot beer to the sugar-egg mixture, stirring all the time to combine. You are doing this to temper your eggs, slowly cooking them so that they don’t become scrambled when you add them to the hot beer.

Turn off the heat and pour the beer, sugar and egg mix into the large pot of beer and gently whisk. Add the butter and whisk some more.

When it looks like all your ingredients have been successfully combined, pour the butterbeer into a large glass and drink!

A note on the taste.

As I said before, I believe my selection of beer made the resulting butterbeer slightly bitter, which is why I suggest using a really light beer. This is not the time to get all snobby about beer (which is just part of my nature). When you think about it, the Tudors used beer as a water substitute because actual water was literally too dirty (full of SEWAGE) to drink. Beer probably wasn’t all that complex. Suck it up and use MGD.

With that said, Jakey Jake LOVED IT.

Me? Not so much.

This is why I try not to experiment alone! I would make it again using a different beer, though. I think that is where I went wrong.

So, to wrap up.

Butterbeer = weird. Try some!

❤ Stef

5 Responses to “Recipe: Butterbeer Part 2, Tudor Style!”

  1. Mar November 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    lovely, thanks for sharing!

    I had been wanting to make butterbeer for a long time and finally just did! 😉 Although… I’m wondering why my butterbeer is not frothy at all (no foam, nothing, it just looks like coffee with milk…). Any idea why this might have been? I tried not to boil the contents because I was scared the eggs would turn into an omelette, and the liquid didn’t thicken at all (??). Well, now my “coffee and milk” is cooling till I can taste it! 😉

    BTW, I did it with a pale ale, non-British (I’m outside the UK)

    • steffanyf November 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

      Not sure! Maybe you didn’t whisk it enough? You definitely should not have boiled the mix, because the egg probably would have curdled. I hope it’s delicious!

      • Mar November 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

        Thanks Steffany! I have just tried my butterbeer, and boy what a taste!! It’s between sweet and not sweet, with that weird effect of clover drying your tongue! Yum! 😉 Also very reach, even without the foam 🙂

        I have no idea why there isn’t any foam.. maybe I cooked it too long and the bubbles disappeared? Or the beer itself? Because I definitely whisked. Anyway, next time I’ll try to find a Brittish beer and see if it turns out the same 😉

        (unfortunately, I don’t think this beverage has any intoxicating powers… 😉

  2. anon November 23, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    When I was looking up the recipe (I try to find several articles), I had found this one page that discussed the difference between Tudor ale and modern beer. Here’s the link, the person recommends some actual British ales:

    • steffanyf November 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

      That article is amazing. Thank you so much for linking it!

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