Butterbeer in a bottle?
Written by Robert Niles
Wandering around the country this month, we happened upon a welcomed surprise: "Butterbeer" in a bottle.
We found this wizardly treat, appropriately enough, in a store in Salem, Massachusetts. Despite the sign on the display case in the witch-and-wizard-themed souvenir shop, the name on the bottle's not actually called "Butterbeer." (Warner Bros. has that trademark for beverages.) The product's called "Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer," and it's from Reed's soda company, also known for Reed's Ginger Beer and Virgil's Root Beer.
So how does it taste? As one might expect, like a butterscotch cream soda. I thought it tasted like Universal's Butterbeer — the non-frozen version, at least — minus the creamy foam "head". The bottle helpfully suggests a "Giggle Portion Recipe" — adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to achieve that a creamy, foamy effect.
If you'd like to order a few bottles for yourself and your favorite wizards, you needn't fly your broom or apparate to Salem. Reed's takes orders on its website, and ships to the lower 48 US states. A 12-pack costs $16, and a 24-pack costs $28. Tax and FedEx shipping added another $10 for delivery to California — those costs vary by state. Or, if your local grocery stocks Reed's or Virgil's products, I suppose you could request that they put in an order for "Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer," too.
If you've seen this drink in a store, or have tried it yourself, let us know in the comments.
Update: I also found the Butterscotch Beer and a certain Disneyland favorite at Jungle Jim's, a national chain of specialty groceries.
A mint julep in a bottle
I have to admit that I didn't like my second bottle of Butterscotch Beer as much as the first. And I think that's because I didn't wait for it to get ice-cold, as the first bottle was. The warmer "butterbeer" just crushed by taste buds with a too-sweet aftertatse. Some cold creaminess definitely would have helped round out the flavor. So, if you can't wait to completely chill the drink, go for the scoop of ice cream.
(FWIW, I didn't buy the mint julep. That stuff tastes like mouthwash to me....)
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