Obedient Ingredients

A place to put cooking ideas to the test.


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Starbucks Rolls Out Harry Potter Butterbeer. Nope.

Here is an announcement that Starbucks is starting to serve a Harry Potter themed Butterbeer. The title enthusiastically states “Starbucks Is Now Serving Butterbeer! Get the Harry Potter-Inspired Recipe Here!!!!!!” [Extra exclamation marks added].

This sounds just as sugary and gross as I expected it to be. Also pretty uninspiring.

If you want a breakdown of Harry Potter Butterbeer recipes out there on the internet, feel free to go to Obedient Ingredient’s most-viewed post: homemade Butterbeer recipes. You can also read about actual experiments I tried, including an authentic Butterbeer recipe with, you know, butter and beer.

Here is the Starbucks recipe:

  • A Crème Frappuccino base, made with whole milk (not skim or 2%, which will mess up the consistency)
  • 3 pumps of caramel syrup
  • 3 pumps of toffee nut syrup
  • Top with caramel drizzle

Here is the hot recipe:

  • Whole milk steamer
  • Caramel syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Toffee nut syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Cinnamon Dolce syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Top with whipped cream and salted caramel bits
  • Optional: 1 shot of espresso (2 for a grande or venti)

According to the E! author, if you hate Harry Potter, you are a sugar/health snob:

‘Non-Potterheads might describe it as “pretty nerdy and HOLY HAGRID! That is way too much sugar for one drink! You are going to get diabetes if you drink that!” To each their own.’

Ten points from Starbucks. Go to detention in Snape’s office.


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Shrubs: Strawberries and Plums

Shrubs are vinegar, sugar and fruit. Shrubs are delicious and easy to make.

They are delicious, they quench your thirst (the Gatoraid of the 1800s) and they add a great twist in cocktails. They are a great addition to hot summer parties and a non-alcoholic alternative.

Shrubs are more tart/acidic because of the vinegar, and that tends to scare people away. But it is surprisingly refreshing when added with the right things.

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Add any shrub to soda water and lots of ice with a bit of fresh lime or lemon juice, and you’ll see this drink disappear during your summer parties.

I highly recommend this book with tons of recipes for shrubs and shrub-based drinks: Shrubs – An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times by Michael Dietsch.

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Cocktail Measurements Matter: The Aviation

During my on-going campaign to distance myself from my new interest that costs me so much money, I suffered a huge defeat last month when I purchased two liqueurs for one of my favorite cocktail. One ingredient can be found in several drinks (like another go-to fave, the Last Word), and that is Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, a delightful cherry-flavored liqueur. It adds sweetness but also a bit more complexity with it’s funky delicious flavor.

Then there is that rare liqueur that is not in many recipes (hardly any, actually) and is even harder to find. And that is creme de violette. A violette liqueur. Floral tartness, a unique perfumy sweetness, a slight grape-candy-like bite.

Put these together along with gin and lemon juice, you got the Aviation cocktail.

But after testing two different recipes, an ounce or a quarter of an ounce off can make a huge difference!

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The Best, Most Delicious, Most Authentic, Actual Homemade Butterbeer Recipe!

This blog’s most popular post, by far, is about Homemade Harry Potter Butterbeer. It was exciting to compile my research and compare/contrast the different homemade concoctions on the internet. Initially, I intended to make a few of the recipes myself, but there was one big thing standing in my way:

All of the homemade Butterbeer recipes looked gross!

Too sugary. Wayyyy too sweet. Sugar upon fructose upon sweetener upon chemical sweetness. Imitation butter flavoring? Cream soda AND sugar AND syrup? No thanks.

I’m definitely not a great practitioner of healthy eating, even though I try to be conscious of a healthy diet. And if I could give up one “bad” thing in my diet, it would be sugar.

Yet homemade Harry Potter Butterbeer remains a fun recipe to try out, especially if one is throwing a Harry Potter Christmas party (like my roommates and I did, and it was awesome, see end of post for some pics).

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So I decided to try some recipes myself, and was pleasantly surprised by the results of the recipe that has been around the longest. A recipe that dates all the way back to the 16th Century.

And yes, the recipe that turned out to be awesome has both BUTTER and BEER, and is very easy to make without crazy ingredients.

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