(SPOT.ph) For a hardcore Potterhead, there is only one place that does Noche Buena in style and that is Hogwarts.
Just like the Philippines, Christmas is also huge in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, except instead of house-elves in tea towels, we’ve got our moms whipping up our Christmas feasts...unfortunately, it’s served the traditional way and our platters don’t just materialize from underneath the table.
Because we are still far from conjuring food out of thin air, we can take comfort that the one Harry Potter treat we can have during the holidays-year-round actually-is Hogsmeade’s famous butterbeer, a frothy beverage made out of butter, sugar, and water served in tankards or bottles. Its taste is described as "a little bit like less sickly butterscotch." Its alcoholic content is still up for debate, very much like the alcoholic content of Cali Shandy (Google it, kids).
Butterbeer can be found in Harry Potter theme parks, but many a DIY hacks can be tried on the Internet. In Manila, there are a few places to find made-to-order butterbeer (still Muggle-made though), and if you are like Hermione who craves butterbeer when the Christmas chill is in the air (Christmas chill? In the Philippines?), head on to these places and chug down a butterbeer or two. Don’t forget to bring your besties Harry and Ron (or Rhon).
No, this is not part of the holiday planner beverage lineup, but it is part of Starbucks’ secret menu. You won’t need a spell to coax this out of your barista, just small talk and some cash.
If your barista is a true Muggle and doesn’t even know what potions to mix to score you a cuppa butterbeer, just Accio this recipe for butterbeer, frappe style.
1. Start off with a crème Frappuccino base (full-fat, whole milk)
2. Ask for three pumps of caramel syrup and another three pumps of toffee nut syrup
4. Finish off with caramel drizzle
Word of caution: Based on the syrup content, this is obviously not a drink for diabetics.
Click here for a list of Starbucks branches.
Early Bird Breakfast Club’s Butterbeer (P155)
Tapa paired with butterbeer? Why not! The Early Bird Breakfast Club version is fizzier and sweeter minus the buttery taste. Their butterbeer has froth in the form of whipped cream, but tastes more like a candied soda than the butterbeer of our literary fantasies.
Early Bird Breakfast Club has branches at The Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City; Century City Mall, Makati City; and Eastwood City, Quezon City. Photo courtesy of Early Bird Breakfast Club.
BONO’s Butterbeer Gelato (P150)
Instead of that warm brown that we’ve come to expect with butterbeer, BONO’s is almost white and with that incredibly velvet texture that they’ve perfected, eating their version is almost like having some foam that the drink normally comes with. BONO’s Butterbeer Gelato comes to the palate in stages: first that subtly sweet butterscotch, then the tickle of crushed pretzels, and finally a touch of San Miguel beer.
BONO Gelato has branches SM Aura Premier, SM Makati, SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Southmall, and The Podium. Photo courtesy of BONO Gelato.
Mrs. Grahams’ Butter Beer (P120)
A cup of Anna Grahams’ hot and creamy butterbeer makes us wish for winters (or at least colder days) in the city. It’s a dessert in a cup, and the kitchen actually adds more butter than caramel to make this intense concoction. Each sip is a magically sinfully encounter that’s all the right parts sweet and rich.
Up in the Clouds’ Butterbeer ice cream (P95)
Jonathan Co started with only a single ice cream crank, selling desserts for Main Street. Now, his artisan brand has come to its own, with a range of exciting flavors-one of which is the magical butterbeer. Butterbeer in ice cream form is the perfect solution for Pinoys looking to get their Christmas butterbeer fix because its cold texture brings not only the flavor of butterbeer, it also brings with it the coolness of Christmas (pretend it’s a butterbeer-flavored snowball). Caramel butterscotch makes up the base, but the surface is speckled with rewarding bits of toffee.
Up in the Clouds is available at Mercato Centrale and at Main Street, The Tuscany, McKinley Hill, Taguig. Photo courtesy of Up in the Clouds.