Video: Al learns about Butterbeer, pumpkin juice

  1. Transcript of: Al learns about Butterbeer, pumpkin juice

    AL ROKER reporting: I got to tell you, that looks pretty refreshing right about now, guys. But another thing that's very refreshing, butterbeer. That's right . The iconic drink that is a delicacy here in Hogsmeade was created by Mr. Steve Jason . He is the executive chef here at Hogsmeade . Steve , good to see you.

    Mr. STEVE JASON: Good morning, Al . Good to see you.

    ROKER: Now, how does a guy from Brooklyn end up in Hogsmeade ?

    Mr. JASON: Good question.

    ROKER: Hey, tell me, so butterbeer, what goes into it?

    Mr. JASON: Butterbeer is a lot of great flavors and a lot of -- we looked in the book, we tried to get a feeling for what we wanted it to be. We put all the ingredients on the table, we worked on it. After 15, 16 tries we got something really great. We flew it over to Edinburgh , we gave it to the author, she gave it to...

    ROKER: J.K. Rowling had this?

    Mr. JASON: Yes, she loved it.

    ROKER: And this is butterbeer?

    Mr. JASON: And this is butterbeer.

    ROKER: All right, cheers.

    Mr. JASON: Cheers to you.

    ROKER: Mm. That's good butterbeer. Mm, I like it.

    Mr. JASON: You like that?

    ROKER: What's the other drink you've got here?

    Mr. JASON: I got a little pumpkin juice over here.

    ROKER: Pumpkin juice?

    Mr. JASON: Another one that we had to create and take over to J.K.

    ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Image: butterbeer
John Raoux  /  AP
Jillian Woodworth, left, and Steven Hopke sample butterbeer June 18 at the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando theme park in Orlando, Fla.
By
updated 6/30/2010 1:05:55 PM ET 2010-06-30T17:05:55

Got butterbeer?

Harry Potter fans are all abuzz about butterbeer, and they've got the foamy mustaches to prove it.

The cold and creamy, frothy drink is the most popular food item at the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, according to Universal spokesman Tom Schroder, with visitors lining up to try it.

"Then they would walk around and have this mustache on," said Sabrina Sampson, 11, of Richmond, Va., who described the drink as tasting "like cream soda. It was somewhat thick, and it was really sweet, and then it got salty as you swallowed it, like butterscotch."

Schroder said that about half the visitors to The Wizarding World sample butterbeer.

"There may be no bigger product launch smash this year than butterbeer," WalletPop.com said.

"It's interesting that one small thing they can sell for a few dollars is getting as much attention as the rides," said Gabe Travers, who reviewed the park for WESH.com, the NBC affiliate in the Orlando area.

Immediately after The Wizarding World's June 18 opening, butterbeer was one of the most searched-for terms on the Internet. A butterbeer recipe on MuggleNet.com got 3,445 hits when the park opened, up from an average 350 daily views before the opening, according to MuggleNet.com spokesman Andrew Sims. Now the recipe is averaging 1,200 daily views.

Even DISboards.com, a site for fans of Disney World, has a separate thread for comments related to Universal's butterbeer.

Universal would not release its butterbeer recipe, but press materials describe the drink as "reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch."

In the Harry Potter books, butterbeer appears to have an inebriating effect, and some older online recipes include butterscotch schnapps, but the Universal version is nonalcoholic. In Bon Appetit's January 2002 issue, author J.K. Rowling was asked what butterbeer tastes like, and she said: "I made it up. I imagine it to taste a little bit like less sickly butterscotch."

The version sold at The Wizarding World was tasted and approved by Rowling herself.

"Everyone knows butterbeer was approved by J.K. Rowling, so people want to taste it and see if their tastebuds match up," said Travers.

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Visitors to the park see a large wooden barrel that bears the word "BUTTERBEER" as soon as they enter, and they can buy it from a street cart and inside The Three Broomsticks restaurant and Hog's Head pub.

Butterbeer is sold in two varieties, regular and frozen, but many people buy both. "There are some two-fisted butterbeer moments happening," said Schroder. The consensus among online fans appears to be that the frozen version is more delicious.

The drink is drawn from a tap, like a beer, and the dense, whipped topping is added from a separate tap. It's served in cups, about $3 ($4 for frozen) for a disposable cup and about $10 ($11 for frozen) for a hard plastic souvenir stein.

Travers said if he were trying to make the drink at home, he'd "start with a good cream soda." The hard part, he said, would be the topping: "It tastes like a Werther's caramel candy but the foam had the consistency of a dairy or latte type of foam. It's pretty dense; it floats on top."

Robert Lima of Warwick, R.I., who says he still loves "all that is Harry Potter" even though he's 24 years old, tried butterbeer a week after the park opened and described it as "frosty magical goodness!"

But Sabrina Sampson had one small reservation: "It was too sweet to chug down, but it was good for the first five sips or so."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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  1. The Hogwarts Express arrives in Hogsmeade Station at Universal Orlando Resort's Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As guests enter Hogsmeade, they are greeted by the iconic, smoke-billowing steam engine, made famous in the Harry Potter books and films for transporting students to a world of magic and wonder. (Kevin Kolczynski / Universal Orlando) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. As guests pass through the arch into Hogsmeade at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, they can explore the cobbled streets of the highly themed environment, and will encounter iconic locations from the Harry Potter books and films, like Ollivanders and the majestic Hogwarts castle. (Kevin Kolczynski / Universal Orlando) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Visitors stroll the streets of Hogsmeade in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando theme park. The attraction opens to general admission ticket holders on June 18. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Members of the Hogwarts Choir sing for guests. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter features multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A clerk, right, at Ollivander's Wand Shop, helps visitors pick out a magic wand. Park guests will have plenty of opportunities to shop for wands, broomstics, scarves and more. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Mounted on the wall of the Hog's Head pub is the hog's head, which will come alive and puff its jowls at visitors. Adjacent to the Three Broomsticks, the Hog's Head pub is where guests can enjoy a cold Butterbeer, pumpkin juice and other beverages. (Kevin Kolczynski / Universal Orlando) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. The entrance to Hogwarts Castle is seen at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Hogwarts Castle is seen at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Construction of the park was overseen by the production manager from the Harry Potter movies. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. The office of headmaster Albus Dumbledore is intricately displayed at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling, author of the Potter books, is a stickler for details, and Universal worked hard to get her OK on the park's attractions. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Guests will pass by the regal Griffin statue on their way to Dumbledore's office. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Just like the Harry Potter films, portraits line the walls of Hogwarts castle, the home of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. When passing through the Portrait gallery, guests will encounter several magical talking portraits created exclusively for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the four Hogwarts founders. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. An authentic replica from the Harry Potter films, guests will pass by Hagrid's hut on their way to the Flight of the Hippogriff family-friendly roller coaster. Just before they board, Hagrid instructs guests on how to properly approach and fly on a Hippogriff. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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