Which Butterbeer is Best at Universal Orlando?

Butterbeer. You’ve read about it in the Harry Potter books. Maybe you’ve tasted it at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. If you’re like me, you’ve even tried to duplicate the recipe at home with minimal success.

Butterbeer at Universal Orlando

Butterbeer’s sweet, cream-soda-butterscotchy flavor is one of my favorites and I’ve over-indulged every time I’ve visited Hogsmeade. With the opening of Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we got two new forms of butterbeer – hot and ice cream. During my recent visit, I had the difficult challenge of comparing all four versions and declaring my favorite.

Cold Butterbeer

For those who haven’t visited Universal, I need to mention that butterbeer is completely non-alcoholic. The cold version tastes like a cream soda with a burst of butterscotch, topped with a bit of foamy cream. The light carbonation, not severe like a soda, gives it a slightly creamier feel in your mouth.  While tasty, cold butterbeer is my least favorite option.

Drinking butterbeer at Universal Orlando

Frozen Butterbeer

Never mentioned in the books or movies, frozen butterbeer was probably created to cool off guests at the steamy Florida theme park. This version is like a slushy, and yes, it can give you brain freeze. Less like soda than its cold sister, frozen butterbeer’s icy texture topped with creamy froth is a big win. It’s the first thing I buy when I get to Universal. Unless it’s early morning…

Hot Butterbeer

This is the way to start your day. Let me say that hot beverages are my weakness. I love all types of coffees, teas, and hot chocolates. A trip to Starbucks or Teavana makes my day. So it’s really no surprise that the hot version of butterbeer would win an instant spot in my heart. Smooth, sweet, and butterscotchy, hot butterbeer is nothing like coffee, but a bit like a super-creamy white hot chocolate. In my two days at Diagon Alley, in humid, 90+ degree weather, I consumed four hot butterbeers (along with one cold and two frozen – all in the name of research!).

Butterbeer ice cream

Butterbeer Ice Cream

I was slightly disappointed with butterbeer ice cream. Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor serves up unique hard ice cream flavors such as Earl Grey & Lavender, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Chocolate Chili (which is quite spicy – glad I had a scoop of vanilla with it to cut the burn!). But the butterbeer ice cream was simply soft vanilla with butterbeer flavoring swirled in. I was hoping for an intense butterbeer flavor in a hard ice cream. The soft-serve was tasty, but I’ll likely opt for more of the other intriguing flavors on my next visit.

Four types of Butterbeer

So what’s the best butterbeer in my book? I have to choose the hot butterbeer, with frozen coming in a very tight second.

Every time I walk into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I catch my breath. Every time I visit, I discover something new. The shops, rides, and dining immerse you in Harry’s world like no other book-to-real life experience. Read more about my time at Hogsmeade in this article on Family Rambling. And if you’re looking for a place to stay, I highly recommend Universal’s Cabana Bay.

Have you tried butterbeer? What version is your favorite?

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9 thoughts on “Which Butterbeer is Best at Universal Orlando?”

  1. Thanks for the tips! Since we all like cream soda, I’m pretty sure we’ll love butterbeer, and since my daughter and I love hot chocolate, I bet hot butterbeer will be our favorite as well.

  2. Good tips! I’ve never tried butter beer of any kind but given my son’s fascination with all things wizarding, I’m sure it won’t be long before we do :)

  3. I can’t wait to get to Universal (hopefully later this year) to try this for myself. Warm does sound good!

  4. I would really like to try the hot butterbeer, even though I’m not really a hot drinks person. You make it sound utterly delicious….

  5. My family preferred the frozen variety – especially on a hot June day. I don’t think we saw the ice cream option. Would love to go back and try it!

  6. I’ve not been to Universal but my curiosity is piqued and now I want to go just to try the Butterbeer. I *think* I would like the frozen variety, but of course I’d have to taste test all offerings before I made a definitive selection.

  7. Now here is a post after my own heart! Our oldest is 1/2 way through the Harry Potter books right now, and is loving them. I have read them all, and they are certainly some of my favorites! I am in the process of trying to convince my husband that we really do need to make a trip out to Hogwarts – perhaps tempting him with a frozen butterbeer may help sway the votes my way… :)

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