I know it’s a little late to be still celebrating the re-arrival of the ‘20s, but I couldn’t resist. And I promise you, folks, I haven’t been ignoring you. As I type this, I have like seven recipes I’ve cooked and shot, but still haven’t posted yet. The beginning of this year has been crazy with big ups and downs.
For example? Doing 20-hour fasts makes writing about food HARD! HOWEVER, I’ve lost about 20 lbs from intermittent fasting. Another thing I found out this month was that the school I work at part-time is closing. This past week, though, I accepted an offer for full-time that starts in two weeks.
Let’s celebrate like wizards, shall we?
Why wizards? Because we are magical, dagnabit! So what wizard wingding is complete without some Butterbeer and Gigglewater? Not mine. In that case, let me share some recipes with you.
Click here to skip to the recipe for Gigglewater.
Click here to skip to the recipe for Butterbeer.
Fans of the Fantastic Beasts might recognize Gigglewater from The Blind Pig, a New York speakeasy hidden behind a shapeshifting makeup ad. Also known as “Liquid Glee,” Pinnock’s Gigglewater contains “pure chortle extract” and causes instant mirthful laughter when imbibed. Gigglewater, however, is JK Rowling’s adaptation rather than invention.
The term “gigglewater” is as old as Prohibition itself as one of the many colorful names for the very thing banned from production and sale by the United States’ Constitution. Usually referring to champagne, this bubbly that makes you bubbly, it is understandable that MACUSA President Seraphina Picquery would consider banning alcohol and Gigglewater “non-negotiable.”
As we see in Fantastic Beasts, the United States in the 1920s was a turbulent time full of income disparity and reactionary policies. World War I took a heavy toll on the people, and many found comfort in fundamentalist religion, lavish entertainment, or the booze-filled bottle. Efforts to enforce Prohibition even had the American government poisoning the liquor supply.
No doubt, Picquery was aware of the risk this practice might have on the American wizarding community’s dwindling numbers.
So what makes this champagne cocktail recipe “Gigglewater”? I first did some research on cocktails during the 1920s and found the most common champagne-based cocktail was the French 75 made with gin, sugar, and lemon. While lemon’s sunny color symbolically chases away negativity, it doesn’t quite chase away gin’s depressant properties.
I then found another gin and lemon cocktail called the Bee’s Knees that gets its name from the crucial “upper” ingredient: honey. Made with honey thinned with water, I decided to double my liquid mirth by “diluting” it with mead. Honey and lemon, while a magical combination, needs a little more for its place in the Wizarding world. That’s why I added one more ingredient: fresh dill.
Seen as a good luck symbol by the Romans, this fragrant weed found its way into aphrodisiacs, witches’ wards, and wedding bouquets for centuries. Infusing our honey-lemon and gin syrup with dill will spark joy not in your spirits, but on your tastebuds while it sparkles on the surface of a glass of champagne.
Of course, you can also add some extra sparkle with some baker’s shimmer powder.
Buzzed on Butterbeer
So when I first read about Butterbeer in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I was expecting something similar to hot-buttered rum mixed with Werther’s butterscotch. You know, just in beer form. I mean, after a day of wandering around snow-covered Hogsmead, I want something that will either warm my hands or warm my mood.
When I went to Wizarding Worlds in Universal though, I was a bit dissatisfied with the Butterbeer. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a Florida theme park. You don’t want a hot drink, and it’s still gotta appeal to the kids. It was still way too sweet for my liking, though.
That’s why my husband decided to make up our own boozy version for our annual wizard party. This recipe is enough to fill a pint glass and will certainly make you feel magical. And while I don’t think I’d serve it hot, like any British pub, room temperature is just fine.
Sing for your Supper!
If you plan to cook the recipes off the site, keep scrolling. However, while access to recipes on the blog will always be free, I now have printable PDF recipe cards and thematic cook-along Spotify playlists as rewards for those who choose to support the blog.
The printable recipe cards and playlist for Butterbeer and Gigglewater will be available as a $2 donor reward on my Ko-Fi page until Friday, March 6th, 2019, at 8 pm EST.
You can instead join my Patreon community at the “Sing for your Supper” level ($1/month) for access to the playlists or the “It’s All in the Cards” level ($5/month) or higher for access to ALL of my blog recipe cards and playlists. Patrons of all reward tiers will even receive a welcome gift of my Lord of the Rings recipe cards and playlists from January 2019 to get you started.
The Wizards Wingding
Equipment: Small saucepan with lid, stovetop, vegetable peeler, citrus juicer, wire whisk, strainer, measuring cup, 12-15 champagne glasses, 12-15 toothpicks, and swizzle stick.
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup mead
- 3 lemons
- 3/4 cup gin
- a handful of fresh dill, plus 12-15 more small sprigs for garnish
- Two, 750 ml bottles of sweet champagne
Make the syrup:
- Peel the lemons in long, large strips. Reserve 12-15 strips for garnish.
- Juice the lemons into the saucepan, pour in the mead, and add the remaining dill and peel.
- Bring the mixture to a boil on the stovetop. Cover the pan with a lid and turn off the heat, then let steep for 8 minutes.
- Strain the solids from the pan and discard. Pour the honey into the pan, then turn the heat on medium.
- Whisk the syrup until the honey completely melts and dissolves. Turn off the heat and cool completely. Stir in the gin once cooled.
Assemble the cocktails:
- Make the garnishes by sticking a toothpick through the yellow side of a lemon peel strip. Thread the toothpick through the base prongs of a dill sprig, then skewer the other end of the peel through the pith side. Repeat until you have 12-15 garnishes.
- Fill each serving glass with an equal amount of champagne. Float two tablespoons of syrup in each glass, then top with a garnish. Serve.
Equipment: 20 oz highball glass or mug, and swizzle stick or food-safe wand.
- 2 oz. vanilla vodka
- 1 oz. butterscotch schnapps
- 1 oz. creme de cacao
- 12 oz. root beer
- whipped cream
- baker’s shimmer powder (optional)
- Pour the vodka, schnapps, and creme de cacao into the glass and stir to mingle the flavors.
- Tilt the glass slightly, then slowly pour in the rootbeer. Stir gently to avoid building too much foam.
- Top the glass with a generous portion of whipped cream and garnish with a few dashes of baker’s shimmer powder before serving.
Halve the recipe for 8 oz. cups, or multiply the alcohol by 7 per 2-liter of root beer for a punch dispenser. Serve room temperature or over ice.