Celebrate return of “Harry Potter” with Muggle butterbeer

In just a few short days, new and old “Harry Potter” fans alike will hold in their hands the next installment in the wildly popular fantasy series: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

(This latest book will actually come in the form of a play that has debuted in London’s West End to dazzling reviews — but beware reading those reviews if you don’t want spoilers.)

No doubt many “Harry Potter” fans who remember the days of anxiously waiting for the next installment to come out at midnight, like me, are feverishly rereading each of the previous seven novels until another midnight release party at our favorite local bookstore. We’ve then got a lot more reading to do to finish “Cursed Child” as soon as possible and post our opinions all over social media. To keep our thirst at bay during all this page-turning, I offer up this sweet, nonalcoholic solution that Harry himself would approve of — Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer.

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Enjoy a bottle of Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer while you reread the "Harry Potter" books this week in time for the release of the new one.

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Enjoy a bottle of Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer while you reread the “Harry Potter” books this week in time for the release of the new one.

This bottled drink from Reed’s, a maker of nonalcoholic brews, isn’t exactly like the butterbeer Harry and his friends consume because it’s more like a cream soda with a strong butterscotch flavor, rather than the authentic frothy, frozen treat served at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida. But it’s a good substitute for Muggles like us.

American-Statesman food writer Addie Broyles and I tried out this butterscotch brew, as well as another Reed’s soda, a couple of years ago for one of our Austin360 Taste Test videos and concluded that it was rather sweet — but would we expect anything less of a butterscotch soda?

According to Reed’s, which clearly had a little fun marketing the Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer, “this delicious beverage is the first wizarding drink to have widespread crossover consumption in the non-wizarding world.”

Reed’s also notes on its website that “consuming this product has been known to accelerate wizarding abilities in borderline wizard cases.”

So get your hands on some in time for the new “Harry Potter” book that starts selling on midnight Sunday — you just might find all your old magical powers returning. (The easiest way to get a 6-,12- or 24-pack of Flying Cauldron seems to be through Amazon.com.)

And if you’re looking for a “Harry Potter” midnight release party to attend in Austin, BookPeople and Barnes & Noble are both throwing fun ones.


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