Introduction: Buttered Beer

About: Polymath and idiot. Mostly idiot.

This is from an original Tudor buttered beere recipe from the year 1588, published in the book "The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin" from 1594. If you are a Harry Potter fan you are probably familiar with butterbeer, but this has nothing to do with it and is not for kids. Unless you cook it a little longer.

Buttered beer was used to recover from a cold, but mixing with cold milk turns it into a very refereshing drink for hot summer days.

Step 1: Ingredients:

If you don't have ale beer in your local supermarket you can take any herb tasting dark beer.

  • 1.5 liters ale beer(5 bottles)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 100g unsalted butter

The recipe asks for grounded ginger and cloves. I only want them to be spices that add to flavour, not all of the actives substances dissolved in the beer. The typical smell of cloves is defined by eugenol, too much of it can damage your liver. Therefor I will put the cloves into an infuser so I can take them out after the preparation. Nutmeg contains myristicin which is metabolised in our liver to an amphetamine and I am not going to use the given amount. Instead of spicy ginger I picked dried galanga, which is part of the ginger family and has more flavour.


To cook the beer I used a casserole called coquelle which I can use as a dutch oven and saucepan.

Step 2: Warm Up the Butter

Weigh 100 grams of butter, dice and let it equilibrate to room temperature, we will need it later and it takes a while.

Step 3:

First you have to pour the beer with caution into a big saucepan or a casserole that you can use on your cooktop. Let it rest until the froth disappears. Season with nutmeg.

Step 4: Seasoning

For the cloves I used an infuser, the dried galanga slices can either be grounded or just layed into the beer with the infuser. Then you can just pick it out.

Step 5: Boiling Gently

Bring the beer to a boil and then turn down the heat. If you want the buttered beer free of alcohol, for a pregnant woman for example, then heat it for 20 minutes at 140°C (285°F). Otherwise just let it simmer for a few minutes.

Step 6: Separating the Eggs

Separate the 3 eggs from the yolks and put the yolks. If you don't have a separator for the eggs, catch the yolk with a half of the eggshell. Then whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and stir in the 100grams sugar. I opted to take no sugar because I wanted the buttered beer to be a herb refreshment.

Step 7: Add the Eggs

Remove the casserole from the heat and add he mixture of egg yolks and sugar. Stir until you are sure everything is mixed and then let the casserole simmer again. Not too much heat or the proteins coagulate.

Step 8: Simmer

Simmer for 5 minutes and let the beer thicken. Again, not too hot or the sugar burns at the bottom.

Step 9: Add the Butter

Add the diced butter and stir it in until it is completely dissolved and the beer looks like a milk tea. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.

Step 10: Remove From Heat

Remove the casserole from the heat and pick out the infuser/ galanga. Then let the beer cool down to a drinkable temperature. Now you can either chill it in the fridge overnight or if you are a skilled barkeeper you pour it from one beaker to another and cool it down with fresh air.

Step 11: With Milk

Alternatively, you can mix it in a 1:1 ratio with cold milk and enjoy it immediately as a refreshment on a hot day.

Step 12: Degustation

The buttered beer is very nutritious and I could skip all meals the next day. It is a very enjoyable refreshment on a hot night at a BBQ. You have to stir it though from time to time because the butter will settle on the top. Or maybe I need to work on my skills to stir it in during the preparation with the right temperature. Anyway, enjoy your new refreshment beverage!

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