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Here's What Happened When We Made A "Harry Potter" Star Try Our Butterbeer

Jason Isaacs, who currently is starring on USA's Dig, stopped by the BuzzFeed Los Angeles offices to taste-test our enchanting concoctions.

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All Potterheads know this to be true: There is no better wizarding beverage than Butterbeer.

Warner Bros.

You can try some at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, or the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in England. But what if you made your OWN Butterbeer at home, from scratch?

Luckily, we're always up for a challenge, so four "Hogwarts students" (JK, BuzzFeed employees) decided to test their Potions prowess and whip up their own interpretation of the drink, which has been described as a "less sickly butterscotch" by none other than J.K. Rowling herself.

But we couldn't just make four Butterbeers and call it a day. We needed to determine a WINNER, and who better to judge our efforts than Jason Isaacs, aka Lucius Malfoy himself?!?

Warner Bros.

Jason currently is starring on USA’s Dig — an “action-adventure, murder-mystery, conspiracy thriller,” as he described it, that travels across the world — and said it's “more real and more exciting than many things I’ve done” (also, you should be catching up on the show, he said, because “you don’t want people to spoil the huge, surprising fun shit that happens.”)

Luckily for us, he said he’s “always loved sweet things.”

Jason stopped by BuzzFeed's L.A. office to lend his discerning Death Eater taste to our Butterbeer taste test.

Claire de Louraille / Christian Zamora / Sam Stryker / BuzzFeed

Our contestants, from left, representing the four Hogwarts houses of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin, respectively: Sheridan, Kirsten, Brian, and Lara.

Our four Hogwarts students had 15 minutes to whip up their best interpretation of a Butterbeer for Jason to taste-test. Let's just say the competition was VERY heated!


Let's just say Jason wasn't holding ANYTHING back. He made Professor Umbridge look like a pansy.

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

The drinks made by contestants from Slytherin, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw (from left to right).

First up: SLYTHERIN.

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

What's in this Butterbeer: Cream soda, vanilla, marshmallow fluff, and butterscotch syrup.

Lara's Strategy: My Butterbeer-making strategy is the same strategy I use for every situation in life: Win. I've been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter three times so I KNOW what Butterbeer tastes like, but I've never had to make Butterbeer with a Death Eater over my shoulder. I tried to calm my nerves and avoid using any hexes and concentrate on doing what I do best: Fuck shit up. I just threw things that look like they tasted good into a glass and then faked it till I made it.

The Verdict: Salazar Slytherin would be pretty damn proud.

The second drink: GRYFFINDOR. Would Jason, a Death Eater in the movies, have any bias against this drink?

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

What's in this Butterbeer: Caramel, cinnamon, whipped cream, Starbucks Iced Frappuccino, condensed milk, root beer, ginger ale.

Sheridan's Strategy: I started with the important stuff like coffee, milk, and root beer, and then added everything else very sparingly. I kept on testing as I went along to make sure I wasn't adding too much, too quickly. I also focused on mixing as much as possible so that I could everything was balanced. [Editor's note: It sounds like this is the first Gryffindor since Hermione to pass Potions.]

The Verdict: At least 10 points to Gryffindor. It's almost as good as Felix Felicis.


The bar was set low because Hufflepuff, duh, and the result... well, sad to say, it had Cedric Diggory rolling in his grave.

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

What's in this Butterbeer: Condensed milk, ginger ale, cream soda, Starbucks Iced Frappuccino, marshmallow fluff, butterscotch syrup, whipped cream, and cinnamon on top. AKA pretty much everything on the table.

Kirsten's Strategy: I've only been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter once, when I was about 14. I downed two Butterbeers and then almost threw up on a ride, so my memory of the drink wasn't super fond. I think the problem I ran into was I kept trying to get the perfect foam consistency, and kind of forgot that mixing everything together to make foam meant it would probably taste like shit.

The Verdict: CLOTHES for this house-elf!

Unfortunately, it went downhill pretty damn fast.

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

What's in this Butterbeer: Cream soda as a base, topped with several of splashes of Starbucks Iced Frappuccino, a few shots of condensed milk, a few dashes of chocolate syrup, and butterscotch syrup.The drink was complete with ice, whipped cream, cinnamon, and a Milky Way garnish. [Editor's note: Probably should have used a Chocolate Frog instead, TBH.]

Brian's Strategy: My strategy, never having tried Butterbeer, was to make an elegant cocktail fit for a Death Eater. I also assumed Butterbeer tastes like sugar mixed with corn syrup, so I tried to avoid making it too sweet — although I don't think we were given a single ingredient that didn't contain sugar. I also wanted to make it look camera-ready, 'cause that had to be half the challenge, right?

The Verdict: Are we sure a Squib didn't make this drink?!?

In an ending so perfect it would seem J.K. Rowling wrote it herself, the final two contestants were Gryffindor and Slytherin... BUT Jason wasn't too impressed with the foam on top of Slytherin's drink.


So that means our victor...MUST BE GRYFFINDOR!!!

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

What Sheridan learned from the Butterbeer Challenge: "If Harry Potter has taught us anything, it's that slow and steady wins the race. Like defeating Lord Voldemort could take seven books and eight whole movies, and winning a Butterbeer competition could mean using ingredients very liberally. I might have also had a little bit of Felix Felicis, know what I mean? Just kidding, I didn't cheat, don't take this away from me."

What Jason learned from the Butterbeer Challenge: "It’s really best to do interviews with BuzzFeed on the phone."