The trick of October is for the monster mishmash of kids’-soccer watching, family apple-picking and pumpkin-patch prowling to lead up to a calm, cool finale: Halloween. For months my three boys, ages nine, seven and three, have plotted their costumes: a Harry Potter Quidditch player, a wizard — not Harry! — and a superhero dinosaur (whatever that is). My plans for what to serve while we carve pumpkins is less set in stone.
Inspiration for last-minute Halloween party treats, Harry Potter-style, came during a quick trip to Florida this week. After all, little wizards need food and drink for fruitful spells. At Hog’s Head, a pub at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, executive chef Steven Jayson told me Butterbeer, a drink the characters in J.K. Rowling’s now-classic series loved, is a favorite among the park’s Potter fans. Count my kids as part of that crew — after riding the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster, not before. “Butterbeer is nonalcoholic and is served either cold or frozen; both versions are frothy and reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch,” he said. Sweet. He’s right about the taste given the thousands of drinks they pour daily, but I’d include cream soda in my description too; with each sip I tried to pull apart the components, knowing I’d want to stir up some at home.