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Copycat Wizarding World of Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice recipe

What does Harry Potter pumpkin juice taste like?

The Universal Studio’s version of Harry Potter pumpkin juice tastes like autumn. Served in an adorably packaged pumpkin bottle, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter drink, surprisingly, tastes less of pumpkin pie and more like warm apple pie.

And yes, I figured out how to copy it.

I hauled back a bottle of the pumpkin juice from Universal’s Studio of Adventure, and sipped it as I trialled the recipe until it tasted the exact same.

On the pumpkin juice bottle, the ingredients read: water, apple juice concentrate, pumpkin puree, apricot puree, sugar, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, acesulfame potassium, sodium benzoate. The last ingredients are sweeteners and food preservatives, while the natural and artificial flavors would include spices.

I’ll give you the copycat trick straight up. You need to simmer it. Mixing it together cold and leaving as is, doesn’t help release the spices. By heating, it infuses the spices with the juice, leaving you with a richer taste.

To replicate the pumpkin juice that you taste at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we’re making this recipe from scratch so anyone around the world can make it.

Can I use any type of pumpkin/squash to make pumpkin juice?

You might imagine a sugar pumpkin or a jack-o-lantern pumpkin when you reach for canned pumpkin, but in fact, most canned pumpkin is made from the species cucurbita moschata. For example, Libby’s uses a type of Dickinson squash, so the best alternative would be butternut squash or crookneck pumpkin, both of which are from the same species as the Dickinson. 

These squash are best for baking due to their sweet and creamy taste and texture. You’ll also be able to find butternut squash easily in the UK and Australia.

What if I don’t have pumpkin pie spice?

Pumpkin pie spice is a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. To make your own batch, mix together 1 part ground nutmeg, 2 parts ground cloves, 4 parts ground ginger and 8 parts ground cinnamon. Mix together well. Any additional spice can be stored in a small airtight container for future baking.

Can i make pumpkin juice in advance of my harry potter party?

Yes, but fresh is best, so I’d suggest whipping up a batch of pumpkin juice the day before your party.

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Copycat Wizarding World of Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice recipe

Re-live your memories at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter all over again! Whether you’re serving up this easy-to-make jug of pumpkin juice for a Harry Potter party or just to help get in the Halloween season mood, you’ll want to keep coming back to the recipe.

  • Author: Bryton Taylor
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 litre 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • half a butternut squash, seeds removed and 2 cups water
  • OR 1 cup canned pumpkin and 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin juice
  • 3 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 cup apricot nectar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions

  • If making from scratch, place half a butternut squash in a baking tray lined with a layer of water. Roast for ~40 minutes at 180C or 355F until soft when fork is pressed in.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • In a blender, scoop in the squash (discarding the skin)  and water and blend. You can also put the pumpkin through the juicer, following it with water if you want a smoother texture. The pumpkin liquid that comes out is the ‘pumpkin juice’ we refer to moving forward. You can also use a strainer or finely woven cheesecloth to extract the liquid.
  • In a saucepan, measure out 1 1/4 cups of pumpkin juice and combine with apple juice, apricot nectar, vanilla essence, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice and sugar.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. By simmering you’ll be reducing the water so it’ll have a more concentrated taste and will help the spices infuse with the juices, which plays a big part in the taste.
  • Chill and serve (although served hot is wonderful too!)

Keywords: harry potter, pumpkin juice, wizarding world,

Free downloadable Harry Potter pumpkin juice label

You can find replica Wizarding World pumpkin juice packaging over at Deviantart. However, I’ve also made an old-fashioned label that better matched the image in my head when I was reading the books. Download them for free below, then print them out on sticker paper to attach to your own glass bottles.

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80 Comments

  1. Not that I didn’t believe you when you called it a “copycat recipe”, but I truly did not expect this recipe to come out this well or this close to the real thing at Universal! You were right; the secret truly is to simmer it and concentrate all of that spicy goodness! I made a large amount for a party this weekend, and it was a huge hit. Even those who hadn’t been to Universal yet were talking about how good it was and how much it tasted like liquid apple or pumpkin pie. I will definitely make this again on occasion just for myself!

    1. How did you make it in bulk? Wondering because I want to make it for my upcoming baby shower (about 40 people). Thanks in advance!

  2. This looks wonderful! As a huge Harry Potter fan, I am very excited to try it. I was just curious about how it might taste if served warm, like a Cider. I have not had the pleasure of sampling pumpkin juice at all, so I have no frame of reference, but would love to try it this weekend as my family watches Harry Potter and makes our Halloween costumes 🙂

    1. Hi Monique, I can’t actually remember what it tasted like warm, but that’s how I was sampling to make sure the taste was correct, before I cooled it down. I’d imagine it would be just as good sipping a whole mug full!

  3. This looks like a wonderful recipe! Can you please advise how many servings this recipe yields? I would like to make it for my daughter’s halloween class party we are having.

    Thanks for your help!

  4. Do you remember how much half a butternut squash is in cups? Because I saw the video and the ones they sell where I am don’t seen to get that big. Thank you!
    I would love to try this recipe out soon.

  5. I will fed innately try this! But may I ask why you didn’t use as real pumpkin for the oven part? I’m just curious since I don’t know much about butternut squash and pumpkins.

    Would it be possible to replace the squash with pumpkin?

    1. Hi Anna, We only get ‘real pumpkins’ (I’m assuming you mean the jack o lantern type) for two weeks in October here in Perth, Australia. They aren’t common here. Essentially flavour wise the butternut is as close to the pumpkin. So absolutely, a regular pumpkin should do the trick.

    1. Packaging always makes it more believable 🙂 I got them as a gift, but I know I’ve seen them at a store here in Australia called Bed, Bath and Table. If I ever find something similar online, I’ll add a link.

  6. I’m dying to try this out, having never really taken the plunge of trying pumpkin juice in the WWoHP – $8 is really pretty steep, especially when there’s Butterbeer about – or Fishy Green Ale, which is also amazing.

    I’m in the UK, though, and can’t find Apricot nectar in the shops – is there a sub that I can use that may be more easily obtainable? Or should I resign myself to ordering some online and having to wait?

    Thanks for the awesome recipe,
    Lolly.

    1. ooh I’m not sure what you can replace it with, I’ll have a think and get back to you on that!
      I did have a search online for apricot nectar in the UK. These two sites have it
      http://www.sanza.co.uk/Berri_Apricot_Nectar.asp (which is the stuff I used)
      and ASDA has it as well (I’m assuming that’s a UK online supermarket?)

      -Bryt

  7. By apple juice, did you mean store bought or home made? And either way, how would the flavor be affected? I just wanted to know before I try this out, thanks in advance.

  8. Hi! I’m really going to try this out! Although I can’t find any pumpkin pie spice, I hope I can make it somehow. Do you perhaps have a substitude for that? And may I ask if it matters if it’s a squash or a pumpkin. What’s better? Because I’m able to buy both here in the Netherlands. Keep up the good work ^^

    Lots of love

    1. Hi Isabella, for a pumpkin pie mix 4 tbsp ground cinnamon, 4 tsp ground nutmeg, 4 tsp ground ginger and 3 tsp ground allspice. Use what you need and store the rest in a small spice container 🙂 Re squash or pumpkin, either works, but would need to be butternut squash, or the sugar pumpkin. These have the natural sweetness that it needs.

  9. I’ve seen apricot preserves used in some pumpkin juice recipes online instead of apricot nectar. Might be a good subsitute for the nectar.

  10. I am so sad that you don’t have canned pumpkin! It comes from sweet squashes that are not the jack o’lantern variety – and it’s so versatile and tasty and simple. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. I made this recipe twice last fall for two different parties, and it turned out soooo good. I’ve been to Universal three times and have gotten pumpkin juice every time, and when I drank the juice from this copycat recipe I seriously felt like I was back in Florida! It’s a spot on recipe to me, and I came back to the website to make it again this fall season for another party in a couple weeks! Iced or warm, the juice is so delicious, even if you haven’t tasted the Wizarding World pumpkin juice! It’s fairly easy to make too, all in all, AMAZING JOB BRYTON!

  12. I want to make an extra large batch of this for a party, how long do you think it would last? i’d like to make it a few days ahead of time but i don’t want it to lose it’s flavor/over saturate?

  13. Bryt, you are brilliant!! Thanks so much for this recipe, which mimics perfectly the Universal version. We went there just after Diagon Alley opened, last summer. I LOVED the Pumpkin Juice, and it has been haunting me for over a year. We have mail-ordered it a few times, but it’s so expensive. This recipe tastes just like the real thing. So happy I found your wonderful website and this excellent recipe. Thank you!

  14. The family and I went to harry potter at universal over the summer and I have been wanting this ever since. Just made it and it is perfect… Will be making it for all the holiday gatherings.

  15. Hi Bryton. My family just returned from a vacation at Universal Studios (yesterday). We were so excited to see Diagon Alley for the first time (it was amazing) AND to taste the pumpkin juice. Needless to say, it was so delicious that I immediately went online to find a recipe. Well…. I found a few and was a little skeptical and then found yours. Let me tell you, today, I brewed up a big batch and am beyond thrilled with the spot-on flavor! It is EXACTLY like the juice I had this week. I cannot thank you enough for sharing this! It’s absolutely fabulous and will be a new fall family tradition. Perhaps a Harry Potter party is in our future…. Thank you again!!! Carla 🙂

    1. Hi Carla,

      Glad you enjoyed it! Makes it fun when you can extend your Harry Potter experience past your trip 🙂

  16. This was a perfect offering for all the kids at Thanksgiving–although my husband wanted to take some and add sparkling wine for a pumpkin juice mimosa. I froze the other half of the pumpkin juice base and will use it for Christmas–by popular demand. Both my kids declared it a perfect equal to the Three Broomsticks version at the WWW of HP, which we visited this spring.

  17. Great recipe, though I have to say I thought it was a bit more spiced than the Universal version. Mine also ended up a bit thicker bodied than I remembered. Perhaps my use of canned pumpkin contributed, but I found I was able to thin it out by adding apple juice- it’ll take quite a bit before without becoming overly appley. Can’t wait to serve this at my daughter’s Harry Potter themed 8th birthday this weekend!

  18. Hi. I actually can’t seem to find Apricot Nectar here… Do you recommend anything else? Like a substitite or even a way to make it? Love the recipe anyway!

      1. I will be trying using Apricot preserves and adding some water, blending it up and skipping the sugar in the recipe. Hope it works!

  19. My wife wanted a Harry Potter themed birthday for her 30th birthday yesterday. This is one of the things I made, and it went over great. Most people thought it was crazy, but everyone that tried it seemed to really like it. Thanks for the post!

  20. I love this! I just went to Harry Potter world in Hollywood, and I’m suffering from major withdrawal. Cant wait to make this for myself to pretend I’m back!

  21. Gday Bryt, when ya say apricot nectar…what do you mean precisely? Ie there’s apricot nectar drinking juice or apricot nectar tins… https://www.woolworths.com.au/Shop/Search/Products?searchTerm=apricot%20nectar

    I think you’re an aussie, like me, so maybe you can tell me exactly what you use?

    Also I”ll be making this juice in a juicer, so what do you mean ‘follow with water”. one piece of pumpkin, 1/4 cup water, one piece of pumpkin, 1/4 cup water – put those into the juicer like that? I dont want to put too much water – dilute the flavour (or too little – stodgey juice) – your guidance here would be great.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Rebecka, I used the one in the can- “Berri Canned Apricot Nectar With 35% Juice”.
      I found when I put just the pumpkin in, it didn’t go through the juicer well, so it needs water behind it to push it through.So yes, exactly as you’ve said.

  22. Can’t wait to try this! Just a note to those wondering why you are using butternut instead of real pumpkin: Libby’s Canned Pumpkin the ubiquitous fall grocery store staple in the States is made from butternut squash. Probably for the same reason you mentioned…pumpkin is very seasonal.

    Cheers,
    Michael

  23. i used canned pumpkin puree and added 2 cups water after simmering and it was AMAZING. it looks nothing like the stuff in universal but tastes EXACTLY THE SAME.

  24. I made this recipe, I thought it was pretty good. It was a bit intense for me, a little too sweet. It looked exactly like in this picture though and from experience I’d have to say it’s quite similar to the one from Harry Potter World, sweet though. I think it’s possible that I might have boiled it too long. A greater ratio of pumpkin juice might have been good too, just guesses though. Either way, thanks for the recipe. I’m glad I decided to make it and I would alter it slightly and make it again. It got good reviews from my family that like sweets more than me.

  25. I just made several gallons of this stuff and it’s truly amazing, I used a pumpkin instead of a squash but it turned out very similar to the original as I sipped the universal studio punkin juice to compare, my batch turned out a bit sweet I may cut back on a bit of sugar next I make it but is amazing warm as well! Thanks for this amazing recipe! Will definitely make again!

  26. Currently imbibing a Roadsmary Baby (pumpkin ale), which made me wonder about pumpkin juice, which led me here. I am so impressed by your effort and dedication, I must try your recipe. Thank you. Now… any ideas about butter beer?

  27. Is the pumpkin juice called for in the recipe just the water left in the baking dish? If using canned puree pumpkin would you just add more water? Loved the one in Universal.

    1. Hi Belinda, not the leftover water. It’s made by blending the pumpkin puree and some water together. So yes canned pumpkin is perfect, and so much easier!

  28. I love the thoroughness of your recipes! I’d like to try making this and butterbeer for a Harry Potter party I’m having. Do you know how long they last when refrigerated? I’m trying to make as much as possible in advance. Thanks!

  29. When you say half a butternut squash, can you estimate how many cups this would be? I harvested some cheese pumpkins and have them blended and frozen in ziploc bags of one cup each. I’m not sure how many I would want to mix with the 2 cups of water. I’m planning to make a huge amount for a party this weekend, so the advice is appreciated!

  30. I made this for my daughter’s Hogsmeade Themed party. I made it with apple cider instead of apple juice and I made the pumpkin juice from a can of pumpkin puree and water. I took the advise to simmer the mix and it turned out wonderful! The labels add that extra touch! Thank you for the recipe and the labels! I am going to have a hard time deciding if I want to serve it hot or cold. It would be wonderful either way! (I may have to serve it both ways! )

  31. A quick question: Since the main idea is just to get the pumpkin soft, before blending with water, would it be OK to pop the pumpkin (cut into chunks) in the microwave, to soften? I’m assuming so but figured I’d ask.

  32. This looks great! I haven’t had pumpkin juice, but I’d like to.
    Question: if I were to use a pumpkin instead of a butternut squash, do you think it would have the same taste? Also, should I use a jack-o-lantern pumpkin or a pie pumpkin?
    Thanks!

  33. Fantastic Recipe! I made two double batches for a party for Halloween and it came out perfect.

    The only thing I would recommend, if you want to use pumpkins for pumpkin juice there is an easy way to get pumpkin juice with very little cleanup and still have the meat left for baking other goodies.

    I roasted 6 small to medium pie pumpkins in two sheet pans (note these are not jack-o-lantern pumpkins) with a touch of water in the bottom (about 1 half cups), but ended up only using about one pumpkin per batch.

    After scooping the meat out I noticed a substantial layer of juice (this is not including the water from the pan).

    To extract actual pumpkin juice I used cheesecloth folded so there were 4 layers and added about 1/4 of a cup of the pumpkin to the middle and squeezed the hacky sac sized ball releasing the juice. It was quite fun and created the very essence of pumpkin without the pulp. After turning out the remaining pulp in a separate bowl for baking with later, I repeated until I had enough juice. I was getting about 1/2 a cup of juice per ball.

    Just an idea if you would like to use your pumpkins for this recipe, though you could probably do the same with the squash. I hate cleaning blenders and found the clean up easier and I have squash for other recipes cooked and ready to go.

  34. I can’t remember if I reviewed this or not but I’ve made it for the past few years. I love it and I hate anything pumpkin. I got some jars like she has kind of but I got mine at the dollar store and they come with corks. I live in California. Also IKEA has something similar as well. Anyhow this recipe is amazing you did amazing coming up with it.

  35. First the squash you use is not a pumpkin. I would also suggest a mixture of butter and light brown sugar thinly spread on the pumpkin when roasting.

    Apricot nectar is a good choice. Also (natural unsweetened) Pear, Nectarine, or Plum nectar/puree would work. Along with the apple juice. Squeeze of lime or lemon juice to brighten up the flavor.

    ALWAYS taste as you go. Do not want to be too sweet.

    Would be nice if you post where to get the bottles.

    Great post from you.

  36. I love this recipe and make it every year. People are hesitant to try it until I tell them it’s like pumpkin cider. Absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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