Can you imagine taking a sip of your favorite drink – maybe Pumpkin Juice or Butterbeer – and suddenly feeling the compulsion to share what’s on your mind? You might reveal something important… such as the details of an upcoming surprise gift, or your true feelings about someone in your life. That’s a little bit scary, right? That’s the power of Veritaserum, the powerful truth potion in the Harry Potter series.
Since I started creating Harry Potter-inspired cocktails here on Follow the Butterflies, Veritaserum has been one of the most-requested potions. Every month, people ask me how I would make it, so I’ve finally decided to spill my own secrets of a Veritaserum recipe you can make with Muggle ingredients.
Be warned though: this recipe is strong by Muggle standards and should be drank responsibly. Even just one will certainly encourage you to share your innermost thoughts and feelings, so keep that in mind when putting together this potion at home.
Ready to risk it? Read on for my Veritaserum recipe – inspired by the powerful potion in the Wizarding World.
Veritaserum in the Wizarding World
Veritaserum is one of the most well-known potions from the Wizarding World, in part because of its nefarious introduction:
It is Veritaserum – a Truth Potion so powerful that three drops would have you spilling your innermost secrets for this entire class to hear. … Unless you watch your step, you might just find that my hand slips — right over your evening pumpkin juice. And then, Potter … then we’ll find out whether you’ve been in my office or not.”Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (ch. 27)
However, this is not the only mention of Veritaserum: it’s used later in Goblet of Fire to encourage a complete confession by Barty Crouch Jr.; Dolores Umbridge uses it on students to try and reveal Dumbledore’s Army in Order of the Phoenix; and Professor Slughorn shows it to his sixth-year Potions students at the beginning of the year as an example of N.E.W.T.-level potions they will learn before graduating from Hogwarts.
As you might guess, Veritaserum is one of the most complex potions we learn about in the Wizarding World. We don’t know the exact ingredients, however it does take a month to make (a full “lunar phase,” so about 28 days) and is clear, colorless, and odorless – almost like water. Combining ingredients in just the right way to achieve this results is undoubtedly tricky, which is why only advanced potioneers like Snape and Slughorn are capable of making it.
Despite its prevalence and power, Veritaserum is not infallible. It works best on those who are unsuspecting or weak-willed to resist it – but those who know Occlumency can actually resist its effects. We never see examples of someone doing this in the Harry Potter series, though it’s theoretically possible.
How to Make Veritaserum
Given the constraints of clear, colorless, and odorless, I set out to make a Veritaserum recipe that would encourage truth-telling… To me, that suggested it needs to be an alcoholic drink, as the right cocktail generally convinces almost anyone to share their thoughts and feelings under the right conditions. However, I was adamant to try and create a clear, colorless cocktail – though odorless was tricky since all spirits smell. With all that in mind, I designed my Veritaserum cocktail recipe.
If you know how to make a Muggle cocktail at home, you can easily make my Veritaserum recipe. Thankfully it’s nowhere near as complex as the one in the Wizarding World, and doesn’t need to brew for an entire moon phase to work. (However, you can add a little bit of lunar influence to the cocktail, as I’ll detail below.)
To make this Muggle adults-version of Veritaserum, first you’ll need to assemble the ingredients:
- Gin (I used Hendrick’s Gin)
- Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
- St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
You can usually find these all at a local liquor store; you might also see if they’re available for delivery via a service like Drizly in your area. You’ll also need a coupe glass and large ice cube; I used my Moon ice mold to add that lunar aspect I mentioned.
Once you’ve assembled all of these ingredients, it’s easy to mix them: add 2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of the Maraschino Liqueur, and 1 ounce of the Elderflower Liqueur to your cocktail shaker with 4-5 ice cubes (not your big ice cube!). Shake for 30 seconds until the shaker gets very cold.
Add the large (lunar) ice cube to your coupe glass, and strain the cocktail over the ice cube into your glass. As you can see, there is no need to add garnish – this colorless (though not odorless) cocktail is meant to be almost water-like, as it’s described in the books.
You could also choose to add this mixture to other drinks – though you’ll probably need more than three drops for the full effect. It would likely go well with lemon-lime soda or ginger ale, orange juice, or most fruity flavors of sparkling water.
Veritaserum Recipe for Muggles
As promised, here’s a recipe card that details the ingredients and steps so you can simply follow them to make Veritaserum at home.
- 2 oz Hendrick's Gin
- 1 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
- 1 oz St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
- Add several ice cubes to a shaker.
- Add the gin, maraschino liqueur, and elderflower liqueur to the shaker.
- Close tightly and shake for 30 seconds.
- Pour over ice into a coupe glass.
- Drink responsibly – and don't be surprised if more than one of these has you sharing a few secrets!
Have any questions about how to make this Veritaserum recipe? Let me know in the comments – and don’t forget to drink responsibly so you don’t end up spilling your darkest secrets.