The fascination for Harry Potter and the #Wizarding World has remained steady and worldwide these years after the original books and movies based on those books came out. If you a longtime fan or new to this magical world, what fun it would be to become a student of an Advanced Adult Potions class with Professor Paul Stelmack.

It started as an idea

What started out two years ago as a fun idea for a few Ithaca Press Bay Alley business owners to celebrate Halloween with local children and their families has performed a mighty spell of its own over this quiet city and transfigured itself in just three years into a full magical weekend of wizardry and wonderment.

With the power of social media, that first year drew not only local families but unexpectedly 8000 fans of J.K. Rowling’s world of Harry Potter, turning this small city nestled in the heart of the #Finger Lakes Region of Central NY, into something very special and magical indeed.

The original organizers, as well as the city itself, soon realized that they were onto something unique, so last year the event expanded beyond the tiny Press Bay Alley, where it was first concocted, into the surrounding city streets and onto the three-block pedestrian mall in the heart of the business district. Their instincts were not wrong as 10,000 wizards, young and old, joined in the many events, shopping the vendors, eating goodies, and drinking delectable brews, such as butterbeer.

The magic has continued on again this year and has grown further into a full three-day Wizarding Weekend, going beyond just the world of Harry Potter into all things magic.

Advanced potions class for adults

There was something to experience for everyone and every age. Coltivare, Ithaca's Farm to Table restaurant, hosted an Advanced Potions class for those wizards 21 and older. There, seasoned wizards experience hands-on beverage mixology from Colitvare's Potions Teacher, Professor Paul Stelmack. In addition to participating in various cocktail demonstrations, the students had an opportunity to taste other delectable potables from local and regional breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Proceeds from this event benefited the Wizarding Weekend itself and the Blue Sky Center for Learning, an agency located in Spencer, #New York, offering autism services.

To help make your next magical event be extra special here's two creative drink recipes created by Professor Paul which he brewed up for his Advanced Potions class that you might try.

The Balrog

created by Paul Stelmack

1.5oz Spitball Cinnamon Whiskey

Dash of African Bird Pepper Infused Whiskey

.5oz Spice Syrup

.5oz Lemon Juice

.5oz Apple Juice

Shaken and served on the rocks with a lemon wedge garnish

Health Potion

created by Paul Stelmack

1.5oz Vodka

.75oz Campari

.75oz Raspberry Syrup

.5oz Watermelon Puree

2 dashes Cranberry Bitters

1 dash Lime Bitters

Shaken, double strain in a snifter, no garnish