Porch season has begun which means it’s time to start serving drinks on ice that both beat the heat and satisfy the taste buds. Its shandy time! A shandy (or shandygaff) is a beer cocktail consisting of equal parts beer and citrus soda or lemonade. Many Americans may gasp at the idea of mixing a beer with anything other than fried food and sports…but beer cocktails are a delicious way to satisfy the craving between a beer and a mixed drink. Beer is a fantastic base for cocktails because of its complexities, carbonation, and frothiness. Winter time there are many porter-based beer cocktails to be concocted, beer martinis are fun, and dessert beer drinks are a no-brainier. Leinenkugel makes a great Summer Shandy which you can find on tap or by the bottle. If you’re in Wichita, KS I recommend Heroes for some Summer Shandy on tap…the beer is cold, the porch is shaded, and its a great place to kick back and people-watch in Old Town.
Let’s say you want to serve a refreshing shandy at home and are looking for something that’s a step above…something more like a cocktail than a beer. Here is my recipe for a delicious shandy appropriate for any crowd:
Ryan’s Lambic Summer Shandy
You will need…
- A glass
- Ice cubes
- Beer (suggest blonde or wheat)
- Cranberry juice
- Add 3-4 large ice cubes to the glass, you want enough to give the drink a cocktail feel but not too many that it waters down the drink.
- Add a splash of cranberry juice and 1 ounce of limoncello to the glass (best if Limoncello and juice are chilled first).
- Fill remainder of glass with beer slowly (too fast and the foam will go everywhere)
- Add lemon slice to rim for garnish (can also add cranberries for look)
- Allow to settle for a few seconds (DO NOT MIX OR SHAKE). Beer carbonation will mix the drink for you.
That’s it. Pretty simple right? For my shandys this weekend I used Peace Tree Brewing’s Blonde Fatale and they were fantastic! I also highly recommend Tallgrass Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat. I think the blondes stand up better in cocktail form than unfiltered wheat but you gotta drink what you like. Technically a shandy is half and half of any beer you want to make into a shandy so try a few variations of your favorite brew and see what you like. If you want to make a true shandy you’ll want to make some lemon soda which you can do quite easily with fresh lemons, a simple sugar mix, and soda water…but my Lambic Summer Shandy will have you kicked back in an Adirondack chair before you can say “Lake George.” Summer is almost here! Cheers!
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